“Kazbar and their whole team have put together a wonderful studio.
It’s incredibly flexible whether it be for tracking, mixing or working to picture in all of the rooms at once or independently.
Not only does it have a wonderful sound, their precision, care and unrivalled advice is reflected in every aspect.”
– Nick Lloyd Webber –
Kazbar Systems have recently completed the bespoke design and construction of a new
multi-room recording facility for Nicholas Lloyd-Webber. Mr. Lloyd-Webber has been a client of Kazbar Systems’ since our involvement in his previous
Studio at the Palace Theatre on Shaftsbury Avenue. Due to the ongoing renovation of the Palace Theatre, Nicholas required a new long-term solution.
The Design Brief
The fundamental requirement of the project was to provide the best use of available space whilst maintaining a high level of sound isolation and acoustic accuracy.
To compensate for the lack of natural daylight, Kazbar provided the client with a light and relaxed aesthetic finish, creating a productive environment facilitating longer sessions.
The host structure for the studios is located on basement level with two adjoining smaller rooms and a meeting room. The structure presented a number of challenges,
including; close proximity to domestic and office accommodation, a large steel smoke duct and a number of water and sewerage pipes.
Photos above are showing the structure and early stages of the construction work for 4 individual recording rooms.
Photo 1: Control Room to be
Photo 2: Control Room looking towards Live Room 1
Photo 3: Live Room 1 looking towards Recording Rooms 2 & 3
Photo 4: Inside Recording Room 2 looking towards Room 3
For the main mixing console Nicholas decided upon the Audient ASP8024 HE with the DLC option for enhanced DAW control, having used the previous model in the Palace Studio for some time.
Kazbar Systems recommended the Genelec 1238A Smart Active Monitor speakers for the main monitoring, which offer incredibly neutral monitoring at
high sound pressure levels, making them comfortable to work on over a longer period of time.
The Control Room has been specifically designed around the console and monitors to provide optimal symmetry and sonic accuracy.
The cabling specification for the Studios included analogue, digital, video and data ties to each area, including USB, CAT6 and HDMI.
This allows Nicholas to send video to any area within the complex and to use each area independently or simultaneously for larger and more demanding sessions.
Custom connection panels were designed and installed into the Control Room and Isolation booths. Booth 2 and 3 interconnects so they can function as an additional independent self-contained Control Room and Isolation Booth.
Connection plates for a surround speakers was also installed into the Main Control Room, enabling the option for surround sound mixing for film and games.
Construction and Project Management
Dave Eccleston, Kazbar Systems Technical and Project Manager managed all aspects of the day today construction and scheduling of the project, liaising with the Client, the Designer,
the Kazbar Build Team and Client Direct Contractors to ensure the project ran smoothly and was delivered within budget.
Off-site Equipment Setup and Configuration
Offsite at Kazbar HQ, Technical Assistant Oda Holm Strand installed and soak tested the Mac Pro host computer, liaising closely with Nicholas Lloyd-Webber and the in-house engineer to sure everything was fulfilling the expectations. Software, hardware install and setup included:
Avid Pro Tools Ultimate, Waves Diamond Bundle, Sonnox Elite Bundle, Native Instruments Komplete, Universal Audio software, firmware & Plugin bundle, and Arturia V Collection 6.
Four HD LCDs Displays were supplied and set-up: one Samsung 50” Main Display, two Samsung 30” Displays and one Samsung 19” Display which was VESA Mounted to the Audient ASP8024 Console.
Further recording hardware installed and supplied by Kazbar Systems included Focal Trio Active Studio Speakers, two Universal Audio Apollo 16 MKII Thunderbolt Interfaces, a Kahayan 12K72 Dual Mic Preamp, one TK Audio BC1 Stereo Compressor, two Neumann U87 Studio Set.
Microphones, two Latchlake Mic King 1100 Heavy Duty Microphone Stands and various mic stands and music stands. To add an extra ‘close mic’ recording sound, we also supplied two Kaotica Eyeball Microphone Shields.
Photos above are showing the next phase of the construction where the acoustic treatment in the control room has been installed, the fabric stretched walls have been done and windows & doors are all in place.
Photo 1: Control Room Rear Wall inc Absorbers
Photo 2: Control Room Rear Wall to Room1
Photo 3: Live room 1 with Window to Control Room;
Photo 4: Recording Room 2 Window to Recording Room 3
On-Site Installation and Commissioning of the Nicholas Lloyd-Webber studio
Once the Studio construction had been completed, the Kazbar team then began the onsite installation of the equipment and cabling. This included the commissioning of the Audient console, the installation of the soffit-mounted Genelec monitors, the DAW system, and outboard equipment and patchbays. Kazbar supplied Nicholas Lloyd-Webber two custom-built dual 24U Racks for the Control Room, which were mounted on top of each other. For Booth 2 we installed a Zaor MIZA 61 Studio Workstation, and for Booth 3, a Zaor MIZA Junior Work surface.
Nicholas also brought the equipment from his previous studio which includes two Summit TLA 100 Limiters, a Summit EQP-200B Stereo EQ, a Lexicon PCM70, 90 & 480L Digital Reverbs and a Focusrite Red 14 Channel Mic Preamp, all of which were included in the patchbay and cabling design.
In the photo above we can see the early stages of how the main control room has been built around the acoustic design for the Audient ASP8024HE console and Genelec 1238As monitors.
Photo banner above is showing the equipment install and the Miza 61 Studio Desk for Control Room 2 and 3.
Photo 1 Recording Room 2
Photo 2 Recording Room 3
Photo 4 Kaoctica Eyeball on Neumann U87
Photo 3 Recording Room 1 Audio Connection Panel
Testing and Results
Sound transmission tests were conducted between the Control Room and Isolation Booths and the entire Studio complex and residential areas.
All specified isolation values were either met or exceeded by Kazbar Systems.
Genelec product specialist Andy Bensley optimized the performance of the Genelec monitors using the proprietary Smart Active Monitor system and found the Control Room to have a particularly flat response.
Training and Ongoing Support
Dave Eccleston has returned to the Studio to provide one to one training to the in-house
engineering team, along with Nicholas Lloyd-Webber, to ensure that the
commercial operation of the Studio runs efficiently and productively.