Mix Magazine

Class of 2016
June 2016

Castle Row Studios, a Steven Durr Designs project, incorporates the natural acoustics of an older, existing movie theater. The more than 2,000-square-foot, open Studio A tracking room (pictured) is paired with a spacious control room, designed to be accurate and balanced to a degree that eliminates the guesswork for visiting engineers.

The Oklahoman

Castle Row Studios celebrating first anniversary with June 18 open house and master class
by Brandy McDonnell - June 7, 2016

The studio will host a master class from 2 to 4 p.m. with Steven Durr, the Nashville, Tenn.-based studio consultant who designed Castle Row, installed his signature monitors.

The Sound Of Speed

Craig Havinghurst - May 12, 2016

Audio guru Steve Durr manages emotion at the world's biggest sporting event, the Indianapolis 500.

Utilities Council of IFMA
May 6, 2016

Steven Durr Designs powerpoint presentation on how to mitigate noise in a call center environment.

Sports and Entertainment Nashville

Ray Stevens announces groundbreaking of "CabaRay"
by Cillea Houghton - March 5, 2016

Though Stevens and his team are still in the beginning stages of the project, he knows that the quality of sound in the venue will be premiere, utilizing the expertise of acoustic engineer Steve Durr (his past clients include everyone from Dreamworks Studios to Willie Nelson), and building areas on the stage that can accompany a large orchestra that allow for strings, brass, harps and much more.

SSL Studio News

All New Firefly Studios Chooses SSL Duality δelta
February 19, 2016

Firefly Sound Studios is located in the beautiful Hill Country region of Texas, equidistant between Austin and San Antonio. Part of the growing Studios At Fischer media development, Firefly is a purpose-built facility, with acoustics by Steven Durr Designs, designed to service the large local music and media economy.

Worship Facilities Conference and Expo

Day One Of A Busy Show
By Dan Daley - November 19, 2015

"Churches are a real market for sound now - quality sound," commented Steve Durr, a noted Nashville-based acoustician with dozens of church sound systems in his portfolio.

Worship Facilities

Don't Let the Sound System Upstage Your Services
By Steven Durr - November 6, 2015

How to manage overpowering bass response, poor coverage, and a lack of sound consistency with proper acoustic design.

Naked City OKC

Castle Row Studios
July 2015

The Steven Durr designed control room boasts one of the finest collections of vintage and new analog gear in Oklahoma. Soffit-mounted Custom Steven Durr Design monitors with Tad components make this room an incredible mixing tool.

Mix Magazine

Class of 2015
June 2015

Arranger/composer Joachim Horsley contracted with Steven Durr Designs to build this studio for acoustic and small-ensemble recording. Durr's design focuses on providing a big, natural sound-especially for the studio's 1875 Steinway grand-in limited space, on the second floor of Horsley's home.


SOLID Raises Over $25,000 To Support Big Brothers Big Sisters
Jessica Nicholson - April 14, 2015

SOLID (Society of Leaders in Development) recently hosted the fifth annual Music Row Madness in support of Big Brothers Big Sisters Bowl For Kids' Sake at AMF Pla Mor Lanes. The organization landed on raising a final amount of $25,358, totaling more than $120,000 in contributions during the five-year partnership. Over 20 teams were represented with sponsorships from Fifth Third Bank, Creative Artist Agency, Steven Durr Designs, Events by Janie, Jewell Roofing, Marbaloo and Clearbox Rights.

Welcome to 1979 Recording Studio

April 1, 2015

We had Steven Durr Designs in the studio this week, dialing in our new focal SM9s. Steve is a demigod in the music world and we are very lucky to work with him and gain from his experience and expertise in sound design.

Grammy Pro

Fischer - In The Studio With Steven Durr (Firefly Sound Studio)
The Recording Academy® Texas Chapter - November 1, 2014

Join fellow producers and engineers for an in-depth tour of one of Steven Durr's latest designs-the new Firefly Sound Studio-led by Durr who will discuss his design techniques as well as what he has learned over the last 30 years about successful recording studio and audio monitoring. Alongside knowledge and technique will be stories about unusual studio experiences and a Q&A session with attendees.

