RECORDING AT ST. MARY'S
studio for music and the sonic arts
St Mary's houses an innovative and versatile open plan recording studio, home to composer and producer Jamie Smith.
Although unconventional, the all-in-one room style of studio (pioneered by Peter Gabriel at Realworld and adopted by Paul Epworth at The Church) has many advantages over very dead 70’s type studios, not least the speed and ease with which we can achieve superb results. Overdubbing can be done in the conventional way, but with excellent communication between performers, producer and engineer the studio comes into its own when musicians play together in this beautiful acoustic.
The bookcases and log wall create a diffuse, spacious sound, while mic choice and placement allow huge flexibility over the amount of ambience on any recording. And we have screens to subdivide the space or build a booth for improved isolation or ‘in a world…’ movie trailer style voice overs.
Our SSL centered hybrid studio is equipped for stereo, multi-channel and ambisonic recording.
Unfortunately the studio is not available for dry hire, but Jamie is always happy to discuss how he might help bring your project to life. Please contact us.
about Jamie Smith
Often working in the intersection between sound art and music, Jamie is known for his ability to bring a sound world vividly to life, be that as part of a music project, film score or even his own unique immersive audio projects such as the sonic novel, 'Notes from a Tremulous Hand'.
Driven by a desire to find the most direct means of connecting a performer to their audience, he
brings his passionate and creative approach to record making to every project, large or small.
For more info on Jamie and examples of his work click here
If you would like Jamie to be involved in your project, please contact us.
Recent collaborators include: Kathryn Joseph, Knomad Spock, Rachel Walker, Misterlee, Ingrid Plum, Mr McFall's Chamber, Shuna Scott Sendall, Fiona Soe Paing.
Along with mixing his own productions, Jamie is happy to mix projects that have been recorded elsewhere and can deliver mixes in stereo, multichannel, ambisonics and immersive audio formats, including binaural (static or with head tracking for VR).
If you would like to inquire about having your project mixed, please get in touch. Jamie is happy to provide examples of past work and may be able to mix a short test sample of your project (time allowing) - contact us to discuss options and availability.
At St. Mary's we are used to working remotely and regularly collaborate across multiple locations. One unique facet of our studio is the wonderful sound of the room and this can be harnessed during mixdown to improve material recorded in small or less than ideal spaces. The process of 're-amping' the signal, sending it out into the room through a loudspeaker and then re-recording, may be used to enhance the depth of field and sense of space and presence, gelling all the instruments together in the same space. It's an organic alternative to artificial reverb!
BOOKING A SESSION
All projects are unique: the prices here are a guide only. Please contact us to discuss your requirements and request a quote.
Jamie charges £250 per day for all studio work (writing, editing, mixing, recording, etc). This includes use of all equipment.
For artists working here, our Sitooterie accommodation is available at a heavily discounted rate.
All bookings include plenty of tea and coffee.
A day usually starts around 9am and finishes at 5 or 6pm where possible. If we need to work later (for creative or practical reasons), we will of course do so, but please remember St Mary's is our family home, and we don't like to run later than 7pm unless there's a compelling reason!
The number of musicians the space will accommodate varies on type/loudness/bigness of instruments/etc.
eg 30-50 voice Inuit choir; 20 piece free jazz orchestra; 10 piece space rock band; 8 vuvuzela; solo ukulele.
If it makes a noise, we can record it.
We are always happy to discuss your project and find the best way to make it happen based on your requirements and budget.
Here are a few unprocessed clips of how instruments sound in the space.
All the equipment listed below should be available all the time but if there’s something specific you want to use it’s best to check in advance as things need servicing once in awhile.
We suggest musicians bring their own familiar instruments and amplification where possible and use the ones here as backup or alternatives (many of them are rather eccentric!).
All-in-one open plan studio
15m long x 5m wide x 8 meters to apex of ceiling.
Assorted acoustic screens can be assembled into odd looking but spacious vocal booth.
Adjoining vestry can be used as isolation room for very loud/agressive/smelly sound sources.
