Music and Sound Recording (Tonmeister)

Edit Rooms

The edits rooms are used for a wide range of audio post-production tasks.

Studio recordings of classical music are usually made up of a number of takes, that are later edited together. All three edit rooms have Pyramix Native, which is designed specifically for this type of work.

Increasingly, pop music recordings involve significant editing, from correcting the timing of rhythm parts, to tuning vocals. In addition, students often mix at home using their own DAW systems such as Pyramix, ProTools or Logic. To enable this type of work, all three edit rooms have Pyramix Native, ProTools Native and Logic, and edit rooms 1 and 2 have fader controllers to assist with mixing.

The edit rooms are also frequently used for post-production audio work for film and TV. This includes sound effects and Foley editing, speech editing and ADR fitting, and creation of pre-dubs. One example of this is the audio post-production coursework which involves editing the location sound and ADR from a pre-recorded television shoot, and adding appropriate music and effects.

In addition to these facilities, edit 3 houses a 12-channel Neve Melbourn console, which allows mixing of tracks or stems via a classic analogue console, as well as a range of 2-channel recording and replay devices such as 1/2" analogue reel-to-reel, cassette, DAT, and CD recorders, and a Technics turntable. Edit 3 also includes a SADiE DAW, commonly used for mastering and editing for broadcast.

Edit 1

Edit 1 contains:

  • Mac Pro running ProTools Native, Pyramix Native, and Apple Logic
  • Avid HD Omni interface
  • ATC SCM20A monitoring
  • Mackie Big Knob
  • Yamaha PF80 keyboard
  • AVID Artist Mix fader controller

Edit 2

Edit 2 contains:

  • Mac Pro running ProTools Native, Pyramix Native, and Apple Logic
  • Avid HD Omni interface
  • ATC SCM20A monitoring
  • Mackie Big Knob
  • Euphonix MC Mix fader controller
  • Tascam CD recorder

Edit 3

Edit 3 contains:

  • Mac Pro running ProTools Native, Pyramix Native, and Apple Logic
  • Avid HD 16 interface
  • SADiE System 5
  • ATC SCM20A monitoring
  • 12-channel Neve Melbourn
  • Studer A80 2-channel 1/2" analogue reel-to-reel
  • Dolby A noise reduction
  • Technics SL1200 turntable
  • Tascam CD recorder
  • Tascam DAT recorder

Listening room

The ITU-R BS.1116 critical listening room and audio laboratory (designed and built by Munro Associates) are used by students and researchers to undertake experimental work involving audio measurement and subjective listening tests.

The ITU-R standard is the most critical international standard for listening rooms, with strict criteria for low noise, controlled reflections, dimension ratios and reverberation time. The Surrey listening room is air conditioned to provide a comfortable working environment and is equipped with a flexible range of reproduction systems from stereo to multichannel including elevated loudspeakers. This enables listening tests on multichannel surround sound to be carried out effectively.

The room contains a loudspeaker mounting system that can be rigged with a large number of loudspeakers. It is usually configured for 22.2 reproduction, using 22 Genelec 8330A loudspeakers and 2 Genelec 7350A subwoofers. The system includes distributed bass management and built-in time alignment and equalisation of level and frequency response. The system is flexible enough to allow almost any multichannel loudspeaker arrangement, and additional loudspeakers can be added for any format (up to 72 Genelec 8020 loudspeakers).

There is also a pair of B&W 801 loudspeakers with a Chord amplifier for 2-channel stereo, and a set of 5 Genelec 1032A loudspeakers and a Genelec 1094A subwoofer for 5.1 surround sound.

