Where are you located and how long has the recording studio been running?
We are located in a little corner of Livingstone Street in Birkenhead. The studio has been up and running for 6 years now but we’ve only been open to the public for 2 years. That part is a long story and I won’t bore you with it!
What experience do your Sound Engineers have?
I myself have been recording/mixing artists both behind a studio desk and as a front of house engineer for over 12 years. Our current lead engineer Anders is a graduate of LIPA and has made quite a name for himself in a very short space of time, working with artists such as Pete Wylie.
He actually moved to Liverpool from Norway in order to pursue music so if you need any indication of dedication then there you have it. Honestly what separates us is our overall attitude. We aren’t just experienced engineers. We actually really care about people walking away with their vision coming to life in the way that they wanted it to, or better!
Music is really important to us and there’s nothing better than seeing someone happy with their recordings. So far our credits extend to Kerrang, BBC Radio One, Introducing, Radio Merseyside, Radio City and even a few TV shows. We just love to see artists succeed and we know that they need all the help that they can get.
Both myself and Anders have been on the stage side and been in bands. We’re both still very much a part of that same grind that musicians are faced with. So I guess the major selling point for our studio is that we genuinely understand and want to help.
Are there any particular music genres that suit your recording style?
We have experience in most things to be honest but we love live sounds. Electronic music is fun and adding production is obviously very fun too but nothing really beats live instruments. In terms of genre I tend to do rock and metal and Anders loves his funk/soul/pop amongst many other things.
Strings, brass, choirs; if it makes a sound then we’ll record it. We’re pretty eclectic. We just love audio and are definitely not afraid to dive in to any genre. If you check out our Soundcloud playlist then you’ll see that it’s very diverse.
Can your studio accommodate both large bands and single artists?
That depends on the approach. We’re a medium sized studio and can record up to a 5 piece live but we don’t tend to record a whole band live in most cases. Separate tracking gives you more control of the sound and so typically we’ll record different parts at different times, depending on the project of course.
There’s no one size fits when it comes to audio so we just play it by ear. It’s not often we can’t find a way to make it work. It’s just about managing what ever gets thrown at us in a way that suits everyone. That’s a key skill in production.
Do artists have the option of recording ‘live tracks’?
Yes they do. Plainly and simply if they want it and we can do it then they can have it!
Can you give us a run down on what recording equipment you use and also if there is equipment in the studio that bands can use (amps etc)
We are actually trying to change the game a bit here. Your typical studio would run Pro Tools or Cubase but we actually use a pretty revolutionary digital setup. We run Presonus Studio One on a Presonus Studio Live 16.4.2 desk as our core mix station and an absolute tank of a PC, full of all the right plugins.
The list is pretty long but we use KRK/Beyerdynamic monitoring and an assortment of microphones – Shure, AKG, Audio Technica, MXL, SE Electronics etc. We’re very precious about our input stages on everything. Countryman DI and Art tube pre’s see a lot of use. Our focus as a studio is all about capturing incredible source tone and great performances and then building on top of it. That’s very much a philosophy with our engineers.
We have guitar processing including a Line 6 Helix, a few amps like a VOX AC30, a Bugera 6260; the list goes on. We like bands to bring their own gear if they’re set on a particular sound but honestly with our digital setup we can get pretty much any sound people need. We do have a Tama house kit as well. We always arrange gear with the bands before hand so that there are no question marks.
How much studio time would you recommend for a band looking to record a demo (3 tracks)
We tend to recommend a track per day or to split the time so that you’ll do drums one day, guitars the next and vocals the next if you’re a band, for example. Again, it all depends on the nature of the project. Sometimes you can do three songs in a day if you get a really great performer but it depends.
That’s an answer you’ll get a lot of us production types. It depends on what’s best for workflow and to nail the parts down. Three days for three tracks is a good guideline though.
What is the best way to get studio time booked with you guys?
Anybody who wants to book with us or just wants to chat about music and audio can get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re also very active on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PYARMusicStudios and do our best to respond quickly.