Review of acoustically related design factors for three recent Los Angeles area music studios.



The design of a professional-quality music recording studios involves a specific set of challenges, namely the need to provide high levels of sound isolation, rigorous noise and vibration control for building support systems, and the provision of acoustically appropriate room finishes.  The optimization of design solutions for each of these challenges depends upon project-specific requirements, including aesthetic objectives, base building constraints and the musical genres being recorded. This paper reviews how these challenges were successfully addressed in three recent Los Angeles area music recording/broadcast studio projects. Projects reviewed include a recording studio at University of California, Los Angeles, where challenges included the need to accommodate all musical genres, from jazz, to orchestra, to drum ensembles.  The two other studios were both for broadcast organizations: KCRW, an influential NPR-affiliated music-orientated radio station and for the commercial radio broadcaster SiriusXM. The paper includes discussion of why and how various acoustical techniques were utilized, including use of “floating” construction and live room variable acoustics. Solutions for successfully incorporating significant areas of glazing into live rooms and accommodation of audiences are also discussed, along with the various acoustical room finishes that were applied.