|THE THIN LINE|
Thin Line, Alan Wilder's studio is set deep in the Sussex countryside
and offers an atmosphere conducive to his unique style of music production.
Conceived as a self-contained, purpose-built programming and recording environment,
it is housed within a large, open-plan building and contains an assortment
of classic analogue and cutting-edge digital recording equipment.
The original property which dates back to the mid. 19th century had suffered from years of ill-conceived alteration, all but draining the building of it's very life force. Alan was moved to resuscitate it, re-creating what he describes as:
"a living, breathing space designed not necessarily for controlled sound but with the feel of a workshop, with plenty of light."
|Under the watchful eye of Wilder, a team of expert builders, electricians and steel workers, spent 6 months gutting, reinforcing and rewiring the site before a spiral staircase and mezzanine bedroom area was constructed, along with a fully equipped stainless-steel kitchen and bathroom.|
converting the cellar to house necessary amplification equipment, the team
discovered a disused underground water tank and ingeniously transformed
it into a drum booth. A specialist lighting company (Box Products)
was commissioned to add the unique atmospheric details.
Finally, Alan called in Kevin Van Green, a professional studio designer, to run all the necessary cabling for the equipment, incorporating a Soundtracs mixing console and Dynaudio monitors, somewhat unusually suspended by chains from the building's steel structure. Alan's arsenal of equipment was rack-mounted within Kevin's unique scaffolding system - a combination of metal frames, sliding work surfaces and extractable pods, customised to contain a range of samplers, synthesizers, tape machines, computers and effects.
The studio decor, which echoes Alan's interest in architecture and interior design, includes carefully thought out details such as chromed bench radiators, a burnished steel fireplace and a 3-piece suite constructed from the seats of his first car, a 1974 Citroen DS.
|He consciously avoids the usual studio accoutrements such as gold discs and photographs with Elton John, but there are personal touches, like a framed print of the 'A Broken Frame' album cover and an assortment of thirties and forties telephones.|
Wilder's characteristic attention to detail in all aspects of his life, ensures that The Thin Line not only lends itself to a minimalist, industrial style but also exudes a unique ambience and personality, preventing it from ever feeling merely a workplace.
"It was always my intention to design this studio so you could simply remove all the gear and be left with a really interesting open-plan building. I particularly like the way the bedroom gallery overlooks the whole room and the floor to ceiling shuttered windows provide fantastic views. The only problem I have is that in the winter, the place is so bloody cold!"
|For more insight into Alan's studio and further information about the equipment he uses, go to media and read the 'Future Music' and 'Sound On Sound' features.|