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HL Studios
is situated in a specially designed, custom built, detached building in Totton, near Southampton, Hampshire, on the edge of the New Forest.

As a commercially licensed recording studio, the soundproofing has been tested and approved by Dept. Of the Environment.

The interior is air conditioned, extensively acoustically treated, spacious and comfortable. The recording studio consists of a control room, two live rooms, and dedicated kitchen & w/c facilities.

We use extremely high quality microphones, monitors, mixing desks, computers and state of the art software tools to produce results comparable with top London recording studios - for a fraction of the cost. For those who are keen on the specifics of how we record a CD, the following is a list of what we use to get these results, although in keeping with our policy of remaining state of the art, the tools are constantly updated, so this list may already be out of date! Check with us if you have a specific need.

Please note that ALL of the listed software packages are legal, fully functioning copies, licensed to us.
Why should you care?
Because that means we can stay up to date with the most recent upgrades and that if things do go wrong, we can call Tech Support and get it sorted.

HL Studios photograph
[click to enlarge]

HL Studios photograph
[click to enlarge]

HL Studios photograph [click to enlarge]


  • Apple MacPro 8 core 3GHz, with 16GB of fast RAM, 4 x 500GB SATA drives, 74GB "Raptor" 10,000RPM Hard Drive, Blu Ray writer, Pioneer DVD/DC writer, Various back up drive inc NAS remote drive off site, RME Fireface 800 audio interface, Magma PCI Expansion Chassis, 4 X UAD1 and 2 X TC Powercore DSP cards. 2 x 500GB SATA drive for Audio Back Up, 500GB SATA drive for Samples and Virtual Instruments.
  • Apple Mac G5 2 x 2GHz Back up computer, 4GB RAM, 500GB SATA drive,3 x 250GB SATA drives.
  • Focusrite Liquid Mix Firewire Hardware DSP box
  • 20" TFT Apple widescreen X 2
  • Euphonix MC Control Hardware Controller for Logic.
  • Epson R200 On Body CD/DVD Printer X 2


  • Genelec 1038A Mastering Quality Studio Monitors
  • Avantone Cubes Bad by Design! Not everyone can listen to your mixes on Genelecs...
  • Sennheiser HD25 (1) vocalist headphones
  • Sennheiser HD25SP (4) Baby brothers of the HD25's - which were too damn expensive to get 5 sets of!
  • Behringer PowerPlay 4600 12 output Headphone amp
  • Alesis RA100 Monitor Amp (various speakers for playback/rehearsal)


  • Focusrite Liquid Channel Ultra High end mic pre amp capable of reproducing the sound of almost any mic pre amp. This is Focusrite's flagship product!
  • Focusrite ISA 828 (x 2) 8 channel mic preamps and high end A to D
  • Drawmer 1960 Valve Compressor High-end real valve stereo compressor with mic pre's and instrument input.
  • BBE 362NR Sonic Maximiser Unique Stereo Enhancer
  • Lexicon MPX500 Quality Digital FX from the legendary Reverb specialists




  • Neumann TLM103 Same sound as the industry standard U87 but with lower self-noise! By not including the less used pick up patterns, Neumann reduced not only the price but also the noise floor
  • Rode NT5 (2) Matched pair of great condenser mics. Superb for stereo recording (2 pairs)
  • AKG C3000 (2) Condenser Mics. Great on Amps and Drum overheads
  • AKG D112 Kick Drum mic (X 2)
  • Sennheiser E604 (4) Clip on Drum mics. Great for Brass too.
  • Shure SM57 (4) Dynamic mic. Good for snares (top and bottom) and stuff
  • Sennheiser E845 (5) Dynamic mic. Whatever

Keyboards and Sound Modules

  • Roland XV-5050 module with Orchestral and Studio expansion boards
  • Roland D550 classic sound module rack
  • Emu Proteus 2000 rack
  • Yamaha MU50 half rack
  • Fatar SL880 Fully weighted Mother Keyboard
  • Roland PC160A Mini Mother keyboard

The Rest

  • Tanglewood Odyssey Electro/Acoustic Guitar
  • Unbranded Electric that plays really well!
  • Crafter "Cruiser" Bass Guitar
  • Tascam DA20 DAT machine
  • Teac V615 Cassette Deck
  • Phillips CD753 CD Player
  • Sony MDS-JE520 Mini Disc
  • Morphy Richards Kettle
  • Microwave/Grill
  • Fridge/Freezer
  • Tassimo Coffee Maker (only one but a back up in the house - this thing is essential!)


