New high-end studio complex opens in West London

Blue Box Studios was set up by Nikki Affleck, who has been involved in the industry for 25 years.
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Blue Box Studios has opened its doors in Acton, West London.

The facility was set up by Nikki Affleck, who has been involved in the studio and record industry for 25 years, having managed studios since 1989 before moving into A&R coordination – working at Universal, then Sony Music.

Affleck says she was "saddened by the demise of West London studios and aware of the lack of facilities now available to book in the area," which led to her decision to open one of her own.

"So many studios have closed in West London that in my work as A&R coordinator, it was proving really difficult to hire a good studio where my bands could write and record," she revealed. "Most of the record companies are West London-based, plus many producers and engineers seem to live in this part of town, yet there are now only a couple of commercial studios for hire."

The facility, designed by Munro Acoustics, features two production rooms with vocal booths, an SSL studio and a video editing suite. Blue Box offers an SSL AWS 924 console; Focal, KRK and Yamaha monitoring; Apple computers equipped with Pro Tools, Logic, Waves, Avid Media Composer 6 software and a range of outboard equipment, including an Avalon VT747sp stereo EQ and compressor; a UA 1176; Tube Tech CL1B; SSL X Rack and Neve pre-amps and EQs, plus a selection of AKG, Shure, Sennheiser and Neumann mics.

The studio was designed to offer top quality equipment at affordable prices. "By offering a Munro-designed SSL studio, we are up there with some of the best in London," claimed Affleck. "Since my move into A&R coordination it’s been interesting to see the business from the other side of the fence. As a result, I have a good understanding of the budgets record companies have to operate within these days, and I’ve geared Blue Box towards this, to provide a realistic, high-quality studio on their doorstep. We’ve had so much endorsement already from the people who’ve helped make this a reality that I have every confidence it will be a success."

Studio designer Andy Munro, of Munro Acoustics, added: "A rebalancing of economics has had to take place in the recording industry, and Blue Box has got its sums right. Their vision of providing smaller writing and recording spaces is right on track in today’s market, where the traditional recording model doesn’t generally apply anymore."

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