Recording at Studio Bell

A boutique style recording environment, NMC studios are uniquely positioned in a class of their own. We invite you to experiment, perform and record in one of the most unique recording environments in the world.

The studio environments include three control rooms, three live rooms, three isolation booths, one live music venue, and access to over 300 musical instruments spanning 450 years of music technology.

Record using one of three historic analogue consoles in any combination of adjoining live rooms. Each live room is designed to have its own sound and has a selection of historic musical instruments suited for the uniquely designed spaces.

The recording facilities at Studio Bell were designed to provide artists access through NMC artist in residence programs. The facilities will also be made available for limited commercial access. Revenue raised through commercial access will directly benefit the care and preservation of this unique living collection.

Rolling Stones Mobile

Conceived by the Rolling Stones tour manager Ian Stewart, the Rolling Stones Mobile (RSM) was an innovation previously unseen in recording technology. The mobility and flexibility of the recording equipment allowed the truck to capture some of the most iconic recordings ever made. The RSM is now adjacent to the King Eddy stage, a historic live music venue, where it can record directly from the stage or connect to one of three unique Live Rooms, each with its own sound and available historic musical instruments.


Custom Helios Recording Console

This classic British recording console was built in 1968 by Olympic Studios chief technician Dick Swettenham. The console was later upgraded in 1973. As the second Helios console ever built, it is difficult to quantify the historic significance of this piece of recording technology. Artists such as Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Fleetwood Mac, The Who, Bob Marley, Iron Maiden, Frank Zappa and Santana all recorded seminal albums using the RSM.

  • 25 Helios mic/Line Inputs with 3 band EQ, Filter and Inserts
  • 7 Helios mic/Line Inputs
  • 48 Tape Returns
  • 53 Inputs to mix buss
  • 24 Mono multitrack busses with pan
  • 2 Mono cue send
  • 4 Mono effect sends with 3 band EQ
  • 4 Mono effects returns
  • 2 24 Track Return cue mixes


Facility Connectivity

  • 24 Mic Lines to Studio Facility
  • 24 Mic lines from King Eddy stage split
  • 16 Tie Lines
  • 16 Channel Aviom cue system
  • Custom visual communication CCTV system
  • 32 Analog I/O to DAW, 2X 24 Analog I/O to Tape, 4 Stereo Analog 2 Track I/O
  • 5 Speaker level tie lines


Outboard Equipment

Compressors: 2X F60o Helios (A+D) Limiters (Built into Console), 4X F760 Helios (A+D) Compressors (Built into Console)

Monitoring

Main/Soffit Monitors are Dyna Audio M1 Custom Speakers powered by Altec Solid State Amplifiers.

Alternative Monitor choices include; Yamaha Ns-10’s, Yamaha HS8, Dynaudio BM MkII, and Alesis Monitor One.


Control Room A

Control Room A is NMC’s largest control room and is centered around a historic Trident (Triad) A Range Console. Featuring beautiful views of downtown Calgary including the Saddledome, Control Room A offers a relaxed and comfortable working environment best suited for larger production teams. Fully wired to the rest of the facility, Control Room A is equally suited for large tracking or mixing sessions. Control Room A is also adjacent to an intimate isolation booth.


Trident A Range Console

This 1975 British recording console is the fifth of only 13 ever made. These legendary consoles are responsible for some of the most classic records of all time. Artists such as David Bowie, Elton John, Queen, Rush and Metallica have all made legendary recordings with a Trident A Range Console.

  • 34 Mic/Line inputs with 4 band EQ, filters and inserts
  • 24 Tape returns with 2 band EQ and inserts
  • 58 Inputs to mix buss
  • 8 Stereo multitrack busses with pan
  • 4 Stereo cue/ multitrack buss with pan
  • 6 Mono effect sends with 2 band EQ


Facility Connectivity

  • 48 Mic lines
  • 24 Tie lines
  • 16 Channel Aviom cue system
  • Custom visual communication CCTV system
  • 32 Analog I/O to DAW, 24 Analog I/O to Tape, 4 Stereo Analog 2 Track I/O
  • 28 Channels of AES to Machine Room and 3 Word Clock sends with 1 Word Clock Return
  • 5 Speaker level tie lines


Outboard Equipment

Compressors: 2X F760 Helios (A+D), 2X UREI 1176’s (REV F), 2X UREI LA3A, 2X PYE Compressors, Purple Audio MC77, 2X API 525 (vintage), 2X DBX 520

Equalizers: 2X API 550b (vintage), 2X API 553(vintage), API 553(vintage),10X Langevin 251 Passive EQ, Pultec EQP-1A3, Pultec MEQ-3 2X Pultec EQH2

Effects: 2X Eventide H910, 2X Eventide H949, 2X Eventide H969, MXR Pitch Transposer, Lexicon PCM 80, Eventide SP2016 (vintage), Tie lines and Remote to EMT 140 Solid State Plate


Monitoring

Main/Soffit Monitors: State of the Art CF-750’s powered by Revolution Custom Shop modified Bespoke Amplifiers.

Alternative Monitor choices include; Yamaha Ns-10’s, Yamaha HS8, Dynaudio BM MkII, and Alesis Monitor One.


