The Class of 2008
Jun 1, 2008 12:00 PM
ON THE COVER: INNER MACHINE
Inner Machine (Buffalo, N.Y.) is enjoying a second life thanks to a couple of former studio gofers, Robby Tacak and John Rzeznik — now better known as Goo Goo Dolls. Twenty years ago, Tacak and Rzeznik were working for then-owner Alan Baumgardner and his commercial clients. They recently purchased the studio, and with the help of the original designer, John Storyk and wife/partner Beth Walters, founders of Walters-Storyk Design Group, they've made the rooms over to support their own projects.
“I first designed this studio, then called Trackmasters, over 30 years ago,” Storyk says. “Obviously, it needed to be renovated. The equipment was tired, they needed a new mechanical room — but the main acoustic need for Johnny [Rzeznik] was to completely change the acoustic signature of the live room, creating an enhanced reverb time, capable of recording drums and other session work, specifically for the group.”
WSDG added a vocal booth and spec'd new surface treatments in all of the rooms. “The curved soffits on the [tracking room] ceiling were refilled and resurfaced,” he explains. “We changed all of the original fabric to wood membranes with specific finishes. There are two different wood thicknesses to give a variety of membrane absorption characteristics at low frequencies. We introduced a variable-acoustic panel system on the walls, due to the need to deaden the room from time to time. The default RT60 for the room is close to 1.0 seconds and smooth through the entire frequency domain.“
The owners worked with WSDG system engineer Judy Brown to integrate an API Legacy console, new main monitors and a large collection of vintage outboard gear. A full-range Augspurger monitor system will soon be installed under the guidance of Professional Audio Design. The control room photo shows that two racks (far right) are detached from the rest; these racks on rollers house Rzeznik's favorite pieces of gear (Groove Tubes Vipre mic pre's and Glory Comp compressors; Mercury EQ-P1s, M76ms and M72s; RCA BA 6A; Chandler Limited TG2 and others) and can be moved all the way forward to the mix position.
“I'm proud of the fact that this room that we built 30 years ago, whose infrastructure is still sound, could be reborn to accept totally different acoustic requirements,” Storyk says. “Often when a studio's purpose ends, the studio dies, but this studio is now rebuilt to serve a new purpose that's consistent with what artists and bands are doing in the 21st century.”
2 HARD RECORDS
Francis Manzella (FM Design Ltd.) designed this recording studio for Jeremy Harding's 2 Hard Records label in Kingston, Jamaica. Harding, who manages Platinum artist Sean Paul, works with other local producers and writers, and produces 2 Hard artists in his new studio, which opened in December 2007. Equipment includes Digidesign D-Command and Pro Tools HD, Griffin G1.5 main monitors and loads of MIDI gear.
Studio A of composer James Newton Howard's personal facility in Santa Monica, Calif., includes architectural and technological updates to the room that studio bau:ton originally designed for him in 1996. The redesign, by bau:ton's Peter Grueneisen, opened the space to accommodate a large flat-panel monitor on the front wall. An equipment rack was removed and bass trapping was reconfigured to accommodate a new seating area on a riser behind the composer's desk. The sloping front wood ceiling was also replaced with a high, nearly level fabric surface, and warm cherry flooring and paneling were added. Howard's extensive equipment includes a Euphonix System 5 console and B&W monitoring. The redesign was completed in January '08.
Russ Berger Design Group designed this 1,100-square-foot studio, which serves as the new home of Sirius Satellite program Martha Quinn Presents. Located in Malibu, Calif., the studio is also available for theatrical, television and Web 2.0 post-production, audio mixing and voice-over projects. Design features include custom acoustic fabric wall and ceiling treatments, walnut flooring and lots of natural light. Open for business in February '08, the studio has a 32-channel Digidesign ICON system with 48-channel analog I/O, API and tube front end, SSL summing, a selection of vintage mics and outboard, ISDN and custom Precision Kinetics 7.1 surround monitoring.
Cream Recording Studios is a new music recording/mixing facility housed within the London headquarters of UK-based equipment supplier/rental company GearBox. Opened in March '08, Cream was designed by Roger D'Arcy of Recording Architecture to accommodate large-scale music production, with an emphasis on film scoring and other sound-for-picture projects. Cream features a new 72-channel SSL Duality analog console, custom ATC surround monitoring, and a wide choice of vintage and classic mics, and outboard gear.
CALIFORNIA ROAD STUDIOS
Situated in Orchard Park, N.Y., is California Road Studios, a multipurpose tracking/mixing facility by Lawrence P. Swist Designs. The studio opened in September '07, and features an 800-square-foot tracking room and a 120-square-foot iso booth. Designer Larry Swist reports that the large room has a 1.6-second reverb time optimized for drum tracking; reverb times can also be adjusted down to accommodate a variety of production requirements. Featured equipment includes Pro Tools HD3, a Digidesign D-Command console, Avalon and Focusrite mic pre's, and Dynaudio 5.1 monitoring.
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