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RIP Francis Manzella
Old 17th August 2020
  #1
RIP Francis Manzella

It is with a heavy heart that I received the news this morning that Francis Manzella of FM Designs passed away unexpectedly.

Francis was definitely one of the good guys in our industry, a great designer that was appreciated for both his expertise and human qualities.

He will be missed.

RIP, Fran.

https://www.fmdesign.com/
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RIP Francis Manzella-04-fm-dap-843x1024.jpg  
Old 17th August 2020
  #2
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avare's Avatar
 

There is no good way to express this, thank you for letting us know. He was a great person.
Old 17th August 2020
  #3
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kludgeaudio's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
It is with a heavy heart that I received the news this morning that Francis Manzella of FM Designs passed away unexpectedly.
My God. That is an incredible shock.

He was one of those people who just loved acoustics and loved to share what he knew about acoustics whether or not he was making any money off of it. He will definitely be missed.
--scott
Old 18th August 2020
  #4
Fran designed the first studio I worked for (KMA Studios in NYC.) It was by far one of the best sounding rooms I've worked in, and I've been very fortunate to work in a lot around the world. He'd come to check on the room and tune it every few years. Wonderful person and just the very best at what he did.

One of the craziest things about the studio is it was located in the Brill Building in Times Square. As legendary as it is, the Brill Building is VERY old and not exactly ideal for a recording studio because of its infrastructure. The live room had a window that looked out onto Broadway, and anybody who knows NYC knows how loud it is 24/7, especially in tourist central. He somehow made it so the live room was dead silent. Not a siren or crowd was ever picked up in any recordings. When the studio closed down (like so many studios in NYC) I was there to see how it was built from the inside out. Really amazing to see his work.

So sad to he passed, he will be missed. Thousands of major records we recorded, mixed, and mastered in Fran's designs.
Old 18th August 2020
  #5
Francis Manzella interview on using diffusers in studio design:
https://www.facebook.com/Forwardstud...7471909660152/

I've had the opportunity to work in, to meet and look behind the curtains(FM designed build outs) from FM Designs here in NYC. They were not only natural sounding but based on the architectural design stunning( uses of brass and industrial metals throughout). I actually borrowed a couple of his ideas in some of the designs i've done personally. I actually preferred his designs to the Walter Storyk design studios i've worked in here in NYC.

Francis built his name starting with the original Skyline studios. His most successful design was probably now the old Sterling Studios at the Chelsea Market. He was always generous with his advice and perspective on studio design. Will be missed.
Old 18th August 2020
  #6
Just heard the news.This is a shock and his loss will be deeply felt by our community.
Old 26th August 2020
  #7
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Rod Gervais's Avatar
 

Fran.......... was one of the good ones he will be missed

Rod
Old 29th August 2020
  #8
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audiothings's Avatar
 

RIP kind sir. Always an inspiration.
Old 6th September 2020
  #9
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Eganmedia's Avatar
I just learned of his passing toady. It’s a gut punch. He designed two studios for me. The first (and by far the more elaborate of the two) in 2000. It was a fantastic experience and a studio that served me well for 15 years. He was a consummate pro and even after 15 years, when I had been offered more money than the building was worth I remember thinking there was really nothing I would have done differently. He made rooms that worked and sounded great, and he knew it when it was only a drawing on paper. I was skeptical until the end, but when we were put on the cover of Mix Magazine for the Feb. 2001 issue I guess I finally started to trust his instincts.

When I sold the building I knew I would need a new studio. Business had morphed from being more music-centric to post-centric. I needed a decent booth and wanted a great control room, but I was older and more circumspect when it came to budgeting. I couldn’t afford Fran again. Nevertheless, I emailed him to see if he might have some opinions. He was excited to hear from me and excited that the original studio had worked so well. I explained what I needed, and even though he was doing huge projects all over the world he took on my little project for almost no money. It was great to reconnect and once they were rendered in concrete and OC703, 2x4s and sheetrock, the drawings he did blew me away once again.

He was always happy to talk about why he drew what he did, sharing what someone of his caliber could have easily considered proprietary information. He calmed me down when the budget got tight and found ways to achieve the necessary performance out of cheaper materials and smart compromises. I’m old enough that I won’t be building a studio again, but without Fran I wouldn’t want to.
Old 6th September 2020
  #10
Lives for gear
 
avare's Avatar
 

Thank you Joe. I guess this is an internet wake. I first met you through Fran and his posts about your studio. Great times.

Take care my friend.
Old 21st September 2020
  #11
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northward View Post
It is with a heavy heart that I received the news this morning that Francis Manzella of FM Designs passed away unexpectedly.

Francis was definitely one of the good guys in our industry, a great designer that was appreciated for both his expertise and human qualities.

He will be missed.

RIP, Fran.

https://www.fmdesign.com/
I am still in shock over Fran's passing. He was such a great guy, so highly intelligent, and you always knew he was telling it to you straight. Every year I looked forward to the trade shows, and hanging with Fran until the wee hours of the morning. It won't be the same without him.

-Wes
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