Inside the Studio

Sort By: Post DateTitle Publish Date
Steve Sutherland  |  Feb 17, 2023
In London's Soho lies a studio that has rocked to Thin Lizzy, rolled with Robert Plant and now has big plans to bring immersive audio to music fans. Steve Sutherland explains

Not wishing to teach anyone's grandma to suck eggs, but it might be worth beginning by having a quick look at Dolby Atmos. A surround sound technology reasonably recently developed by US company Dolby – or 'Dobly' if you're a Spinal Tap fan – it's a system that allows sounds to be moved as objects in a three-dimensional space, coming atcha from above, behind, inside, outside... everywhere.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jan 13, 2023
From Dusty to Deep Purple, The Beatles and The Stones, in the '60s and '70s this studio quickly became home to pop and rock's leading lights. Steve Sutherland has the story

So, here's how you do it. Take two synchronised tape copies of a finished recording and play them simultaneously into a third master recorder, all the while manually retarding the rotation of one of the two tape reels by pressing on the flanges, manipulating the phase difference between the two sources. Easy-peasy. Now you can flange.

Steve Sutherland  |  Dec 09, 2022
Built originally for pop sensations ABBA, this studio inside a disused cinema has rocked to the sounds of Genesis, The Ramones and Led Zep. Steve Sutherland has the story

There were four in the group but most of the time only two made it to the studio. One absentee was holed up in a nearby hotel attempting to kick a drug habit. The other was an alcoholic who could hardly get out of bed and would die soon enough, choking while passed out in a stupor.

Steve Sutherland  |  Nov 11, 2022
With its roots in a demo facility in downtown Stockport, this studio would later pump out hits from the likes of 10cc and The Smiths. Steve Sutherland takes up the story

Neither of the two musicians had been in a studio before. The closest they'd come was messing about doing demos on a knackered four-track Teac in an ex-manager's garage. So stepping into Strawberry, all swish and gleaming and stacked with mod cons, they were stunned. And not a little scared.

Steve Sutherland  |  Oct 14, 2022
On the 60th anniversary of the hit 'Telstar', Steve Sutherland tells the tale of the man behind the music and his pioneering home studio above a shop in North London

You may have read recently about the discovery of a British warship that sank in 1682 off our eastern coast which is being hailed by those who know as the 'most significant historic maritime discovery since the raising of the Mary Rose in 1982'. Well, happy as I am for Her Majesty's hyped-up historians, there's another treasure trove currently being examined that, for me, knocks that watery wreck into a cocked hat.

Steve Sutherland  |  Sep 06, 2022
The brainchild of Richard Branson, this studio in Oxfordshire was where Tubular Bells was laid to tape and Tangerine Dream created Phaedra. Steve Sutherland tells the tale

I'll let you into a little secret. Before no-one else did, and our world became all credit cards and phone taps, the rich stayed rich by never carrying cash. The Queen, for instance, was famous for never having any moolah on her at all, except on a Sunday when, if she was going to church, she'd have a tenner folded and ironed into a neat square so she could discretely slip it into the collection box.

Steve Sutherland  |  Aug 05, 2022
As much a community as a recording complex, Bearsville gave birth to albums as diverse as The Band's Cahoots and Meatloaf's Bat Out Of Hell. Steve Sutherland has the story...

His ultimate weapon was silence. Which was weird considering his vocation in life was managing musicians. Don't get me wrong, Albert could curse and scream and bully and belittle with the best of them, but when all the histrionics were getting him nowhere he'd just clam up and stare like a statue. For a very long time. Which usually freaked everyone out and then, of course, they'd accede and he'd get what he came for.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jul 15, 2022
Elvis, The Everly Brothers, Dolly Parton, Jim Reeves... Steve Sutherland tells the story of the home of a thousand hits – the recording studio that gave birth to the Nashville Sound

