Basement Studio is a new rehearsal room & recording studio situated in Wimborne, Dorset (30 minutes away from Bournemouth). Guitar Jar caught up with Basement Studio manager Brian Oliver who explained in more detail about the history and unique vision of the project.
The ultimate aim is to provide a facility that is technically as good as a top-line professional studio, but at a price that is accessible to most people.
The inspiring story behind the creation and development of the studio is that it has been developed entirely by a team of volunteers from the Warehouse Church that Brian leads. The community aspect of both the development and the use of the studio is key to the vision of the project.
“Well I guess the studio has come out of a desire to encourage people, to help them realise their potential, to create opportunities for people who wouldn’t normally have a chance to record in a studio, and to network musicians, artists, producers, engineers and the media” explains Brian. “Our desire is to create a community that is not only enthusiastic about music & making music, but is also enthusiastic about each other!”
Brian continues further, “The ultimate aim is to provide a facility that is technically as good as a top-line professional studio, but at a price that is accessible to most people. At the moment, the main effort has gone into structurally completing the place & sorting the acoustics. It’s been a massive task as we’ve converted 2 giant walk-in fridges in the basement of an old warehouse in Wimborne, into a bespoke Live Room & Control Room. The Live Room is acoustically treated to create a sound that is not too dead but also eliminates any unwanted echo, resonance & errant frequencies! We are currently working with a professional sound engineer to fine tune the room before offering it for recording.”
The Live Room also has the innovative idea of coloured uplighting – the idea being to allow bands & artists to adjust the lighting according to their mood, and to inspire creativity. The Control Room is still work-in-progress.
“It’s not our goal to fully kit the Control Room out quite yet, but to wait until we can afford quality equipment”, Brian explains. “It would be so easy to equip it, and then find we need to buy it all again a couple of years later. Better to buy less but aim for quality and buy only once. In the interim, we are partnering with a number of local sound engineers who can come in with equipment and engineer to the level that is required by the band/artist. We can offer everything from a very basic recording for personal use only, right up to professional broadcast quality tracking and mastering facilities. It’s all dependant on a bands requirements and of course what budget is available.”
“We’re currently offering the studio Live Room as a rehearsal space, but once the Control Room is completed we plan to build a second rehearsal room. Future plans also include a second Live Room (with up & over door access for oversized equipment), a Vocal Booth & kitchen area.”
It’s apparent that the recording/rehearsal space isn’t just for bands and solo artists to use. “Apart from recording & rehearsing live music, the studio is also used for DJ sessions. We have a large bass-sub system and we invite local DJs to come, practice, swap ideas & tracks and meet each other without issues regarding noise & annoying the neighbours!”
“The second live room area is also used by a group of Christians who meet on a Sunday evening. The desire is to ‘do church’ in a way that is relevant and accessible to people who have never been to a church before. This is built very much around friendship, community and plenty of socialising! The studio is primarily the initiative of this group of Christians, with all of the building work having been carried out by them.”
Basement Studio has already proven to be exceptionally popular with artists, bands & DJs, both as a recording venue and a rehearsal space. Artists who have used Basement Studio include: The Metropolise, The Roger Nash Experience, Lord Auch, Karmine, Bosh, The Intestines, The Cocktail Effect, Ramesses, DJ Named, DJ Benski, DJ Chris Ross, DJ Alfie Brown.
Brian Oliver is the Church Pastor for the Warehouse Church, Wimborne.