Dave Malekpour Archives - Augspurger
Tag: Dave Malekpour

Studio Strategy: The Augspurger® Upgrade in Quad Studios’ Q2

Evolution is supposed to happen gradually – biologically speaking, a few thousand years is a nice brisk pace for major changes to unfold.Some elite New York City facilities are operating on a different timeline. This past February SonicScoop reported on the freshly renovated Studio Q1 at Quad Studios, where expanded space and massive new monitoring raised the game in their flagship room.As soon as the dust settled on that project, this midtown citizen – operating in the highly competitive address of 723 7th Avenue where multiple other commercial studios reside – was at it again.Next up in the queue was Studio Q2, which was about to get a renovation and unique amplification infusion of its own. As it turned out, Q2 became the very first installation site for the Augspurger® Duo 12.3 DSP, which puts Augspurger’s® famously powerful output into a more compact footprint.In this first article in the SonicScoop “Studio Strategy” series, where we look at the business decisions behind facility moves, Quadpartner Ricky Hosn explains the thought process behind the latest upgrades. Dave Malekpour, President of Professional Audio Designwhich integrated the Augspurger® system, also joined the conversation.
[caption id="attachment_55153" align="aligncenter" width="520" class="fbx-instance"]The sweet spot in Quad's Studio Q2 may sound massive, but the Augspurger® system is a compact new design.  The sweet spot in Quad’s Studio Q2 may sound massive, but the Augspurger® system is a compact new design.[/caption]
Ricky, Q2 has seen several evolutions. What necessitated the latest changes to that room?We like to keep the studio looking fresh. There are a lot of rooms in the city still rocking the ’80s look and that works fine for some people. We like to take a different approach as we think aesthetics is a huge factor in a person’s creativity.We are constantly updating the look of the studio and the performance of the rooms. Last year we did some major renovations to studio Q1 with John Storyk (of Walters-Storyk Design Group) and Dave Malekpour. Storyk came in and freshened up Q1, which was originally designed by the late Larry Swist. We then called on Dave Malekpour to upgrade our Augspurger® system to give the room a sonic boost.With the success that these renovations, it was only a matter of time before we started working on Studio Q2. We began work on Q2 this summer, this time using Quad’s design team to do the renovation. We then worked with PAD on designing a brand new Augspurger® system that is suited for a medium-sized room.You had several monitor systems to choose from. What made you go with the Augspurger® Duo 12.3 DSP?The driving factor behind the Augspurger® decision was the success of the system in Q1. We started discussing a more compact size Augspurger® system for Q2 with Malekpour almost right after we installed the system in Q1. Earlier this year the concept started becoming a reality.Considering Quad’s history in the rap scene, installing an Augspurger® system in Q2 was a no-brainer – the only reason this was not done before was the size of the Augspurger® system. The Duo 12.3 DSP was a perfect fit for our medium-size room.How would you describe the sonic impact of the new system? What is it best suited for?This system is loud! Our clients want to hear their music loud and clear. Not a lot of speakers out there will give you the fidelity an Augspurger® can produce at high volume. With two 18″ subs, this system will rattle your brains.A lot of music producers want to work in an environment where their music is heard as it would be in a club or live venue. These Augspurgers® will do that while maintaining the clarity needed to produce in a controlled studio environment.The majority of our work is pop/dance and rap music. The Augspurger® system does a great job for these genres. In fact, during the testing and tuning phase we go through all sorts of music, and I must say there wasn’t anything that I heard that didn’t sound amazing.
[caption id="attachment_55148" align="alignright" width="300" class="fbx-instance"]Another angle on the refreshed Q2. (click to enlarge) Another angle on the refreshed Q2. (click to enlarge)[/caption]

