In pictures: the studios that are still in the mix

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Tom Lamont writes: With album sales down and recording budgets slashed, what does the future hold for studios? Katherine Rose photographs the sites that have kept faith in the music

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  • Ray Purchase

    There seems to be a lot of fetishisation of vintage equipment in these studios. For example, the documentary film Sound City was all about Dave Grohl buying the original mixing desk from Sound City and installing it in his own studio seemingly with the idea that it would imbue everything with magical essence.

    I think there has been some great music recorded badly recently, and it is possibly due to this (mis-)use of vintage equipment, or even deliberate manipulation to make it sound ‘grungy’. An example I would cite would be White Denim’s ‘D’ which has a 1970s-ish feel, but a flat sound devoid of ‘sparkle’ that, in my opinion, is far inferior to the way albums were recorded in the 70s. Sure enough, the web site for the studio says:
    “Lakeside Studio boasts quite possibly the finest collection of vintage audio equipment in Austin.”

    Thank goodness the Beatles weren’t produced using Edwardian technology.