Our Story

Toolmakers Recording Studio is a stunning vintage recording studio set up by recording engineer Nathan Bailey, based in a former Sheffield tool factory. TRS has both analogue and digital capabilities, providing the best of both worlds during recording, mixing and mastering.

  • The spacious, acoustic treated live room has high vaulted ceilings, bringing your recordings to life.
  • The control room is custom built and acoustically treated with hand made absorption panels and diffusion.

The studio opened its doors to the public in January 2016. Nathan’s aim was to preserve the Sheffield tool-making heritage and install an aesthetically pleasing, creative studio capable of pristine recording, mixing and mastering.

Nathan has recently worked with Joe Green (Milburn & Black Lantern Drumming), O Captain (Alya Records), Stop Drop Robot (DMF) and many more.

Toolmakers Studio is also home to Toolmakers Live Sessions, producing live video sessions with high quality studio audio.

Equipment we have:

Microphones:
2 x SE Electronics SE2200T (tube microphone)
AKG D112
3 x Shure Sm 57
3 x AKG D5
Rode NT-1a
Shure PG 52
Sony F98
3 x Shure PG 56
2 x Shure PG 81
Sampson CO1

Preamps:
8 x Focusrite Saffire
8 x Focusrite Octopre
2 x Hairball audio Copper (Neve)

Interface and AD/DA
Focusrite Saffire pro 40

Computer:
Mac Pro 5.1 3.46 GHz 6 core Intel Xeon. 16gb RAM
Macbook Pro 2.2GHz intel core i7. 8GB Ram.
Logic Pro X
Reason 7
Ableton Live 8
Waves Plugins
Slate digital Plugins
Izotope Ozone 6
Valhalla DSP Plugins
Native Instruments Plugins

Monitoring:
KRK Rokit 6 Nearfield Monitors
Peavey Pv12 Floor Wedges x4
Peavey Pv1500 power amplifier
Sony MDR-7506
Sennheiser HD 215
T Bone HD880 x 5
Art HeadAmp 6

House Instruments:
House Drum Kit
Ashdown Mag400 Bass Head
Ashdown 4×10 Bass Cab

Frequently asked questions

How can I contact you?

Use our contact form.

How long do I need to book per song?

Usually for a full band (3-5 members) we would be able to fit recording of 1 song into 1 day and usually 2-3 in 2 days. Mixing is included in the price but is done on a separate day.

What is a Toolmakers Live Session

Toolmakers Live Sessions are live performance videos filmed and recorded simultaneously. The video is filmed using multiple camera’s to capture all the action as it is being performed. All the audio will be recorded mixed and mastered to get a studio quality sound. These are great to use for a bands online portfolio, apply for gigs/festivals and showcase to labels.

What gear do I need to bring?

If you could bring as much of your own gear as possible that would be great. We can then work together on capturing the sound of your band on the instruments you created the sound with. I want to capture the true sound of your band, so feel free to also bring your own drum kit. Although if transport is a problem drum shells can be provided so you can just bring your breakables, stands and pedals. I also have a bass amp and cab that you are free to use if you wish.

How do you know what we want sound like?

It’s sometimes really easy to tell after initial conversations and in the first 60 seconds of being in the studio, however if you have any albums or tracks you’d like for us to use for reference in the recording/mixing and any rough demos to send over before your first session to help us plan for your arrival they’d be really useful.

How does payment work?

20% deposit is due upfront to confirm the booking. The remaining 80% is due on the day of recording. Cash or bank transfer is accepted.

How do I prepare my guitar for recording?

It would be best to get a professional setup on all the guitars you plan to record with. If your guitar is already setup great and you like the way it plays then a bare minimum requirement would be to put a fresh set of strings on. We usually find that putting on your strings on 1-2 days before and using them to practice for a couple of hours gives the best tone while reducing tuning issues.

If there are multiple guitarists with rhythm parts, we may ask for one guitarist to record all rhythm parts as this can help consistency, tightness and improve the overall sound, however this may not be the case it all depends on how you’ve written your songs and what style of music it is!

How do I prepare my drums for recording?

