Audio Engineering Society

Chicago Section

Meeting Review, September 28, 2004

other meeting reports

9/28/04 Meeting Highlights
by Jeff Segota

On September 28th, the Chicago Section visited Pressure Point Recording Studios, located along Record Row in Chicago. Pressure Point is a recently renovated music recording facility, and the purpose of the meeting was to learn about the design considerations with respect to sound isolation and room acoustics. About 50 people attended the meeting, which was held jointly with the Engineering and Recording Society of Chicago.




Section Chair Gary Kahn kicked off the meeting by introducing studio manager and host Chris Schneider. Mr. Schneider gave a brief explanation the goals for the renovation, which were musical room acoustics, high sound and vibration isolation between rooms, and an esthetically pleasing space.


Kirkegaard Associates provided acoustical consulting, and design team representative Scott Pfeiffer spoke next. The team took great care in isolation detailing, taking into account the building’s limited floor-to-floor height. A secondary window within the live room provides the primary acoustic isolation from the street noise of Michigan Avenue, keeping the historic façade unaltered. The team designed the shape and finish of the control room to accommodate 5.1 as well as stereo recording and mixing, and bass traps were designed after taking room-mode measurements both mid- and post-construction to optimize their effectiveness in providing an even response.


As Mr. Pfeiffer explained, the live room features an adjustable wall of hinged panels, allowing the user to choose a surface that is reflective, absorptive, diffusive, or a combination of the three. Curtains can also be deployed over a rough stone mosaic wall to provide either diffuse reflection or absorption. The result of these variable elements is a space that has a wide range of acoustic conditions with ease of adjustment.


Four large wireways link all rooms to the equipment and control room console. Special attenuation detailing was incorporated at wall penetrations, and wire runs at the floor were coordinated within the isolation floor system to prevent sound leaks between the various rooms.

Following the presentation, attendees were treated to a tour of the new space. The tour started at the drum room and isolation booth, located at one end of the long, narrow facility. The tour then proceeded into the live room, where the adjustable wall was seen first-hand. Next came the control room, where samples of both stereo and surround recordings were reproduced for the guests. The tour ended in a mutlti-purpose room on the other side of the control room.