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The Class of 2010


Mix received photos of more than 40 great, new studio designs this year, but we’ve only got room to print a dozen here.

Photo: Ansel Olson

On the Cover: 9WG Studios

Richmond, Va.

Red Amp Audio, pictured at left, is the new studio of musician/engineer Jody Boyd, who provides music composition, recording, audio post and mixing services within the new 9WG Studios complex designed by Peter Grueneisen’s nonzeroarchitecture and studio:bauton.

Boyd previously operated a separate studio, as did the other players in 9WG: Melanie Cox of production company Spang TV, and filmmakers/video editors Matt West and Chris Allen Williams of Mad Box Post. They all work together frequently and agreed that throwing in together would create a company greater than the sum of its parts. They located a two-story building that had enough ground-floor space for all three businesses, plus, part of the space was two stories high where a previous tenant with a photography studio had broken through the ceiling .

“We were able to plan around that being the tracking room,” says Grueneisen. “After we knew that, the rest fell into place.”

Grueneisen balanced the acoustics of the 25×15-foot tracking room (pictured on the cover) with angled walls, wood treatments with cotton accents, and the unique-looking custom cotton panels that are attached with strips of wood.

“The room is pretty live on one end and more absorbent on the other,” Grueneisen says. “Jody is a composer and he’s a hard-core musician who plays a lot of instruments himself, so acoustics were really important.”

Red Amp, which is managed by 9WG co-owner Marna Bales, has two control rooms. Boyd works in the 21×16-foot ‘A,’ which is centered around an Avid ICON D-Control and Quested surround monitoring. The Pro Tools-based ‘B’ studio is operated by engineer/sound designer Andrew Uvarov. All of the studios are built as rooms within rooms to isolate them from the other tenants upstairs. Some of Red Amp’s national clients include Wal-mart, Genworth Financial and Capital One. Boyd also serves regional clients like the Virginia Lottery, and produces and records songwriters and bands.

“What we have now is a complete production facility under one roof, which we call 9WG Studios, even though we can and do each work independently,” Boyd explains. “We were already working together a lot. It was just a matter of finding the right space and the right time to do this. When we found this building, it felt like a gift fell from the sky.”

Clear Track Productions

Photo: Wes Lachot

Clearwater, Fla.

Wes Lachot Design (Chapel Hill, N.C.) created this reflection-free control room for owner Mike Johnson, incorporating a concept developed by RPG Diffusor Systems. Broadband and custom-tuned bass traps help create smooth, extended low-frequency response; rear-wall treatments are RPG Diffractals. Not pictured is a 23×25-foot tracking room, where treatments include a “diffsorber” array built by Brett Acoustics from RPG parts. Featured equipment at Clear Track, which opened this past January, includes an SSL 8056 G+ console, Dynaudio M3A mains, Pro Tools HD3 and a Yamaha C6 conservatory grand piano. Clear Track Productions Site

Studio 1093

Photo: Terry Allen

Athens, Ga.

Russ Berger Design Group (Addison, Texas) created this personal studio for producer/musician Jim Hawkins. The rooms were completed in March of this year and benefit from loads of natural northern light because a large area above a steel I-beam was opened up to support a glass block array. Acoustically, multiple-density glass-fiber core materials of varying thickness were covered with fabric for broadband absorption in the studio area. Berger says that hard diffuse upper areas form a loosely coupled space that gives the sonic impression of a larger room; the same acoustical technique was used in the glass-enclosed booth. The studio centers around Pro Tools HD, Avid D-Command console and Precision Kinetics active ribbon monitors. Studio 1093 Site

Interscope/Universal Music

Photo: David Goggin

Santa Monica, Calif.

This studio owned by Interscope/UMG was designed by Vincent van Haaff of Waterland Design (Hollywood). An existing World War II–era industrial park building was retrofitted to meet current earthquake safety requirements, including installing all-new acoustically isolated foundations and a new steel structure that is hidden in the acoustical shells of the facility. The finished project, which went online in May 2009, includes an 1,800-square-foot recording studio, an adjacent private showcase stage/club, kitchen, lounge and rehearsal space. Control room equipment includes an SSL 4000 G+ Legacy, Pro Tools and Augspurger mains monitoring.

The Bridge

Photo: Jay Kaufman

Glendale, Calif.

Just opened last month, The Bridge is a ground-up 6,000-square-foot film and TV scoring facility with room for up to 75 musicians in a 36x48x22-foot live room. The 800-square-foot control room offers a Neve VSP 96-input console, Pro Tools HD7 and HD3, ATC LCR monitors and a QSC 8-speaker surround array. Designed by Jay Kaufman & Associates (Sherman Oaks, Calif.), the facility features what Kaufman calls a “refinement of classic acoustical elements” and has a 0.9-second RT60.

