Veteran sound recording engineer Jim Hawkins has been a part of Georgia’s music scene for many years. Starting out as a musician working with Otis Redding and other musical greats, he went on to help build and operate one of the first studios for Capricorn Records in Macon Georgia, as well as working as a location sound engineer for TV and film. He decided to move forward with a 30-year dream of creating his own recording studio, and engaged RBDG to help make it a reality. Studio 1093 was completed in March 2010, becoming the largest and most respected recording studio in Athens, GA.
Russ had known Jim for some time through the Synergetic Audio Concepts network. He was familiar with Jim’s work, and was able to easily assess his needs and develop a design plan for a facility that inspires musicians and provides a reference for mixing. The new facility features a spacious studio (1,000 sq.ft. with a 16 ft. ceiling height) which houses a Yamaha C5 grand piano and a vocal booth. A control room featuring Jim’s collection of vintage recording equipment and custom Precision Kinetics monitors, provides a comfortable working environment for long sessions with groups of any size and support spaces.
“Jim is a true music and audio guy and has always longed for a no-compromise facility of his own, with an inspiring live room and an accurate control room to work his projects,” says Berger. “We both determined that the old shell building structure had good bones and a great vibe for a purpose-built recording facility.”
In the studio, hard diffuse upper areas form a loosely coupled space that gives the sonic impression of a much larger space. This same acoustical technique was employed in the floor-to-7-ft. glass-enclosed vocal booth, with upper volumes reaching to the limits of the 16-foot sound-isolated acoustical cap ceiling. To maximize the usable functional space, RBDG employed a “leaky wall” technique in the rear control room wall to borrow volume by venting low frequencies into the adjacent support spaces. For daylighting purposes, a large area was opened up above the steel I-beam supporting the clear span width of the building’s northern face. A large glass block array was installed that bathes the studio area in soft natural light.
Studio 1093 was one of 13 studios selected for MIX Magazine’s “Class of” feature.