Kirk Franklin Studio
A run-down shell of a building in the arts district of old downtown Arlington, Texas, proved to be a perfect opportunity for Grammy-winning gospel artist Kirk Franklin, who reclaimed and restored the structure as a personal recording studio and creative production space. Situated across from the UTA campus in the “Mid-Cities” region between Dallas and Fort Worth, the facility is near Kirk’s residence so he can better realize his priority of being home with his family when not performing. The studio is named Uncle Jessie’s Kitchen in honor of Kirk’s long-time friend and personal assistant.
The 9,000 sq.ft. building houses a mix/tracking control room grouped with a studio and two iso booths, a production control room and a shared central equipment room. The control room, designed for creative collaboration and music recording and mixing, has at its core an SSL console and a pair of Quested Q412s with a pair of custom QSB118 subs. The second floor has offices for studio staff and Kirk’s record label, Fo Yo Soul Entertainment. Both functions share common spaces that include a lounge area and a pantry.
While the location is ideal for Kirk and his team, an active rail line cuts through the arts district, with hundreds of cars passing by daily. Since the studio is less than 100 yards from the freight trains, airborne noise and ground-borne vibrations were a major concern. Full floating construction was implemented to mitigate vibration, and room-within-a- room inner-shell construction renders the passing trains inaudible, a notable feat given the NC-15 background noise level in the studio.
To obtain the ceiling height required for good acoustics in the technical spaces, the existing second floor in those areas was removed, and portions of the building structure and roof were reconstructed. The volume of the studio is treated to have a neutral acoustical response, with ambient enhancement provided by an electronic architecture system. RBDG has employed electronic architecture on many projects, but this was the first-ever installation of the next-generation scalable eCoustic Systems prototype. The electronic architecture system allows the artist and engineer to determine what kind of ambient environment is desired, selectable with a remote touchpad.