Studio 360

This Is the Room Your Favorite Song Came From
Kurt Andersen - October 17, 2014

The acoustics are great, but the experts recognize that acoustics aren't everything. "How do I feel in this room?" asks Steve Durr, a renowned studio designer and engineer. "I feel comfortable. I'm not intimidated by anything. Sounds and music comes from musicians - so spend time making them comfortable. That's what's magical about this room."

AIA Tennessee Convention

"The Unseen Element: How Acoustics Affect the Human Experience in Your Design" - Steven Durr
July 15, 2014

The sound of a room, or any space for that matter, can either serve to enhance or detract an experience. Acoustics is often overlooked in the design of a space, even though the ability to hear, converse and feel comfortable matters a great deal to those who use it. The relationship between a space and the people in it is directly related to an acoustic signature.

Mix Magazine

Class of 2014
June 2014

Zelig Studio, London
Award-winning designer Steve Durr collaborated with UK-based designer Chris Walls and DDC construction to create this warm, flexible personal studio for producer/composer Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Rufus Wainwright, Kaiser Chiefs, etc.). This unique room design incorporates both the vibe for capturing live music and the flexibility for creating a performance.

Live Design

Bose® Hosts RoomMatch® Demo Series In Nashville
May 12, 2014

Recently in Nashville, Tennessee, Bose® Professional Systems held a three-day series of events demonstrating its RoomMatch® modules. Presented in collaboration with studio designer/system integrator Steve Durr, these educational sessions were held at Ben's Studio, the historic Music Row studio space formerly known as RCA Studio A and now operated by singer-songwriter and producer Ben Folds.

Mix Magazine

Southern Ground Studios: Zac Brown's Production Home on Music Row
By Barabra Schultz - May 1, 2014

Southern Ground's studio renovation grew to encompass not only the restoration of the 100-plus-year-old sanctuary/tracking room, but also building out another partially developed space into a mix room, equipped with a 56-channel SSL 4000G console and ATC 300 monitors. Steven Durr helped tune the restored tracking studio, and designed the mix room acoustics. "Steve does a lot of his work by feel, which was a big part of the spirit of this whole studio project," Mangano says. "A lot of what's right about this facility is because of his ears."

Corporate Tech Decisions

Acoustics Can No Longer Be an Afterthought
By Dan Daley - March 24, 2014

Acoustics used to be an afterthought in corporate A/V design. That's changing as more end users realize the importance of coherence in communication. Here, noted acoustical consultant Steve Durr responds to some questions relating to corporate environments.

News from Steve Durr Designs
(June 2013 Newsletter)

Mix Magazine

Class of 2013
June 2013

"The acoustics in Easy Eye Sound, the personal studio of Black Keys frontman and the Recording Academy's reigning Producer of the Year, Dan Auerbach, were redesigned by Steven Durr ( to be warm and natural-sounding, allowing for performances to be captured with little or no baffling. Excellent sight lines allow for good communication and flow during sessions. Constructed by Dave Mattingly of Sound Construction, Easy Eye Sound reopened in June 2012, retaining its previous equipment complement including a Spectra Sonics 1020 16-bus console, Scully 280A 16 track 2-inch and 8-track 1-inch recorders, Pro Tools HDX with Lynx converters, RADAR, and monitors by Equator Audio, Dynaudio and Altec."

Mix Magazine - Regional Nashville

Easy Eye Makeover
By Barbara Schultz - May 2013

"Easy Eye Sound, the production base of Black Keys singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach, saw a lot of action last year, including Auerbach's Grammy-winning productions of Dr. John's Locked Down and the Keys' massive, soulful album El Camino. In the midst of all the music making, the studio also received an acoustical revamp from veteran designer Steve Durr."

