Top Dawg Entertainment builds new studio complex with the help of Pro Audio Design Inc & You’re Safe Here designer, Summer Walker
Boston, MA: Pro Audio Design Inc., the pro audio and acoustic treatment specialist, has recently completed an impressive new installation at Top Dawg Entertainment (TDE) in a unique collaboration with interior design specialist Summer Walker of design agency, You’re Safe Here.
Independent record label TDE, was founded in 2004 by CEO Anthony “Top Dawg” Tiffith – legendary executive and producer of Kendrick Lamar, SZA, and many other TDE artists who have collectively amassed a Pulitzer Prize, 16 GRAMMYs, an Oscar nomination and almost 30 platinum plaques, to name but a few.
Based in Carson, California, the original TDE studio, a one-room recording space at the back of Top Dawg’s house, provided a central hub for (at the time) developing artists Kendrick Lamar, Jay Rock, Ab-Soul, ScHoolboy Q and engineer MixedByAli, who spent innumerable hours listening to each other’s work, inspiring new creative ideas, and pushing their limits and abilities.
As the label grew, and success came in the form of hit records and a growing artist roster, the label outgrew the facility and many recording sessions had to be outsourced to various studios around LA, which spurred the decision to build the TDE studio complex.
“When going into this project, our goal was to re-establish the core essence of the original Carson studio by creating a communal space free from the pressures associated with traditional studio rentals,” recalls Keaton Smith, General Manager at TDE. “As we continue to expand the project, our aim is to create more opportunities for artists to come together and flourish.”
The core team working on the project included Pro Audio Design Inc, Summer Walker of You’re Safe Here interior design, Yuriy Sogomonov of TE Builders, Michael Bashkhangy, architectural designer for Malekpour Design Partners, and Luis Valdez of Jocavi Acoustics, overseen by Project Manager, David Anthony of Malekpour Design Partners.
“Being born & raised in Los Angeles, this project hit home for me in many ways,” remarks David Anthony. “TDE has been super inspirational to all Angelenos for over a decade, by keeping West Coast Hip-Hop on the map and giving artists hope that the Music Industry still has room for them.”
He continues, “Top (Anthony Tiffith) and his TDE team have made numerous positive contributions to the community and have always kept their ear to the streets to find the artists that reach the hearts of the listeners.”
Summer Walker, who was the creative lead on the project, also had a personal connection to the project, having previously worked on Top Dawg’s Beverley Hills home.
“TDE has been a staple in my passion for music, providing me some of my greatest moments in time through music and visual content. Being able to feed off that while working on this studio compound has really been a dream.”
For Walker, the project was more than just fulfilling a brief, “For me, as a black woman, to have a team of men who I highly respect give me that respect right back tenfold through this project, shows that the talent is not only there, but worth everyone’s time and mental focus. You know you’re in the right place and time when you feel creatively charged and trust implicitly in your team.”
Dave Malekpour, founder and president at Pro Audio Design Inc, praises the hard work of the design & build team, sharing his thoughts on the finished project.
“The facility has both incredible sounding rooms and is visually captivating and comfortable. The massive Augspurger Duo15-Sub218s also provide limitless power when creating beats, and accuracy when mixing. We used Studio Float IsoRafts and were able to achieve very high-level isolation in rooms that are in close proximity. They are capable of producing 127db and keeping that inside a studio presented challenges we were able to overcome. Working closely with Jocavi Acoustics, we also used predictive acoustic modeling and tuned treatments specifically designed to ensure the rooms sound amazing!”
TDE was founded on a belief in community and that collaboration helps bring out the best in everybody. Malekpour wanted to ensure that those core values of TDE were honored within the new design.
“Top Dawg has created a powerful independent label and company that has forged some of the best artists in music today,” he said. “Our team wanted to create studios that would inspire their new and existing artists and producers and capture that feeling in their music.”
During the NAMM Show, Dave Malekpour will be hosting an AES Academy session on Saturday, June 4th, between 4.15pm – 5.30pm, in Room 202B, providing an in-depth look at the design, construction and completion of Top Dawg Entertainment’s new studios. Panelists include Keaton Smith, General Manager of Top Dawg Entertainment, Summer Walker of You’re Safe Here interior design, Yuriy Sogomonov of TE Builders, Michael Bashkhangy, the architectural designer for Malekpour Design Partners, and Luis Valdez of Jocavi Acoustics.
The session will see the panelists review the project from concept to completion, in what is set to be an insightful and educational discussion. Full details about AES Academy sessions here.