Welcome to my Melbourne recording studio

Studio Features

Studio Features

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CONTROL ROOM

Features separate producer and client work zones along with large client lounge. Genelec monitors (stereo & 5.1 surround) have been carefully calibrated to provide accurate and fatigue free monitoring. Good coffee.

studio 1

A versatile recording space with low reflections. 12 mic inputs and multiple headphone sends. Double glazed doors for direct line of sight through to the control room, plus a video link to Studio 2. Did I mention good coffee?

studio 2

More top end reflection makes this ideal for drums – also great for strings and vocals. 12 mic inputs (making 24 in total) and multiple headphone sends. A large triple glazed window looks right into the control room and a video link can be used to see Studio 1. I often record ensembles using both rooms and sometime even the control room to ensure good separation.

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recording system

  • 12 core Mac Pro with Logic Pro X
  • Motu 24 I/O providing 24 simultaneous mic/line inputs
  • Mics include Neumann, AKG, Sennheiser, CAD, Shure & Beyer
  • Analogue 32 channel Allen & Heath desk
  • Avalon, Pultech & Golden Age pre-amps
  • Focusrite & Joe Meek compressors

remote recording

Source Connect Pro allows me to record vocalists or instrumentalists from any corner of the globe, at full bandwidth and no risk of dropouts. Zoom is also integrated into the studio – enabling co-producers or other band members to contribute remotely to the recording as it happens live.
Coffee not available.

instruments

As a multi-instrumentalist, I have plenty of toys to play with including acoustic & electric guitars, fretted & fretless basses, my Yamaha C6 grand piano, mandolin, flutes & whistles and assorted percussion, plus a vast collection of high quality samples including full orchestras.

what sets this studio apart?

It’s not too hard to find a well equipped Melbourne recording studio. These days with a PC and a good mic, you’ve already got more recording power than studios of a few decades ago. Today more than ever it’s the person behind the controls that makes all the difference. At Robyn Payne’s recording studio you get not only a professionally designed and equipped studio, but most importantly you get Robyn, a highly skilled and experienced music producer and engineer who as a musician can talk your language and ensure a great result.

Gallery

Gallery

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Studio

FAQ

I’ve seen some studios that charge a lower rate than yours. Will I get something extra if I come to you?

Absolutely, I’ll explain… Earlier in my career I used to work as a session musician in Melbourne’s best studios with highly experienced and technically proficient engineers. After I’d put my parts down I would stay on and sit with the engineer, keen to learn all I could about recording techniques, compression, EQ and so on. However when it came to the way they ran the session and their communication with the musicians, I’d often think to myself “you don’t know what’s going on.” The sessions would be long and drawn out, everyone would be getting tired and I knew why. The engineers had a deep understanding of audio, but not of music.

When I engineer a session, I bring not only my audio engineering skills but also my skills as a multi-instrumental musician, arranger and producer. I can guide and control the recording session and communicate with musicians in their language. This results in a greater amount of quality recording before people start to fatigue. With less time taken, the final cost can easily end up being less than the “cheaper” studio.

A recording session with 1) my guidance and 2) everyone being fresh will not only result in 1) a more productive session, but 2) you’ll likely get a better end product.

Do you have a drum booth? What are the acoustics of your rooms?

Studio 2 is where I record drums. It has a nice amount of live reflection with a timber floor and a degree of adjustability with the use of mats and moveable absorbers. Sometimes I’ll choose to open Studio 2 onto a short adjacent hallway with mics at the end of the hall – this adds a lovely natural room reverb and is great if I’m after a big rock sound. Drummers frequently compliment me on the drum sound.

Studio 1 is more of a dead room (less reflection). I specifically wanted this as it’s much easier to add reverb than take it away. The different acoustics of the two rooms gives me all the flexibility I need to record everything from vocals, to drums, to strings, to brass and… even harp!

My band are used to performing together and don’t want to put down our parts one at a time. Is your studio big enough for us to record together?

Unless you’re an unusually large band, this is no problem. My studio has 2 separate rooms which are acoustically treated and sound proofed, with large windows to the control room and a video link between the studios. The largest band I’ve recorded at the same time whilst achieving good acoustic isolation between instruments was an 8 piece funk band. Really it all depends on the line up, so best to call me and we can chat about your specific needs.

Some people say that analogue (reel-to-reel) is better than digital. What do you use?

When I first started recording, reel-to-reel multi-track recording was the only option. I’ve worked in studios with 2-inch 24-track Studers, sometimes synched to get 48 tracks – these were massive complicated rigs and hugely expensive. My earlier studios had various reel to reel and later hybrid systems which incorporated SMPTE sync tracks running midi sequencers. I’ve still got my tape splicing blocks and razor blades! Over time the hybrid systems changed to full digital recording. Today I use Logic Pro X with a Motu 24I/O, which enables me to record up to 24 mic or line inputs simultaneously, reminiscent of the old 24-track studio days.

So having spent many years working with both analogue and digital recording systems I can say that there is a lot of mythology regarding analogue. Both sound great and if your tape machine is properly maintained and setup I challenge anyone to be able to distinguish one from the other. Tape has many practical and cost disadvantages, with no benefits over digital that I have found. However, it’s possible to get a certain ‘sound’ out of tape if you know what you’re doing and know how to get it, but it’s a subtle thing to hear. Today’s digital systems are mind blowing by comparison with editing and recording features that were unimaginable back in the reel-to-reel days. They save time, money and enable unlimited creativity.

My multi-track recording system is proudly digital, however there are opportunities to introduce the warmth of analogue and valves into the recording path as desired. I still use my 32 channel analogue British Allen & Heath desk for tracking (recording) as I love its preamps. And of course various valve pre-amps and mics all add their own distinctive levels of analogue goodness.

We are only available to record after work and weekends. What are your hours?

I’m available both evenings and weekends. My studio is in a residential area and whilst it is well insulated I still like to be mindful of my neighbours so I avoid recording loud instruments beyond 8pm.