  • Apple Logic Pro 8.02 Professional Audio and MIDI recording package with huge selection of high quality plug ins, excellent time stretching and pitch shifting capabilities, extensive MIDI editing incredible automation of not only audio tracks but plug in parameters as well. Hands on control courtesy of the Logic Control
  • Celemony Melodyne Cre8 Version 3 Incredible Pitch/timing/tone manipulation tool

DSP Card based plug ins.
Hardware/software bundles that put almost no strain on Computer's CPU but provides the DSP power to use the following, very high quality plug in effects:

TC Powercore

  • Sony Inflator Manages to "pump up the mix" without destroying the dynamics
  • TC MD3 Multiband Dynamics and Brickwall Limiter Hard to describe what makes this SUCH and amazing mastering tool. You'll just have to listen...
  • TC Intonator High quality pitch automatic correction
  • TC Voice Modeller Voice Processor. It's kinda weird.
  • Classicverb Emulation of high-end synthetic reverb - think Lexicon PCM91
  • Megaverb Very close to being a software TC M5000 reverb
  • 24/7 TC's version of the UA1176LN classic compressor
  • Vintage CL 'Tube' compressor/limiter
  • VoiceStrip Surprise surprise - it's a voice channel!
  • Master X 3 Mastering processor based on TC's Finalizer
  • EQSat Phat sounding Eq
  • ChorusDelay - guess
  • Powercore 01 Synth plug in instrument
  • Assimilator Incredible eq tool that can take the eq curve of a piece of audio with sound you like and apply it to a target file. Great for matching takes from different sessions, balancing the sound of tracks recorded at different studios or with unsuitably different overall sounds and if you REALLY want your master to sound "just like" your favourite artist's last CD, it will have a damn good stab at that too. Be warned though, if your favourite CD is by Slipknot and your project is a collection of Peruvian Goat calls, results can be disappointing.
  • Noveltech Character Odd little plug in that just "enhances" certain frquencies of different instruments in a pleasant way!
  • Noveltech Vocal Enhancer Amazing plug in that just adds sparke and clarity to a vocal without making it brittle.


  • 1176LN Well it's a UA1176LN - and as this is the same company who make the legendary hardware unit itself, you can imagine that it's pretty good!
  • LA-2A Fantastic sounding emulation of the Teletronix classic levelling amp.
  • Pultec Pro Eq Outrageously warm eq emulation. Just makes stuff sound better!
  • Fairchild 670 Beautiful emulation of a VERY expensive high-end compressor
  • CS1 Wicked channel strip. Eq and dynamics in a very efficient bundle
  • Nigel It's an incredible guitar processor that sounds like it goes up to eleven. We also like it lots on vocals, but we are a bit twisted.
  • RealVerb Pro Well known to ProTool users, this is a really high end reverb plug
  • DreamVerb Can you have too many nice reverbs?
  • Precision Eq It's an Eq. It's very precise.
  • Ermmm.. all of them. I got bored updateing this list so lets just say we now have EVERY plug in the UA make for the UAD cards! The cards are awesome, the plug ins are even better. You can only use four UAD cards with one computer so four is what we have and we have ALL the plugs so if you want all the details check out http://www.uaudio.com/

Native Plug Ins. (These are the ones that don't run on DSP cards.)

  • Altiverb The most realistic reverb plug in ever. Period. It uses actual samples of real places and imposes that reverb on your material. It doesn't sound like reverb, it sounds like a real space. More perfect than Kylie's bottom. Okay I exaggerated a little.
  • Antares Autotune One of the industries most valuable secret weapons. If you don't know what is does, I'm not telling you.
  • Waves Platinum Bundle Massive collection of some of the best sounding and most versatile plug ins available.
  • Waves L3 suite of Multiband Limiters Ground breaking 16 band Limiters for maximum mastered volume with minimum audio "damage"
  • Waves Studio Classics Vintage Plug ins Waves take on the Neve, SSL and API Eqs and compressors. Very warm..
  • Waves GTR3 Guitar Amp Simulators. Absolutely gorgeous Guitar amp simulator combined with a high quality analogue front end designed by legendary guitar designer, Paul Reed Smith. We got 3 of the analogue boxes so that the lead, rhythm and bass guitarists could stop arguing..
  • IK Multimedia Amplitube 2, Amplitube Metal, AmplitubeJimi Hendrix. Wicked Guitar Amp simulator
  • IK Multimedia Ampeg SVX Awesome Bass Guitar Amp simulator
  • IK Multimedia CSR Classic Studio Reverb Fantastic Reverb Plug in
  • Native Instruments Guitar Rig 3. Can you have too many flavours of guitar sounds?
  • WaveArts PowerSuite 5 Collection of useful studio tools
  • Wave Machine Labs Drumagog Sample replacement plug in for adding samples to live drum takes

