MANIFOLD RECORDING
Pittsboro, NC

Manifold Recording's main studio and tracking room is now up and running! This exciting new world class recording studio is located on a beautiful 17-acre site in the Triangle area, near Chapel Hill, Raleigh, and Durham, NC. The 5600 sq. ft. complex was designed from the ground up by Wes Lachot Design Group, and embodies and exemplifies the principles of Organic Architecture, wherein every part is integrally related to the whole, and the whole is is turn related to every part, so that nothing essential is missing, and nothing is included that is not essential. It is a type of fractal Architecture that reveals its truths at multiple scales simultaneously. The geometry of the entire facility is a natural outgrowth of the Control Room listening triangles for stereo and surround sound, and the Reflection Free Zone geometry. Acoustic treatments, including RPG DiffusorBlox, are built in to the fabric of the building itself, creating unity of structure, acoustics, and aesthetics.

The 1,400 sq. ft. Music Room features a 24-ft. ceiling, with a 3-D ceiling cloud based on the Golden Ratio; the cloud is essentially an undulating, unfolded geodesic dome. Custom RPG Biffusor panels allow for adjustable reverb times from .75 sec. to 1.75 sec. The 9 ft. Yamaha Concert Grand piano is equally at home in the Music Room or in the ultra-large Booth A, with it's 16 ft. ceiling and somewhat live decay time, adjustable with movable diffusive/absorptive gobos. The RFZ-type Control Room is accurate down to 25 Hz, and is encircled with beautiful stained glass diffusors, custom designed by Wes Lachot Design. The Control Room houses a 64-channel API Vision analog console with 128 moving faders, Dynaudio M4 active bi-amped main monitors with 1200 watts per side of Bryston amplification, and an abundance of outboard gear by Universal Audio, Manley, Tube-Tech, BAE, Millennia, DW Fearn, Lavry, API, Avalon, etc.

Located in the Annex is a second control room built primarily for film scoring, post production, and digital mixing, with its Harrison Trion digital console and full surround monitoring. This room's acoustical shape is based upon a radical new Wavy Wall concept, designed in conjunction with RPG Diffusor Systems. The general contracting for this project was expertly handled by McLean Builders, with all aspects of the acoustical construction by Tony Brett and his crew at Brett Acoustics, including the geodesic cloud, the stained glass diffusors, etc. Audio technical wiring was handled by Thom Canova and his crew. Studio owners Amy and Michael Tiemann are extremely happy with the final asbuilt studio complex. Michael reports:

"Wes had the capacity to understand my vision, the knowledge and experience to design a building (and then another one) that could realize it, the backbone to fight for the protection of important principles, and the patience to build within my own mind an understanding of both the logic of the design and how that logic could lead to new possibilities I had never imagined. For example, I originally specified that there would be one studio with one control room. Later we added a second building with a garage. But as the project took shape, and as I gained new insights into how to best use all of the space we were building, it became clear I really needed a second full-sized control room. But where? The plans had been approved by the County on the condition that the footprint would not change. Wes had anticipated this, and ensured that we could radically reorganize the layout of the second building without any structural change. Even better, the new control room was every bit as amazing as if it had been designed that way from the outset. Which, though I didn't know it at the time, it was.

"As the structure (and infrastructure) began to take shape, I became humbled by the audacity, the beauty, and the integrity of the design and execution. And so now, no matter how boldly I try to tell the story, I always reach a point--sometimes more than once--where I just get overwhelmed by the reality and the implications of the story. It feels wonderful. And it feels even better when I see that others who are visiting for the first time feel it, too."

Thanks to Ed Freeman for the beautiful photographs.