The studio at Sans Walk Spoken Word was built in 2005 as a dedicated facility for audiobooks and other spoken-word recordings.
Over the years, the founders have worked as audiobook producers in many voice studios around the UK, and some abroad. We knew from our own experience what works and what doesn’t, and wanted to incorporate best practice into our own facility.
We wanted a ‘BBC Radio’ sound, and specified reverb time accordingly. And of course we looked for a location that is central, but peaceful enough for continuous recording without any risk of disturbances from aircraft, train or traffic noise, thunder, sheep bleating, footsteps from above, persistent birdsong or the clip-clop of horses hooves (yes, between us we have had sessions disturbed by all of those over the years).
We knew it must be possible to run with air conditioning on throughout the session, which is by no means a given in many studios. The recording space and the control room had to be independently controlled (in so many studios, either the reader freezes or the control room swelters – why does no one ever remember the heat gain from the equipment when planning a studio?).
The reputation of some studios seems to be related more to the espresso coffee machine and the leather sofa than the recording equipment. While we do have rather a good coffee machine, and the sofa is leather, we wanted quiet, intimate recordings with presence and good dynamic range, so we chose our recording equipment very carefully.
We think we achieved our aims, and so, it seems, do the many publishers, producers and readers who enjoy working with us.
Details of how we did it and the equipment we use are here.