Backed by over a decade of recording, engineering and producing experience, Sydney’s Ben Worsey currently runs the renowned recording space Everland Studios – welcoming bands and artists performing a variety of genres to get in touch and professionally capture their authentic sound for new releases.
Ben kindly took part in an interview to delve more into his process as a studio creative, the impact that global turmoil has had on music, and how to get the best live sound as a contemporary act. Here’s the conversation in full.
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Hi Ben – great to chat, thanks for your time! For those new to your work, how would you define what you do?
Hey Rebecca, thanks to you too. So, Everland Studios is a recording studio in the inner-west of Sydney, Australia. I’m the owner and engineer/producer. I work mostly with unsigned bands from around Sydney and Australia. I’m a recording and mixing engineer and depending on the band I sometimes wear a producer’s hat too.
Tell us about Everland Studios – when did it come to be, what prompted you to set things up, and what were you doing before this?
Everland Studios has been around for 12 years and I’ve been the owner for 10. I studied audio engineering way back in 1999 and it was always a dream to own my own recording studio. I didn’t set up the studio but was in the right place at the right time when the previous owner decided to move on. Prior to Everland I had worked in another studio down in Melbourne and was doing live sound and audio-visual work.
You welcome genres ranging from folk and blues to heavier rock – which genre first captured your interest back in the day, and what is it about the organic instrumental styles that keeps you passionate as a producer?
Yeah, I have a fairly eclectic taste in music so I like to work with a range of genres. It kind of goes against the prevailing advice, which is to pick one genre and make that your niche, but I think I’d get pretty bored doing that.
As a teenager of the 90’s I was into indie and lo-fi – think Sonic Youth, Pavement, Teenage Fanclub etc. I think I gravitate to organic styles because I find it more of a challenge. Recording a drumkit or an acoustic guitar well is much harder than just plugging in a synth for example. Having said that, I do also do some mixing for pop artists and I enjoy that too; creating something that is hyper perfect can be kinda fun.
“It’s easy to feel like you’re nailing it when playing, but if you listen back you might say, ‘Oh wait, we actually speed up 10 BPM in the choruses’.”
What’s one of your best tips you can offer to indie artists who want to capture their authentic live sound professionally in the studio?
Well, if they are trying to capture their live sound, it makes sense to play the song together in the studio. We’re set up to be able to record a 4-5 piece band live with complete isolation between the instruments. That means the band have to be extremely well-rehearsed.
I would also suggest recording the rehearsals with a phone or whatever and listening back critically to the performance. It’s easy to feel like you’re nailing it when playing, but if you listen back you might say, ‘Oh wait, we actually speed up 10 BPM in the choruses’.
Were you badly impacted by the pandemic as a studio creative, and how are things in Sydney right now – what’s the music scene currently like?
Personally, I came through the pandemic ok. I had some mixing work to keep me going and there was enough government support for business to keep the lights on too.
Unfortunately, the live scene wasn’t so lucky. There’s been a lot of live music venues that have shut their doors over the last couple of years, and that’s in a city that has never had a tonne of them anyway (compared to Melbourne for example). It’s a real shame. People are always going to want to make music, it’s just a pity that it’s so hard to make a living from it now.
What’s the best thing about being a recording studio professional?
The job security and the millions of dollars! Um, yeah, no. I just love being able to work with music every day. I also love having the chance to help the band or artist create something lasting that they are proud of.
What’s the best way bands and artists can get in touch with you about a project?
The best way is through the website: https://www.everlandstudios.com.au
They can let me know the details of the project and I’ll get back to them with a quote.
Is there anything else we should know?
I think that it’s important that artists feel comfortable both physically and mentally when they’re making a record, so I always encourage people to make a time to come past the studio for a tour and a chat before they make a decision on a studio. It gives them a chance to meet me and get a feel for the space.
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