TOM HEDDEN MUSIC, inc.
The Pinelands, NJ
So this studio doesn’t fit into the category of this blog in any way, shape or form but in its own way, it belongs in the story. It’s my humble abode and having just finished a total renovation of the place, I thought it fitting to give a few details about the project and thank a few of the key contributors.
Like many modern studios, my place is really a control room in which I often record. The room was not converted from a basement or a bedroom; it’s always been a studio, at least partially. When we first built the space, my wife’s office shared the back corner. That circumstance was fine when I was only here part time and she was able to enjoy sharing my “process” on an occasional basis. I think it was about halfway through two solid weeks of editing the drumline tracks on a library project (featuring drumline) when she started to realize that she wasn’t really enjoying it anymore. Imagine hearing a four bar phrase of marching snare drums over and over for an hour or two while you’re doing complex math and you can start to empathize with her plight. However, she is a very patient woman and she soldiered on with a smile, only rarely asking me to “maybe try some headphones?”
During my first few years in the room, I moved around a great deal. Facing this way and that and getting varying results, it seemed like I was constantly experimenting. I asked a few savvy friends to weigh-in on my set-up and then largely ignored their sage advice and kept playing around with literally everything in the room. Finally, I decided it was time to do it right and called my old friend, Russ Berger (http://www.rbdg.com).
Russ came up to visit and see the space. Unfortunately for him, he arrived at the same moment as one of the nastier respiratory viruses I’ve ever had to suffer through which I promptly gave to him. After a few hours of moving speakers around, testing frequency responses and talking about how the room should function his brow furrowed and he asked me, “You want perfume and band-aids or should we try and fix this place?” I pondered his question for about twenty seconds and realized it was time to get serious… and move my equipment to the basement for a few months.
Russ gave me my marching orders and headed off to Texas with a pocket full of Honey-Lemon Ricola cough drops and a slight fever. Over the next few months I would send him bi-weekly emails that were about evenly divided between updates and questions. He would answer like any Zen Master, with questions. The house filled with sheetrock dust and then paint and glue fumes and finally, blue insulation dust (made from shredded blue jeans). New sheet rock, new floor, new ceiling, new speakers and stands, new layout, new acoustic treatments in new places and a new rug. The rug was a present from my long-suffering wife, whose office is now in a different part of the house. When she gave it to me, she commented (without irony, because she’s never seen “The Big Lebowski”), “It really ties the room together.”
It sounds great, it feels great, it looks great and now I can get back to work…
So to make this all happen, I relied very heavily on the kindness of a few key people. Thank you!
First and foremost, my family
Obviously, Russ Berger and Russ Berger Design Group
David Mikautadze at Sweetwater, he just knows… Call him.
Bob Worzalla and Sound Anchors for a very last-minute kick save.
Ron Brooks at Cavanaugh Wall Systems for doing the right thing
And of course, our ex-Mayor for a week of very long days
For those interested in brands:
Focal SM9’s OMG!!!! (Anybody want to buy some Adams?)
Filz Felt in the front of the room
pArt Science in the back of the room
Clipso on the ceiling
Real Traps (for added absorption)