The BarCoe Studio expands

The transformation of The BarCoe Studio to BarCoe Studios has breathed new life into a vision Sean Barcoe had in 2014 years back when The Barcoe Studio started its journey of taking regional musicians to the world stage.

Barcoe founded the first studio had a dream to set up a space where artists could fully express their creativity. He said “From the very outset, we had world-class ambition. We knew that our region was a universal contender for quality and excellence. We wanted to showcase the talent in the region to a global audience. This studio epitomises that dream turning into an actuality.”

The new facility has been designed and built for video content creation for music artists, live music production and recording, video, and audio editing. It houses a live room with a stage and space enough to record a full orchestra, if needed, a songwriting room for artists to work on their creations, a vocal booth, a drum room, a video editing suite, and a main control/mastering room. Neumann equipment has been installed with valuable advice from acknowledged technical and audio experts to match their standards.

“We have been fortunate with this project in the sense that our relationship with the end user is already well established. This has meant that we have been involved from the concept to its delivery and established links between the end user and other vendors to ensure that the design complies with standards related to how the content will be consumed,” Ryan Burr, Head of Technical Sales & Application Engineering, Professional Audio at Sennheiser Middle East said. “This includes following guidelines set by Dolby for room configuration and loudspeaker positioning to create and mix Atmos for Music content. Thankfully, this project has been relatively smooth and has certainly given us the time to feel smooth because of our early involvement. That’s not to say it hasn’t been without its challenges but those are more from a construction point of view and the setting up of the IT network.”

“Because Barcoe Studios is unique in the region, in terms of how advanced the Neumann technology they are using is, they will gain interest and paying custom from all over the region. This will not only include local artists but also corporate entities and government establishments looking to have their next promo video or music as unique as current technology will allow. This return on investment is what funds the advancement of the facility and Sean’s passion for what he does. It is also a future investment for us here at Sennheiser in terms of what he does next,” he added.

The Barcoe Studios facility will give the artists of the region a place to hone their skills whilst learning about the technology but will also show them how this technology can be used as part of their process to create more unique content.

The studio has recorded five EPs, all produced in this revolutionary space, and filmed three music videos for our label’s artists. The stage, fully equipped and rigged, has played host to these productions and more.

The approach to the studio’s acoustic design was matched by the choice of equipment. To this end, Neumann was the go-to partner. It is fully equipped with a state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 setup, with aspirations to expand to a 9.1.6 configuration.

The paramount consideration in the studio’s design was the Atmos room, its name a nod to the immersive Dolby Atmos technology that represents the zenith of auditory experience.

The dimensions and specifications of this room were not left to chance; they were engineered to precise standards, creating an auditory sanctuary.  Following closely in importance was the live room, a space designed to serve multiple purposes: from recording audio to hosting video shoots to hosting live performances and facilitating album launch events.

The essence of the space is defined by the synergy of sound and sight, performance, and presentation. The studio is now advancing into the realm of virtual production, with a vision to incorporate spatial audio into live music experiences. The facility is a 360-degree content creation powerhouse, a one-stop shop offering audio and video production, artist management, and mentoring.

The Barcoe Studio was already equipped with the first M-49V Set, an array of U87 and TLM-103 but this project is more about the monitors with every functional room in the facility now fitted with Neumann Monitors. Video editing has KH – 310s and song writing has two KH-120s.

The design process for the main control room required Sennheiser’s TAE members Ryan Burr and Marcus Blight to use Dolby’s DAARDT room configuration tool to come up with the optimum loudspeaker configuration.

The AES-67 network then needed to be configured using a Merging Technologies Anubis as the main hub for routing and control by the TAE team onsite. Only then could the process of aligning the loudspeakers to the room be completed and checked using the MA-1 before playback and listening could take place.