Jean Nicolson’s recording studio in Ayrshire. Mauchline

The science bit ...

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Inta Audio Music audio computer running Sonar Platinum

Focusrite Liquid Saffire 56 / RME Fireface audio interface

D.A.V. Electronics BG1-U preamp

Audient ASP 880 8 channel preamp

Presonus Studiolive 16.4.2 16 channel firewire for ensemble recording

Monitoring: Adam A77x & Dynaudio BM5As

Beyerdynamic DT880 Pro headphones

Sennheiser HD250 ii headphones

Avantone MixCubes

Cabling: All Sommer cabling with Neutrik connectors

Nicolsound Recording Studio

area acoustically treated to avoid unwanted reflections


Neumann U87 ai

Lewitt LCT 940 combined valve/FET design

SE Electronics Z5600a ll (valve/tube microphone)

Neumann TLM 103 large diaphragm cardioid condenser

Neumann TLM 102 large diaphragm cardioid condenser

Schoeps  CMC6 mk 4 cardioid capsules (stereo pair)

Schoeps mk 8 capsule for mid side

Beyerdynamic MC 930 (stereo pair): small diaphragm condensers

Rode NT5 (stereo pair): small diaphragm condensers

Avantone CR-14 (ribbon microphone)

Cascade X-15 with Lundahl transformers (stereo ribbon microphone)

CAD M179 (stereo pair): variable polar pattern condensers

M-Audio Lunar (large diaphragm cardioid condenser)

Sennheiser E865 (condenser vocal)

Shure SM58s & 57s (workhorse band mics) Shure DMK 57-52 (drum kit mics)

All photographs are of the actual studio

The studio can accommodate a four-piece band or singing group/choir of about twelve.

The room itself has a pleasant ‘live’ sound although for recording vocalists, the studio has an acoustically treated ‘dry’ area as seen below.

Another option is recording on location.

Additional software includes:

Melodyne Editor (advanced pitch correction software)

Lexicon PCM Native Reverb

Izotope Ozone 7 Advanced (for tracking and/or mastering)

Izotope Nectar vocal suite

Various PSP plug-ins (Vintage Warmer/MixPressor2/

Neon/Old Timer/Classic Q/ Noble Q ...)

Fabfilter eq and compression

IK multimedia T-Racks (for tracking and/or mastering)

Audioease Altiverb (convolution reverb software)

Slate Digital All Plugins

East West Quantum Leap Spaces (reverb)

Galaxy Vintage D virtual piano SampleTank 3 (sample library)

Fxpansion BFD 3 (drum sample software)


Kurzweil SP2XS stage piano which has a very good ‘pianist’ feel. This is recorded via midi using sound samples (soft synth) within the computer software. Also Casio Privia 560 stage piano.

Additional hardware includes:

Ibanez bass guitar

Marshall & Vox guitar amps

Various effects units including Lexicon, Dbx (largely made redundant

these days as most processing takes place within the computer software)

Zoom F8 and Zoom H6 for on location recording

Casio Privia 560 stage piano and synth

Allen & Heath ZED 10FX with USB

Photography to capture stills of your recording sessions

Canon EOS 550D

Video Diary footage: Sony FDR-AX100 & Sony PJ 810 camcorders

Nicolsound recording studio is situated in Ayrshire Scotland. 15-20 minutes from Ayr, Kilmarnock, Cumnock, Irvine. Approximately 30 minutes south of Glasgow.


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SE Electronics Z5600A ii