Abbey Road Studios – Day 1 & 2 2022
The return to Abbey Road has finally arrived! This week, third years and students doing their masters, have made their way down to the infamous recording studio in London, after a year’s worth of waiting due to the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Abbey Road is without a doubt, the most well-known recording studio in the world. Opening in 1931 and celebrating its 91st birthday this year. Its notoriety comes from being a key foundation to the Beatles, one of, if not even, the most influent
ial band that has ever existed. Upon entering the studio, you are greeted with a sensation of history and a sudden impact of awe; looking at the studio which has shaped the history of music. Located in the reception, there remains the original score for the Beatles ‘Yesterday’, signed by Paul McCartney. Walking down the hallway, pictures of other legendary artists and bands who have used the studios, hang on the walls; these include Elton John, Queen, Tony Bennett, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and obviously the Beatles, just to name a few. Other historic heirlooms are placed next to the pictures. A number of film posters are scattered along the sides of the corridor as well.
The day began with the students witnessing the equipment needed for recording being assembled, in preparation for a group performing their live album. During this time period, students observed microphone stands being set up, the microphones being considered for use, and the reasoning behind the choices of each one. The sound check occurred, with photographs and videos being taken, giving the students a great understanding about the processes in a professional environment that occur, and how a live album is captured in a world-class studio. When it came to recording the first track, each student was assigned a different role. One person was working on Pro Tools, another was taking notes of each take, whilst the rest continued to take photos and videos of the band during their performance. Roles were alternated throughout the day, allowing each individual an experience of the different tasks each role covered. As the day came to an end, the band were successfu
l in recording six songs, concluding the day as fruitful.
Michael Leighton-Cunningham, a third year, described his experience at Abbey Road as “next-level” and “one of the best things he has ever done”. He further commented on his day, saying “I am so glad I got the opportunity to come down here. I feel like I have learnt so much with coming into a professional environment, looking at how everything works; giving me an insight on how to set up my own studio in the future.”
Another third year, William Cunningham-Booth, joins Michael on the description of the experience as being “phenomenal!”. When asked what he has enjoyed most about his trip to Abbey Road, he responded with “Well, I mean, it is Abbey Road, I have enjoyed all of it, but mostly being able to watch the engineers at work and actually being able to partake; queuing up tracks, adding markers, just bein
g able to do some of those roles in a studio such as Abbey Road is amazing!.”
It is certain to say that the first day has taught the Monday’s group of students a lot about the ecosystem of a widely renowned studio; how to apply the skills they have learnt throughout their course in a professional environment, and what it takes in order to achieve success. As the week progresses, I am sure more similar stories will be told!
Abbey Road Playlist:
Written By Alex Riddlesdell (Year 2 Music Production and Creative Business)
Edited by Abi Shaw (Year 1 Music Production and Creative Business)