The stylophone was originally made by Dubreq
(the inspiration for the studio name)
So my journey of sound and electronics began at a very early age. My parents had become fed up of me taking apart all the toys that made noises, so at the age of 8 they marched me into our towns Tandy electronic shop and asked them if they could teach me how to put them back together.
A year later I could etch PCB’s and had made a simple Stylophone type synthesizer. The stylophone was originally made by Dubreq (inpiration for the studio name) and are now available here: http://www.stylophone.com/ .
I had also been raised on a steady diet of The Beatles, Hendrix, Led Zep, Black Sabbath and combined with discovering John Peel I was set on a path where electronics and music have collided ever since. First I bought a tape portastudio to record my friends bands and this was swiftly followed by a guitar, a set of my home made effects pedals and a copy of Isn’t Anything by My Bloody Valentine.
After my Electronics degree at Warwick University I started building up my collection of recording equipment, funded by production jobs for bands and working in a record store. I eventually ended up in Derby working as a DJ and promoter at The Loft. Here myself and my colleagues formed relationships with fledgling labels Domino and Chemikal Underground booking acts such as Mogwai, Arab Strap, The Delgados, The Pastels, Idlewild, China Drum, Pitchshifter…
Playing with Cato introduced me to working with Pete Bassman
from the legendary 80’s indie band Spacemen 3
During this time I recorded several singles released on 7″ vinyl for Derby based bands Lazer Guided, Twinkie and my own group, Cato, on my 8 track portatudio. Playing with Cato introduced me to working with Pete Bassman from the legendary 80’s indie band Spacemen 3.
Pete had created a studio and rehearsal space in Rugby in which I spent many weekends playing with guitars and sounds. This place sparked the idea of a multifunctional facility for Derby; a community hub for everyone to use, meet up and create new music.
During my years of promoter at The Victoria Inn I booked many up and coming and established acts including AFI, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, The Libertines, Snow Patrol, Biffy Clyro, Miles Hunt, The Buzzcocks, Idlewild, JJ72, Less Than Jake, MxPx, Reel Big Fish, Man or Astroman, Beach Buggy, The Fall….. The Vic had a disused out house at the rear which I converted into the first incarnation of Dubrek and this became home my band FixitKid and a whole set of noisy guitar bands.
Being a technical reviewer for Music Mart magazine also enabled me access to a whole host of new technology and recording equipment so everything was in place to take the leap and set up Dubrek as a ‘proper’ business.
In June 2002 Dubrek Studios opened its doors on Monk Street in Derby. One year later it was moved to a much larger premises at the top of the mill building on the same street and stayed there until 2016. The studio was home to Derby bands Lost Alone, The Swarm, Komakino, In Flight Program, Beyond This Point Are Monsters, Felusia End, Laguna Sunrise, Skies in Motion, FixitKid, You Judas, My Psychoanalyst, These Waves, Directions and The Speedkings amongst others.
A wealth of amazing producers have also passed through it’s corridors: Gil Norton, Paul Draper, Brett Anderson. I produced two live recording for XFM in the live room, one for Joan As Police Woman and the other for Lords.The amount of records released from Dubrek produced sessions is bewildering and to be honest I’ve lost count. From small to mid-sized independents to majors such as Sony and Warners, we’ve worked for them all!
I produced two live recording for XFM in the live room
one for Joan As Police Woman and the other for Lords
The new facility on Becket Street was opened on 1st April 2016 and was constructed by myself, along with some amazing volunteers. Double leaf wall construction coupled with double sealed doors for every room provides superior sound isolation. We’ve retained many of the buildings original features while creating a modern artistic space where creativity can thrive.
The studio live room is large enough to hold a band and audience of 40 people. The 20 foot high, panel absorber ceiling provides excellent acoustics for all kinds of music while the rooms character can be tailored with moveable absorber walls. A separate booth, or ‘dead space’, is used for drier recorded sounds such as voiceover. This space is large enough to fit a drumkit if required.
The control room has been designed around Rod Gervais specifications and provides an incredibly neutral listening environment for critical monitoring while tracking and mixing. This room is home to a host of analogue equipment supporting the main Protools recording system centred around a small format analogue console and patchbay for easy interconnectivity and intuitive use.
The aim has always been to provide the most comfortable environment possible for artists. We want to capture the best performances we can and an inspiring space coupled with an atmosphere of creativity and experimentation has enabled us to make some truly wonderful records.