Dave, what made the Augspurger® DUO 12.3 DSP system the right match for Q2?We developed the Duo 12.3 DSP system to address a growing sector of the studio market where users want to have the full range and power of an active Augspurger® system, but in a smaller footprint.The system we built for Q2 is a 3-way full range system featuring proprietary Augspurger® high output reference drivers including two GA12X-8 12” drivers for midrange, the Augspurger® GA4K-BER compression driver with 4” 99.8% pure beryllium diaphragm for high frequency, and the GA18X4 18” LF driver. It’s all powered by Augspurger® DSP-3/2500 3-way DSP controlled amps with 2500W/channel (LF 1000w, MF 1000w & HF 500w). These amplifiers offer extremely low distortion from 1w to 96% of power.Quad’s Q2 system is based on the successful Duo 15.3 DSP system employed in Q1. Quad wanted to unify the two control rooms so their clients could more easily work in one or the other and get the same sound quality, tuning, and output to match clients’ requirements.With the Duo 12.3, Q2 now offers a very similar sonic performance with just a bit less SPL. One feature of these systems is high output with accurate low-end performance down to 20hz. Clients using Quad are often looking to hear that full range when tracking of mixing. This allows you to hear how low frequency will be balanced in a way you can’t achieve with a nearfield speaker. Clients wanted to get that same ability in Q2 and now they’re able to book the room to the same clients who were happy in Q1 without them feeling they took a step down. The room is intimate, powerful and most importantly accurate.Another key feature of the system is its compact footprint and ability to be installed freestanding. The amplifiers are rear-mounted, also minimizing needs for additional racks, ventilation or wiring. Amps are elegantly mounted on a custom designed Sound Anchor stand designed to mount both the Duo 12 cabinets and Sub 18’s directly below. This allowed us to fit a main monitor system in a room which previously could only house a midfield.Was there anything further customized about the system that PAD installed in Q2?Though we offer a variety of paint choices, and finishing options, Quad choose our standard Matte Black finish with Black Metallic Speaker Clamps which is a classic look, matching the Q1 finish.As Quad was also the beta-test environment we did end up trying two different sets of drivers to find which worked best to get the same sound as we have in the 215’s in Q1. The final selection has become our standard driver for this system as they are made of extremely light material with advanced voice coil technology, offering ultra-fast response and high excursion.
[caption id="attachment_55147" align="alignright" width="300" class="fbx-instance"]caption Additional seating space is another aspect of the upgrade.[/caption]

Dave, how would you characterize the sonic results that were achieved in Q2 with the system?I will admit that I am highly biased on this, but this system’s performance, accuracy and excitement exceeded all of our expectations.The Duo 12 is an amazingly balanced speaker with crystal clear response from the deepest lows to vocals, to the extreme highs. Partly because of its speed, imaging from the Augspurger® horn is stunning, with the ability to hear detail and find subtleties in mix placements not heard on many other systems.
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Louder than the Crowd: Quad Amps Up Studio Q1

The Legion of Boom – a.k.a. the vaunted defense for the Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks – was just in town. During their stay in New York City, a visit to Quad Recording Studios’ newly renovated Studio Q1 would have been most appropriate.That’s because things most definitely go “boom” in this Midtown facility’s flagship production studio, which was recently redesigned to make additional space for its high-end clientele. And while they were at it, Quad partners Ricky Hosn and Alessio Casalini have made one of New York City’s loudest rooms even louder.[caption id="attachment_407" align="aligncenter" width="520"] Bigger, badder, LOUDER — the upgraded Q1.[/caption]Making SpaceFeedback was positive when Q1 launched in 2011, but not overwhelmingly so. The control room provided world-class acoustics, a strong Augspurger® sound system, and attracted artists including Mary J. BligeA$AP RockyWaleNeYoSara BareillesTravis Scott and Elle Varner among others. But at just 320 square feet, its original design proved to be too compact for star artists and producers that required room for their entourage — or simply to stretch out on the couch.For the next phase, Quad recruited noted studio designer John Storyk (Electric Lady, Jungle City) of Walters-Storyk Design Group. The remit: maximize available real estate, then pump up precision and power while he was at it.“The concept behind Q1 is building a studio with the producer in mind,” Hosn says. “Everything here is within arm’s reach. It’s a large format room, but the same time one person can run the ship with an easy workflow.”Between the Avid ICON control surface (which remains), the gear-packed producer’s desk in the back (which doesn’t), and frequent clients like 6’7” rapper J. Cole, there simply wasn’t sufficient square footage for work to get comfortably done. Following the update, however Q1 now has breathing room, due to some major tweaks.
[caption id="attachment_49879" align="alignright" width="300" class="fbx-instance"] (l-r) Quad partners Alessio Casalini and Ricky Hosn[/caption]

