Universal Music Australia unveils Forbes Street Studios

Universal Music Group (UMG) has announced the official opening of Forbes Street Studios – Sydney, Australia’s newest high-tech recording studio and purpose-built media centre. The boutique studio, located in the inner city suburb of Woolloomooloo, is housed adjacent to Universal Music Australia’s headquarters.

Forbes Street Studios is the latest addition to the international studio network owned and operated by Universal Music Group, sitting alongside Abbey Road Studios in London, Capitol Studios housed within the walls of the iconic Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood and the Interscope Recording Studio in Santa Monica.

It will serve as a state-of-the-art studio and content creation facility for both home-grown Australian talent and international touring artists when in Sydney, and claims to offer ‘the best in audio, broadcast, and visual capability.’ The studio was designed by sonic architect and studio designer Michael Fronzek (Sound Spaces).

"In opening this artist orientated studio environment, we have fulfilled a long term goal for Universal Music Australia and EMI Music Australia," said Michael Taylor, managing director of Universal Music Australia. "Our commitment to artist creativity is priority one and this studio is a vital addition, not only for our artists, but for the whole music and creative community in Australia."

The studio is home to a ‘first-class’ Writing Room with A+ vocal mic chain and separate iso booth, as well as a video editing suite with colour grading capabilities. Also located within Forbes Street is an Interview Room (with street facing views for fans), offering end-to-end audio-over-IP codec for interviews and content creation solutions for podcasts and shows.

A number of top artists have already been booked in – jazz and blues star Gregory Porter recently performed an acoustic session there and later this month Shawn Mendes will perform an intimate Nova Red Room session at the studio, while touring Australia and classical superstar Andre Rieu is scheduled to drop by during his Australian tour to officially open the room for classical opportunities.

See below for more information on the individuals rooms.

SSL Room
The focal point of Forbes Street Studios. Housing Australia’s only Barefoot MiniMain 12 speakers, the control room centres around an analogue SSL AWS924 console with DAW integration, Pro Tools 12 HDX and a wide variety of outboard and synthesizers. The live room (below) can accommodate more than ten musicians simultaneously, and includes an upright piano, Ludwig drums, Gibson guitars and is adjoined by separate vocal and amp booths.

Writing Room
With a spacious feel and acoustics that rival the SSL Room, the Writing Room is ideal for vocal production, songwriting, editing and in-the-box mixing. Vintage keyboards, drum machines and flexible software options are all included. Adjacent to the writing room is a large booth with a flat and natural sound that allows for recording of vocals and solo instruments. If required, the Writing Room also patches to all other rooms.

Edit Suite
The content hub of Forbes Street Studios, equally capable of both video and audio production. Patching through to all other rooms within the facility, the Edit Suite offers the flexibility of both self-containment, and collaboration with larger video or streaming projects. Containing Avid Media Composer, Pro Tools and Adobe Creative Suite, the room also houses several audio-over-IP codecs for broadcast, portable Livestream Broadcaster Pro units for real-time video streaming, DSLR cameras, lenses and lighting.

Interview Room
Located at the apex of the facilities, the Interview Room looks out towards the bustling foot traffic of William Street. Inside, the space is designed for podcast or live-to-air recording, with the capability of adding cameras when required. The room was designed as a comfortable space for talent, instantly patchable to any room within Forbes Street Studios and suitable for live interviews with audience interaction or radio interviews via the Edit Suite.

In November, Forbes Street Studios will offer a series of promo initiatives for new and emerging artists to experience and work at Forbes Street Studios through an opening package trial rate. In addition, the ‘Demo Direct To A&R’ studio programme kicks off this month, allowing artists or bands who book three or more days of studio time to receive direct input in the studio environment from Universal Music Australia and EMI Music A&R teams, who will listen and review recordings.