This month we had the pleasure of visiting British Grove studios in Chiswick to meet with Howard Massey, journalist/writer and record producer, to discuss his new book.
‘Great British Recording Studios’ (current working title), sets out to document the glory days of the pre-digital era of recording. The current hitlist of studios is a warm reminder of the great studios this country has produced, but a stark reminder of the huge number of the great studios that have now sadly closed.
The book promises to be a comprehensive technical overview of dozens of studios from the ‘60s and ‘70s, with detailed specifications of each studio as well as behind-the-scenes tales that, until now, haven’t left the studio. After perusing studio plans and photos from the VA archives, from studios such as Trident, Sarm and The Mill, we leave Howard with the highlights in the hope that we can help document and celebrate a great era in recording history.
Once our discussions with Howard have ended, we receive the full tour of the studio from studio manager David Stewart. What an apt setting for our meeting! Before entering the main control room we are met with an array of Studer 2-inch tape machines, including an A800 with custom 8-track heads. The main control room sports a custom-made Neve 88R and two EMI REDD consoles from the ‘60s. Turn around and we are met by a candy shop of classic outboard gear – including Neve 1073 modules and (not one, but two!) Fairchild compressors – the kind of kit that the next generation of young engineers may only have encountered as plug-ins! Again, another reminder of how the industry has changed and the importance of documenting and celebrating a glorious, but fading, era.
We are excited to be involved with the book and encourage you to check it out when it’s published in late 2013. For more information about the book, visit www2.aprs.co.uk/gbrs
Many thanks again to David Stewart and David Harries at British Grove for your hospitality