Opened in 1977 by French pianist and composer Jacques Loussier, Studio Miraval was once a world-renowned recording facility used by Pink Floyd (during sessions for The Wall), AC/DC and Sting. Now, after being abandoned for nearly 20 years, it is set to be redesigned and reopened by none other than Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt and Emmy-winning producer Damien Quintard.
Located at Château Miraval in the south of France, which is now owned by Pitt, the new studio offers “to honor the past while advancing a new approach to recording”. Turns out Pitt was impressed with Quintard’s work — he’s previously collaborated with Brian Eno, Arca, and Parcels — and asked him to join the project.
“When we met in Paris, we immediately clicked”, says Quintard. “It was an intense moment where we just talked and talked about the sound. I was amazed at how sensitive and precise he was in his analysis of the music.
Rather than tearing down the old studio and starting over, Pitt and Quintard opted to renovate what was there, even using some of the old equipment, much of which was still in good working order. However, the main console will be a new digital/analog hybrid that the duo designed together.
Commenting on some of the studio’s best qualities, Quintard says it has “remarkable natural reverb so we can record vocals or instruments anywhere in the studio. It really is a space where you can produce anything from pop and rock to hip-hop and classic records.
The new Miraval Studios will have a fully integrated Dolby Atmos system and will be able to handle pre-mixing for film and TV. Boasting 25ft ceilings, Studio One has a 100m2 control room and a 320m2 reception room.
There are also recording booths, a vintage synth room, sound and video editing workstations, a mezzanine overlooking the entire studio, a swimming pool, and a connected tower where visiting bands and musicians can stay.
“The combination of Brad’s vision for Miraval and our shared passion for taking the time to do simple yet beautiful things has resulted in something one of a kind,” Quintard says. “We’re so excited to have musicians of all types be a part of what we’ve created.”
Reservations at Miraval Studios are now taken for summer 2022.