Anglia Ruskin University recording studios
Our design brief was as follows:
1 room as large as possible and as sound proof as possible
1 vocal booth
1 communal/general area
1 control room
The space allocated was relatively limited, as was the amount of structural work we were able to undertake. The wall on one side was next to the main plant room for the whole building, separated by a single layer blockwork wall. The wall separating the control room from the general area was also single layer blockwork. The isolation offered by this construction is relatively limited.
There was originally a large door between the two rooms (new control room and general area) which we removed and infilled with a stud wall and a large window. For the window we used the full width of the original door to give maximum visibility through the suite of new rooms.
The entrance door to the control room via the corridor was also originally a double sized door. We infilled with a stud wall and heavy duty door. In both cases the isolation offered by the stud wall, window and door was on a par with the existing wall.
The general area was treated to provide a good acoustic response so it could be used for recording, but the background noise level from the plant room means that close mic techniques on fairly loud sources will get the best results. This room is now fairly well isolated from the outside with a new heavy duty door. The vocal booth was designed to provide reasonable isolation and a good acoustic response.
The larger isolated space works well, giving good background noise figures (outstanding considering the limitations imposed by the available space), good isolation (a heavy rock drummer rehearsing in the room did not disturb the session going on in the control room) and a good acoustic response in the room.
Each space has mic and tie lines into the control room where they are patched on XLR panels and PO patchbays respectively. The control room has a computer based recording system, with no mixer, only 16 channels of microphone preamplifier feeding it directly. Headphone monitoring is via a DACS HeadLite, selected for the flexibility of the input selection options on each channel of amplification. The monitoring system is a Genelec 8040/7070 5.1 system, set up by Steve Fisher of Source Distribution.