UK: London loses another significant recording studio this week as Mark Angelo closes its doors, writes Jim Evans. The west London facility was one of the first of the dedicated London 5.1 rooms and was a 'second home' to the BBC, Jack Bruce and Jeff Beck.
Aside from mixing down DVDs for major labels, MARS' 40-year collection of recording technology has also been used by Nick Cave, Cinematic Orchestra, Jamie Cullum, Madness, Jah Wobble and Sir Tim Rice.
Mark Angelo's equipment, fixtures and fittings are being sold this week at an auction held at the studio. The sale will also include the contents of Videosonics Post Production in Camden, Fleetwood Mobiles and the private studio belonging to Electronic Arts at Chertsey.
Among the many manufacturers represented in the sale are SSL, Neve, Euphonix, Urei, Lexicon, Neumann, ATC, Tube-Tech, Eventide, PMC, plus around 200 microphones.
Mark Angelo director David Dunbar told PSN-e, "When we opened the studio eight years ago, we equipped the studio to a high standard with a modern control room and large live area in order to provide facilities for recording both modern and classical music. We always ensured that our studio engineers and assistants were employed on a permanent basis and had our own in-house technicians to keep the equipment in first class condition."
He continued, "At about this time computers became progressively cheaper and geared up for recording music, resulting in musicians being able to carry out extensive recording work in their own homes or small mixing rooms. In spite of this, we were able to survive due to keeping our overheads to a minimum and whilst we have been in business there has been a steady trickle of studios of a similar size to ourselves closing.
"We kept going in the hope we could be the 'last man standing'. However, the decline in small labels with the music industry being now dominated by a few large international players has meant that there has been very few new projects coming forward for studios such as ours. In addition, recently our competitors in London have been able to offer studio facilities at a daily rate which if matched by us would mean we could not even cover our salary costs, leaving with us with no alternative other than to close down and auction off our gear."
The other Mutronics Group companies, Mutronics, Audio Kitchen and Framous, remain unaffected and will continue to trade as normal. Audio Kitchen has just launched a new range of amps, and Mutronics has released a new VCA compressor and valve microphone. Framous continues to manufacture record awards for the British music industry.