Class of 2007THIS YEAR'S HOTTEST NEW ROOMS 6/01/2007 8:00 AM Eastern
Jamie Rosenberg's Great Divide Studios in Aspen, Colo., is the fourth facility to bear the Great Divide name, and it's a huge upgrade since the little room Rosenberg started with, built into the Great Divide Music Store. The room on this month's cover was purpose-built as part of the new home Rosenberg shares with his wife, Carole, whose architectural design firm built the house and studio.
The studio design was done by Martin Pilchner of Pilchner Schoustal International. “We wanted to get the control room in the best physical location and orientation to optimize both room size and geometry, which placed it approximately in the middle and sideways” Pilchner explains. “We placed the live room to the right of the control room and a large iso booth to the left. You have a direct sight line from the left iso booth through the control room and then through the studio proper to the second iso booth at the far end of the studio. A third iso booth also doubles as a reverb chamber.
The goal for the 2,200-square-foot studio with 16-foot ceilings was to create a high-tech space with a relaxed, living room ambience. Consequently, the design incorporates fabric ceiling and wall treatments, custom cabinetry and equipment racks, hand-blown glass lighting, and antique oak floors. A leather sofa, suede chairs and an antique coffee table add to the homey atmosphere.
The 5.1 surround sound control room is fitted with soffitted ATC 150s and an automated 7-foot projection screen. Working with a world-class assortment of microphones, outboard gear, Digidesign Pro Tools and a 32-fader Icon D-Control, Rosenberg tracks and mixes out-of-town clients such as Hall and Oates, Jonathan McEuen and Beyonce, who finished tracking for B'Day while in Aspen on a photo shoot. “Aspen also has a fantastic local music scene.” Rosenberg says. “There is a great pool of talent here that I really enjoy working with.”
Another enticing aspect of Great Divide Studios is the impressive collection of musical instruments that Rosenberg, a guitarist as well as a producer/engineer, makes available to clients. He's got an army of guitars, a Steinway B, a 1957 Hammond B-3, and a first-rate assortment of drums, amps and unusual instruments. “We often have bands come in and just bring their sticks and picks,” Rosenberg says. “Between Martin, Carole and myself, we definitely accomplished our goals. The studio sounds and functions beautifully, the vibe is relaxed and inspiring, and clients just love working here.”
Jay-Z's new home base is the 4,500-square-foot Roc the Mic. Owned by Juan Perez and designed by the Walters-Storyk Design Group, RTM went online in Manhattan this past January. Pictured is Studio A, housing a classic SSL 9080 J, which was carefully refurbished by Dave Malekpour's Professional Audio Design. WSDG and PAD worked with George Augspurger on the custom monitor installation. Both this control room and its “twin” feature custom split-island producer's desks, plenty of room, and plenty of privacy.
Nashville-based designer Carl Tatz created this personal studio for Rascal Flatts bassist/songwriter Jay DeMarcus. Also in Nashville, The Grip went online in April 2006 and includes two Pro Tools HD Accel 7.3 systems and two Phantom Focus monitoring systems — one setup in the spacious control room pictured above, and one in a smaller editing suite known as The Cockpit. There are also three iso booths, a lounge, and a host of musical instruments, plug-ins, outboard and mics.
The island in question is the Big Island of Hawaii. This facility, designed by Larry Swist of Lawrence P. Swist Designs, is in Kailua-Kona and features Swist's custom panels, built by his Evenfall Acoustics manufacturing company. Featured equipment includes a 32-channel Tonelux console, Barefoot MM27 monitors, Pro Tools HD2, and Mytek and Lynx Åurora converters.
On the northeastern shore of Long Island, in the village of Port Jefferson, N.Y., is Aja Productions, owned by Antonio Corcella. This personal facility was designed and built by James W. Grady and is treated with Auralex acoustical panels and oak hardwood floors. Corcella works in Pro Tools, employing numerous Universal Audio plug-ins.
Vincent Van Haaff of Waterland Design redesigned the Record Plant's SSL 1 room (Los Angeles). Re-opened for business in January of this year, the studio was refurbished with the replacement of midrange diffuser elements on the back wall with wide Q absorption. In addition, a center baffle was added in front of the wall to improve the center image and subwoofer correlation. New gear includes an SSL 9000 J console and Pro Tools HD3.
Chris Pelonis of Pelonis Sound and Acoustics designed owner Aris Archontis' private facility situated in Sherman Oaks, Calif. The studio is centered around an SSL Duality console and features a diverse selection of boutique and classic outboard gear. Custom Pelonis Signature main monitors were installed and tuned by the designer. The live room boasts a 22-foot ceiling treated with a variety of natural materials. System integration was performed by Vertigo Recording Services, and acoustical construction provided by Sound Waves Acoustical Technologies.
Musicians and brothers Ran and Tal Pink celebrated the completion of their new studio, Fonogenic Recording, in Van Nuys, Calif., this April. Designer Carl Yanchar of Wave:Space designed the facility to serve as a creative space for artists who are on the brothers' online Fonogenic label to record and perform live streams. Included are a stylish lounge and large soundstage. The 410-square-foot control room is centered around a Trident Series 80B console and Barefoot MicroMain 27 monitoring. Also on hand are Pro Tools HD and Logic, and some of the owners' “favorite toys,” such as a Shadow Hills Gama 8-channel mic pre, Smart Research C1 compressor and a pair of Empirical Lab Distressors.
