Niles, IL (March 10, 2006)–Natalie Cole was on hand at Shure Incorporated’s corporate headquarters recently to tour the facility, participate in a “meet and greet” with Shure associates, and open the company’s new state-of-the-art recording and product testing facility, the Performance Listening Center (PLC).
Natalie Cole cuts vocals at Shure’s new recording and product testing facility, the Performance Listening Center (PLC)Designed by the Russ Berger Design Group (RBDG) of Addison, TX, this addition to the company’s 65,000 square-foot, two-story Technology Annex, which opened last year, is a separate building built within the modernist steel-and-glass structure on floating slabs and wall framing supporting acoustically isolated spaces. The PLC features a comprehensive evaluation studio and theatre-style critical listening environment.
“Shure has developed a first class recording studio, giving them the perfect environment to test multiple products in an actual recording setting,” said Cole. “This will keep them on the forefront of recording and microphone technology. Their continued desire to be the best is why I use Shure products.”
Outwardly inconspicuous among the Technology Center’s engineering and quality laboratories, service department, tooling and model shops, and anechoic chambers, the doors to the PLC swing open to reveal a plush room.
“The environment and technology used for sound quality testing and evaluation has never been better at Shure,” said Ken Platz, acoustical engineering manager, who spearheaded the project team bringing the facility to completion. “There’s a high degree of versatility inherent within the facility offering the space and tools to setup virtually any scenario. Performance trials so far have been truly surprising. Even Russ Berger himself admitted it was better than he ever imagined on paper.”
Large enough to accommodate a small band, full drum kit, and baby grand piano, the evaluation studio’s main room is bordered by an isolation booth and control room housing recording and playback gear as well as the engineer’s and producer’s desks. With monitoring provided by three ATC SCM 50 ASL active enclosures falling under the guidance of a Grace Designs m906 5.1 controller, the control room eschews a traditional mixing surface in favor of computer-based functionality incorporating Sony Vegas 6, Sound Forge 8, Steinberg Nuendo 3.1, and Wavelab 5 software. Recording hardware includes a pair of Prism Sound ADA-8Xr eight-channel digital-to-analog converters with Firewire, as well as two Grace Designs m802 eight-channel microphone preamps with remote control, all of which resides in a portable rolling rack.
Offering all of the comfort of an elegant theatre with tiered seating for 14 and a bamboo floor, the critical listening room is equipped with three ATC SCM 100 ASL active monitors, a Carillon Audio Systems computer, and 192 kHz multichannel AES/EBU interface capabilities from Lynx Studio Technology.
Chicago-based Krueck & Sexton Architects (the same firm that designed the sleek Technology Annex itself) guided the PLC’s implementation by Clune Construction, also of Chicago. Jeanne Harnett & Associates did the interior design consulting for the project. The PLC will play a vital role in Shure’s research, design, product development, and competitive analysis efforts.