STUDIO SPOTLIGHT: Rooksmere Recording Studios, Northamptonshire

Audio Pro International, in association with AllStudios, presents the latest instalment of our Studio Spotlight.

Set in rural Northamptonshire, Rooksmere Recording Studios is a state-of-the-art recording, project and mastering studio owned and operated by singer, acoustic guitarist, composer, session player and resident producer Mark Hutchinson.

Designed by White Mark, the high-end professional facility has so far worked with a long list of high profile recording artists (Eliza Carthy, Martin Simpson, Tim Harries, Ashley Hutchings), record labels (Topic Records, Navigator Records, Sony/Columbia), and producers (Tony Platt, Del Palmer, Andy Bell, Pete Kember), who all chose Rooksmere not only for its facilities, but also for Hutchinson’s input.

“Rooksmere is ideal for any project," he said. "We’re the only recording studio in the area to offer IZ RADAR converters and Pro Tools as standard; and our recording equipment, together with our relaxed atmosphere and competitive rates, provide exceptional sound quality for a price you can afford.

"Our control room, which has been carefully designed and equipped to achieve perfect results, centres around an Audient ASP 8024 analogue console together with some of the industry’s finest outboard (Neve, Focusrite, Chandler, API, TL Audio, Drawmer, Universal Audio, Lexicon and more). Monitoring is via M&K main monitors, Yamaha NS10s and NHT Pros. We also offer online mixing." (Full equipment list here).

Rooksmere’s spacious (27 sqm) recording area comprises a large live room and isolation booth, making it suitable for bands as well as vocal / instrumental groups and voiceover recording. Both rooms have solid oak floating floors, which enhance the sound and offer isolation from the outside world. The artist’s lounge is also capable of accommodating a large band.

“For the last year or so I haven’t advertised the studio at all," Hutchinson continued, "I’ve just pushed myself forward as a producer. Advertising now takes the form of sleeve notes or word-of-mouth, which I think is the best recommendation anyway. One piece of advice I would give to anyone who specifically wants to record acoustic artists: before you purchase the next piece of equipment make sure you totally understand what you already own. For example, if you want to buy a preamp, buy a decent one. It will last forever and you’ll never get rid of it. We will always need preamps and mics.”

Rooksmere Studios is also the headquarters for Hutchinson’s label, Rooksmere Records whose signings include multi-award winning folk artist Blair Dunlop and recent addition Fabian Holland. Hutchinson had previously played guitar and sung in a couple of bands with Dunlop’s father Ashley Hutchings (Fairport Convention, Steeleye Span) and signed him to the label after watching him grow as an artist over many years.

Hutchinson plans to continue his work with Dunlop, while helping other emerging artists on the folk/acoustic scene to realise their full potential. He commented: “These days my workload is about 70 per cent in favour of the record label. If I see a band I really want to work with but they can’t afford to pay me, I now have the option of developing them on the label, which means that we share the burden and the rewards. Blair’s album Blight & Blossom has done very well. It charted high on iTunes and also won Blair a prestigious BBC Folk Award for best newcomer, giving us the opportunity to continue working with Blair as an artist."

Just minutes from both the M1 and A14, and with off-road parking available, Rooksmere Recording Studios is well situated to serve bands and artists from London, Birmingham, Cambridge, Leicester and further afield. Accommodation is available at many local bed and breakfasts and hotels.

For more information on Rooksmere Studios, including links to contact details, click here.

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