Seven years after Hurricane Katrina wrecked havoc with ‘The Big Easy,’ 70,000+ volunteers led by artist/activists, Branford Marsalis and Harry Connick Jr. had accomplished a miracle. They raised the funds and contributed the sweat equity to build 72 single-family homes, 10 elder-friendly apartments, and the 17,000 sq. ft. Ellis Marsalis Center for Music/Musician’s Village Performance Hall. The compound lacked only one crucial element… a recording studio.
Designed by WSDG, the EMCM Control Room provides full connectivity to the adjacent 170-seat Performance Hall. Its primary mission is to facilitate recording, mixing and streaming live shows originating in the venue. Staffed by a collective team of talented local educators, administrators and musicians, the studio is also tasked with archiving the city’s indigenous music. And, it is dedicated to providing a recording and music production education to underserved local youths attending classes on scholarships. The studio’s business plan includes a key role as a destination for musicians seeking to record in a superlative (and affordable) professional environment, to help it achieve a self-sustaining income. The CR will also serve as one of the few NOLA-based rooms available for tracking music for feature films.
Outfitted with an AWS 948 console, JBL M2 speakers, a custom rear wall diffraction unit and a handsome ceiling cloud, the 230 sq. ft. studio also features two 100 sq. ft. ISO booths. By precisely orientating the mixing and producer’s desks and equipment racks, the design program optimized every square foot of space. Positioning the CR directly behind the Performance Hall’s rear stage wall assures musicians, audience and engineers that the CR has zero impact on isolation. WSDG fine-tuned the acoustics to insure impeccable sound to compliment the studio’s cool, professional ambiance.
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