Architectural Acoustic Design & Consulting 

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Recording Studios

Guilford Sound

Engineer producer David Snyder asked Francis Manzella to join the design team for his new “Dream Studio” located on his farm in rural Vermont. The ground up project includes many “Green” aspects such as extensive use of LED Lighting, ground water heat pumps (for HVAC) and solar power collection. The studio will run off the grid providing a personal recording experience on par with that of the largest world class studios. The spacious live room is ringed by four acoustically unique iso booths ranging from absorptive to ‘medium’ to diffuse. Equipped with an API Legacy, Neve sidecar and Griffin G1A main monitors, the large control room is a great working environment. Guilford Sound was nominated for the TEC award for Studio Design in 2010.

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25th Street Recording

Francis Manzella was contacted by old friend and co-worker (Skyline Studios) Dave Lichtenstein about a new retro analog-based recording studio in Oakland, CA. Located in a converted British auto repair garage in Oakland, Lichtenstein was clear about wanting a large live room, several iso booths, and a spacious control room. The studio features a 64 input API Vision with full surround capabilities, ATC surround monitoring, and more analog processing than one drummer should be allowed to own. Seasoned studio builder Dennis Stearns and his team did a fantastic job realizing Manzella’s design and assisting in locating many unique materials used in the execution of the studio.

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Studio at The Palms

The Palms Casino Resort is home to a multi-room World Class Recording Studio. The Studio at The Palms provides a unparalleled level of technical sophistication and client comfort. The 2006 TEC Award winning facility includes a large tracking and mixing room (Studio X) boasting a Neve VRP-72 and full 5.1 Griffin G1A Main monitors. A second suite (Studio Y) features an acoustically identical control room and a mid sized overdub booth. This room is equipped with an SSL XL 9080K console and Griffin G1A Surround monitors. The studio offers client amenities that are not available at any other destination studio. The Palms offers luxury suites ‘wired’ to the studio for the convenience of recording clients as well as portable DAW based recording stations that can be brought to a guest’s room.

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The Orchard-2014 TEC

FM Design was commissioned by The Orchard, a pioneering music, film and video distribution company headquartered in NYC, to create this in-house music recording studio. Managed by The Orchard’s co-founder Richard Gottehrer & accomplished engineer Alonzo Vargas, The Orchard will use the facility to create recordings and mix tracks for its label and artist clients. The studio includes an SSL AWS console, Genelec 1038A monitors and a selection of analog processing to compliment the ProTools HD recording system.

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Forward Studios-Cesar 2014 TEC

Francis Manzella was engaged to redesign the control room of the flagship Caesar Studio in this three-studio complex just outside of Rome. Acoustical renovations included adding extensive tuned low-frequency trapping, and new reflection-control and rear-wall diffusor treatments. The rooms are finished with a new fabric skin, woodwork and a complete new RGBW LED Lighting system. Equipment includes a 72-input Neve 88R console, Studer A820 machine, Genelec 1035B mains, and a range of analog and digital processing.

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Kaleidoscope Studios-The Patio

When Kaleidoscope Studios owner Randy Crafton knew it was time to expand his two room NJ based operation, he once again contacted FM Design. Working in a building adjacent to Randy’s existing studios that was in a a state of disrepair, FM Design crafted a new control room, live room with two iso’s and a client lounge area. The entire project was completed in an ambitious time frame with strict budget restraints. This Icon based 5.1 room provides Kaleidoscope with new opportunities to expand their clientele without ‘competing’ with their existing operations. The Patio was nominated for the TEC award for Studio Design in 2013.

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KMA Music

KMA Music – The Writers Studio, is the brain child of Michael Kissel. Mike envisioned a cooperative arrangement with young writer/producers who could realize their creative projects within a world class stimulating environment. KMA is located in the Brill Building with amazing views of Times Square (the “Center of the Universe”). KMA offers a brilliant recording experience for every genre and includes a beautiful live room, Yamaha grand piano and the first installation of the Griffin G1.5 main monitors augmented with an LFE18 subwoofer.

