Pt 26 – Snap! Studios…The First 3 Years

Only three years since opening, Snap has been awarded the prestigious Music Producer’s Guild ‘Studio Of The Year’ award for 2013, joining a prestigious tradition that includes Abbey Road, Core, Air Lyndhurst, Eastcote and British Grove.

I can honestly say that we were amazed to be nominated, and it was beyond any expectations to actually win the award. We had no such ambitions at the outset of the project.

So what, then, were our ambitions?

SNAP! is the child of Funky Junk and shares a simple ethos – music matters because music enriches lives. Recording technology is a means to an end, a vehicle for creative, talented minds.

We set out to achieve the best possible results from a limited budget and a collection of personal recording equipment. In place of a bloated bank account, we relied upon a talented pool of people, careful planning and our years of experience working in to studios and advising and assisting clients with projects. Central to the success of the project were Marco Pasquariello who worked round the clock to project manage the build and then slipped seamlessly into the chief engineer’s chair, Claire McKone, who consistently pulled a financial quart from a pint-sized bank balance to ensure all the bills were paid promptly, Adam Crowe adding his digital expertise to my analogue knowledge and Funky’s techs, Steve Culnane, Dave Way and Adam Pope, who applied their soldering irons to a top-flight installation, painstakingly ensuring that every piece of gear was and remains in first-class condition. The rest of the Funky team piled in whenever more hands or talents were required and friends ranging from Fritz of Blueprint to Rob Haggas and Harry Day of Westwick provided invaluable technical advice and services.

Just as important as the team that nursed SNAP! into life are the clients who have supported us since opening. Indeed, the throughput of talent has justified our experiment and proved the value of always going the extra yard to provide technical and acoustic excellence and a human service. I can honestly say that I can’t think of a single session that has been less than stimulating. In that respect, we’ve been privileged to host some of the most creative talents around. If our experience is anything to go by, the more esoteric fringes of rock, pop and jazz are alive, well and most definitely kicking.

I’m gratified by the MPG award, which I believe goes beyond recognising our particular merits. I feel that it recognises the value of talent, planning, forethought and commitment over and above financial muscle. The award acknowledges that it’s possible for almost anyone to shoot for the moon, irrespective of means.

Yes, maybe we had an insane dream, a desire to offer musicians top-flight studio facilities at an affordable price, a desire to prove that experience, hard work and a talented team could compensate for deep pockets, a desire to show what Funky could offer our clients by doing it ourselves rather than making empty claims. And in that respect, SNAP! has provided a blueprint for subsequent successful studio projects as far apart as China, Russia and South Africa as well as here in the UK. But nowhere in that inflated dream was ever the slightest thought that our peers in the recording industry would recognise our achievement in the way they have. And for that, we can only thank the best bunch of clients any studio could hope for, many of whom have become friends.

But we’re always looking forwards, not back. Our goal has always been and will always be to constantly improve, to experiment with the best new technology and incorporate those pieces of gear, vintage or modern, that add to the creative arsenal of our clients. Where we can improve, we will. Where we can help small labels or developing talent enjoy the best production values on a limited budget, we will. And where we can make the recording process as enjoyable and, crucially, as creative as possible, we will.

SNAP!, like Funky Junk, is about music and people over and beyond technology per se. Thanks to the MPG for recognising this. Hopefully the message that independents still have a place in an increasingly corporate world will not be lost to the wider industry.

The MPG award is humbly received. But our greatest honour is the quality of musicians, producers and engineers who have adopted SNAP! as an important part of their working world.

Eccentric. 07.03.2013.