Recording Studio in London
- the studio
- the hardware
- the software
The Best Value Pro Tools Recording Studio in London?
Quite possibly! Our London recording studio is equipped with the latest, cutting edge Avid Pro Tools HDX system, fabulous microphones and pre-amps, some great keyboards and a huge range of software instruments. It's a great, private environment in which to record and, with over 30 years of professional experience and expertise, is designed to guarantee that you complete your session with the ultimate in professional audio recording and production. If you're looking for a recording studio in London you can't beat Boomtown Studio's value
Check out our equipment list in the HARDWARE tab above.
Insulated Recording Booth
Our acoustically treated and insulated 2m x 3m vocal booth is of state of the art Studiobricks construction, both fully ventilated and daylight illuminated. When installed, it was one of the largest such booths in the UK. The directional LED lighting is adjustable to suit the performer's taste and the booth is big enough to accommodate several vocalists at a time. Up to eight pairs of headphones can be used simultaneously, all with individual volume controls to allow personalisation of monitoring levels. Yes, we have recorded groups of eight in the studio at one time - great for layering up choirs!
The booth can be both completely private (with no window to the control room) or with direct line of sight to the engineer if desired. This means that if a performer wants complete privacy whilst in the booth then no one else will see! We will, however, hear and record - and the results can be spectacular!
You can see more pictures of our booth here
Acoustically Treated Control Room
Our 4.5m x 3.5m control room is acoustically treated, air conditioned and has natural light. Although housing a console and a number of keyboards, we have room for about six people to comfortably attend a session - although a session with that many is rare! We have seating for 8 people max.
Being daylight illuminated, you won't find yourself leaving the session thinking you've been in a cave all day and our air conditioning will help keep the atmosphere fresh!
You can see more pictures of our studio control room here
Pro Tools 12 HDX Recording Studio
At the heart of Boomtown Studio is our Avid Pro Tools 12 HDX system. This allows recording to a full 256 tracks of 24 bit audio compatible with all other DAWs as well as industry film editing programs like Apple's Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premier. Our Pro Tools system is clocked by a rock-solid Apogee Big Ben synchroniser and complemented by a selection of top quality microphones and pre-amps.
Unlike London recording studios offering native-only recording rigs such as Pro Tools LE, Pro Tools HD Native, Logic, Cubase, Studio One, Nuendo, Ableton etc the HDX system allows true minimal latency monitoring as well as vastly increased processing power to run our substantial collection of AAX plug ins.
Latency is a major one - the ability to track (i.e. record) through plug-ins without significant latency is an important issue, and no native recording rig can deliver this at the moment. A vocalist recording through the right compressor will be encouraged to produce a better performance than without and Pro tools HDX allows this. Of the London recording studios offering Pro Tools HDX, we undoubtedly offer some of the best recording studio rates for such a highly specified system - a system used by AV professionals in similar studios the world over.
Digidesign C|24 Mix Control Surface
Coupled with our multi computer Pro Tools set up is a Digidesign C|24 control surface. We truly believe that this piece of equipment, with the tactile feedback it allows, helps produce better sounding mixes as it encourages the engineer/producer to rely more on listening rather than staring at a computer screen - and that can only be a good thing. After all, what do all the Pros say? "Use your ears"!
Boomtown Studio Microphones
We have a carefully chosen selection of top quality microphones to suit all voices and styles, from valve condensers, a ribbon mic and small diaphragm capacitor mics through to dynamics. Our favourites are:
- Neumann M149 Tube mic with custom, ultra high quality Vovox cable - one of Gearslutz.com's top 10 mics
- Twin Lewitt LCT 940s - these new mics can offer either valve or FET operation, or a blend of the two - fab!
- Sennheiser MKH416 - a favourite with visiting US Voice Over Artists, this has a classic sound
- Sontronics Sigma Active Ribbon Mic - unlike modern condensers this gives a darker, retro radio sound
- 3-Zigma Master 4 x 10 Toolkit - a host of classic FET condenser mic emulations (C12, U47, U67, ELAM 251)
- Electrovoice RE20 - much favoured as a bass drum mic, it can also sound fab micing a guitar amp cab
Pre-amps by Slate Pro Audio (the new, fabulous FOX being our latest addition), Broadhurst Gardens, Oram, TL Audio and Digidesign handle the audio inputs to our Pro Tools HDX rig.
