Visconti Studio podcast with special guests Tony Visconti, Chris Kimsey, Martin Terefe, George Murphy and Andy Cook

Article taken from Visconti Studio website. Visit the site HERE.


Isabella and Leah talk about analogue studios, sounds, and heritage with producers Tony Visconti and Chris Kimsey, recording engineer Andy Cook (British Grove Studios), producer Martin Terefe (Eastcote and Kensaltown Studios) and engineer George Murphy (Eastcote Studios).

We discuss the recording and production practices that shaped the iconic records of the past, from the abuse of tape to the slow process of recording and editing analogue media. Talking us through some of their experiences in the studio with David Bowie and The Rolling Stones, Tony and Chris reveal some of their own creative approaches to tape-based production. Analogue not only produces different tone qualities, it favours preparedness and demands musicianship, dictating the pace and method of working collaboratively in studios. During the conversation our guests discuss hybrid digital/analogue approaches, and what benefits these different workflows provide.

The COVID crisis has posed a big challenge for studio culture. British Grove Studios tragically lost its leader David Stewart to the virus. Many studios find themselves in a precarious financial position and social distancing creates challenges for business that need to get back to work. Studios have to think creatively about new avenues, and one of the ways forward is education and training. We discuss the role of education in the preservation of analogue heritage as well as training young people in tape-based production, passing down the knowledge of London’s iconic studio sounds, keeping this knowledge relevant and accessible for future generations. Analogue, as Chris says, is “the pure embodiment of sound itself” – and education can keep this fragile recording culture alive in practice.

Sound credits:

Rolling Stones, “Some Girls” produced by Chris Kimsey

David Bowie, “Scream Like A Baby” produced by Tony Visconti

Ron Sexsmith, “Whatever it Takes” produced by Martin Terefe

Nicholas Britell, “Master of the Butterfly Knife” recorded at British Grove Studios

Podcast produced and edited by Rob Plummer

Tony Visconti is a multiple Grammy award-winning producer, arranger, composer and multi-instrumentalist, known as one of the most influential producers of the glam rock era through his acclaimed work with David Bowie and T. Rex, among many others. Tony holds an honorary doctorate with Kingston University where is also a visiting professor. Based in NYC, Tony sometimes produces and teaches at the large format hybrid studio at Kingston University that also bears his name.

Chris Kimsey is a renowned and highly respected studio engineer, producer and mixer. Chris started his career at the famous Olympic Studios in Barnes under the tutorage of Keith Grant, Jimmy Miller and Glyn Johns, and is famous for his long working relationship with The Rolling Stones. Chris is currently managing the studio rebuild at the historic Olympic site, and has taught tape-based analogue production and engineering techniques at Visconti Studio, Kingston University.

Andy Cook is an in-house engineer at British Grove Studios and has been working professionally in the industry for almost a decade. He has worked with a wide variety of artists and recorded and mixed various television and film scores.

Martin Terefe is a Swedish record producer and songwriter, now living and working in London who has produced Grammy, Brit and Juno award-winning records with artists like Jason Mraz, James Morrison, KT Tunstall, A-ha, Ron Sexsmith, and Mary J Blige. He is the owner of Eastcote and Kensaltown studios and a founding member of the multi-disciplinary art collective Apparatjik.

George Murphy is a sound engineer, mixer and producer based in London. Currently the Head Engineer at Eastcote Studios, George specialises in working with bands and other live ensembles, using the best analogue and digital gear he can get his hands on.

Visconti Studio’s second Winter School: PURE ANALOGUE WITH CHRIS KIMSEY 

The Visconti Studio Winter School is a week-long practical recording & production workshop. The 1st Winter School was held in Feb 2017, where 10 lucky participants worked alongside Tony Visconti to produce a track with the band Artbreak. It was a great week.

Our most recent PURE ANALOGUE Winter School took place from the 11th to the 15th of February 2019. This time we tracked a whole album, to tape, working under the expert guidance of legendary producer and engineer Chris Kimsey (Olympic Studios, The Rolling Stones, Marillion, Led Zeppelin, Peter Frampton, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Duran Duran, The Cult, and so many more). Participants will also receive on-the-job training from our in-house analogue experts Rob Plummer & Ebby Acquah.

During the week participants learned and practiced the skills and tape-based workflow associated with the legendary sound of 1970s-era 24-track recording. The week covered sound engineering, tracking rhythm sections, orchestral percussion, vocals, strings and horn overdubs.

At the end of the week-long experience, participants received Visconti Studio Winter School certification and the satisfaction that they assisted in the production of a complete album, working with a group of world-class musicians, and alongside a legendary figure of 20th-century studio culture.

Topics covered during the week

  • line up and operation our tape machines (Studer A827 2″ 24-track, and A80 Stereo 1/4″);
  • tape-based tracking & editing;
  • professional studio techniques for working with a wide range of instruments (acoustic/nylon-stringed guitars, string section, horns, orchestral, tuned and Latin percussion instruments, vintage keyboards, grand piano, vocals, etc)
  • working effectively with the acoustics of Visconti Studio’s large, unique space;
  • working as part of a production team in a fast-paced professional studio environment;
  • hands-on practical tuition in analogue recording and production for 5 days with legendary producer Chris Kimsey and the VS team;
  • access to Visconti Studio’s unique facilities;
  • tape stock/consumables;
  • lunch and refreshments for the 5 days;
  • fully comped final drinks reception.