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

  • German studio specialist Neumann.Berlin and Swiss company Merging Technologies – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-resolution digital audio recording systems – will now be working together under the umbrella of the Sennheiser group. Sennheiser has taken over the shares of Merging Technologies entirely. With this step, Neumann.Berlin plan to  enlarge its range of […]
  • London-based Twickenham Film Studios (TFS), world class home to filmed entertainment since the silent era, performed the final sound mix for Paramount Pictures’ blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick working in collaboration with Skywalker Sound. The mix was facilitated against the odds in the height of the global pandemic and proved the template for major productions to […]
  • La Casamurada studio in Penedès, Spain, has expanded its monitoring capabilities with a pair of Genelec The Ones 8361 three-way coaxial monitors. The residential studio has built its reputation on delivering a unique experience for artists that draws on all the acoustic benefits of its historic location, while also offering a thoroughly modern technical environment. […]
  • Antelope Audio has introduced a major addition to the functionality set of the Galaxy 32 Synergy Core [review Resolution V21.6] surround and immersive audio monitoring control and speaker calibration functionality. This addition to the flagship interface allows its users to configure and control a surround/immersive monitoring setup of up to 16 channels, or 9.1.6 Dolby Atmos. […]
  • Lectrosonics announced the introduction of the DSR and DSR5P dual-channel and DSR4 quad-channel digital slot receivers. The new receivers are compatible with all the current Lectrosonics mono and stereo digital transmitters and are backward compatible with any of the Digital Hybrid Wireless® transmitters made in the past 20 years. The DSR and DSR5P receivers provide two […]
  • Have Warm Audio saved the best until last? WA‑CX12 is a large-diaphragm tube condenser based on one of the world’s most sought-after microphones, the AKG C12. [A version of which, the C12 VR, is still available from the Harman-owned AKG brand for $6,989]. “The C12, a valve operated condenser, was a marvellous mic”, said Beatles-producer George Martin. […]
  • Expanding on its 30-year relationship with Calrec to satisfy its complex audio needs, OB and technical services provider EMG UK has turned to the company to equip its latest Remote Operations Centre (ROC) in Stratford, London. The installation means that EMG UK continues to use Calrec equipment in all of its UK-based outside broadcast work. […]
  • Production sound mixer Jeff McLain’s Lectrosonics wireless kit consists of three dual-channel SRc Digital Hybrid Wireless receivers, SMWB wideband, LT, and LMb transmitters. He spoke about how Lectrosonics stood up to the rigours of one of the harshest environments he’s worked in — a minerals mine nine stories underground — and other productions. “This was for […]
Translate »