Studios 301, Australia’s longest running professional recording studio, has ensured the best possible audio reproduction at its new multi million dollar complex in Sydney by installing PMC loudspeakers in all but one of its new recording, mixing and mastering rooms.
The state of the art studios has chosen QB1-A monitors for its new Control Room One, making this the first facility in the Southern hemisphere to install PMC’s flagship monitoring system, which already has pride of place at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles and Metropolis Studios in London.
Dr Tom Misner, who reacquired Studios 301 at the end of 2016, said, “I chose PMC’s QB1-A monitors for our main studio because they are currently the best studio monitors on the market, especially when they are installed in a room that has been purpose built to house them. Their performance is amazing, and they are very smooth, which tends to allow you to turn up the volume. To achieve these exceptional sonic results, we built the room for the speakers rather than trying to fit the speakers to the existing acoustics of the room.”
Alongside the QB1-A monitors, Studios 301 has opted for PMC’s recently launched and award-winning MB3 XBD-A monitors for Control Rooms Two and Three and Mastering Rooms Two and Three. Specifically designed for critical music creation and production, these monitors have been installed in stereo configurations in all rooms except Control Room Three where they are part of a 5.1 surround sound set-up, in conjunction with a PMC MB3-A centre speaker and MB2S passives for the rear surrounds. Studio 301’s remaining control rooms (Four and Five, and three production suites are all equipped with PMC twotwo monitors, thus ensuring that these spaces can also deliver the detailed, accurate and high-resolution audio.
“The PMC MB3 monitors were the only ones I could find that were sufficiently versatile for recording, mixing and mastering,” Misner added. “We are very happy with the sound they deliver. All the local engineers who have heard them have been pleasantly surprised and are looking forward to working with them. I also love the character of the twotwo speakers that we are putting into the production suites and smaller mix rooms. I am quite familiar with these, having used smaller PMC speakers at Abbey Road Studios. My main criteria were to use the same monitors throughout – for the smaller rooms, the main rooms and for mastering.”
The re-fit of Studios 301 is designed to take this historic facility forward into the 21st century and consolidate its reputation as a large format studio capable of servicing the world’s biggest artists, as well as fostering the next generation of musical talent. Established in 1926 as The Columbia Graphophone Company – and later EMI – Studios 301 has played host to numerous internationally acclaimed artists over the years, including Coldplay, Kanye West, Lady Gaga, U2, David Bowie, INXS, Elton John, Bob Dylan and Lana Del Rey.
Located at Ellis Avenue – 10 minutes from the heart of Sydney and 10 minutes from the airport – Studios 301was forced to move from its previous facility at the end of 2016 when its interim owners sold the building to property developers. At this point Misner, who had owned and rebuilt Studios 301 in the late 1990s before divesting his Australian business interests in 2011, came back onto the scene and reacquired the business with the sole purpose of saving it. Recognising the ongoing need for a facility of this calibre in Australia – and the value of its legacy – Misner committed to a multi-million dollar ground-up reconstruction and relocation project that took 16 months and an incredible 134,000 hours of labour to complete. The result is a no compromise, top tie studio that now ranks as one of the top five studios in the world.
The design of the new complex is a collaboration between master acoustician, Jochen Veith, and Misner, who is the founder and driving force behind the world’s largest creative media education group, SAE Institute. As well as incorporating many of the offerings clients have come to love – such as the classic Neve 88R and SSL K series consoles and legendary complement of vintage outboard and microphones – Studios 301 also has new additions such as an API console and an Avid S6 in the purpose built 5.1 mixdown suite.
“The Australian music industry is at a crucial junction,” said Studios 301’s General Manager, Ron Haryanto. “For the first time in decades we are seeing increasing industry revenues albeit across a more diverse base. Studios 301 is unbelievably fortunate to be in a position to rebuild and reposition a facility of this magnitude to service the needs of the industry as they stand today, and well into the future.”