2004                  UNITEYE, OJAI, CALIFORNIA

When Bruce Botnick, famed ‘Doors’ engineer, scoring mixer par excellence and leading surround sound pioneer, moved to Ojai from Los Angeles, he knew he needed his own first-class studio.

Studio bau:ton was soon called in to design a personal studio, to the exacting standards of the seasoned sound professional, in an existing commercial space. Bruce had previously enjoyed working at Fox’s Newman scoring State, an earlier studio bau:ton design. Also, principal architect Peter Grueneisen had been involved in the renovation of Bruce and Marie Botnick’s Richard Neutra house in LA.

Completed in mid-2004, UnitEye, a word play on the facility’s address, is indeed stunning to look at, but it is primarily designed for the ears. Five free standing Nautilus speakers and a subwoofer are positioned around a Digidesign Icon console for a permanent 5.1 surround setup. The large space and plentiful ceiling height facilitated ideal room proportions, and no compromises were needed to lay out a generous facility, tailored to the needs and preferences of its owner. Bass traps and curtains control the sound throughout the sound space, while indirect and recessed lighting and a flush mounted flat panel video monitor tie together the visual aspects of multi-media production.

A wide skylight, which allows natural daylight into the room, focuses the calm environment inside the mains studio space, without creating glare or heat gain. A friendly atmosphere is created by applying cotton bonded acoustical pads (B.A.P.) and porous expanded polypropylene (P.E.P.P.) panels, environmentally friendly alternatives to fabric and fiberglass. A polished concrete floor with rugs and wooden oriented strand board wall panels complete the picture.

The client area in the back features comfortable seating and bookshelves built into the rear wall, all supervised by the inscrutable Robby the Robot, the giant science fiction character from Forbidden Planet, looking on from the corner. Outside the studio, a kitchen, bathroom, and lounge area and a mezzanine utilize the remaining space, forming a complete and comfortable working environment.

Bruce Botnick’s credits include music from the Doors, Eddie Money, Kenny Loggins, movies such as ET, Star Trek First Contact, Air Force One, Basic Instinct, Aladdin, Total Recall, Mulan, and many others. Bruce is in the process of remixing the entire Doors catalog for DVD-Audio.

building use: personal project recording and mixing studio     
project scope:    architectural design, interiors, acoustics, furnishings
schedule:  completed 2004
construction cost:         N/A