Castle Rock Studios provides the North West with the superb recording and rehearsal facilities it deserves
Alderley Edge is well known in the North West as the home to many a Premier League footballer, but now Castle Rock Studios looks set to establish itself as the premier choice for recording and rehearsal in the North West. Housed in a converted detached house in the Cheshire village, this new complex offers incredible facilities and services that belie their low prices.
From the outside, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Castle Rock was a detached house fairly typical of the area. Inside, however, it has been equipped with jaw-dropping attention to detail and quality. At the heart of the facility is a recording studio based around Pro-Tools 10 HDX, with two live rooms. Alongside this are two rehearsal studios, and one rehearsal studio that is specifically designed for performance, recording videos, photo shoots and more…
Quality, quality, quality, excellent design, and more quality
It is clear from the outset that the three Mancunians who set-up Castle Rock Studios (John ‘Stret’ Stretford, and Rick and Carolyn Nevinson) wholly intended it to be a premium quality facility in every way. Many readers will be only too aware of what is often passed off as a ‘Rehearsal Studio’. Frequently, this term will mean a dank, dirty dungeon, with bad lighting, a sticky floor and a smell of damp, where musicians occasionally practice and argue, whilst escaping for ‘fresh air’ breaks in-between.
At Castle Rock studios, you can enjoy a different class of rehearsal. Two rehearsal studios, named ‘Stormy Point’ and ‘The Beacon’ are equipped like large ‘live rooms’ of the kind you’d expect to find in a very nice recording studio. Aside from being light and airy (and dry and clean (!)), the rooms are acoustically designed and treated, and feature moveable wall mounted panels, should you wish to alter the acoustic character of the room. Remarkably, these are currently priced at just £40 for a three hour session.
Alongside this is a room dubbed ‘The Druids Circle’. This studio has been designed as an ideal venue for showcase performances, gig rehearsals, or even video shoots. With the same attention to acoustics, and moveable panels as the other rehearsal spaces, and a projector, DMX lighting and more, the potential applications for this room are huge.
The recording studio at Castle Rock has been lavished with a truly excellent array of equipment. As mentioned, a Pro-tools 10 HDX rig is at its core, though Cubage and Logic DAWs are also available.
As a ‘front-end’, however, there is a stunning SSL AWS 924 console- the only one commercial available in the North West. Monitoring is taken care of via a 5.1 set-up of Adam S3X-H monitors with an S-12 subwoofer. So regardless of whether your project is for a cinema, the Warehouse Project or Radio One, there is a full range, premium monitoring system that is more than capable of coping with it.
Two live rooms are adjacent, with connecting windows. Should you need more ‘live’ space, however, all three of the other rooms are connected via 16-port patch panels, with visual connection via TV screens. This opens the Castle Rock Studios complex up to potentially huge recording projects.
I could go on about the incredible range of gear available, the great ‘Wizard’s Well’ chill out area, or what a talented, dedicated and just plain nice bunch the team are, but I’ll just say that the North West has just gained a truly excellent facility for bands and musicians, and is all the richer for it. Castle Rock Studios, we wish you well!
Joe is a contributor for the Dawsons Music blog. Specialising in product reviews and crafting content to help and inspire musicians of all musical backgrounds.