Martha Quinn's RadioBu


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As its namesake implies, another element that played into the design of RadioBu was the gorgeous Malibu weather. Since it's beautiful most of the year, everyone agreed it would be great to work in the rooms with the doors open. Not wanting to compromise room isolation, we decided to utilize space planning to achieve our goal. The entryways at each side of the studio and control room areas act as sound traps when the doors are left open. It also allows the cross breezes to cool the occupants and inspire creative efforts. The outdoors was further incorporated into the space by employing glass doors and numerous punched openings to flood the control room, studio and both entries with natural light.

When it came to selecting equipment for the space, Jordan made the decisions. Since he would be using everything for his work on Martha's show as well as his own commercial composition work, he decided on a 32-channel Digidesign Icon D-Control ES with 48 channels of IO for in/out, Aviom Pro 16 monitor mixing system, API and Valve front end, a rack of vintage Eventide Clockworks, Sony DRE-S777 Convolution Reverb, Precision Kinetics surround monitoring with PK Ubertones, Genelec 1031s, and Yamaha NS10 monitors, as well as an ISDN setup from Telos. With the ISDN setup, Jordan is able to conduct remote interviews and performances with the Sirius studio in New York City and other studios across the country.

For live performances and composition projects, Jordan also incorporates his large collection of vintage microphones (Neumann, AKG, Shure, and EV), vintage guitars, synths, amps, drums and recording equipment. A 92" acoustically transparent screen with a Sony 1080p projector was installed for Jordan's commercial work. The addition of the Precision Kinetics custom surround monitoring solution, crafted to match the studio's production needs, has made RadioBu the first studio in Malibu to offer 7.1 monitoring.

An isolation booth sits to the right of the mixing console.

An isolation booth sits to the right of the mixing console.

Though we usually do not get involved with the actual selection process of the equipment installed, our designs always include detailed information regarding speaker placement, console location, projection screen, projector location and wire management. We worked directly with Jordan on the placement of moveable racks, specific to the equipment he owns, to avoid generating unwanted reflection paths. All in-room racks were specified to be less than 3' tall and were typically located on either side of the workstations for easy access.

The resulting space has been a huge success for Martha and Jordan, meeting each of their individual studio needs. In fact, RadioBu recently hosted its first in-studio performance with Curt Smith and the other Tears for Fears members. Because the band was able to be in the same space as Jordan, it was easy for him to monitor the performance while simultaneously giving them their cues.

There will always be design challenges to overcome with each and every new project we take on. For RadioBu, we believe we met these challenges while incorporating Martha and Jordan's specific needs into the design of their new creative space while also reflecting their lifestyle.


Russ Berger is President of Russ Berger Design Group, a design and consulting firm, based in Addison, TX.




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