Broadoak Studios is the creative home and sonic laboratory of producer Harvey Summers. Nestled in a rural park setting in East Sussex, the studios have been designed both to encourage creativity and to capture it, using carefully chosen vintage equipment and microphones, combined with cutting edge digital technology and software.
Harvey, who has over 20 yearsâ€™ experience as a professional engineer, producer, artist and songwriter set up the studios in 2002 when he realised he needed more space to accommodate his recording projects. Since then, Broadoak has grown and evolved with him, and now offers recording, tracking, mixing, production, mastering (online and attended sessions) and audio restoration services to its clients, all provided by Harvey with the help of assistant engineer Glen Stebbings.
Broadoak’s main recording studio, Studio A, boasts a spacious live room with a high, oak-beamed ceiling, cave art and changeable coloured stage lighting. Designed to provide a performance space that enables musicians to feel relaxed, inspired and ultimately, able to give their best, it is also packed with a great selection of instruments.
A vintage round-badge Gretsch drum kit (ex-Royal Opera House), sits alongside an F. Mulbach grand piano. There is a rare red-top Wurlitzer 200 electric piano, a wide range of guitars and mandolins, and some unique backline including boutique guitar amps. Another unique feature is the custom-built headphone monitoring system which provides each musician with a simple, wall-mounted headphone mixer, so everyone can easily set up their own blend, exactly to their liking, without upsetting the rest of the band.
Harvey told us, “Where possible, I prefer to record bands playing together live, since feel is king! But Iâ€™m equally happy layering; if thatâ€™s how a client wishes to work. I also like to spend time finding the right microphone for a vocalist to ensure a great vocal sound.”
Studio Aâ€™s control room, with its solid wood floor and unique â€˜steampunkâ€™ design, is centered around a Vintage Raindirk Series III (1978) console, formerly owned by Londonâ€™s Olympic Studios, where it was used to mix a number of classic albums (Queen, David Bowie, Pink Floyd, The Rolling Stones and many more.)
Customised to include Marinair / Neve input transformers and a comprehensive patchbay system, it allows connections anywhere in the studio to be accessed with speed and ease from 16u quality GPO jack fields. Harvey describes the console as â€œcomparable to a vintage Neve in terms of quality, but with its own unique sonic signature. The mic preâ€™s are transparent, open and detailed, the EQs powerful, smooth and musical and the stereo imaging is superb!”
There is also a secondary console: a Glensound 18:2 custom built for the BBC in the â€˜70s, and previously owned by Babyshambles’ guitarist, Mick Whitnall. Harvey describes it as having â€œunusual ‘stereo-width’ controls which can add lots of space and depth to a mix, and mic pre’s which sound much like vintage API’s.â€Â Monitoring in Studio A is via PMC IB1â€™s with Bryston amps, PMC TB2â€™s, original American Mackie HR824â€™s, ADAM Sub and Celestion Hi-Fi speakers for additional reference. Full equipment spec here.
Recent clients at Broadoak include: Danny Thompson (bassist for John Martyn, Nick Drake, Kate Bush, and Peter Gabriel among others), Steeleye Span, Pentangle, Jet Cohen and the Aerials (ex-Penguin CafÃ© Orchestra members), Junk Deluxe (side project of members of Alabama 3), Phil Thornton, Ellie Ford, Claire Hamill, Liane Carroll, Logan Wilson, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, as well as various major and independent labels.
Harvey told us, â€œClients regularly comment on the great vibe and atmosphere of Broadoak Studios, and have compared it to â€˜The Manorâ€™, where Tubular Bells was recorded, in the â€˜70s. We also receive compliments on the â€˜laid back but professionalâ€™ approach embraced here. Our aim is to make every client feel totally at ease and relaxed while we work quickly and professionally to ensure every project comes in on time and within budget. We also have a smaller, pre / post production room, Studio B available for smaller sessions, overdubs, editing and graphic design. Any project which does not require the facilities of Studio A can be accommodated here. All this, together with plenty of free parking, easy access and palpable coffee snobbery make Broadoak a great choice for anyone seeking the best commercial quality and expert attention to detail at highly competitive rates.â€
To find out more about Broadoak or to receive a no obligation quote for your project, please contact the studios via their listing here.