Maestro tandem custom-builds one-stop shop
Variety, November 2012
By Jon Burlingame
Sonic Fuel Studios, a new $2 million scoring compound in El Segundo, Calif., has been designed by composers with music for film, TV and videogame specifically in mind.
For nine years, composers Christopher Lennertz (TV’s “Revolution”) and Timothy Michael Wynn (“The Simpsons” vidgame) rented space in Marina del Rey, but a year ago decided to invest in their own facility.
“We needed to get a bigger place, something we owned,” says Lennertz, who was tired of driving all over town to record at one facility and mix at another. “Finally, I just said, ‘I’ve got to build myself a place where I can mix feature films as well as write my TV show. So I can walk down the hall, listen to a mix, come back to my room and keep working.’ ”
The 7,100-sq. ft. space — once home to a prop company that built the shark for “Jaws” — includes a room large enough to record 35 musicians (plus two isolation booths that can accommodate five more), a sizable control room that boasts a Euphonix System 5 digital console (and can fit 20 people), plus a machine room, lounge and writing space for nine composers.
“It’s very specifically set up for film, TV and game music,” says Lennertz, with the ability to deliver multi-stem 5.1 mixes. And, following a concept that he calls “industrial zen,” the facility is eco-friendly, including reclaimed carbonized bamboo flooring in the “live” room where the musicians play.
Sonic Fuel doesn’t intend to compete with other recording facilities such as Capitol and the Bridge, where shows like “Fringe” and “The Simpsons” are recorded.
“I would say we’re more like Remote Control,” Lennertz says. “We all work here and rent space; we also rent to our friends at the studios, composers we know.”
In its first few months, the new studio has recorded the “Revolution” pilot and either scored or mixed films “Thanks for Sharing,” “Think Like a Man,” “Black Forest” and “I Spit on Your Grave,” as well as games “Darkness II,” “Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance,” “Mass Effect” and “League of Legends.”