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Owl City Studios

Walters-Storyk Design Group-WSDG

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Adam Young


  • John Storyk
  • Joshua Morris


  • Technology Integrator: PK Pandey

Project Status


Year Completed

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Project Description


OWATONNA, MN: Rapidly progressing from nascent electronica music experiments in his parents’ basement back in 2007, singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Adam Young evolved from initial iTunes sales and a burgeoning Myspace site to a major deal with Republic Records in 2008, and on to Fireflies, a six-time platinum single, from his Ocean Eyes debut album (certified platinum in 2010). Increasing critical and commercial success has intensified Young’s focus on his music. To support his creativity he moved from his family home to a handsome rustic log cabin deep in the Minnesota woods, where he recently completed construction on a Walters-Storyk Design Group-WSDG, ‘dream’ studio.

“Adam Young’s manager Steve Bursky was impressed by our Jungle City Studio in NYC when he worked there a couple of years ago,” reports WSDG project manager, Joshua Morris. “When Adam decided to build a studio in his new home, Bursky suggested that he talk with us. I visited the site and met with him to get a true sense of what he was looking for. The local contractor was extremely meticulous in meeting all the requirements of our drawings. The results of our final acoustic measurements for reverberation time and Sound isolation met or exceeded all our goals. This studio is a gem.”

Owl City features a spacious (675 sq. ft.) control room outfitted with an SSL AWS console, Adam Audio S-4XV mains, twin 60” LCD monitors and an extensive collection of outboard gear. The studio was constructed with natural wood to compliment the log cabin’s interior and exterior setting. The Control Room is outfitted with a custom rolling slate-topped producer’s desk, and four mobile equipment racks to facilitate room reconfiguration to accommodate diverse session requirements. WSDG also designed an innovative, polycylindrical ceiling cloud to fine-tune the mixing position. A (225 sq. ft.) live room with a (35 sq. ft.) vocal booth supports Young’s primarily keyboard-based productions. PK Pandey, founder of GCPRO, coordinated the technology package.

Commenting on his new studio Adam Young remarked, "It was a tremendous honor and privilege working with John Storyk and WSDG PM, Joshua Morris, and systems designer, Federico Petrone. The studio they designed exceeded all my expectations. I couldn't be happier working in the environment they created to suit every specific need I had. It looks fantastic and sounds even better, and at the end of the day I am thrilled to be the proud owner of such a fabulous studio. Endless thanks, WSDG."

Photos (1-3): Owl City Studio, front, rear and side perspectives. Credit photos by Brian Bradley
Photo 4: (l-t-r) WSDG co-principal John Storyk, Platinum artist Adam Young, GCPRO
Founder PK Pandy photo by Felipe Tavera

Walters-Storyk Design Group-WSDG, has designed over 3500 media facilities worldwide. Credits include Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios (1969); NYC’s Jazz At Lincoln Center and Le Poisson Rouge; broadcast facilities for The Food Network, ESPN, and WNET; major education complexes for NYU and Berklee College of Music, Boston (2015 TEC winner) and Valencia, Spain; and media rooms for such corporate clients as Hoffman La Roche. Recent projects include NYC’s Jungle City Studios and private studios for Green Day, Jay-Z, Timbaland’s Tim Mosley, film composers Carter Burwell and A.R. Rahman, Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen and Alicia Keys. WSDG principals John Storyk), Beth Walters, Sergio Molho, Renato Cipriano, Dirk Noy and Silvia Molho lecture frequently at universities and industry events, and contribute regularly to industry publications. WSDG has collaborated with such noted architects as Frank Gehry, Rafael Vinoly, Norman Foster, Oscar Niemeyer, Phillipe Stark and Nicholas Grimshaw. WSDG is a nine-time winner of the prestigious NAMM TEC Award for outstanding achievement in Acoustics/Facility Design. The firm maintains offices in NY, SF, LA, Miami, Buenos Aires, Belo Horizonte, Basel, Beijing, Barcelona, Mexico City, St. Petersburg and Mumbai.

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