Architectural practice
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Recording studio, New Rochelle, NY

mixing board in recording studio

Date: 1980

Design notes:

Rollo CD cover

This is the legendary recording studio designed and built for the rock group Rollo in the basement of a New Rochelle residence. Rollo's CD, recorded entirely in this studio (with lead vocals and keyboards by the architect), is available online at

drawings of homemade acoustical isolation system

Technical notes:

The recording studio design obviously must deal with numerous acoustical issues; specifically those that reduce sound transmission between adjacent spaces, and those that create satisfactory acoustical conditions within the space. To accomplish these objectives, numerous design strategies were implemented: walls were built with double thicknesses of drywall; the viewing window into the second studio room was created with 2 layers of glass, each of a different thickness (to minimize sympathetic vibrations between the two panes); the opposite walls were deadened with acoustic insulation to reduce sound reflection in the small room; and the entire main studio room was isolated from the structure of the house. The suspended acoustic tile ceiling was anchored to the existing ceiling structure with custom-designed sound isolating devices made from 1x pine boards with neoprene interlayers to reduce the transmission of vibrations from the ceiling to the floor above, or vice versa. The diagrams at right show how these devices were fabricated at a fraction of the cost of commercially-available products. Note how the vertical weight of the suspended ceiling, shown in yellow, is directed to the upper wood board (shown in red) which rests, in turn, on the lower board (shown in blue), which is itself fastened through holes in the upper board to the ceiling structure. The neoprene pads are shown in gray, effectively blocking sound transmission from floor to ceiling.

construction photo

Studio under construction

studio window

View of double-paned window and tape deck


Lighting fixtures on wood "beam" spanning between studio walls

mixing board

View of 16-channel mixing board

Design-build notes:

The entire studio, along with all the custom-designed furniture, was built by the architect with help from other band members. Kurt Ochshorn, lead guitarist and studio engineer, did all the electrical work to set up the mixing board, and other studio equipment.