Lou Clark of Sonic-Space provided acoustical consulting, and Parsons Audio handled system design and integration for the redesign of the Weeks Center studios at the University of Miami. The university requested an aesthetic update to the rooms, which were built around 1990, as well as upgrades to treatments, infrastructure and equipment.
“In the tracking room, fabric panels were torn and the room needed to be freshened up, but the control room was one of those old-style rooms with the console and big speakers up front, and behind a credenza with a step up and room for a few people to sit back there. Well, that credenza and step got torn out; we raised the whole floor up, replaced the wiring underneath. It was a substantial change and a lot of work, particularly since the structure is solid concrete.”
Removing the credenza and leveling the floors, and the integration of a video monitoring system, made it possible for up to 40 students to attend a class or session in the control room. The new design also includes three consoles—Avid S6, API 1608 and an SSL AWS 948—and numerous types of preamps and processing installed in a custom desk designed and built by Sound Construction & Supply.
A unique aspect of Miami’s upgrade was the inclusion of students in the planning and build. The school’s production engineer, Chris Palowitch, who graduated from the music engineering program in Spring 2016, helped to create the studio that he now manages. “We were looking for a space that gives students a large variety of sounds to choose from,” Palowitch says. “We were really going for that ideal studio space that can not only be used as an educational facility but also can be regarded as a pro studio.”