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Sites for sore ears

In this week's report, Phil Ward talks to Miloco's Pete Hoffman about the ins and outs of the company's new studio venture: Miloco Builds.

Following on from the Miloco Builds news story in this week’s PSNe-Studio, Phil Ward talks in greater detail to Miloco’s technical director Pete Hofmann about the thinking behind this latest branch of Miloco’s business… You say the new service meets “the needs of modern recording professionals” in a way that others might not. What gives you the edge?
 “The thing that really sets us apart from other studio build companies is that we have over 20 years’ experience actually running successful commercial facilities. We know what works and what doesn’t, and so can offer very practical advice. As clients ourselves, we know the importance of working within a budget and how crucial building schedules are – particularly when expanding a studio complex to ensure the minimum of disruption to working rooms. We also have some excellent relationships with equipment manufacturers and suppliers, so when it comes to equipping a room we can offer competitive pricing – as well as staff to look after software installs and engineers who make sure that a room is going to work effectively when we hand it over.” How small, and how large, can your projects be?
 “We’re happy to help with any project. We get a lot of people who just want their existing facilities improved with acoustic treatment or better monitoring. We have a close relationship with Nick Whitaker, who can visit a room to run a detailed analysis of its acoustics and identify any problems that we can then address. We’re just as comfortable designing and building anything from the ground up, from programming rooms to garden studios and large studio complexes. One thing we have found is that we’ve taken on difficult builds where other companies have passed on them, often because the job might not be practical in terms of access or the build is simply not straightforward or commercially attractive. We’re happy to visit sites and talk to landlords and planners and. if it’s not suitable, we will tell you. Otherwise there’s normally a way to make things work.” Will Miloco Builds be responsible for all design and construction work within the Miloco group?
 “Without a doubt. We’ve always managed our own builds in the past and we now have a great team of like-minded builders, many of whom have previously worked in studios themselves, and of course we already have in-house wiremen and maintenance engineers. So Miloco Builds seems a logical extension of this existing infrastructure. It’s also worth pointing out that we can offer maintenance and studio management contracts, technical support and advice. We can even can supply and/or train engineering staff.” What kinds of materials, furniture and acoustic treatments are you finding the most useful for today’s clients?
 “The important factor is normally cost. We understand that the industry model is moving rapidly towards producers having their own studios, so understandably they want big studio quality on a budget. We’ve developed our own methods of construction that give excellent isolation at affordable prices. In respect to furniture, we make a lot of workstations with rack space like the one we built for Stephen Street, but can also build bespoke rack units in a variety of finishes, cupboards and shelving for vinyl. We also supply a range of wall mounting acoustic panels, acoustic doors and windows – all specified by Nick Whitaker.”