Dallas, TX (May 21, 2004)–The increasing importance of music, media and production to houses of worship is certainly evident at Harbor House Studios. Situated just north of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, the Russ Berger Design Group (RBDG) has created the recording arm adjacent to Anchor Church in Keller, TX. Harbor House Studios is one of the first on-site facilities to incorporate higher quality audio and video production components into church ministries.
Built from the ground up, Harbor House was constructed to take advantage of the latest in control room and studio design concepts. The 3,100 square-foot building includes a control room, studio, two isolation booths, which are all built on isolated concrete slabs to maximize isolation and enhance low-frequency accuracy, a video editing suite, central machine room, library, office, lounge, kitchen, and associated support areas.
“One of the facility’s most significant features is its access to an acoustically tuned NC-15 auditorium, seating 500 in theater-style chairs,” said Hyman Stansky, general manager of Harbor House. “The availability of this type of room makes a world-class live concert sound available to any band, orchestra, or choir that wants the acoustic feel of a large hall but doesn’t want to deal with the budget or scheduling issues that are connected with large-scale venues.”
The control room, studio and isolation booths all feature maple hardwood floors. The studio’s 17-foot ceilings provide a large acoustical volume, while clerestory windows, part of a system of low-frequency wall diffusion, let in natural light.
During the studio’s construction, the RBDG design team faced such challenges as dividing the HVAC system into independent air zones for its main recording room, the control room and the lounge/lobby area to ensure appropriate noise and vibration control, and effectively locating each of the sensitive rooms to maintain proximity to the studio’s machine room and other support spaces without compromising their acoustical integrity. Following the pastor’s direction to incorporate a “nautical” theme in the facility’s finishes, RBDG selected subtle wall coverings and other design elements that complement the church’s interiors.
The studio directly supports the church’s ministry by selecting appropriate music and then recording ghost vocals and tracks to enhance the service, based on the sermon topics provided by the pastor. It also supports Christian music video production, develops artists and is busy with commercial secular projects as a for-hire studio.
“This is made significantly easier through the use of a splitter, which allows signals to be sent from the stage microphones, with all outputs from the stage sent back to a front-of-house station in the auditorium, as well as back to the studio,” said Stansky.
The church and studio also share a common backstage area, allowing equipment to be moved easily between the two, and ensuring that performance and recording sessions can be quickly set-up or struck.
“This project is a perfect example of the convergence of an active church ministry with state-of-the-art audio and video technology,” said Russ Berger, president of RBDG. “Both Harbor House Studios and Anchor Church had clear visions of what they wanted to accomplish, and the result is a facility that supports their ministry. It has become a jewel in the local music community.”
Russ Berger Design Group