Project DescriptionCALGARY, ALBERTA – CANADA: A prolific voiceover artist with credits ranging from CBS to E!, Lifetime, CTV and MTV, Graeme Judd needed a first tier personal recording studio. A decision to build a family home in Calgary provided an ideal opportunity to realize that goal. “I spend countless hours recording network promos, TV and Radio spots, and interstitial promos as the exclusive ‘voice’ for the Meredith Vieira Show and other top programs,” Judd explains. “Our commitment to ground up construction was the opportunity to make this studio happen.”
“Years of following pro audio and broadcast trade publication profiles on Walters-Storyk Design Group-WSDG projects had fixed WSDG on my radar,” he adds. “I knew this investment was a critical decision, and WSDG was the first (and last) point on my design firm search. Their quick email response to my initial query led to a direct phone conversation with John Storyk. I immediately got the message that the size of my project was not as relevant as its acoustic and design challenges. I was also pleased to learn that my budget was sufficient to make this happen.”
“The prospect of fitting a control room, a comfortable client area and a compact VO booth within a 200 sq. ft. space was tempting; particularly as small project studios are trending now,” WSDG Project Manager Matthew Ballos reports. “And, having recently created a recording/mixing/teaching/broadcast studio inside a 140 sq. ft. Airstream Trailer, WSDG was up to the mission. It’s amazing how much gear and workspace you can fit into this compact an environment,” “This studio is like a Mini-Cooper, it handles beautifully, sounds great, feels roomy, and looks terrific.”
Bringing WSDG in before breaking ground definitely worked to Judd’s advantage. “We were able to have the basement floor beneath the studio area lowered a foot to provide extra ceiling height. This enhances the sense of spaciousness, and also enabled us to pour a cement slab beneath the floor,” Ballos says. “The walls and ceiling were fitted with resilient isolation clips and covered with layers of gypsum board sandwiching plywood to complete to room-within-room isolation. Because there was no space for a separate machine room, we fitted a tremendous amount of gear within ventilated soundproof racks in the custom control room desk. I collaborated with the mill-work firm on the equipment and layout requirements, and we ended up with a very impressive solution.”
In a rare move for a studio dedicated to voiceover work, acoustic room tuning was a priority. Side and rear control room walls feature custom perforated wood membrane absorbers; acoustic cloud/lighting fixtures were installed on the CR and Vocal Booth ceilings, and, over the rear critical listening area which sits on a two level platform which also serves as an additional low frequency absorber. “Additionally,” Ballos points out, “the rear wall side diffusers mask mechanical duct work and wiring cable trays. This studio is packed with technology and acoustic treatments
Outfitted with Avid HD OMNI, Pro Tools HD Native PCIe, Genelec 8030, 7050 and 6010 monitors, Neumann M149 Tube and U 87 Ai, Sennheiser MKH-416 and Telefunken ELA M260 mics and a wide selection of Outboard gear that includes Avalon Vt-737sp , Rupert Neve Designs Portico II and BAE 1073 and fully wired with Mogami cable, the Judd Residence Studio is a gem.
To quote Graeme Judd, “The studio looks/sounds/is incredible. It’s made a HUGE difference in my comfort level (A/C, isolation from exterior noise, etc.), which positively impacts on my productivity. It’s honestly one of the best investments I’ve ever made in my business, and that’s thanks in a large part to WSDG!”
Photos by Nathan Elson Photography www.nathanelson.com
Walters-Storyk Design Group-WSDG has designed over 3500 media facilities worldwide. Credits include Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios (1969); NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center and Le Poisson Rouge; broadcast facilities for The Food Network, ESPN, and WNET; major education complexes for NYU and Berklee College of Music, Boston (2015 TEC winner) and Valencia, Spain; and media rooms for such corporate clients as Hoffman La Roche. Recent projects include NYC’s Jungle City Studios and private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composers Carter Burwell and A.R. Rahman, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk), Beth Walters, Sergio Molho, Renato Cipriano, Dirk Noy and Silvia Molho lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG has collaborated with such noted architects as Frank Gehry, Rafael Vinoly, Norman Foster, Oscar Niemeyer, Phillipe Stark and Nicholas Grimshaw. WSDG is a nine-time winner of the prestigious NAMM TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design. The firm maintains offices in NY, SF, LA, Miami, Buenos Aires, Belo Horizonte, Basel, Beijing, Barcelona, Mexico City, St. Petersburg and Mumbai.