Kernersville, NC

Fidelitorium Recordings is a full service commercial studio owned by legendary indy-rock producer Mitch Easter, whose credits include REM, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Ben Folds Five, The dBs,and many others.

By the time he contacted Wes, Mitch had some fairly definite ideas about what he wanted. The studio would need to be big--spacious without being cavernous, with high ceilings-- but the budget could only be stretched so far. The primary design goal was to create a state-of-the-art control room and recording area without resorting to the overuse of sound-deadening treatments. Above all, he wanted his clients to feel that the new studio was a place where they could really rock out.

After considering a variety of possible building materials, Wes and Mitch decided to build the new studio, the Fidelitorium, primarily out of two materials--concrete and wood. The floors are poured concrete tinted with iron oxide, giving the studio a vintage/modern feel. The walls are built out of an innovative acoustical construction product called DiffusorBlox®.

Developed by RPG Diffusor Systems, these concrete masonry units offer better sound isolation than regular cinder blocks, and they provide built-in Helmholtz bass trapping.

On the inside of the studio, these blocks form a wavy diffusor shape, rather than a flat surface. The DiffusorBlox® go all the way to the ceiling in rear wall of the control room and along the side walls of the live room (16 feet). The other walls are covered in birch. The Fidelitorium was one of the first large studio facilities in the United States to be built using DiffusorBlox®.

With a total of six booth areas and a large live room, it is well-equipped to handle a variety of demanding recording situations. Although most of Mitch's clients are rock bands, the main room also has a great sound for small to medium-size ensembles of acoustic instruments. The smaller rooms offer both isolation and good sight lines to the control room and other studio areas. As an added benefit, natural light is present throughout the building.

The control room, based on RFZ principles, has proven to be impressively easy to work in, Easter attests. "Sounds translate well when tapes go out for mixing or mastering," he says. "Because the sound quality is even throughoutthe control room, you can set up the various work and performance areas and trust that everybody can accurately judge their efforts."

In addition to the control room and recording areas, there are designated areas for cooking and lounging that are effectively sound-isolated from the rest ofthe studio, as well as a terrace with expansive views of the surrounding countryside.

A schematic floorplan developed by Wes Lachot for the Fidelitorium may be viewed at the studio's website.