When you’re a multi-platinum producer, working with the likes of Selena Gomez, Khelani and Nick Jonas, around-the-clock mixing sessions are made easier when you can offer the comforts of home. So Nolan Lambroza (a.k.a. Sir Nolan) turned his own abode into the ultimate creative paradise — his Home Away From Home recording studio.
After years working in lifeless “cave dungeon” studios with no windows or sunlight (he ended up with a vitamin D deficiency), Lambroza decided to renovate the master bedroom of his 3,583-square-foot Encino home into a bright and breezy recording studio, with sliding doors leading to a lush backyard.
“I can touch the grass, feel the air, hear the birds — it loosens the pressure of this being a work environment,” said Lambroza, 28. “Plus, I can always shut the curtains if I need to get stuff done.”
Tall, heavy and “always bunched,” the elegant gray curtains are “specifically and acoustically designed for sound-proofing,” he said, as is much of the room.
Studio designer Jacques Lacroix lined the walls with sound diffusers made of different-shaped panels of maple and walnut, “so noise doesn’t feed over to the neighbors.” Meanwhile, thick rubber pads underneath the hardwood floors help contain the bass.
Personal keepsakes surround the studio, like the scrap-metal cork gun made by his girlfriend’s grandfather (artist Clayton Bailey), a glass bowl from Martha’s Vineyard (where his parents live) and a green-and-black skateboard with “Sir Nolan” on it (a gift from his best friend).
“This is sometimes a thankless job, so it's good to have personal associations to remind me that everything’s OK and this is my space,” said Lambroza, whose song “La La Land” by artist Bryce Vine just hit the top 40 charts.
Why is this studio your favorite room?
In order for me to feel happy and at peace, I need cleanliness, space, quiet and efficiency. This room kind of has it all. It has mementos from trips I've taken in my life, memories of my family and my home life, but it also has aesthetically pleasing home interior features. That's important to me because if you're going to spend many, many hours working, you want to do it in an environment where you feel productive and comfortable.
How would you describe this space aesthetically?
I have an affinity for walnut wood — it feels mature, clean and Midcentury. The desk was built by Jacques as well; he likes to go to the lumber yard and buy wood that he feels would connect with the person he's building for. He knows I like animals and apparently he saw a horse's face in this wood. He felt like it fit me, and I really appreciated that because it added a really personal element.
Do you have a favorite creative moment in here?
I have what you call a reverb chamber in the bathroom — everything is tile in there, so there is a lot of echo. Michael Fitzpatrick from Fitz and the Tantrums was here and we were trying to figure out how to add another level to the vocal arrangement, and decided to have him record in there, which was a lot of fun. We had him singing at the top of his lungs in the bathroom with all this crazy, one-of-a-kind reverb.
Tell me about your favorite gear and instruments.