By S Davey
Rocking Horse Studios, the iconic recording establishment in the Byron hinterland, has just had a complete refurbishment and a rocking relaunch.
The studios are situated on a beautiful, undulating 30-hectare property and were originally founded in 1992. The studios have recorded many acclaimed artists including Wolf Mother, The Cruel Sea, Rhubarb, Olivia Newton John, Delta Goodrem, Yothu Yindi and Mental as Anything.
Unlike some recording studios that are black, bleak and windowless, Rocking Horse Studio interiors are warmed by wood finishes, natural light, and have a mood that is open and hip. You can see nature from every doorstep including from the wide covered verandah at the luxurious upper house/main studio complex, or at the nearby lower studio with its lounging furniture facing an outdoor fireplace for fabulous starry nights.
Rocking Horse Studios is a residential recording complex – being able to stay at the studio allows musicians to relax, be undistracted and connect with their band while recording an album – creativity happens when you feel at ease and break out of entrenched patterns. However, you can also rent it as an event venue, or if you just want to hang out.
Most of the accommodation is in the resort-style main house with pool that sits alongside the main studio. Just below the main studio is a large concrete water tank that has been converted into an airy room, which, as well as being a cheaper accommodation option, it is sometimes used as a reverb room.
On the technical side, Rocking Horse uses the Neve V Series console that has been refurbished, optimised and modified to interface with state-of-the-art equipment, giving cutting-edge technology but still retaining the unique qualities of the unit.
With its advanced equipment, cool facilities, unique aesthetic and wide open air to breathe, I want to become a musician just so I can hang out there again!
Splendour in the Grass Triple J Unearthed winners WHARVES at the Rocking Horse launch. Photo by David Taylor.