Recording Studio Builders - Sirius XM choose MECART as their recording studio builder

Recording Studio Builders: MECART Modular Studios Chosen by SiriusXM

Did you know that recording studio builders who offer modular studio solutions can be a great option for building your studio? While traditional construction is still the standard, modular construction offers several advantages, including faster construction times and less on-site disruption. This can be especially beneficial for businesses like recording studios that need to be up and running quickly.


Although modular construction is a growing trend in North America, it still only accounts for about 6% of all construction projects. This means there’s a good chance many people, including those in the recording studio business, aren’t aware of its potential benefits.


That’s where this article comes in. We’ll offer you a real-life case study on why industry giant SiriusXM decided to go for a modular solution and chose MECART as their recording studio builder for their brand-new facilities in Toronto, Miami, and Nashville.



  • How SiriusXM achieved optimal studio space utilization compared to traditional construction
  • The significant cost savings they realized compared to competitors for similar sound isolation ratings
  • The benefits of prefab construction for consistent quality and reduced lead times.
  • Why MECART’s expertise in acoustics for 50 years makes them a trusted studio builder
  • Examples of other successful studio projects completed by MECART


SiriusXM’s Perspective: MECART’s Edge Over Competing Recording Studio Builders

SiriusXM ruled out hiring a recording studio builder who provides traditional or stick-built construction solutions from the start for a variety of reasons, including quality issues caused by on-site construction inconsistencies and unexpected delays. 

Modular recording studios emerged as the clear solution, offering a winning combination of flexibility and value. Their relocatable design and strong resale potential were major draws, while the efficient use of space within a compact footprint and guaranteed acoustic performance sealed the deal.


Optimizing Space: Modular Studios VS. Stick-Built Studios

‘’The big part about the modularity of the modular system, it’s more about the efficiency of the install and the space savings.  It takes up at least half the space, if not a third of the space of a regular stick-built double wall construction.’’ 

Thom Mohrman, Principal Chief Engineer at Sirius XM Radio


From the outset, SiriusX recognized the importance of finding contractors or manufacturers of modular recording studios to optimize the floor space of their new broadcast center in Miami Beach, Florida. 


They were aware that conventional stick-built studios demand more space due to the specific construction requirements essential for achieving optimal acoustic performance, ruling them out from the start.



Modular Studios VS. Traditional Construction Studios


Stick-built studio construction: Two studios side by side, the standard configuration often involves three layers of sheetrock and double walls with a dividing wall. This setup results in walls occupying 24 inches of space, ultimately leading to less usable studio space despite covering the same total surface area. 


Modular recording studio builders: When positioning two MECART recording studios side by side, each studio features a 4-inch wall, a 4-inch separation, and another 4-inch wall. This arrangement results in a total width of just 12 inches compared to 24 inches for stick-built studios. As a result, our client gets larger studios within the same footprint.


Ultimately, picking MECART recording studios over stick-built results in a reduction of 12 inches, a 50% reduction, maximizing studio space without taking up any extra room.



Focus on Creating: Prefab Construction Relieves Acoustic Concerns 

Going with a modular recording studio builder offers numerous advantages, with assured acoustic performance being a primary benefit.


Current construction practices can negatively impact a studio’s acoustics. Construction workers, while skilled in their trades, may not be familiar with the specific needs of acoustic environments. This can lead to unintentional compromises.


For instance, electricians installing outlets or door installers placing hardware might need to cut openings in walls. These seemingly minor actions, if not done with acoustic considerations in mind, can disrupt the studio’s sound isolation and control. This weakness is nonexistent in modular construction. 


You’re only as good as your weakest link – one gap, one hole, one tiny detail overlooked, and the entire soundproofing is compromised. 


This advantage comes from the prefab construction of panels, meticulously crafted in a controlled factory environment with stringent quality control measures. This approach guarantees consistent quality and performance while eliminating the common errors and uncertainties associated with traditional building methods.


MECART panels are manufactured with the same meticulous standards and have undergone rigorous acoustic testing to ensure acoustic performance once the modular studio is assembled, enabling you to provide top-notch entertainment without worrying and compromising on sound quality.



Bigger Studios With Better Sound Isolation

Thom Mohrman, Principal Chief Engineer at Sirius XM Radio, expressed his views on the advantages of not having to concern oneself with acoustic performance in modular recording studios compared to stick-built construction:


 ‘’We get bigger studios, with arguably better isolation because you’re not worried about what contractors did. It’s one of those where it’s a finished piece that you can check before it goes into the field. You know that there are no gaps, there’s no holes, there’s no isolation issues. So you’re guaranteed performance.’’ 


Ultimately, opting for a modular recording studio solution will fulfill all acoustic needs and ensure optimal performance, all while occupying only half the space compared to a traditional stick-built studio.



Recording Studio Builders: Modular vs. Stick-built – A Cost Comparison 

Deciding between modular and stick-built construction for your recording studio hinges on more than just initial material costs. While stick-built methods might seem cheaper at first glance due to sheetrock’s affordability compared to steel, the equation is far more complex.


