Class of 2013

Jun 1, 2013 9:00 AM, Mix

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Mix Regional

The Mix Regional section for Mix's May 2014 issue focuses on Nashville. Send us your studio news: updates, sessions, new rooms, club performances and installations. Let the Mix audience know what is going on! Send photos and descriptions to mixeditorial@nbmedia.com.

Hearstudios

Hearstudios

On the Cover: Hearstudios, Camden, Maine

Owner/chief engineer Jason Hearst relocated from Boston to this airy, beautiful new facility in a restored 19th-century grain barn. Despite the rural image that conjures, the facility is situated in downtown Camden, so isolation was an important consideration in the acoustical design by Lou Clark of Sonic-Space (sonic-space.com).

“We tore it down to the studs,” Clark says. “We spray-foamed the entire structure, which made the building more rigid. Then we added batt-insulation and isolation clips, then two layers of drywall. This was done to every surface, including the ceiling.”

The knotty pine that covers the interior of the main tracking room makes for a very live tracking space, but acoustics can be adjusted with variable gobos that Clark and Hearst designed as an alternative to constructing multiple fixed iso booths. “Only one of the three booths is permanent,” explains Clark. “That’s the vocal booth farthest from the control room. To the left of that, he can arrange these gobos on wheels to create a fairly neutral booth environment—a little live, a little dead—and then to the left of that, there’s a very dead space with a lot of trapping. The idea is that he can have different environments to work in, but it also balances out the big live space.”

Hearstudios

Hearstudios

The gobos were built to fit on-site by Taylor-Made Builders’ Norm Dalholt, who also came up with the clever idea of jacking up the panels once they’re in place to create a seal between the booth(s) and the balcony area above, which provides another potential recording space.

Hearst and studio manager Bob Thompson have been up and running for only a few months, hosting sessions with a variety of local musicians while they get to know the new studio, including the centerpiece of the control room: a brand-new Neve 5088 Portico console integrated by Burt Price. “Rupert Neve put the best aspects of his design history into the 5088—its EQs, compressors and processing modules—so you can take advantage of what people love on one modern system,” Hearst says. “The Portico makes an excellent tracking board to go into Pro Tools, optimizing my workflow.” Hearst’s main monitors are Barefoot MicroMain27s; they listen in 5.1 from BeoLab 3s using Dave Moulton’s acoustic lens. The studio offers an array of outboard gear set in custom racks built by Adam Zois, who also built the cherry conical control room diffusers.

“We also have an amazing instrument selection,” points out Thompson, who’s known in New England as an in-demand guitarist, university instructor, and former New England sales manager for Fender Musical Instrument Corp. “You can see only the Yamaha C7 concert grand in these pictures, but we also have a B-3 with two Leslies, a Rhodes 88 and a Wurly; plus, there’s what Jason calls the ‘Guitarsenal.’ We have several dozen incredible guitars, vintage and contemporary amps, and many other types of instruments. There isn’t any style of music that can’t be created with authenticity here.”

For Hearst, this latest incarnation of Hearstudios (the third that Clark has designed with him) isn’t just a superb, loaded new workspace; it’s also a place to put down roots. “I grew up one town over from Camden,” he says. “So this was moving back home for me. We were looking back and forth between properties in Boston and here, and this was the place that had the yard for the kids, the house for our family, and a barn to fulfill my dream of creating a versatile studio with a great vibe.”






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