Youth first seeded the idea for this outstanding residential recording studio in 1993 when in New Zealand recording Crowded House. He and the band built a studio in a residence located next to a beach. The elemental nature of the house and its setting had a dramatic effect on both band and crew, so much so that the crew stayed on indefinitely after recording had finished. The house remains a recording studio to this day.
Another vital influence was Butterfly Studios in Brixton, which too was built by Youth. Space Mountain is described as the Karmic legacy of Butterfly, with many similar features throughout the studio and house.
The recording studio at Space Mountain was built by Olympic Studios' Terry Ottley and inspired by the legendary Sam Toyoshima designed Olympic Studio 2, with other influences taken from a number of Youth's favourite rooms that he has worked in over a 30 year career in music.
"I had spent many years in Olympic and Studio 2 was my favourite sounding room in the world and Studio 3 the best Mix control room ever. So, my vision was a combination of these rooms, filled with some vintage Guitars and amps I have personally collected. Add a valve console, put it all together and this is my dream environment for writing, recording and mixing. I have enjoyed almost 10 years of success with the studio as a private studio and now comes the time to share it with the world." - Youth
The studio is situated beneath the lounge, past the Hobbit wing and other bedrooms. On entering you are greeted by the gloriously lit live room with full length windows that can be fully opened in warm weather, depending on what is being recorded. The main live space is the perfect size for recording bands. It has a wooden floor and a small stone walled area at the opposite end to the control room, which serves as a great home for the studio's Pearl DLX drum kit.
To the left of the live room are three isolation booths providing plenty of options for separation. The booths are packed full of backline - the guitars, bass guitars, amps and effects are all available to clients - and with their large glass doors are fully visible from the main recording room.
The control room is a compact but fantastic-sounding space. The windows on the left side of the room allow plenty of daylight in, and also provide spectacular views of Space Mountain's surroundings. Working through the day you can witness the ever changing environment of this mystical location. TA glass divide separated the control room from the live space, meaning producers and engineers will have good visual contact with bands.
At the centre of the control room is the valve 32 channel TL Audio VTC console. The speaker wall contains some brilliant Genelec 1039a large studio monitors which complement the active Mackie monitors. At the back of the room is an outboard rack including Focusrite, Urei, DBX and Lexicon models, as well as a two seater sofa in the prime listening position...
Behind the control room is another kitchen that saves clients from having to go back upstairs to the house. This can also double up as a fourth isolated recording area.