Professional Sound - August 2017 | Page 36

his new space and just ahead of the opening day of the 38 th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival .
When it came to the acoustic treatments for the seven rehearsal studios and his recording suite , Chambers consulted several studio designers in his contact list about things like floating floors , soundproofing principles , baffle and diffuser design , and so on . Of course , he also carried forward a fair share of experience from the construction of his previous two facilities .
The substantial work required on the design and acoustics front kept him close by during the construction process to the point that , for a few months , he wasn ’ t taking on any recording or outside work . “ It ’ s not an easy task ,” he emphasizes . “ If one nail goes in the wrong place , it could compromise the whole design .”
All of the rooms feature floating floor designs and the same basic acoustic treatment , though as Chambers attests , the rooms each have their own sonic character owing to their different dimensions .
Studio A is a 24 x 24-ft . space with 13-ft . ceilings that offers a good aural balance between live and controlled response .
Studios B and C have higher ceilings but are also more narrow , giving them a very airy and open quality . “ They ’ re a little more live than our others ,” Chambers explains , “ but I did want a couple [ of rooms ] that had a bit more reflection and could breathe a bit more .”
“ I ’ m just using technology that ’ s out there to maximize people ’ s productivity , and give them a space where they can not only rehearse , but do several things under one roof .”
studio right next to a hard rock band in another , and as Chambers says , “ Both can work in harmony with no problem whatsoever .”
He continues : “ I didn ’ t want this to be like anything else in Canada . Every stage I would see at the summer festivals while the new facility was being built , I was noticing the technology they were using – like engineers mixing monitors on a tablet from the stage .” So while the individual studios at Base Bin all boast pristine acoustic treatment , they also feature state-of-the-art technologies , like a Behringer tablet-controlled XR18 or X32 digital mixing console in each . Other companies like Yamaha Canada Music and PAG Canada , which represents Electro-Voice across the country , also stepped up with support .
“ It ’ s absolutely amazing ,” Chambers enthuses . “ I can walk into a really complicated set-up with a certain artist , and once we ’ ve done it one time , I can save the scene and the band can walk in the next time , we place the mics where they were , and I leave . That makes it so efficient for the client , and so efficient for me , since I have several rooms to deal with .”
Chambers says these last few months of operation are the first time in his 20-year career that people have come out of the studio and actually gushed about their experiences . “ It ’ s not just rehearsal [ to them ]; with the technology and the proper gear and the rooms properly treated , they ’ re leaving the room like , ‘ What just happened ?’ These are artists that have rehearsed and performed in every type of space for decades and they ’ re admitting they just haven ’ t had an experience like this . As much as I ’ d like to toot my own horn after close to 20 years in the previous space , I ’ ve never had this kind of reception . I ’ m blown away and couldn ’ t be happier .”
Conversely , Studios D , E , and F – lovingly dubbed the “ mini Base Bins ” because of their smaller dimensions and lower 13-ft . ceilings – are “ very tight-sounding ,” according to Chambers , in part because of the heavier acoustic treatments compared to the other spaces . These smaller rooms are ideal for five musicians or fewer .
Then , there ’ s Studio G . Of the seven rehearsal studios , this is the crown jewel – a 1,000 sq . ft . space with 20 ft . ceilings and simple but elegant décor . It offers the best of both worlds in terms of its sonic character – open and airy but with plenty of control . This is the space that ’ s been attracting the big names back to the new Studio Base Bin .
“ The bulk of my A-list clientele , a lot of them have already been back here ,” Chambers says . “ It ’ s really cool to see some of the bigger production companies welcoming me back after being closed , too . This is now the hub that brings together so many things that I love about my work with music .”
On any given day , you might find a jazz trio rehearsing in one
Plenty of new songs have surely already been born inside Studio Base Bin ’ s various rehearsal rooms , and being the musical hub that it is , musicians can professionally record those very tracks under the same roof .
Chambers doesn ’ t publicly advertise as a commercial studio ; he doesn ’ t really have to . After decades in the music business , his professional network is substantial , and enough people seem to know that they can have Chambers cut their tracks at Studio Base Bin or take advantage of the space with an outside engineer .
“ I designed it to be more comfortable and practical for songwriting and one-on-one sessions , or even having several people in the room collaborating ,” Chambers says of his new recording space compared to its predecessor .
The control room is spartan and spacious with a very modern and sleek aesthetic . There ’ s a small iso booth connected to it that can fit a full drum kit , though it ’ s primarily used for vocal or guitar tracking . There ’ s also an isolated amp booth accessible from the main control area .