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Oberlin Beefs Up Studio Space

Nov 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Sarah Benzuly

The Oberlin Conservatory of Music’s new recording facility/performance venue, the Joseph R. Clonick Studio, was built for surround sound and offers a Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console, a 24-track analog mixer with Tonelux Shadowmix fader automation housed in a Sterling Modular Systems custom piece.

Oberlin’s Paul Eachus, director of audio services, in the Joseph R. Clonick Studio

Oberlin’s Paul Eachus, director of audio services, in the Joseph R. Clonick Studio

“Sterling offers a standard console for the RND 5088 and matching patchbays that are quite handsome and well-built, and with excellent acoustic properties,” says Dana Kirkegaard of of Kirkegaard Acoustic Design LLC, who handled the acoustical consultation. “We started with that design and modified the patchbays to serve as side racks; we then wrapped the console around the operator to facilitate access to the equipment. One of the features that puts the console design over the top is an automated monitor stand that raises and lowers a pair of Apple cinema displays at the touch of a button.”

A desire to rehearse Oberlin’s large jazz ensemble inspired the size of the room. Once the dimensions of the space were determined, the acoustics team was able to turn the space into a recording facility, taking sound isolation and treatments into consideration.

Recent projects include pianist and composer Hiromi Uehara mixing her newest CD with Cleveland-based producer Michael Bishop in the studio’s control room. Cellist Zuill Bailey, pianist Orli Shaham, Richard King, principal hornist of the Cleveland Orchestra, and Tod Bowermaster, third hornist of the St. Louis Symphony, have recorded at Oberlin. And music legend Stevie Wonder stopped by and test-drove the room’s new Hamburg Steinway.

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