Spartan Gym

CA’s deep experience working with gyms nationwide made them the choice of Spartan Gym, a 14,000 sq. ft. facility opened in partnership with 1 Hotel South Beach in Miami.


Filled with unique gear designed for functional fitness, including equipment like overhead ropes, nets, pipes, heavy ropes, and sleds, Spartan Gym offers a first-of-its-kind workout to hotel guests and residents of 1 Hotel & Homes South Beach.


The acoustical experience is in keeping with the gym’s elite design. CA provided comprehensive noise and vibration isolation for the gym, as well as sound isolation for the Bamford Hayburn Spa, created by noted luxury hotel and spa designer Spencer Fung.


Texas Live

Texas Live is a new entertainment facility located in Arlington, Texas. The project celebrated its grand opening in August 2018, welcoming the public to its 200,000 square feet of dining and entertainment options. Upon completion in 2019 Texas Live will also feature a 300+ room upscale convention hotel, 35,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, plus an outdoor event pavilion, Arlington Backyard, accommodating up to 5,000 people.


Criterion Acoustics (CA) was chosen to assure that Texas Live exceeds all expectations for audio. Services provided include an environmental noise study, sound isolation design, noise control for mechanical/electrical/plumbing systems, and internal room acoustics.


“Texas Live is a massive playground that reflects the modern pastimes and culture of Texas,” says Amanda Lind, Ph. D., of Criterion Acoustics. “Arlington Backyard presented unique challenges for CA to address. This outdoor area included an open-air pavilion with flown speaker arrays. The facility wanted to be able to achieve optimal listening levels there without distributing the adjacent hotel tower, which required special care to ensure high acoustic quality.”


CA performed extensive computer simulations to get Texas Live’s acoustical properties right the first time. “A well-run simulation can save a project considerable money and time,” Lind explains. “We simulated how sound from the outdoor pavilion propagated to the nearby hotel towers, and the subsequent transmission through glass and the reverberation within the towers. These exercises led us to design a directional subwoofer configuration for the facility, among other components.”


CA also simulated Texas Live’s indoor area where sports broadcasts are viewed, to achieve the ideal sound properties. “There is a large interior viewing area, as well as adjacent bars and retail spaces,” says Lind. “We made a point of keeping reverb times down there, conscientiously balancing costs and acoustic quality. For example, we recommended perforated wood absorption to go with Texas Live’s glass façade-driven aesthetic.


“Making an informed decision about acoustic treatments can save a lot of money on a project of this scale,” Lind continues. “The wrong acoustic treatments can be unnecessary or ineffective. And if they aren’t considered at all, a large-volume space such as this would be stressful and unappealing to spend time in: having a normal conversation in a bar wouldn’t be possible.”


With Texas Live already drawing in large volumes of locals and tourists, the facility shows the importance of a well-executed acoustical design. “Ownership didn’t overspend and the customer feels comfortable in the space,” concludes Lind. “Whether they’re experiencing live music or a sports broadcast, the program material sounds clear without being overwhelming. People can fully enjoy being here.”


MLB Network — Studio 21

Located in Secaucus, NJ, MLB Network (MLBN) has built a reputation as one of the world’s most innovative hubs for content creation and distribution. A recent addition is Studio 21, an innovative space that combines elements of the traditional ballpark with a highly advanced TV studio.


MLBN selected Criterion Acoustics (CA) to make sure there would be audio precision to match the striking setting and up-to-the-minute visual technology, which includes augmented reality graphic components. CA performed all mechanical noise control, sound isolation and internal room acoustics for the large-scale studio, which was situated in an environment that presented multiple challenges.


“MLBN’s Studio 21 is an amazing space, but bringing the acoustics up to broadcast quality required extensive problem-solving,” says Dave Kotch, President of Criterion Acoustics. “There were major mechanical noise issues stemming from two very large custom air handlers that were immediately adjacent to the studio, with very limited space available to make robust fire-rated walls and partitions. We addressed those by modeling noise and vibration measurements from a major arena with similar air handlers, using them as a basis for our design.”


Sound isolation was also a significant issue for Studio 21, which was constructed near a major truck thoroughfare where heavy vehicles are moving 24/7. Taming the vibrations was essential not only from a sonic standpoint, but also to provide maximum image stability for MLBN’s multi-camera setups capable of shooting in 4K.


“We performed baseline ground-borne vibration measurements, then engineered vibration insulation systems that successfully minimized truck noise,” Kotch explains. “Our system works so well that MLBN was able to use Studio 21 right away, even as building construction outside the studio continued. That saved our client time so they could get an immediate return on their investment.”


Visit here to learn more about Studio 21, and see a time-lapse video of its construction.

