Our Motown Heritage (Part 33)
World Class Home Recording
THE GOSPEL SOUND STORY

by Robert Dennis

Motown Heritage Club member, Charles Flennory, has a platinum award for his studio design. He's building his "home studio" (Gospel Sound Studios) in a Motorcity "hood" with 10,000 square feet, 6 bathrooms, 2 kitchens and 14 foot ceilings. .  

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Under construction for 18 months, the Gospel Sound Studios building is situated in a well-cared for older neighborhood in NE Detroit. A very large addition was added to a neighborhood house, filling up an adjoining lot.  It's scheduled to be completed early next year and open by Fall of 2007 with 3 floors and extra tall ceilings. The facility will have 6 bathrooms, 4 bedrooms, 2 kitchens, a conference room, 4 control rooms/audio suites, offices and 2 studios.
   
Charles Flenory, Owner of Gospel Sound, shows the Billboard platinum award he received for the design and construction of the Platinum Sound Studios facilities in Atlanta, Georgia 15 years ago.  Pictures of the physical facility are in the frame holding the award.  He is personally doing much of the work to build the Gospel Sound Studios building.
   
Charles receives his Motown Heritage Club Membership certificate this month from co-founder, yours truly.  Charles, a 1977 Recording Institute Of Detroit Recording Engineering Program graduate, truly represents a force in "Keeping The Motorcity A Hit Factory." He's building a world-class recording facility to crank out Gospel hits from Detroit.  He's been talking about building this facility since 1978.
   
Gospel Sound is equipped with a large analog console, two 24 track and two 2 track analog recorders but will also have a Pro Tools HD system so that clients can get any kind of sound that they want on their production.  You hear your production through large Westlake Audio monitors as the main system.
   
Studio A is large ( 37' x 25') with two isolation rooms and double-wall construction. Floor construction is in layers of wood, Homasote, and vinyl sound barrier that isolates sound much like lead sheeting.  Charles knows how to construct rooms with isolation from one another.
   
The main studio has an opening to the second floor landing, and hallway with a high cathedral ceiling. This acts as a "bass trap" to tune the studio acoustics. It took Charles a year to plan out the studio design and pull the building permits.

Charles took RID programs in 1977, helped the institute redo its main teaching studio (1978) and classroom facilities (1985). He has, over the years, built several major studios in Georgia and California, as well as 143 homes in the Atlanta area.  It took a lot of hard work to fund the construction of this future showplace studio facility.
   
Studio B on the second floor has the high cathedral ceilings.  A mastering suite is also located on this floor.  The basement features 10 foot ceilings and houses offices.  There is enough space to put in another control room and a Studio C if it is needed.
   
The master bedroom is 37 feet wide and features walk-in "his" and "hers" twin closets, a large HD TV screen, and comfortable lounging.  The size of the room makes the king size bed look small.
   
A Kitchenette and bathroom are off the master bedroom and help form comfortable living quarters for out-of-town artists doing long recording projects.  The bathroom features a sauna and whirlpool, as well as a walk-in closet.
   
All of the construction and finish materials is first class. Charles displays one of the ceramic tiles for the kitchenette that he "imported" from California.  According to Charles, "You just can't get tiles like this here."
   
After the tour, I sit down with Charles to talk about the past, what's happening now, and what's over the horizon for him and his Gospel Sound Studios.  Charles is close to realizing goals he set for himself while attending the Recording Institute Of Detroit almost 30 years ago.
   
Charles Flenory is working hard to keep the Motorcity a Hit Factory with Gospel music, one nail at a time.
   
 

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