New York, NY (November 15, 2004)–Avatar Studios has opened its newest room, Studio G, equipped with an SSL 4000 G+ Special Edition and Westlake’s BBSM-15 main monitors.
Avatar chief engineer Roy Hendrickson led construction, basing the room’s design on the original Power Station control room, with exact adjustments made for acoustics. According to Avatar owner and president Kirk Imamura, the studio responds to an upswing in business, addressing today’s tight budgets with an affordable option for tracking, overdubbing and mixing.
Located on the third floor of the four-story recording complex, Studio G represents the first major remodeling since 1998. Asked why new construction is being undertaken now, Imamura replied, “We are seeing an upswing in our business. We needed to create a new room that addressed the realities of production budgets today, but still provide the greatest bang for the buck to our clients, and that is getting a real analog console, a great sounding control room and equipment that works flawlessly.”
The control room is 400 square feet with a 10-foot ceiling. It utilizes Avatar’s signature pine and burlap finish on the front and sidewalls, giving a ski lodge feel. The room features a pair of Westlake’s BBSM-15 main monitors built into the front wall giving a very organic look and feel. The adjoining live room is 320 square feet with a height of 12-feet at its highest point. It is large enough to accommodate bands and is ideal for overdubs. The isolated location of the studio on the 3rd floor ensures maximum privacy.
A unique aspect of the project was the active in-house involvement of the Avatar staff members. Vincent Sofia, long time in-house carpenter of the studio since 1977, led the construction of the room. Sofia has built and maintained all the rooms at Avatar over the years. Many of Avatar’s staff engineers provided input based on their interactions with clients. In planning the room, the staff felt that the core of the room should be based around the familiar feel of the other control rooms, while making several “no-compromise” design improvements. Almost all of the gear is within arm’s reach of the engineer and the outboard can easily be tweaked without ever having to turn your chair away from the console. The outboard is setup to feel like a natural extension of the console, not some separate rack sitting in the back corner of the room.
Brian Montgomery, one of the staff engineers said, “It’s all about speed and being able to capture the performance when inspiration strikes.” The technical crew, including Randy Merrill and Gretchen Mathwich, planned and organized the installation and cabling efforts around the assistant engineers’ input. The interns, such as Jim Keller who has construction experience, also contributed to the effort.
The finished project is the result of experience, good science and methodologies refined through experimentation over the years. Hendrickson summed it up: “Our clients get the benefit of our accumulated knowledge and the passion we have for recording that went into this room.”
The SSL-4000 G+ console has Ultimation, Total Recall and surround enhancements as part of the Special Edition console features. It also has some special Avatar modifications to boot. The Westlake BBSM-15’s chosen for Studio G’s main monitors, are a 3-way design incorporating dual 15″ high performance woofers, 10″ mid-bass drivers and 1″ compression tweeters. The monitors are bi-amplified via the systems internal passive high level crossover with amplification from a single Crown MacroTech for the low frequency and a pair of Bryston 7B monoblocks for the mid and high frequencies.
Avatar’s vast collection of vintage outboard gear and microphones are available for use with the room.
During a special preview period, engineers such as Neil Dorfsman, Kevin Killen and Jason Corsaro, all had a chance to work in the room. Killen commented, “With the addition of Studio G, the studio has expanded the many wonderful rooms one can use at Avatar!” Added Corsaro, “The room’s got a classic SSL console. It’s a big punchy control room with all the benefits of Avatar. Studio G is like a big warm embrace!”
Studio G is now available for bookings and already have several dates filled. For more information, please contact: studio manager Tino Passante at Tel: 212.765.7500, Fax: 212.765.7450, or E-mail: [email protected]