news category MPG Awards created 15 February 2016

MPG Full Members win free studio time!

mpg_logo_white_bg_awards_2016_PS_rgbAs we announced back in November 2015, a prize draw was set up to encourage MPG Full Members to participate in voting for the short lists for the MPG Awards 2016.

Any Full Member who voted in at least 8 of the 12 voting categories of the MPG Awards would have their name entered into a prize draw to win two days of free studio time in any of the following studios:

Far Heath, Parlour Recording, Crooks Hall, Strongroom, Smokehouse, Offtape, Alive Network, The Crypt, 80 Hertz, Rak Studio 2 or Air Edel.

Winner of the UK Producer Of The Year, Charlie Andrew (Alt-J, Marika Hackman) volunteered to help us in the selection by randomly pulling names out of ‘the hat’ to determine who would win the free studio time.

The lucky winners are: Daniel Boyle, Steve Cooper and James Rutledge.

Here’s a video clip of the momentous occasion, conducted by MPG Awards director and producer, Tony Platt, and thankyou clips from the winners:


The official MPG press release (March 2016):

MPG Competition Winners Claim Free Studio Time

The Music Producers Guild Producers Danny Boyle, Steve Cooper and James Rutledge are set to claim a free day in a studio of their choice after winning a competition organised by the Music Producers Guild, in conjunction with international studio directory and referral service, AllStudios (

Designed to encourage maximum participation in its recent MPG Awards voting process, the competition offered a free day in a studio to three lucky MPG Full Members who voted in at least eight of the eligible Award categories. This year’s Producer of the Year Charlie Andrew was happy to draw names out a hat and each of the winning producers was able to pick the facility of their choice from a list of participating studios, which included:

80 Hertz


Crooks Hall
The Crypt

Far Heath

Parlour Recording
The Silk Mill (PKA Alive Network)


In first place was Danny Boyle, who opted for last year’s MPG Studio of the Year winner RAK Studio, citing the facility’s ‘amazing equipment list’ as a key factor in his choice.

“RAK is a great studio, but one I haven’t had the opportunity to work in yet,” he says. “I met RAK’s studio manager, Trisha Wegg, at the MPG Awards recently and she had invited me to pop in one day for a cup of tea. Then a few days later I won this prize, so now I get to have the cup of tea and record some music. Fate!”

Boyle is currently working on an album for Max Romeo and an album for the New Town Kings, as well as some projects for his own label Nu-Roots.

“Now everyone has found out about my win, they are all keen on me doing something on their project in RAK,” he says, “but my plan is to spend the time laying down drum tracks for a future production of my own. My own studio is almost exclusively used for mixing and I don’t have the required size room for drums, so this is a fantastic opportunity to use an awesome console and great mics. Thanks MPG and RAK – it feels great to win. Totally awesome!”

The MPG’s second prize draw winner was Steve Cooper and he chose to spend his free day at The Crypt.

“I’m stoked about winning the studio time,” he says, “and I chose The Crypt because it has a versatile recording space, great vibe and a nice collection of studio gear. Also, the band I’m probably taking in don’t have much in the way of equipment and The Crypt has a great collection of bass and guitar amps.”

Cooper is currently working with a number of new bands and also has various mixing projects on the go including Nigel Hitchcock’s orchestral album Hitchgnosis, which was recorded with a 32-piece orchestra, drums, bass and saxophone.
The MPG’s final competition winner was James Rutledge and his choice of studio was Strongroom.

“I’m fond of Strongroom studios – I’ve always found the staff to be very welcoming and helpful, which has been important for me as I don’t come from a classic studio background. The variety and quality of available equipment is great, too, and the monitoring in Room Three is very good. I feel relaxed there.”

Rutledge adds that he likes Strongroom’s location, describing it as ‘an area of town

that has a romance for me, despite what it’s becoming’.

“I like the social side of it: bumping into people who have studios there, label folk, other musicians and producers. The location enables you to browse bookshops, design shops, eat a good lunch on a whim.,” he says. “The outdoor bar is nice in the summer, too.”

Rutledge is currently working on an album of his own and anticipates using his free time at Strongroom for that project.

“I’m very happy to win and I think the free studio time will enrich what I’m doing and enable me to experiment in a professional studio environment. It’s hard to find the budget and time to do that these days.”

Natalie Forsyth, who helped MPG run its Voting Incentive competition, adds: “AllStudios is an international Music Studio directory that has enjoyed a longstanding collaboration with the MPG, so when MPG Awards Director Tony Platt approached us last April to source a number of studios willing to offer studio time as a prize in the MPG Members Voting incentive, we were more than happy to help. In return for the free studio time each participating studio was offered the opportunity for some great promotion among the MPG membership and on the Awards night, thus bringing them to the attention of a large body of producers. As these connections are incredibly valuable these days, AllStudios was proud to be involved, as well as keen to help the voting process be as true a representation of all its members as possible.”

The MPG would like to thank Natalie Forsyth and all the recording studios who took plat in its Voting Incentive competition. It is now hoping to make it a regular feature of the Awards process, which begins again later this year when nominations open for the 2017 Awards.


(Sue Sillitoe)

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