Sarm Music Village, is an exciting, brand new, state-of-the-art studio complex located just a minuteâ€™s walk from the charm of Portobello Road in the heart of West Londonâ€™s Ladbroke Grove. Six brand new studios, a large playback/events space and an abundance of lounge and chill out areas have been created by the team behind the world-famous Sarm Studios, to offer the privacy found at top end studios whilst retaining the sense of community that Sarm has become renowned for.
Studio manager Jed Kellett talked to us about the studios and the vision behind them. â€œThe name â€˜Music Villageâ€™ is no accident,â€ he explained, â€œA sociable atmosphere is a priority for Sarm in order to provide an appealing and creative space. Trevor Horn, who owns Sarm Music Village and previously Sarm, understands better than most what makes a great studio. Sarm Music Village funnels all this experience into a music hub where the old meets the new, matching world class vintage gear with studios designed for the modern music industry.â€
As Trevor puts it himself, â€œSarm Music Village is a new kind of studio. A modern version of Sarm West, giving people what they need but in an imaginative wayâ€™. Jed adds â€œAll our studiosâ€™ control rooms and live rooms are linked via a central patchbay. Artists and producers love the ability to record a grand piano at one end of the building or track a session utilising an extra guitar room or vocal booth if they need it. Itâ€™s a really exciting way to work.â€
Sarm (Blue) Studio is a versatile tracking and mix studio with an abundance of natural light. Situated partially below street level, the control room and live room both benefit from panoramic views over bustling Ladbroke Grove, through specialist double-thickness privacy glass.
The centrepiece of the spacious, Toyoshima & Flyn-designed control room is a 24-channel Solid State Logic AWS924 console, with SSL AWSomation and DAW control. Monitoring is provided by brand new Genelec 1237As with 7070a Subwoofers, alongside cutting edge DSP room calibration for detailed listening or ground shaking bass. Yamaha NS10s, powered by fully reconditioned vintage Studer power amplifiers taken from Sarm West Studio 1, are also available. Outboard has been handpicked from Sarm West and includes classic tube compressors and equalisers from TubeTech, Urei, Summit, GML, and DBX; together with the most authentic Neve 1073 preamps available today, hand-wired in Hollywood by British Audio Engineering (BAE).
Jed told us, “The heart and soul of the spacious live room is a beautiful 100-year-old Steinway Grand Piano, once located in Sarm Studio 2, which has been carefully maintained and regularly tuned. There are also a number of floating instruments available from Trevorâ€™s vast collection, not least a beautiful Gibson J-45 acoustic and a stunning vintage ’70s Fender Stratocaster.”
ZTT (Red) Studio is also perfect for tracking or mixing with a wealth of natural light in its control room and a world class design. This studio combines vintage with modern, replacing a console with a myriad of top of the range analogue classics including: Neve 1073 and API 3124mb+ preamps; Tube-Tech and Urei compressors; plus a vintage Fairchild 670 compressor. The live room is perfectly balanced whether recording vocals, live drums or the beautiful Yamaha upright piano.
Both Blue and Red Studios offer top of the range Pro Tools HDX rigs, new solid-state 6-core Mac Pros, a wide selection of plugins (Waves, Soundtoys, AudioEase), and the latest virtual instrument bundles from Native Instruments (Komplete 10 Ultimate). Logic Pro X is also installed and shares the same third-party plugins.
The Stiff (Yellow) Suite is a crisp, day-lit and functional space, created for high quality vocal sessions and fast paced production work. Built around Genelec monitors, its fixed panel acoustic treatment makes for a great sounding room. The studio comes with a pair of world renowned BAE 1073 preamps (built on the original Neve blueprint) and the much sought after Urei 1176 compressor. With access to SMV’s extensive collection of floating backline, this room works well for almost all occasions. Nicknamed Big Stiff (the Control room) and Little Stiff (the Vocal booth), Jed emphasises that the Stiff Suite was built with the modern producer and writer in mind.
Both the Perfect (Green) Suite and the Unforgettable (Green) Suite were built as ideal writing and production studios for those wanting a relaxed space to get creative. The rooms are almost identical in size and can be booked separately or together as a control room and live area. Each comes with a MOTU 1248 USB/Thunderbolt audio interface, a pair of world renowned 1073 preamps and a vintage Urei 1176 compressor. Monitoring is provided by a state-of-the art Genelec 8250A DSP active speaker system.
Vintage microphones, from the world-class collection at Sarm are available to clients across all of the studios. These include originals from Neumann, AKG, Sennheiser, and Shure; regularly maintained and serviced by Sarmâ€™s experienced tech staff. For those travelling to the studios from further afield there is a residential option available at SMV with four large, stylish luxury double suites located just five minutes walk from the studios, past the many restaurants and antique shops of Portobello Road. Every room is themed with a story about the music business and each suite comes with 5G WIFI, coffee machine, Cable TV, Apple TV, washer and dryer and a complimentary basket of food and drinks upon arrival to make you feel at home. Details here.
Although not officially open until the end of this month, the studios have already hosted some high profile session for artists including Rihanna, One Direction and Kylie Minogue. To find out more about Sarm Music Village or to book a session, please contact Jed Kellett via the studios’ listing here.