Drums sound a lot better with fresh skins. So you should change your skins the day before recording and tune them to your taste. They will require tuning adjustments again before we start tracking. Also make sure you try dampening the toms and snare and make sure you are happy with the sound, it will save time in setup.

If your a ‘rock’ band, drums sound so much better if you hit the drums HARD. Try practicing hitting your skins hard but go a little lighter on your cymbals. This gives the best drum tone and also help reduce unwanted cymbal spill into the other mics.

How do I prepare my voice for recording?

Avoid smoking, alcohol, cold water, dairy products, caffeine, acidic fruit and spicy food. Water at room temperature is recommended so no hot drinks, however honey and lemon can ease up your vocal chords before the session. Make sure you warm up your voice for around 20 minutes before we begin recording.

When recording vocals usually we won’t have you running round with a handheld mic, but a high quality vocal mic with room mics dotted around to capture the life of the vocal in the room. If you use harmonies and backing vocals it would be best to rehearse these before hand so each member knows exactly what they will be adding. If the rest of the band don’t have the best vocal range don’t worry, we can layer these up with the main vocalist. Just be sure you rehearse them.

Do we need to play to a click track?

Playing to a click track is usually advised. It makes the overall sound much tighter. Sometimes this isn’t the case if your aiming for a more trashy sound but don’t use this as an excuse for not practicing to a click. Cheap metronomes are available on the internet so you should buy one of those and practice as much as possible to achieve the best results. In addition to this if you could let me know the tempo of each song before the session, we can save time setting up.

How can we get the best out of our songs during recording?

Practice, practice, practice! By far the best way to sound awesome is to be well rehearsed. The difference between amateur bands and professional bands is the amount of time they put into the songs. The more you rehearse the better your recording will come out in the end.

I have all my songs recorded. Would you be able to mix them for me?

Yes of course.

  • Make sure all your tracks are labeled up properly
  • Bounce all the track stems out ensuring the bounce always starts at zero
  • Bounces should be at 48,000khz, 24bit minimum
  • If you require more than one song make sure each set of stems is saved in a clearly marked folder
  • Label each song folder with the tempo info of the track (if the track has tempo changes contact me about exporting the tempo info)
  • Include a folder with a couple of tracks you like as references
  • Include a text document of mixing notes (describe how you want the mixes to sound)
  • Zip them up and send them across

I need to cancel my booking with TRS…

Thats fine just contact us either by email or through our contact form. Bookings cancelled within 1 month will unfortunately lose the deposit. Bookings cancelled on the week of the session will owe the full amount of the booking.

What are your hours of work?

The studio is generally open for bookings 10am – 6pm, 7 days a week. But we are very flexible and if you wish to record out of hours don’t hesitate to contact us.

Live Sessions

We provide live video sessions with pristine audio alongside high quality video in Toolmakers Studio or on in a location of your choice.

The video is filmed using multiple camera’s to capture all the action as it is being performed. All audio will be recorded, mixed and mastered by our experienced engineer to get the best out of your performance.

Live video sessions are hugely important for musicians to have in their online portfolio, perfect for reaching out to fans, booking gigs, festival and release promotion. Live video is also now a crucial part of festival applications, having a live video session in your toolbox gives you a huge advantage over poorly sounding phone footage.

As a musician at heart, the brain behind Toolmakers Live Sessions Nathan Bailey understands the requirements and expectations of fellow artists. The audio quality in live video sessions is high on the demand list for musicians and fans; he feels that sound quality should not be compromised in place of video.

3 tracks: £350
2 tracks: £250
1 track: £150

 

Contact Us

LOCATION

Botsford Street
Sheffield
S3 9PF

CONTACT DETAILS

toolmakersstudio@gmail.com
 07815592692 (Urgent only)

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Use this contact form to request quotes, check studio availability or general enquiries. 

If you are enquiring about possible studio time or video work please provide this information in your enquiry:

  • Contact name
  • Band name
  • Genre/style
  • Project details
  • Project budget
  • Links to social media
  • Preferable dates
  • Contact details

If your query is urgent please call the studio on 07815592692.

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