The Last Year at Abbey Road Studios

2018 has been an extraordinary year for music and it fills us with pride to know that Abbey Road has played a small role in making it happen.

We’ve been fortunate to welcome some incredible artists and projects to the studios over the last year including Brockhampton, The 1975, Jaden Smith, Benjamin Clementine, Burna Boy, Sam Smith, Nile Rodgers, Emeli Sande, Craig David, Olly Murs and Noel Gallagher, mix projects for Ariana Grande, Beyonce and Jay-Z and live sessions with Paul McCartney, Rudimental, George Ezra, Jess Glynne, Krept & Konan and Slaves and scoring for some of the biggest film and games releases such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Battlefield V and Mission: Impossible – Fallout. And we were thrilled to see Novelist’s debut album Novelist Guy, which was mixed and mastered here, nominated for the Mercury Music Prize.

Our new Mix Stage has hosted some incredible movie projects including American Animals, forthcoming horror flick Wounds, Tim Burton’s much anticipated Dumbo and Josie Rourke’s debut feature Mary Queen of Scots, which has just opened in the U.S. to much acclaim and goes to cinemas in the U.K. in January.

Here are some further highlights:
U.S. hip-hop collective Brockhampton abandoned their home studio for Abbey Road and departed with an album entitled Iridescence which went straight to number 1 in the U.S. Working 24 hours a day for three weeks, the band made Studio Three and The Penthouse their recording and mixing home, inspired by previous sessions from Pink Floyd and Radiohead, with our engineers playing an active role in the mix process, too.

They told us: “It’s a dream come true to work at Abbey Road. We’re joining the league of great musicians who have mastered the crafts. When people talk about Abbey Road we want to be a part of that conversation. We want people to say ‘Brockhampton recorded there, that’s so cool’.”

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In one of our busiest periods ever, our mastering suites have been packed with some brilliant projects demonstrating the reach of the team’s ability.

From new releases for Sade, Rita Ora, Dido, Paul McCartney, Suede, Jonny Greenwood, Tom Middleton, Graham Coxon, Alexis Taylor, Nile Rodgers and Goat Girl, remasters for Paul McCartney, Teenage Fanclub and Bryan Ferry, half-speed masters for Queen, CHIC, The Police, Brian Eno, OMD, and of course The Beatles, to direct to vinyl sessions for Nine Inch Nails, Slaves and Krept & Konan, the tables haven’t stopped turning. We also celebrated NOW 100, having cut every release in the series.
In his new role as our Chief Creative Advisor, Nile has made use of every space in the building completing the first CHIC album in 26 years (which went Top Ten), writing with artists from Emeli Sande, George Ezra, Jorja Smith, NAO, Mura Masa and Craig David to Flume, Burna Boy, Rebecca Ferguson and Franc Moody, and recording a new orchestral version of David Bowie’s iconic Let’s Dance – a song Nile originally turned into a global phenomenon when he arranged and produced it in 1983. Nile describes working here as his most productive sessions ever.

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The studio where stereo was patented continues to innovate in the shape of Abbey Road Red, our innovation arm. One element of Red is an incubator focused on developing the future technologies that will improve how we create and consume music. We’ve been exploring how artificial intelligence can help the creative process (with Humtap, Vochlea and Lifescore) and are looking at spatial audio, creating an audio experience that matches AR / VR.

Our free Topline app won both Best Music App and Best Design / UX at the UK App Awards. Topline was created to help songwriters and musicians capture ideas on the go and is free on both iOS and Android. Go check it out! And in November, we hosted our first ever Hackathon, inviting 100 artists and technologists into Studio One for a 36 hour hack to reinvent music creation. Watch our video of the event.
This year welcomed the launch of two brand-new Abbey Road audio plugins in collaboration with Waves Audio. Abbey Road Chambers is an exclusive reverb plugin which offers the beautiful natural chamber reverb, surging delay cascades and rich sounds of the legendary Abbey Road Studio Two echo chamber.

Dave Pensado, Mixing Engineer, Black Eyed Peas, Justin Timberlake said: "Abbey Road Chambers is my new favourite reverb: it's great on everything. I love the depth and width it gives a sound, or how it can put a sound in your face. Like all my favourite reverbs, it has the musicality to melt into the mix in a unique way."

Abbey Road TG Mastering Chain is a modular mastering chain plugin modeled after the EMI TG12410 Transfer Console used in all of Abbey Road's mastering suites since the early '70s to today. The TG brings the same magic heard on albums such as Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, Nirvana's In Utero, Radiohead's OK Computer and Ed Sheeran's +.