When designing their 5,000 sq. ft. DC-area home, Matt MacPhail and his wife, Ann Lyles MacPhail agreed on one somewhat unorthodox ‘must have;’ a full up, professionally designed, acoustically superlative recording studio for their thriving audio production business, News At Eleven Productions. Having done their work over the past fifteen years in a variety of quirky, makeshift home recording spaces, the MacPhails knew their growing client base required a dedicated studio.
The MacPhails learned important lessons from their previous home studio experience in San Jose, CA. For this project, WSDG met with the MacPhails’ DC-area residential architect at the earliest design stage. In order to ensure that the studio did not disturb the neighbors in any way, and that their new home would blend in with the neighborhood, the team decided to put the studio in a sub-basement located 22 ft. below street level. At that depth, the studio can be isolated from sound leakage without having to ‘float’ the room. The 1300 sq. ft. main studios feature a spacious 245 sq. ft. control room and three isolation booths to meet the varied music, voiceover and post-production requirements for the MacPhails and their clients. A custom ceiling cloud was designed for the control room to fine tune the ‘sweet spot’ and contribute a handsome aesthetic finishing touch.
WSDG also designed and equipped the MacPhails’ home theater, which doubles as a screening room for client projects. The theater is outfitted with a 114-inch Stewart front projection screen and a full compliment of top-flight gear. WSDG also developed sophisticated electronic connectivity between the Control Room, the theater and the home’s acoustically treated living room (which boasts a Steinway Model O grand piano). This allows the MacPhails to use that space as both a living room and a live room.
Photography by Cheryl Fleming Photography