Acoustics... It's a vital component to studio design and, until we held this meeting, a topic that has rarely been discussed at SBE Chapter 37 meetings.
Our topic was Studio Design; Acoustic Myths and Realities. Guest Speaker Nick Colleran, of Acoustics First Corporation, discussed how the room can deceive you. He also provided some "Watch Mr. Wizard" demonstrations of the science in action. He said this stuff isn't as difficult as some in the industry try to make it.
Nick Colleran is a past-president of SPARS (Society of Professional Audio Recording Services), past president of the VPSA (Virginia Productions Services Association), and was formerly a recording artist and recording engineer. Nick now leads a "quiet life" as a principal of Acoustics First Corporation, which designs, manufactures and distributes products to control sound and eliminate noise for commercial, residential and industrial uses. Recent projects where he was involved in acoustical design include the National Theatre (floating stage floor) and the renovation of the former Johnny Carson / Jay Leno Tonight Show sound stage for iHeart Media. Mr. Colleran holds several patents for acoustical devices and regularly sketches acoustical product placement for broadcast engineers throughout the United States.
Previously, Nick founded Alpha Audio, the largest audio recording studio in Virginia, which opened in 1971 with Bill Deal and the Rhondels and closed in 1991 with GWAR. Nick personally engineered Bruce Springsteen's live radio broadcast prior to his opening on tour with Chicago, Pat Benatar's first album live with Coxon's Army for PBS and engineered for the George Clinton productions of Bootsy Collins and Parlet. Along the way, Mr. Colleran supervised more jingles and radio spots than he can recall, including local, national and international, while also producing major label acts.
Starting in 1978, his company began supplying unique acoustical materials and, in the following year, was the first to show acoustical products at the AES convention in New York. In the eighties, his company developed the first automated audio editor sold to and used by Sony Pictures (10 systems), Lucasfilm and many others, including studios in Europe. As an adjunct to the studio business, his company designed and installed radio on-air and production studios.
A bite to eat, kindly provided by Studio Technology's Vince Fiola, was served at 6:30 PM. We discussed some Chapter 37 business about 7:00 PM and began our presentation a few minutes later.
Thanks to our friends at WJLA-TV who hosted our meeting at their Rosslyn, VA offices and provided a tour of their beautiful studio facility.