Grand Cru isn't just any mid-sized studio. This aquatic studio was designed nearly 40 years ago by studio design legend Eddie Veale, long before off the shelf acoustic treatments were available.
Reflections and diffusion are created with spaced wooden slatting in the ceiling, angled panelling in the walls, and weird and wonderful bolted on hand made panels. Standing waves, resonance and nastiness are sucked out of the acoustic picture between the slats and in a fabric covered sections that run down the length of each wall. The sound is controlled, comfortable and bigger than you imagine. When you sit down to work or play, you immediately feel relaxed enough to rely on the design and craftsmanship from a magical era.
The selection of equipment has been gathered over the last five years to cater for various projects. The studio switched from an original AWS900 desk to the AWS948 18 months ago, and over and above the desk itself, you'll find loads of external pre-amps.
Collecting sounds to Protools or Tape (Studer A827, Ampex ATR102) using Neve designed channels like (1066, 1073, Focusrite ISA, Amek pure paths) or valve stuff (Thermionic, Universal Audio) is a joy when you're putting it all back together through a desk with just the right amount of classic SSL sound, with it's powerful sound shaping point and go EQ - clean, but not entirely.
Grand Cru have a load more powerful out-of-the-box toys too. Classic Urei compression (1176, 1178, LA-3a) are augmented with Distressors, Summit TLA-50, Millenia Twincom, and a Tube Tech SMC2a multiband. Buss compression (or not) is handled with the onboard SSL compressor, or a Neve 33609, or a Dramastic Obsidian. They have a Lexicon 224, an AKG spring and a Chorus Echo, and a load of plugins.
The solid microphone collection caters for all high end applications. Plenty enough to comfortably record a simultaneous band without compromise. Industry standard stuff, plus some fantastic extras, such as a Soundelux 251, and Neumann U47, U67 and M149 valve mics.
Here you can can also find proper instruments and amplifiers, a freshly reconditioned Ludwig Super Classic kit, Gibson guitars, Fender and Mesa Boogie amps, a Yamaha Avant grand piano, Yamaha CS80, and a bass station.
The aft cabin has recently been converted into Grand Cru Two.
Studio two is a stylish, beautiful, wood and fabric panelled songwriting suite, constructed from scratch with no compromises as sound-proofed, sound-treated recording studio. It sounds, looks and feels fantastic.
The studio is well air-conditioned (or heated in winter) but also features a continuous through flow of filtered fresh air.
Skylights, portholes and windows flood the space with daylight and frame the views across London's historic St Katherine Docks. Tilt the blinds at night time and the environment changes again... cosy, adventurous, inspiring.
The main workstation has been custom built to house a Deopfer 88 note piano keyboard, the house computer runs well plugin/instrument stocked logic/protools software, there's a Universal Audio LA610, and SSL 2+ feeding Focal's superb new Shape 65 monitors.
A Neumann U87 and/or Share SM7 is always available.
(Other Microphones/Synths/Guitars from the main studio available to hire separately on a daily basis for a small fee)
For clients bringing their own laptops, there's a simple cabling arrangement. One usb cable plugs into your laptop, and that's it. You're up and running and able to get creative in 10 seconds flat.
You're on a boat, in a beautiful marina (with cafes and pubs), with the Thames and Tower bridge just minutes away. Tower Hill tube station is 5 minutes walk, there's an underground car park with pedestrian access to 20 metres from the studio. And with 24 hour security and electronic locking gates, it is gloriously private.