Check out our microphone list and pre-amps under the HARDWARE tab above.
Boomtown Studio Plugins
Every Pro Tools based recording studio has its prized selection of digital plug-ins for enhanced processing and we are no exception. Our already highly specified system is, of course, complemented with a wide range of plug-ins to ensure that you get the perfect, professional recording. As well as those by Avid, we have the latest plug-ins by Antares, Aphex, Brainworx, Eventide, Izotope, Massey, MsDSP, Sonnox, Sound Toys, Source Elements, Synchro Arts, Wave Arts, Waves and more. We have all the top auto-tuning plugins - and we know how to use them - as well as some more esoteric ones.
Check out our plugin list in the PLUGINS tab above.
Running a Pro Tools HDX rig, our plugins are all AAX. However, due to the wizardry of Blue Cat Audio's MB7 and Patchwork, we are able to run VST plugins in our DAW as well, so please let us know if you have any special requirements in that area. It could be that you have a favourite VST plugin which hasn't made it to the AAX platform. If that's the case we should be able to run it!
Digital Audio Recording Equipment
Avid Pro Tools HDX 24 bit 256 track system
AvidHD I/O Pro Tools Digital Audio Interface
M-Audio M-Track Plus Digital Audio Interface
Apogee Big Ben 196k Master Clock
Digidesign C|24 Desk with Total Pro Tools Integration
Slate Pro Audio Fox Quadtone Dual Mic Pre-amp
Broadhurst Gardens No.1 Dual Mic Pre-amp
Oram Octasonic Precision Octal mic pre-amp
Aphex Dominator II 720 Peak Limiter
Audio+Design Compex 2 Compressor
TC Electronics Finalizer+ & Master Fader
TL Audio Stereo Valve pre-amp
Neumann M149 Tube Mic with custom Vovox Cable
Lewitt LCT 940 x 2 - a dual valve-FET pair - fabulous sound!
Sontronics Helios Tube Mic
Sennheiser MKH 416
3-Zigma Master 4 x 10 Toolkit - classic FET mic emulations
Audio Technica 4030 Large Diaphragm Capacitor Mic
Rode NT2 Large Diaphragm Capacitor Mic
Oktava MK-012 Capacitor Mics Matched Pair
Dynamic & Ribbon Microphones
Sontronics Sigma Ribbon Mic (for a retro radio sound)
Electrovice RE20 Dynamic
Heil PR-40 Dynamic
Shure SM58 Dynamic
Monitoring & Playback
Genelec 8040A and 7060B monitors - awesome!
Audio-Technica ATH-M50X Headphones - superb!
Custom built mid field monitors
Avantone Cube Speakers - great for checking mixes
Sonifex HY-02 Digital Telephone Patch
Skype Patch into Studio & Recording Booth
Technics SL-1200 turntable
Revox B77 Mk2 half track tape recorder
Sony MDS-JE530 Minidisc Recorder
Tascam DA20 Mk2 DAT
Apple 8 Core Intel Xeon with 16Gb RAM
2 x Apple 4 Core Intel i7 with 16Gb RAM
PC i7 Intel with 12Gb RAM
PC Dual Core Intel with 4Gb RAM
Apple Mac Mini 8Gb RAM
iPad 4th Generation 64Gb RAM
3 monitor system includes 46" screen for soundtrack work
Wurlitzer Electric Piano - a classic!
Roland Juno 60 with MIDI Interface - another classic!
Kawai VPC1 Grand Piano Controller - the best we've tried
M-Audio Axiom Pro 61 Controller Keyboard
Korg padKontrol Drum Trigger
Roland HPD-15 Handsonic Drum Pad
Various Percussion - tambourine, sleigh bells etc
Digital Audio Workstation
We currently use Avid's Pro Tools HDX v12 Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for all our recording, editing and processing.
Why? The reason is simple. It's the industry standard for all high end professional recording studios.
There are several reasons for this:
- Pro Tools is the most feature laden DAW available
- Almost zero-latency (7ms) monitoring - no other DAW offers this
- Pro Tools 12 HDX now comes with the much faster off-line bounce - saveing clients studio time and money!
