It’s constructed on two levels – a ground floor and a mezzanine. The upper floor is where I spend most of my time as it’s where the Pro Tools rig is situated. Based on a powerful iMac, it’s loaded with software and plug-ins, but I’ll talk more about that in another article.
I’ve recorded in many studios and also owned a couple. My first was based in a friend’s garage in a converted chapel – Avocado Studios, that was called. It was a great place to be – in a small Buckinghamshire village, but I have to say, the pub, right next door, could be a bit distracting! It was all pretty agricultural, based on a 16 track machine and an old banger of a desk – plus a few bits of rack gear in a home made the wooden frame! However, I had the honour, back in the 80s, of recording, among other luminaries, Wild Willie Barrett and John Otway, plus Syd Twynham, the guitarist from Liquid Gold. Another friend, the late Warren Harry, a successful songwriter, who’d written “When We Were Young” for Bucks Fizz spent a lot of time recording with us.
However, my fondest memory was of a young Beverley Craven, who wanted to “get somewhere” with her songs. She was my first foray into song production as we took her songs and added drums, guitars and so forth. She was an extremely forthright and ambition person and eventually went her own (successful) way. I saw here at a gig recently. I don’t think she recognised me!
Anyway, back to today! I own – and have had tremendous fun with – The Rockhopper! The Rockhopper is a fully featured recording studio in a 1963 Airstream Overland Caravan. More about this in a future article! It was used a lot for festivals and music events and was quite the head turner!. It has a Pro Tools HD rig inside so I still use it regularly, particularly to record guide tracks. the acoustics are fab!
But it’s the Songshed where my creative energies are now predominantly fulfilled! It’s state-of-the-art in terms of gear. The acoustics are also pretty good, assisted by blankets and tiles, situated in strategic positions. For vocals and acoustic instruments, we have the added benefit of a couple of enormous reflection filters. It all works very nicely.
If I glance to my left, I’m rewarded with a view of our garden through the huge window at the gable end of the studio. Inspiring stuff! I’d thought of getting one of those enormous, complicated blinds for the window but I’d rather have the view thanks.
I’m working on a dance track at the moment. All in all, I’ve plenty of material for future blogs.