Making Noise about iZotope Studios

The new addition at iZotope headquarters opens (soundproofed) doors to all sorts of audio activities.

iZotope News  | 

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Back in late 2014, iZotope moved into a new office space in Cambridge, MA — just a few blocks from MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology), where iZotope's founders once sat in a dorm room and started dreaming big back in 2001.

The office move was exciting for many reasons, not least of which being that the company finally had a space where all one hundred team members could comfortably congregate for lunch, meetings, collaboration, and after-work musical activities. But the shining capstone of the move was the recent completion of a new studio facility, which includes a multi-use mastering room as well as a flexible live room and control room.

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Installing an on-site, not-for-profit studio was a key goal for the new office, and the primary driver 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, new algorithm development, and research into digital signal processing.

With the ability to pivot easily between multiple uses, the facility also aligns with iZotope's dedication to learning and education. The spacious layout was specifically designed to support in-house teaching and community events, and the infrastructure was built to permit high-resolution broadcast via the web.

In addition, the studio has proven immensely helpful for gathering customer feedback, providing a comfortable place to host visiting producers and engineers, examine their workflows, and get critical insights into their needs and pain points.

A bonus perk: it's a great treat for the iZotope crew. The majority of iZotope employees are musicians themselves, and the studios are available after hours for staff jams, personal projects, synth fairs, listening parties, recording challenges, everything else the team dreams up.

Behind the Scenes: Studio Concept and Equipment

iZotope brought in noted mastering engineer Jonathan Wyner, now Chief Engineer and also Education Director at iZotope, to steer the studio's conception and planning. Assisted by renowned acoustician Francis Manzella, whose firm has been commissioned for award-winning studios worldwide, the team designed rooms that are both efficient and attractive, where users are able to pivot easily from one workflow to another.

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To complement the stellar acoustics of iZotope Studios, Jonathan and his team chose state-of-the-art studio technologies to maximize the studio's use. As an example, several networked systems bring flexibility to studio usage and provide 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, the team embraced an in-the-box model while still incorporating select analog 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.

With its doors now open, iZotope Studios will be a hub for audio activities going forward, and that's something everyone at iZotope is ready to make noise about.

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The broadcasts from iZotope Studios have begun! Check out a webinar on The Mastering Workflow, featuring Jonathan.

Working on improving the sound in your own space, especially when you're mastering? Check out these classic tips from Jonathan himself.

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