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Advision studios


Fast-forwarding to the 1960's, a company called Advision set up what was to become one of the most famous sound studios in Europe. Advision, as the name implied, initially recorded voice-overs for TV and cinema commercials. London at that time was the centre of the European Film business and was the culture capital of the world. If you had to be anywhere in the swinging sixties, you had to be in London.

Started by Guy Whetstone and Stephen Appleby, Advision took over what was originally Guy De Bere Studios and set up as a four track using a Telefunken tape machine.

An enormous studio space practically the height of the whole building and accomodating 60 musicians, was fitted out with 35mm projection on to a full cinema screen. An additional mix suite was placed in the basement and a large voice dubbing theatre on the first floor. The whole set up was run exclusively on the state-of-the-art WESTREX recording system - its familiar logo adorns the title sequence of many a well loved film.

During the seventies, the industry changed. The need for massive orchestrations meant that vast out of town studios were built, capable of housing large studio orchestras. Advision found a new niche as a music recording studio and became one of the leading rock industry facilities. Bands such as Yes and ELP cut their most famous works here, as well as solo artists such as Paul Young and David Essex. Probably the most famous work ever to be recorded in the studio was Jeff Wayne's epic concept album 'The War Of The Worlds'. This was an epic in more ways than it's 2 hour length. The album took nearly four years to complete.

Advision was an independent studio and it was a little looser compared to EMI. They kept a diary of the sessions that were scheduled, but it was nothing detailed. In 1971 it was one studio and back in those days it was sixteen tracks, so it was a very outdated, very old antiquated console. Some of the faders weren't even faders - they were these big rotary parts. About a half year later they got the twenty-four tracks. This and the two track mastering deck were both Scullys. The console in the studio was custom made by Advision. The speakers were custom made as well, but from JBL components. They actually weren't that good in reproducing the low end and so that had to be taken in to account when it was mixed.

As one of Europe's leading recording studios, Advision have always been in the forefront of modern sound technology. The most important changes started at the end of 1974. Advision's totally re-equipped Studio One contains the latest equipment for mono, stereo and quadrophonic recording facilities. Centerpiece of their Studio Two complex is Europe's first automated mix-down desk. This 32 channel quadrophonic unit has a built in computer which retains high level settings that can be replayed and up-dated at any time.

The giant mixing desk was flown in to Advision from Quad 8 in California. The desk is the centre piece of the re-development of Advision's Studio 2. The whole complex has been completely ripped apart and redesigned. Studio 1 has also a Quad 8 desk, but not computerised because it won't be used for mixing. "We are absolutely delighted," studio director Roger Cameron said, "The desk has worked like a dream and it's been in use for almost 24 hours each day since it was installed."

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