STUDIO SPOTLIGHT: Born in a Barn, Warwickshire

As part of our regular Studio Spotlight, in association with AllStudios, we take a look at what’s going on at Born in a Barn Studio in Warwickshire…

Established in 1996, Born in a Barn is a professional residential recording studio built within the old milking parlour of Mobbs Wood Farm in the village of Antsy, Warwickshire, just north of Coventry.

According to producer, musician and owner Roger Greasby, “the studio has been converted over time, into an utterly unique space. The farm setting is fantastic for bands that enjoy a bit of freedom; allowing them to enjoy long sessions into the night without disturbing the neighbours. The control room has a cozy, well-equipped and professional ambience to get in the mood for making great music, and the live room is spacious and doubles up as a rehearsal room.”

Roger started his career managing Coventry’s Cued Up Studios – a busy rehearsal studio with recording facilities for budding Radio DJs – but moved operations to the farm in 1995 while expanding the studio’s portfolio to offer recording, tracking, editing, arranging, original songwriting, mixing and mastering for sound, plus ADR, video editing, filming and production services.

“The recording studio centres around Pro Tools with Waves plug-ins, which we upgraded last year. We remain primarily an ‘in the box’ digital studio running Pro Tools 10 HD Native with Thunderbolt interface, but Pro Tools 11 is on the cards for this year," said Greasby. "We also have a Soundcraft Spirit console available to add a bit of warmth when recording drums – or as required.

"We use Focusrite Octopre digital preamps, recommended by Musical Exchanges, who told us they would never let us down; and he was right, they never have. With eight digital and eight analogue in’s and a live room of approx 300 square feet we are more than well equipped to record live bands. We have cables everywhere and can put amps in totally different rooms if required, using headphones to hear the whole mix. We offer a range of classic and modern mics including the robust SE Gemini.”

Also included in the mic armoury is a NADY RSM-2 ribbon mic and a Sterling Audio ST59 condenser – both imported from America. There are many other unusual instruments on display, including a Turkish saz, a Chinese urhu and a genuine Hualapai Tribe flute; all collected on Greasby’s travels.

Although Born In A Barn was originally designed for bands, the focus has shifted a little recently to help the studio survive the tough economic climate. In 2011 the studio was extended to accommodate RantProd Music Production with head songwriting partner Tony White.

Greasby has also opened up the studio for more diverse projects. It sponsors two national singing competitions, OpenMicUK and TeenStarCompetition, and has helped many up-and-coming new acts.

“It’s great being a sponsor; we’re able to help these singers a lot," he continued. "I also run a service called Pop Star Party for kids’ birthdays, to fill the gaps between serious recording works. Everyone thought I was mad to allow kids in to have their parties, but in four years I don’t think anything has been broken.”

In 2012 the studio produced a promo video ‘Jubilation Nation’ to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee. Greasby added: “We often write songs for special occasions and have one in production for the FIFA World Cup right now starring Little Olivia, an eight-year-old girl, who has actually met Jose Marin (CBF President) and will be a part of the opening ceremony. This was a really interesting project to take on.

"To back up this little girl’s voice, who had no front teeth at the time, we hired in some mature singers, including 2013 MOBO nominee Sandra Godley, a gospel singer who we’d stayed in touch with since ‘Jubilation Nation’. We also sponsor local contestants in the Miss and Mr England competitions and can write a song and/or produce a video for them if that’s what they want.”

Born In a Barn has attracted clients from Coventry to much further afield and is currently working with The Bobcats (Foot Tapping Records) on the band’s eighth album. It welcomes bands/singers of any age and experience, as well as video production, voiceover work and parties. Situated inside a triangle of motorways (M1, M6, M69), the studio is easy to access from any part of the country. It can comfortably accommodate up to six people staying overnight.

For more information on Born in a Barn Studio, including links to contact details, click here.

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