NEW YORK: A two-year search for the ideal NYC location led producer/engineer Louis Benedetti to a former bank building on one of Soho’s chicest streets. A collaboration with a NY contractor resulted in a handsome, ingeniously designed studio with, when the dust settled, unanticipated isolation issues. A call to the Walters-Storyk Design Group provided invaluable design recommendations, which culminated in Thompson Studios the realization of a dream, and the introduction of a perfectly tuned and leak free recording option for local and international artists.
“The location we discovered has all the attributes for a successful studio,” Benedetti says. “Our initial design maximized the use of the space and took full advantage our primary window with an elegant in-studio glass placement program. Windows between our (2) primary control rooms and shared live room provide invaluable natural light and clear site lines between artists, producers and engineers. Unfortunately at the completion of construction we discovered a significant sound leakage issue.”
WSDG project manager Joshua Morris reports that our initial review of Thompson Studios revealed seriously compromised isolation issues between the live room; SSL Control A; and Neve Control B, all of which are structured around a common lounge. We also encountered leakage from Control room A into a neighboring space on the same floor. Studio C, a small writing/production room equipped with Pro Tools, Logic and Final Cut Pro; and the galley kitchen were unaffected by the isolation issues,” Morris says. “Our tests determined that, even though the control rooms were completely floated, room-within-room installations, and had been tuned with low frequency control treatments, the interior walls between control rooms A and B and the live room needed to be replaced. This complex design problem was resolved by removing the original walls, replacing them with non-acoustic walls and re-sealing them with a third fully treated wall. These corrective measures provide the boundary required to completely eliminate sound leakage. The entire complex now offers a fresh, open look and, exceedingly accurate sound translation,” Morris adds.
Thompson Studio A features an SSL 4000G Series console fitted with Automation and Total Recall completely recapped and restored by 81series.com; Pro Tools; Boxer T5 Main Monitors, coupled by Two Genelec 1094 Sub-Woofers, Yamaha NS-10s, Genelec 1031s and Auratone Speakers and a Studer 827 24 track tape recorder. An Iso booth and a substantial array of hand-picked analog outboard gear plus an impressive list of keyboards, synthesizers, instruments and microphones, make the room ideal for production, tracking, mixing, over-dubbing, film scoring and composition.
Equally well-suited for tracking, production and mixing, Studio B features a Neve 8108 console, (impeccably restored by 81series.com). In addition to Barefoot MM27 and Yamaha NS10 monitors, the room is outfitted with Pro Tools HD3 System, Logic, Cubase and an Iso Booth.
“Flexibility was a priority for this project.” John Storyk says. “Louis Benedetti has assembled a considerable collection of keyboards, synthesizers, analog and digital gear. Because he works on a wide range of projects, from jazz to rock, to movie sound tracks, he needed a studio that would function flawlessly for any type of artist. Thompson Street is one of NY’s coolest neighborhoods. This impressive space is situated in a rock solid building. Louis’s original design was extremely creative. By engaging sophisticated room tuning technology and resolving critical isolation issues, we’ve polished a true gem. Artists will come for the vibe and the quality of the rooms, and then take advantage of the surrounding clubs and restaurants to feed their creativity,” Storyk concludes.
“I’ve worked with many indie labels and artists, and have strong relationships with a number of European colleagues,” Benedetti says. “Our initial clients have been blown away by the accuracy, technical support and overall vibe of our new studios. We put all our experience into making this a very special place. In addition to John Storyk’s and Joshua Morris’s initiatives for resolving our accuracy and isolation issues, WSDG interior design partner Beth Walters made a number of extremely helpful recommendations which improved the look and feel of the facility. My Swiss-based associate Robert Kostadinovich and I are confident that we will attract a wide range of clients. Recording artists, engineers and producers seeking a comfortable, fully-equipped, carefully maintained studio need look no further than Thompson, here in the heart of Soho.” Thompson Studios are located at: 54 Thompson St.in NYC (212) 925-4400 www.thompsonstudiosnyc.com or [email protected]
For a virtual studio tour created by Cheryl Fleming and Patrick St. Clair please visit:
Photos: Thompson Studios’ principal Louis Benedetti in Studio A Control Room
Thompson Studio Control Room A
Thompson Studio Control Room B
Thompson Studios Live Room
Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media production facilities in the U.S., Europe, the Far East and Latin America. WSDG credits range from the original Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studio in Greenwich Village to NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center performance complex, broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET, over twenty teaching studios for The Art Institutes around the US, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include Jungle City, NY’s major new destination studio, private studios for Goo Goo Dolls, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith; Green Day, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters, and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG is a six-time winner of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design. The firm maintains offices in NY, SF, Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, Germany, Mexico City, Spain and Switzerland.