- Multitrack audio editing - applying edits to multiple tracks simultaneously - saves time
- Workflow: It is simply faster, easier, and more productive
- Superb quality, dedicated hardware - both consoles and interfaces
- Works on both Mac & PC - take your session to any Pro Tools studio and it will load seamlessly
Other DAW Software
If you wish to bring a pre-recorded session into Boomtown Studio, we also have Apple's Logic Pro and Presonus Studio One v3. We've found Studio One to be an excellent MIDI recording environment and so are happy to carry out sessions with that. Logic is an application we rarely use but we are happy to transfer your data from that into Pro Tools for further work.
Of course, whatever DAW you use, it is always easy to transfer data into a Pro Tools compatible format prior to the session. If you need advice on how to do this, please give us a call!
Auto Tuning Software
One of the main features at Boomtown Studio is our soundproofed and acoustically treated booth. It's perfect for recording vocals and that's one of the things we're really good at. Of course, we have all the plugins required for producing top notch, modern sounding vocals.
Vocal Tuning plugins include:
- Antares Autotune - the original auto tuning software
- Celemony Melodyne - one of the best!
- Waves Tune (full version) - very useful and a favourite
- Revoice Pro - fantastic for tightening up rap doubles and BVs
- Izotope Nectar 2 with Pitch Editor
- Melda MAutopitch
- Elastique Pitch 2
- Various other pitch shaping plugins
Remote Session Direction
If you're unable to attend a session in person, we offer a very cost effective alternative to the usually expensive and outdated ISDN link-up. Remote direction via Skype and telephone is now either inexpensive or free.
Both our telephone patch and Skype link provide a direct live hook up to the studio engineer, other attendees and the performer. As communication is two way you can both monitor the session as it progresses and give feedback to the vocalist or musician - just as you would if you were present in the studio. We've had telephone patch, Skype and Source Connect all running simultaneously to the USA, Canada and Europe without problem.
For those on slightly higher budgets, we offer Source Connect Pro link-ups to suitably equipped studios around the globe. Both Source Connect and, to a slightly lesser degree Skype, produce generally excellent quality audio monitoring and are to be recommended over the lower fidelity telephone patch.
Autotune, Autotune-Evo, AVOX 2, Harmony Engine
Aural Exciter, Big Bottom Pro
AmpLion Pro, STAPhaser
bx_digital V3, dynEQ v2, XL V2, optoPedal, refinement, shredspread, stereomaker, tuner, meter
Melodyne Studio 4
Pheonixverb, R2, Excalibur
ARC 2 Advanced Room Correction System
d2 Equalizer, d3 Compressor
Alloy 2, Insight, Nectar 2, Ozone 5, RX4 Advanced, Trash 2
PCM Native Reverb Plug-in Bundle
Everything Pack 6
All Melda Production plugins
Channel Strip, Character
Character, Vocal Enhancer
Infected Mushroom "I Wish"
Quiet Art Wave Rider 3, Defaulter
FG-X Virtual Mastering Console, Virtual Mix Rack, Virtual Tape Machines
Reference 3 Speaker, Room & Headphone Calibration Suite
Dynamics Compressor, EQ Equalizer, Inflator Loudness Maximizer,
Fraunhofer mp3 Pro-Codec,Transmod Transient Modulator
All Soundtoys v5 plugins
Source Connect Pro, Source Live, Source Talkback
Mercury & Studio Classics Bundles
Hybrid 3, Loom, Structure, Strike, The Riser, Transfuser 2, Vacuum Pro, Velvet,
LA Scoring Strings
Boom, DB33, Mini Grand,
QL Colossus, Goliath, Gypsy, Ministry of Rock, Ra, Silk, Stormdrum 2, Symphonic Choirs, Symphonic Orchestra, Voices of Passion
MDrummer Large, MpowerSynth
Pianoteq 5 Pro
Mach 5, Ethno Instrument 2
Real Guitar, RealStrat, RealLPC, RealRick
Absynth 5, Akoustic Pianos, B4, Battery 3, FM8, Kontakt 5 (many libraries) , Massive, Reaktor 5
Exhale, Rev, Signal & X-Loops
SC & LPC Guitars
Nexus (full) & Vanguard
Omnisphere 2, Trilian, Stylus RMX
Digital Sensations, Electro Suite, Falcon, Mello, Extreme FX
A huge pro library, including all strings, most of the brass & woodwinds and more
Codex, Element, Morphoder
Addictive Keys Studio Grand