Ridgeway House Farnham Surrey
Jacobs studios was built into an old Georgian farmhouse set in the Surrey countryside near Farnham. It was set up by Andy and Fran Fernbach who had previously had a 16 track studio (Vivatone) in their home. They moved into Ridgeway House in January 1980 to set up their new residential studio, named Jacobs after a breed of sheep that were farmed in the area.
Originally Jacobs had two studios in the one building. Studio 1 was the main room, studio 2 being more of a "budget" studio to cater for old clients that had previously worked with them in the 16 track days.
Studio 1 was designed by Andy and Fran with assistance from acoustician Mike Roberts, the control room was fairly untreated with a wooden floor and a large fireplace! Initially the equipment consisted of a Harrison 3624 automated desk hooked up to a Lyrec 24 track machine, with a Studer A80 stereo machine and a Revox for tape delays. Outboard equipment included Eventide Harmoniser: Scamp rack: Pye compressor; A&D compressor; MXR flanger/doubler; and reverb by AMS RMX-16, EMT Gold Foil and Master room spring. Monitoring was by UREI 813 time-aligned speakers powered by Studer A68 amps, Auratones providing the "small speaker" reference.
Studio 1's recording area was certainly unique, it was previously a stable and the stalls had all been left in, providing ready-made isolation areas. These "booths" all had different floor levels and sizes so provided a wide variety of sonic characters. A Challen upright piano was positioned in the lowest level of the room. Other instruments available included a Fender-Rhodes piano, a Fender Twin Reverb amp and a studio drum kit.
Studio 2 was initially equipped with a Trident Series 80 desk and another Lyrec 24 track machine. Monitoring in this room was by Tannoy/Lockwood Super Reds powered by Crown DC300 amps. The studio area was smaller than studio 1 but featured a live drum booth with plaster walls and a concrete floor. The Trident was replaced by another Harrison when the control room was enlarged to match studio 1.
By 1984 the Harrison had been removed and Jacobs had taken delivery of its first SSL, a 4040E, which took pride of place in studio 1. In a bold move Jacobs purchased two 3M 32 track digital multitracks, studio 1 also having the digital 4 track with editing facilities. Analogue recording was now catered for by Otari MTR-90 24 track machines. Monitoring in both rooms was by UREI 815As. The Harrison in studio 2 was replaced by a SSL 6048E so Jacobs had two SSL/digital studios under one roof. Both control rooms were similar in size and with a similar collection of outboard equipment: AMS DDLs; Eventide Harmonisers; BEL delays; compressors by UREI, DBX or Scamp rack; reverb by EMT plate or AMS RMX-16.
By 1987 the 3M multitracks had been replaced by Mitsubishi X850s . Studio 1, now designated "the Pool studio", had a Neve VR60 desk. Studio 2, now known as "the Court studio" retained an SSL desk. The monitoring in both rooms had been changed to Roger Quested systems.
In 1994 a third studio "the Gatehouse" was added, this being a dedicated mix room featuring a 60 channel Neve VR with 2 Studer A827 multitracks.
Jacobs studios eventually closed in July 2006 when Andy and Fran Fernbach sold the place to relocate to the West country, after finding that it was impossible to make the studio commercially viable at the rates that record companies expected to pay.
RECORDED AT JACOBS
23 SKIDOO "SEVEN SONGS"
ABC "HOW TO BE A ZILLIONAIRE"
ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE "PIG IRON" E.P.
AU PAIRS "PLAYING WITH A DIFFERENT SEX"
AU PAIRS "SENSE AND SENSUALITY"
BAND OF HOLY JOY "POSITIVELY SPOOKED"
BENNET "STREET VS SCIENCE"
BILLY RANKIN "GROWIN' UP TOO FAST"
b.l.o.w. "MAN AND GOAT ALIKE"
BONGOS "TIME AND THE RIVER"
BONGOS "DRUMS ALONG THE HUDSON"
BOX "SECRETS OUT"
BOXER REBELLION "EXITS"
BUSINESS "SUBURBAN REBELS"
CHAMELEONS "STRANGE TIMES"
CHILLS "SUBMARINE BELLS"
CLOCK DVA "THIRST"
COCTEAU TWINS "AIKEA-GUINEA" E.P.
CODA "VEINTE PARA LAS DOCE"
CONNER REEVES "EARTHBOUND"
DAMIAN WILSON "LET'S START A COMMUNE"
DAMNED "NOT OF THIS EARTH"
DATSUNS "OUTTA SIGHT / OUTTA MIND"
DEATH IN JUNE "BUT, WHAT ENDS WHEN THE SYMBOLS SHATTER?"
DEFECTS "DEFECTIVE BREAKDOWN"
DUBH CHAPTER "TOUCH AND GO" E.P.
ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN "REVERBERATION"
ENGINEERS "THREE FACT FADER"
FISCHER Z "FISH'S HEAD"
GERARD PRESENCER "CHASING REALITY"
HAIRCUT 100 "PAINT AND PAINT"
HELIUM SOUL "MASS OF FOUR"
HOPE OF THE STATES "THE LOST RIOTS"
HUMBLE PIE "BACK ON TRACK"
IMMEDIATE "IN TOWERS AND CLOUDS"
INDOCHINE "LE PÉRIL JAUNE"
INSPIRAL CARPETS "ISLAND HEAD" E.P.
JOE JACKSON "NIGHT MUSIC"
KINESIS "HANDSHAKES FOR BULLETS"
LEMON KITTENS "THE BIG DENTIST"
LOU RHODES "BELOVED ONE"
LOWGOLD "JUST BACKWARD OF SQUARE"
MARC AND THE MAMBAS "TORMENT AND TOREROS"
MILBURN "WELL WELL WELL"
MINT 400 "INTERCOMFORT"
MISSION "CARVED IN SAND"
MODERN ENGLISH "MESH AND LACE"
MUSIC "THE MUSIC"
NAPALM DEATH "LEADERS NOT FOLLOWERS"
OPTIMUM WOUND PROFILE "SILVER OR LEAD"
ORDINARY BOYS "OVER THE COUNTER CULTURE"
PARADISE LOST "ICON"
PAUL WELLER "HELIOCENTRIC"
PETER GREEN SPLINTER GROUP "DESTINY ROAD"
PIGBAG "LEND AN EAR"
PINK GREASE "THIS IS FOR REAL"
PSYCHIC TV "FORCE THE HAND OF CHANCE"
R.A.F. "THE HEAT'S ON"
RICK WAKEMAN "G'OLÉ!"
SEX GANG CHILDREN "SONG AND LEGEND"
SHAKATAK "NIGHT BIRDS"
SILVER SUN "SILVER SUN"
SKYCLAD "THE WAYWARD SONS OF MOTHER EARTH"
SMITHS "THE QUEEN IS DEAD"
SNOWDOGS "DEEP CUTS, FAST REMEDIES"
S.O.B. "VICIOUS WORLD"
STEEL PULSE "EARTH CRISIS"
SWEET ADDICTION "ALBUM"
TEST DEPARTMENT "BEATING THE RETREAT"
THEO TRAVIS "SLOW LIFE"
THERAPY? "ONE CURE FITS ALL FACTS"
UK SUBS "A.W.O.L."
URIAH HEEP "EQUATOR"
VENOM "PRIME EVIL"
XUTOS Y PONTAPES "XIII"
|By Tony Harris - 2012|
The original control room with Harrison 3624 desk and Lyrec 24 track machine
Robin Black - 1994
Neve VR - 2000
Robbie Williams in Jacobs - 2006
RECORDED AT JACOBS