Irn Sole Studio

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Hand-built in the basement of an Accrington semi, IrnSole is a project studio which has been using digital technology to record acoustic music since 1995.


The Green Room

The Green Room is a light floating-room structure. The external shell is 3 layers of Accrington NORI engineering brick faced with thick render inside and out, giving an extremely dense wall that is over 12 inches thick. The inner shell was constructed with 2"x2" studs, 2"x4" joists, double-boarded with 12mm plasterboard and skimmed. Then we painted it green. Most recording is done in the Green Room. Only a neighbour using power tools in the back yard can penetrate the soundproofing.

Recording Tip: After years of recording vocals that varied widely in quality I finally got the courage to treat a corner of the room. The Dead Corner transformed the quality and reliability of vocals. The walls and ceiling were covered with Acoustitiles from Studiospares, available only in grey (how the girls wept). Together with the thick drapes and cushions rustled up by Joan they create a fantastic damped environment for that "in-your-ear" vocal sound. The Black Watch tartan adds echoes of the "Auld Country" and emotional damping.

The Office

The Office contains the equipment. It is separated from the Green Room by 4 sheets of glass, only 2 of which can ever be cleaned. 





Recording Tip:

Behringer equipment gives the most LEDs for your buck of any rackmount unit. They are randomly red, green and yellow (but they don't change colour or flash unless you smack those cheap and sticky switches really hard).


Recording is done using Digidesign Session8 and Cubase Audio on a P133 running Windows 95.

Post production/ CD burning  is done on a second PC using Goldwave and stuff.

The equipment rack includes a valve preamp by Behringer. The valve glows in the centre of the panel like a phial of magic potion. This unit adds that valve sound so beloved of valve enthusiasts. This valve sound is hard to describe. The best I can do is "like the swish of the emperor's coat tails as he twirls..." I use these channels if I need lots of inputs for drums, otherwise it just sits and glows a lot.

The Live Room

Adjacent to the Green Room and also known as "the laundry", the live room has a concrete floor and is faced with ceramic tiles on floor and walls. Great for drums and spanish guitars! The acoustic environment is adjustable using ceiling mounted baffles (although this depends on what clothes are currently drying). Equipped with a Zanussi 1250 which I can program on request, and a tumble dryer which we don't use because it's BAD for the environment.