APG “A Studio” Los Angeles

Criterion Acoustics’ (CA) expertise was essential to an important new addition to major label recording. The recently opened “A Studio” in Los Angeles is a next-generation creative space built around highly advanced recording studio facilities, founded by Artists Partners Group (APG), Atlantic Records and Warner Music Group (WMG).


Consisting of four studios, editing and writing rooms, executive offices and a shared communal space, the complex will serve artistic endeavors from across WMG’s family of labels – including Atlantic, Warner Bros. and their subsidiary labels – as well operating as an A&R incubator for new talent.


CA collaborated extensively with Mike Caren, Founder and CEO of Artist Publishing Group and Artist Partner Group/Creative Officer of WMG, and Atlantic Records Chairman & CEO Craig Kallman to bring the partnerships’ vision to life. Services provided by CA include recording studio design, internal room acoustics, noise and vibration control, sound isolation, AV systems, mechanical noise control, and more.


The “A Studio” was the subject of a feature article in Billboard. Discover more details about this groundbreaking facility here.


(Photo credit: Elisabeth Caren)

Human Studios

Project Closeup: Criterion Acoustics Designs a Dual-Purpose Studio for Human Worldwide


In New York City, nobody wants to waste a single square foot. Music company Human Worldwide is getting the most out of composer/founder Andy Bloch’s studio, owing to an innovative two-rooms-in-one design by Criterion Acoustics (CA).


Human has established itself as a top player, writing original music and sound design for advertising, film, TV and interactive media, sporting a client list that includes Nike, Diet Coke, Google, Adidas, Delta Airlines and many more global brands. When Bloch’s original studio was ravaged by a fire, he seized the opportunity to quicken his workflow by combining his control room and live room into one space.


“We’re seeing more and more demand for multipurpose rooms – in this case, it’s for composing and recording,” says Dave Kotch, Co-founder of Criterion Acoustics. “People do it because it saves on space, so it saves on cost. Also, music creators don’t always need a live room. There are fewer live instruments being used in sessions, so combining a control room with a live room makes sense.”


Bloch chose Criterion Acoustics to execute an upgrade in the sound, functionality and aesthetics of his Union Square facility, where he routinely records multiple live instruments, then has to execute a quick mix. “We had a live room and production room, but they never sounded good,” Bloch says. “It became more of a hassle to go get a drum mic then to dial up a sample, so the live space became a storage room and a mess. After the fire I said, ‘Let’s do it right.’ It was now or never.


“This is a laptop-based virtual industry, but to have a live room and record real music is the way that I came up. It’s a great asset, and you ultimately make better music in that kind of environment.”


Making it Multipurpose


Criterion Acoustics designed a comprehensive program for the studio, including full internal room acoustics, sound isolation from the existing rooms and mechanical noise control.


The project’s major challenge was to make one side of the room suitable for recording, while the other would be highly accurate for mixing. “For any kind of live room, especially when you’re recording drums, you want a reverberant room sound,” explains Sam Neff, Co-Founder of Criterion Acoustics. “Whereas in a critical listening environment, you want it to be flat so you can get an accurate mix.


“You don’t want a real live mix room with any reflections, because then everything you mix is going to end up sounding dead. We made it flat on the side he mixes on with acoustical absorbers, and put more reflective surfaces on the other side.”


Criterion Acoustics was selective about the acoustical materials that were used, specifying hardwood floors, high-quality carpet, and maple wood treatments throughout – even in the ceiling clouds — to create natural reverb tones that would best represent the piano and drums.


The firm also mastered a tricky HVAC system at Human. “The HVAC is the coolest thing,” says Bloch.Criterion Acoustics came up with a great solution. It’s very quiet and comfortable, with beautiful baffles that they designed.”


Better Faster


For Andy Bloch, his new room at Human provides everything he needs to turn around a national spot in as little as a few hours – and look sharp doing it.


“If you’re actually going to put up a mic and capture a performance, the room has to sound good, and the performer has to get something back from the room,” he states. “And clients love to hang out in these places — that’s important to keep in mind when you’re creating a live room and acoustic environment.


“When you make music for advertising media, we don’t have the luxury of sitting around for weeks and months, fine-tuning. Our tracks have to sound as good as records, and it has to happen immediately. A studio like this gives you an edge.”


— CA




Club Adoré


The latest club from Cy Waits, the brains behind Tryst and XS in Las Vegas, Adoré is South Beach’s hottest night club.


Located in the upscale Hotel Boulan, there were serious concerns that music and sound from the night club would disturb hotel guests, as well as residents of the adjacent apartment building.


Criterion Acoustics successfully engineered a sound isolation solution that allows the night club to play music at high levels throughout the night, without any disruption to the neighbors.