EARS Chicago has successful meeting with Russ Berger at Shure headquarters


REWIND: EARS @ SHURE INC: AN EVENING WITH RUSS BERGER –  excerpted from the March 2011 EARS Newsletter the Eardrum.

Russ Berger EARS members at Shure

(1) Russ Berger via Skype at the onset of his in-depth talk EARS members; (2) More than 60 attendees were present at the state-of-the-art S.N. Shure Theatre

Thursday, February 24, 2011: It was on a cold, chilly Thursday night last month that EARS met at The S.N. Shure Theater for its February meeting to meet the great Russ Berger. (For you CSI fans, some members actually showed up Tuesday and were treated to a fascinating AES discussion of Forensic Audio procedures.) Russ is a studio designer extraordinaire with over 2500 designs to his credit.

He has designed and built everything from Whitney Houston’s personal studio to Sony Music to Shures own in house studio. (EARS members got a tour of it last year.) He also has eight TEC Awards for excellence and creativity in acoustic studio design and he was here (via Skype) to impart some of his wisdom to our eager congregation. (Around sixty participants showed up. It was a great turnout.)

The meeting started out with usual EARS “meet & greet” in the lobby of the theater. A few new faces were seen among the seasoned regulars…a very good sign.

Then we were wisked by our illustrious Prez, Blaise Barton, into that wonderful performance venue we know as the S.N. Shure theater where Russ Berger was waiting on the projection screen. He talked a little bit about his history; his pathway into his part of the industry as a former musician/engineer and how this led to his current career. I enjoyed his philosophy on the primal need for an accurate reference in terms of bass response in small rooms. (I have a small room.) He had examples of some the rooms he designed and built including the NPR studios, Sweetwater’s performance venue, and Whitney Houston’s studio. A Youtube video was played that showed the in progress construction of a studio, Blade Studios of Shrevport, LA. We were able to get a “before and after” look at the facility.

His cat tried to hijack the meeting but Russ persevered. He talked about how piracy and file sharing was hurting artists which had the trickle down affect of hurting studio owners and lovers of good audio everywhere. Fran and I got a personal thrill when he said he read the EARDRUM and liked its content. (RUSS BERGER IS READING THE EARDRUM!….Oh, oh! We’ll have to be VERY careful about what’s printed from now on smiley emoticon)

Russ Berger / Blaise and Amanda at Brick House
(1) Brady Blade of Blade Studios discusses how Russ Berger made his dream a reality (2) After the presentation, EARS attendees repaired to a nearby restaurant where Blaise welcomed Streetwise writer, Amanda Elliott (see Streetwise Article in this issue!)

After the meeting we repaired to a nearby Restaurant/Bar where the conversations of the night continued. We also celebrated Fran Allen-Leake’s Annual 39th Birthday (EARDRUM Co-Editor) with Blaise, David Moss (A WWII buff, who would have thought?), Amanda Elliott (of Streetwise Magazine), Joel McCarthy, Harry Brotman, and a host of others. It was a wonderful night for all.

I would like to second Blaise’s thanks to Shure Inc. and Dean Giavaris for having us over. I would also like to thank Russ Berger for sharing his time and expertise to EARS. And last, but not least, I would like to congratulate Blaise on these series of Skype meetings he has put together. It has opened a window for EARS members who don’t have the opportunity to attend AES Conventions to get a chance to interface, on a semi personal level, with some of the great personalities of our industry.

See Ya at Schuba’s

Danny Leake

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