Studio Spotlight: Crooks Hall, Suffolk

Audio Pro International, in association with AllStudios, presents the latest instalment of our Studio Spotlight, whereby we focus on some of the world’s top studio facilities. This week, we take a look at Suffolk’s Crooks Hall…

Crooks Hall is a brand new residential recording studio located just outside Haverhill in the heart of the Suffolk countryside. Housed in an outbuilding within the grounds of a 17th Century Hall over a kilometre from its nearest neighbour, the studio officially opened its doors in April 2012 and is owned and operated by drummer/producer/engineer John Metcalfe.

Metcalfe’s vision was "to create an affordable, residential studio where the recording process could be exciting, yet still available to those on a tight budget," he told AllStudios.

At the heart of the control room is an Allen & Heath GS-R24M console complemented by a couple of tube channels providing analogue warmth. The DAW of choice is Cubase 6.5 but, if a client prefers Pro Tools or another DAW or even their own computer to record to, these can easily be patched in.

Monitoring at Crooks Hall is also suitably high-end. Unity Audio’s The Rock monitors are paired with a Genelec 7060b sub. Alternatives are available for comparative purposes, including Fostex and Tannoy active monitors. Perhaps unusually for a studio like this, there is no outboard equipment. All processing is done ‘in the box’ via an extensive collection of top quality plug-ins from Waves, Sonnox and Lexicon, amongst others.

Mics available at Crooks Hall include Neumann U87 Ai, sE4400a, sE T2, sE Gemini III (valve), SM57s, SDCs, ribbons and more. There is also a custom DW Drums house kit with a huge selection of cymbals from Zildjian, Paiste and Sabian, ‘a lot of’ snares and a Roland TD-8 electronic kit, which is permanently plumbed into the control room.

For more on Crooks Hall, please visit

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