Larry Hibbitt’s brand new studio in Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Garden City, April 2023 – Producer, guitarist and one quarter of the band Hundred Reasons, Larry Hibbitt had a few ground rules when it came to choosing a mixing desk for his new studio space. “I had in my mind that this new space should be based around a console, but also not be laden down by it. I wanted a desk that had in-line large format spec and sounded awesome, but also would allow me to be quick and not bog me down with maintenance down time/costs or ridiculous power needs etc. I figure if I want that sort of grief in my life I can just get an old car!” he laughs.
So, after consulting his friend and fellow Audient owner Romesh Dodangoda, the obvious choice for Larry’s larger studio was the 24-channel ASP8024-HE. “I had also used one a few times at Cenzo Townshed’s Decoy Sound and had been massively impressed with it.”
Over the past months he’s been putting it through its paces in his Hertfordshire studio: he’s just finished making an EP with singer/songwriter Tom A Smith and already booked in rock band Boston Manor for their next record.
Already the desk is coming into its own. “I really love the Retro Iron feature on the mix bus! I tried inserting it on a mix recently and absolutely loved it. It’s subtle, but it’s the kind of thing that you really miss once it’s taken away. It’s going to get a lot of use.”
The Audient ASP8024 is in fact the first large format console he’s owned. “In Brixton I had an SSL X-Desk at the heart of everything. It was perfect for that room, but I was really at the upper limits of what it was capable of. I love using analogue outboard on the way in (and occasionally as inserts out of ProTools) so the options I now have in that regard are outstanding.”
Moving from his Brixton ‘rave cave’ was a big step for this born-and-bred South Londoner, but having started to outgrow the space “and all the chaos that came with it” earlier last year, Larry was on the lookout for a new studio – and home.
His search led him to this house and studio in Hertfordshire, previously owned by the drummer Ralph Salmins who built the studio in the 90s. It was improved upon latterly by legendary engineer, Haydn Bendall. “It’s a great-sounding, fully soundproofed studio in the middle of leafy suburbia! Noone would ever know it was here and that makes it feel very special.”
He’s certainly not regretting his decision to move out of London. “I’ve been here for a few months now and have been tweaking the setup and the sound of the live room to suit my tastes. It really feels like my home now and I love it to bits. It also sounds awesome! I’m planning on staying here for the foreseeable future and I plan on making a lot of recordings here so it feels amazing to be able to tailor a space to my specific needs. I’m really excited to be living and working here!”
The pull of the city is still strong, with his band Hundred Reasons back out touring their newest album, Glorious Sunset, produced by Larry himself and mixed by Cenzo Townshend. “Heading out on tour for the first time in 12 years is super-exciting as we’ll be headlining Hammersmith Apollo for the first time,” he says. With the 2000 Trees festival coming up in July as well, he’ll be glad to have the space in his new home to come back to.
He’s looking forward to getting back into the studio though. “It’s fun being in a band again – but I’ll be back to making other people’s records again in the summer.”
Audient looks forward to that. Keep up to date with what Larry’s up to by following him on Instagram.