Tanuj Tiku is a successful musician and composer from Mumbai, India, where he produces a lot of work for film soundtracks. After years of wishing to work in his own studio, with the best possible acoustics and efficiency, he started looking around for studio designers. At University he had access to Philip Newell’s Recording Studio Design, which apparently called his attention to very relevant facts regarding control-room acoustics, so he thought that should be the path to follow.
He finally got to contact Philip, searching around in several fora dedicated to audio and acoustics, where he also came across Serbian film mixing engineer Branko Neskov, another Reflexion Arts monitors fan and long time customer, who heavily recommend them to him. The project took a few years more than expected, as the first premises chosen finally did not meet the necessary load bearing specifications and new premises had to be found. Bureaucracy also played its roll on the consecutive delays but, today, Tanuj is a happy owner and user of a finished studio that includes a 5.0 control-room with an electrically retractable, acoustically transparent, cinema screen (Screen Excellence), three Reflexion Arts RA239 main monitors, each powered by a bi-amp RA-Neva Studio II MKII and 4 Reflexion Arts SU108 surround speakers all driven by a stereo RA-Neva Studio I amplifier.
The studio was built by a local team, under strict instructions from Philip Newell and the results could not be better.
Blog-What is exactly your activity in the industry?
TT: I am a composer and producer working in Mumbai. I write and produce music for films, television and some music libraries based in the U.K.
B-Why did you think, in the first instance, that you needed to have your own recording/mixing studio?
TT: I can think of many answers to that question and each have their importance but none greater than listening to sound in the most natural setting with absolute sonic clarity so I can write better music. If I cannot hear correctly the nature of sounds I am dealing with, I cannot make better choices aesthetically. As Philip Newell once told me, a great studio can be a great teacher.
B-Which did you think were the primary features of your new studio?
TT: The studio comprises of a 5.0 channel control room for writing and mixing music with full range front loudspeakers and highly compatible surround speakers. I also have a small neutral recording room where we can record vocals and soloists.
The sound in the studio is absolutely gorgeous. The depth of sound and imaging are astonishing. Mono sources are dead centre and I can hear even the tiniest details in the recordings. The studio is also lovely to work in with fresh air system installed and all the natural materials used like the stone in the front wall and the entire studio built on pine wood. I particularly love the stone in the front wall. It works both acoustically and aesthetically.
TT: I found out about Philip’s design through his book. While I was at university, I found out about it as it was highly recommended for studio building. Later, I read some of his AES papers and it all made sense to me.
B-Where did you hear about Reflexion Arts?
TT: I found out about Reflexion Arts from Philip Newell. He told me all about the loudspeakers and the manufacturing process in detail. These are extremely high quality speakers and amplifiers, custom built to the highest standards.
B-Are you happy with the design?
TT: I could not be happier with the design. Philip Newell is a true master of studio design. He takes everything into consideration, including the needs of musicians and building a studio that not only sounds great but also feels great to work in. He is also extremely knowledgeable about the building process, including all of the materials. His experience of over 40 years helped us in building the whole studio via e-mails which I believe is the first time Philip has ever done this.
B-What is you opinion about the monitor system?
TT: The monitoring system is simply the best I have ever heard. I have been to many studios but there is nothing quite like these speakers. They are extremely flat and natural. They produce every frequency in the most balanced manner. There is no ear-fatigue whatsoever and I have been working for long hours on them without any problems. They have revealed so many details in recordings I knew very well since many years.
Indeed, since I have opened the studio, we have been getting fantastic feedback. It is very straightforward to work on these monitors as they are so flat. Once you make something sound good on this system, it translates extremely well on other playback systems. I can never go back to any other monitoring system now! They are also worth every penny as they are very competitively priced compared to other competing systems on the market.
B-What is your overall level of satisfaction with your new studio?
TT: I am very happy with the studio. It is really wonderful to work in this room. The whole process of working with Philip Newell and Sergio Castro at Reflexion Arts has been amazing. They were very patient with me through the build. Since we were building it remotely in Mumbai, it was not easy for me to source all the materials locally but we did in the end. Some of the items were imported via Reflexion Arts with the loudspeaker system and that has all worked out really well.
B-Any comments you may want to make?
TT: Building this studio with Philip Newell has been one of the most memorable experiences of my life. It truly is science in the service of art. It has been a huge learning and humbling experience. Both Philip and Sergio at Reflexion Arts have been a major pillar of support. This design is extremely robust and carefully matured over many years of research. No aspect of studio design is unexplored. The loudspeaker system is of the highest quality, built of only the best components that are on offer today.
I want to thank both Philip and Sergio for all their hard work. Under Philip’s guidance, my team and I were able to build the whole studio from scratch remotely and the results are stunning.
Blog. September 2016