Studio Immersive, a state of the art Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 recording and mixing facility in Johannesburg, South Africa, is attracting projects from many top artists, record labels and production companies thanks to its combination of excellent acoustics, first rate equipment and highly experienced staff.
Equipped with a PMC monitoring system in a 7.1.4 formation and Metric Halo conversion, Studio Immersive has a huge live room that can house up to 24 musicians at any one time. Alongside the final mixing and music composition work it tackles every day, the facility has also delivered over 300 tracks for Apple Music for artists such as Tresor, Black Coffee, Lojay and the late South African rapper AKA. In addition, it has become one of the first South African sound studios to mix a locally produced Netflix Series (Ludik, directed by Giant Films’ Ian Gabriel) in Dolby Atmos.
The key players behind Studio Immersive are Adam Howard, head of audio and music post facility Howard Audio, and Robin Kohl, owner of music recording company Jazzworx. Howard, who is ranked as one of South Africa’s top music composers and music supervisors, had been looking to expand his own audio facility when he was approached by Kohl who had sold his own studio and wanted to rent space in Howard’s premises.
“We didn’t have room for him, so I suggested an alternative – that we both take on the 300 square meter office suite next to mine, which had been empty since lockdown, and use the space to create the best sounding recording studio we possibly could,” Howard explains. “Studio Immersive is our lovechild – expensive but very beautiful! Although Howard Audio and Jazzworx remain separate companies, this facility is a natural coming together that allows us to tackle new immersive audio work and larger ensemble recordings.”
Originally from the UK, Adam Howard is a classically trained musician who moved to South Africa in 1997 to join the Pretoria State Theatre Orchestra as its principal trumpet player. He set up Howard Audio in the early 2000’s and his main facility now has three very busy audio post studios.
“When I set up Howard Audio, I built a team of people around me who could look after the equipment and installation side of the business so that I could remain on the creative side, composing music,” Howard says. “I didn’t want anything to get in the way of that. This approach has served me well and I certainly relied on expert advice when it came to building Studio Immersive.”
A key person in the design and build of the facility was Jacob van der Westhuizen, CEO of top South African equipment distributor Benjamin Pro Audio. It was Jacob who recommended PMC speakers for the facility, although he didn’t have to do much persuading because Adam Howard was already familiar with them.
“I have listened to many PMC systems in other studios, including some of the top audio houses in the world,” he says. “PMC just seem to be the choice of many of the musicians, composers, and producers that I respect. Jacob has a PMC system in his demo room in Cape Town so I went to have a listen and it was a no brainer. They sounded amazing.”
The system installed at Studio Immersive consists of PMC8-2 XBD monitors for left and right channels, a PMC8-2 for the centre channel, two PMC8 subs and PMC Ci65 monitors driven by Line Research 88C03 amplifiers for surround and height.
Howard explains: “This was an expensive project and the monitoring alone accounted for 25% of the cost. The fact is, though, that they sound amazing. Calibration was done by Jacob and Dolby to the same specification as top producers such as Greg Wells, who also uses PMC. Everything we do in this studio translates so well and because the monitors sound so good I know that I am mixing to the best of my ability. This room allows me to be very confident in all the decisions I make.”
For more information about Studio Immersive, please visit: www.howardaudio.co.za/
PMC is a UK-based, world-leading manufacturer of loudspeaker systems, the tools of choice in all ultra-critical professional monitoring applications, and also for the discerning audiophile at home, where they provide a transparent window into the recording artist’s original intentions. PMC products use the best available materials and design principles, including the company’s proprietary Advanced Transmission Line (ATL™) bass-loading technology, cutting-edge amplification and advanced DSP techniques to create loudspeakers that present sound and music exactly as it was when first created, with the highest possible resolution, and without coloration or distortion. For more information on our clients and products, see www.pmc-speakers.com.
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