After three iterations of his Vada Studios in various rented spaces around Warwickshire, producer Matt Terry recently decided to design and build his ultimate studio. Studio design and build company Studio People helped Matt to achieve this goal.
“Things started picking up for me as a producer around 2005, especially when I worked on the first couple of records with The Enemy,” says Matt. “That led to working with the Noisettes, One Night Only, and Ocean Colour Scene. I likened my old studio to the Millennium Falcon – it didn't look much and you had to kick it occasionally, but it did hit light speed.
“Why build a residential studio now? Well, the industry is in relative decline and records are effectively seen as a loss leader, but there aren't any residential recording studios left that match recording budgets. Factor in the massive property crash around the time I found this incredible farmhouse for sale… all these things were indicating I should just go for it.”
The final piece of the jigsaw was finding a studio designer. “A couple of friends of mine had Studio People build their studios so I contacted Peter [Keeling, Studio People MD] in the summer of 2012.
“Initially I planned for a building company to take care of the residential build while Studio People handled the studio side of things. You watch [the BBC's] Grand Designs and you see all these disasters and contractors who can't work with each other, so it was a relief when Peter agreed to take on the whole project – supply the electricians, the plumbers, the plasterers… everything, in fact. And because it was one contractor dealing with everything it kept it all simple.
“During the build I had ideas for modifications, and I would phone Peter to let him know my latest hare-brained scheme. And every single time I deviated off the path – it was mainly me being a bit indulgent – it never upset the working pattern for everything else. I've been working in studios for 17 years so I knew exactly what I wanted in terms of the aesthetic. The quilted leather door covers, for example. I was watching a Bond film after my Christmas lunch, there was a scene in M's office – the office with the quilted, leather-clad doors – and I thought that I have got to have those. So I put that to Peter and he came back with all of these ideas that were completely on the right wavelength.
“The main bulk of creating this residential recording facility was done in five months with a team of six people, their work rate was phenomenal – they would just fly. But the finish is superb throughout the whole place. Someone asked me if there was anything I would change about the new Vada, but after 17 years of working in studios I knew exactly what I didn't want to see in a studio, so this is the culmination of all that experience. I wouldn't change anything about this place. Everything is just perfect as it is.”