Dolly was in one heck of a hurry. She was running late for a recording session and if there was one thing that Dolly wasn't ever, it was late. Not only that, this was her debut appointment at Nashville's RCA Studios and she didn't want them thinking bad of her for being tardy.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jun 10, 2022
The Four Tops, Jackson Five, The Supremes... they all cooked up classics in a studio so small they called it 'the snake pit'. Steve Sutherland has the lowdown on Motown

Even a genius can have an off day, and this was turning out to be one of them. Berry Gordy was in his office in LA and was shaking his head in dismay. 'No', he kept repeating. 'No.' The recipient of his negativity was Marvin Gaye, who had flown in from Motown's Studio A in Detroit to play his boss what he'd planned as his prospective next single.

Steve Sutherland  |  May 27, 2022
From Beyoncé to The Boss, Meat Loaf to Madonna... few studios rival this international brand when it comes to churning out the chart-toppers, as Steve Sutherland explains

You could say that Jerry Ragovoy was quite the songwriter. It was he who penned 'Time Is On My Side', the Irma Thomas classic immortalised by The Rolling Stones. 'Stay With Me' was his too, the top-notch Lorraine Ellison belter. So were 'Cry Baby' and 'Piece Of My Heart', both of which Janis Joplin subsequently made unforgettable.

Steve Sutherland  |  Apr 29, 2022
Synonymous with legends such as Sinatra, The Beach Boys and Nat King Cole, this studio in Hollywood has a pedigree spanning over 60 years. Steve Sutherland on Capitol...

Imagine if Jimi Hendrix had decided to release an album that wouldn't feature any guitar. Or that John Coltrane announced a long player sans any sax. Or Miles Davis did an LP on which you didn't hear one toot of horn. Madness, right? No way José.

Steve Sutherland  |  Mar 28, 2022
Inside a former church in London is a recording facility used by such stars as Bob Dylan, Tom Petty and Adele. Steve Sutherland invites you to pull up a pew as he tells its story

Some time in 1985, so the story goes, Dave Stewart of British pop duo Eurythmics had been working in Los Angeles with Bob Dylan and invited him to stop by his recording studio any time he found himself in London. The studio, which was called The Church, was in Crouch Hill, N8 and a few months later Dylan did just happen to be in the UK, so he decided to take up Dave on his offer.

Steve Sutherland  |  Feb 10, 2022
It was a hit factory in the heart of Soho, a studio in an alley where The Beatles, Bowie, Queen and Elton John would craft their chart toppers. Steve Sutherland on Trident...

'You're a sewer rat decaying in a cesspool of pride… A dog with disease, you're the king of the sleaze…' Life On Two Legs, Setting The Record Straight may not have featured in many best-selling book lists but it's one heck of a read. Authored by Norman J Sheffield in 2013, its title is a play upon 'Death On Two Legs (Dedicated To…)', an uncharacteristically vicious song written by Freddie Mercury which opened Queen's fourth LP, 1975's A Night At The Opera.

Steve Sutherland  |  Jan 07, 2022
It was where Big Star were born, Primal Scream embraced the Blues, and Isaac Hayes made Hot Buttered Soul. Steve Sutherland has the story of Ardent Studios in Memphis

Over there in the corner is a teetering tower of folding chairs. On the chairs are sheets of glass. And around the tower are something like 100 microphones, all set up and ready to capture what comes next. And what comes next is cacophony as the band hurl cinder blocks at the tower in an attempt to simulate the sound of a car crash.

Steve Sutherland  |  Dec 17, 2021
Beginning life in East London, SARM's name is synonymous with artists keen to use the latest tech to push the potential of sound to excite. Steve Sutherland has the story...

The Boy couldn't get out of bed. The phone rang. And rang. And rang again. The boy turned over, tugged the pillow down hard over his head, and fell back asleep. The phone rang. And rang. And rang again. Eventually the ringing roused him. He'd had a heavy night and was feeling rough. He answered the phone. The voice on the other end, Irish, cursed him.

Pages

X