“Kazbar and their whole team have put together a wonderful studio.
It’s incredibly flexible whether it be for tracking, mixing or working to picture in all of the rooms at once or independently. Not only that it has a wonderful sound and their care, precision and unrivalled advice is reflected in every aspect.”

– Nick Lloyd Webber –

Kazbar
systems have recently completed the bespoke design and construction of a new
multi-room recording facility for Nicholas Lloyd-Webber.

Nicholas
has been a client of Kazbar Systems’ since our involvement in his previous
Studio at the Palace Theatre on Shaftsbury Avenue. Due to the ongoing
renovation of the Palace Theatre, Nicholas required a new long-term solution.

Structural Challenges

The
host structure for the Studios is located on basement level with two adjoining
smaller rooms and meeting room. The structure presented a number of challenges,
including; close proximity to domestic and office accommodation, a large steel
smoke duct and a number of water and sewerage pipes.

Photo 1: Control Room, Photo 2 Control Room looking towards Recording Room 1, Photo 3 Recording Room 1 looking towards Rooms 2 & 3 and Photo 4 Within Recording Room 2 looking towards Room 3.

The Design Brief

The
fundamental requirement of the project was to provide the best use of available
space whilst maintaining a high level of sound isolation and acoustic accuracy.

To compensate for the lack of natural
daylight, Kazbar provided the Client with a light and relaxed aesthetic finish,
creating a productive environment facilitating longer sessions.

Design Development

Kazbar
Systems’ in-house design team provided a number of layout schemes for review by
the client. The final design provided an isolation booth within the Control
Room and two smaller multi functional isolation booths that can be used as
additional Live Rooms or as writing and production studios. The final design
also integrated fire protection, access control and security systems.

Equipment Specification

Nicholas
decided upon the Audient ASP8024 HE Console with the DLC
option for enhanced DAW control, having used the previous model in the Palace
Studio for some time. Kazbar Systems recommended the Genelec 1238A Smart Active
Monitor speakers, which offer incredibly neutral monitoring at high sound
pressure levels. The Control Room was specifically designed around the console
and monitors to provide optimal symmetry and sonic accuracy.

Early construction work of the Control Room & Recording Room 1

 

Cabling

The
cabling specification for the Studios included analogue, digital, video and
data ties to each area, including USB, CAT6 and HDMI. This allows Nicholas to
send video to any area within the complex and to use each area independently or
simultaneously for larger and more demanding sessions.

Custom
connection panels were designed and installed into the Control Room and
Isolation booths. Booth 2 and 3 interconnect so they can function as an
additional independent self contained Control Room and Isolation Booth.

Connection
plates for surround speakers were also installed into the Control Room.

Construction and Project Management

Dave
Eccleston, Kazbar Systems Technical and Project Manager managed all aspects of
the day today construction and scheduling of the project, liaising with the
Client, the Designer, the Kazbar build team and Client direct contractors to
ensure the project ran smoothly and was delivered within budget.

Off-Site Equipment Setup and
Configuration

Offsite at Kazbar HQ, Technical Assistant
Oda Holm Strand installed and soak tested the Mac Pro host computer including;
Avid Pro Tools Ultimate, Waves Diamond Bundle, Sonnox Elite Bundle, Native
Instruments Komplete and Arturia V Collection 6. Four LCDs Displays were also
supplied and installed: one Samsung 50” Main Display, two Samsung 30” Displays
and one Samsung 19” Display which was VESA Mounted to the Audient ASP8024
Console.

Further recording hardware installed
and supplied by Kazbar Systems included Focal Trio Active Studio Speakers, two
Universal Audio Apollo 16 MKII Thunderbolt Interfaces, a Kahayan 12K72 Dual Mic
Preamp, a TK Audio BC1 Stereo Compressor, two Neumann U87 Studio Set
Microphones, two Latchlake Mic King 1100 Heavy Duty Microphone Stands and
various mic stands and music stands. To add a ‘close mic’ recording sound, we
also supplied two Kaotica Eyeball Microphone Shields.

Photo 1 Control Room Rear Wall inc Absorbers, Photo 2 Control Room Rear Wall to Room1, Photo 3 Room 1 inc Window to Control Room and Photo 3 Room 2 Window to Room 3

On-site Installation and
Commissioning

Once
the Studio construction had been completed, the Kazbar team then began the
onsite installation of the equipment and cabling. This included the
commissioning of the Audient console, the installation of the soffit-mounted
Genelec monitors, the DAW system, and outboard equipment and patchbays.

Kazbar
supplied two custom-built dual 24U Racks for the Control Room,
which were mounted on top of each other. For Booth 2 we installed a Zaor MIZA
61 Studio Workstation, and for Booth 3, a Zaor MIZA Junior Work surface.
Nicholas also brought the equipment from his previous studio which includes two
Summit TLA 100 Limiters, a Summit EQP-200B Stereo EQ, a Lexicon PCM70, 90 &
480L Digital Reverbs and a Focusrite Red 1 4 Channel Mic Preamp, all of which were
included in the patchbay and cabling design.

Photo 1 Control Room, Photo 2 Genelec 1238 & Focal Trio Active Speakers and Photo 3 Recording Room 1 into Control Room

Testing and Results

Sound
transmission tests were conducted between the Control Room and Isolation Booths
and the entire Studio complex and residential areas. All specified isolation
values were either met or exceeded by Kazbar Systems.

Genelec
product specialist Andy Bensley optimized the performance of the Genelec
monitors using the proprietary Smart Active Monitor system and found the
Control Room to have a particularly flat response.

 

Photo 1 Recording Room 2, Photo 2 Recording Room 3, Photo 4 Kactica Eyeball on Neumann U87 and Photo 3 Recording Room 1 Audio Connection Panel

Training and Ongoing Support

Dave
Eccleston has returned to the Studio to provide one to one training to the in-house
engineering team, along with Nicholas Lloyd-Webber, to ensure that the
commercial operation of the Studio runs efficiently and productively.