The IoSR also has a wide range of test and measurement equipment that can be used in the listening room or around campus, including:

  • Prism DScope 3 audio test system
  • Audio Precision 2700 audio test system
  • MLSSA measurement equipment (running on PC)
  • B&K 2033 real time audio analyser
  • Neutrik Cortex MK2 binaural recording & measurement system
  • B&K acoustic test equipment and microphones
  • Neutrik Acoustilyzer acoustical analysis system
  • Lindos MiniSonic MS20 audio test system
  • A selection of scopes, oscillators, audio test sets


Enquiries from external bodies or individuals regarding use of the ITU listening room should be directed to:

Dr. Tim Brookes
+44 (0)1483 686539

Location recordings

The majority of commercial classical recordings are made on location and so it is important that Tonmeister students have experience of location recording in venues away from the University campus and can deal effectively with all of the technical, organisational and logistical issues involved. To this end, the Department of Music and Media is equipped with the necessary kit to operate two full mobile recording units, including two student-drivable Vauxhall Combo vans.

Students are able to record concerts at the very best venues all across the South of England and the Midlands, including the prestigious churches and concert halls in London.

Recent recordings have been made by students at the following venues:

  • Guildford Cathedral
  • Arundel Cathedral
  • Royal Festival Hall
  • Barbican Centre
  • Queen's College
  • Birmingham Symphony Hall
  • London Guildhall
  • Royal College of Music

As well as the extensive collection of microphones available to students, the following equipment is available for use on location recordings:

  • 8-channel Neve portable console
  • 2 x 24-channel DDA consoles with LCR panning and direct outputs
  • Soundcraft Si Compact 24-channel console with stagebox and CAT5 multicore
  • 2 x Rogers LS 3/5 loudspeaker kits
  • 4 x Tascam HD P2 digital recorders
  • 4 x Quad 405 amplifiers
  • 2 x rigging ropes
  • 5 x large K&M microphone stands
  • 2 x 50 metre 7-channel multicore cables
  • 3 x 50 metre 8-channel multicore cables
  • 10 x 100 metre microphone cable drums


The Department of Music and Media is unique in possessing a large range of professional quality microphones that can be used by our students. The extensive range covers all the major brands from classic valve microphones to the latest designs. As the choice of microphone is vital in recording, we pride ourselves on possessing a range of microphones which enables the students to attain the highest possible professional standards.

The microphone collection contains rare and valuable examples, including 3 of the c. 2000 original AKG C12 valve microphones, classic ribbon microphones such as ST&C 4038s, through flexible and often-used microphones such as AKG C414s, to high quality currently-available microphones such as DPA 4011s and Schoeps CMC6Us.


  • 3 x C12
  • 2 x C12A
  • 1 x C24
  • 2 x C414 EB
  • 4 x C414 B-ULS
  • 6 x C414 B-XLS
  • 1 x C426
  • 4 x C451E with CK1, 2 and 4 capsules
  • 2 x C460B with CK61 and 62 capsules
  • 1 x C567E
  • 1 x D112E


  • 2 x 4006 Omnis
  • 4 x 4011 Cardioids
  • 2 x 4015 Wide Cardioids


  • 1 x contact mic


  • 2 x CM 1050
  • 2 x CB 20
  • 1 x Soundfield


  • 3 x RE-20

Hebden Sound

  • 8 x HS3000 with omni, sub-cardioid, cardioid, hyper-cardioid and fig-8 capsules


  • 4 x KM84
  • 2 x KM86
  • 4 x KM184
  • 3 x U87


  • 2 x MK-012-1


  • 6 x CMC 5U with MK2 and MK8 capsules
  • 6 x CMC 6U with MK2H capsules and KA40 spheres


  • 2 x MD 441
  • 3 x MD 421


  • 1 x SM 11
  • 6 x SM 58
  • 6 x SM 57


  • 1 x ECM 670
  • 1 x ECM 989
  • 1 x C800
  • 1 x C48
  • 2 x F740
  • 1 x F730


  • 2 x 4038

Studio 1

Studio 1 is designed predominantly for recording 'classical' music.