New London studio for DJ/producer Mark Ronson
By Tim Goodyer - April, 2013

Taking up residence in his new Munro Acoustics/Steve Durr-designed studio in London's Tileyard Studios complex, DJ/producer Mark Ronson acknowledges a Nashville studio built for The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach as its inspiration. 'It just had a great vibe - kind of like one of those old RCA studios in Nashville,' he says. 'So my live room is, likewise, really well designed, with a no-frills vibe. It's like walking into any old studio from the 1960s.'

Bose® Professional Services Division

Bose® RoomMatch® Loudspeakers Control the Sound for Austin's
Cedar Street Courtyard
March 2013

"In the weeks leading up to the opening of the Cedar Street Courtyard music venue in Austin, Texas, America's live music capital, the venue was already drawing noise concerns. Due to its close proximity to residences and other establishments, Cedar Street Courtyard was looking to minimize its contribution to the noise pollution problem, and RoomMatch® loudspeakers and PowerMatch® amplifiers from Bose® Professional Systems Division were able to solve these issues by controlling the sound with extraordinary precision. Nashville-based consultant Steve Durr was called in to recommend a sound system whose sonic quality would keep it competitive with the city's many other music venues, while at the same time keeping the sound highly controlled and away from reflective surfaces, and keeping the energy channeled within the venue and away from neighboring residences."

Mix Magazine - The Wire

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School Opens Recording Facility with Support from The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing®
May 2013

"Subcommittee member Steve Durr of Nashville-based Steven Durr Designs also served as the designer for the studio, laying out the acoustical and ergometric concepts. His portfolio includes studios for Austin City Limits, The Black Keys, Mark Ronson, Lenny Kravitz and Zac Brown. He stated, "I tried to achieve a design that would allow students to experience recording music with both machines and people," Durr explains, citing the large control room that will allow several students and teachers to work comfortably using drum machines, digital samplers and synthesizers as well as the recording equipment, and the sizable tracking room where they will be able to capture great recordings of live musicians playing in ensemble. "What I hope this ultimately accomplishes is that kids will now be able to learn about making music in an environment that was designed around great sound. Kids who have been brought up on MP3s can experience what music can really sound like. That can change their lives."

Mix Magazine - Regional Austin

Willie Nelson New Album, Big Changes For a Country Legend
By Barbara Schultz - March 2013

"Pedernales was Willie's building with our equipment," explains Lisa Fletcher. "For years, we've run both studio: Pedernales and Arlyn, the studio my husband built in 1984. For 10 years we leased Arlyn to a recording school, MediaTech. But we had been talking about taking Arlyn back, because not only does Arlen have these custom designed Steven Durr-designed, great sounding rooms, downtown Austin is so vibrant. The Fletchers have spent the past several months refurbishing Arlyn. The SSL 4048 G+ from Pedernales (Willie's studio) now lives in a brand new Durr designed Studio B.

ATC Acoustic Engineers

February 8, 2013
Mark Ronson revels in revealing ATC SCM25A PRO studio setup

Grammy Award-winning record producer, DJ, and musician Mark Ronson has installed a pair of SCM25A PRO three-way compact active loudspeakers in his new Munro Acoustics and Steve Durr designed studio space at London's Tileyard Studios complex.

Clyne Media - Electronic Musician

The Recording Academy® Producers & Engineers Wing® Contributes to a World-Class Recording Facility for New Metro Nashville Public Schools Music Education Initiative
Robert Clyne - February 2013

Ainlay says they turned to award-winning recording studio designer Steve Durr, also a Nashville resident, whose portfolio includes studios for Austin City Limits, the Black Keys, Mark Ronson, Lenny Kravitz, and Zac Brown. Durr laid out the acoustical and ergometric designs, which are being constructed at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School.

"I tried to achieve a design that would allow students to experience recording music with both machines and people," Durr explains, citing the large control room that will allow several students and teachers to work comfortably using drum machines, digital samplers and synthesizers as well as the recording equipment, and the sizable tracking room where they will be able to capture great recordings of live musicians playing in ensemble. "What I hope this ultimately accomplishes is that kids will now be able to learn about making music in an environment that was designed around great sound. Kids who have been brought up on MP3s can experience what music can really sound like. That can change their lives."

