UK recording sites visit
In 1999 I was awarded a scholarship to investigate the audio recording situation in the UK, with the intent of bringing some useful findings back to NZ. These are the main sites visited, and what they were like at that time:
Townhouse Recording Studio, London (closed)
This was one of the two Virgin studios. Today Richard Branson is more known for his airlines, but he started with a record company.
Consoles: SSL 4000 series, 9000 series
Monitors: Genelec, PMC
Tape Machines: Studer A800, Sony 3300 series, Mitsubishi X880
Sarm West, London (now Sarm Studios)
At the time of my visit Sarm had three studios in the UK (Sarm East, and Sarm West in London, and the residential Sarm Hookend).
Consoles: SSL 9000 series (x2), 4000 series
Tape Machines: Otari MTR90, Sony 3300 series digital
Monitoring: Allen Sides, Sean Davies, Quested
Westside Recording Studios, London (closed)
Gone without trace. This studio had a good big A room (132sq metres), and an 80 sq metre B room , and two large control rooms (at 56 sq metres each). One control room housed a Neve VR and the other a 4000 series SSL. Recording was to Studer A800 24 track machines. Monitors: Quested
Green Room Productions, Harefield
Green Room has been responsible for many classical, folk, and jazz recordings. Many of these have been recorded on location, in hte finest acoustic venues in the UK.
Mics: AKG, Neumann, Schoeps
Recorders: Studer A807, dCS 904 A/D, DA88
Real World Studios, Box
This is Peter Gabriel's studio in the village of Box (which is doubly famous - it is also the home of Thomas the Tank Engine). The studio design is unique, as the control room and recording room are in the same space.
Tape Machines: Studer A820 24 tracks
Monitoring: Boxer (Neil Grant design)
Consoles: SSL 4000 series, Sony Oxford (in Peter's private studio)
Strongroom Recording Studios, London
The best (or worst) decorated studio - depending on your taste.
Consoles: Neve VR, Euphonix CS3000, SSL 4000 series
Tape Machines: Otari MTR90 24 tracks
Orinoco, London (closed)
Home of the Chemical Brothers, who rented out one of the rooms.
Console: Neve VR
Monitors: Munro M4
Tape Machines: Otari MTR90
Cine-Tele Sound (CTS), London (closed)
This large-room facility provided for full size orchestral recording.
Monitors: ATC SCM series
Tape Machines: Studer A800 series, sony 3300 series digital
Consoles: Neve VR
I visited that great labyrinth, Broadcasting House. Sadly, the BBC Radiophonic Workshop closed in 1996, so there was no sign of it left.
Solid State Logic (SSL), Begbroke
Nestled in the English countryside is one of the two great British recording console manufacturers. SSL actually started making digital electronic controls for pipe organs (to replace the mechanical tracker systems), before introducing the SL4000B in 1977.
This photo shows the world's largest console being built for Sony Pictures, Hollywood.