BLUE BELL, PA: In a marked example of the growing demand for professional audio production teaching facilities, Montgomery County Community College, engaged WSDG Walters-Storyk Design Group, to create a state-of-the-art teaching studio/mixing suite for the College’s expanding Sound Recording and Music Technology (SRT) program. WSDG partner/director of production, Romina Larregina worked closely with MCCC SRT Coordinator Michael Kelly, and SRT Director, Grammy nominated engineer, and producer, David Ivory, to determine the architectural, acoustical and media systems design requirements for the new facility.
“Michael Kelly described the school’s associate degree SRT program (initiated in 2015) as “an immediate success,” Larregina says. “With 80 students enrolled, it was clear that a larger facility was required to meet the demand of their rapidly expanding student body. The new control room would have to accommodate 12 students with the potential for additional seating,” she adds.
“MCCC’s SRT associate degree program provides a comprehensive background in sound recording, music production and music technology expertise,” states Kelly, a professional composer, recording artist, and teacher for over 30 years. It prepares students for success in the industry and for transfer for the continuation of their education. After conceiving the idea for our ‘Dream Room,’ our first call was to WSDG. I discussed our aspirations with John Storyk, and he connected us with Romina Larregina for a proposal to determine the feasibility of such a project. Bringing this idea to reality with WSDG has been an amazing experience,” he said.
The new CR/Mixing Suite is the vision of Kelly, David Ivory and SRT Assistant Professor, Steve Wanna, seasoned industry pro’s with a passion for teaching the art of music & sound production. “With the addition of our new, cutting edge Mixing/Control Room, control room and isolation booth, we can now provide our students with hands-on experience in the entire scope of the recording process in a class room lab designed to function as a professional recording/mixing facility,” says Ivory, whose credits include three Gold and two Platinum (RIAA) awards for his work with such artists as: The Roots, Erykah Badu and Patti LaBelle.
Working with Philadelphia-based PZS Architects, WSDG developed a comprehensive production/teaching environment within the 1,000 square-foot. space. The precisely configured 450 square-foot fully isolated Control Room is supported by a 100 square-foot Iso Booth, a 70 square-foot. sound lock, a 110 square-foot green room and 150 square-foot storage/equipment closet. Outfitted with an SSL XL 9056K console, custom Augspurger speakers, a Genelec 5.1 Surround system, a host of top gear, and a producer’s desk positioned behind the mixing position, the new CR/classroom will provide students with a first-class education in the art of producing, recording and mixing.
“Montgomery County Community College has built a very strong Sound Recording and Music Technology program under the leadership of Michael Kelly and David Ivory, and our vision is that the new recording studio will take the program to the next level,” said Dr. Kevin Pollock, MCCC President. “The curriculum is very responsive to the current and future needs of the industry, and the faculty are second to none. The new studio will provide students with the opportunity to work hands-on with cutting-edge technology, which will give them unparalleled experience when they transfer or enter the industry. The new Center for Music Technology will enable students to achieve their dreams,” Pollock concludes.
“WSDG is at the hub of a surge in audio education projects,” reveals company founding partner, John Storyk, designer of NYC’s Electric Lady Studios for Jimi Hendrix and studios for Jay-Z, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Jazz At Lincoln Center and many recording and broadcast facilities around the world. “Our current production schedule includes major assignments for Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute – RPI, Concordia U, and Drexel U. It is encouraging to witness this growth of interest in pro audio careers, particularly at a time when so many fields of employment are shrinking.”
1. MCCC WSDG-designed Control Room
2. MCCC WSDG-designed Control Room view towards Iso Booth
3. MCCC WSDG-designed Control Room with students
4. MCCC Central Campus (exterior)
5. MCCC Presentation Drawing 1
6. MCCC Presentation Drawing 2
Photos Courtesy of MCCC/Matthew Wright
About Montgomery County Community College For more than 50 years, Montgomery County Community College has grown with the community to meet the evolving educational needs of Montgomery County. The College’s comprehensive curriculum includes more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as customized workforce training and certifications. Students enjoy the flexibility of learning at the College’s thriving campuses in Blue Bell and Pottstown, at the Culinary Arts Institute in Lansdale, and online through a robust Virtual Campus.
As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, the institution is positioned at the vanguard of national efforts to increase completion, improve learning outcomes, and remove barriers to access for students. The College also is recognized regionally and nationally for its sustainability leadership, work with military veterans, community service and service learning opportunities, and use of classroom technology. For more information, visit http://www.mc3.edu
About WSDG A media facility design and consulting firm, WSDG, has collaborated on over 3500 audio /video facilities worldwide. Credits include Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios (1969); NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center and, Le Poisson Rouge; broadcast facilities for The Food Network, ESPN, and WNET; major education complexes for NYU, The Art Institutes and Berklee College of Music, Valencia and Boston and media rooms for such corporate clients as Hoffman La Roche and Sony. Studio projects include NYC’s Jungle City Jay-Z, and Bruce Springsteen and film composers Carter Burwell (US), and A.R. Rahman (India). WSDG has collaborated with such noted architects as Frank Gehry, Norman Foster and Phillipe Stark.
An eleven-time winner of the NAMM TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design, WSDG maintains offices in New York, Miami, Buenos Aires (Argentina), Belo Horizonte (Brazil), Berlin (with ADA-AMC), and Basel (Switzerland), and representatives in Barcelona, Moscow, Guangzhou (China), Florence (Italy), Mexico City, Los Angeles and San Francisco.