Studio Spotlight: Hiltongrove Mastering, Essex

Audio Pro International’s latest instalment of our Studio Spotlight produced in association with AllStudios moves to Dunmow in north Essex to take a look at the newly-built home of Hiltongrove Mastering…

Hiltongrove—which was previously based in East London until the move in late 2011—is now comfortably settled in its new East Anglian home. The new 22 square metre studio is brimming with all the state-of-the-art tech you would come to expect from a modern mastering studio. It boasts B&W 801 Nautilus monitoring, Cranesong and Audio Design conversion and SADiE DAWs.

Providing analogue processing, Hiltongrove relies upon Prism Sound, Chiswick Reach, DAV Electronics and a custom fully parametric equaliser designed and built by Barry Porter.

Hiltongrove’s digital processing duties are handled mainly by a fully loaded TC Electronic System 6000, supported by a few carefully selected plug-ins.

For restoration and clean-up work the studio also has a range of tools from Cedar, including de-clicker and de-crackler hardware units, as well as the ReTouch plug-in.

“The new room sounds stunning,” explained David Blackman, who has owned Hiltongrove Mastering since 2005. “We’ve had nothing but positive feedback from everyone who’s worked here since we moved in over Christmas. My monitors sound so precise that everything in the audio is revealed, enabling me to get straight to the sound I’m after. Paul Rayner-Brown of Pro Music International handled the build for us and has done a fantastic job, giving me not only a great sounding studio, but also a very pleasant working environment.”

Blackman—who has mastered thousands of releases for artists including The Bluetones, Coldplay, Echo & The Bunnymen, Keane and The Maccabees—has worked as a mastering engineer since 1996 and is looking forward to the newly-located studio’s work amongst local clients and beyond.

“There aren’t many mastering studios in East Anglia,” he added, “even fewer built to this kind of specification, but there is a very lively local music scene here and I’m really excited about tapping into that and helping to make some great records.”

As well as mastering services, Hiltongrove Mastering also offers high quality short run CD and DVD duplication

For more information and contact details for Hiltongrove Mastering, visit

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