Producer/engineer Lauren Deakin Davies
Posted on: Wednesday 17th of April 2019
As the teenaged Lauren Deakin Davies began to develop her interests in music and recording she soon came to realise the benefits of her parents having previously constructed a “party shed” at the bottom of their garden in Hertfordshire.
“I quickly commandeered it as I was in a folk band at the time,” she recalls. “We ended up doing a lot of rehearsals there, and it was during that period that I became more and more interested in recording. So I slowly started putting gear into the space and turned it into a recording studio. I began to bring other artists into the studio and then the money that those sessions generated was ploughed back into new equipment.”
The studio, now known as The Den, remains a cornerstone of Davies’ working life. Majoring in acoustic-oriented performers, she has recorded EPs and albums with a string of up-and-coming acts, including folk soloist Minnie Birch and ‘high octane folk rock’ band The Black Guards. She has also logged studio time with more well-established acts, including folk icon Peggy Seeger and singer Kate Dimbleby (daughter of David), with whom she worked on an innovative album of original ‘acapella soul’ songs entitled Songbirds.
“That was a really interesting record making extensive use of loops and effects,” recalls Davies. “It was also pretty challenging to mix. In some cases there were 40 vocal stems to work with, and there are no rulebooks for that!”
The last 12 months have also seen Davies work more extensively outside of The Den thanks to an ongoing producer/engineer role with Soundlab Studios. Located in Loughton, Essex, the studio complex has recently been renovated and now features three sizeable live rooms and an SSL console-equipped control room.
Joining Soundlab has seen Davies apply her engineering skills to a wider range of musical styles, with a continuing project for YouTube channel BL@CKBOX entailing the recording of urban, rap and grime artists. “It’s been great, and I think I’ve got really good at engineering those sessions now,” she says.
A keen multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Davies remains active as an artist in her own right, releasing her latest EP under the moniker of DIDI last November. “I played three songs on BBC London’s New Year’s Eve show, which was a fantastic experience. I really love performing, and I find that achieving this kind of balance between studio and performance works really well; it keeps you on your toes,” she says.
By David Davies