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Summerfield soups up with Pro Tools and outboard

Miloco-managed Midlands studio upgrades and makes room for local session star

Summerfield Studios, the Midlands facility which joined the Miloco Group last summer, has announced numerous upgrades in a joint collaboration with Birmingham-based session player and musical directory Marcus Byrne. A new Pro Tools HD Thunderbolt system, MacBook Pro and UAD Quad Satellite, are headline additions to a substantial list of gear acquired by studio owner Phil Croft and Byrne, who will be moving using the facility as a permanent base for all his projects.

The shopping list includes outboard by Avalon, SSL, Summit Audio, Focusrite, Universal Audio, SPL, Eventide and Lexicon. There’s also a collection of classic and modern keyboards, a selection of high end mics, and Adam S3X-H monitors. A full inventory is available online.

Currently tracking and mixing at the studio as musical director for The Saturdays’ Greatest Hits Tour, Byrne reveals how the simple interfacing is a real step forward. “I can bring in projects on my MacBook Pro and with Thunderbolt connection, be in full control of the studios 48 analogue Pro Tools I/O, the console and all the outboard with just one thunderbolt cable. All my patches, samples, plugs and projects are all in one place.” The addition of Pro Tools made it an easy decision to pool resources and complete the stylish facility, which can be accessed in minutes from the M6 motorway.

“The studio has a great vibe and the place really feels like home,” Byrne continues. “A good chain of analogue outboard works well and instantly gets results. It’s quick and easy to audition sounds and it’s more creative in terms of flexibility and ease of trying new ideas. I’ve noticed improvements in the mixes which are sonically more open than working ‘in the box’. House engineer Dan Coley is fresh and productive, we bounce ideas around, and I can be more objective with my work. I’m looking forward to starting new projects where I can make full use of the studios fabulous recording areas and powerful computing power”.

Byrne is pictured above, right, with session guitarist Ben Martinez (Jessie J, Sophie Ellis-Bext0r, The Saturdays).

Phil Croft, whose passion for music led to him building the acoustically-acclaimed studio over several years in his spare time, said: “The decision to team up with Marcus was a no-brainer, everyone’s a winner. I’ll be making changes to the control room with a dedicated programming station, creating a complete production environment.”