Acoustical design firm SIA Acoustics recently renovated producer and scoring mixer Bruce Botnick’s studio, UnitEye, in Ojai, Calif. Botnick, best known for his engineering and producing seminal rock band The Doors as well as film scores, built his studio from ground up to handle music and film mixing, vocal overdubs and voice-overs, and mastering projects.
All set to work on The Doors catalog (to be released in November on Bright Midnight Archives) and a CD for Disney’s The Little Mermaid Original Broadway Cast Recording, Botnick was concerned about not being able to accurately monitor the low end when listening back in his studio.
While Botnick was doing sound design for the film Eragon at Skywalker Sound, their sound supervisor, Dennis “Wiz” Leonard, recommended Sam Berkow of SIA Acoustics to help solve the problem.
“Sam came in, did some measurements and had some suggestions for solving the problem, and within 15 minutes he had the solution,” says Botnick. “SIA Acoustics immediately sent over their plans and after four days of construction, the problem was solved and my room sounded absolutely perfect.”
To cure the problem, Berkow combined quantitative analysis using SIA Acoustics’ Smaart software and critical listening. From there, he created a strategy that included tearing out the entire rear wall and thereby removing a 5-foot-deep ineffective bass trap; adding angled walls at the rear corners of the room and a bass trap soffit; as well as diffusers for both on the rear wall and on either side of Botnick’s Digidesign ICON D-Control console.
“Sam is an alchemist,” continues Botnick. “Using the Smaart program that he invented and his experienced ears, he was able to accurately see the anomalies in the room that shouldn’t be there and suggest changes that worked. His services are totally different from others because what he does is truly an art form. Some would say its black magic. All I know is that he’s definitely a wizard, a true acoustician.”
SIA Acoustics has an established track record of tackling challenging acoustic design and consulting projects, from concert venues and recording/broadcast studios to post-production facilities and event spaces.
“SIA Acoustics lives up to their word,” Botnick concludes. “I recommend them highly to anyone having acoustic problems or looking to build a studio from scratch. When they say they will do something, they do it on time which is absolutely crucial in this business. Sam and his staff were first-class all the way.”
For more information, visit www.siaacoustics.com.