Lightship 95 Studio, London

A heritage vessel, Lightship 95 was commissioned by Trinity House, a 500-year-old company established by Henry VIII in 1539. Now it’s well equipped recording studio at the heat of UK. Can you believe it? Awesome!


Rooms: Control room, live room, iso booth

Consoles: 30-input Calrec

Mics: Neumann, AKG, Coles, DPA, Røde, Brauner

Outboard: Drawmer DS201, API 512c, API 525

Monitoring: Quested, Yamaha, Hafler

THE MILOCO studio group has expanded once again with the launch of Lightship 95, a recording facility built into the hull of a ship, permanently  moored at Trinity Buoy Wharf, East London – one of the most iconic stretches of the Thames, with panoramic views of the river and the redeveloped London docklands and the O2 arena. This extraordinary new studio has been realised with the help of engineer Ben Phillips and is housed within the area that formally accommodated a very large diesel engine. The ship is reached via a drawbridge and is split between two levels: the recreational and living areas on the upper deck, and the recording studio on the lower deck. A 300 sf, purpose-built control room is daylit through four portholes and features a Calrec console, Protools HD and a selection of outboard. The control room allows a direct line of sight through to a 520 square-foot live room, which is also naturally lit and has a high ceiling, classic 80s finish and, reportedly, excellent acoustics. It includes a large collection of acoustic panels to vary the sound, some unique reverb chambers and an isolationbooth in one corner. The room can accommodate a whole band for live tracking and is complemented by an enviable collection of microphones and backline, including Fender and Gibson guitars, amps and drums. The recording space also includes some unique reverb chambers. After four years of searching and struggling without success to find somewhere to convert into a studio – an old auction house, a 19th century Morgue, a church, a slightly less- inspiring ex tool hire shop – I decided to look for an alternative space,” recalls Phillips. “In some way or another I was determined to bypass as much as possible: the constraints, seemingly unnecessary expense and encumbrance of conventional tenancies, solicitors, surveyors, planners, local authorities and so on.” Classed as a heritage vessel, Lightship 95 was originally commissioned by Trinity House, a 500- year-old company established by Henry VIII, and was built in Portsmouth in 1939. It is one of the finest and last examples of an all-riveted steel ship made to withstand all weather conditions and frequent collisions.


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