LONDON: In the culmination of a nearly yearlong reconstruction project, multi-Platinum/Academy Award-winning producer Paul Epworth (Paul McCartney, Adele, Coldplay, U2, Lorde), has announced the completion of stage one of a massive renovation of The Church Recording Studio. Reconfiguring the legendary Studio 2 Live and Control Rooms, and creating a unique totally new Writing Room, engaged the design skills of the Walters-Storyk Design Group, and the studio installation/operational expertise of Miloco Builds.
The massive stone church (circa 1855) originally converted to a studio in 1984 by producer/artist Dave Stewart, hosted hit sessions for artists ranging from Bob Dylan to Depeche Mode and Annie Lennox. Recording star David Gray purchased the studio in 2004 and continued its hit-making legacy. Committed to building a world-class studio in London, Epworth bought The Church from Gray in 2013. Earlier that year Epworth had worked at Anne Mincieli’s Jungle City destination studio in NY. Impressed by Jungle’s unique architectural sensibility, and its WSDG/Augspurger Dual 15 Vertical Speaker System, he reached out to architect/acoustician, John Storyk and WSDG.
“After building hundreds of idiosyncratic studios around the globe over the past 45 years, The Church marks our first footprint in London,” Storyk remarked. “Paul Epworth’s technical expertise and design instincts are as inspired as his hit record productions. Paul was particularly intrigued by our innovative monitor configuration at Jungle, and we customized an extremely effective system for him. Paul also worked closely with my business (and life) partner Beth Walters on an LED mood lighting system with a vastly programmable color palate. Installed in the totally white Studio 2 Control Room and Studio 3 Writing Room, the system provides infinite mood enhancing color options; it’s a huge aesthetic boon to creativity. We were especially pleased that Paul retained Miloco Services to supervise construction and operations,” Storyk concludes. “They’ve been on our radar for years, and working with them has been an extraordinary experience.”
The totally new (961 sq. ft./90 sq. m.) Studio 2 is an ultra modern showcase featuring a completely recapped classic SSL 4000G console, ‘insanely powerful’ custom WSDG/ Augspurger Monitors and, an astonishing array of outboard gear. The ‘Space Age’ (267 sq. ft./26 sq. m.) Writing Room designed from the ground up by WSDG, is distinguished by an Equinox summing mixer a 20 channel Neve Sidecar and complete access to The Church vintage gear collection.
Following the design and construction stage, WSDG partners Dirk Noy and (Grammy-winner) Renato Cipriano flew to London from Basil, Switzerland and Belo Horizonte, Brazil respectively, to perform final measurements, confirm acoustic accuracy and fine-tne the new rooms. Still on the drawing board for future renovation, Church Studio 1 is an epic (800 sq. ft./78 sq. m.) tracking room with a triple height ceiling and a vast arsenal of technology punctuated by a vintage 72 channel EMI Neve console (credited with recording such hits as Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here at Abby Road).
Commenting on The Church renovation, Paul Epworth remarked, “I was very impressed with the feel and the monitoring of Jungle City, and wanted to be the first to build a WSDG/Augspurger room in London to meet the needs of both British and international artists, producers and engineers. Bringing WSDG in to design two of their world-renowned rooms was the first step, and the collaboration with Miloco has been an incredibly successful team effort,” Epworth concludes. “The Church provides nearly 8000 sq. ft./743sm of recording space over three very different rooms, including rare and vintage recording gear married to the most modern digital and analogue equipment to give users the freedom to indulge their creative impulses instantly.”
Photo cap: The Church Studios 3 Writing Room (photo by Lucy Williams)