New studio opens for emerging Mansfield musicians

Simon Hopkinson right with Charlie Myford outside the Electric Bear recording studio on Goodacre Street.
Simon Hopkinson right with Charlie Myford outside the Electric Bear recording studio on Goodacre Street.
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THE BEATLES may have had Abbey Road, but new bands emerging from the Mansfield area are being given the chance to bring their music to masses thanks to a new studio opening up in the town.

Electric Bear Productions is the brainchild of self-confessed music fanatic Simon Hopkinson, who opened the business on Goodacre Street a month ago.

The studio is the first to occupy the new building, and despite being just 20-years-old, Simon has a long-term vision of helping to boost music for Mansfield.

“It’s been a bit of a rush, but it’s great to be up and running,” the former sound engineer explained.

“We’ve had locals bands and artists and bands come to us from all over the country already.

“I did quite a lot of live local shows before and wanted to start my own business.

“Music in this town is not at its best at the moment, venues are shutting down and I’m hoping this will help boost the music scene.

“This has been a dream of mine, I like anything to do with music and this was something that was achievable.”

Along with his teenage assistant, Charlie Myford, they have the set it up in the unlikely surroundings of a housing estate.

But the neighbours have little to fear about noise keeping them awake at night.

The studio is only open during daytime hours, and the young business pair have splashed out on a professional firm to ensure extensive soundproofing for the rooms.

It also took three painstaking days to get the right acoustic balance of the rooms.

But Simon, who can play drums and guitar among other instruments, is happy with the results and is already attracting plenty of interest – even from those who are not musicians.

In the short space of time they have been open, they have had a number of elderly people wanting their precious vinyl records converted into CD.

There have even been requests from engaged couples wishing to record their own tracks to accompany them as they walk down the aisle.

But while all interest is welcome, Simon hopes that studio can help lift the local music scene.

He is already looking to build relationships with the music venues of Mansfield.

“I hope to eventually expand this place and get a bigger thing going in the town,” he said.

“I have a vision of promoting Mansfield and to build it up.

“There are a lot of artists out there, and there are gigs every other night.

“This place could help put people together and keep them in the town.

“This is something I’ve got a passion for.”

Amongst the services available are rehearsal facilities, vinyl and tape to CD transfers, backing track production, mixing and mastering, equipment hire and for up-and-coming bands, promotion through the company’s contacts, website and Facebook account.

The live room is a 155-sq ft acoustically-treated, double-skinned soundproofed room, and has a glass viewing window which is situated between the control room and live room. The live room has been designed to achieve perfect room acoustics for many recording and rehearsing applications.

They have an in-house drum kit for rehearsal and recording use which is regularly maintained, while the live room can be kitted out with a vocal PA system, guitar amps/stacks and other necessary equipment to suit a band’s needs.

The 34-sq ft professional control room includes state-of-the-art digital and analogue multi-track recording equipment.

Simon added: “The control room has been designed to have a clean, crisp audio response, enabling an ambient noise level of 20 dba at times – perfect for mixing and mastering a wide range of audio.”

And while software for home computers continues to improve, and with many artists opting to record and mix their own music, Simon says there’s no substitute for professional recording.

“Everyone seems to be using computers at home these days, it can be a bit technical and the acoustics of the room won’t sound the same as using a studio,” he said.