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Floating Floors and Other Adventures in Sound Isolation

Just about the time you think you’ve heard them all, do you know what a gospel singer and a purple dinosaur have in common?

Can I float this one by you?

“Many times the ‘right’ facility for a recording space is not the ‘right’ space because of some inherent problems,” Richard Schrag said. “ But many times other attributes of the space win out over the technical requirements.”

Kirk Franklin’s studio in Arlington, Texas’ arts district is an example of repurposing a former warehouse and office space into a state-of-the-art recording facility. “Uncle Jessie’s Kitchen” faced a number of functional challenges in that changeover. But the location and mission of taking over the space won out.

The 9,000-square-foot building is built around an atrium-styled studio, which can be viewed from the second floor lounge area. The studio area features isolation and piano booths along with a state-of-the-art control room. With offices and studio space above and recording and public spaces below, the space takes advantage of the compactness and existing footprint of the building.

Located near the University of Texas Arlington, the building did need some help with sound isolation from the street as well as reworking of the structure. Street noise and vibration had to be minimized.

“One of our solutions to Kirk’s isolation challenge was the use of a floating floor, something we implemented in previous projects with television producer, Sheryl Leach, in studios in Allen, Las Colinas and Carrollton, Texas,” Richard continued. Leach is the creator and producer of Barney and Friends.

There’s the dinosaur connection.

Those studios all had several common challenges inherent in Kirk’s new digs:

  • Road vibration and noise close to the site
  • Low ceilings
  • Restrictive square footage

Each of those conditions led the RBDG team to implement a floating floor to isolate the transmission of vibration from the street. A floating, or sprung, floor reduces noise and vibration. So it was with the recent Kirk Franklin studio.

Lessons learned and applied.