Quiet and cool
Obviously, a studio for voice work has to be pin-drop quiet. The recording space is designed by acoustic consultant Alan Saunders to a noise-floor design rating of NR15 – though it tests nearer NR10. We commissioned Ambthair to design the air-conditioning system: they have worked on many top-class facilities throughout the world, including Abbey Road, Pinewood and Air Lyndhurst.
Space to work
Most spoken word studios didn’t provide enough space at the desk for all the papers needed in a complex audiobook or drama production. So the producer’s station is L-shaped, with plenty of room to turn over at least two A4 scripts and have a pronunciation dictionary or two open alongside. We have a small reference library in the control room, and there is lots more in the green room.
We tried several options before settling on these high-end industry-standard brands: Neumann mics, Focusrite (the Rupert-Neve-designed ISA) preamps and outboard, Avid Pro Tools HD on Mac G5, Genelec monitors, Beyer headphones. (See equipment list.)
Work how you want to
Finally, we allow lots of choice in ways of working. Many studios seem surprised when you ask for your own talkback switch, let alone headphones for monitoring. We have both as standard, and offer the reader both headphone and speaker playback (with volume control), and the choice of fluff-and-repeat and rock-and-roll (drop-in) working. Our custom-designed Kirkin drop-in and talkback system gives a one-button switch which simultaneously mutes playback and drops into record, so rock-and-roll recording makes for very fast working without the risk of howl-round.
In short, our facilities are designed to facilitate fast, efficient and relaxed working to the highest technical standards.
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