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LOS ANGELES — Today there is a large selection of knockdown studio furniture components available that allows anything from a small home studio to large complex studio configurations to be built. These ready-made modular pieces make it easier than ever to build a professional-looking studio.
Many factors must be considered when deciding on custom-designed and -built studio furniture, such as room size, shape, and any special needs that will ultimately define the function of the studio.
At KPWR(FM) in Los Angeles we had three very different studio projects, each with its own challenges and furniture needs. The three studios — a mix room, a morning show production studio and a network operations studio — were in varying shapes and sizes with distinctively different functions.
The mix room is a stand-up studio for DJ mixers that is utilized about 14 hours a day. The mix room studio furniture needed good sightlines with the on-air studio, a specific counter height, ample tabletop space for DJ equipment and enough rack space for ancillary equipment.
The morning show production studio serves the fast-paced needs of the nationally syndicated “Big Boy’s Neighborhood.” This studio’s furniture needed to accommodate a 20-frame audio console along with a digital audio workstation and several racks for recording/ancillary equipment.
The network operations studio controls the affiliate feeds for “Big Boy’s Neighborhood.” It is the smallest of the three studios and also functions as voice-tracking and backup air studio.
Of the Omnirax offerings, their custom-designed studio furniture best met the needs and unique functions of our three studio projects.
We started with a hand sketch of each room with dimensions and an initial concept of the furniture. Several Web meetings were scheduled to work with Omnirax’s designers in real time to create three-dimensional CAD drawings as we watched and commented. Special features were added to each studio design to incorporate compartments for Krone blocks, cable trays and mobile equipment racks.
The completed drawings were sent to us in PDF form for printing and submittal to the programming department for review. Omnirax was able to update the designs quickly based on our input to reach final approved drawings.
One tremendous hurdle we had to overcome with our studio projects was how to minimize downtime because the morning show production and network operations studios are used five days a week. The mix room is used seven days a week. Omnirax’s custom furniture is built in a knockdown fashion that allows for easy assembly and disassembly yet, when assembled, does not have the knockdown furniture look. Their sleek design and rounded counter top corners make for a professional finish.
Upon receiving all of our furniture, it was assembled in a storage room where custom wiring harnesses to interconnect all equipment were fabricated by Immaculate Connections.
Since the Omnirax knockdown furniture and the custom harnesses allowed for simple disassembly and relocation, consequently, each studio was “burned in,” thoroughly tested, disassembled, moved and reassembled. This process reduced the actual downtime for each studio from about two weeks to less than two days.
All work for the installation of each studio was done over a weekend because everything was prewired and debugged.
The author is chief engineer with KPWR(FM) radio.
For information, contact Philip Zittell at Omnirax in California at (800) 332-3393or visit www.omnirax.com.