The Daily Illini

Students shouldn't fear career change, alums say
By Sarah Soenke - February 2013

Schlachter was hired by a high-end custom residential architecture firm right out of college, but was laid off after the field was hit hard by the recession. After a year of unemployment, he considered pursuing his other passion, music, and obtained a two-year degree from the Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy for audio engineering. He moved to Nashville, Tenn. in search of internships, before he became project designer at Steven Durr Designs. "I'm basically fusing my two degrees into designing acoustical environments, and, on top of that, we have a recording studio, so I run recording sessions, mix music and do audio production," Schlachter said. "I think I've found my place. I absolutely love what I do. ... It's hard to convey a struggle because I'm in such a good place now, but it took a lot to get here."

2013 is off to a great start!
(Feb 2013 Newsletter)

Tech Decisions Media

Acoustics Can No Longer Be an Afterthought

Acoustician Steven Durr Tells Why Sound and Communication Are Inextricably Linked
By Dan Daley- January 2013

Acoustics used to be an afterthought in corporate A/V design. That's changing as more end users realize the importance of coherence in communication. Here, noted acoustical consultant Steve Durr responds to some questions relating to corporate environments.

Vanderbilt University

Music Makes Us engages public school students through music
by Joan Brasher - November 14, 2012

This fall, Music Makes Us-a partnership among the mayor's office, the Music City Music Council and the Nashville Public Education Foundation-officially put into action its mission to promote, support and advance student engagement and achievement through robust, high-quality music education programs in Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools. In the works is the formation of a new student record label and publishing company at Pearl-Cohn, with help from acclaimed acoustic engineer Steven Durr and members of the Producers and Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy.

Nashville Arts Magazine

Sound Fine Tuned: Steve Durr
by Nicole Keiper - October 2012

Success in those spaces led to Durr's current run as something of a golden child of all manner of musical rooms. Durr's career has certainly allowed him to develop his own brand of artistic exploration.

Nashville Business Journal

Pearl-Cohn recording studio to open in February
by Jamie McGee- September 2012

The design for Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School's new recording studio, an effort coordinated by the local music industry and Metro Nashville Public Schools, is nearing completion and the studio is expected to be ready for students in February, according to Steve Durr, who is designing the studio.

Durr, who has helped design studios for Disney, Willie Nelson and Austin City Limits, offered a sneak preview of what will be a "a world-class professional recording studio" for Pearl-Cohn students who will operate their own record label for the school district.

You can take a virtual tour of the studio here.

News update from Steve Durr Designs
(Sept 2012 Newsletter)

News from Steve Durr Designs
(July 2012 Newsletter)

L&SI Online

Designers Embrace Latest Bose Systems - July 2012

After listening to a demo, Nashville, Tennessee-based Steven Durr, principal at Steven Durr Designs, added, "The RoomMatch speakers were so beautiful in the vocal range, and the intelligibility was gorgeous from the front of the room to the back. And the PowerMatch amplifier is really spectacular, and it's really going to change the way that people do things."

Church Production Magazine

Great Minds Speak - Leading Systems and Facilities Designers Speak Out at a CP Roundtable By Dan Daley - June 2012

Steven Durr "A large number of our projects are working with an existing facility and the sound system is hindering their ability to worship. Worship is an emotional experience, and we constantly stress that no one came to the service to hear the sound system. How the sound system is installed and married to the natural room acoustics in the sanctuary is the major problem. Every day we see churches that are convinced purchasing new equipment will solve all of their sound problems and in 95 percent of these cases they will have exactly the same problems they had before, only much louder."


Austin City Limits Live: A Connected New Venue
By Dan Daley - May 2012

The house seats 2,750, but the floor and balcony seating are steeply raked, with the furthest seat only 90 feet away from the stage. In addition, the edges of the seating areas are tightly curved inward to achieve an intimacy for broadcast shows. When designing the sound system, the team had to consider that the stage and the PA system needed to be reconfigurable for non-broadcast, live concerts, and that the entire venue was joined at the hip to the W Hotel next door  (where not every guest would want to hear concert sound as if it were in the next room). The key, says Durr, was a combination of adroit acoustics and common sense.

