Greg Morgenstein, chief engineer at Astound Studios, had a clear vision of how the mixing/multimedia room in the new facility should feel and how it should function, with design and aesthetics at the forefront of his plan. “We wanted the space to be on the level of a mastering surround room where I could mix albums from the ground up. We wanted something that would offer a critically accurate listening environment with as little acoustical issues as possible, but we also wanted it to be modern.”
The mixing/multimedia space also had to serve double duty as a place to test and support software development for GenAudio’s latest product offerings. GenAudio designs unique 3D sound localization cue plug-ins, standalone software and chip software with applications ranging from consumer video games to professional audio engineering. One of the company’s most recent developments is AstoundSound®, a 3D sound spatial audio technology intended for professional and consumer software and hardware product integration. During Astound’s search to find a designer to help create a space that would meet all of its specific requirements, the Russ Berger Design Group (RBDG) immediately became a front-runner for the project. “The CEO of GenAudio and owner of Astound Studios, Jerry Mahabub, suggested we go with Russ Berger,” explains Morgenstein. “Jerry had worked with RBDG on various studio designs for GenAudio in the past. He was aware of the company’s excellent reputation in the industry and its driving passion for outstanding acoustical design. After two meetings with the team, our plan very quickly started to come together.”
From physical space to the services provided, the entire facility has been designed to meet the clients' needs. Studio 1 measures roughly 500 square feet and is primarily used for mixing 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound. RBDG’s design includes a 100-square-foot “vocal booth” in the facility that can function as an editing room and mixing room, while still being large enough for Morgenstein and his crew to record instruments. Astound Studios boasts a sophisticated blend of the latest digital gear with some of the most sought-after vintage analog gear. The eclectic mix includes an SSL C300 HD console, a vintage AKG C12 microphone and a Lynx Aurora converter.
“Making the decision to hire RBDG for any studio project is a no-brainer. Russ and I have been wanting to build a studio together since 2004 when we first met each other at his offices in Dallas, TX”, said Jerry Mahabub, Owner and Executive Manager of Astound Studios and CEO of GenAudio. “To actually build and pay for a very high-end studio facility from the ground up is a very intensive, expensive, and emotional process. Every professional audio engineer that has visited or worked on a project at Astound Studios wants to move in. That is a really good sign we did things right.”
Though the mixing room was only completed earlier this year, Morgenstein wasted no time putting it to use to complete a number of noteworthy projects. “We just finished mixing for two films, Discover the Gift and Ghetto Physics. We also mixed an album for Playing for Change, which is on Concord Records. As of current, we have seven theatrical film title releases slated to be mixed in AstoundSurround®, we recently completed a theatrical trailer for Regal Entertainment, and mixed the ‘We are the World 25 for Haiti’ for AEG Live,” says Morgenstein.
“Since meeting Jerry, I’ve been a big fan of AstoundSound and an advocate for GenAudio’s AstoundSound technology” says Russ Berger, president of RBDG. “We had been involved with GenAudio on some corporate facility planning that included mix and edit capabilities, so we already had a common understanding and running dialog to build upon, making it a very comfortable fit to work with Greg on their flagship mix room.”
Astound Studios could not be more pleased with its new mixing room. “I have been in this business for a long time, and I have used a lot of different studio spaces for mixing sound,” adds Morgenstein. “This is the most accurate room I’ve ever used. There are no issues with the room at all. The sound translates perfectly, and the room is open and spacious.”
For more information on Astound Studios, please visit www.astoundstudios.net.