Studio People Build ‘The Best Studio in the World’

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Studio People design some of the best studio installations in the world but when they were asked to design, literally, the best studio in the world it took even them by surprise. But they rose to the challenge…

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If you build recording studios for a living, the dream scenario is surely a client coming to you and asking: “what will it take to create the best studio in the world?”. That 'ultimate question' was one asked of Studio People MD Peter Keeling last year…

“It caught me off guard a bit!” says Peter. “It was a call out of the blue, but the concept intrigued me so I got started on a design. When a business class ticket arrived to meet the caller in Gabon in Africa, I quickly realised it was a serious a line of enquiry. I designed a great studio and my colleague Matt Seymour put together a brilliant wish list of kit, the best you can imagine: desks from SSL; outboard from the likes of Empirical Labs, Neve and Maselec; monitors from Genelec and Dynaudio; a full Avid Pro Tools system; and mics from just about everyone…”

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When Peter arrived in Gabon he discovered more about the project and why there were so few limitations…

“The studio was to be a birthday present for the president of Gabon. It absolutely had to be finished by 8th February was because that was his birthday. And not only that they requested a top spec mobile studio as well!”

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They decided to set the main studio up in a temporary villa location in time for the president's birthday. It was a massive task to undertake with a deadline now just weeks away as they had to ship everything over in time for the birthday. As Peter was running out of options, he found a company called Air Charter who had an AN124 Antonov transport plane in which they could fit all the gear for the main studio plus the mobile studio transporter. They eventually shipped it over to Gabon with just days left before the presidential birthday…

“The next 96 hours would effectively turn in to one massive shift where we worked night and day, but we completed it just in time,” says Peter. “The president turned up, walked in went and just went 'wow!' We got it all up and working for him and I must admit it all looked great. So he shook all our hands and was obviously pleased with what we'd done – he was a really nice bloke.”

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“Did we design and build the best studio in the world?” concludes Peter. “Of course I would say that we did, but the right question should be: did we build the best studio for that client and in that environment and the answer to that is a definite 'yes'.”

So the Studio People team delivered the goods, in an extraordinary timescale – from start to finish they designed the ultimate studio plus an incredible mobile facility and delivered it to another continent in just eight short weeks. One ultimate question, one hugely successful answer…

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