Recording studio

A recording studio is creating a buzz in the small town of Fleurieu


Palomino sound recorders converted part of the iconic Myponga Art Deco Dairy Cooperative building into a state-of-the-art acoustic studio with a distinctly Australian twist.

It wasn’t since 1971 – when the city briefly became Australia’s response to the famous Woodstock Festival as the site of a three-day “Peace and Music Exhibition” – that the city has created such an audible hum.

It’s all down to the vision of sound engineer and producer Tristen Bird, who reinvented the concrete walls of the old Myponga Cheese Factory into a funky recording space.

The new venture represents a homecoming for Tristen, a touring musician and recording artist in his own right, after more than 20 years of interstate life.

He can thank his musician father Dean Bird for making him discover the city. Dean, an artist based in Fleurieu, wrote and recorded Myponga ’71, a tribute to the music Festival he attended at the age of 21.

“I didn’t think this would be the time or place I would embark on my most ambitious project,” Tristen laughs.

“I was actually about to sign a lease for a big new studio in Melbourne last year and COVID prevented me from doing it three times, which I now know was for the best. “

Since opening the doors to the smaller of the two studios in April, Tristen has sparked the interest of Badloves and Whitlams guitarist Jak Housden.

Former Living End drummer Travis Demsey records his first solo album at Palomino Studio. He started working with Joe Camilleri’s Woodstock Studio in Melbourne, but decided to continue the project on the Fleurieu, which he now calls home. Tristen and singer-songwriter Adelaide Jen Lush have also just finished recording an original song due out this spring.

“I have five projects with mostly local clients going on right now, but now that tours are underway, I’m reaching out to put this a little more on the interstate person’s radar,” Tristen reveals.

Tristen is a full-fledged touring musician and recording artist. Photo: Sarah Harris

“The space works very well. There is no noise leakage inside and out which is great.

“The response I got from performing and recording artists is that they really like to perform in space. They feel like it’s interactive and not completely blunt like a lot of studios can be.

A major point of difference between Palomino and the big established studios is the holistic approach to the Tristen process.

“I believe in creating an experience for people where they can come here, experience the beautiful surroundings of the city, stay in the city and support the local economy through it,” he says.

The room outside the studio is lined with guitars, or “brushes” as Tristen calls them, each of which has its own story and timbre that add to the mix.

The management also reflects his respect for the history of sound recording and Australian musical culture. “There is a real mix of equipment here from the 1940s until now; all bring different colors and attributes.

This includes everything from a vintage Altec compressor of the type used to record the Beatles to a 36 analog recording console commissioned in the late 1970s by Kerry Packer for Channel Nine in Brisbane.

“The recording process will be unique in that if you want you will be able to record and complete completely on vintage material made in Australia, which is pretty cool,” says Tristen.

The larger studio will be used to record larger groups like backing vocals, string ensembles and small orchestras, but also as a performance space so artists can record, release and take home pressed vinyl memorabilia. hand as well as the masters.

Tristen is also keen to help train the next generation of musicians and sound recorders, and is looking to build relationships with local schools, so that it can become a resource center for students.

“I think being a musician and songwriter myself really helps on this side of the window because I understand how difficult it can be to write a song and make it exist. I understand the score, so to speak.

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This article is supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.


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