The Beatles’ favorite studio has always been a place of innovation. Now music tech startups are supported here.
The Abbey Road Studio Is An Icon
In the elegant London district of St. Johns Wood, pop music as we know it today was invented. Recordings of orchestras and light musicians were made in these sacred halls as early as the 1930s. This is where stereophony was invented. In the early 1960s, four young Liverpool men stormed the worldwide charts with recordings that they recorded here under the direction of their producer George Martin. The Beatles recorded over 100 songs in the studio on Abbey Road.
With each Beatles single and album, new recording techniques and production tricks were developed. For example, sound engineer Geoff Emerick was the first man in his field to place the microphone not in front of the drums but in Ringo Starr’s bass drum to produce a harder beat. According to the strict regulations of the studio, he shouldn’t have done that because the expensive, German Neumann microphones should be spared. He tried it anyway – and since then sound engineers all over the world have done it.
Innovations in The Legendary Studio
The legendary studio has retained this openness to innovation to this day. Many devices that have been developed over the years for bands like the Beatles or Pink Floyd are now available as plugins for digital music productions for everyone. For example, the legendary “double tracking” for vocals that John Lennon loved, or a special reverb that can be heard on Pink Floyd’s legendary album “Dark Side of the Moon”.
There is also a distance learning course for sound engineers. Now the Abbey Road studio is also entering the startup business and has been launching an incubator for music tech since October 2015. Managing Director Isabel Garvey had previously met with many startups to find out how the studio can benefit from the innovative scene and what it can do for entrepreneurs itself.
The result of the considerations is Abbey Road Red
A separate, small innovation department that is to support founders, researchers, and developers of music technology. The studio offers startups the best connections in the music industry and of course to world-famous musicians. And today, just like their role models in the 1960s, they are still looking for new technical possibilities and new sounds.
The first result of Abbey Road Red is Titan Reality. The startup has developed a 3D controller with the beautiful name The Pulse, which should make it possible to play any musical instrument.
Jon Eades, director of the Abbey Road Red project, says: “We are looking for startups in the phase between seed and Series A funding. They should have between two and ten employees, have the right entrepreneurial spirit and they should be technology-driven. Above all, it should be about music. Because that’s our specialty. “
A breath of pop history still blows in Studio 2 of the Abbey Road studio. The pianos, microphones and other devices that the Beatles used for their recordings are still here. There is also the white staircase that leads from the recording room to the control room on the first floor. In the early days, it was still a restricted area for young musicians. Here engineers ruled in white coats, which provided the sound.
Musicians were undesirable. But little by little, the managers of the studio realized that the ideas of the young musicians were not so far-fetched and bad. And so John, Paul, George, and Ringo finally fought for all possibilities to implement their ideas of pop. You were probably the first startup in pop history. Let’s hope that a few more exciting ideas will follow.
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