Studio owner ‘Fuzz’ Barthram-Keet

One of the few studios in the UK still offering analogue tape recording facilities, Radar Sounds Recording Studio has replaced its Amek Angela with a new Neve Genesys G32 console.

‘I already own a pair of Neve 1073DPA mic pre-amps and I know just how much I love the sound of them, so a Neve console was top of my shopping list. The desk’s fabulous analogue design and Neve preamp circuitry allows us to keep the mix analogue from start to finish without sacrificing modern features such as hands-on DAW control and connectivity,’ explains studio owner ‘Fuzz’ Barthram-Keet.

Radar Sounds was established eight years ago when Barthram-Keet took over the recording studio, which was formerly used by record label, 4AD. Located on Platts Eyot, a small island in the River Thames (close to Hampton Court), Radar Sound Services places a strong emphasis on live recording and using analogue facilities to capture the best sound. Along with the new console, the studio is centred on Genelec 7050 maing monitors, and has an eniable collection of outboard and microphones.

As well as tracking, Barthram-Keet also offers mixing and mastering services and describes the business as a ‘one-stop-shop’ for musicians, media companies and voiceover artists. Clients have come from many different countries and genres and include Slobheads, Young Romance, Archie Bronson Outfit, Ariel Pink, Atlas Sound/Deerhunter, Hard Fi producer Wolsey White, Serafina Steer and Younghusband.

‘I started out as a guitarist in a band but moved into the engineering/production side of the business because I was fascinated by the technology and the challenge of capturing great sound,’ Barthram-Keet. says. ‘I eventually acquired enough equipment to start my own studio and was told about the facility on Platts Eyot by my former sound engineering teacher. Although we offer a full range of services, we tend to attract artists who prefer an analogue sound and want to record all their instruments live.

‘I’ve always been interested in capturing the true essence and vibe of a band and I do feel live recording to 24 track analogue tape enables you to do that better. But obviously, as a commercial business, we cater for all types of projects and are equally at home with digital, which we record using our *IZ Technology ADA system.’

With the Angela’s reliability a problem, it was time was right for an ungrade – ‘It was so old and we needed something that offered proper automation and recall for mixdown,’ explains Barthram-Keet. ‘The new desk does give us a commercial advantage and I’m really thrilled with it – it perfectly complements the way we like to work and by using its preamps, EQ and dynamics, we can now offer our customers that classic Neve sound.’

He adds that the studio’s new Neve Genesys has made it faster and easier to switch between sessions, which has improved the facility’s productivity.

Like many commercial facilities, Radar Sounds closed its doors during the Covid-19 lockdown but has remained busy with online mixing/mastering projects: ‘The pandemic has made the situation difficult for people who want to record live, but we are confident about the future because we are adaptable and have the experience to provide a professional package at a great price,’ Barthram-Keet says. ‘We have mastering and mix projects scheduled for the summer and we hope it won’t be too long before we can get bands back into the live room to record.’

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