Studio Designers | Form & Function
Jun 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Barbara Schultz
TOP STUDIO DESIGNERS BUCK TRENDS
Tastes and technology evolve, but the principles of acoustics remain the same.
Another immutable reality: “Sooner or later, you need some kind of facility to create content,” as 40-plus-year studio designer John Storyk says. And though the music recording industry has never seen stranger times, there seems to be no end of public demand for “content.”
Many of the most established studio design firms have adapted to shifts in their business by finding niches where they fit, expanding their services or both. We reached out to a handful of designers to find out what they’re working on now, what they’re excited about, even how they feel about the way Mix covers their industry.
Our panel includes respected designer, acoustician, monitor designer, musician and producer Chris Pelonis; busy designer/acoustician and Zero Reflection Acoustics® developer Hanson Hsu; renowned architect/designer Peter Grueneisen; and the president of the Walters-Storyk Design Group, John Storyk.
Chris Pelonis on How and Why He Developed His Pelonis Signature Monitor Series
We’d like to understand where the work is now designers. Please list a few current projects.
Pelonis: I’ve had an ongoing relationship with Sony Computer Entertainment America, who do all the PlayStation titles; I’ve done 45 or 50 studios for them. I just finished a 1,500-square-foot facility in Ashland, Oregon, for a guy who added onto his house. I’m working on another one in Fullerton, [Calif.]—two control rooms, a couple of live spaces. I also do nightclubs and theaters and high-end home theaters.
Hsu: There’s been a diverse stream of projects for years now: A 7-room facility for Universal Mastering (Hollywood); a private composer’s studio (L.A. Westside); 20,000 square feet of architectural/interior/acoustical design for Laser Pacific (Hollywood), including three theaters; Westlake Audio Studio C (Hollywood); Pagewood Sound (Sydney); Serenity Studio B (Hollywood) in the Music Grinder Building; and Masque Entertainment’s (Sante Fe, N.M.) 24,000-square-foot post facility featuring ZR Acoustics and 3-D CGI. Our clientele is diverse by nature.
Grueneisen: We’ve been working with Dreamworks for quite some time; they have a project under construction now. Another aspect of our business is composers. We did a home studio for A.R. Rahman, who won the Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire and another for Steve Jablonsky; he did all the Transformers movies, as well as Desperate Housewives. We’re still doing a lot for Remote Control and Hans Zimmer, too.
Storyk: For the past few years, much to our surprise, we have been very busy. Typically, we are managing between 35 and 40 projects in one phase or another: design, pre-construction or construction. These projects range from major audio education complexes like the $6-plus-million NYU Steinhardt Center in Greenwich Village, to much smaller facilities like World Harmony Studios in upstate N.Y. and large destination or urban recording studios such as the new multi-million-dollar Jungle City on New York’s High Line.
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