Analogue Catalogue is a residential analogue recording studio in the north of Ireland. Recording to 24 track 2” Tape through a vintage Trident Series 80B desk, we made beautiful sounding records in Manchester from 2003 to 2013, when our control room was dismantled and reassembled within a 3 storey stone mill overlooking the Mourne Mountains in County Down. The much loved control room now connects to over 1000 sq ft of live areas - a large 600 sq ft apexed ceiling live room and a 'Westlake-style' 2nd live room with further tie lines and mic inputs throughout the building. The lovingly crafted accomodation is also part of the mill and many recordings have been captured in that bathroom or infront of the wood burning stove.
Recent clients of Analogue Catalogue include The Vaselines (Sub Pop), Jeffrey Lewis (Rough Trade), King Creosote & Jon Hopkins (Domino), Barbarossa (Memphis Industries), The Music Tapes (Merge), James Yorkston (Domino), Allo Darlin' (Slumberland/Fortuna Pop), The Aliens (EMI), Fionn Regan (Universal), The Offset: Spectacles (Rose Mansion Analog, Beijng), The Shivers (Silence Breaks/Fence), Alasdair Roberts (Drag City) and more. We offer first class analogue recording in beautiful surroundings whilst remaining within the recording budgets of independent record labels.
Recording to tape is an exhilarating experience. Our main live room is spacious but treated in such a way that the refection is controlled and meaty. Great drum sounds, full warm string sounds and a beautiful piano sound are just some of what this wonderful room has to offer. The room itself was designed so that musicians can see one another yet there is great separation on the mics. It can be recorded and mixed to sound incredibly intimate despite being a 600 sqft space. Musicians can all record together capturing the magic and energy of live performance, but the separation allows repairs to fix any not so magical notes.
Our engineer Julie Mclarnon spent 4 years working at The Windings studio in North Wales in the early 90s, and our main live room at Analogue Catalogue has taken inspiration from the live room there. "The large apexed room at The Windings was its main attraction - Brian Eno, Colin Richardson, Mark ‘Spike’ Stent, Chris Nagle and many other producers loved that room. James, The Verve, The Charlatans and Napalm Death were among the regular clients. As soon as I saw what is now our live room I knew it could sound amazing. A lot of wool, rubber and physics went into building it, but it’s a real pleasure to work in.”
The smaller overdub room has 4 different reflections - a dead corner, a warm woody corner, a slappy tiled corner and a small room corner. Julie works all the spaces and mics to achieve the ‘right sound at source’ - this leaves nothing to fix in the mix. Getting it right at source is the art of recording and she makes this dark art look and feel effortless.
We have always asked artists to come and setup the day before a session, and given them some free pre-production time, but we have now factored this important preparation time into an album package. Budgets are now smaller than ever, so we’ve put together a package that gets the most out of the studio time by factoring in non-recording days which can be used for rehearsal, note taking and overdub writing. This takes the pressure off and allows time for crafting the recording, writing and resting of ears.
Nothing captures bass and drums like tape and nothing captures the energy of a performance like tape. Now that we have the JoeCo Black Box recorder we can transfer that big beautiful magnetic magic and stuff it onto a USB flash drive for artists, engineers and producers to take away and work ‘in the box’. Julie remains a dedicated analogue engineer and still won’t work in the box but recognises people's desire to do so.
November 2015 will see the opening of the ‘Analogue Catalogue Digital Portal’ - effectively a 2nd control room tie-lined into the live rooms and the analogue control room so producers and engineers can bring their DAW to Analogue Catalogue and access its live rooms, instruments and all of its analogue delights.