Newmarket Studios offers a professional experience accompanied with a relaxed atmosphere, managed under the safe hands of successful engineer/producer Callum Barter.
Hi Callum, thanks for talking to Forte mag – Can you tell us a bit of the history of Newmarket Studios?
Newmarket was established back in 1986. There has been several changes over those years, but the control room and the main tracking room with the grand piano are basically in the same configuration as back then. I took over management of Newmarket at the beginning of 2015. Prior to that I had been utilising the studio on a freelance basis for 12 years or so.
When I first started working out of here, back in 2004, they were just installing Pro Tools into the studio, before that the studio was 100% analogue (24 track 2” tape). During those first few years I gained a lot of exposure to tracking and mixing records all analog without any computer screens in front of us. Was a great way to see how best to make use of both analog and digital recording techniques together.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your expertise that people can utilize at Newmarket Studios.
Personally I have been working as a professional sound engineer for the last 14 years. Throughout that time, i’v been lucky to have worked with a broad range of artists and styles. From acts like indie legends Saskwatch, dreamy sounds from Big Scary, big drums and guitars from British India, to the Melbourne vibes of Courtney Barnett.
I’ve also worked with some amazing Jazz artists like Erica Bramham & Anton Delecca. I find working across different genre’s helps to broaden my techniques and bring technical elements of each genre into each other.
I love tracking a band live, capturing their performance together like they would at a gig or rehearsal room, but having them spread across the 4 tracking rooms to allow acoustic separation and thus more flexibility with sonic possibilities.
I love tracking these live takes to tape, makes for a great warm sound to match the live performance energy. Then we get into the finer details on Pro Tools to make those extra special adjustments.
What are the best features about Newmarket studios? what would you say seperates it from other studios?
Our four tracking rooms are fantastic. We can have Drums, the Kawai Grand Piano, Guitar amps and Vocals all performing live together with acoustic isolation. All the rooms have windows with sight lines between them, so we can capture the band’s live energy without compromising sound. Having the 2 inch 24 track tape machine, along with the endless possibilities of digital recording (Pro Tools), is something that we take pride in. The tape machine gets used weekly and I always encourage suitable artists to utilise it.
Also our extensive array of vintage microphones is a joy to work with each day. With our Neumann U47, U48 & U67 valve microphones, we are just spoilt for choice each time we track a vocal. Having four valve AKG C12B’s is a real treat with so many possibilities for using stereo microphone techniques across different instruments.
There are an impressive roster of artists that have worked with Newmarket – who are some of the most memorable?
I recorded & mixed Saskwatch’s new album “Manual Override” here at Newmarket. A couple of singles are out already, with the album release coming August 4th. The sessions were such a treat. They are an extremely talented bunch of people. Together we focused on capturing different sounds for each song, making for a very exciting record. Everything from crunchy drums recorded with minimal mics to lush strings and big vocals. Make sure you check out the record when its out!
Jim Lawrie’s new album “Slacker of the Year” was a very special record to make. I am a big fan of Jim’s song writing, and to capture his performances with his amazing band was an absolute honour. We moved the drums across the different sounding tracking rooms, to create the right sounds for the right songs. We are very proud of this record.
2016 brought the release of Milk! Records compilation “Good For You”. This was a really fun compilation to make, consisting of their artists Courtney Barnett, Fraser A Gorman, Jen Cloher, Ouch My Face, East Brunswick All Girls Choir & The Finks. We tracked the majority over a long weekend and mixed it over the following weeks. Milk are such a loving label, helping each other out, and really working together on this project. We were delighted to help make such a fantastic compilation.
Newmarket Studios are associated with Noisehive – a digital distribution network – can you explain how that can benefit artists who work through Newmarket Studios?
Newmarket teamed up with Noisehive to offer a discount to our clients, should they want to utilise Noisehive’s amazing online distribution services. With so many independent artists around now, we wanted to help with getting their music out into the digital world. Through Spotify, iTunes, Apple music and the endless others, there are so many online options with digital distribution for independent artists, but few with the great services that Nosedive provide. The single fact that their office is in Richmond is extremely comforting! If the artist want to make changes to their release they are a simple call away, or even call into their office…much for approachable that trying to reach someone across the globe.
Can you tell us a bit about the experienced engineers that offer their services at Newmarket Studios?
Julian McKenzie is a fantastic engineer. He is best know for fronting Melbourne band “Money for Rope”. He managed Newmarket prior to myself and has had extensive experience in the space. He has a solid knowledge of the entire recording process from song construction to finished records having also worked at Dex Audio in the mastering department. He is a real asset to Newmarket.
Lilith Lane wears her sound production cap in between recording, releasing and performing her own music. Graduating from RMIT Sound Production in 1999, she has worked with several studios and as a live broadcast engineer at PBS. She is currently working on an exciting new Album for “CASH”. Keep your ears peeled.
Simon Cotter has gained extensive experience at many of Melbourne’s top recording studios and has had the pleasure of working on a number of internationally successful records. Additionally Simon enjoys working with DIY/Underground bands and musicians
and is very resourceful about achieving the correct “production aesthetic” for the right artist.
Thanks for talking to us Callum – is there anything you’d like to say to people who are considering using Newmarket Studios?
We would love to have you! Have a look trough our website and have a listen to some of the high class releases that have come out of the studio recently. There are some great examples of what we can achieve here at Newmarket.
Price is always a question that comes our way. We do our best to offer an affordable price for artists, that allows us to provide such a fantastic facility along with experienced engineers to make your next project an enjoyable one without breaking the bank!
Send me an email – firstname.lastname@example.org – with what you are wanting to achieve for your next project, and we would love to work with you to find the best approach for you.