The Reid Studio – Bristo Square, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Reid Studio

The studio is housed in the basement of the Reid Hall in Edinburgh’s central Bristo Square and has point-to-point cabling from the hall above to the mixing desk/patch bays. It was designed in 2009/2010 by Michael Edwards, Kevin Hay, and several expert postgraduate students and colleagues. Funds of £120k (UKP) were generously provided by the University of Edinburgh College of Humanities and Social Science and the School of Arts, Culture & Environment. A truly amazing Live room to have above you and yes the organ works!

liveThe design/installation stage team were (A-Z):

  • Mike Cullen, planning committee
  • Michael Edwards, project manager
  • Owen Green, acoustic design, installation
  • Kevin Hay, studio manager, planning committee & installation
  • Vangelis Lympouridis, planning committee
  • Arnold Meyers, planning committee
  • Martin Parker, planning committee
  • Jules Rawlinson, planning committee
  • Sean Williams, planning committee, installation
Studio Equipment:

Based around the SSL AWS 900+ SE super-analogue mixing desk, our approach in designing the studio was to offer the best in analogue and digital recording and processing for both stereo and 5.1 surround applications. An inclusive view of software environments was key, hence we purchased the usual suspects, ProTools HD, Nuendo, Ableton Live, and Logic Pro digital audio workstations. To guarantee the most transparent translations between the digital and analogue domains we have 24 channels of  AD/DA conversion from Mytek.

For a fuller list of things that the studio had please continue reading. Some people really get off on kit list sort’ve things but to me the main attraction was the live space, you just can’t cheat an amazing room. That coupled with the quiet basement below, the fantastic central location and vibe was a winner. You could fit a full orchestra in there and we did on many occasions as well as having seating for about 300 people. I miss working here sometimes but feel lucky to have spent many happy hours here making music, recording, mixing and performing.



Anyway here’s the list:

  • SSL AWS 900+ SE 24 channel mixing desk
  • PMC 5.1 surround monitors
  • TC Electronic System 6000 with surround reverb and MDX5.1 mastering dynamics and EQ
  • Manley Massive Passive 4-band stereo valve EQ
  • DAV BG3 stereo mastering EQ
  • Vertigo VSC-2 stereo compressor
  • Cranesong STC-8 Discreet Class A Compressor Limiter
  • Drawmer Mercenary 1968 Stereo Compressor
  • Eventide Eclipse stereo 96KHz FX processor
  • 3x Mytek 8×192 AD/DA convertors, 2 with ProTools HD DIO cards
  • Apple 2×4 core 2.26GHz Xeon, 12Gb RAM, 3TB disc, 24″ Apple cinema display, 32″ NEC display
  • Digidesign HD1 PCIe Pro Tools HD Core System
  • Lynx AES16e-SRC 16-channel PCIe digital audio card
  • TC Electronic Konnekt 32 digital patchbay and Firewire sound card
  • x3 TC Electronic Fireworx multi-effects processor
  • EMT 140st stereo plate reverb (oh yes indeed, she was a bit fussy and noisy but still singing like a champ)
  • Studer A80RC 1/4″ 2-track analogue tape recorder, 7.5 and 15ips
  • Radial OX8 Eight Channel 3-way Mic Splitter with Jensen transformers
  • Klark-Technik Reverb
  • 4x BSS AR-133 Active DI Box
  • Sonifex RB-HD6 6 channel headphone amp
  • Sennheiser HD 650 headphones
  • Fender Blues Junior Tube Guitar Amp Combo
  • HHB Udp89 Universal Disc Player
  • 2x SE Reflexion Filter
  • 6x isolation panels 120x180cm
  • Herman Miller Aeron chair
  • Samson Powerbrite mains switch and conditioner
  • Hear Technologies Extreme Extender ADAT to CAT5 convertor for digital connection from hall to studio
  •  Microphones
    • 2x Neumann U89 (omni/cardioid/wide cardioid/hyper cardioid/fig8)
    • 3x Schoeps MK6 (omni/cardioid/fig8)
    • 3x Schoeps MK2 (omni)
    • 2x DPA 4061 (miniature omni)
    • 2x Electrovoice RE-20 (dynamic cardioid)
    • 2x AKG C 414 B-XLS (omni/wide cardioid/hyper cardioid/fig8)
    • 2x Sennheiser MD421 Mk2 (dynamic cardioid)
    • 4x Shure SM57 (dynamic cardioid)
  • Also available upon request
    • DAV BG8 8x mic pre-amps
    • API 3124 4x mic pre-amps
  • Software
    • Nuendo
    • Pro Tools
    • Logic Pro
    • Ableton Live
    • Altiverb Surround Convolution

The Digital I/O AES-EBU rack:

Filled with Mytek convertors and the renowned TC System 6000 mastering grade (whatever that means to you) DSP beast



It was a challenge building this studio as well as a dirty one. Crawling in the cavities throughout this old stone building was a messy dusty expedition in to the unknown but as ever it was more than worth it. There’s nothing quite like the satisfaction gained when you turn it all on, line and phase test, to discover that it was all behaving just as planned! Yeeeha! Go get the mics….



Further reading here