UK: Rupert Pfaff has unveiled a new East London studio facility, The Limehouse, to offer 'affordable audiophile' recording, reports David Davies. Pfaff, who used to be MD of London's now-defunct Turnkey music store (pre-Sound Control ownership), has developed a studio based around a Digidesign C|24 control surface, Pro Tools HD5 Accel, Apogee Converters, Focusrite ISA and Liquid mic preamps, 150-plus plug-in software processors and instruments, and Quested active monitors.
The comprehensively-equipped studio also includes Neumann, Royer, Earthworks and Blue microphones; a Yamaha C3 6'1" Grand Piano; a DW Custom Drum Kit and Zildjian Custom Cymbals; a Rhodes Suitcase 88 and Minimoog Voyager; and a large selection of guitars, backline and percussion.
There is no full-scale desk in the studio, with Pfaff arguing that "equally good if not better quality can be achieved by going straight into your converters via decent preamps. Also, the analogue summing thing is snake oil in my humble opinion - the Pro Tools HD mix bus does the job perfectly (literally!). And then there's the physical size and cost/hassle of maintaining consoles - there's a reason these things go for a fraction of their original cost on the used market these days..."
Invited by PSN-e to consider his long-term objectives for The Limehouse, Pfaff says that he hopes the studio will help to change "people's opinions about the audio quality they can achieve on a budget. We also look forward to working with some of the great talent we know is out there. I'm optimistic that once the dust has settled from the current restructuring of the music business, there will be a strong market for well-recorded and produced music by more 'traditionally' talented artists, even if it isn't in the form of CDs being sold in stores."
Producers to have visited the studio during its opening weeks include Gareth Jones (Depeche Mode, Erasure, Nick Cave), who recorded two tracks at The Limehouse for ex-Larrikin Love singer Edward Larrikin's new project, The Pan I Am.