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Cenzo Townshend talks studio rates and taking tea with Brian Eno

Award-winning mix engineer Cenzo Townshend seeks to capture the magic of classic US studios like Sound City with his expanded rural facility

Blessed with some exquisitely bucolic views of the Suffolk countryside but close to bars, restaurants and a direct rail service to London Liverpool Street, the expanded Decoy would seem to be well-placed to take advantage of the recent growth in private residential facilities. But Townshend isn’t under any illusions about the wider studio market, and, although he plans to manage the hiring-out of the studios with his own team at first, he does not rule out tapping external help should it be required. (Read part one of this feature, which originally appeared in the August print edition of PSNEurope, here.)

“Rates are being driven down all the time, and it is worrying,” he admits. “But I feel that we are at a price point that is very competitive for what we are and the services we supply, let alone the amount of great equipment we have.”

Meanwhile, for Townshend there is surely a pleasing circularity to the launch of his own fully-fledged studio in Woodbridge – the very town where, more than 30 years ago, he approached the aforementioned Eno about a job at his own private studio. “He sat me down, gave me a cup of tea, and explained very nicely why he didn’t really have a job to give me,” laughs Townshend, who nonetheless recalls a tour of Eno’s “weird and wonderful studio… the tape machine was in the closet!”

The layout of his own facility might be a little more conventional, but Townshend is clearly poised and ready to put Woodbridge on the professional studio map once and for all.