Woodstock Studios, established in 1994, was originally conceived and constructed by Australian musical icon Joe Camilleri. Since then some of Australia's finest artists including Paul Kelly, The John Butler Trio, Augie March, The Black Sorrows, Kingswood, Julia Stone, Saskwatch, Husky and The Cat Empire have worked there.
In 2014 producer/engineer Richard Stolz acquired the business and began the lengthy process of refurbishing the design and layout. Part of this included installation of the studio's centrepiece, a fully restored Neve 8014 console fitted with 1066 modules.
Another phase was enhancing the acoustics and monitoring for which Stolz brought in legendary studio designer George Augspurger who added subtle touches throughout to tighten and improve on the existing acoustic design.
Augspurger, who is responsible for designing some of the world’s most celebrated recording facilities (most notably LA's Sunset Sound), was pleased to receive the original plans which enabled him to configure a specifically tailored ‘acoustic cloud design.' The series of hanging acoustic panels feature timber frames constructed of beautiful river red gum throughout the studio. Further treatments to the surrounding walls and additional bass trapping completed the upgrade.
Sonically, the changes add greater depth, clarity and detail - as well as a wider stereo image that in turn presents a faithful translation from ‘record and mix monitoring’ to real world listening environments.
The Neve 8014 - favoured by producers that include Daniel Lanois and Vance Powell - was originally commissioned by Channel 9, Bendigo Street, Melbourne in 1970, for its then mono news room signal path requirements. In the mid-nineties a friend of Stolz's, Jamie Durrant, had been searching for decommissioned vintage classics when he was informed of the Neve in Channel 9's storage. After successfully acquiring the console it was then moved to Durrant's rural studio in North-East Victoria.
In 2013 Stolz purchased the console from Durrant and enlisted Rob Squire at Pro Harmonic for a complete ‘as-new’ restoration. Over a period of months Squire went about recapping the entire console and its two power supplies with original specification capacitors. The work included cleaning, testing and restoring every switch, fader, connector and circuit board within the console; as well as returning the Neve’s monitoring section to stereo, after its mono broadcast configuration.
“The work, detail and creativity Rob brought to the console was phenomenal,” says Stolz. “Just seeing the board in Rob’s workshop was one thing, it honestly looked new in comparison to how I remembered. But after being stepped through the restoration work he’d completed based on our discussions, and then of course hearing the results… well that made for one of those days you simply don't forget.”
The outboard and microphone collection at Woodstock comprises of both vintage and modern classics. Valve mics include an original Telefunken u48, Neumann u67, a pair of Neumann km56's, a pair of Sony c37a's, there a wide range of ribbon options including RCA, STC, Royer and Beyer.
In terms of outboard there's the AWA valve limiter, a pair of neve 2254 limiters, Altec 1576a, GML, SSL, Urei, Chandler, Mercury, Kush Audio and Quad 8.
There has been plenty of activity at Woodstock since its new makeover, both in recording and mixing. Recent projects include Caiti Baker, Paul Kelly, Dirt River Radio and Gretta Ziller. Upcoming projects include Skyscraper Stan and The Commission Flats; who are returning to embark on a new album. Julia Stone also returns for some mixing for an upcoming movie soundtrack.The latest addition is the UnFairchild from UTA. designed by producer Eric Valentine - an incredible recreation of the classic Fairchild 670.
Federal Audio will be previewing the new ADAM Audio 'S' Series studio monitors at Woodstock in June as part of the Australian Roadshow - come along and check out some great sounds in one of Australia'a premiere recording facilities!
For studio booking enquiries please email:
Ph: (03) 9531 9011