Over the past nine years we’ve had many productions record sound in studio 1 even though it has never been described as suitable for sound. The studio had two issues: bouncy acoustics inside the studio and noise from outside – notably Heathrow flight path traffic.
Paul and Matthew from Circus Street
The evolving nature of our client base and requirements to cater for an increasing variety of shoot types meant the time was right to address these issues. Over the past few months we have carried out a number of improvements that we are pleased to report have significantly improved the possibilities for recording sound in studio 1.
What we did – Acoustic Improvements Undertaken
1. The inside of the studios: ceilings and walls, have been clad with acoustic tiles.
2. Built a stud-wall filled with acoustic rockwool over the entrance to Studio 1.
3. All internal cavities covered and filled with acoustic rockwall.
4. Blocked off ceiling skylights with acoustic protection
5. Installed an acoustic curtain across the rear of the studio – about 2/3rds of the way back.
- Bouncy Acoustics Have Gone
The effect of this work is immediately obvious once you walk in and sense the deadened feel that the studio now has. There is still an element of dynamism and some more work we can do, but from this point of view the studio is a very workable space now.
- The Outside World
The Heathrow flight path sometimes comes by within about a mile of the studios at a few thousand feet up. There is a distant rumble and a drone as they pass by. Or rather there was! Now, only the largest planes like the Boeing 747 can create enough of an issue that may cause the sound engineer to make a call. You can see a live feed of traffic in and out of Heathrow – go to Flight Radar and type in SE5 9HW.
A Sound Recordist’s Point of View
We asked soundman Lee Collins to test the new acoustic arrangements. Lee has worked at the studios on many occasions since we opened back in 2009 and probably knows the space from an acoustic point of view better than anyone.
The following analysis is based on a recent Downton Abbey special (for the US market) where elements were recorded here featuring the dulcet tones of Hugh Bonneville.
“Situated on a business park South East London, Camberwell Studios is an inherently quiet studio facility but has always been exposed to its fair share of Heathrow’s air traffic such that it made recording sound in Studio 1 a tricky matter. Apart from the planes the space was untreated, hard and bouncy. Trying to obtain clean audio takes in this environment was always an uphill struggle.
But not anymore – my most recent experience with studio 1 proved to be easy going. Over the course of three hours I didn’t once have to call a halt for sound even though I did on a couple of occasions hear a larger jet but as we were in a lull this had no impact on proceedings.
I used my usual setup, a hyper cardioid boom positioned above the talent and a covert lav mic hidden within the shirt – It was immediately noticeable how much the once lively acoustics have been tamed. The introduction of foam tiling on the opposing side-walls and cloth drapes to dampen any rear reflections have all had a dramatic effect on reducing the unpleasantly cavernous character the space once possessed.
I am happy to give Camberwell Studios my endorsement as good for sound.”
From most points of view the sound in studio 1 is now much better and can be seriously considered for sound recordings for more or less any production. We appreciate you only have our word on this and so we welcome you and your sound engineer coming down to have a listen and make a test recording.
We hope to see and hear you soon.
We always try to be FUN, FRIENDLY & FLEXIBLE.
020 7737 0007