Acoustics matter. Whatever the
acoustic signature of the recording studio is, your album is going to inherit
that sound, good or bad.
Good acoustic design is the difference between having a big room that sounds like a gymnasium or a room that sounds warm and musical. Controlling the acoustics of large acoustic spaces involves not just dealing with the surfaces of walls but the actual internal structure of the walls, ceilings and floor. Surreal Studios was designed from the ground up as a recording studio. Every surface in the studio has been designed to enhance the musical properties of sound.
The architecture in our recording room lends itself to being naturally and warmly ambient or in-your-face close, depending on mike technique. Within the main room are two more rooms for isolating instruments. There are alcoves for instruments so the entire band can play together in a single space without headphones.
The recording room is well-tuned and free of quirky echoes and resonances, but if you need more clatter and clang, there are many other halls and tall tiled areas outside of the main studio space that can accommodate your inner John Bonham.
The main studio is a beautifully designed 16' tall acoustic marvel. But it's not alone in its sonic awesomeness. There's also the Control Room.
The Control Room features a custom designed 14' expansion ceiling with a specialized geometric design to prevent deceiving reflections from affecting mix decisions. The monitor signal flow from the ProTools HD system goes either directly to B&W nearfields or to the huge (220 lb. each!) Westlake BBSM12 soffit-mounted speaker system. The speakers are mounted above sixteen feet of angled double-pane control room glass allowing a full view into the entire recording space without any sound leakage.
And if that wasn't enough, the climate-controlled studio and control room are both rooms-within-rooms so they are completely isolated from each other and the outside world.
The Studio and Control Room are designed by Jeff Cooper. Jeff Cooper also designed The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Theater and Warner Hollywood Dubbing Stage as well as other major recording studios in Seattle and for Skywalker Ranch. He was chosen for the musicality and naturalness of his acoustic design, which in turn lends itself to better performances by the recording artist.