Associated Independent Recording (AIR) is an independent recording company founded in London in 1965 by Beatles producer Sir George Martin and his partner John Burgessafter their departure from EMI.
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Sir George Henry Martin, was an English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer, and musician. He was referred to as the "Fifth Beatle" in reference to his extensive involvement on each of the Beatles' original albums. Martin produced 30 number-one hit singles in the United Kingdom and 23 number-one hits in the United States.
EMI Group Limited was a British Transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.
The leading independent recording studio complex was founded in 1969. Since then, AIR has operated its own professional audio recording facilities, Air Studios.
AIR's first facility opened on 6 October 1970. It was located on the fourth floor of 214 Oxford Street, containing four studios, and later a MIDI programming room. The facility included two large studios (one 58×32 feet, the other 30×28 feet) and two small ones. The studios contained two Bösendorfer pianos, many soundproof booths, and a 56-channel mixing console, custom-designed by Neve to AIR's specification.
Oxford Street is a major road in the City of Westminster in the West End of London, running from Tottenham Court Road to Marble Arch via Oxford Circus. It is Europe's busiest shopping street, with around half a million daily visitors, and as of 2012 had approximately 300 shops. It is designated as part of the A40, a major road between London and Fishguard, though it is not signed as such, and traffic is regularly restricted to buses and taxis.
MIDI is a technical standard that describes a communications protocol, digital interface, and electrical connectors that connect a wide variety of electronic musical instruments, computers, and related audio devices for playing, editing and recording music. A single MIDI link through a MIDI cable can carry up to sixteen channels of information, each of which can be routed to a separate device or instrument. This could be sixteen different digital instruments, for example.
Bösendorfer is an Austrian piano manufacturer and, since 2008, a wholly owned subsidiary of Yamaha. Bösendorfer is unusual in that it produces 97- and 92-key models in addition to instruments with standard 88-key keyboards, and in its use of 3 strings-per-hammer model of construction.
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The company built another recording studio on the Caribbean island of Montserrat in the mid 1970s. In 1986, the facility was described as such:
Montserrat is a Caribbean island in the Leeward Islands, which is part of the chain known as the Lesser Antilles, in the West Indies. It is a British Overseas Territory (BOT). Montserrat measures approximately 16 km (10 mi) in length and 11 km (7 mi) in width, with approximately 40 km (25 mi) of coastline. Montserrat is nicknamed "The Emerald Isle of the Caribbean" both for its resemblance to coastal Ireland and for the Irish ancestry of many of its inhabitants.
Jimmy Buffett recorded Volcano at the Montserrat studio in May 1979, naming the album and its title song for the then dormant Soufrière Hills volcano on the island. Elton John recorded three albums at the Montserrat studio in the 1980s. Dire Straits recorded their successful Brothers in Arms album between 1984 and 1985. Other artists such as Ultravox, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (Pre-recorded Junk Culture ), Paul McCartney, Rush, the Police ( Ghost in the Machine and Synchronicity ), the Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Midge Ure, Little River Band, Duran Duran, Sheena Easton and Luther Vandross have also recorded albums there. The first album cut in the newly opened studios was Real to Reel by the Climax Blues Band in 1979.
James William Buffett is an American musician, songwriter, author, actor, and businessman. He is best known for his music, which often portrays an "island escapism" lifestyle. Together with his Coral Reefer Band, Buffett has recorded hit songs including "Margaritaville" and "Come Monday". He has a devoted base of fans known as "Parrotheads".
Volcano is the ninth studio album by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett and is his 11th overall. It was released in August 1979 as MCA 5102 and was his first release on that label after its absorption of ABC Dunhill.
"Volcano" is a song performed by American popular music singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. It was written by Jimmy Buffett, Keith Sykes, and Harry Dailey and released as a single on MCA 41161 in November 1979.
In 1989, Hurricane Hugo devastated the island and the Montserrat facility was severely damaged and thus forced to close.
