Ben Amesbury, Dan Thomas and Matt Ward, Runway Studios
Who we are
Runway Studios is a professional recording studio based at Westcott Venture Park. Owned by Ben Amesbury, Dan Thomas and Matt Ward, it specialises in many aspects of music production including recording and mixing.
The centrepiece of the setup is a large, 500 sq ft ‘live room’, which is also available as a well-equipped rehearsal space. The control room, the heart of the operation, has recently had a complete acoustic overhaul, and now features a state-of-the-art Pro-Tools HDX system, complimented by a huge selection of microphones, both classic and vintage.
With a collective experience of over 25 years in the industry, the team have owned the business in its current guise for three years. The partners took over the business with the shared vision to make Runway Studios a real centre of excellence and creative hub for bands and recording artists in the local area. The result has been the growth of a varied client list, fuelled by the trio’s considerable investment.
The studio provides the perfect environment to write, rehearse, or record without interruption. "The size of the live room is a big selling point", says Dan, "because you can fit up to 50 people in there - it’s perfect even for large groups such as choirs and schools."
The team have experience with artists of the highest calibre; Ben’s background includes working with bands like the Magic Numbers and The Feeling. Meanwhile, Dan and Matt have five and two years’ experience respectively as recording engineers. The guys also take their skills and equipment on the road: for example, last year they worked with one of Ireland’s biggest new artists, Gavin James, recording at Koko in Camden.
Back at Westcott, the recently refurbished control room is where the magic happens. The team spend most of their time in there, whether editing, mixing or writing tracks, and therefore it was vital that the room performed acoustically to the highest standards, as Dan attests: “We needed to sort out the acoustics in here because if what you hear out of the speakers is being affected by the acoustics in the room, then what you are listening to isn’t necessarily going to translate into the real world.” By building false walls, blocking windows, and treating the walls with acoustic material, the room has been fundamentally remodelled to absorb different frequencies and offer a ‘true’ sound for clients.
Why Westcott Venture Park?
Calling Westcott ‘home’ suits the team well. "It’s lovely surroundings," says Ben, "with no sound or noise limitations either. It’s always a talking point with bands: the history, the photo opportunities and the sunsets! On a more practical note, the parking and 24-hour security is a huge benefit as we certainly aren’t a nine-five business."
Runway’s objective for the future is to cement their position as the premier studio on the Bucks/Oxford border. Ben explains: "It would be nice to poach a few bands away from London studios, as we can massively undercut them whilst offering the most professional sounding recordings in the area. We love to work with bands that are passionate about writing and recording their own original music."