The Studio Annex

Dimensions: 25.3' W x 22.5' D x 15' H, 430 sq ft

Features:

  • Fully Diffused Reflection Zone (FDRZ) design (explained below)
  • 48-fader/96-channel Harrison Trion digital console
  • Surround Monitors: Guzauski-Swist GS-3a in a 5.1 configuration
  • Digital Patchbay: a Harrison IKIS system controlling a pair of 1536x1536 input Harrison Xrouters
  • Audio support
    • 32 analog input/32 analog outputs of Harrison Premium I/O converters
    • Option to use racks and/or lunchboxes (both 500 and 200 series) to provide identical tracking circuitry of the Control Room. See the gear list for studio gear available with advance notice.
    • Record and playback 192 tracks of digital audio using the two Harrison Xdubbers locked to ProTools, or add in Nuendo, Logic, or whatever your favorite DAW may be. Our open audio architecture enables each creative team member to use their favorite tool in its native format and still bring everything to the mix bus with 100% digital fidelity and 96kHz sample accuracy.
  • Video support
    • Full SMPTE 311M broadcast infrastructure with multi-camera production capabilities
    • Full 3G HD signal path, end to end (SD supported with up- and down-conversion as needed)
    • 63" Broadcast video monitor
    • Multiscreen broadcast production console
    • 3G HD Production switcher with CG and clip store
    • Fully enclosed room—no daylighting
  • 430 sq ft / 6000 cu ft
    • High-quality alternate tracking room
    • Comfortably seat up to 12 co-producers + 2 Engineers
    • 22.5' depth provides flat monitor response down to 26Hz (measured)

Studio Annex Panel Interfaces

The interface panel(s) are:

  • 8 Mic Inputs
  • 1 MADI Input and Output (32 channels each direction at 96 kHz)
  • 4 Analog I/O Lines
  • 4 AES Inputs
  • 4 AES Output
  • 1 SMPTE 311M Optical Input
  • Clock signal (wordclock, video ref, or house black)
  • 4 SDI Video Output (SD, HD, or 3G-HD)
  • 4 SDI Video Input (SD, HD, or 3G-HD)
  • 2 Aviom personal mixer ports
  • 4 CAT6 Ethernet ports (powered)
  • 1 Dual-link DVI video output
  • 2 10-GigE Ethernet ports

Surround Sound Beyond the RFZ

Conventional RFZ control room design is renowned for providing the best stereo imaging and the widest sweet spot, and designer Wes Lachot is renowned for creating some of the finest RFZ control rooms in the world. However, the surfaces that help to create a conventional RFZ (by steering early reflections away from the sweet spot) become a problematic source of reflections when surround speakers are added to the mix. Wes solved this problem by specifying that the hard surfaces of the conventional RFZ be replaced by highly diffusive surfaces, making the RFZ a fully diffused reflection zone (FDRZ) instead.

In our design, the sweet spot is physically surrounded by a diffusion field that covers more than 80% of the engineer's perspective. Ray-tracing analysis confirms there are no reflections either directly behind or in directly in front of any speaker position that are not diffused. The only two hard surfaces—the STC 51 doors and the walls that contain them—reflect their acoustic energy away from the sweetspot and obliquely into the diffusors, second-order RFZ. Excited by Wes's design, RPG Inc. stepped up and developed custom computer-optimized diffusors for the room that combine and balance high-frequency diffusion (above 2.5KHz), mid-frequency diffusion (250Hz and above), and bass trapping (250Hz and below). The specially built and tunable front and rear walls, plus a large cloud suspended six feet from a 15’ ceiling peak allow us to further optimize the room's bass frequency response (below 100Hz). As a stand-alone facility, the Studio Annex room sets new acoustic and technical standards for surround sound design and support.

Studio Annex Particulars

The Studio Annex offers maximum production and post-production flexibility, acting as either an extension to the Control Room or as a completely independent facility. It is the perfect digital complement to our outstanding analog control room.

When a tracking session calls for simultaneous broadcast and/or video production, the Studio Annex can be configured to monitor and independently mix all digital signals defined in the Control Room (including analog audio signals that are converted to digital in real time). Moreover, the Studio Annex is equiped as a video control room, supporting broadcast production or non-linear editing with equal ease. By separating and optimizing the two environments in physical space, but also linking them together with a comprehensive and complete digital routing infrastructure (every signal can be routed to any point), engineers in each room can focus exclusively on the facts within their own domains, collaborating without conflict. Thus, when the analog console in the Control Room is used for tracking, the digital console in the Studio Annex can be used to simultaneously develop a rough surround mix. Similarly, when the digital console is used as the master device, the analog console can monitor the digital stems to validate their suitability for further mixing/remixing. And for clients who prefer instantaneous recall to analog vibe, the digital console can function as a complete tracking console.

Alternatively, the two rooms can be operated independently, sharing nothing, not even clock.

The unique acoustic design of the room, and its generous proportions, make it an interesting and intimate tracking space all its own. Using the same A/D converters as the Control Room, and with the option of using outboard gear matching the analog console's tracking own signal chain (i.e., preamp, filter, EQ, compressor, and gate), signals can be recorded as if they were tracked in the other building, but without the degradation inherent with 75’ of analog cable, and video inputs and outputs in every acoustic environment assure two-way visual connections are supported. And of course, if the room is used as self-contained tracking room, the visual connection is perfect, as the engineer is in the room with the artist.

Regardless of signal and control topology, the Studio Annex offers an acoustically optimized surround environment that goes beyond conventional RFZ control rooms. And, as you can see from the images, the technical solution to this challenge is downright gorgeous. Come check it out!