Mix Magazine

Pollstar Award for 'Austin City Limits' | Moody Theater Wins Best New Venue Award for 2011 - April 2012

Working with BOKA Powell Architecture, veteran acoustician Steven Durr designed the house and studio facilities with the experience of the audience and performers in mind: "The first thing we always do is make sure the artist is going to feel comfortable onstage," Durr explains. "The quality of a live performance is almost totally dictated by the emotional state of the artist."

AVNetwork - System Contractor News

Setting the Pace By David Wiener - April 2012
Clarity and Control Are Key for Stadiums and Racetracks

Durr handles his audio-level-management issues with the Aphex Dominator 722. "I use the Dominator on every large system. It's a brick-wall limiter. It prevents damage to the loudspeakers because they can't drive the amps into distortion. And digital distortion is really one of the ugliest things on the planet." At football stadiums, Durr said, "the ref mics will invariably get into feedback." By running the Dominator straight out of the console, "the operator can simply look at it and know it's as loud as it can go." This also solves the natural variation when different operators use the system.

CCFM Today - Conference for Catholic Facility Management

Sound Systems in a Sanctuary
By Steven Durr - Spring 2012
There are many common myths surrounding sound systems in the predominately spoken word Sanctuary, these myths were established many years ago and continue to this day, we have outlined the top five.

Sports Video Group

Acoustics Get Increased Attention in Sports-Venue Design
By Dan Daley- March 2012

Durr thinks architects can do more to improve stadium and arena acoustics, but he's happy to have more technology designed with live sports audio in mind to address what architects can't. "What we can fix now that we couldn't even five years ago is amazing, because we have the products to do it with."

Meyer Sound

ACL Live-Pollstar Best New Venue-Thrives with Meyer Sound MICA - February 2012

The acoustician and sound system designer was Steven Durr of Nashville-based Steven Durr Associates, who consulted with long-time Meyer Sound associate Bob McCarthy. Steven Durr remembers Nelson's concert as an auspicious occasion. "There was hardly a dry eye in the room. It reminded me that we're not really in the sound business, we're in the emotion business. Our job is to take what's on the stage and connect it to the audience with the least interference. The audio equipment doesn't make that happen by itself. You have to apply experience and knowledge, though in this case we certainly had the tools at hand to get the results we wanted."

Austin Business Journal

From school to recording studio by Sandra Zaragoza - January 2012

Will Harrison has a different notion of what a rehearsal space should be. Harrison is converting a former Christian elementary school into Space Rehearsal and Recording Studios, a studio on almost 9 acres at 7915 Manchaca Road. The South Austin studio is set to be ready for musicians to occupy in March. Mulligan brought on sound architect Steven Durr, known for his design on the new Austin City Limits theater, to design the building's acoustics.


Austin City Limits Live: A Connected New Venue
By Dan Daley - December 2011

"They were transitioning from a small theater that seated maybe 300 to a space that holds nearly ten times as many people, so the challenge was to keep the intimacy that the show was used to - and that performers and audiences enjoyed - but apply it to a much larger venue," Durr explains.

Stage Side Productions

Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater - Dec 2011
"It's incredible to have this kind of facility to bring in artists from all over the world --and all those great artists now have a place to come and play and know that they're going to sound the way they are supposed to sound, and that's really important to us." Willie Nelson

LiveDesign Online

Beyond City Limits For ACL: The Sound And Broadcast Systems By Ellen Lampert-Greaux -- October 2011

On opening night, Willie Nelson was accompanied by an orchestra, and afterwards, conductor David Campbell expressed that "he felt like he was on a cloud guiding the orchestra around," notes Durr, who feels fortunate to have come into the project in its earliest stages.  

Audio Engineering Society, New York, 2011

A Tribute to Walter Sear - October 2011

Since his untimely passing in April 2010, Walter Sear's world-famous Sear Sound recording studio has continued to thrive as a champion of analog fidelity. With its reputation for meticulously selected and maintained equipment and a superbly trained staff, Sear Sound has attracted such clients as Paul McCartney, Wilco, and Norah Jones.

