iZotope has opened iZotope Studios, a not-for-profit studio facility boasting a multi-use mastering room in addition to a flexible live room and control room.
The opening of iZotope Studios marks the completion of a broader company transition in late 2014, when business growth spurred the move to a new 40,000 sqft headquarters in the heart of Cambridge, MA. Building a studio onsite was integral to the plan for the new space, and iZotope engaged noted mastering engineer Jonathan Wyner, now chief engineer and also education director at iZotope, to steer the studio's conception and planning. Assisted by acoustician Francis Manzella, whose firm has been commissioned for studios worldwide, the team designed rooms that are ‘both efficient and elegant, where users are able to pivot easily from one workflow to another’.
"iZotope has a reputation for world-class audio quality," explained Brian McQuoid, iZotope's chief operations officer, "iZotope Studios supports our continued work to that standard, and is a physical expression of that commitment to quality."
A primary driver for the studio's installation was to support product design and development – making a real-world environment more readily accessible to the entire staff for critical listening, feature testing, audio examples, preset design, and research into digital signal processing. In addition the studio provides a place to host visiting producers and engineers, examine their workflows, and get critical insights into their needs and pain points in order to gather feedback.
The facility also aligns with iZotope's dedication to education. Its spacious layout was specifically designed to support in-house teaching and community events, with infrastructure that permits high-resolution broadcast via the web.
"We strongly believe that an educated customer is a happier customer, and our goal is to educate," commented Wyner. "Our efforts are not based solely on our products, but in helping people develop their skills and expertise, no matter what tools they choose. This facility will go a long way in sharing both essential and advanced concepts with the creative community at large."
To complement the acoustics of iZotope Studios, Wyner and his team chose several networked systems to bring flexibility to studio usage and allow an outside-in view of what's happening within. The audio network allows users to access audio input and output from either studio simultaneously and from multiple computers both in and out of the studio, while a KVM network allows users to control rapid switching between every computer connected to the studio system. In addition, an Avid EUCON network allows the chaining of multiple fader controllers to a single computer, or multiple computers to a single fader controller. In terms of audio processing, Wyner and his team chose to embrace an in-the-box model while still incorporating select analogue gear.
iZotope Studios equipment includes PMC monitoring systems, Merging Technologies Horus converters, Dangerous Audio compressors and insert manager (both Liaison and Master), Grace Monitor Controllers, Avid S3 EUCON Controllers, AES 67 implementation via Ravenna, and an IHSE Draco Tera Compact KVM Matrix.