At Studiospares, we pride ourselves on being a top-tier supplier of professional audio equipment and a highly trusted name in delivering premium studio installations. Our goal is to provide tailored solutions that cater to the specific requirements of every client.
Barnfield College contacted us to ask us to design and construct a commercial-quality recording studio and music production suite, aiming to offer their students access to industry-standard equipment and a customised space tailored specifically to their needs. Of course, we jumped at the chance to help improve a local college as we firmly believe that the students who attend these institutions today will be leading the forefront of the music industry in just a few years to come so it is of the utmost importance that these students learn in an environment that will parallel a real-world experience as closely as possible.
At the beginning of any studio installation, our specialists will consult with the client to discuss the vision, needs and desired outcome of the installation and this time was no different. When we spoke with Michael McCabe, Music Performance & Production Course Leader he told us that their needs were:
- An industry standard environment for the students to gain experience that will translate to real-life situations.
- The studio must be decoupled and isolated from the rest of the building to not interrupt the surrounding lecture rooms.
With this information, our specialists were then able to start designing a plan that would realise these needs.
As studio installations go this was about as straight-forward as they come. The rooms earmarked for the installation were already empty apart from a few desks. Barnfield College is a brand-new building therefore didn't have to contend with any unusual structural issues that can come with working on older buildings. However, the only potential issue was that because of the modern open-plan design of the college, if we had any acoustic leakage every floor would hear it.
Acoustically treating the space
Once all the designs were finalised and agreed upon we then swiftly started the installation. The first space to be worked on was the control room for what would be the main studio. This space was a square room with high ceilings and hard concrete walls. In other words, it was an acoustic nightmare. We started by treating the walls with strategically placed the StudioATK-60 Acoustic Treatment kit as they are great for taming unwanted reflections and reducing standing waves that affect our ability to accurately judge what we're hearing. Once we had hung all the panels the improvement in the acoustics was a major success, however we noticed we were getting quite a large amount of bass build-up in the corners of the room which was affecting our ability to judge the monitors in the listening position. Though this was easily solved with the use of foam bass traps in the corners of the room. Once we had installed the acoustic treatment the control room was ready for the equipment.
The Studio Gear
The first piece of gear to go into the newly treated control room was the workstation. We believe that a workstation is one of the most important parts of any studio because you use it 100% of the time and it has a massive impact on the user's overall workflow. This is why we chose the Zaor Onda Angled. The Zoar Onda has ample space on its work surface, and it comes equipped with 2X 6U racks which we filled with a CP9 Power Conditioner and Rack Light by Lambden Audio handling the power conditioning, a Signex CPT96D25 Bantam/ D-sub patch bay, a Focusrite Red8Pre handling the I/O, a Kemper Profiler, a Klark Teknik 1176 fet compressor and a Klark Teknik EQP-KT Pultech style EQ. Next, we set up our Studiospares Snake 16 XLR + 4 XLR Returns Stage Box to simplify the microphone, instrument and speaker connections to the mixer in the live room.
Custom Esmono live room
Next to be installed was the live room, it was important to get this right as the student’s instruments could be heard across the college. For this we used the Esmono Isolation Booth, which is a purpose-built soundproof chamber designed for exceptional recording quality which offers durability and outstanding acoustic performance, providing an average of a 50dB volume reduction from sounds outside the booth.
The all-metal, flexible construction can be decoupled from adjacent spaces which was ideal as the classroom was on the third floor with no planning for a recording studio. The College opted for a 4m x 3.7m x 2.2m Esmono Booth with 100mm-thick insulation as the students would be using a drum set and this would be the ideal thickness to isolate the sound from the rest of the College.
Imperative Audio PVB
In addition to the Esmono Booth, the project also featured the Imperative Audio Portable Vocal Booth "PVB". The portable multi-use sound isolation booth delivers the ideal recording environment for anything from voiceovers to guitar amp isolation anywhere you can record. This will provide more sound isolation for the live room and absorb any reflections that may occur when vocals or other instruments are being recorded. The reflections are reduced to 0.07 seconds, provide up to –28.4dBa of noise reduction and are engineered to be just as good as any other booth.
The PVB comes in either black or white with three high performing layers of acoustic treatment and the roof. The PVB’s lightweight aluminium patent pending design largely eliminates the issue of standing waves found in the corners of other vocal booths. And the acoustically treated roof has a built-in 30cm channel allowing for a microphone to be lowered into the booth for comfortability and enhanced vocal recordings.
Impact on Audio and Music Education at Barnfield College
The studio installation at Barnfield College typifies the high standard of work we perform in the realm of studio installations. A lot of pride is taken in delivering the highest standard customised solutions that address each client's unique needs. By working together with educational institutions like Barnfield College, we help shape the future of the audio and music industry by offering students the opportunity to learn and grow in environments comparable to professional studios.
The new recording and music production studio at Barnfield College provides an exceptional learning environment for students interested in pursuing a career in audio and music production, which will undoubtedly set them up for success down the road. We are immensely proud to have carried out the studio installation for Barnfield College to deliver a customised solution that benefits their students and showcases our dedication to quality and innovation.
The state-of-the-art recording studio at Barnfield College is equipped with an extensive list of top-tier gear and equipment, ensuring students have access to industry-standard tools for their audio and music production education. Some of the equipment and gear used in the installation include:
- Esmono Isolation Booth
- StudioATK-60 Acoustic Treatment kit Black by Studiospares
- Portable Vocal Booth by Imperative Audio
- 32” Curved Monitor
- 2 Zaor Vision with Studio Furniture
- Zaor Onda Oak Studio Console Angled with 12RU and Work Surface
- CP9 Power Conditioner and Rack Light by Lambden Audio
- Signex CPT96D25 Bantam/ D-sub patch bay
- Focusrite Red8Pre
- Kemper Profiler
- Klark Teknik 1176 FET compressor
- Klark Teknik EQP-KT
- Studiospares Snake 16 XLR + 4 XLR Returns Stage Box
- K&M 18860 Spider Pro Black Keyboard Stand
- Overheard Heavy Duty Microphone Stand with Wheels by Trojan pro
If you have a project you would like to discuss with our team, you can contact us here.