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Te purpose-built control room


Sea Change L

ocated at the southern tip of the Isle of Wight is Chale Abbey Studios, one of the

best-equipped recording spaces south of London. Nestled on the downs just two minutes from the coast, this residential facility, which was only completed in summer 2013, has already recorded a number of projects including Michael Kiwanuka’s new album and Bernhoft’s album Islander. Te studio is built around the live

room, a stone barn that dates back to the 1500s. “When we initially saw the barn, as a working farm building, we were blown away with the natural acoustics and feel of the space,” says recording engineer David Granshaw. A decision was made to keep as many of the original features as possible including the oak trusses and stone walls. “Te old stone walls provide brilliant diffusion, there’s such a nice ambience.” A solid oak floor has been added to enhance the acoustics, along with a new upgraded roof. “I love the ambient miking,” adds

resident producer Paul Butler; also of Isle of Wight and Brighton band Te

30 August/September 2014

Just two hours from London via boat or hovercraft, UK festival island the Isle of Wight has added a new studio to its thriving music scene. By Jake Young.

Bees, “having the option of doing a tambourine take 10 metres away from the microphone so you can layer up a wall of sound in essence. You can use the whole space and we do it all the time and it’s beautiful. You don’t have to EQ or effect anything and it can just sit at the back of the mix because it is naturally recorded at the back of the mix. It’s amazing. Same with backing vocals or effects, big stomps on the floor or something like that just to have that big impact.” Heavy wool serge curtains allow a range of acoustic options. In addition, acoustic panels up in the eaves have tamed some of the low frequencies. A moveable booth option is being considered, though at the moment Taytrix gobos in combination with rugs are used to enclose the drums and amps for a tighter sound. Adjacent to the live room are the

fully isolated control room and a smaller live room, both designed from the ground up by White Mark. Granshaw: “Tis room has been

working really well for vocals and upright piano. It’s very useful as a contrast to the big room and allows

Butler’s collection includes a wide selection of Fender gear

us to record live with complete separation. We also occasionally use the hallways and cupboards for guitar amps, or the Leslie cabinet.” Te control room, which has soffit- mounted ATC SCM150 ASL main monitors and Adam Audio S3-A nearfields, is centred around an SSL 4000G+ console. Butler adds: “Tis board is a beautiful thing to have in

the studio for both mixing and for all its routing options, and it’s just a nice thing to sit at.” Large windows to both live rooms allow for good communication, as well as letting in plenty of natural light. Te studio has an eclectic range

of outboard from Universal Audio, Termionic Culture, Focusrite, Emperical Labs, and E.A.R. Te

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