L to R: Adam Howard, Belinda Howard, Robin Kohl and boxes of the best damn PCM speakers.

New immersive sound studio at Howard Audio, giant leap for sound in South Africa

In the past two years we’ve seen so much expanding from Howard Audio it’s been hard to keep up! Besides Adam Howard being ranked the top music Composer and Supervisor in 2020 at the Loeries, he’s also made some major moves for South Africa’s sound industry. First it was a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 studio and now Adam has collaborated with heavy-hitter Robin Kohl of Jazzworx (who produces music records for top South African musicians such as AKA, Lira and Wizkid) to build a new immersive sound recording studio unlike we have ever seen. So obviously we have questions, four to be exact.

1. The last time we spoke about your studio upgrades, you had installed one of South Africa’s first Dolby Atmos mixing studios. Did it pay off?

Adam: It was one of the best moves we’ve ever made. Since building our first Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 audio room last year we have had the busiest year yet at Howard Audio. Apart from all the commercial work we do every day, like final mixing and original music compositions, we have delivered over 300 tracks for Apple Music and have been one of the first South African sound studios to mix a locally produced Netflix series in Dolby Atmos, titled Ludik (directed by Giant Films’ Ian Gabriel). We are also currently working on our second film with Ian, which we are beyond excited about. We saw how well the new immersive sound studio was doing, realised the need for another and decided to expand and build another immersive studio – with a huge live room to record musicians.

Waaaaait a minute, if you’re like us and ‘Atmos-this’, ‘Dolby-that’, ‘Immersive-sound-what-what’ sounds like a made-up language, then take a quick look at this vid and find out why you should give a damn. It’s a clip from the Zoom chat we had with Adam and of course, nobody talks about sound as eloquently as he does. Don’t expect Netflix quality production, this was pre-Fibre at our premises. …

2. How did the concept for the new Studio Immersive come about?

Adam: It’s the brainchild of myself and Robin Kohl, owner of Jazzworx. Jazzworx have produced some of the most iconic albums in SA for some of the best artists in the country and Howard Audio produces some of the best sound for commercials and film. We came together to create a space where these two worlds could meet. Jazzworx needed new premises so we decided to pool our respective 25 years of industry experience and asked ourselves, ‘What does the best sound recording studio in the world look like to us?’. We built it and named it ‘Studio Immersive’. It is something quite special.

3.  So, what exactly is ‘Studio Immersive’?

Adam: ‘Studio Immersive’ is a Dolby Atmos 7.1.4 studio with a huge live room. ‘Studio Immersive’ is kitted out with the best PCM speakers (regarded as some of the best studio monitors in the world), Metric Halo conversion, floated floors and the huge live room can house up to 24 musicians at any one time and even has fancy walnut finishes!

Photos of the new ‘Studio Immersive’ space. Built right next door to Howard Audio in Bryanston.

4. Does this affect the everyday work you do at Howard Audio?

Adam: Absolutely not. Although ‘Studio Immersive’ is a very natural coming together and collaboration for Jazzworx and Howard Audio, we remain separate companies. Final mixing and music composition is what we do at Howard Audio every day, it’s what we love and what we are incredibly skilled at. ‘Studio Immersive’ is an added offering that can handle all our new immersive audio work and larger ensemble recordings. Our studios are some of the best in the country and make us one of the biggest audio studio complexes in South Africa.

Wanna (s)talk some more? Howard Audio on IDIDTHAT or Company Website.

Contact Howard Audio

Belinda Howard (Head of Production): belinda@howardaudio.co.za
Adam Howard (Sound Director): adam@howardaudio.co.za
010 594 5305

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Produced by the IDIDTHAT Content Studio – Credits: Anne Hirsch (Writer) / Julie Maunder

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