John Rivers runs one of the UK’s longest established independent recording studios, Woodbine Street. A good number of musical heavyweights, including The Specials, Buzzcocks and Paul Weller are notches on his studio door jamb, due in no small part to his commitment to constant reinvestment “…to keep the equipment cutting edge for the benefit of our artists.” To that end, he recently replaced his Audient ASP8024 mixing console for …another ASP8024!
“beautiful, pure sound, excellent EQ, crazy low noise and a very good price”
“My first ASP8024 was purchased in the first year of production,” he says, which means it was probably of drinking age, before it was finally time to replace it. Rivers describes the decision to buy the same model as “a no-brainer”, citing “beautiful, pure sound, excellent EQ, crazy low noise and a very good price,” as just some of the reasons behind his choice.
Producer, engineer and studio owner, Rivers started off with a premises in Woodbine St, before moving to his current site on the other side of Leamington Spa in 1981. In fact, he’d been dabbling in recording since he was 10. “It started with surplus equipment, an old Sony tape machine and a home-made desk. After a couple of years of getting increasing requests to record artists – in my living room! – I invested in a Tascam 4-track ¼” tape machine and a MM desk. My first LP, The Fight of the Day by Waterfall became a valuable collectable, prompting the band to release it on CD only a few years ago.
“be flexible and listen to the artist. It’s their record.”
“After investing in a Soundcraft Series II desk and 8-track 1”, there was hardly a day went by when a Woodbine production wasn’t on the radio. This culminated in my biggest hit of that time, Ghost Town by The Specials,” he continues. “After moving to the current site, we’ve recorded with The Specials, Dead Can Dance, Love and Rockets, Buzzcocks, Dr Robert featuring Paul Weller, Ocean Colour Scene and many, many more lovely artists!”
With such a broad and diverse back catalogue, John has a wealth of experience to draw on. One of the best pieces of advice he has been given, was: “Don’t be a dictator; be flexible and listen to the artist. It’s their record.” It seems to have worked for him so far. Audient is pretty confident that Rivers will get at least a couple of decades out of his latest ASP8024, enabling him to provide repeat business to his client base. “It makes me proud when an artist goes away happy and then comes back to record again.”