A multi-talented recording and mixing engineer, TC Zhou has enjoyed continued success since designing his original recording studio in Foshan, Guangdong Province, China in 2003. As his career flourished, Zhou expanded and updated his original facility. A move to Beijing in 2007 underscored his needs for an even more sophisticated studio. Intrigued by WSDG’s reputation for designing world-class studios Zhou initiated a deep collaboration with WSDG’s global creative team.
A sophisticated 1700 square foot complex, Studio 21A is situated on the 2nd floor of a recently completed two-story building within the tree-lined Jin Tian Industry Park, an “embassy area” for new media-driven TV and film production in Beijing. The studio is designed to accommodate a myriad of audio production and post-production tasks. Primary elements include CR A, a 324 square foot Mastering Suite, a 230+ square foot Live Room, a spacious 330 square foot Control Room B and a 170 square foot Vocal Booth. Anticipating client and artist comfort requirements, the studio also features a centrally located 157 square foot lounge.
TC Zhou’s previous experience in personally designing his original studios proved excellent preparation for his creative alliance with WSDG partners Director of Design, Renato Cipriano and, Art Director, Silvia Molho and with Project Manager, Alan Machado. “TC was deeply involved in the development process,” Cipriano reports. “His design preferences were spot on, and he provided us with excellent drawings, and helpful insights into the building itself. He also had solid architectural, technology and contractor recommendations. His suggestion to install functional isolation windows, enabled us to provide fresh air for the Live, CR and Mastering Rooms,” Cipriano says. “TC made a point of requesting a pair of prized Lipinski 707A monitors. And he was very pleased with the precisely tuned, perforated wooden frequency absorber panels we installed at the front of the Mastering Room to provide the studio with a cool contemporary vibe. The floors, walls and ceilings of all the rooms in the complex are completely floated, and a 3rd layer of filled concrete block was set on the perimeter of Vocal Booth C and the Live Room to permit unimpeded independent work in all four rooms simultaneously,” he concludes.
Studio 21A technology includes a 72-channel vintage Neve 88RS analogue console in Studio A, which also features an Augspurger Classic 215H-SUB218-SXE3 system with three-way active DSP, and Yamaha NS10 nearfields. An Antelope Orion 32 AD/DA converter running Dante combines with Focusrite RedNet5 and RedNet 2 interfaces to provide a 64-channel analogue I/O system. Dante also serves as the backbone for the studio’s cue system KLANG:fabric, which enables musicians to control their mixes via smartphone, and receive individual 3D mixes. Studio B boasts an SSL 48-channel Duality Delta with a Pro Tools HD Native system; Prism Sound ADA-8XR main monitors with a BX subwoofer and Yamaha NS10 nearfields. Studio C, the Mastering Room, features a Maselec MTC-1X stereo mastering console, Lipinski L-707A Signature main monitors and Amphion One15 nearfields.