Close ☰
Menu ☰

Lennon’s home studio celebrated in new book

Posted on: Tuesday 10th of April 2018

John_Lennon-at-Control-Panel_webThe demise of The Beatles in 1969-70 was nothing if not protracted and highly fractious, so it’s hardly surprising that the band’s four members soon sought to immerse themselves in new creative projects. For John Lennon, these took the form of multiple collaborations with his new wife, experimental musician and artist Yoko Ono, and a series of solo albums – of which 1971’s Imagine would prove to be the most enduringly popular.

It was surely integral to Lennon’s sustained rejuvenation that he now had his own studio – named Ascot Sound and located at his home, Tittenhurst Park, in Berkshire – in which to experiment at his leisure. The next few years would prove to be extremely fertile, and it’s a period that is celebrated in a lavishly illustrated new five-book series that also covers the history of the site’s buildings and gardens, as well as their subsequent ownership by fellow former Fab Ringo Starr.

Imagine_Promo_Image_06dScott Cardinal is part of The Cardinals, the creative team behind the books, and he believes that Ascot Sound was a significant milestone in the early development of the professional-grade home studio. “When Lennon met with acoustician Eddie Veale, who designed the facility, he simply said, ‘Build me a studio that is a good as Apple’s,” says Cardinal.

Veale not only did that, he did it in double-quick time as Lennon – aided by co-producers Ono and Phil Spector – was keen to get to work on the 11 tracks that would ultimately make up Imagine. Released in September 1971, the album was an immediate global hit, although with several songs (‘How Do You Sleep?’ and ‘Crippled Inside’) containing apparently pointed digs at a certain P. McCartney it didn’t exactly serve to improve relations among the former Beatles.

f6_dave_ticklePost-Imagine, the studio was upgraded to 16-track recording and, following the sale of the estate to Ringo Starr in late 1973, renamed Startling Studios. As well as providing a venue for Starr’s own solo work, it also became a commercially-available facility. Of the many albums recorded there in the ensuing years, Cardinal suggests that two hard rock classics – Judas Priest’s British Steel (1980) and Whitesnake’s Come and Get It (1981) – are particularly indicative of the way in which Startling developed its own raison d’être.

lead_Front Cover_Pictorial History“Those albums helped to demonstrate how Startling could give naturally big sounds as instruments and vocals were set up all over the house,” he says. “They didn’t just stick to the studio; in fact, often no one was in the studio at all. Hence it was possible to achieve huge acoustics and terrific separation, which contributed to the good reputation of the studio.”

3_Beatles at TP_x3Reflections and anecdotes offered by many of those involved with recording at Tittenhurst are contained in the books, which feature extensive illustrations and are also available in deluxe limited editions. Full information on the volumes, including ordering details, can be found on the Campfire Network www.campfirenetwork.com website. To accompany the release, The Cardinals have also produced a series of audio documentaries that will soon be made available on www.campfirenetwork.com/audibletours
 (David Davies)

Read several excerpt from the book in our digital edition

 

 



Latest News & Blog articles

  • The latest version of Pro Tools 2022.9 transforms Dolby Atmos Production Suite workflows, remote collaboration and music creation through features such as ARA2 (Audio Random Access) integration with Celemony’s Melodyne, and Aux I/O for flexible audio routing. Pro Tools 2022.9 also brings a new offering to the previous Artist, Studio, and Flex tiers called Pro […]
  • Here’s a good combination – one of the most prolific, technical and hands-on of our producer engineers [interview Resolution V19.1] has teamed up with innovative developer Leapwing to build a ‘Signature’ plug-in. “After going through the process successfully with the late Al Schmitt, we found ourselves a new challenge, as Joe uses much more processing […]
  • McDSP has announced the release of universal binary versions of the entire APB plug-in line up. [Resolution V18.4 reviewed the innovative McDSP APB hardware host] McDSP APB plug-ins can now run natively on both Intel and Apple silicon computers. This release also takes advantage of recent mac OS improvements in graphics rendering for both Intel […]
  • Built on core technologies from Synchro Arts flagship Revoice Pro application [review Resolution V17.7], RePitch enables adjustment of the pitch, timing and volume of any monophonic vocal (or instrument).  When you’re simply looking to retune a wayward vocal, just load one of the task-orientated macros to instantly snap your singer to the key and scale of the […]
  • Spherix is a suite of two plugins – a compressor and a brickwall limiter – designed from the ground up for fast, efficient work on the beds (fixed channels) of immersive 7.1.4/7.1.2 mixing environments such as Dolby Atmos. The $199 Spherix suite offers dynamics that are specifically designed for immersive mixing.  Spherix’s quick-access controls, available […]
  • Designed to adapt to changing production needs, Calrec’s Argo is a new approach to audio mixing, with a flexible control philosophy that breaks the traditional geographic ties between processing and control. Argo is fully modular with interchangeable hardware panels and uses Calrec’s time-served Assist UI at its core. This means that whether you are working on […]
  • iZotope has released the latest version of their audio restoration software RX 10. Notable additions to a generally-improved suite are the new Repair Assistant module and improvements to both the Spectral Recovery and Dynamic De-hum modules. The Text Navigation and Multi-Speaker Detection features are a potentially ground-breaking development for audio pros working in specialist fields, but are […]
  • Genelec has added Stockholm and Helsinki to its global network of Experience Centres. By visiting these new facilities, customers will receive expert personal advice on Genelec loudspeaker solutions, and enjoy an exceptionally high quality critical listening environment, from stereo to immersive. The new Nordic locations join existing Genelec Experience Centres in Europe, America and Asia […]
Translate »