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Realizing a Dream in Mexico

Producer/engineers Max Arnold and Francisco Oroz worked with WSDG (Walters-Storyk Design Group) to bring their studio, Sonic Den, to life.

Sonic Den
Sonic Den

Ciudad Obregon, Mexico (July 18, 2022)—Producer/engineers Max Arnold and Francisco Oroz, longtime friends, joined forces to found Sonic Den and called on acoustic consulting and A/V integration firm WSDG (Walters-Storyk Design Group) to bring their dream studio to life.

​Arnold and Oroz often traveled to facilities in Mexico City, Guadalajara and the United States for professional recording and audio production services during their formative years as musicians. That experience gave the pair a strong desire to build a similar infrastructure for Ciudad Obregon’s thriving musical scene. Having worked out of a variety of home studios and improvised spaces since the mid-‘90s, the pair knew they needed a next-level space to keep the area’s talent closer to home.

“Ciudad Obregon has a lot of musicians for its size, but they always had to go elsewhere to ‘make it’,” Arnold explained. “Francisco and I believe that the city’s talent deserved a world-class space, so when we got together on Sonic Den, our ambitions for the studio were high even if we weren’t entirely sure what was possible.”

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The pair say they found kindred spirits in WSDG, whom they tasked with designing a facility on a 16,000-square-foot lot that Arnold owned. ​The WSDG design team, directed by WSDG partner, art director Silvia Molho, consisting of director of production Leandro Kirjner, senior project manager Mariana Varon and project manager Esther Roger, presented Arnold and Oroz with a comprehensive master plan that encompassed all technical, acoustic and design aspects of the studio.

“We knew they were the ones for Sonic Den instantly because they took the time to get to know us and understand our dreams for the studio,” Arnold said. “Sergio and Silvia Molho encouraged us to design something beyond anything we had initially imagined.”

“Almost 99% of studios are built into existing places, which can create difficulties and compromises when you are trying to implement the design,” WSDG partner Sergio Molho commented. “With Sonic Den, we had a blank canvas to design a recording studio from the ground up that would encompass all of their recording and audio production needs, and more.”

AV systems integration design was performed by WSDG’s senior systems designer Federico Paez and final tuning by sound engineer David Molho. The control room features a Slate Digital Raven MTZ console with ATC and Yamaha monitors, in addition to a Dolby Atmos for Music-certified immersive production setup that utilizes 13 Genelec speakers, intended for live tracking, mixing and mastering in both stereo and 9.1.4.

“We couldn’t believe our ears the first time we mixed and mastered a song in the studio,” said Arnold. “We’re both very picky about sound quality and just found ourselves loving the sounds immediately. Francisco turned to me and said, ‘I’ve never been as happy with a mix as I am right now.’”