Visconti Studio at Kingston University

Helping to make this happen at Kingston University has already been a highlight of my career! The Visconti Studio is part of a research and teaching project centred around the heritage of technology, associated practices and the sound of analogue recording. The project will allow students trained in recording techniques, as well as the use and maintenance of equipment.

Our partners on this project include the British Library and the Science Museum, and Tony Visconti will be a key contributor to the project's research and enterprise outputs. One of record production's great innovators, he is synonymous with ground-breaking music and has worked with some of the most dynamic and influential names in pop, from Marc Bolan / T-Rex and Thin Lizzy, to David Bowie, Morrissey and U2. The project will see him working with students and staff of Kingston University, as well as invited artists, to produce records. The studio will also be available for commercial hire.

Based around an extraordinary 300m2 octagonal live room and stocked with vintage and rare recording equipment (Studer, Neve, Neumann, Universal Audio), the tape-based studio also features a unique collection of instruments including a Mellotron, a Hammond organ and Steinway concert grand piano.

The Visconti Studio will officially be opened on the 19th September 2016.

Full site launch will happen soon (with info about courses, events, research opportunities and studio hire)... for now we have a holding page with some information about our launch event in September:

You can also like our FB page if you're interested in following our progress:

Recording at Abbey Rd for Lonesound

The wonderful graffiti wall out front.

The Dark Side of the Moon console, a.k.a. MUSIC TECH PORN

It should say: "On hearing an alarm, ignore the screams of your burning friends and colleagues. RUN to the second floor corridor and rescue the Sgt Pepper 4 track console. Ride it to safety."

James helps James with those high notes.

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Happy recording times

The new album is very much happening and I am so excited to finally get some recordings down for it. Last weekend I went down to London's Premises studios with Laura (my amazing voice for this project) and fellow composer and Bigo & Twigetti labelmate Jim Perkins to get the vocal and keyboard tracks done.

I didn't manage to get any photos of Laura in action because I was too busy squealing with excitement at how amazing everything was sounding. She did such an incredible job, it almost pains me to make you wait to hear the results. I did, however, manage to get some photos of the delicious vintage keyboards I borrowed for the weekend. Total keyboard porn.





I got the Rhodes stage 88 and the Wurly EP200 from Matt Snowball backline hire, whose service I can highly recommend. Totally helpful and reliable, and the high quality vintage kit seems to be lovingly maintained. Needless to say, I now need a Wurly in my life; if only to soothe myself to sleep each night with some gentle buttery chords.

A few days prior to these sessions, I was at Kool World studios in Luton with George Hinchcliffe (of
'Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain' fame), recording material for his new album (which I am producing). He brought along what I can only describe as an abundance of ukuleles:


This little one, in particular, summons up strange maternal instincts within me when I hold it...

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Feather Hammer sessions

Spent the morning at The Hat Factory music studio in Luton to get some more sounds for the Feather Hammer project. It's a really nice studio they've got there - huge thanks to Paul Jolly for letting me in to use (abuse) their piano. This record is burning a hole in my brain at the moment; as soon as summer holidays hit I can't wait to lock myself away and finish it off!

We mic'd up the strings and the pedal mechanics (underneath, though you can't see that)... we also set up a mic on the keyboard itself to capture the clacking of my currently unkempt fingernails. Matt was very helpful today, not only in being a roadie but also in holding down strange chord shapes for me while I prepared the strings. We had a little jam session on the lowest E string featuring me playing the 2pence coin and Matt's slap bass action-thumb. Nice!

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Ariella Strings Session

We made some lovely recordings on Wednesday evening — click the ‘read more’ link to see some photos of the quartet in action. As for the recordings, I will post the results as soon as they are ready.

In other news, Matt has managed to give himself Pharyngitis and I feel the same thing creeping up on me slowly. Just in time for Easter holidays, which is rather crappy indeed!

I’ve decided to spend these next two weeks coughing and moaning about my sore throat, sitting on the couch drinking tea watching my boyfriend finish playing Saints Row II. In the down time maybe I’ll work on a new game-soundtrack-oriented-demo reel. I just joined this wonderful online community called G.A.N.G (game audio network guild) in an effort to learn more about the medium and have found myself very inspired and surprised at the openness, friendliness and supportive nature of the group. I’m used to composers being bitchy, petty, jealous and snippy at each other. Seems these game audio people are just in it for the love. A nice change!

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