by Paul Berezetsky
John Storyk is a legendary studio & acoustic designer whose work includes Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Jungle City Studios, Jay Z Studios, NYU, and Berklee College of Music. Since his first project designing a studio for Hendrix, John went on to build studios for artists such as Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Aerosmith, and many others. John tells us how he got into studio design, merging is background as an architect with his passion for music, when he was approached by Jimi Hendrix’s manager to design a rock club, a project that was later scrapped in favor of making it a recording studio and launched John’s career as the premier acoustical designer in the recording world.
John talks about some of the custom (and sometimes strange) requests his clients have in designing their studios and about the importance of every studio having a signature atmosphere that defines the look, feel, behavior and performance of the room, with the technology being a vital but secondary point of design. John talks about working with Alicia Keys and Ann Mincieli in designing Jungle City Studios and his approach to getting the most musicality out of designing a room.
John talks about his business partners and students from many different countries that went on to become employees and spread his business all over the world. He goes on to talk about some of the latest advances in acoustic materials and the direction of recording technology.
Tim Dolbear, writer for Mix Magazine and product expert for Magix Software calls in to talk shop and John gets into some of the nuts and bolts of acoustic design and the common challenges that present themselves, the most insidious being the huge expense of isolating a recording environment from the outside world. John advises that while isolating a room is always a costly proposition, getting a room to sound good is not that expensive and is mostly a matter of proper geometry.