One of China’s most respected music education institutions, The Xinghai Conservatory of Music has been training world-class musicians for nearly 100 years. An increasing appreciation for the art of professional recording underscored their need for a world-class studio capable of hosting sessions for classical, popular and traditional music performance artists. To create a facility capable of accomplishing these tasks, a group of Xinghai professors, artists and recording engineers initiated a research program to determine the best candidate to meet their studio design requirements. With credits that include The Zhejiang Conservatory of Music in Hangzhou, and 55TEC Studios and Studio 21A in Beijing, WSDG (Walters-Storyk Design Group) was engaged to develop an acoustically and aesthetically impeccable studio.
A 1,345 ft2/125m2 suite in the recently completed multi-use, Haihu Bay Art Park Building Complex in Guangzhou, was selected as the optimal location for ACE Studios. The priorities for the new recording studio were: Flawless isolation to insure zero sound leakage into or out of the recording studio; and a Live Room capable of providing a flawless acoustical environment for classical piano. The acquisition of a brand new $175,700 nine-foot Steinway & Sons D-274 Grand Piano underscored the significance of this goal.
The WSDG design team devised the 520ft2/49m2 live room to accommodate the magnificent instrument. Precisely tuned with perforated wood wall and ceiling acoustic treatments, ACE Studios ‘crown jewel’ exemplifies the ultimate recording environment for classical piano performances. The live room features bold ceiling clouds fashioned from ribbed wooden slats set into a raised rectangular cavity which are designed to enhance the piano’s acoustic resonance. The 240 ft2/23m2 control room’s clean contemporary design features back-lit, fabric-covered wall panels and a large window that provides a clear view from the recording console to the live room.