First off, Storyk oversaw a one-foot pushback of the rear wall, followed by the installation of a custom Storyk back wall diffusor. In addition, the contents of the old producer’s desk were split off into two new custom Storyk-designed racks on either side of the ICON. The result: creation of the much need legroom in the back area, as well as allowing for the addition of a couch, providing a “chill” factor that didn’t previously exist in the room.“It seems like it would be easy, but we had to rewire about five miles of cable,” notes Casalini. “We were pleasantly surprised it hit no problems whatsoever, but that’s because the wiring was done right the first time – that makes it a lot easier. Everything is on DL’s, so the hardest part is tearing down the soffits and getting everything out. These cables are heavy, and when you have 10 snakes together and you’re trying to pull each one individually, that’s the tedious part!”Awesome Augspurger®One listen to the room’s recharged Augspurger® system confirms that the work was worth it.The sound in Q1 is extremely powerful, while remaining clean and clear across the frequency spectrum. The bass is huge, but it doesn’t muffle the mids and highs. In a way that can only be experienced in the loudest and most accurate world-class rooms, Q1 is a full body ride – it’s a thrilling way to experience music, whether the source is a rough mix or finished track.“This Augspurger® system is a joint effort between John Storyk and Dave Malekpour of Professional Audio Design – any time you can have the speaker installer and the studio designer work hand-in-hand, it definitely enhances the studio quality,” Hosn says. “When you change something in the room, you’re changing the sound in there too – so if we were ever going to change the speakers, this would have been the right time.”Upgrades to the Augspurgers® were performed by Malekpour’s team at Professional Audio Design, taking advantage of the latest amp, tweeter and subwoofer advances available.“The system we originally installed at Quad Q1 included the GA215V dual 15” vertical mains, powered by Bryston 14B SST for the 15’ mid frequency drivers and Bryston 4B SST for the High Frequency Horn,” Malekpour explains. “That system was controlled by a BSS OmniDrive FDS-366T stereo 3-way DSP based speaker management system, providing system equalization and crossovers, and the subs were a Yorkville powered sub.“The system upgrades include new 4” Beryllium Diaphragms specially built for us by TruExtent, and fitted to our high output compression driver,” he continues. “The sub system installed is a pair of Augspurger® GA118S single 18” subs which are fitted with our proprietary 18” driver capable of 20-200hz, 97 db sensitivity, power handling of up to 2000 watts and almost 3” excursion.  The cabinet is front ported and optimized to perform flat down to 24hz.”Meanwhile, system power is provided by a pair of Augspurger® DSP-3/2500 – 3 channel Pulse Width Modulation amps with 2500 total watts: 1000 watts to the sub, 1000 watts to mids and 500 watts to the  high frequency horn. “This amp has some amazing specifications with .02% THD (total harmonic distortion) from 1 watt to 1 Kilowatt,” says Malekpour, “and one of the fastest transient responses in any amp I have tested.  It also has no fans, runs very cool and needs standard 120v AC.Quad’s Q1 Augspurger® system is designed to provide high output with detail and accuracy, and can be tuned with the onboard DSP via USB, allowing adjustment of the curve to complement the room’s performance.“The DSP is very high resolution and designed for the ability to align timing of drivers, phase, equalization and limiters if you want to protect the system,” Malekpour adds. “The equalization provides up to 16 FIR filters per band if needed, though usually we only need to use three or four filters per band. The EQ can be designed for bandwidth, Q, center frequency, gain and slope.”“Personally I feel my brain shaking when the volume is turned up!” Hosn laughs. “This system brings the excitement of a live show. It’s like being in a club.”
[caption id="attachment_49878" align="aligncenter" width="520" class="fbx-instance"] The turbocharged Augspurgers® take Q1 up to 11 — HUNDRED.[/caption]
Evolution/EssentialWord is getting around. Sessions at the new Q1 have included Natalie ImbrugliaHilary DuffTrey Songz and NeYo.Battling it out in NYC’s still heavily competitive world-class recording scene, Quad has rarely been one to sit still. Evolution is a constant here on the 10th floor of 723 7th Avenue, with plenty more action on the way.There is a highly stylish new luxury hotel-style lounge affixed to Q1, which takes full advantage of Quads uniquely inspiring view of Times Square. Meanwhile, a third studio, Q3 – is also in the works and should be on line in the next month or so.According to Ricky Hosn, the reason to keep reformulating an ambitious Manhattan facility is simple. “The people that don’t aren’t in business anymore,” he says. “You have to be observant of the trends, and always be on top of changes in the ways that producers and artists prefer to work.”— David Weiss
[caption id="attachment_49876" align="aligncenter" width="520" class="fbx-instance"] The relocated rear wall and producer’s desk make a major difference in legroom.[/caption] 
[caption id="attachment_49882" align="aligncenter" width="520" class="fbx-instance"] Get a fresh perspective from the Q1 Lounge.[/caption] 
[caption id="attachment_49880" align="aligncenter" width="520" class="fbx-instance"]A warm reception awaits. A mod reception ushers you in.[/caption]
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