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As the boundaries blur, we have increasingly been asked to work on multimedia projects, such as small cinemas, cinemas in super yachts and this – the hardest one so far:

A theatre. A cinema. A 7.1 mix room.  All at the same time.

Composer, film director and all round nice guy Tony Britten (best known to you perhaps for his UEFA Champions League Anthem) pitched me an interesting and complex challenge last year:  ‘ Can you take this little old barn, and convert it into a 50 seat private movie theatre and performance venue, that is also accurate for mixing 7.1 stems for movies?’


That’s not as simple as it sounds.

It has to have a ventilation system that can cope with the CO2 and heat of 50 people, yet quiet enough to mix a pin dropping.  And accurate.  And not to look like a Studio (Tony said!)

I hope you think we succeeded!  Design by yours truly.  Construction by the ever reliable master craftsman Jeff the Builder…



We enlisted the assistance of a brilliant a/c consultant and retained the ‘look’ of the barn (It had previously housed 2 old theatre organs and been lined in wood by the previous owner.)  Ventilation plenums were hidden behind said panelling as was bass trapping.


My first experience of the finished building (after testing) was the private premiere of Tony’s latest film ‘Chick Lit‘.  The pre – film piano concert sounded great and the 7.1 rendition as I had expected!  Also, no-one got too hot on a warm summer evening with every seat occupied.  That’s what we are there for!

The Author.

Howard Turner has over 30 years experience in the studio business, and for the last two decades his Studio Wizard Organisation has allowed him to stop shouting at musicians and going to sleep on the mixing desk all of the time, instead he gets to design studios and shout at builders for a change…

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