You can’t tour the recording studio but you can rent it for the day to record music or take a virtual tour on the web.
All You Need to Know About Abbey Road Studios
Recording Studios are becoming a thing of the past as more and more artists are beginning to record their music using laptops, or just at home. However, one gem that remains is still standing tall and has been for over 90 years now – it’s Abbey Road Studios.
The studios are most famously known for recording The Beatles, Pink Floyd and Kate Bush, to name a few of the many notable artists. They have also been used for some more recent recordings of acts such as Coldplay, Radiohead and Lady Gaga. Over 1,000 albums have been recorded at Abbey Road Studios, so it’s no wonder that they hold an important place in music history.
The studio complex consists of three buildings – the main building, the annexe and the church. The main building is where the studios are located, as well as the offices and a couple of mastering suites. The annexe is home to the control room, the live room and a few other production rooms. The church (which is located next door to the main building) has been used for orchestral recordings and as a vocal booth.
Abbey Road Studios have been in use since 1931, when they were opened by Sir Edward Elgar. The studios were meant to be used as a commercial recording facility and were not originally intended for broadcasting. It was in 1969 that they became most famously known as the home of The Beatles, when the band decided to record their ninth and final album at Abbey Road Studios and named it after the studio.
What’s so special about Abbey Road?
Abbey Road is a very special place. With over 100 years of history, it’s beyond being just a recording studio. Many would argue that Abbey Road studios has been an essential part of UK culture and heritage. There have been many events that have occurred there, from world-famous albums to movies filmed there – it even gained notoriety during the Beatles ‘Abbey Road’ album cover shoot.
What’s the history behind it?
The first building on the site was a private house which was bought in 1877 by Sir Edward Elgar. He converted it into a music studio and named it ‘Abbey Road’. It soon became popular with London’s top musicians.
In 1913, the British Film Company rented the studios to make their first film ever, and it eventually became popular with many other notables such as:
– Black Sabbath (to record their albums Paranoid and Heaven and Hell)
– The Hollies (they recorded re-makes of their hits at Abbey Road, the originals were recorded elsewhere)
– Michael Jackson (he recorded his hit Thriller there)
– Pink Floyd (they recorded many of their albums there)
– The Beatles (you probably know this one, but the list goes on and on.)
In short – it’s a national treasure.
Despite being in constant use for nearly 100 years now, Abbey Road has managed to stay up-to-date with current technologies, thanks to the team of engineers and producers that constantly work there.
What Goes on at Abbey Road?
The studios are used for a range of activities – including recording, mixing, mastering and post-production. There’s also a shop which sells exclusive Abbey Road merchandise, as well as a cafe which is open to the public.
In terms of visiting the studios, the only way to get inside is on a studio tour. These tours are led by trained Abbey Road staff and you can expect to see high quality recording booths, a huge collection of microphones and even a special dance floor which was used for recording Kate Bush’s album ‘Hounds of Love’.
You may even get lucky enough to find yourself in the right place at the right time and hear one of your favourite bands recording a new track! The only other way to visit would be on an industry tour – for example, Universal Music may hold an annual event which includes visits to their mastering rooms, whereas Decca Records might take people around their offices.
If you’re looking for a more in-depth history of Abbey Road Studios, then we suggest you check out some of the documentaries available on Netflix or YouTube. They’re all well-made and give a great overview of the studios and their place in music history.
So there you have it – everything you need to know about Abbey Road Studios! We hope you enjoyed the article!