Plug In Instruments

  • Apple EXS24mkII 24 Bit Sampler. Fantastic thanks to Translator (see Utilities) it can handle almost any sample format.
  • Apple EVP88 Incredible Fender Rhodes emulation
  • Apple EVB3 Virtual Organ with amazing Hammond B3
  • Apple EVD6 Virtual Clav
  • Apple Sculpture Modelling synthesizer
  • Apple Ultrabeat Virtual Drum Machine - Old school style with Nu Skool sounds
  • XLN Addictive Drums and AD Retro The Mutt's Nuts of virtual drummers
  • Ez Drummer What I though was the Mutt's Nuts of virtual drummers until I got Addictive Drums!!
  • FXPansion BFD Virtual Drummer. Multi Mic'd, Studio sampled "real" kits. Got to be heard
  • Steinberg Groove Agent 3. Lots more Drum sounds
  • Steinberg Virtual Guitaris t Wouldn't want to offend my friend, the really good guitarist, by saying that this will cut down your weed bill, but hell, he will be too stoned to be surfing the net anyway. I've fooled 3 guitarists with this already!
  • Steinberg Virtual Guitarist Electric Edition Well the other one was soooo good…..
  • Steinberg Virtual Guitarist 2 MORE!!!!
  • Steinberg Hypersonic 2 Virtual Synth Module. Stacks of useful sounds
  • Musiclab RealGuitar Virtual Acoustic Guitar Module. Damn clever, these Russians.
  • Spectrasonics Stylus RMX Wickedly useful groove library with three Xpanders..and rising
  • Spectrasonic Trilogy Amazing virtual Bass Module, Acoustic, Electric and Synth Basses
  • Spectrasonic Omnisphere Wierd but highly creative sound source with unique and diverse range of sounds
  • IK Multimedia Sampletank 2.5XL Multitimbral do it all module, heavily expanded
  • IK Multimedia Sonic Synth 2 Multitimbral vintage synth module
  • IK Multimedia Miroslav Philharmonik Multitimbral vintage synth module|
  • IK Multimedia SampleMoog Every Moog Synth ever made, sampled
  • IK Multimedia SampleTron The Sounds of the old Mellotron. Groovy baby!

  • Camelaudio C5000
  • Korg Wavestation/M1 virtual Instrument


  • Roxio Jam Proper Red Book mastering and CD burning software. This software is so simple a child could use it - maybe for doing "Bob The Builder" CDs. Seriously though, this package is good. If you want to use your finished CD for any professional purpose, then it's best to have it Red Book mastered. If you need ISRC subcodes, then through our sister company, En Masse Music and Publishing Ltd, we may be able to help there to.
  • Apple Waveburner CD Burner package as above but with more facilities
  • Roxio Toast. Perfect for backing up your finished project to CD-ROM or DVD
  • Deja Vu. Automatic back-up software to keep your project safe
  • Chicken Systems Translator Sample Format converter that can handle almost any format. We use it to transfer our old library from our 1st Akai S2000, our subsequent EMU E Synth and any format you may need, to our Emagic EXS24mkII. Who needs a hardware sampler when software gets this good?
  • Magic Mouse Discuss. Together with our Epson R200CD printers, this can give your short run of finished CDs or DVD's, a truly professional look. No more sticky labels.
  • Final Cut Pro Studio Industry standard video editing, DVD authoring, Motion graphics etc package. Invaluable if you want to dub your finished tracks to a promo video, or for editing the whole video in fact, though I could not claim to be an expert in that. And "No" I don't have Spielberg's number