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turing
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#1
20th May 2013
Old 20th May 2013
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london/uk studio recommendation

hi, wondered if anyone knew of a studio that might fit the bill for a very cool project i have in the near future.
i need somewhere with a great live room. doesn't have to be massive, big enough for a string quartet, but something with some personality. smooth, dark, vintage could be useful (if generic) specifics.
somewhere that has a few channels of well maintained high end preamps - something in the telefunken v72 bracket.
somewhere with at least a couple of really special mics. u47, rca ribbon, stuff of that calibre.
somewhere with a really good upright piano. not shiny and expensive, but something that will give a great player some response and character.
finally, somewhere that doesn't feel like a studio. a bit of an odd criterion i know, but to go to some bog-standard identikit office of a place, however high spec it might be, would be a definite dose of bromide to the mood of this thing.
location could be anywhere in britain but london is the preference. if anyone knows of some genius little spot that's properly looked after, with just enough tasty high end gear, that doesn't feel like you're on a conveyor belt, you'd be doing me the most enormous favour.
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21st May 2013
Old 21st May 2013
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#3
21st May 2013
Old 21st May 2013
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#4
21st May 2013
Old 21st May 2013
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Toerag might fit the bill...
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21st May 2013
Old 21st May 2013
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21st May 2013
Old 21st May 2013
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Miloco's The Square ticks many of those boxes:

- room qualifies as vintage, smooth - I've done a 12 piece string section there before, and it works if you don't want a massive reverb tail!

- pretty certain there's a rack of 3 V72s (could be 76s - check the online specs) plus an original 1066 neve.

- it's kinda funky - nice little outside area, close to hoxton cafes etc. Not a corporate studio.

- not sure of the spec mic list, but if you can't hire a mic from one of the other miloco rooms as part of the booking, an FX or tickle U47 won't break the bank. There's a few interesting mics at The square as well, plus some quality bog standard stuff (DPAs, Coles, A lomo valve, and so on).

There is an upright piano - I can't speak for the exact quality, but it's sounded ok when I've recorded it.

- not hugely expensive (and the desk is G-series+pro tools, so it's not completely boutique and weird for a freelancer like toerag would be!).

- monitoring is pretty good.
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21st May 2013
Old 21st May 2013
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#8
21st May 2013
Old 21st May 2013
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All good suggestions, Snap is brilliant and my current tracking room of choice but doesn't have an Upright (beautiful bosendorfer though). Hoxton is funky and can be great, the upright is decent but no U47 or RCAs (lots of great options though).

My suggestion is State of the Ark, all the mics a decent upright a beautiful steinway oh and an incredible EMI TG console and a rack of V72s, Fairchilds etc. Decent live room and vibe to spare. To me it's a homage to Abbey Road Studio 2!!!

Location and budget are always a consideration of course, but these suggestions are all reasonably priced rooms in my opinion.
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#9
21st May 2013
Old 21st May 2013
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ah fantastic - thanks everyone for all the replies.
miloco is a no-go for me as i used to be an in-house engineer there and spent way, way too many hours of my 20s stuck in the square. slept many a night in the live room too.
i've followed the circle studios construction thread avidly and it does look beautiful - i think though that london will have to take precedence just for logistical reasons.
snap and smokehouse both look pretty awesome, but budget permitting , i think state of the ark looks absolutely custom-made for my needs. thank you so much for the tip!
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21st May 2013
Old 21st May 2013
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22nd May 2013
Old 22nd May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turing View Post
ah fantastic - thanks everyone for all the replies.
miloco is a no-go for me as i used to be an in-house engineer there and spent way, way too many hours of my 20s stuck in the square. slept many a night in the live room too.
i've followed the circle studios construction thread avidly and it does look beautiful - i think though that london will have to take precedence just for logistical reasons.
snap and smokehouse both look pretty awesome, but budget permitting , i think state of the ark looks absolutely custom-made for my needs. thank you so much for the tip!
That's understandable - The square has uniquely uncomfortable couches for sleeping on doesn't it?!
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22nd May 2013
Old 22nd May 2013
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Have you looked at KORE Studios, where Gearslutz had the 10 year party?
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22nd May 2013
Old 22nd May 2013
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22nd May 2013
Old 22nd May 2013
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22nd May 2013
Old 22nd May 2013
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Earth Terminal Studios

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turing
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23rd May 2013
Old 23rd May 2013
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huh, some more tasty options there. earth terminal looks like a killer live space, but i can't find much info on fish factory, other than that it's notoriously shy of the limelight. anyone got any links, photos, data etc?
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23rd May 2013
Old 23rd May 2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turing View Post
huh, some more tasty options there. earth terminal looks like a killer live space, but i can't find much info on fish factory, other than that it's notoriously shy of the limelight. anyone got any links, photos, data etc?
I haven't done any sessions at fish factory since they put in the API desk. Prior to that it was a weird kind of place - but vibey. Quite a large live space, but with a dead controllable space as well (and you could use the lounge as a booth).

As you say, limelight shy - Antonio (the owner) doesn't seem to be that interested in renting it out, I think he mainly uses it for his own projects.

If you have a contact number for them, I suggest calling direct. I have a friend who's used it a fair bit more, if you need an intro I can probably sort that out..you can PM me for that.
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23rd May 2013
Old 23rd May 2013
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I've recorded at a few of the places mentioned so far.
In reality, I think the perfect combo of great live room, great mic list, well maintained outboard and great piano, is getting harder and harder to find.
Most of the studios mentioned so far are a slight compromise in one area or another.
Often the killer room is matched with a lesser console and fewer mics. The killer console is matched by a slightly odd sounding room (in my experience).
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23rd May 2013
Old 23rd May 2013
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The main Neve tracking room at Konk would be a great choice. I've no affiliation with the studios, but have done many a great session there.

A great vintage Neve in the room, all 1095 EQ's, fantastic mic's and outboard, good live room, and good monitoring. They have both an upright in the main room, and a studio grand in the upstairs booth that overlooks the main room. Ask for Dougal to engineer, if you're not bringing your own guy. Or I'd happily come and track it for you!
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#20
23rd May 2013
Old 23rd May 2013
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turing
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23rd May 2013
Old 23rd May 2013
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yeah the priority is definitely the sound at source - so great piano and live space, then just enough good gear to capture. doesn't have to be stuffed with toys; my fall back plan was always to find some chapel or similar with great acoustics, and just rent a couple of ridiculous mics and channels. luckily though, assuming we get the budget right, a couple of places flagged up look perfect.
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23rd May 2013
Old 23rd May 2013
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State of the ark looks impressive. All that retro gear!
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