SPARS Spotlights renewing member Russ Berger Design Group


The Russ Berger Design Group specializes in acoustical and architectural design for recording studios and broadcast facilities. What began over thirty years ago as a one-man show has grown into a diverse team of experienced problem solvers. RBDG brings a proven track record of creativity, responsiveness, and technical expertise to a wide variety of projects including recording and broadcast studios; facilities for entertainment and media content, audio, film, and post production; technical learning environments for higher education; residential theaters; and corporate production spaces. Their services include:

  • Architectural acoustics
  • Interior design, architectural design, and space planning
  • Sound isolation
  • Room acoustics
  • Noise and vibration control
  • Home theater and critical listening environments
  • Media and presentation systems
  • Performance verification and testing

The company has completed more than 2,500 projects from coast to coast, ranging from personal home studios to corporate mega-facilities, and from small remodels to major purpose-built complexes. RBDG is a talented group of professional acousticians, architects, designers, and project managers with combined backgrounds in architecture, electrical and mechanical engineering, acoustics, interior design, recording engineering, and studio operations. The firm’s principals often are invited to guest lecture on acoustic-related subjects across the country, and frequently contribute articles to industry journals and trade publications. Russ has been active on the board of many organizations and universities, including the National Council of Acoustical Consultants (past president), Middle Tennessee State University, Belmont University, and the University of Kansas.

The folks at RBDG bring to their clients’ projects a depth of experience, engineering objectivity, and enthusiasm in meeting design challenges. It’s  a combination that yields cost-effective solutions to real world problems. Working in collaboration with other design team members, RBDG provides a design that addresses the client’s needs and can accommodate inevitable changes to technology.

The reason for RBDG’s more than 30 years of success is the people. RBDG’s President, Russ Berger, was an early supporter of SPARS for many years beginning in the 1980s. SPARS is especially pleased to have him advising us for the future. RBDG’s key associates include:

Russell E. Berger II
, FASA, President – Acoustical Design

Richard Schrag
, Design Principal – Acoustics and Architectural Engineering

Blane Kelley, A.I.A.
, Architect – Design and Project Management

Some of RBDG’s studio projects include:

Blade Studios

Blade Studios

Blade Studios opened in Shreveport, Louisiana, as a new full-service record and film production company formed by drummer/producer Brady Blade Jr., chief engineer/mixer Chris Bell and media developer Scott Crompton. The 8,000 sq.ft. facility is equipped with the most advanced technology to support the area’s growing film industry and the local music community, which includes many Grammy Award-winning recording artists.

Studio A is a traditional recording suite with a control room and a 1,100-sq-ft studio with several isolations booths. The studio’s volume can accommodate a wide variety of music projects and is ideal for tracking drums. The control room is outfitted with (read more…)

Wire Road Studios

Wire Road Studios opened a brand new, 5,000-square-foot studio in the historic Heights district of Houston, Texas. RBDG worked with owner Byron Kelley and his son, president and chief engineer James Kelley, to create a recording facility to accommodate the expanding business. The company moved its operations in 2011 from a smaller project-based studio to a ground-up facility that boasts two recording studios, a video editing suite and an impressive production studio.

“The goal of our new space was to bring a first-class mixing facility with mastering capabilities to Houston,” notes James Kelley. “We wanted something really high-end and modern that would attract local musicians who are doing serious work, as well as regional and national musicians.” Wire Road offers a wide range of production services such as recording/tracking, editing, mixing, mastering, original music creation and video production. (read more…)

BiCoastal Music

BiCoastal Music

Although RBDG could easily be classified as a high-end studio designer, the firm also creates sonic masterpieces for just about any size room or budget, with Hal Winer’s intimate BiCoastal Music in Ossining, NY, being one example. RBDG stretched every available dollar, turning a modest supply of funds into a spacious, 1,700 square-foot facility outfitted with an SSL C200 digital production console.

“This is a really great example of a significant trend, where people are building more high-quality studios in rural settings,” states Russ Berger. “BiCoastal was designed to service a local group of producers, engineers and artists who live outside of New York City and are tired of the commute.”

For some time, Winer had wanted to improve his current recording space. He decided to augment his house (which previously was an inn built in the 1800s) with a much more spacious private studio, where he could record his own music and provide a quaint, authentic facility for a small group of locals including Mick Guzauski (Mariah Carey, Neil Diamond) and Neil Dorfsman (Bob Dylan, Dire Straits). He solicited every acoustician and studio designer he could find, but received only one response, which was from Berger. (read more…)

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