A small sound recording studio hidden in the trees and overlooking the Dumaresq Valley is attracting singers and songwriters from across the country.
Beechwood Studio was designed almost a decade ago by owner Colin Bale who decided it was time to move on from their previous makeshift home studio.
“Either we stop doing what we’re doing or we move out and do it properly,” Mr Bale said.
“So we designed it as one wing of the house.
“It’s fully self-contained and has a really relaxed feel.”
It took a further four years and the help of a professional acoustic engineer to perfect the room’s acoustics according to the sound engineer.
“We used the same guy who does Fox Studios,” Mr Bale said.
The studio often works with local musicians and takes some of the overflow of country music artists from Tamworth.
“We’ve recorded with most of the musicians from the region,” he said.
“Everything from hard rock to classical.”
But last week a 12-piece Chamber Orchestra tested the studio's capability.
Armidale born Jonathan Billingham flew 12 musicians from across Australia in to the studio to record his new album From Hidden Valleys to the Sea.
Mr Bale said it was a real test for the studio.
“This is about the biggest group that we can cater for all at once,” he said.
Mr Bale often runs the whole show alone, but for the Hidden Valley’s album he has enlisted the help of his son Daniel, who is also a sound engineer.
“For the twelve musicians we’ll have over 100 tracks of audio to deal with,” he said.
“We’ve got tracks going everywhere and we’re recording above CD quality so the computer is working really hard.
“The piano has been working so hard we have had the piano tuner in twice.”
Mr Billingham’s work was comissioned by the the Manning Winter Festival.
The main piece depicts water falling as snow on the Barrington Tops then flowing through small rivers and finally out to the sea.
The piano has been working so hard we have had the piano tuner in twice- Sound engineer Colin Bale
“The idea is there is an eagle soaring over the top, seeing all of this,” Mr Billingham said.
The work has been six months in the making Mr Billingham hopes the final product could also be used in schools throughout the region.
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