Milton Keynes, UK (July 26, 2021)—Amp-maker Marshall has taken over an old theater adjacent to its factory and has built out a recording studio featuring a 40-channel vintage Neve 8048 console and a live room with a stage, lighting and PA.
“This has been a passion project for the Marshall crew,” said commercial director Alex Coombes, “our ambition was to build a versatile and flexible commercial multimedia facility to serve the modern entertainment market, and at the same time to promote young talent and give something back to the artist and producer community.”
Anchoring the control room is a vintage Neve 40-channel console that has been configured by Neve expert Blake Devitt. The console frame came from EMI Pathé-Marconi studio in Paris. To the left are 24 channels with 1093 modules, while the right 16 channels include an additional eclectic mix of 1065, 1066 and 1095 modules. The custom frame accommodates a Pro Tools screen and keyboard in the center.
“The limiting factor for many vintage consoles is the record/overdub/mix modes in the master section — which of course only made sense during the tape era,” Devitt explains. “This mixer, as it has been re-configured, gives you two completely separate consoles which can be used for whatever the producer wants. I’ve even made the patch section ‘plug in’ in blocks of eight by changing the sockets underneath to reflect custom configurations, so the mixer can be set up without filling the patchbay with a nest of cables.”
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Over 100 microphones are available, and the entire facility is equipped with tie lines, speaker connectors and AoIP Ethernet links. Four Focusrite RedNet A16R 24-bit 192 kHz 16-channel analogue interfaces feed the Dante digital network, with an Avid HDX card providing the workstation link to Avid Pro Tools | Ultimate.
“Every part of the building has a mic tie line, a speaker output, and an instrument output for guitar amps, plus you’ve got data via RJ45 for monitoring or remote connection via six Focusrite RedNet AM2,” studio manager Adam Beer explains. “We can take any Dante mic preamp, put it anywhere in the building, it will come into our main network and we can record it directly. It means that the whole building is effectively the studio, even the office at the top!”
The live room has a stage with lighting and PA, along with an artist green room, bar and reception area. The self-contained studio has the benefit of ample parking in front and a ready supply of Marshall amps and Natal drums.
Marshall • www.marshall.com