Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK (March 17, 2006)–Steve Nelson has opened his new recording facility, Blast Recording Studios, the culmination of a two-year project. The studio has already attracted work from major record labels including Sony and BMG.
The studio is located in the basement of Albion House in Newcastle’s Ouseburn Valley and was partly financed by local council grants under a scheme to attract new business to the area. It incorporates a control room equipped with an SSL AWS 900 Analogue Workstation System, a live room, a programming suite, a machine room and a lounge and kitchen.
“Because this is a commercial facility, I was determined to find the right building in the right location,” said Nelson. “While I was searching, I bought most of the equipment and kept it in storage. Eventually, I found these premises and called in the experts to assess it as a studio. Niki Melville-Rogers [head of audio distributor KMR] came up from London and confirmed that the building was ideal. We also took advice from acoustics experts Whitemark, who designed the studio.”
As Blast is targeting major as well as local record labels, Nelson paid careful attention to room design and equipment specification, especially with regard to the console.
“We chose an SSL AWS 900 because it fit with our studio in terms of size, scale, status and the fact that it marries analogue and digital recording perfectly,” he explained. “We find that the AWS 900 gives us true super analogue sound with the DAW control functionality we need. We have also planned in a future 5.1 surround sound upgrade. The AWS 900 will be ready for this move without any changes to the console.”
The desk has already proven popular with Blast’s first customers–producers Nigel Wright and Robin Sellars–who used it to record vocal overdubs for Andy Abraham, second placed finalist in this year’s televised X Factor competition. The studio has also hosted sessions for Johnny Dickinson, nominated as Best New Musician in Radio 2’s Folk Awards, and producer Adrian Hall, who was working with a recently signed band.
In keeping with the area’s ethos-and with a long-held ambition of Nelson’s-Blast hopes to extend its links into the local community by offering work placements for youngsters from schools in deprived areas.
“I always said that if I won the lottery I’d set up a foundation to help disadvantaged kids,” he explained. “Well, I haven’t won the lottery but opening this studio feels just as good after so much time and so many set-backs. If we can put something back into the community and help a few kids in the process, then that would be the icing on the cake.”
Solid State Logic