The studio floor is designed to be acoustically similar to a chamber concert hall, with a reverb time of around 1.1 to 1.5 seconds. The area of the studio floor is around 250 square metres, so it's possible to record anything from a solo singer to a large orchestra and choir. Also included are a Steinway D concert grand piano, a harpsichord, and a range of percussion equipment.

Whilst designed for classical music, the studio is used for all styles of music, with some students preferring to record drums in studio 1 for a more reverberant sound. The studio is also ideal for recording piano, strings and brass for pop tracks.

You can experience a binaural recording made in studio 1 in the video below - you'll need to wear headphones to get the best effect. To find out more about how it was made, you can read our blog post.

File3D Sound - Binaural Recording of a Musical Performance (feat. Peter and Kerry)

Studio 1 is also used for department concerts, including the Wednesday lunchtime concert series, all of which are recorded by Tonmeister students. These are valuable training opportunities for students: they are mixed direct to stereo and require a professional result in difficult circumstances. These recordings are also useful to students studying performance so that they can listen back to the recordings later and reflect on areas for improvement.

The control room acoustics were designed by Nick Whitaker (whose other work includes Angel, British Grove and De Lane Lea). The equipment has been selected because it is representative of that used in classical recording. It includes a 48-channel Sony DMX-R100 console, Lexicon 480 reverberation, B&W Nautilus 801 monitoring, and the Pyramix digital recording / editing system. Hence, the control room can be used for recording to stereo or multitrack formats, for multitrack editing, or for mixing pre-recorded sessions.

Studio 2

Studio 2 has been designed predominantly for 'pop' recording.

The studio floor is acoustically treated to be 'deader' than Studio 1, to limit the recorded reverberation and to allow for greater separation between the instruments. This allows greater flexibility and creativity when it comes to mixing tracks recorded here. It is 60 square metres, which is sufficient to record a large band (in fact 20-piece big bands have been recorded in there).

The control room is designed to be typical of a pop studio. The acoustics have been designed by Nick Whitaker (whose other work includes Angel, British Grove and De Lane Lea). The hub of the studio is a 56-channel SSL 9000K series console (the likes of which you'll also find in Abbey Road Studio 3, Metropolis Studio A and Real World Studios).

Students can record to a range of recording devices in studio 2, including an Otari 2" 24-track analogue tape machine with Dolby SR, a 48-track Tascam hard disk recorder, or to ProTools HDX or Logic. This room also includes Lexicon 480 reverberation, a range of outboard processing equipment, ATC SCM100 monitoring, and stereo digital (DAT & CD) recorders.

Studio 3

Studio 3 is used primarily for mixing recordings made in the other studios.

It also has a small overdub room for adding additional parts to recordings, and has connections to all the other studios so that recordings can be made directly from any of these facilities.

The studio was refitted in the summer of 2013, with an acoustic redesign by John Flynn and Sam Toyoshima of Acoustics Design Group (whose other work includes Abbey Road and SARM West studios).

The refit included a new console - an AMS-Neve 88D was chosen for its high quality and similarity to a range of consoles commonly used in industry. The control surface, processing modules, and internal architecture are similar to the AMS-Neve DFC Gemini consoles that are commonly used in high-end dubbing theatres for film sound (such as De Lane Lea, Goldcrest, and Skywalker Sound). The automation is similar across all AMS-Neve consoles, such as the 88RS (found in Abbey Road, Air Lyndhurst, Sphere, and Ocean Way studios).

The studio is set up for mixing in stereo and 5.1 surround sound, and includes a 5-channel ATC monitoring system with Genelec subwoofer.

There is a range of outboard processing in this studio, including Bricasti, Focusrite, SSL, Thermionic Culture and TC Electronic units. There is a Studer A80 2" 24-track analogue tape recorder with Dolby SR to allow transfer of material from Studio 2 as well as an Apple Mac Pro running ProTools HDX and Apple Logic (with 48 MADI i/o channels). Pyramix is also available to enable mixing of work recorded in Studio 1.

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