Walter Sear's encyclopedic knowledge of and unbridled passion for audio quality set a Platinum standard for studios around the world. This panel will address Sear's incomparable life and legendary accomplishments from audio engineering and music composition, to his experimentation with theremins and synthesizers.


Landmarks: Main Monitors, Sear Sound, Studio C by David Weiss -- August 2011

Sear-Studio C's architect and designer - turned to Nashville acoustician Steven Durr to design and build the main monitors. Here, Durr revisits the active custom 3-way monitors that helps complete one of NYC's most creative spaces - sharing a wealth of acoustics and speaker design know-how in the process.


Deep in the Heart of Texas: W Austin By: Katie Tandy - June 2011

W Austin is a sleek new silhouette in the skyline, honoring the unofficial city slogan by "keeping things weird" with clamoring quirkiness by emerging designer Heather Plimmer of Stratus Properties. W Austin Acoustical - Steven Durr Designs, LLC

Austin 360June 21, 2009 Austin City Limit

The Austin Chronicle

Off The Record Music News

American Classic
By Austin Powell - February 2011

Conforming to the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED certification, the $40 million facility has raised the bar for decades to come. It's basically a 2,750-capacity recording studio with custom sound helmed by Nashville's Steven Durr Designs and huge soundproof doors that seal off the main hall. A remote-controlled camera glides beneath the mezzanine level, while the backstage recording studio and in-house video editing room resemble NASA's launch room.

CelebrityAccess MediaWire

Industry Profile: Terry Lickona, executive producer, "Austin City Limits."
By Larry LeBlanc March 2011

The $40 million facility, developed by Stratus Properties, is basically a 2,750-capacity studio with custom sound, helmed by Nashville's Steven Durr Designs that has soundproof doors that seal off the main hall. A remote-controlled camera glides beneath the mezzanine level, while there is a backstage recording studio, and an in-house video editing room.

Sports Video Group

Steve Durr: Proper stadium audio systems important for proper broadcast audio
By Dan Daley- March 2008

Steve Durr has been specializing in sports venue sound for two decades. He's designed audio systems for venues including the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City for football's Chiefs, the Cincinnati Bengals' Paul Brown Stadium and Sprint Cup tracks in Las Vegas and Bristol, TN. The wide range of facilities he has worked on has also helped him learn that stadium sound is about more than sheer volume. "The fan experience is enhanced when you invest in both good sound reinforcement and good acoustical design," he responds. "At too many facilities, we're not seeing both."

April 17, 2007 - Villa Muse

AESAES Convention - New York 2/12/2001 Historical Committee Meeting


Audio Engineering Society

December 3, 2001

The third day wrapped up with presentations on 1970's Latin sounds by Bernard Fox, the Museum of Sound Recording by Dan Gaydos, and the art of tuning the listening room by Steven Durr.

EQ MagazineEQ Magazine - Ergonomics for Engineering Autonomy: Seven Studio Design Solutions for the Self

Steve Durr has built facilities for two wheelchair-bound studio owners so far. Both Dockside Studios in Lafayette, LA, and On Fire Productions in Raleigh-Durham, NC,have mobility-impaired owners.

Summit StudioSummit Recording Studio Design, Denver, Colorado by Steve Durr



Public Hi-Fi StudioJim Eno of Spoon uses Steven Durr to design his control room in his studio Public Hi-Fi


Church Production Magazine - Great Minds Speak - Leading Systems and Facilities Designers Speak Out at a CP Roundtable

Mix Magazine - MixNashville Conference May 20, 2008
STUDIO: Speaker Optimization: Making Your Mixes Translate From Home to Studio

Merrick Music, Inc. a state of the art recording facility designed by Steven Durr Designs

Steve Durr, designer of Lifeword's new Harold Morris Audio Recording Studio

Aural Industries studio designed by Steven Durr Designs

Balsam Pillow studio designed by Steven Durr Designs

Friends of Sear Sound

Pro AV Magazine - Loudspeaker Cluster Question