Designing the Ultimate Playroom for Musicians
After modifying a building to create the first LemonTree location in 2007, the goal for the second location was to build it right from the ground up. Erik Nilsson, LemonTree owner, chose QuietRock® sound reducing drywall to provide the sound isolation he needed to achieve.
About LemonTree Studios
With large studios closing and band rehearsal studios not conducive for recording, LemonTree Studios in Los Angeles, CA, was at the forefront of providing an affordable solution for musicians who needed a professional recording space. Founder, Erik Nilsson says, “I knew that I was one of many producing musicians in Los Angeles that had his own recording gear, so dividing up a building into multiple sound-treated spaces that are small enough to be affordable, yet still professional was the solution. LemonTree’s BYOGear audio production lockouts are an inspiration and a cradle for musical creativity. As for the name, it’s fresh, it’s tart, it’s oh so California. And for fans of a certain sitcom about nothing, Tippy Toe just didn’t sound as good.”
With the new flagship LemonTree Studios location in the Highland Park area of Los Angeles, owner Erik Nilsson wanted studios that were acoustically designed and built with independent double-wall framing, with walls and ceiling not touching any other studio. He also wanted the sound transfer between rooms to be practically non-existent. “The new BYOGear studios are designed and built using the state-of-the-art studio grade construction methods and materials available today,” according to Nilsson. “As with many great projects, there are always challenges. This project had significant challenges compared against the expectations and goals,” said John Matagos, Senior Acoustical Engineer, JPM Acoustics Noise Vibration. “My firm was contacted early on during the design phase. This allowed the owner to be advised on key decisions during the design and build out phase, in relation to noise control and interior acoustics.”
With all studios occupied and everyone recording a variety of music, I was so impressed with how QuietRock held the sound back. Not using Green Glue for installation was an additional perk.
– Willy Barling, Barling Construction
Nilsson chose to build his studio walls and ceilings with 1-3/8” QuietRock 545 because it is a well-known and reliable product on the market for this type of project. QuietRock 545 is a multi-layer gypsum panel engineered to provide maximum sound attenuation (STC- rated assemblies performing at the 60-80 STC level) across a broad frequency range. The product was installed on every wall and ceiling throughout the studio.
Beyond the product itself, it was all hands-on deck from PABCO Gypsum, the manufacturer of QuietRock. PABCO’s acoustical team reviewed the project and presented design options to guide Erik during construction. “Everyone was helpful, proactive and straightforward,” said Nilsson.
“PABCO’s technical experts came out and educated the installers and tested the product. Our sales rep worked extremely hard. It was a fantastic experience!”
“We worked with Erik to build the best possible walls given the constraints of the historic building,” said Rob Krug, QuietRock Territory Sales Manager.
It didn’t take long for LemonTree to attract customers. While visiting, general contractor Willy Barling found the studio at full capacity. “With all studios occupied and everyone recording a variety of music, I was so impressed with how QuietRock held the sound back,” Barling said. “Not using Green Glue for installation was an additional perk.”
“The key products for this project were PABCO Gypsum’s QuietRock 545 as well as QuietSeal Pro. = Additionally, our insulation materials used for building noise control and interior acoustics absorption were significant,” said Matagos.
“After evaluating the project and the budget allowance, we designed and built a great music production facility, Matagos said. “Post construction measurements and analysis of results indicated exceptional performance in relation to both sound isolation and interior acoustics. LemonTree Studios provides a high level of sound isolation between each room as well as a design that allows for a community of collaborative music to flourish.”
Beyond achieving the sound results expected, LemonTree was selected by PMC to house its state-of-the-art Dolby Atmos® studio in LA, one of only a handful of such studios in the world. PMC, known for its supreme speakers which are used throughout leading mastering houses, broadcasters and much of the professional world, selected LemonTree due to the quality of construction and materials used–QuietRock® being one of them.
PMC’s studio will act as a community center and creative hub for artists, music makers and recording professionals. “The full Dolby Atmos set up in our LA studio reflects our strategic partnership with Dolby and Universal Music Group, bringing the Atmos immersive format closer to the music production market,” says Maurice Patist, President, PMC, USA. “The studio exists of an LCR (Left-Center-Right) of MB3-XBD-A monitoring, two Sub.2 for LFE (low frequency effects) channels and a selection of our Wafer on-wall monitors for all the surround and height channels, similar to the systems already installed at Capitol Studios.”
PMC’s client roster includes acclaimed music and film industry luminaries such as Grammy Award winners Tommy Vicari, Tony Maserati, Pete Lyman, and Thomas Newman, while studios equipped with PMC loudspeakers include Capitol in LA, Metropolis in London and Studios 301 in Australia.
This added zero-penetration bonus makes QuietRock 545’s performance far superior to any combination of standard drywall, Green Glue or mass loaded vinyl.
– Anthony Verdugo, Owner, Critical Mass, and finishing contractor for LemonTree
As a finishing touch, Anthony Verdugo, Owner, Critical Mass, and finishing contractor for LemonTree, raved about the finishing work with QuietRock 545. “Aside from its outstanding performance,” he says, “the greatest benefit was the convenience of the steel sheet below the first layer. The steel behaves like an anchor, allowing us to make both minimal and shallow fastener penetrations to support and anchor interior, non-load bearing, framing for insulation and fabric.”
In acoustic applications minimizing penetrations, especially through the drywall, significantly reduces sound bleed between the studios, according to Verdugo. “This added zero-penetration bonus makes QuietRock 545’s performance far superior to any combination of standard drywall, Green Glue or mass loaded vinyl,” he continued. “I look forward to using QuietRock in my upcoming studio builds. Just being able to eliminate the Green Glue makes it all worth it!“