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Lodge Studio: more trance than barn dance

Down on the farm, something is stirring: but it’s more Traktor than tractor at Lodge. Dave Robinson puts on his headphones and his wellies.

“I built the studio with my fair hands!” smiles Lodge Studio owner Peter Miller. “A plasterer did the ceilings and a carpenter put in the doors but everything else – all the blockwork, carpentry and electrics – that was all me.”

Dance music producer Miller (pictured) set up Lodge in the outbuildings of his family farm near Orpington, Kent, in 2004, and, after a number of equipment upgrades, he’s now looking to grow his business.

“I offer local bands full recording services from live demos to multitrack recording. I’ve also done mixes for clients,” he says.

Lodge is small but ambitious. It consists of a live room (6.5m x 5.5m) and vocal booth (2.5m square) flanking a 6.5m x 4m control room. Of his budget, Miller says, “Um, I didn’t really have one when I started! I bought my ADAM Audio monitors and tried to match everything else to that quality. In the end I think I spent about 85 grand… and still going…”

The ADAM P11As, plus sub, are nothing less than his pride and joy. “What can I say? Fantastic monitors, great stereo image, good response and very accurate: great for recording. Some times they can be too good! I flick between them and a pair of Mackie HR624s for balance.”

Among a collection of AKG and Shure microphones, a Neumann TLM 103 takes centre stage for vocals. “I used this a lot when I was at college learning my craft, and have never looked back since. There’s not much that can touch it for the price.”

Miller chose MOTU192 HD A-D converters for his beloved 28-year-old Soundcraft 800b 18-channel inline desk. Although he finds himself mixing ‘in-the-box’ more often than not, he willingly takes to the console when he can. “I am a massive fan of old analogue sound of this console. I didn’t want a digital desk as there are loads of studios that are fully digital. Not for me!”

Other outboard includes TC’s M3000 reverb, four Focusrite compounders and a TL Audio stereo value compressor. Pro Tools 10 has just been added to the arsenal, joining Logic 9 and Native Instruments Komplete sound design software. (Despite the weak pun in the standfirst above, there isn’t a copy of NI’s Traktor.)

“Next will be an upgrade for more mics, for sure,” says Miller. “In the mean time, I just want to record more and more and keep enjoying it.”