Shabbey Road -Work Exp.

Posted: April 8, 2015 in Project Development / Applied Research, Work Experience

Day 1 – Song Writing Session

Today, I attended the first of a two-day work experience session at Shabbey Road Studios. Based in Caerphilly South Wales the studio provides a range of professional musical services from song writing & recording sessions, full day multi-track recording sessions, song & track development, multimedia music and the staff there are also available for hire as session musicians.

When meeting Al Steele the producer and musical director at Shabbey Road, he instantly made me feel welcome. We had an introductory conversation whilst rearranging the piano in the recording room a good physical activity to break the ice. Booked in from 11-3pm was a singer songwriter however, the artist had cancelled around midday so by this time our conversation was flowing. It was a relaxed atmosphere, i never approached it like an interview but i was able to ask him a couple of questions id thought about earlier in relations to my Destiny Sessions project and general professional studio practice.

I see your running a valve desk as well as a digital Yamaha hybrid desk there, & how do you compare using Cakewalk Sonar to the likes of Pro Tools or Cubase and Logic?


Shabbey Road Studios is sponsored by Cakewalk Sonar & under the sponsorship Al, the producer at Shabbey Road, has access to new software releases and free annual tutorials and tech support. I asked him how that came about his reply was;

”Sonar contacted him after they came across a piece of music produced in Shabbey Road. The music also credited the software. Sonar caught wind of this and contacted him offering the sponsorship.”

Al explained that the valve desk has brought the studio its warm and authentic sound over time. We discussed the differences between digital and analogue equipment. I asked about how the digital Yamaha mixer performed in regards to a live recording studio setting as compared to a larger 30+ channel desk. I too have looked at this yamaha desk to add to my home studio. Its smart, compact and has 16 channels but 32 outputs so perfect for getting the most out of a small space.

The yamaha desk is an excellent piece of kit. Controls are easy to navigate and the onboard dynamic processing is second to none. Second hand there going for around £5/600. Running two desks he has the equivalent of 96 potential output channel routes. 

Tell me a about the history and what kind of artists you have worked with in the past?

Shabbey Road are known for there work with many famous Welsh artists from Paul Potts to ….

TBC,…….. < ()

After spending some time discussing the studio’s set up and preferred equipment i met the rest of the team at Shabbey Road.

Rob started his career at Shabbey Road also doing work experience when he was 14. He is now a post-graduate in music and technology and basically runs his own projects or produces for booked in clients upstairs in another practice space. He also plays in two bands and is available for hire as a session musician. I admired his position and we discussed the benefits of being able to make a living from what we both consider to be constructive play. 🙂

After mostly conversing on studio equipment and methods we then


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