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OK Records

Greg Talenfeld, had outgrown his old studio, Waterworks (NYC) where he had worked with seminal indie-rock icons Beck, The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion and Pavement. In 2007 he began planning renovations on a 1912 brick warehouse in his hometown of Nyack, NY. FM Design was charged with designing an elegant, stylistically sensitive and cost effective facility where Greg could record live bands and generally ‘get the vibe’ of the funky building onto his records. Isolation was a concern with a local firehouse ½ block away. A complete floating solution was presented that incorporated many visual elements of the original building. The acoustic finishes include brick, exposed wood beams and concrete to create a unique blend of rugged industrial and modern Hi-Tech.

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The Barber Shop Studios

Scott Barber (owner) of the Barber Shop has a business sense that can be summed up in one word: determination. His vision was to build a world class recording studio in a historic stone church built in 1900’s which had become Lake Hopatcong’s most revered landmark. Scott’s plan was to offer a place for artists to get away from the city and record in a creative environment. On the ground level of the 2005 TEC Award nominated studios you’ll find reception, lounge and a surround sound protools suite. Upstairs includes a producer’s lounge, the Main Control Room equipped with an SSL 9K, Griffin Main Monitors, and G2 Surround System. The Control Room is accompanied by 3 iso booths and a 2 story live room.

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Great City Productions

Great City Productions in New York City is owned by Engineer/Producer Britt Myers. Great City contacted FM Design in 2008 for the design of a new Studio A suite including a surround capable control room and a comfortable live room. Their existing facilities were limited to voice over sized booths only. The new fully floated studio A suite is connected (physically) to studio B so that the live room may be shared when necessary. The SSL Duality equipped control room features K&H surround monitoring, ProTools HD and visual connections to the live room and two isolation areas. Foley pits and a Grand Piano are included in the new live room along with Video playback. The project was nominated for the TEC Studio Design award in 2009.

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John Kilgore Sound

John Kilgore Sound Studios, located in the heart of New York’s Theater District, is the primary resource for sound designers working on Broadway. The studio is owned and operated by veteran recording engineer and theater sound designer John Kilgore. The studio counts among its regular customers some of the most discriminating and demanding clients in the world of theater, dance, music, special events and post production. Client comfort, acoustic accuracy and facility wide versatility were the primary design goals given to FM Design. The main “A” suite offers a mid-sized, configurable Live Room and plenty of client space in the Control Room. This 5.1 control room provides Mr. Kilgore with the comfortable acoustics and project versatility he requires.

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Egan Media Productions

Egan Media Productions, owned by producer/engineer Joe Egan, is a three room audio video production facility located in northern Vermont. The facility includes the “A” Music suite, pictured here, along with a second smaller audio suite as well as an offline video editing & production suite. Located in a converted turn of the century army barracks in Colchester VT, Egan and video associate Scott Esmond provide a range of services to the local Television, radio and music recording market. The studio was featured on the February 2002 cover of Mix Magazine.

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Kaleidoscope Sound

Randy Crafton, owner of Kaleidoscope Sound contacted FM Design in 2009 when it was time for an acoustic and aesthetic renovation for it’s two busy, Union City, NJ based music studios. They were on a limited budget and had a very tight time frame in which to complete the renovations. Francis Manzella designed a complete new interior acoustic fit out for the main Control Room A to compliment the new API Legacy console. Additionally the studio B Control Room was re-oriented and the ceiling dropped slightly to create better acoustic room proportions. Both rooms have enjoyed wide acceptance since the renovation were completed.

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Blue Jay Studios

Blue Jay Recording in Carlisle, MA is a well known and respected operation that has been in business for over 25 years. New ownership commissioned FM Design to design a complete interior renovation for this perpetually popular studio. The new main music recording and mixing suite at Blue Jay is centered around a custom Mad Labs / Neve VR72 Console. The Control Room was completely renovated from wiring troughs to lighting fixtures. The room was rebuilt from the concrete shell inward including all wall and ceiling treatments, wood and fabric finishes, isolation detailing on doors and windows and a complete new technical power installation designed by John Klett of Technical Audio and FM Design.

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Trillium Lane

Trillium Lane is a dual purpose facility owned by Jared Vogt, a local software entrepreneur and musician. The facility is placed in a purpose built structure on a private stretch of wooded property offering solitude, peace and an extremely relaxed creative environment. The 3500 SF building interior houses the control room, iso booths, great room, kitchen as well as the upstairs edit room, offices and support spaces. The recording and mixing room at Trillium Lane is built around a large ProTools HD system including a fully loaded ProControl. The 5.1 monitor system is Genelec 1031A’s with 1094 subwoofers. The room is optimized for stereo and surround mixing with a generous Reflection Free Zone and exceptional imaging at the mix position.

