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London’s Legendary AIR Studios Up For Sale

By Clive Young. Founded by late Beatles producer George Martin, London's AIR Studios has recorded the likes of Paul McCartney and Adele, as well as countless film and TV soundtracks. Now it's on the market.

London, England (May 7, 2018)—One of the UK’s largest and most storied recording facilities, AIR Studios, has been put on the market by co-owners Richard Boote and Paul Woolf. Famed producer George Martin founded the original AIR Studios on London’s Oxford Street in 1969, but moved the business to its current-day facility, Lyndhurst Hall, in 1992, where it has since hosted the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Katy Perry, Adele and George Michael, as well as countless scoring sessions. No asking price has been disclosed.

The four-studio facility’s stock in trade is mostly film and television scores, as its main room, the hexagon-shaped Lyndhurst Hall studio, is reportedly one of only two facilities in the UK large enough to host both a full orchestra and chorus at the same time.

Feature film scores recorded there include Darkest Hour, Wonder Woman, Interstellar, Casino Royale, Les Miserables, Atonement, The Life of Pi, Batman Begins, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Pride and Prejudice, The Da Vinci Code and The Grand Budapest Hotel, among many others. Meanwhile, television scores recorded on site include Doctor Who, Sherlock and Black Mirror.

Equipment would be included with the facility; the owners estimate that the gear alone has a value of £3 million or higher. The Lyndhurst Hall control room houses a 96-channel automated Neve 88R with SP2 film panel; 48 channels of Neve ‘AIR Montserrat’ remote mic pre-amps; a slew of monitors from Dynaudio, Genelec, Yamaha, ATC, B&W, KRK, HHB and others; recording options such as Avid Pro Tools and Studer and Ampex tape machines; and more

Elsewhere at AIR, Studio 1 houses a 1980 72-channel Neve/Focusrite desk with AIR Montserrat mic pre-amps and GML automation, while Studio 2, a sizable mix room, is home to an 80-channel SSL 8000 G plus with Ultimation, and Munro/Dynaudio 5.1 monitoring. Studio 3 is another mix space, centered around a 48-channel AMS DFC Gemini digital film console.

Lyndhurst Hall was originally a church and missionary school designed in 1880 by Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse, best known for his work on the Natural History Museum. After retrofitting the edifice as AIR Studios, Martin opened the facility in December, 1992 with a performance of Under Milk Wood that was attended by Prince Charles.

UKs Strongroom Owner Richard Boote Buys AIR Studios

Boote purchased the Grade II listed facility in 2006 from Chrysalis Group and Pioneer; Woolf later partnered with him on the studio in 2010.

Martin, who died in 2016 at the age of 90, chaired the facility until it was sold to Boote in 2006; he commented at the time, “AIR Studios has been in existence for nearly 40 years, during which time we’ve recorded some of the finest artists in the world and most of the memorable film scores. What I love about AIR is that as well as being a great studio, it has a well-deserved reputation for friendliness and efficiency. People who record here always want to come back.”

Beatles Producer George Martin, Dead at 90

Boote placed the studio on the market in 2012, but ultimately didn’t sell it. In 2015, the facility garnered headlines around the world when it was announced the studio might have to close for six months or longer due to noise and vibrations that would be caused by the proposed construction of a luxury basement swimming pool on a nearby residential plot. A petition signed by 8,700 people, along with public outcry from the likes of Queen guitarist Brian May, playwright David Hare and Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer, led to an extended battle before the local Council, when ended last October when the neighbors dropped all appeals and planning applications for the pool.

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AIR Studios •