Sound Recordings is a 100% analogue recording facility, based in Castlemaine, Australia.
The control room is equipped with a variety of recorders, spanning many eras of magnetic tape recording: An MCI JH114 1″ 8-Track (1977), Ampex AG440b 1/2″ 4-track (1969), Otari MX5050 1/2″ 8-track (1981), Otari MTR10 1/4″ 2-track (1983) and two Ampex 300 (valve) 1/4″ 2-track tape machines (1958-65). Different machines, and combinations of machines, can be utilised to suit the sound / recording process of virtually any style of music.
At the heart of the control room is a 14 channel fully discrete transistorised mixing console, originally built by Cambridge Audio Workshop, circa 1973. The desk has since been customised / re-built by Ekadek Electronics an Sound. We also have a unique ITA 10-4 – believed to be a ‘prototype’ shipped out from England early 1970s. It has transformer-bansed / discrete transistor microphone / line preamps, 3-band EQ stages, and quick FET limiters on each of the 4 output buses. This desk is used as a ‘side-car’ mixer to expand the input / mix-down capabilities of the main console.
Outboard / Instruments
In the signal chain are valve and transistor microphone/line preamplifiers, vintage equalizers, compressors/leveling amplifiers and tape delay units. Some of these pieces are industry classics, others are bizarre recording relics, and some have been custom built for Sound Recordings. The studio houses a unique collection of vintage microphones, valve and transistor instrument amplifiers, a Hammond tone-wheel organ (1969) and a Yamaha U3G upright piano (1970).
The main live room is a 9m x 10m stone building with a high gabled ceiling. The space can be made dry or live, open or closed by adjusting acoustic panels and removing floor coverings. For extra reverberation enhancement, there is an acoustic echo chamber on site, aka ‘The Big Room’, a 14 x 17 meter ‘hall’ with brick walls, timber floor and high ceiling. We also have a handmade plate reverb unit.
This studio contains no digital recording equipment and/or effects. Sound Recordings are made by hand and electricity!
What We Do
Due to the nature and workflow of reel-to-reel tape machines, Sound Recordings specialises in live ensemble recording, with minimal overdubs and modern-world trickery. We believe less is more – Sound Recordings is not so much about a massive track count but instead is more concerned with great performance, maximizing frequency response and maintaining dynamic range. We strive to make recordings that sound like you!
Who is it For?
This studio is ideal for (but not limited to) people who wish to produce musical recordings specifically for release on vinyl records (the best sounding records are made with an analogue source). To make this possible, Sound Recordings has a network of colleagues in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. who are also dedicated to producing high-quality analogue records and recording equipment. If you like, we can assist with the production of your master lacquers and pressing – to see that your project remains 100% analogue. If you would prefer to simply take away your master tape to be digitised for online release, then that’s fine too – but we can’t do it here.
- Single Day (8 hrs): AU$550 + tape
- Multiple Days: AU$400 per day + tape
- 5-day ‘EP’ package: $1800 + tape
- 7-day ‘Album’ project: $2400 + tape
Costs include studio hire and house engineer, Alex Bennett. A ‘day’ at Sound Recordings is 8 hours, including a half an hour meal break. Any additional overtime is charged at $80 per hour.
A normal day at Sound Recordings is between the hours of 9am and 5pm, however, the hours can be flexible.
Tape costs vary depending on which machines are used and the scope of the musical material. Please email or call for an accurate estimate on tape/session costs. They are always different for every project, and we will do our best to ensure tape costs are as economic as possible.
Dry Hires sometimes happen at Sound Recordings – but these are arranged and priced on a case-by-case basis.
We have on-site accommodation available at special ‘band rates’ – perfect for those who would like to spend a few days in the countryside to make a record! The Diggers’ Store bed and breakfast sleeps up to 4 people comfortably, while ‘The Big House’ sleeps 4 – 8 people. Pricing is based on number of people and length of stay – please inquire for rates.
Please feel free to contact Alex for any questions.