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Studio complete, now to finish album

After recording half of their debut album at a studio in Hamilton, Gisborne hard rock band Uni-Fi stopped to help save money needed for post-production, artwork and distribution.

They have since converted their practice room in Gisborne into a recording studio. Freelance producer Dave Rhodes is now at the studio with his recording equipment to lay down the rest of the album.

Considerable planning went into building the studio that now has a control room, sound booth and acoustic panels.

The control room, and sound booth, are acoustically insulated and sit inside a “shell” separated by an air space. Air is sandwiched between the two high-density insulation-packed walls.

“This is definitely a step up from the practice room,” Mr Rhodes says of the new recording studio.

“It's basically a room within a room.”

“The sound booth is isolated from the control room,” says Uni-Fi guitarist Michael Shanks.

“There is a 35 millimetre air gap between any exterior wall and interior wall and the roof.”

To reduce reverberation in the sound booth, no wall is parallel with another and the walls are lined with shed floor carpet.

A two-way audio-visual monitor means no acoustically-proofed window between the sound booth and control room needed to be built. It also allows the musician in the booth and the producer to communicate.

Shed carpet also lines the ceiling and large acoustic panels were mounted on both ceilings to help reduce reverberation. Thick underlay was laid on the floor and the control room carpet laid over it.

“What I hear now is just what comes through speakers, not what bounces off the walls,” says Mr Rhodes.

Before going ahead with the build, the band discussed with Mr Rhodes via email the proposed studio's various features. Ideas bounced back and forth between the band and Mr Rhodes until they settled on the final design.

Hitches can be expected in most builds and sure enough, shortly before Christmas the acoustic panelling was lost while being freighted to Gisborne.

“The company re-sent it and it arrived on January 7,” says bass player/vocalist Gana Goldsmith.

Mr Rhodes came from Whitianga to Gisborne to see the band in action at the heavy metal and hard rock weekend known as Smashfest.

“We chose this week so he could record us right after hearing us perform on stage,” says Ms Goldsmith.

STUDIO UNI-FI: To cut down on recording costs for their debut album, hard rock band Uni-Fi made up of guitarist Michael Shanks (left), bass player/vocalist Gana Goldsmith (on screen right); (absent) singer Cory Garrett and drummer Genesis Burgess converted their practice room into a recording studio. Freelance producer Dave Rhodes (centre) is in Gisborne to complete recording for the band's debut album. Picture by Paul Rickard