Hurricane Hugo was a powerful Cape Verde hurricane that caused widespread damage and loss of life in Guadeloupe, Saint Croix, St. Thomas, Puerto Rico, and the Southeast United States. It formed over the eastern Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands on September 9, 1989. Hugo moved thousands of miles across the Atlantic, rapidly strengthening to briefly attain Category 5 hurricane strength on its journey. It later crossed over Guadeloupe, St. Croix and St. Thomas on September 17 and 18 as a Category 4 hurricane. Weakening slightly more, it passed over Puerto Rico as a strong Category 3 hurricane. Further weakening occurred several hours after re-emerging into the Atlantic, becoming downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane. However, it re-strengthened into a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall just slightly north of Charleston, on Isle of Palms on September 22, with 140 mph sustained winds. Hugo had weakened into a remnant low near Lake Erie by the next day. As of 2016, Hurricane Hugo is the most intense tropical cyclone to strike the East Coast north of Florida since 1898.
According to George Martin,
|“||Before we came to Montserrat there was no western music to speak of on the island. Building AIR meant that many leading recording artists came to stay. It cast its spell on them as they mingled with the local people. It was and still is a unique place... After ten great years of recording there the music business had changed. The moguls running the business no longer wanted their artists miles away, outside their control. That coincided with the devastation caused by the hurricane and sadly the studios had to close. The people of Montserrat are still very proud of the work that was done at AIR Studios.||”|
The buildings are still standing but their roofs are failing, leading to extensive damage to the floors of the accommodation area and inner part of the studio complex making them unsafe to walk on. The facility is now a modern ruin, and is closed to the public.
The buildings are located at.
In 1991, with the lease on the Oxford Street premises coming to an end, AIR Studios took over Lyndhurst Road Congregational Church, a Grade II listed building designed in 1880 by Victorian architect Alfred Waterhouse and located in the Hampstead suburb of northern London. The space was revamped as a recording facility and opened for business in December 1992. AIR Lyndhurst is now a key London facility for classical and popular recordings, as well as film scores, television post-production, and dialogue, sound effects and music for video games.
A recording studio is a specialized facility for sound recording, mixing, and audio production of instrumental or vocal musical performances, spoken words, and other sounds. They range in size from a small in-home project studio large enough to record a single singer-guitarist, to a large building with space for a full orchestra of 100 or more musicians. Ideally both the recording and monitoring spaces are specially designed by an acoustician or audio engineer to achieve optimum acoustic properties.
Duran Duran is the debut studio album by English new wave band Duran Duran. It was released on 15 June 1981 by EMI.
Seven and the Ragged Tiger is the third studio album by English new wave band Duran Duran. It was released on 21 November 1983 by EMI. It was the band's first and only number-one album on the UK Albums Chart, and would prove to be the last studio album for the band's most famous line-up until 2004's Astronaut.
The Hit Factory was a recording studio in New York City famous for its clientele. It closed on April 1, 2005; the original building is now the headquarters of American Musical and Dramatic Academy. However, other Hit Factory studio locations remained open, such as in Miami, Florida.
Trident Studios was a British recording facility, located at 17 St. Anne's Court in London's Soho district between 1968 and 1981. It was constructed in 1967 by Norman Sheffield, a drummer of former 1960s group the Hunters, and his brother Barry.
The Warehouse Studio is a multi-media recording facility and photography studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, owned by Bryan Adams.
Polar Studios was a recording studio in Stockholm, Sweden, which operated from 1978 through 2004. The studio was formed by ABBA musicians Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson and the band's manager Stig Anderson, owner of the Polar Music recording label.
David Richards was an English-born Swiss-based record producer, engineer and musician. In the Mountain Studios in Montreux, owned by the rock band Queen, and in Attalens he engineered and co-produced many albums by Queen, David Bowie and other artists. Richards also played keyboards on some records. He also dealt with live music recording in such events as Montreux Jazz Festival.
The Neve 8078 was the last of the "80 series" hand-wired analogue mixing consoles designed and manufactured by Neve Electronics, founded in 1961 by the English electronics engineer Rupert Neve, for high-end recording studios during the 1970s. Some were custom built for major studios like CBS Sony.
Sound Techniques was a recording studio in Chelsea, London that was operational between 1965 and 1976. Housed in a former dairy, it was founded by recording engineers Geoff Frost and John Wood. The studio became well known as the place where many of the folk-rock acts signed to Joe Boyd's Witchseason publishing company, such as Fairport Convention, Nick Drake and John Martyn, recorded their albums in the late 1960s and early 1970s, but it was also the studio where early records by Pink Floyd, Elton John and Jethro Tull were made.
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