Last night, Abbey Road Studios won the prestigious 2018 Studio of the Year Award at the Music Producers Guild (MPG) Awards. The year preceding has been a pivotal one for Abbey Road Studios. In the biggest transformation since opening 86 years ago, Abbey Road added to the legendary Studios One, Two and Three with the addition of:
• Two new studios, designed to make the magic of Abbey Road more accessible to emerging artists. The Gatehouse and the Front Room are two smaller rooms built into the fabric of the facility and retaining the same creative vibe as the rest of the building. They have already played host to some phenomenal artists like JP Cooper, Jess Glynne, James Bay, Skrillex, Ben Howard, Nao, Mura Masa and Kelela as well as grime MCs Novelist and Jammer BBK, and legends like Nile Rodgers and Europe.
• A Mix Stage for film sound post production that is Dolby Atmos® Premier accredited and IMAX audio compatible, extending Abbey Road’s iconic film score business with the ability to create the final sound mix, blending the score, sound effects and dialogue. It has already won the ‘Best New Audio Facility’ award from Resolution magazine.
• A new production suite in the form of The Garage – home to new Abbey Road residents Neighbourhood Management and their roster, including the much-tipped Santan Dave.
Meanwhile, the main studios hosted recordings by Liam Gallagher for his album As You Were, Florence + The Machine, Ed Sheeran, Nile Rodgers and Chic, Anderson Paak, Europe, George Ezra, Tom Chaplin, Royal Blood, U2, Niall Horan, The Levellers, Paloma Faith, Stefflon Don, Jorja Smith, Mabel and Harry Styles among many others. Abbey Road remains one of the leading destinations for recording award winning scores, with the 2017 repertoire including Suburbicon, Alien:Covenant, Baby Driver, Victoria & Abdul, Black Panther, Phantom Thread, All The Money In The World and The Shape of Water.
Mastering projects include Krept & Konan, Massive Attack, Frank Turner, Radiohead, Arcade Fire, Cream, Elvis, Ella Fitzgerald, Mogwai, Kinobe, Placebo, New Order, Texas, Bryan Ferry, Soulwax, Too Pure Singles Club, Tom Williams and the NOW albums, plus half-speed mastering of the Brian Eno catalogue, The Beatles, INXS and ABBA, and direct to vinyl sessions for Kate Tempest (official Record Store Day 2017 ambassador) and JP Cooper.
The Studios’ rich heritage of technical innovation continues to inspire the team with:
• The launch of Abbey Road’s new De-mix technology. Designed by Abbey Road’s technology team and award-winning engineers, the ‘De-mix’ process is a revolution in sound technology. It opens up access to previously locked recordings, allowing audio engineers to craft new mixes and masters. Creating a superior listening experience for music fans, our De-mix process reinvigorates catalogue and breathes new life into forgotten tracks or bootlegs. Projects include The Beatles Sgt Pepper album and the new Rolling Stones On Air album, with many more to follow in 2018.
• Pioneering Spatial Audio experiments in conjunction with the University of York, leading the debate at AES in New York and creating the Abbey Road Spatial Audio Forum, with experts from academia, the BBC, video game developers, film composers, software developers and music production.
• Development of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in music as part of Abbey Road Red, Europe’s first music-focused technology incubator which supports the endeavours of entrepreneurs, research and developers
• Taking our knowledge and experience outside of the studios walls with keynote presentations and mentoring at MIDEM in Cannes, Slush Music in Helsinki, AES in New York, IFA in Berlin, Sonar +D in Barcelona among many others.
Abbey Road has continued to support the endeavours of music makers of all levels of experience, all over the world with:
• The launch of Abbey Road’s first app, Topline – a free app to capture song ideas while on the go, designed with emerging songwriters and producers from across London.
• New audio products such as the award-winning REDD Microphone – a $4,500 product receiving consistent acclaim from artists, producers and studios, plus 10 out of 10 reviews – and the ground-breaking Abbey Road Vinyl Plugin.
Creatively, we appointed legendary photographer Jill Furmanovsky as Abbey Road’s ‘artist in residence’. Jill has an incredible history with the studios, capturing iconic moments with Pink Floyd in the 1970s and Oasis in the 1990s. As part of this new role, Jill has photographed orchestral sessions as well as Mura Masa, Nile Rodgers, Novelist, DJ Yoda, JP Cooper, Royal Blood and Noel Gallagher.
The Abbey Road Institute continues to go from strength to strength developing the next generation of engineering and production talent. The first global graduation took place in Studio One in November 2017 with students from the six Institutes in Germany, France, The Netherlands, UK and Australia attending.
The Abbey Road Shop continues to be a focal point for the 500k visitors to the zebra crossing, with new product ranges being introduced – from a unique collaboration with The Beatles to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sgt Pepper to a new interpretation of the 1972 Abbey Road logo.
Isabel Garvey, Abbey Road Studios’ MD says: “We are honoured and thrilled to have won Studio of the Year at the MPG Awards. Last year was a transformative year for Abbey Road with the launch of three new studio spaces making the Studios more accessible to all artists. The award, therefore, comes at a hugely relevant moment for us.
Abbey Road Studios would not be what it is without the amazing recording, mixing and mastering engineers, technical team and all the staff who work so hard to make Abbey Road the magical inspirational creative place that it is. I am humbled every day by the talent we have in this wonderful building - this award it theirs.”