2 x AKG C414 B-TLII
1 x AKG Solid Tube
1 x Audio Technica AT4050
1 x Audio Technica AT3527
2 x Audio Technica AT3528
1 x Audio Technica ATM350 gooseneck SDC
1 x Audio Technica U841A boundary microphone
1 x Core sound Tetramic ambisonic soundfield microphone system
3 x Shure SM57
1 x AKG D112
1 x AKG D20
2 x LOM Usi Pro miniature omnidirectional microphones
1 x Reslo ‘Beeb’ ribbon microphone
1 x Reslo RV ribbon microphone
1 x Triton audio FetHead inline mic pre (additional 27dB gain)
1 x pair Roland CM-10 binaural microphone
1 x Sony F99A stereo microphone
1 x stethoscope
2 x bugbrand contact transducer
Other assorted trash and toy mics, accelerometers, contact mics, coil pickups, etc.
The following microphones may be available on request. Please check when booking and give as much notice as possible if required:
2 x Neumann TLM103
4 x Neumann KM 184
2 x Neumann KM 183
2 x Neumann KM86
SSL SuperAnalogue X Desk
SSL Stereo Buss compressor
2 x SSL Channel EQ
SSL Alpha- Link MADI AX I/O (24 analogue inputs and outputs plus 24 ADAT inputs and outputs at 96kHz)
Akai S2000 sampler
Roland XV-3080 rack synth
Evans Echopet analogue delay
Drawmer DL 241 dual compressor/gate
Focusrite 428 mic pre
SSL VHD mic pre
Focusrite octopre LE
Focusrite Trakmaster Pro
For larger session the following microphone preamplifiers may be available on request. Please check when booking and give as much notice as possible if required:
RME Octamic x 3
RME Fireface 400 x 2
Monitoring (stereo and surround)
Tannoy Berkeley dual concentric loudspeakers
Quad 405 power amp
Genelec 1029a active nearfield monitors in 5.0
Sennheiser HD 600
Beyerdynamic DT100 Headphones
Sony MDR 7506 Headphones
Various other headphones, monitors and grot boxes
Instruments, Amplifiers and other stuff
Allison Upright Piano
Portable pedal Harmonium
Marshall JMP-1 valve rackmount guitar preamp
WEM Dominator bass mkII amplifier
Watkins Clubman valve guitar amplifier
Watkins Westminster valve guitar amplifier
Fender Blues Deluxe amplifier
Hammond Rhythm II electric organ with leslie speaker
Harp from a Collard and Collard baby grand piano
Victorian cowbell percussion thing
Nashville strung guitar
Hofner Congress semi-acoustic roundtop guitar
Yamaha jumbo acoustic guitar
2 x handmade electric guitars
Yamaha electric bass guitar
Premier APK drum set
Otari MX5050 8 track tape recorder
Marmet pram full of percussion, beaters, bullroarer, etc
Many and various stomp boxes including Digitech Whammy, Demeter tremulator, ebow, Zvex Mastotron and many more.
Zoom H6 portable recorder
Zoom H2N portable recorder
Scan 3XS custom built silent audio PC, Intel i7 8700 3.4Ghz, 16GB RAM, 2 TB SSD storage drives
SSL MadiXtreme 64 I/O
Windows 10 Professional
Plugins (many and various including):
Soundtoys 5 plugin suite
SSL Duende 6 plugin suite
Softube: TSAR reverb; Tape; Valley people Dyna-mite
PSP E27, vintage warmer, Fetpressor and more.
Flux IRCAM verb; Evo channel
Eventide 2016 reverb; H3000 factory; Blackhole
Blue Ripple O3A plugin suite, Dear VR pro, ATK and many other ambisonic tools.
Selection of virtual instruments including: Soniccouture The Hammersmith & Extended piano; East West composers cloud; esoteric softsynth and sample library.
And lots more besides...
Stereo and beyond...
In addition to mono, stereo and 5.1 we can mix into HOA (high order ambisonics) and output to the following speaker layouts: UHJ stereo, 5.1, 7.1, 7.1.2 (Dolby Atmos), 3D7.1, Auro-3D (9.1, 10.1, 11.1 and 13.1), IMAX (5.0, 6.0 and 12.0), Cube, Hexagon, Octagon, Quad, etc.
In addition mixes can be rendered for "binaural" headphone output, and various immersive/head tracked audio for VR such as Quad Binaural, Youtube 360, Facebook 360.
Contact us for more information