Hotel to recording studio _ Chick’s mixing it up


It’s like watching kids in the candy store


Chick’s Hotel has been transformed into a recording studio.
The Port Chalmers music venue, which finished hosting gigs just under a year ago, has been filled with microphones, drum kits, keyboards and guitars, ready for a variety of artists to record.
Studio engineer Tom Bell, who ran the gig venue alongside Mike McLeod for about three years, said the studio had seen artists including Kane Strang, Die! Die! Die!, Gromz, The Shambles, Matt Langley, Kelvin Cummings and Opposite Sex through its doors since late last year.
The modern recording style of being able to save partly-completed projects using recording software meant the time to make many albums was dragging out from a few months to years, he said.
Mr Bell had decided to go “old school”, recording most bands live in the Mount St studio, being able to “mix it straight away” and finish most projectswithin a few weeks.
While his days were mainly taken up with mixing projects, he would also be recording a new project for Dunedin pop-rock act Albion Place.
Mr Bell said while some of the acts – including Kane Strang and the Killergrams – had brought in their own engineers, he did most of the mixing himself.
He said a lot of the bands commented about the “in the lounge at home” feeling of the space, which also still looked like a bar instead of a formal, commercial studio.
Many of the artists also appreciated the four drum kits, multiple keyboards and more than 20 guitars they could choose from.
“It’s like watching kids in the candy store.”
Mr Bell Mr McLeod had co-run the venue for about three years, after taking over it from the previous owners.
To contact Tom Bell about recording, email portchalmersrecording