Bally Studios | All About The Music
Dolphin Music on Jun 21, 2012
Bally Studios is a 5 Studio Recording and Rehearsal studio complex. Bally started off with just one studio in 2005, with help from the Princes Trust, and since then they have added another 4 studios. They are currently doing the paperwork for a brand new 6 rehearsal studios complex in East London, expected later this year.
Leading man, Jimmy Mulvihill has been working within the music industry from the age of 17, when he began studying sound engineering. Between 2002 and 2005 Mulvihill was a live music promoter, in addition to being in a band himself, and he also recorded bands in multiple studios.
Bally Studios mainly operate as a tracking studio, specialising in getting a great sound down onto tape/digital multi-tracker before either mixing it and producing it themselves, or sending it to another studio for postproduction/mixing.
Bally specialise in what they call “anti-production” which means that the records they produce are intended to sound just as the band would in a room, a really tight rehearsal sound if you like, a sort of “live vibe.”
Bally have recorded well over 200 albums at the studios. They offer a really friendly service for the bands that visit for recordings and rehearsals, and they have said that they are “good friends with about 90% of the 60 + bands that come to the studios.”
Bally Studios Roster
Bombay Bicycle Club
The Rod Temperton Band
Afro Celt Soundsystem
Darren Hayman and the Secondary Modern as well as over 700 other bands, both at the Recording/Rehearsal studios, as well as in my last job, running The Dirty Rider Club in Kilburn. We are proud that successful bands have used us, but even prouder that local bands come back again and again.
Most Successful Recording/Gig
Usually, we concentrate on the less glamorous end of the whole process, where the hard work is put in. Very rarely at the end of the session would we ever see the rewards for our hard work immediately. That usually comes months later, after the album has been mixed, or when the band is on tour, having become better as a band due to the hard work we put in at the studio. We get a lot of satisfaction out of seeing bands that we have worked with gain bigger fan bases and play bigger shows. Recently Caribou were at the studios preparing for their forthcoming tour with Radiohead, and it’s great to see bands like them, who put in so much effort and are as talented as they are, getting the success they deserve. One recording that we take a lot of pride from that was done at the studio, which was made before the change of ownership in 2005, was Coldplay‘s “The Blue Room” EP, and we were happy that 2 months ago Chris Martin called us “a fantastic studio” in Coldplay’s interview with Mojo Magazine.
Most Interesting Recording/Gig
Looking back over the last 3 weeks of recording that I have done, in 22 days I have done 8 albums which include
- A 12 piece Latin funk fusion band
- A 4 piece punk rock band
- A three-piece “Circus Garage Rock” band
- A 16 piece African Afro-beat band- 5 piece band
- We have really interesting recording sessions at the studio, and what we love most is the variety of the bands that we record. All different bands, with different personalities, which make for a really interesting and exciting overall working experience.
Most Difficult Recording/Gig
The most difficult aspect of working at the studio for me personally was the process of taking over the studio I used to work in, and successfully re-launching it. We feel very proud that we have been able to turn around the studios, and also that year on year, the average amount of rehearsals we do at the studios has risen from 2.1 per day in 2005 to 7 rehearsal slots per day. In addition, the recordings have gone up from 6 albums a year in 2005 to over 50 a year at present.
- New 6 Studio Rehearsal complex in East London, which should hopefully be open this year.
- Currently in talks with 2 publishers about finishing and releasing the book which I have nearly finished writing called “Headliners Must Provide Backline”. It is about unsigned bands and their experiences on the “toilet circuit” in London. We have over 80 people involved in contributing to the book, from gig promoters to sound engineers, record label executives and radio station pluggers. The basic premise of the book is that we have brought together knowledge from people who have large wealth of experience within the unsigned music industry, so that people who are just beginning to make their way in the music industry can hopefully learn from other people’s mistakes, as opposed to making them himself.
- We’re in talks with backers about opening an acoustic music venue in Crouch End, North London, called The Speakeasy, which will always be free entry, will have a bookshop within the venue, permanent backline so that all the bands have to do is bring their instruments, a great sound system and also a cafe within it, called The Homebrew Cafe. It would appeal to people who may want to see live music, who do not usually go to bars, combining the coffee culture and the live music scene. We will still sell alcohol though, as well as having film nights and even political debates.
- We are also giving sound engineers and music producers the chance to hire our studios on a daily basis, so that they can start recording bands without having to find their own location, buy all of the equipment and carry out the acoustic treatment needed to make great recordings. They can get a live room, a control room, a mixing desk, all of the microphones and outboard and the musical instrument backline, over £25,000 worth of equipment in total, as well as over 800 ft.² space, for as little as £60 per day. They can book their own bands in, negotiate with the bands for their own fee and take the difference as their profit. See more here.
Contact Bally Studios…
020 8808 0472
Unit 16,17 & 18, MillMead Business Centre
Mill Mead Road