Designer/acoustician Peter Grueneisen — then a partner in studio bau:ton — designed this renowned facility in 1996 and was asked to update the room this year to meet more current technical requirements. Grueneisen's nonzeroarchitecture firm added a patchbay to the left side wall as well as a complete subterranean reworking of the trough system and wiring. New equipment in the facility includes a 96-channel Neve 88RSP console and Neve remote Air Monseraat and 1081 mic preamps. This venerable L.A. studio re-opened for business in February '07.
Hanson Hsu of Delta H Design developed this creative space for composer Neil Uchitel. The facility design incorporates Hsu's patent-pending ZR (zero-reflection) acoustics. (For more about ZR, see Coast to Coast in the November 2006 issue of Mix.) The facility went online last June and features Pro Tools HD2 and a Yamaha DM2000 digital console.
Pilchner Schoustal International redesigned part of the StarCity Recording complex for owner/producer Jeff Glixman this year, with particular attention to this multipurpose performance stage. The control room was upgraded with a Quested 5.1 monitoring system and an SSL Axiom MT Plus console. StarCity provides recording/production/label services and rehearsal space to new and established artists.
This studio in Haverhill, Mass., was designed as a singer/songwriter production space for owner James Deveau. Lou Clark designed the one-room studio with custom diffuser boxes hung from a ceiling track, allowing the diffusers to be moved back and forth between the critical listening position and another position that creates a “vocal booth.” In general, the acoustical treatments can be removed and arranged to create different characteristics within the room. Key equipment includes Nuendo, RME Multiface and Digiface, Cubase 4 and SLS Pro Studio S8R speakers.
Former Mastering Lab staffer Gavin Lurssen opened his own facility a few months ago, and he's been extremely busy, having already completed mastering projects for producer/artists T Bone Burnett and Joe Henry, artists including Loudon Wainright, John Doe and Randy Newman, the score of videogame God of War, and many others. Lurssen designed the studio with colleague Dan Garcia, and room tuning was done by Charlie Bolois of Vertigo Recording Services. Lurssen says he made a point of retaining the natural brick walls of the building, but added acoustic treatments to help the room “resonate.” Lurssen uses Sonic Studio and Pro Tools, ATC monitoring and a complement of his own modified gear.
The Russ Berger Design Group designed this 1,000-square-foot addition to the More Church in Amarillo, Texas. Included in the project were a new control room, booth and support space. RBDG employed SpaceArray diffusers from pArtScience and incorporated a collection of African art pieces and Wenge and Padauk wood finishes into the design. Major equipment includes two Sony DMX R100 24-channel consoles, two Radar Adrenaline Plus 24-channel multitracks and a pair of Mastering Lab-customized Tannoy speakers with modified Yamaha Natural Sound amp.
This studio, designed by Tony Berg, is a recording facility within the Malibu Performing Arts Center (Malibu, Calif.). It was established to record artists performing at the live venue, but can also serve as a stand-alone recording environment. Owned by Gene Shively and Mary Devine Scott, the studio opened in August 2006 and was quickly pressed into service to record a Tom Petty concert at the Center. Equipment includes custom Genelec 1034B monitors and a Pro Tools HD3 system with 48 channels of Apogee I/O.
The State University of New York at Fredonia opened this new studio for student use in January 2007. The room was designed by Larry Swist of Lawrence P. Swist Designs and includes a 56-input SSL G+ console, Dynaudio M3A main monitors and Genelec near-fields. Recording gear comprises Pro Tools HD3 and an Otari MTR-90 24-track analog machine.
Brian Riordan's Levels Audio Post (profiled in Coast to Coast, Feb. '07 issue) is a high-design, fast-paced facility that provides post-production services for American Idol as well as numerous other film and TV clients. Incorporated into the design by Peter Grueneisen of nonzeroarchitecture are Tessaract LMH-1 three-way screen channel speakers (designed by Tomlinson Holman), a 32-channel Digi ICON D-Control console, Pro Tools HD5 Accel system and JBL 8340 surround monitoring.
The redesign of Pilot Recording Studios (New York City) was done by owner Will Schillinger's Wilbur Systems Ltd., with original acoustic design by Frank Comentale, and includes the installation of a Neve VR console and Pro Tools HD system, as well as an RPG Flutter Free diffusion system. Construction and installation was completed by Wilbur Systems Ltd.
Company founder Jimmy Daniel designed his new Beluga Truck as part of the JDM Mobile fleet based in Peachtree City, Ga. It's a 40-foot studio on wheels equipped with dual Yamaha DM2000 V2s and Pro Tools HD3 rigs (gotta have two of everything when you're remote-recording live), and Adam S3A 5.1 surround monitoring. Since its completion in April last year, the Beluga has been used to capture performances by the likes of Justin Timberlake, The Killers, Nickelback, Snoop Dogg, Ludacris and many others.
Bob Alach of Alactronics designed this new facility in Chicago for high-res, low-distortion stereo and 5.1 surround mastering of CDs and LPs. Alach reports that the monitoring and room response are flat within 1.5 dB from 10 to 40k Hz. Custom furniture was also designed to minimize acoustic interference. The design includes SLS/Bag End monitoring, an Alactronics-modified Ampex ATR-102 and a custom-built transfer console from Shea Ako.
Jesse Deese's Columbus Recording (Columbus, Ga.) opened in January 2007. Designed by Deese, it features a large (25×22-foot), tiered control room with Red Oak Art diffusers on the back wall, a granite-topped producer's desk and soffited Dynaudio 5.1 surround monitoring. The drum booth and iso booth include white oak flooring, and Colorado River rock is used along with cedar planking for diffusion.