NEW YORK: An intensive 4-year design/construction program by the Walters-Storyk Design Group has produced sixteen professional audio education studios for The Art Institutes’ educational institutions across the U.S. Developed to train students for jobs in the rapidly expanding sphere of high tech audio-related occupations, the studios provide cutting edge instruction in both theory and hands-on production techniques. The Art Institute of Michigan (Detroit) complex is currently under construction.
WSDG Partner/Senior Project Manager Romina Larregina has spearheaded the program since its inception. Working closely with company principal/architect/ acoustician John Storyk she has supervised each construction project to insure the highest level of pro audio educational professionalism. “John Storyk’s commitment to education was a primary catalyst behind The Art Institutes decision to retain WSDG for this major assignment,” Larregina says. “His extensive lecturing background, coupled with our 40-year + history of creating world-class studios for artists ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Alicia Keys and Bruce Springsteen, made us an obvious choice for this expansive, on-going project.”
“Each WSDG- IA studio was custom designed to meet specific aesthetic and logistic requirements,” Larregina reports. “Room and class size, technology selection, acoustics, a myriad of related issues dictated our design considerations. These are not ‘cookie cutter’ installations,” she emphasized. “They are designed to address every aspect of pro audio training, including digital and analogue technology.”
“Professional audio education has undergone a seismic shift over the past few years,” John Storyk remarked. “The traditional mega studio paradigm has evolved to a new generation of compact, powerful ‘vest-pocket’ and personal facilities which maximize the potential of affordable laptop-based recording and mixing technology. Concurrently, the new job category has flourished,” Storyk adds. “While traditional positions such as mixing, mastering and FOH engineering may have diminished; audio pros are now flourishing in such diverse occupations as perceptual audio coding, streaming, virtual acoustics, and forensic audio reconstruction. These new AI studios and their faculties are positioned to populate the mushrooming pro audio job market with highly trained and motivated candidates. WSDG is proud to have been associated with AI’s expansion.”
WSDG has created AI studios in Washington, DC, Nashville, Austin, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Philadelphia, Shaumburg (Illinois), San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Inland Empire (CA), Chicago, Austin, Minneapolis and now Detroit.
“We are expanding our professional audio production curriculum in recognition of the new job opportunities in a field far wider than traditional music recording and live sound mixing,” states John Mazzoni, president of The Arts Institutes. “Video game design and production; corporate, governmental, industrial, educational, broadcast and many other sectors rely on skilled professionals to produce high-quality audio content for a variety of creative, entertainment, and messaging purposes. Innovative applications ranging from audio forensics to ringtone production are expanding exponentially. Jobs exist now and entire new categories are emerging. We are committed to training our students to serve as valuable assets to these potential employers.”
In recent years, WSDG has created a number of large-scale audio education facilities. These include: NYU’s $6.5 million Steinhardt Center Music Technology Complex in NYC, teaching studios for the University of Colorado (Boulder) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).
WSDG is currently engaged in the largest and most ambitious audio education project in their 40+-year history. Teaching studios for two massive Berklee College of Music campuses: An ultra-modern complex in Valencia, Spain is rapidly approaching completion. And, a 22,000 sq. ft. audio facility for Berklee’s new $100 million, 16 story multi-purpose building is currently under construction at 160 Massachusetts Avenue, at the heart of the college campus.
Photos: 1. AI Chicago teaching studio control room designed by WSDG
2. AI Chicago teaching studio live room designed by WSDG
Walters-Storyk Design Group has designed over 3000 media production facilities in the U.S., Europe, the Far East and Latin America. WSDG credits range from the original Jimi Hendrix Electric Lady Studio in Greenwich Village to NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center performance complex, broadcast facilities for The Food Network, CBS and WNET, over twenty teaching studios for The Art Institutes around the US, and corporate clients such as Hoffman La Roche. Recent credits include Jungle City, NY’s major new destination studio; private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composer Carter Burwell, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk, Beth Walters, and Dirk Noy lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG is a seven-time winner of the prestigious TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design, including 2012 for Jungle City. WSDG maintains offices in NY, SF, Miami, Argentina, Brazil, Beijing, Germany, Mexico City, Spain and Switzerland.