Multi-Grammy winning engineer Cynthia Daniels has added MonkMusic, a sophisticated recording studio, to her East Hampton home. Catering to a first-tier client base, which includes ‘local’ residents Paul McCartney and Alec Baldwin required superb acoustics and elegant aesthetics. To meet these goals, Daniels reached out to Walters-Storyk Design Group .
“I was on a fast track to get up and running as quickly as possible,” Daniels says. “I’ve worked in a number of WSDG studios, and was very familiar with their credentials. On his first site visit, in October 2010, WSDG principal John Storyk assured me that ‘we would never be waiting for drawings, design elements or architectural issues.’ And,” she adds, “WSDG was on the mark throughout the process. We couldn’t be more pleased with the results.
“Our client base ranges from high energy rock sessions where we spend hours in the high volume stratosphere to jazz, orchestral, pop, ADR for film and TV, and of course, narration recording.” Daniels explains. “Because my home is set in a suburban/rural area, we needed to be sensitive to sound leakage both into and out of the studio. We needed sand-filled cinderblock wall construction, along with lots of soundproof windows and sliding glass doors for complete isolation and to take advantage of the East End’s beautiful natural light.”
Design and Acoustics
MonkMusic is a 650 sq. ft, state-of-the art recording/mixing studio housed in a new, ground-up wing attached to Daniels’ home. Although hardly the norm in residential construction in the Hamptons, the addition was built with a decoupled concrete floor system, created for optimal isolation. The complex includes: live, isolation booth and mixing rooms; 5.1 Genelec DSP monitors; a hybrid AVID console; fully digital and analog signal processing. And, a full complement of microphones, preamps, instruments, amplifiers and outboard gear.
WSDG project manager Matt Ballos reports the studio design is based on a combination of optimal room proportion, membrane absorbers used for critical low frequency room respons, and specifically placed diffusers (in some instances transparent), for high frequency reflection control. Allowing the studio suite to relate to the home and to the beautiful Hamptons surroundings was very important to Cynthia and to the final design. Cynthia collaborated with WSDG associate Judy Elliot-Brown of Rocket Science and Mike Donahower on the critical wiring program and systems integration/installation.