Fenix Recording Studios

Photo: Colour and Code

Varnhem, Sweden

If you’ve longed to record in Sweden, this gorgeous residential facility is one of the largest in Scandinavia. The control room is centered around a 72-input SSL Duality board, and is set up for stereo and 5.1 monitoring via ATC 300s and 150s. A large tracking room features flexible elements that can be moved/adjusted to alter the acoustics. The studio also offers a wide selection of analog and digital equipment, including Studer A827 and Ampex ATR-102 half-inch and quarter-inch recorders, all connected to Pro Tools via Endless Analog’s CLASP. Designed by Ingemar Olsson of Audio Data Lab (Stockholm, Sweden), Fenix went online in December 2009. Fenix Recording Studios Site

OK Records

Photo: George Roos

Nyack, N.Y.

Francis Manzella (Mahopac, N.Y.) designed a new studio for engineer/producer Greg Talenfeld (Beck, Pavement, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion), whose business had outgrown his previous studio, Waterworks (New York City). The facility, which opened in February 2010, is built into a 1912 brick warehouse and is designed to accommodate live band recording. A floating-room design incorporating visual elements of the original building was implemented to isolate the studio from a nearby firehouse. Acoustic finishes include brick, exposed wood beams and concrete, which Manzella says “create a unique blend of rugged industrial and modern high-tech.” Talenfeld’s equipment includes a custom Trident 24 console, Otari MTR90, Pro Tools HD Accel, vintage instruments and Genelec 1032 monitors. OK Records Site

Jukasa Studios

Photos: Marco Resendes

Ohsweken, Ontario, Canada

Situated on the First Nations (Native American) Reserve, this facility comprises more than 2,300 square feet of audio production rooms—two control rooms, live room and three iso booths—as well as a lounge space, offices and residential facilities. The main control room includes an SSL 8072 G/G+, Pro Tools HD3 Accel, Audio Hardware K-12 surround monitors and a wide selection of outboard gear. This room features a diffusive ceiling and floating-room design. The live room has flexible acoustics with an inverted podium style and stepped ceiling array; each unit can act as either a diffusive or absorptive module. Jukasa opened in April 2009 with design/build by Marco Resendes (architecture/acoustics) and Chris Tedesco (builder/equipment consultation and installation) of Rectech Rooms (Vaughan, Ontario). Jukasa Studios Site

Pira Studios

Photo: Silvia Campos Ulloa de Molho

Cordoba, Argentina

Two offices of the Walters-Storyk Design Group (Highland, N.Y. and Buenos Aires, Argentina) collaborated on a redesign of Pira Studio, which has been a favorite studio among top Argentinian folk/traditional musicians for 20 years. Pictured here is Control Room A, the first room to be redesigned as part of a two-phase process. Completed in October 2009, this project was led by Storyk and Sergio Molho, who heads up WSDG’s Argentina branch. Featured equipment includes Tannoy System 12 DMT II monitors, Euphonix MC Mix and MC Control, and Pro Tools Command 8.

Image Resources Film & Video

Photo: Rick Alexander/skyviewpix

Woodland Hills, Calif.

After 10 years of operating in Encino, Calif., Image Resources relocated to a new audio/video post facility designed by Carl Yanchar. Included are a 40×25-foot film dub stage, an ADR and Foley stage, four video edit bays, a machine room, kitchen, offices and maintenance shop. For the ADR/Foley stage and control room, the slab was excavated and an isolation slab poured, eliminating vibration from nearby Topanga Canyon Boulevard. These rooms also have a high baffle-filled ceiling bass trap structure, corner traps and diffusion surfaces, and bamboo flooring. The mix stage has a scalloped wall and ceiling design. Equipped for feature film and TV post, Image Resources includes JBL LSR32 (ADR/Foley, control room) and 3631 ScreenArray (mix stage) monitoring, Avid ProControl console driving Pro Tools HD3 Accel (mix stage) and more. Image Resources Film & Video Site

Naughty Dog

Photo: Chris Pelonis

Santa Monica, Calif.

Chris Pelonis (Santa Barbara, Calif.) designed a ground-up seven-studio complex for Naughty Dog, a subsidiary of Sony Computer Entertainment and videogame publisher of such monster titles as Uncharted. Pictured is a multipurpose media room, where mixing and QC evaluations take place, and titles are presented to creatives, executives and press. The studio is fitted with Pelonis’ Signature PS110 7.2 surround monitoring; mix and editing equipment is brought in and tailored to suit specific needs. On the ceiling is RPG’s Harmonix Diffusor. RPG’s Modal Edge bass traps are employed on the rear wall; low-frequency repsonse is flat to below 15 Hz. Naughty Dog Site

Red Decibel East

Photo: Jim Demain


Multi-Platinum producer/songwriter/engineer Andy Dodd, who with his West Coast partner Adam Watts has worked with Jesse McCartney, Kelly Clarkson, Jonas Brothers and more, opened his new Red Decibel East studio in April 2010. Carl Tatz (Nashville) designed this personal facility featuring Tatz’s PhantomFocus System 4 near-field monitoring, Pro Tools HD6, Avid D-Command 24, and additional monitors from Dynaudio (BM5As) and Yamaha (HSM50). The control room acoustics use CTD Acoustic Lens side-wall treatment, and the rear wall houses a CTD Black Steel primary axial mode absorber. The tracking room has a proprietary soffited acoustic expansion ceiling implementing Auralex Space Couplers.