The James L. Dolan Music Recording Studio at NYU Steinhardt
New York (December 9, 2009)–New York University’s program in music technology unveiled a new $6.5 million state-of-the-art music technology facility this week.
The 7,500 square foot multifunctional teaching, recording, and research space designed by Gensler and the Walters-Storyk Design Group adds to the existing 12 studios which house the music technology program of NYU’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. The studio is located on the sixth floor of 35 West 4th Street.
“We’re thrilled to open our new music technology facility, which includes the James L. Dolan Music Recording Studio,” said Mary Brabeck, dean of NYU Steinhardt. “The new facility provides our faculty and students with a stunning environment and the latest technological equipment to support their creative and scholarly work.”
The music technology program at NYU Steinhardt prepares undergraduate and graduate students for careers in sound engineering, computer music, audio-visual production and post-production, mastering, scoring for film and multimedia, audio for games, software development, and multimedia production. The program likewise fosters academic research in a variety of fields, such as music information retrieval, digital signal processing, music cognition, and 3D audio.
The James L. Dolan Music Recording Studio is a 25-seat control/classroom which features a fully automated 48 channel SSL console and the first Dangerous Music 10.2 surround installation in New York City. The facility includes a live performance room large enough to accommodate a small orchestra, several research laboratories, offices, a conference/seminar room and a large iso/drum booth. Multiple windows and a full line of sight provide natural light throughout.
A research lab dedicated to 3D audio experimentation is equipped with an innovative, reconfigurable grid outfitted with sixteen Genelec speakers, two Genelec subs and multi-channel micing, tracking and playback options. The lab also boasts extremely low (.2 second) reverb time.
To create a teaching studio of this magnitude, a master team of architects, acousticians, and technologists was formed by an NYU Steinhardt faculty team consisting of Lawrence Ferrara, director of the programs in music and performing arts in the Steinhardt School; Robert Rowe, vice-chair, director of music composition; Kenneth Peacock, music technology program director; Agnieszka Roginska, associate director; and Tom Beyer, chief systems engineer and adjunct faculty member.
“Having worked on a number of NYU and Steinhardt projects, Gensler was an obvious choice as our primary architectural firm,” said Rowe. “The Walters-Storyk Design Group was highly recommended for architectural and acoustical design. In addition to extensive high-end recording studio design credits, they have created many of this country’s finest audio teaching facilities.”
“The James L. Dolan Recording Studio presented us with a number of inherent design challenges which required inventive solutions,” commented WSDG co-principal John Storyk. “Paramount among these were three floor-to-ceiling steel building trusses unfortunately and permanently situated in areas which impacted on our ability to situate the control and live room doors where logic dictated. A significant design effort and construction process was engaged to get these rooms to function at optimal level. This was one of the projects most demanding and ultimately gratifying solutions,” Storyk said. “As a teacher and frequent lecturer at many schools around the country, I am extremely aware of the need to provide students with sufficient work space and visual access to instructors. Those issues were among our deepest concerns in developing this design program.”
WSDG systems integrator Judy Elliot-Brown emphasizes initial concerns over sufficient infrastructure to accommodate the massive conduit run throughout the ceiling. “The voluminous number of unwieldy cables coupled with the need to provide space for future technology and convenient access points for maintenance and systems upgrades required extraordinary preparation,” Elliot-Brown says. “Our REVIT building information modeling software played an indispensible role in putting this intricate system together.”
WSDG associate David Kotch collaborated with Masque Sound on technology selection and integration. “The NYU Steinhardt complex required a huge number of tie lines to accommodate its vast arsenal of technology,” Kotch says. “Systems include two separate 10.2 surround installations, a Dangerous Music ST/ST Monitor Controller for the Recording Studio’s critical listening environment and a Renkus Heinz multi-configuration speaker system for the large-screen, HDTV projector-equipped conference/ screening room. Additionally, we stipulated universal Crestron Control, an HD/SDI video system, DME 64 Controller and extensive microphone/speaker wiring to enable students to use the Loewe Theater, Conference Room, Research Lab, reception area, offices, even bathrooms as live recording environments. Virtually the entire complex is directly linked to the main control room. Accommodating and engineering this system called for a herculean effort from the entire design and installation group.”
Walters-Storyk Design Group
NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development