Livingston 1 is one of the best London studios for recording drums. It has three recording areas that can accommodate drums all with their own different drum sound. The main drum room is quite a dead sounding room but it has plenty of room around the kit and available head room givng the drum sound a sense of air. You can also open the glass doors into the bright reflective live room and add some ambient mics. The back room is a much brighter room with tiles on the walls and wood on the floor. This produces a much liver drum sound.
The studio comes with a house kit, a 1966 Ludwig Hollywood Kit (a small daily charge applies). Most people will know of the reputation of Ludwig drums, famously used by Ringo Starr from a little known 60s Liverpudlian band, and later by John Bonham of Led Zeppelin. They sound fantastic, warm and responsive with a lovely dark tone from the thin three ply mahogany, poplar and maple shells with maple reinforcing hoops. Made before music became really amplified and loud, these drums were designed to sound good rather than generate loads of volume and as such they are wonderfully full and tonal, especially when recorded and mic'd up.
This particular Ludwig kit is from 1966 and comprises a 22" x 14" kick drum, 13" x 9" and 12" x 8" rack toms and a 16" x 16" floor tom. It's in a rather fetching red sparkle finish, though you might not be able to tell from the sound. We also provide a classic Ludwig 400 snare drum along with Sabian HHX Legacy cymbals.
We recently recorded the Ludwig for our partner company Drumdrops and you can hear it on a Folk Rock drum track album called Folk Rock Drops Volume 1. The kit was recorded by Phill Brown with a 5 mic setup in the font dead room of Livingston. The drum tracks can be purchased as multi-tracks, stems and drum loops. Have a listen to how Livington 1 and the house kit sounds on this drum track album.
To hear the drum sound of the brighter live room listen to Folk Rock Drops Volume 2. We recorded this album on a modern day Gretsch kit with multiple close mics. Again this kit was recorded by Phill Brown. Although this kit is not available to use at Livingston it will give you a good idea of how the brighter live room sounds.
Livingston 1 is an extremely versatile drum studio. With a variety of acoustic rooms you can get many different drum sounds. To use the Ludwig Hollywood kit at Livingston 1 just let the bookings team know prior to your session.