Criterion Acoustics

MacEwan University

Criterion Acoustics traveled North on a major new project for MacEwan University.


The famed fine arts college in Edmonton, Canada, has unveiled Allard Hall, a new ground-up performing arts center with recording studios that represents the most significant new audio facility in Western Canada in several years.


The design began in 2012 and was completed in 2017 for this $143 million complex. Collaborating with Vancouver-based architects Bing Thom, Criterion Acoustics provided the recording studio design, as well as overseeing all AV system design for this large-scale educational facility.


The program consists of a large A studio with a control room, live room, two isolation booths and machine room. The A studio was designed around a 32 Channel API Legacy Plus Console and ATC SCM 150A Monitors – this facility marks the first API Legacy Plus deployed.


The B studio is programmatically a bit smaller consisting of a control room, live room, one isolation booth and machine room. The B studio serves for the first and second year studio, instructing students on the SSL-AWS 900.


All spaces throughout the building are interconnected with MADI and Dante offering full audio recording of the theater, recital hall or black box.


Acoustically speaking each of the live rooms or iso booths had distinctive live or neutral characteristics. The live A room has a mid-band reverberation time of 0.6s, while the live B room is closer is closer to 1s. Each studio features live and dead iso booths, and all rooms are fully isolated with room-in-room construction.


“A recording studio designed for instructional purposes has specific requirements,” says David Kotch, President of Criterion Acoustics. “It has to be larger in order to accommodate a lot of students. That changes the layout, as does the multitude of displays that are needed so the class can see what the professors are doing – all with zero compromises on critical listening capabilities.”


Take a video tour of MacEwan’s new Allard Hall, including a view of the CA-designed studios, in this feature article from the Edmonton Journal. More information from API can be found here.

Photo Credit for slides 1-3 above: Ema Peter








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