Saturday, 10 October 2020

Music Studio

Last weekend I had a real treat - I got a tour of a music studio!

Backstory - my eldest is doing a theatre technical services certificate as part of her studies, my dad's workmate has a brother who runs a music studio, would she like a tour...yes...and so would my other kids, my nephew, my dad and so would I!

Fast forward, we meet up, it's at the back of a house in Perth. I wasn't sure what to expect but wow, it was amazing, beyond anything I may have expected. A local musician Nunzio Mondia has spent several years acquiring  the permits and getting the building done, he is still working his way through final permits to be able to hold concerts there.

As I walked in the first thing that hit me was the delicious smell of wood. Because there is a lot of wood in there. Artistic, much of it non-milled, just polished and beautiful. It was like walking into an art gallery.

Covering the walls are various passive acoustic devices. We had a good lesson on them. I was the most excited, I scarce could take it all in.  There were the usual dampers that I expected, but many acoustic diffusers.  Made to prime number equations apparently...my brain launched into engineering concepts of constructive and destructive interference...but how does it sound?  For the main room there was no pesky echo or resonances, but the room was not "flat" or "dead".  Nunz explained how careful selection and sound engineering means that the room will actually enhance the natural sound, make the room feel alive.  And you could tell!

Upstairs is a gallery type area; more acoustic devices, a wonderful balcony that overlooks the main studio.  We were treated to a sound example - Nunz himself playing superbly on an Italian Fazioli piano.  A quick google reveals these pianos start at more than $100k. The sound is warm yet bright, clean, fully dynamic from a roar to whisper quiet.  Never heard a piano like it.  My eldest daughter had a turn, I gave her a few minutes and then said "that's enough for you".

There is a control room, again a masterpiece of acoustic engineering.  All the fruit for audio control - he does everything from recording studio duties, live performances, audio/video recording, educational sessions and even live streaming.

I could go on, for quite some time.  Hank Marvin, the legend himself, who lives in Perth, records with him regularly.  If it's good enough for Hank...

Well my youngest daughter brought her cello and I brought my guitar, I convinced Nunz to record us playing a duet as a show and tell.  Which we did, had a bit of fun.  He played it back to us, did some minor tweaking as a demonstration, again, lots of learning.  My daughter and I weren't satisfied with our performances so I didn't ask for a copy ;-)

I look forward to when he is able to run concerts there, I'll be standing in line!  Thanks Nunzio Mondia you are a gentleman and a scholar!


Daughter plays a very fancy piano


Daughter and her grandad in the control room

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