Guilford Sound has a few overlying features worth mentioning:
• Throughout the building in virtually every room (including bathrooms) we installed microphone, line, and speaker tie lines. Most of the panels also have DL terminations to our Private Q system to monitor tracking anywhere in the building.
• All of the rooms on the studio side of the building have spring floated slabs of concrete for optimal isolation from room to room. None of the studio rooms share any framing.
• The HVAC system is effective yet SILENT thanks to FM Design.
• At night, one can enjoy the many LED lighting ‘scenes’ by Color Kinetics for varied, independently controlled color motifs in each room.
The 500 square foot control room is home to our 64 input API Legacy and 12 channel Neve Melbourn. The credenza holds six bays of outboard gear and there are two 10 space rolling pods flanking the listening position for easy access to the more frequently used processors without leaving the sweet spot.
Built into the back wall is a 16x6 foot RPG diffusor, and above it is a giant bass trap soffit spanning across the entire back portion of the room.
The back corner of the control room is home to a guitar amp rack with a variety of heads connected to a Radial JD7 for convenient auditioning of sounds without the need to leave the control room. Speaker tie lines from the rack allow the player to route his or her amp signal to any of the 18 tie line panel locations distributed throughout the building. This allows for a broad spectrum of natural room sounds available to the player.
Moving through the control room we enter iso 1, a 60 square foot room great for vocals. It has excellent sight lines to the control room and through the live room to all three of the other isolation rooms to keep live tracking personal. Iso 1 is separated from the control room by 2 heavy sound lock doors from IAC with an airlock between them. Access to the live room from Iso 1 is through a double set of sliding doors by Arcadia.
Through the live room over to iso 2, we enter through a three-pane double set of sliding doors (wide enough for the grand piano). The floor is slate and the walls have stretched fabric over insulation with random widths of solid cherry slats evenly spaced over the fabric on the north wall. The room is 100 square feet with 11 foot ceilings; large enough to fit a grand piano but small enough to produce a focused and controlled sound.
We step out of iso 2 back into the live room to make it over to iso 3. Iso 3 is one of the more visually stunning rooms, with RPG diffusors along the east wall and a custom cherry laminate RPG skyline diffusor suspended from the 11 foot ceiling. The west wall of the room is comprised of a double layer of door-height glass that goes all the way to the floor and protrudes into the live room to a point on the outside pane and a trapezoid on the inside. This room is very diffuse without being too unfocused. There is glass on three sides of this room for sight lines, but there aren’t any muddy or harsh standing waves with all of the diffusion smoothing things out. This room offers an amazing open view of the live room from the western wall.
FM Design took great care in planning the acoustical treatments of the 750 square foot main recording space by implementing a “live side/ dead side” approach, offering a wide range of decay times and timbres. Set up your sound sources on the dead side for a focused and tight sound while still sensing the volume of the room, or create a rich, wide, and diffuse stereo field mic’ing the live side.
The north walls of the acoustically dead side have stretched fabric over insulation with random widths of solid cherry slats evenly spaced over the fabric. Transitioning from the dead side to the live side along the east wall are two planes of solid cherry meeting at a point above iso 3’s glass partitions, continuing to the top of the 23 foot high ceiling.
Along the south wall and ceiling are acoustical treatments of angled boxes housing RPG diffusors in some and FM Design reflectors and broadband bass traps built in the others. Above the array of diffusors and traps are six diffusor and reflector clouds on the angled portion of the south ceiling. Behind the clouds are LED uplights to provide soft, dispersed lighting when desired. Topping off the visually and acoustically stunning array of panels on the south wall is a 20 ft span of large windows peering out onto a pond in the meadow rising into the woods. Direct sunlight pours into the space throughout the winter months and cool light enters in the summer when the sun is higher in the sky.
Mounted to the ceiling of the main recording space is a staggered array of 18 RPG Hemmifusor boxes interspersed with 10 Color Kinetics LED Color Blast fixtures to wash the space with color in any hue imaginable. Suspended below the array is a set of more utilitarian incandescent track lighting.
The unsung hero of the main recording space is a bass trap soffit, 9ft high by 5ft deep, which runs north from the main entry all the way to Iso 2. This makes the bass response in this room very controlled while not too tame; chest thumping without residual mud.