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Upstairs Productions

Born and raised in Oklahoma City, recording engineer and drummer Ted Curtis has 30 years of music beating through his heart. Driven by the passion to record music and produce a first-rate product in today’s Christian music scene, he took a year of his life to build a God-given vision. The end result is a state-of-the-art, private, recording studio featuring some of the best gear, ranging from the vintage classics to the latest technology, set in a friendly and creative environment. The studio was featured on the March 2004 cover of Mix Magazine.

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Stratosphere Studios

Francis Manzella Design was commissioned by studio owners James Iha (Smashing Pumpkins), Adam Schlesinger (Fountain of Wayne) and Andy Chase (Ivy), to design a combination commercial and private use facility for these busy musicians and producers. The studio was to be World Class sonically and technically as well as providing a comfortable atmosphere that would invite clients to kick back and relax. Stratosphere features Reflection Free Zone acoustics in the control room. Generous sight lines to both the main live room and the adjacent isolation booth are implemented without introducing any unwanted early reflections. The control room feels quite large and comfortable while providing a “no compromise” critical listening experience.

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Sound Station Seven

Sound Station 7 is a state of the art recording studio in Providence Rhode Island. Built in a firehouse that dates back to 1871, featuring a blend of contemporary design features together with architectural elements inspired by the original building construction. These include exposed wood beam ceiling and brick veneer finishes. This Studio was Featured on the cover of Mix Magazine September 2000 issue.

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Manhattan Center Studios

Few studios in New York play equally strong roles in preserving the city’s media history and in propelling its media future. Manhattan Center Studios is one of those special few. Francis Manzella Design was commissioned to design the Studio 7 control room and vocal booth connected to the elegant sounding Ballroom transforming it into the versatile tracking room it is today and creating an accurate mix environment for the thriving multiroom facility. Studio 7 and a simply awesome, gigantic 94×98-foot music room with a 60×80-foot stage have become a world renowned scoring studio.

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Mirror Image

Mirror Image Recorders of New York has grown since its inception in 1978 to become three state of the art 48 track recording studios plus one midi / production suite. The studio has been involved in dozens and dozens of RIAA gold and platinum hit records for a widely diverse clientele.

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Deeper Rekords

Deeper Rekords is a NYC based independent label and production company run by Producer/DJ Jonathan Peters. There busy two room music production studio was designed by FM Design and features custom in wall main monitors designed by Joe Lodi. The MIDI Programming station and console both have access to the extensive ProTools based recording system.

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House of Sound

House of Sound is a three room complex owned by Producer/Artist Robert Clivilles of C&C Music Factory. In addition to the large Studio A suite pictured here, the facility includes a second SSL equipped control room with a Custom Tannoy/Hot House main monitoring system as well as an audio Edit room in the basement below. Full kitchen, offices, shop and lounge are located in the basement as well. FM Design handled the base studio floor plan, all Isolation design (floating systems, wall and ceiling construction details), and all acoustic finish design in the music rooms.

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City Sound

City Sound Productions was conceived as a combination project studio and commercial recording room. All aspects of the studio were designed for world class performance. This project was an excellent study in “doing it right” on a smaller scale. From HVAC and structural isolation to the monitoring environment and quality of finishes, owner Bob Kirschner did not want to compromise. Although small in size, City Sound represents how professional acoustic design can truly benefit the sound and feel of production rooms. The same level of care and detail went into this project as goes into all our studio design.

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Ochoa Studios

Originally designed in the 1960’s for the recording of local Salsa and Latin music in the thriving San Juan community, Ochoa studios was handed down from father to son. In 1994, FM Design was commissioned by Tony Ochoa to redesign their premier music studio (A). The renovation was a full refurbishing pulling all construction out to concrete slabs and cinder block. New isolation walls and all acoustic finishes were specified and installed. Extensive equipment installation happened simultaneously handled by John Klett of Technical Audio. Custom main monitors were installed by Klett and Francis Manzella. The studio’s grand Live Room was updated for a more modern sound with a Live Side/Diffuse Center/Dead Side installation.

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