Modular construction’s factory-built components and rigorous quality control translate to:


  • Faster construction times: This leads to reduced labor costs and potentially lower overall project costs.
  • Durability and strength: These factors minimize wear and tear, leading to long-term cost savings.
  • Less waste: Factory-controlled processes minimize wasted materials, further reducing expenses.
  • Relocatable: No need to buy new studios if you change premises, you can take them with you, resulting in big savings.




Modular Recording Studio Builder: The Cost-Effective Solution for Professionals

It’s important to remember that various factors can impact the final cost, including transportation and material fluctuations. However, studies and reports consistently point toward modular construction’s cost advantages:


  • The Engineering News-Record, an engineering and construction magazine, states that modular construction costs 16% less than traditional construction. 


  • According to a survey conducted among hundreds of AEC professionals, a report from Mcgraw-Hill Construction reveals that 65% of respondents have confirmed a decrease in project budgets when utilizing modular construction. Of those, 41% mentioned a decrease of 6% or more. 


  • McKinsey & Company, a global management consulting firm, analysis suggests that modular techniques could accelerate end-to-end project timelines by 20 to 50 percent while reducing costs by up to 20 percent.


While initial material costs might differ, modular construction often results in faster completion, reduced labor costs, minimized waste, and increased durability, potentially leading to lower overall project costs.


SiriusXM made a wise choice to go modular for their studios, and the numbers prove it. While modular construction boasts significant cost benefits over traditional methods, the question remains: how do price ranges vary among different modular recording studio builders?

When we quoted it, the price was significantly less than the competitors, so it made these decisions simple because it met our budget, and it was way less than what the competition had quoted

Thom Mohrman

Principal Chief Engineer at Sirius XM Radio

recording studios for SiriusXM

Residential Modular vs. Professional-Grade Modular Studio Cost 

To understand the price range, it is important to understand that the world of modular recording studios can be divided into two distinct branches: modular studios for residential use and modular studios for professional use.


  • Residential Modular Studios: typically feature off-the-shelf standard designs, lower prices, smaller sizes, lower quality materials, and reduced durability. Most importantly, their acoustic performance is lower and not guaranteed. 


  • Professional Modular Studios: Unlike their residential counterparts, these studios are custom-built with premium materials, resulting in higher initial costs but long-lasting investments. Designed for professional environments, they boast premium sound isolation, top-notch acoustic performance that rivals traditional studios. 


For audio-centric companies like SiriusXM, where exceptional sound quality is the cornerstone of their service, selecting a professional modular recording studio builder is paramount. The builder must provide high-end acoustic performance  – and that’s precisely where MECART excels.


But how does MECART stack up against other top-tier recording studio builders in terms of pricing? The answer is significantly less than the competition for a similar professional studio product line with STC 56 sound transmission class ratings.


Thom Mohrman, Principal Chief Engineer at Sirius XM Radio, was impressed by MECART’s affordability compared to the competition during their studio selection process.


“When we quoted it, the price was significantly less than the competitors,” he says. “So it made these decisions simple because it met our budget, and it was way less than what the competition had quoted.”


The bottom line: hiring MECART as your recording studio builder will save you money on your recording studio construction without sacrificing quality or acoustic performance.


With cost benefits established, let’s explore another advantage of modular construction for SiriusXM: speed.




Did you know that the choice of materials used in recording studio construction can significantly impact acoustics? For example, dense materials like concrete, steel panels, and gypsum board effectively block sound transmission, while softer materials like fiberglass and foam are used for absorption.


MECART recording studio walls are constructed using our high-quality steel acoustic panels, providing a range of sound transmission class (STC) ratings from 35 to 62. 


If you have any questions concerning our acoustic steel panels or need assistance with your recording studio design, download the brochure or get in touch with our Technical Sales Manager. 




Speeding Up your Creative Vision with Modular Studios 

SiriusXM chose to partner with a modular recording studio builder for three main reasons: acoustic performance, price, and usable studio space. However, all of these advantages would be meaningless if modular construction could not deliver the studios on time.

Overall, modular construction offers a faster and more predictable construction timeline due to its controlled environment, efficient processes, and standardized elements. In most cases, projects can be completed in half the time compared to stick-built construction. 

Renowned management consulting firm McKinsey & Company reports that modular construction offers a significant speed advantage, with projects completed 20% to 50% faster than traditional methods.

With a tight deadline looming for the grand opening of their Nashville and Miami studios, SiriusXM needed a construction solution that could deliver fast and MECART delivered every studio ahead of time.


More Than Just Studios: Why SiriusXM Chose MECART As Its Recording Studio Builder

SiriusXM’s choice to partner with MECART wasn’t just about studios – it was about maximizing usable space, achieving top-notch acoustics at an accessible price, and enjoying a swift turnaround. But that’s just the beginning. Here’s why MECART stands out in the crowded recording studio builder market:

  • 50 years of acoustic expertise
  • We have a dedicated in-house acoustician assigned to your project
  • Proven track record of building studios for discerning clients like SiriusXM, LAAMP, SoundUnion
  • Customizable options to create a studio that perfectly meets your needs
  • Faster installation times to get you up and running quickly
  • ISO 9001 quality management system at our manufacturing plant

MECART goes beyond just building studios; we empower your creativity with exceptional sound, dedicated expertise, and efficient solutions. 

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