Recording studios in London have been instrumental (no pun intended) in shaping and advancing music worldwide. They have been at the center of some of the major revolutions in pop music for over half a century, creating and refining how music has been consumed and appreciated in a number of genres. In fact, more than any other city, London is known for the high quality of music produced in its studios.
Some of the music production studios in London are known for their unique qualities. For example, Astoria Studio has been a fixture in the city since 1911. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that it’s a fixture near the city, since the studio is actually a houseboat that floats in the Thames just west of London proper. It’s been churning out great music for over a century now and is currently owned by Pink Floyd’s David Gilmore.
Lyndhurst Hall Studio is another fantastic example of repurposing. Originally designed in 1880 as a church and missionary school, this particular building was conceived by Alfred Waterhouse, who was also the architect of the Natural History Museum. It was eventually bought by AIR studios and currently has one of the largest recording rooms in the world, able to accommodate 120 musicians.
Sometimes music studios in London change hands, such as the one which has been in the same place for over 30 years, but used to be called Sarm East, the legendary location where Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” was recorded. They’ve also been host to a number of great talents, such as Madonna (who recorded her “Music” album there) and The Clash, who recorded a number of albums at Sarm East.
Of course, no discussion of studios in the city would be complete without mentioning the much storied Abbey Road Studios. Immortalized as the name of one of the most well known albums by the Beatles, the studio was well used even before they made it famous in pop culture. They’ve recorded a number of incredible acts, from Pink Floyd and Radiohead to the Killers, Florence + the Machine, Oasis, Elbow, and so many more.
A music studio in London comes with a number of advantages. A lot of people are choosing to use home recording equipment in order to get tracks down and produce a song or album, but that technique is incredibly short sighted and misses the benefits of investing in studio time.
First of all, ambient noise can be an incredible hazard to any music production job. While there are certain things that can be done to limit that at home, it cannot account for sudden loud sounds or pitches at frequencies that might not be immediately noticed, but will turn up on a multi-track recording. Those types of noise can ruin an entire day’s work, since you might not actually notice it until after a session is done.
Music studios in the Big Smoke also have the advantage of the best technology currently available. While a lot can be done with a laptop and a microphone, there are certain things that simply can’t be replicated, like the creation of high quality master copies that pick up on every aspect of the sound. The equipment that you would have access to would also make it a lot easier to isolate various sounds or ranges of sound to make sure that the final recording has the feel and audio that you envision, unhindered by the vagaries of real world recording.
Speaking of both technology and noise reduction, a good studio will also be able to set up sound isolation for group recording. Nothing is more frustrating than when you’re trying to create separate tracks for every sound and one microphone picks up another person’s instrument or singing. Being able to prevent that sort of auditory bleed over from one place to the next ensures you will have clean recordings to mix later on.
Professional music production facilities also have a resource that a lot of people don’t have at home: experienced technicians. Because of London’s rich musical history, there are people available at its studios that have been in the business for decades and are experts at how the coax the exact sound that you’re looking for out of their equipment. They can help you set up and get the most out of your time recording.
Mews Productions is a recording studio in London that is fantastic for both beginners and old pros. They are continuing the London music tradition by providing their experience and space for an affordable price.
Music draws much of its heart from sound studios in London. That’s where a lot of it was born, and where a lot more grew up. For all of its history, it would be a shame to neglect its place in our musical consciousness.