Tottenham Recording Studios Review

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Writer & music producer Jordan Mac Phee-Torres (Montif Clare) heads to Pirate Totteham in London to test two new studio types: Recording Pro+ & Recording Lite.

There’s few things better than booking in a session at Pirate knowing you can forget the outside world, and instead, obsess over how a snare fits in your mix for hours on end — Too snappy? Too boxy? Not SOPHIE enough?

I’ve been using Pirate’s recording studios for about 4 years now and tried them out in almost every London location. However, Pirate recently revealed two brand new studio types, exclusive to Tottenham. So I headed to North London to find out what Recording Lite and Recording Pro+ studios really have to offer.

Recording Pro+

Pirate’s new Recording Pro+ studio is familiar territory for me and comprises everything you want in a production studio. Priced at £15.50 per hour, these studios are pretty affordable too considering they're Pirate's highest professional-grade tier.

Here's a closer look at all of the equipment you can expect to find inside:

MIDI Controller

The first thing you’ll probably notice is the much appreciated presence of a Novation Impulse 61. Piano is not my main instrument, but having a near enough full set of keys to work with in a studio environment means you’re not restricted to a smaller set of MIDI keys when fleshing out ideas.

If you’re a budding composer who requires access to more than 2 octaves, you should start with Recording Pro+ studios. The Novation Impulse 61 is semi weighed with aftertouch meaning it mimics the tactile touch of sitting at a real piano.


Recording Pro+ studios now have a 34" UltraWide Full HD IPS LED Monitor screen which is a welcome edition.

If you’re used to working in a home studio, the likelihood is you’re restricted to your laptop or a small monitor. The upgrade makes it possible to have more freedom to navigate through your mix and to not feel boxed in by your laptop screen.

If you’re working with another artist or client, having a large monitor to work off really gives an edge when it comes to addressing elements of a project visually.


Next up is the change of guard for the monitors. I’ve seen a lot of different monitors across Pirate’s studios, from KRK Rokits to Yamaha HS8’s. But in Recording Plus+ studios is where you’ll find the most clear sounding systems with the Adam Audio A7Vs in studios 1 + 2, and the T8Vs in studios 3 + 4.

The A7V’s have the edge especially with their 4-Band equalizer with the parameters "Bass", "Desk", "Presence" and "Treble" to adapt to the room acoustics. However, each studio still has the best in class and if you’re there to finish a mix or write something new, you’re in good hands. If you’re mixing a project however, your most important asset is your ears and your ability to understand a set of monitors- just remember Disclosure’s debut album was mixed using a pair of £40 Cerwin Vegas!


Studio space is often grossly overpriced, especially if you’re an artist or producer who needs an acoustically treated environment to track vocals. The Recording Pro+ contains a separate space with an SE Electronics SE2300 condenser microphone that offers the ability to capture the nuance of vocals in a superb environment.

Recording Lite

Not all producers are on the same budget, so with Pirate’s new Recording Lite studio, you’re able to access most of the same features for a slightly lower price. Clocking in at £9 per hour, these are the most budget friendly. There are however a couple of changes that are worth noting.

Here's a closer look at all of the equipment you can expect to find inside:

Audio Interface

The first big difference is the change from Focusrite audio interfaces to an Arturia Minifuse 1. These require no driver downloads and are very much plug in and play. They also allow you to operate a DAW off your phone if you don’t have a laptop.

This feature might appeal more to people who want to have fun putting some ideas together without a laptop and more comprehensive DAW. This is a great feature for those wanting to make music but might not have the resources to work off of a laptop.

The Arturia Minifuse 1 is still a go to audio interface even for the more seasoned producers and artists. If you’re using a real musical instrument however, you should be aware the microphone and line input are the same, so you can only use one at a time.


The Lite studios also retain an acoustically treated area with a SE Electronics SE2300 condenser microphone to allow you to track vocals and more. It’s great to see the Lite studios still contain this feature, which is so important for the producers and artists using Pirate to realize their craft.

MIDI Controller

Long gone is the Novation Impulse, being replaced by the small but effective Arturia Minilab MkII that now makes up these Lite studios.

The Minilab MkII features 8 touch pads for performance and 16 knobs allowing you to really automate your recordings on the fly. If you’re a producer who doesn't play the keys, this addition will be a welcome sight, whilst still giving you everything you need to record your sounds hands on.

I personally prefer having a larger keyboard given that I’m usually in need of more octaves at once. With a smaller keyboard there’s more deskspace too, meaning the studio might not feel as cluttered. The Novation Impulse is a pretty bulky keyboard so downsizing to the Minilab might be welcomed by producers.

Which is for me?

In truth both studios still offer everything that makes Pirate so accessible and great for artists and producers who don’t have the luxury of their own dedicated place to work. Prior to this Pirate had Standard and Pro recording studios, the latter not containing a dedicated space to record vocals.

The Recording Lite studios are definitely cheaper and will offer more flexibility for budding artists and producers to hone their craft. The downsizing to the Minilab is also a nice touch, especially as a lot of producers prefer to pencil in midi information.

If however you’re composing for film or are a budding pianist, the Recording Pro+ studios certainly have the edge.

After spending some time in both of these studios I can see myself using both in the future for different reasons. If it’s a long mixing session then Pro+ has the slight edge with their monitoring setup and I’m likely going to hole up in there. But if I’m laying down ideas for a new track and want a cheaper space, Recording Lite will be the choice of the two.

Whichever you decide to use, Pirate have made both studios incredibly accessible and affordable, meaning it will come down to minor preferences. Both have air conditioning and the signature array of mood lighting that makes working in a Pirate studio such a charm. Diversifying these types of studios however is a sign that Pirate is continually reinventing its model to cater for their current users and future ones.

If you’re still cooking up beats and getting told off by your housemates, it might be time to try out one of Pirate’s new studios in Tottenham.

London-based producers can try out Pirate's new Recording Pro+ & Recording Lite studios at Pirate Tottenham now.

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