Theta Sound Studio was the first venture founded by Randall Michael Tobin in 1977. From its humble beginnings, Theta Sound grew to become one of the best mid-sized recording studios in Los Angeles. As the industry has evolved, many studios have disappeared, but Theta Sound is still going strong nearly 40 years later. That’s because Randall diversified by adding graphic design, typesetting, video production, copy writing, computer consulting, seminar training and website design / development to the list of available services. Each of these disciplines contributed to the marketing side of the music projects produced in the studio, yet each could also stand on their own, creating a new clientele non-musical services. Theta Media Group was formed to reflect this creative diversity.
Theta Sound has had a web site since the mid 90s and it was definitely the forgotten stepchild as Randall was too busy helping others with their music, video and website projects, But after completing VocalessenceByAmy.com (also in our Client Website Showcase), Randall took the bull by the horns and committed to the redesign of the studio site.
The biggest challenge in building the new site was how to lay it out so it was easy to navigate. After all, someone looking for a studio could have many reasons for needing one. And once someone found the website, it needed to have a number of items immediately available. We settled on a large opening banner that communicated much in just the image: Randall, soft-focus in the background of the studio Control Room, listening to a mix, while industry awards are in sharp focus in the foreground. Add Theta Sound Studio’s logo and tagline on top of the image, and the stage is set for a cool experience.
Scrolling down past the parallax technology that freezes the background photo while the logo and text move up, there’s the menu bar with a glimpse of major areas yet to be explored. But the visitor is distracted by the text-based Hero slider we implemented which fades client testimonials in and out at a leisurely pace. By now, visitors have a good idea of the studio’s vibe and can then choose to check out any of the menu items, or continue scrolling down the home page (as shown above).
Next up are two columns (unless viewed on a phone, in which case it becomes a single column). On the left are feature articles about clients, projects and the studio’s live concert videos from its “House Concert” series. The right column is an event calendar which promotes the aforementioned concerts and other studio public events.
The SOUNDS panel presents an audio player with full songs from Theta Sound’s clients. The audio player and song list float above a second parallax background (a close-up of the studio’s Yamaha grand piano) as one listens to a variety of musical genres. Visitors can pick whichever songs they like from the list, or let the player continue once the first song has been started by the listener.
Below the music section is the Gallery which is divided into 16 themed “rooms.” Each room highlights a genre or style, or a service, or an artist or an age group. There’s even a room dedicated to things related to Randall Michael Tobin himself which takes the place of a separate About page. (The VIP Studio Tour on the menu bar covers the other part of what would be an About page). The Gallery floats above the background of engraved mugs (the client Mug Club) and client CDs on the wall. Unfortunately, the composite screen capture shown above can’t replicate the parallax experience, so you’ll just have to check it out firsthand.
The menu categories all have comprehensive pages that provide visitors with plenty to experience in the way of audio, video, and information about all the studio gear. There’s also a secure Contact page that does a great job of eliminating any automated spam technology from ending up in mister Tobin’s inbox.
Though designed in the autumn of 2013, Theta Sound Studio’s website continues to provide an engaging experience for newcomers and client alumni alike. Since it was designed and built by Mr. Tobin himself, we can only surmise that it’s exactly what he envisioned! Go ahead, take the tour, and see (and hear) for yourself…
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Randall Michael Tobin is an award-winning media producer, digital business consultant and website designer / developer based in Los Angeles, California. Since Theta Media Group's beginnings in 1977, Randall has been helping clients around the world realize their vision.