John Storyk: ‘I’m amazed at how often the simplest geometric mistakes are made’

Leading studio designer, and our October cover star, John Storyk has told AMI that he’s "always amazed at how often the simplest geometric mistakes are made in early studio layout and planning".

As a founding partner of Walters-Storyk Design Group (WSDG), Storyk has been designing recording studios for nearly five decades, starting in 1970 with Jimi Hendrix’ iconic Electric Lady Studios in Greenwich Village, New York City.

His words came during an interview for the studio design special in the October issue of AMI, in which he explained how not to build a studio.

"This does not mean that parallel walls are bad," he continued. "(Actually this is a common misunderstanding – there is really nothing wrong with parallel boundaries if they are treated correctly). Room ratios count (no squares or cubes please!) and there are always best and worst locations for speaker and listener positions in mix environments."

WSDG has created nearly 4,000 recording, broadcast and audio/video production studios around the world since then, for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys and Jay-Z, to NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Centre, Le Poisson Rouge and Switzerland’s KKL Luzern Concert Hall.

Another common problem Storyk has encountered in music studios is a lack of successful Low Frequency Response (LFA).

"LFA is often a step that is simply not taken in studio design," he explained. "As studio environments have gotten smaller and smaller, which is good news concerning overall construction budgets. LFA becomes all the more important. It’s a simple matter of math as first order Eigen Tones (standing wave frequency) become higher and higher."