In the recording industry, gobos come in many shapes and sizes. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many different designs, from 200 lb. wheel-mounted monstrosities to ineffective, three-inch-thick, office-cubical-style partitions.
Taytrix, of Jersey City, N.J., is operated by siblings Tay and Charlie Hoyle. The Hoyles offer a full line of custom studio accessories, including workstations, acoustical panels, racks and patchbays. Their new product line, StackIt Gobos, is a high-quality, portable, stackable gobo system.
The gobos shipped for my evaluation were well packaged from the factory and arrived unscathed. They were outfitted with fabric-style absorption panels. The larger gobos are 46″ long, 30″ tall, 8″ wide and weigh 28 lb. The smaller gobo, about half the size of the large ones, were 46″ by 15″ by 8″ and weighed 18 lb.
StackIt can be ordered with Plexiglas, finished wood or fabric panels, depending on customer needs. The gobos are constructed of durable framesmade of a proprietary material, fire- and absorption-rated fiberglass insulation and are trimmed with decorator-style fabric (the kind seen in many high-end studio designs). The top and bottom panels are heavy-duty molded plastic that interlocks for stacking purposes. The top contains a thick rubber handle for easy transport.
I evaluated the gobos in three different studio scenarios, by placing matched condenser mics on both sides of them during recording. During playback I was able to listen for absorption and rejection characteristics.
First I stacked the gobos around a drum kit during a tracking session. The lightweight aspects of the gobos made them easy to maneuver and position. The stacking abilities allow the user to build walls of almost eight feet, a useful feature if you’re in a large tracking room with 20′ ceilings. The 8″ thick gobos absorbed the sound energy of the kit remarkably well. The microphones on the other side of the unit exhibited the gobos’ ability to reject sound energy.
Ithen used a guitar amplifier, Fender/ Sun’s new Model-T, a bone-crushing 100 W head with a 4- x 12-speaker cabinet. This test yielded similar results as the drum kit as far as absorption and rejection characteristics.
The last application was to set up a wall around a vocalist to control any unwanted reflections and to stop any bleed-through into the vocalist’s microphone. During this application, the Plexiglas panel option made visual communication with the vocalist possible.
The Taytrix StackIt Gobos are well constructed and thoughtfully designed. Because of their lightweight portable characteristics, they are effective in a multitude of recording situations. I really appreciated not needing a 20-mule team to set up the gobos for each application! The eight units shipped to me priced out at about $3,000, pretty much making this system for professional high-end use, rather than in your average Joe’s home studio. Studio owners will also find the custom cabinetry and panel fabric a nice touch to enhance the look of their facilities. For the money, the Taytrix StackIt System is easy to use, efficient and good looking. What more can you ask?
Contact Taytrix at 800-829-8749.