Since April, six out of the 34 studios of the CBC French radio network (Montreal) are available for rental, including famous Studio 12, which features computer-controlled variable acoustics. Until now, these specialized studios were used only for CBC's production needs.
Studio 12 was built in 1973 at the same time as the 23-story Montreal CBC Tower. At the time a live-to-2-track facility, Studio 12 closed in 1997 for 18 months to be fully renovated and modernized, a $2.5 million investment that transformed Studio 12 into a state-of-the-art multitrack studio.
Studio 12 is equipped with a variable-acoustics system that permits modulation of the room's acoustical properties according to each production's specific needs. A computer-controlled array of mobile panels allows the room's reverberation time to be adjusted and recalled from anywhere between 0.5 seconds to 1.7 seconds. The system was designed and developed by CBC engineers.
"Studio 12's variable acoustics allow us to record ensembles of all styles and sizes," commented Hendrick Hassert, who is responsible for studio rentals and customer service. "We alternate sessions in jazz, chamber music, rock and pop. We even record full symphony orchestras for film music, and in each case, it is a thrill for both the musicians and the engineer!"
"Studio 12 was only used 60 percent of the time," added Pierre Le Lann, director of business development. "It was thus logical to allow access to private productions and put the down time to good use."
CBC is Canada's national public radio and TV broadcaster consisting of two radio networks and one TV network in English (CBC) and the equivalent in French (Radio-Canada).
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 1400 René Lévesque Blvd. East, Suite 813, Monteal, Quebec H2L 2M2; 514/597-5345 or 514/951-4821; fax 514/597-7479; www.radio-canada.ca/studios.