“Manifold must be one of the finest music-dedicated studios built in the world in the last decade. ” — Alex Oana, Manifold Recording: Inside the Miraverse
Manifold Recording is honored to have been nominated for a TEC Award for Outstanding Creative Achievement in the Studio Design Project category. We congratulate and thank Wes Lachot Design, and especially Wes Lachot, who succeeded brilliantly in helping to realize this ambitious project. If a picture is worth a thousand words, and then the 10,000 pictures I have taken of this project during its four years of construction suggest just how much could be said about what he conceived, drew, detailed, and then argued for in its implementation. But there is much more to this creative achievement than meets the eye, or the ear for that matter.
“we wanted to reboot the music industry by reinventing the role of the recording studio”
When I first sat down with Wes, he asked the question that every studio designer must ask: what do you want to do? I told him that we wanted to reboot the music industry by reinventing the role of the recording studio. We agreed that we would need to honor the laws of physics (especially acoustics), but in all other ways we would seek to be the change we wanted to see in the world. We would be a model for acoustic and technological excellence, but we would also be a model of transparency and collaboration. We would be an ideal environment for musical performance, but we would also be a model for entrepreneurial innovation and economic sustainability. We would honor the great teachings of organic architecture and sacred geometry by becoming the best example of those teachings we could be. All of this was discussed before Wes put pencil to paper and began drawing the lines that ultimately became footings, walls, structures, buildings, and operating commercial facilities. In accepting this commission, Wes accepted the whole of the project, and he delivered brilliantly, even when certain aspects seemed to be in irreconcilable conflict. Such is the nature of an outstanding creative achievement.
At long last the acoustic cloud in the Music Room has been completed! With 60 panels totaling very nearly 900 sq ft (nearly 1800 sq ft of active acoustic performance since both sides are used), it is a thing of beauty to behold:
But if you look more deeply, many more layers of beauty await…
I’ve been away for two weeks, but back now and happy to see the progress that’s been made. As you may surmise from the title, the walls are now all of 16″ tall, but they will be getting taller (24′ when finished), and in anticipation of that there’s a whole pile of scaffolding waiting to be assembled:
In case you have only been reading the blog and not visiting the website, I have news for you: the website has been fully refreshed.
Big thanks go to Wes Lachot, who showed me a preview of his new website and got my imagination all fired up. His website uses flash, which I continue to eschew, but his design was so compelling that I had to figure out how to implement it without resorting to flash. I studied CSS, discovered a few tricks, and am pretty happy with the results.
All of the images are newly rendered, and the 3d walkthrough has also been updated.
I have finished another virtual walkthrough of the studio. In this one the lighting is more intimate/subdued. And there’s a much better view of the console in the control room.
Manifold Recording—late at night
I never thought I’d be giving a shout out to CNN from this blog, but the article they wrote about Wynton Marsalis and his musical ministry was exceptional.
The story begins “Jazz musician Wynton Marsalis knows how important education is for youth, but what feeds their minds and souls, he says, often lies beyond traditional classroom walls.” Amen!
Growing up in New York City, I had always taken the City’s icons as givens, as if Tiffany’s, or The Metropolitan Opera, or the Empire State Building had always been a part of the city, because they were all part of the city by the time I became aware of them. When Wynton Marsalis co-founded Jazz at Lincoln Center, he changed the architectural, musical, and cultural landscape of the city, thereby also changing the fixed points of reference that I had presumed were immutable since I was a boy. Something really new in New York? Amazing! (more…)
We’re getting down to the last nitty-gritty details before pouring the slab. One of those details is the precise question of how we’re going to build the rear of the control room, which will incorporate a symmetric 4-step QRD built from RPG blocks. We’ve had a general idea ever since Wes Lachot first drew that page of the plans more than a year ago, but now we need to know the exact answers, down to the sixteenth of an inch. So we went to the field to see how our theories comported with reality…
James Taylor has been a blessing to me since hearing his records in high school more than 20 years ago. While I did also listen to music that was louder (Jimi Hendrix) or bigger (Led Zepplin) or more highly produced (The Beatles), his voice, his guitar playing, and the lyrics he sang combined to create for me a touchstone of musical purity and beauty that actually sustained me through some deep and dark noreastern winters. So James, if you are reading this, thank you!
This year James Taylor is promoting Covers, a new album of old music he didn’t write. And as he explains in the liner notes of his CD, that’s nothing new. And there’s yet more “everything old is new again” as he talks about his recording process…
If you are like me, you probably cannot wait to see what Manifold Recording is going to look like. If you have two and a half minutes, you can get a glimpse by viewing my shiny new video walkthrough. Unfortunately WordPress does not tolerate very well the embedded object that plays the video, so rather than mess up the formatting of every entry that follows, please visit the Studio page of the website and roll your mouse over the image you find there.
The video will play in 1/2 size format and also 720p HD. It run 02:31 mm:ss and it’s very nice!
Wow! I sure got a lot of feedback on my first set of sketches. Here’s my second attempt at configuring a 48 channel Legacy Plus with integrated patchbays and options section into the control room of Manifold Recording. The major change is that now we have the master section and 16 faders to the left of the acoustic center and we have 32 faders and 6 echo returns to the right. This puts 32 inline channels (64 faders!) within the immediate reach of the engineer, while keeping the master section and most of the remaining channels in reasonable reach without moving from the sweet spot.
For higher-resolution renderings, click on the following links: