Russ Berger Design Group (RBDG) provided architectural and acoustical design for Third Ear Music Studios at More Church in Amarillo, Texas. RBDG designed a 1,000-square-foot addition to the existing church structure that houses a new control room, booth and support space.
Kevin Prosch—recording engineer, Christian recording artist and an associate senior pastor at More Church—had been using a church office as a studio space, but wanted to generate more business, as the Third Ear Music label donates many of its profits toward charitable work in Africa.
“It was important to work with Kevin to find the most cost-effective way to reach the desired acoustical result,” explains RBDG president Russ Berger. “We monitored construction costs very closely, making sure that there was a balance among all the functions, features and requirements that compete for the same dollars.” Because Prosch did much of the work, he was able to ensure that the design concepts, specs and details were implemented correctly. He also kept the design team up-to-date with photos of the construction progress, e-mails and frequent telephone conversations that helped to limit RBDG’s site visits.
Because the studio was constructed in a purpose-built addition, the volume of the spaces could be optimized to ensure low frequency accuracy in the control room and to keep the booth free from unwanted resonances. RBDG’s design called for multiple density acoustical core materials strategically distributed throughout the spaces, covered with acoustically transparent fabric to add appropriate amounts of broadband absorption. SpaceArray™ diffusers, designed and manufactured by pArtScience, helped create a mixing environment that accurately references across the entire console width and back through the producer’s desk.
“I had this mindset that because the studio was small, it wouldn’t have the same acoustic quality as other larger studios,” Prosch says, “but it sounds incredible. Even my mastering engineer has commented on the improved quality of my projects.”
Within six months of completing construction, Third Ear Music Studios took on nearly a dozen projects. Prosch also plans to use the space for post-production.
Although Third Ear Music is operated independently from More Church, much of the studio’s profit goes to fundraising efforts shared by the two entities. “The first and foremost goal is to use money from Third Ear Music Studio’s projects to build wells and send grain and food to Africa—especially Tanzania, Uganda and other war-stricken countries,” says Prosch. “We also have plans to use some of the funds to eventually put instruments into the hands of musicians in impoverished countries. The third goal is to support young worship leaders by producing high-quality recordings.”