Our Team

What began nearly forty years ago as a one-man show has grown into a diverse team of experienced problem solvers. RBDG is a talented group of professional acousticians, architects, designers, and project managers with combined backgrounds in architecture, electrical and mechanical engineering, acoustics, interior design, physics, music, recording engineering, and studio operations.

Russ Berger, FASA

Russ Berger, FASA

Russ directs all the firm’s activities involving the design of audio recording, broadcast and television studios, as well as home theater and entertainment facilities. As president of Russ Berger Design Group, Inc., Russ enjoys being involved in every project. His past experience in the studio as musician, engineer and owner gives him unusual insight as a consultant into all aspects and phases of facility design. Russ is active in several professional organizations, and serves on the board of the National Council of Acoustical Consultants (NCAC).

Russ has over 2,500 designs to his credit. Representative projects include National Public Radio headquarters, Whitney Houston’s personal studio, Sweetwater, NFL Films headquarters, Sony Music, MasterMix, Paragon Studios, BiCoastal Music and Lakewood Church. In recognition of his work, the industry has presented him with eight TEC Awards for technical excellence and creativity in acoustics and studio design. Russ is one of the original licensees for performing TEF measurements, and is the 2007 recipient of the prestigious Heyser Award.

In addition, Russ has been invited to lecture nationwide on facilities planning, studio and small room acoustics, audio electronics and audio monitoring. He has published numerous articles on studio acoustics and the application of computer techniques in the design of acoustic and electroacoustic systems.

When time permits, Russ is a scuba diver, reader and chef. His favorite vacation – scuba diving with wife Elisa and daughter Danna on a remote island and accompanied by a good book.

Education

Physics and Electrical Engineering, University of Houston in Houston, Texas and Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas; 1971-1975.

Professional Memberships

NCAC – National Council of Acoustical Consultants (President 2008-2010)
ASA – Acoustical Society of America (Fellow)
AES – Audio Engineering Society of America
SMPTE – Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers
CEDIA – Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association

+ Connect with Russ on LinkedIn

Richard Schrag

Richard Schrag

A “charter member” of RBDG, Richard has been designing projects with Russ since the early 1980s. Richard is a project manager involved with all aspects of our recording studio and broadcast facility design. He is RBDG’s in-house engineering liaison for mechanical noise and vibration control, and technical power and grounding systems. He is also the firm’s most prolific writer and editor, whether in 20-page construction punch lists or as the author of a variety of technical articles in trade publications. The path that Richard took to reach this point in his career is quite unique in this industry; he actually intended to be doing what he’s doing. After obtaining an engineering degree focusing on architectural acoustics, Richard gained experience with other acoustical consulting firms prior to his association with RBDG.

Richard is an accomplished pianist and singer, and enjoys seeing both his musical and scientific proclivities finding new root in sons Steven and Michael. He and his wife Roxanne, college sweethearts in Iowa, have family spread out all across the country, providing a wealth of ready-made vacation destinations.

Education

Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering, Iowa State University, 1980
Masters of Science in Engineering Mechanics, Iowa State University, 1982

Professional Affiliations

NCAC – National Council of Acoustical Consultants (Board)
ASA – Acoustical Society of America
AES – Audio Engineering Society of America

+ Connect with Richard on LinkedIn

Jon Birney

Jon Birney

Jon is a graduate of the architectural engineering program at the University of Kansas with an emphasis in architectural acoustics. He applies his knowledge of sound measurement and analysis tools to provide valuable information in the acoustical evaluation and design of client projects.

Jon’s versatile CAD and acoustical analysis skills have contributed to finding solutions to sound isolation issues and mitigating vibration problems. His client roster includes home theaters, recording and broadcast studios, and corporate facilities with unique sound isolation challenges. As an active member of the Acoustical Society of America, Jon has made presentations at the biannual meetings, including research on the comparison of auralized and measured sound in reverberant spaces.

Growing up in a house filled with music reverberating from every wall, Jon naturally feels compelled to work in the field of architectural acoustics. After hours, he enjoys playing soccer and exploring Dallas to conduct careful “research” of the many delicious restaurants in the area.

Education

Bachelor of Science in Architectural Engineering, University of Kansas, Lawrence, 2009

Professional Affiliations

NCAC – National Council of Acoustical Consultants
ASA – Acoustical Society of America

+ Connect with Jon on LinkedIn

Dan Butko

Dan Butko

AIA, NCARB, LEED AP, ASA

Dan is a registered architect and a faculty member at The University of Oklahoma College of Architecture responsible for instructing students in design studios, materials, sustainable technology, and architectural acoustics. With over 23 years experience in design, construction, and teaching, Dan leads and sets the standards for design and production at RBDG. Dan and his wife Debra enjoy photography, playing musical instruments, and dabbling in home recording. They are avid fans of teaching their three children about music, architecture, and being creatively artistic in various mediums.

Education

Bachelor of Design in Architecture – The University of Florida, 1998
Master of Architecture (emphasis on natural acoustics) – The University of Florida, 2005

Professional Registrations and Affiliations

Registered Architect in multiple states
American Institute of Architects, AIA
National Council of Architectural Review Boards, NCARB
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, LEED AP
Robert Bradford Newman Student Award Fund Advisory Committee
Acoustical Society of America Technical Committee on Architectural Acoustics

Elisa Berger

Elisa Berger

Elisa handles the money matters, and whatever else falls in her lap. Her transition to tending RBDG’s clientele was a comfortable fit, having had years of training in classical piano and flute. She shares Russ’ goal in making sure every client with a desire to record music, broadcast audio, add a department of audio engineering, or simply build out a residential home theater comes away with the best design for their budget. Keeping the business on a personal basis comes naturally since she and Russ also share our clients’ passion for audio.

Prior to joining RBDG in 1990, Elisa worked in publishing and in education, teaching fine arts, history, publishing and literature on the high school and college levels.  Even after 1990, she kept her “toe in the water” through volunteer work within the local public school system, where contributions to scholastic artistic, literary and journalistic programs earned her a PTA Lifetime Membership.

Like Russ, off hours are happiest spent on a boat somewhere in the world planning the “next dive.”  While on dry land, though, she’s content writing, gardening, reading and sampling Russ’ latest culinary creations. Oh, and maintaining the growing Blockberger movie library that family and friends come to share in their home theater.

Education

Bachelor of Arts, University of North Texas, Denton, 1976
Graduate Studies in Linguistics at University of Texas at Dallas, 1978

+ Connect with Elisa on LinkedIn

Hyman Stansky

Hyman Stansky

Hyman’s key responsibilities at RBDG are client communications and project coordination. His role includes project management, advertising and publicity, maintaining our web presence, and communicating with current and potential clients. Hyman has a broad understanding of all aspects of recording studio management as well as audio production, both musically and technically. After working as a manufacturer’s sales representative in the music industry in the U.S. and Europe, Hyman’s passion for music and business led him to pursue building and owning a recording facility as a full time career.

In 2001, he built Harbor House Studios, a world class commercial recording studio designed by Russ Berger, where he has been arranging and producing music full time for songwriters and artists. Hyman and his wife Faith enjoy riding Segways, attending symphonies, and watching movies. He composes his own instrumental piano and orchestral music, which include two CD releases titled “Starting Over” and “Rest For The Journey.”

Education

Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, DeVry Institute of Technology, 1996

Professional Affiliations

SPARS – The Society of Professional Audio Recording Services

+ Connect with Hyman on LinkedIn

Russ Berger

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