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MCI console at Ridge Farm

1979 with the MCI desk

 

 

1981 with the SSL desk

 

 

SSL desk at Ridge Farm Studios

 

 

1985

SSL console

 

RECORDED AT RIDGE FARM:

 

 

 

 

Ridge Farm Studios

Ridge Farm Capel   Surrey

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Ridge Farm is situated in Capel, between Dorking and Horsham in Surrey. The premises consists of a 16th century farmhouse with a sound-proofed barn adjacent which houses the studio.

Ridge Farm was originally set up in 1976 as a rehearsal studio. Due to it's relaxing location and unique acoustics it soon became very popular. Bands started to take mobile studios along to record albums there; the Manor Mobile and the Maison Rouge Mobile both became regular visitors.

Reacting to this trend, Ridge Farm was equipped with it's own recording equipment, initially in a temporary control room boothed off in the main studio area. A purpose built control room was added in the winter of 1978, this was built at one end of the barn in an elevated position to give a good view of the recording area. The control room was floated on a concrete floor, an isolation booth being provided underneath. The design was by owner Frank Andrews and Billy Andrews, acoustic design by Keith Slaughter. The main studio area was left open with a wood floor, separation being aided by acoustic screens where necessary. It had a total area of 1,200 sq ft and housed a Steinway Grand piano.

Initially Ridge Farm was equipped with an MCI package of a 28 channel JH-400 mixing desk with a JH-24 multitrack and MCI quarter inch machine, this equipment all belonging to Yes singer Jon Anderson. Monitoring by JBL 4341s or Lockwood Reds driven by Amcron amps. Outboard included EMT Gold Foil Reverb; Eventide DDL, Harmoniser and Flanger; and UREI limiters.

By 1982 Ridge Farm had been re-equipped with the ubiquitous SSL, in this case a 32 channel 4000E, the MCI multitrack being replaced by a Telefunken 15A. Ridge Farm was better equipped with "toys" than many residential studios, this led to it attracting a fair amount of mixing work. Outboard now included a Lexicon 224 digital reverb; AMS harmonisers, Flangers and Delay lines; Eventide Harmoniser; Lexicon Primetime; MXR Flanger/doubler; PanScan autopanner; Lindsey graphic eqs and reverb by EMT, both Gold Foil and 149 stereo plate.

SSL console at Ridge Farm Studios

The next upgrade was in 1985, the control room was enlarged under the supervision of Keith Slaughter. A new 40 channel SSL4000 was installed. The monitoring was upgraded to a Roger Quested Q215 system and the Telefunken was replaced by a Studer A800. Extra equipment added included a Quantec Room Simulator and an Ampex ATR124 half inch mastering recorder.

 

John Leckie- record producerJohn Leckie and Ren Swan recording The Lucy Show at Ridge Farm  -1985

In 1988 the main room was divided into two areas by a permanent partition.

In 1990 a Neve VR60 was installed and the tape machines (2 X 24 track Studer A800s) were moved to a machine room under the control room. The first session with this new set-up was the mix of Pearl Jam's "Ten" album.

In June 1997 an SSL 9064J desk replaced the Neve and remained in place until the final closure of the studio in 2002, all the studio equipment was removed: but now, in a "Back to the Future" fashion, it is available as a "dry hire"-bring your own equipment.

Who's gonna be the first to take the refurbished Ronnie Lane Mobile down there to do an album?

 

1988

Ridge Farm Industries was started up in 1994 by maintenance man Richard Kirk and recording engineer POM (Pierre-Olivier Margerand). They make the very successful "Gas Cooker" valve DI box and the "Boiler" compressor/limiter.



 

RECORDED AT RIDGE FARM:

A FLOCK OF SEAGULLS  "THE STORY OF A YOUNG HEART"
ALL ABOUT EVE   "ALL ABOUT EVE"
ALL ABOUT EVE   "TOUCHED BY JESUS"
ALVIN LEE    "DETROIT DIESEL"
ASIAN DUB FOUNDATION  "TANK"
BACK STREET CRAWLER  "THE BAND PLAYS ON"
BAD COMPANY   "ROUGH DIAMONDS"
BAD COMPANY   "DESOLATION ANGELS"
BAWL     "YEAR ZERO"
BELASCO    "SIMPLICITY"
BELL X-1    "MUSIC IN MOUTH"
BETHNAL     "DANGEROUS TIMES" (MANOR MOBILE)
BLACK SABBATH   "FORBIDDEN"
BLUE AEROPLANES   "LIFE MODEL"
BLUETONES    "EXPECTING TO FLY"
BOLSHOI    "LINDY'S PARTY"
BOX OF FROGS   "BOX OF FROGS"
BOX OF FROGS   "STRANGE LAND"
BUDGIE    "DELIVER US FROM EVIL"
CAPTAIN SENSIBLE   "WOMEN AND CAPTAINS FIRST"
CLANNAD    "MACALLA"
DRAMATIS    "FOR FUTURE REFERENCE"
DUGGY DEGS    "AIRBISCUIT"
ECHO AND THE BUNNYMEN "REVERBERATION"
FRANK PERRY   "DEEP PEACE"
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD "LIVERPOOL"
FREEEZ    "IDLE VICE"
GANG OF FOUR   "SONGS OF THE FREE"
GIANT     "LAST OF THE RUNAWAYS"
GOLDIE    "SATURNZ RETURN"
INSPIRAL CARPETS   "THE BEAST INSIDE"
JEAN-PHILIPPE RYKIEL  "JEAN-PHILIPPE RYKIEL"
JOE JACKSON BAND   "VOLUME 4"
JOHN COOPER-CLARKE  "ZIP STYLE METHOD"
JOHN WATTS    "THE ICEBERG MODEL"
JUDY TZUKE    "I AM THE PHOENIX"
JUNO REACTOR   "GOD & MONSTERS"
LAMB     "LAMB"
LES OBJETS    "QUI EST QUI?"
LIMAHL    "DON'T SUPPOSE"
LINDISFARNE   "SLEEPLESS NIGHTS"
LOU RHODES    "BELOVED ONE"
LOVE AND ROCKETS   "HOT TRIP TO HEAVEN"
LOVERS ELECTRIC   "IMPOSSIBLE DREAMS"
LUCY SHOW    "MANIA"
MAGAZINE    "REAL LIFE"
MARIE PIERRE   "LOVE AFFAIR"
MARTIN STEPHENSON AND THE DAINTEES "GLADSOME, HUMOUR AND BLUE"
MATUMBI    "POINT OF VIEW"
MICHAEL SCHENKER BAND  "BUILT TO DESTROY"
MIGUEL BOSE   "XXX"
MISSION    "GOD'S OWN MEDICINE"
MORGAN TANDY   "EARTH RISE"
MOTORS    "THE MOTORS" (MANOR MOBILE)
MOVING HEARTS   "THE DARK END OF THE STREET"
MURRAY HEAD   "VOICES"
MUSE     "ORIGIN OF SYMMETRY"
OASIS     "BE HERE NOW"
OMD     "ORGANISATION"
OZZY OSBOURNE   "BLIZZARD OF OZZ"
OZZY OSBOURNE   "DIARY OF A MADMAN"
OZZY OSBOURNE   "BARK AT THE MOON"
PARADISE LOST   "DRACONIAN TIMES"
PEARL JAM    "TEN"
PENETRATION   "COMING UP FOR AIR"
PIERCE TURNER   "IT'S ONLY A LONG WAY ACROSS"
POP GROUP    "Y"
PREFAB SPROUT   "JORDAN; THE COMEBACK"
ROXY MUSIC    "MANIFESTO"
RUSH     "HOLD YOUR FIRE"
SADE     "LOVE DELUXE"
SAHB     "ROCK DRILL" (MAISON ROUGE MOBILE)
SILENCE 4    "ONLY PAIN IS REAL"
SLITS     "CUT"
SMITHS    "MEAT IS MURDER"
STATUS QUO    "RIFFS"
STEVE HILLAGE   "GREEN" (MANOR MOBILE)
STEVE HILLAGE   "OPEN"
STIFF LITTLE FINGERS  "GET A LIFE"
SUNNYBOYS    "GET SOME FUN"
SUPERGRASS    "SUPERGRASS"
TEENAGE FANCLUB   "SONGS FROM NORTHERN BRITAIN"
THAT PETROL EMOTION  "END OF THE MILLENIUM PSYCHOSIS BLUES"
THEREZA BAZAR   "THE BIG KISS"
THIERRY MATIOSZEK  "MATIOSZEK"
THUNDER    "LAUGHING ON JUDGMENT DAY"
TIM BLAKE    "NEW JERUSALEM"
ULF LUNDELL   "LÄNGRE INÅT LANDET"
URBAN DANCE SQUAD  "PERSONA NON GRATA"
VANADIUM    "BORN TO FIGHT"
WHITESNAKE   "READY AN' WILLING"
XYMOX    "TWIST OF SHADOWS"
Y & T     "BLACK TIGER"

By Tony Harris 2012                    tony@philsbook.com