Control Room B

Centered around a one-of-a-kind custom built analog console built for Olympic Studios in London England, Studio B offers an intimate and comfortable working environment best suited for smaller production teams. Fully integrated into the rest of the facility, Studio B is equally suited for large tracking or mixing sessions. Studio B is adjacent to an intimate isolation booth and can be connected to one of three unique Live Rooms, each with its own sound and available historic musical instruments.


Olympic Studios Custom Recording Console

This classic British recording console was conceived by Olympic Studios chief engineer Keith Grant. Built in 1977 by the technical staff at Olympic Studios, this console was the replacement for the iconic Studio A Console. The Studio and console designs are responsible for much of the timeless music recorded in the 1960s and 1970s. Artists such as The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, The Kinks and David Bowie all recorded at Olympic. This was due to the studio’s reputation for having extremely high quality custom-built recording equipment and a staff of recording engineers that were some of the best in the business.

  • 24 Discrete custom Olympic mic/line inputs with 3 band EQ, filters and inserts
  • 16 Custom made Raindirk mic/line inputs with 4 band parametric EQ, filters and inserts
  • 24 tape returns
  • 44 Inputs to mix buss
  • 24 Mono multitrack busses with pan
  • 3 Mono cue send
  • 4 Mono effect sends with 3 band EQ
  • 2 24 Track return cue mixes


Facility Connectivity

  • 48 Mic lines
  • 24 Tie lines
  • 16 Channel Aviom cue system
  • Custom visual communication CCTV system
  • 32 Analog I/O to DAW, 24 Analog I/O to Tape, 4 Stereo Analog 2 Track I/O
  • 28 Channels of AES and 3 Word Clock sends with 1 Word Clock Return to Machine Room
  • 5 level tie lines


Outboard Equipment

Compressors: 8X F60oA+D Limiters (built into console), Trident MTG Stereo Compressor/Limiter

Equalizers: RCA Passive Filter, 2X Trident CB9066 Parametric

Effects: Digitech RDS500, Yamaha R1000, MXR Pitch Transposer, Lexicon PCM 60, Lexicon PCM 70, Tie lines and Remote to EMT 140 Solid State Plate


Monitoring

Main/Soffit Monitors: State of the Art CF-750’s powered by Revolution Custom Shop modified Bespoke Amplifiers.

Alternative Monitor choices include; Yamaha Ns-10’s, Yamaha HS8, Dynaudio BM Compact MkII, and Alesis Monitor One.


Live Rooms

The Live Rooms designed by Martin Pilchner of Pilchner Schoustal International Inc. blend modern design and convenience with access to hundreds of historic instruments and pieces of music technology. Within these inspiring three Live Rooms, artists have the freedom to create new sounds and record through a range of options.

“The studio design juxtapositions materials and assemblies that pay homage to historic approaches, with unique modern topology and composition yielding a facility that honors the past by looking forward.” — Martin Pilchner


Live Room A

NMC’s largest recording space provides the most amount of flexibility acoustically and functionally. Acoustically, Live Room A has the largest decay time of all the NMC recording spaces. This can be altered by drawing curtains on the west wall, which cover the large reflective wood panels and in turn lessen the decay time of the room. The main recording space features two collapsible isolation booths. Each of these booths provide adequate acoustic isolation from the main recording space and provide musicians with excellent sight lines to other players in the main space. The room features four mic panels within the room providing comprehensive connectivity to the rest of the facility.

Facility Connectivity

  • 72 Mic lines
  • 32 Tie lines
  • 5 Speaker level tie lines
  • 16 Channel Aviom cue system
  • Custom visual communication CCTV system


Live Room B

Acoustically dead Live Room B complements NMC’s other recording spaces as an alternative acoustic option. This space features a unique selection of electronic instruments from NMC’s collection. Instruments on the perimeter of this space are plugged in and ready to audition, allowing musicians to quickly access a palette of sounds that spans 60 years of music technology. This space can be used as a standalone recording space using our portable recording setup or in conjunction with the rest of the facility.

Facility Connectivity

  • 32 Mic lines
  • 16 Tie lines
  • Midi tie lines from south wall to north wall
  • 16 Channel Aviom cue system
  • Custom visual communication CCTV system


Live Room C

Live Room C is our second largest recording space. Considered the medium live room, this space features acoustics that have some decay time, but are less than that of Live Room A. This space features a selection of NMC’s acoustic instrument collection, allowing artists to engage with over 450 years of music technology. This space can be used as a standalone recording space using our portable recording setup or in conjunction with the rest of the facility.

Facility Connectivity

  • 32 Mic lines
  • 16 Tie lines
  • 2 Speaker level tie lines
  • 16 Channel Aviom cue system
  • Custom visual communication CCTV system


Historic Instruments

All Live Rooms come with a selection of working historic instruments from the NMC Collection which are maintained by in-house technicians. For the most up to date list of instruments available in these recording spaces please download the relevant PDF:

Live Room A Instrument List
Live Room B Instrument List
Live Room C Instrument List
Microphone and Accessory List

Due to the historic nature of the collection some instruments are subject to availability based on current condition and maintenance status. For more information please fill out the studio booking request form located on the recording studio web page.


Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre

Amplifying the love, sharing, and understanding of music.

Studio Bell:
850 4 Street SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1R1

NMC Office:
300—851 4 Street SE
Calgary, AB T2G 1P2
More Information

Hours of Operation:
Wednesday to Sunday
10:00 am – 5:00 pm*

Contact:
T 403.543.5115
info@studiobell.ca
*Open 7 days per week May 16–September 3.

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