Clear Lake Recording in North Hollywood, California, has been making great music for nearly 50 years with the likes of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame members Little Richard and The Talking Heads, as well as Melissa Ethridge, Adam Levine and rap superstar Wiz Khalifa, to name just a few. To keep the music flowing, the owner of this legendary studio turned to LEA Professional to help transform Studio B, one of Clear Lake’s four world-class studios at the Burbank Boulevard location.
In the highly competitive music industry, staying on the cutting edge of technology and providing musicians with top-notch facilities and the tools they need to sell their music and climb the charts are keys to survival for any recording studio. Clear Lake takes that very seriously, continuously upgrading studios and adding new equipment. “We want musicians to want to come here,” says studio owner Eric Milos. “We’re always pushing the envelope with our look and capabilities to stay ahead of the game.”
Studio B was built in 1992 to accommodate the studio’s longer-term projects. In 2015 it was converted from a long-term lockout space to a fully-featured overdub and 5.1 mix room. By 2016 Clear Lake began to increase its backline so artists could record with top-of-the-line instruments and amplifiers.
A few years later, Milos needed to make an even more dramatic upgrade, constantly pushing the boundaries of his craft. With a desire to take Studio B to the next level, he sought out the expertise of Russ Belttary at RSPE Audio Solutions to transform the room from a 5.1 surround setup to a cutting-edge 9.1.4 Dolby Atmos system, complete with the newest range of high-resolution PMC speakers.
RSPE, long known for its expertise in integrating analogue and digital audio with the film and music industry, was up for the challenge. “The stakes are incredibly high in this business for companies like Clear Lake Recording,” says Russ. “Our mission is to give them the very best guidance, service, and products in creating a state-of-the-art recording studio.”
Using the elevated standards set forth by Dolby, RSPE designed a fully digital workflow with maximum flexibility and simplicity in mind. The team knew that to achieve the ultimate in sound quality it had to recommend the perfect amplifiers to seamlessly connect with the Avid MTRX, DADman software, and a Dolby Atmos hardware renderer. Enter LEA Professional Connect Series 354D – its integrated Dante connectivity eliminates unnecessary analog conversions for the purest signal and lowest noise floor possible.
RSPE used three LEA Connect Series 354D Amplifiers for the overhead and surround speakers in Studio B. The Connect Series 354D is a four-channel amplifier with 350 watts per channel. As part of the Dante Connect Series – the world’s first Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled professional-grade amplifiers – the 354D is well suited for Clear Lake’s Studio B. The 354D features direct Hi-Z (70V or 100V) or Lo-Z selectable by channel. With three ways to connect, Clear Lake can engage the built-in Wi-Fi access point, connect to the studio’s Wi-Fi, or connect to any local area network via Cat5 or Cat6 cable.
While top-notch sound quality was of critical importance to Milos, he also wanted amplifiers that were reliable and easy to use. “The LEA amplifiers fit the bill perfectly and were able to be tucked away in the machine room, thanks to their renowned dependability,” says Russ.
“The result of this meticulous attention-to-detail and cutting-edge technology is nothing short of astounding,” adds Eric. The sound quality and specifications meet the highest standards, earning Studio B the prestigious designation of being a PMC Near-Field Reference Room.
“Our goal was to have a reference quality mix room that any of my high-profile clients can come to and have a sonic experience that parallels big budget Hollywood studios,” adds Eric. “Thanks to LEA and RSPE, mission accomplished, not impossible.”
The next generation of music greats looking for their next big break could walk through the front door tomorrow at Clear Lake Recording in North Hollywood. When they get there, they’ll get to work with a true visionary in Eric Milos, who places his trust and reputation in RSPE and LEA Professional.