Associated Independent Recording
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Since 1969 AIR has operated its own professional audio recording facilities.
AIR's first facility was on the fourth floor of 214 Oxford Street, containing four studios, and later a MIDI programming room. The facility included two large studios (one 58×32 feet, the other 30×28 feet) and two small ones. The studios contained two Bösendorfer pianos, many soundproof booths, and a 56-channel mixing console, custom-designed by Neve to AIR's specification. During 1987 they also purchased two Fairlight CMI III models (at a cost of £35,000 each) for the burgeoning Midi Suite. They also were early adopters of then new fully Midi integrated ATARI STf for Midi control and sequencing using the grand-daddy of modern day Cubase - Steinberg's Pro 24 III. This setup was used often as a stand-in during the frequent Fairlight CMI downtimes.
The company built another recording studio on the Caribbean island of Montserrat in the 1970s. In 1986, the facility was described as such:
- "Recently refurbished control room now featuring 60 channels by SSL with automation and TR and 12 fully integrated channels by Rupert Neve of Focusrite, two 32track Mitsubishi X850 digital machines and 24track Studer A800. Digital mixing on two Mitsubishi X86. Very comprehensive ancillary equipment list."
Jimmy Buffett recorded Volcano at the Montserrat studio in May 1979, naming the album and its title song for the then dormant Soufrière Hills volcano on the island. Elton John recorded three albums at the Montserrat studio in the 1980s. Dire Straits recorded their successful Brothers in Arms album between 1984 and 1985. Duran Duran recorded one of their biggest albums, Rio, during January and February 1982. Other artists such as Paul McCartney, Rush, The Police (Ghost in the Machine and Synchronicity), Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Midge Ure, Little River Band, Sheena Easton, Luther Vandross, and Supertramp have also recorded albums there.
The Montserrat facility was closed after being severely damaged by Hurricane Hugo in 1989. The buildings are still standing and their roofs are intact. The facility is now a modern ruin and a tourist attraction which can be visited with or without a guide.
AIR Lyndhurst Hall
In 1991 AIR Studios took over Lyndhurst Hall, a Grade II listed building designed by Alfred Waterhouse, located in the Hampstead suburb of northern London. The space was revamped as a recording facility and opened for business in December 1992. AIR Lyndhurst is now a key London facility for classical and popular recordings, as well as film scores, television post-production, and dialogue, sound effects and music for video games.