london/uk studio recommendation
Old 20th May 2013
  #1
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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.
Old 21st May 2013
  #2
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Old 21st May 2013
  #4
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Toerag might fit the bill...
Old 21st May 2013
  #5
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Old 21st May 2013
  #6
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.
Old 21st May 2013
  #8
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bukarin's Avatar
 

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.
Old 21st May 2013
  #9
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Thread Starter
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!
Old 22nd May 2013
  #11
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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Old 22nd May 2013
  #12
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John Willett's Avatar
 

Have you looked at KORE Studios, where Gearslutz had the 10 year party?
Old 22nd May 2013
  #13
Old 22nd May 2013
  #14
Fish Factory in Dollis Hill has everything you asked for. Killer microphone collection and very very very very reasonably priced! I think he may have got rid of his upright, but you may want to check that.

Otherwise my current work place at Wendyhouse is not bad. Beautiful Yamaha upright piano too. DW Fearn pres, Neumann M149, M7 etc etc

Wendyhouse Productions. Music Recording Studios & Online Audio Visual Suite
Old 22nd May 2013
  #15
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Beardhead's Avatar
 

Earth Terminal Studios

Old 23rd May 2013
  #16
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Thread Starter
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?
Old 23rd May 2013
  #17
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.
Old 23rd May 2013
  #18
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chrisso's Avatar
 

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).
Old 23rd May 2013
  #19
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aidyhall's Avatar
 

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!
Old 23rd May 2013
  #21
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Thread Starter
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.
Old 23rd May 2013
  #22
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Winny Pooh's Avatar
State of the ark looks impressive. All that retro gear!
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