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> IN SESSION Studios:

Rooms: Control room, live room, two booths Consoles: Neve 8014, Raindirk 10-4 sidecar Mics: Neumann, AKG, Coles, Calrec, EV, Lomo, Reslosound, STC Outboard: Drawmer, Neve, SSL, BBC, Audio & Design, Teletronix Monitoring: ATC, Parasound, Auratone

Vale, Worcestershire

VALE STUDIOS is a new residential recording studio hidden away in a Georgian manor house in a small village on the outskirts of Pershore, Worcestershire, in the heart of England. It can be reached via train from London Paddington station in just under two hours.

The facility has been open for business for just over a year and a half, yet already has attracted the likes of Zak Starkey (The Who, Oasis) and Mike Chapman, renowned producer of Blondie’s Parallel Lines, who employed Vale’s services in producing The Arcadian Kicks’ debut album. Interestingly, Chapman cites this record as some of his best work. Vale is based around a vintage Neve model 8014 console, built in 1971 and fitted with four 1084, 12 1066 and two 2254A modules. Its aim is to be one of the very few residential recording studios in existence with world-class equipment, but without the sky-high prices usually associated with such facilities, which can be prohibitive to many artists and engineers. The studio’s air-conditioned control

room comfortably seats six people and offers clear views over the console to

the live area and booths. There is plenty of bass trapping, along with a large rear-wall slat-resonator, creating a good, flat response. There are also clear sightlines between the main live room and each of the two isolation booths. The cellar houses an additional isolation booth for amps and doubles as a truly vintage live chamber. In the live areas, musicians will find an array of wonderful instruments and backline, including a Hammond C3 with Leslie 122, Wurlitzer EP200 electric piano, Jones & Co harmonium, Otava melodica and 70s Ludwig Drum Kit with 60s Supraphonic Snare. In the adjacent ballroom stands a Bechstein Model B grand piano, to which mic and headphone lines can easily be run. Separate from the family quarters,

Vale has three twin guest rooms and an additional double room to sleep eight people or six band members and a producer. There are separate guest bath and shower rooms and there is no charge for studio clients to use Vale’s guest rooms. The family’s two children, Emilia and Haydn are likely to be found around various parts of the house (but never the studio) during a stay.

Blondie producer Mike Chapman recorded what he thinks is some of his best work at Vale studios.

Telephone: +44 (0) 1386 861744

People and equipment behind studios in the UK and around the world...

Rooms: Studios One and Two, two live rooms Consoles: Neve VR60, Neve V-series Mics: Neumann, AKG, Coles, Earthworks, Beyer, Brauner Outboard: Tube-Tech, Manley, Summit, GML, SSL Monitoring: Dynaudio, Genelec, Yamaha

Grouse Lodge, Ireland

GROUSE LODGE, located in Co Westmeath, Ireland, was launched In July 2002 and, to this day, remains Ireland’s only residential studio. It is situated close to the picturesque village of Rosemount, an hour’s drive from Dublin city or Dublin airport. Prior to opening, the Georgian estate in which the studio complex is housed underwent a total restoration and transformation process. The complex itself includes two world-class studios, both designed by Andy Munro, along with nine double bedrooms in three separate renovated stone outhouses. Each house is a self- contained unit with kitchen, bathroom, either two or three bedrooms with satellite TV and living room with large open fire.

The main studio is purpose built, but integrates the existing 275-year-old stone structure and features a huge control room (900 square feet) with plenty of natural daylight and two large live rooms with, reportedly, superb acoustics. The extensive use of local cut stone gives the space a unique feel and sound. Studio One is equipped with a 40-in, 40-out Neve VR60 console with flying faders/total recall,

which was recapped this year by AMS Neve, while Studio Two features a 36- channel Neve V-series console. Both control rooms are equipped with Dynaudio, Genelec and Yamaha monitoring. Pro Tools is provided as standard and a two-inch tape machine is available upon request. The company aims to ensure that its clients are as relaxed as possible during their stay, contributing to productive and stress- free sessions. To encourage this, one of the main features is a health spa, featuring swimming pool, sauna, jacuzzi and gym. Grouse Lodge has hosted a wide variety of international recording artists including Muse, Snow Patrol, Bloc Party and Manic

Street Preachers. The late ‘King of Pop’ Michael Jackson began recording what was to be his comeback album at the studio and was planning to return there to finish off the album after his planned 50-night run in London at the 02 Arena. Of course, this never happened due to his death before the concerts took place. According to reports, the tracks recorded at Grouse Lodge will be released on a new, as yet un-named album next month

Telephone: +353 (0) 9064 36175

46 audioPRO October 2010

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