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Te studio features a vintage Neve 5316 console Credit: Kan Lailey

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BRIGHTON ELECTRIC A Trip to the Music Hospital Can it be fair to say the complex is the creative home of music in the seafront city? Jake Young finds out. I

’ve been calling studios music hospitals for years because people bring really broken music in and

we mend it,” says Dan Swift, producer at high-end recording and rehearsal complex Brighton Electric. “I don’t think that’s what it’s for at all!” Our visit to the studio coincided

with Te Great Escape music festival and although the studio didn’t have anyone in on the day the building was buzzing with music as the complex prepared for the parties it hosted throughout the festival. Transmission rates between the more than 17 rooms are very good; however, in the corridor you can hear all the bands crashing away. Music video site Te Crypt Sessions

were in the day before to do six filmed sessions. “It was just a little collaboration as our engineers were out for TGE, the space was free, and the Crypt put out fantastic filmed sessions. It seemed a great way to help each other out,” says Jimi Wheelwright, who looks after the complex. “Tey wanted to come down and be close to the action. It brought a lot of new

28 June 2014

people into the studio and that’s always a good thing, I think.” Brighton Electric attracts quite a

rich group of legacy bands and recently boasted Te Cure in preparation for their Teenage Cancer Trust show at the Royal Albert Hall. Te group took over half of the building for their production rehearsal including rehearsal space Te Lounge, with the front of house and lighting techs in two other rooms while the manager was in the studio playing old live recordings. Royal Blood are another of the

studio’s bigger clients. Tey use the complex for rehearsal and store all their backline here. Te group often locks the complex out, and Tom Dalgety, their producer, has been down a few times for demoing sessions. Te rich history of the studio extends further though, and the first Foals and Te Macabees records were written in here while Blood Red Shoes are still residents. “It’s got that appeal, this mystique. It’s not just recording or rehearsal – it’s a community really. I don’t think there’s anyone in Brighton who’s not aware of this place if they’re

involved in music. Because of the parties and because of the recording studio it certainly feels like a base for everything,” says Wheelwright. Te complex offers a wide range of

rental stock as well including studio outboard and microphones, splitter tour busses, and PA and backline. Wheelwright: “If you’ve got your first gig we can do your backline for £60 or if you’re a touring band and you need a couple of cages, a proper nine-seater tour bus, and a tour manager then we can do that too. It’s basically trying to meet whatever demand there is. It’s all happened very organically.”

Operating Room

At the heart of the building is the studio, with a Neve 5316 at its heart. “I always call it 33115 because the channel strips are really all we’re using,” says Swift. “When we decided what we needed we thought, ‘well we need the high-end digital but what everyone wants at the moment is a simple and great-sounding analogue front-end, so we need to go back in time to a point where desks were very basic because we don’t want any of the

functions anymore apart from the mic pre and the nice EQ’. Te idea of this is that you’ve got a 70s desk, which is giving you straightaway in one hit an authentic sound – the sound of real rock bands, proper music.” Te studio has got an industry

standard set of outboard including a Universal Audio LA-2A, a pair of Universal Audio 1176LNs, a lovely old dbx 162, the modern dbx 162SL, a pair of Dave Hill Designs Titans that link together, the Smart Research C2, and a pair of Empirical Labs Distressors. Monitoring-wise, the facility is

running ATC SCM50 ASLs with extra sub units. Te monitor section is run with a Crane Song Avocet. Swift: “It’s a little bit over the top just as a control room monitor knob; however, I find it extremely useful to be able to bang between different versions and things. I can run multiple outputs from Pro Tools so if I’m farting around with the bus compression and stuff I can split the signal and actually A/B it, and even the volume’s up so that I’m not being seduced by the volume.” Te studio uses a hear back monitoring

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