Recording studio

Norfolk recording studio to close

Published:
10:48 am July 28, 2022



For 25 years the musicians have searched for a small recording studio tucked away in the South Norfolk countryside, but now the final chords are about to be played.

The Mill Recording Studio, which was set up by Jonny Cole in 1997 and has helped up-and-coming local artists as well as international stars produce demos and albums, is about to close its doors for good.

Mr. Cole said he was closing the Winfarthing studio. He said he made the decision because he wanted to sell the property and because changes in the music industry meant more people were recording at home.

Over the past two decades, Mr. Cole has worked with some of the biggest names in the music industry, including Jamiroquai producer Al Stone; mixer for Macy Gray and Foo Fighters, Dave Way; and Annie Lennox and Anastasia drummer Steve Barney.


Jonny Cole, owner of The Mill recording studio
– Credit: Jonny Cole

He has also worked with bands and artists signed to Island, EMI, DreamWorks, Rough Trade and Fierce Panda.

His work took off in April 2000 after collaborating with artist Sebastian Rogers, who secured a recording contract with London Records based on demos recorded at the studio.

Mr Cole said: “As part of the deal, they wanted us to continue working from The Mill and so they provided a Pro Tools system which at the time was state of the art and an upgrade. massive level for the studio.

“I think that helped build the reputation of the studio and I in turn built trust with my recording and mixing.

“These digital recording systems are now commonplace, but back then what we could do in the studio was remarkable.

“As part of the production of this album, we visited several major studios in the UK and US working with notable producers and mixing engineers; a fantastic learning experience which I could relate to The Mill.”

The highlight of her career was working on Catherine Feeny’s song Mr Blue, which appeared on the 2006 Sony Pictures film Running with Scissors.

Mr Cole added: “I recorded my parents’ old piano in their living room for the track and it’s funny to think it’s now been heard by millions.


Jonny Cole in The Mill recording studio

Jonny Cole said the studio “has been a great and quite unique place to work”
– Credit: Jonny Cole

“After that there was an explosion of indie rock bands, probably following the success of the Arctic Monkeys, and that saw a new generation of young guitar bands come into the studio.

“The Kabeedies were a great example of this new energetic force and together we recorded two fantastic albums and several singles which got a lot of attention.”

Mr Cole said that in addition to wanting to sell the property, the reason for the studio’s closure was due to a change in recording habits.

“There are still a lot of fantastic musicians out there, but I think the band and recording scene has changed, with many bands being able to record and mix from home, he added.

“There will always be an important place for specific studios and, more importantly, for the knowledge of those who work there, but it is certainly a difficult business to manage full time.

“It’s a big change for me, but it’s the right time and to be honest, I didn’t expect to be running the place for so long when I started.”

Over the years, musicians and artists of all genres have passed through the doors of The Mill Recording Studio.

Mr Cole said: “The studio has been a great and quite unique place to work and I think the atmosphere – the vibe of the studio – has given it a special feel for a lot of musicians.

“I consider myself lucky to have had this time and to have met so many great people and made lifelong friends along the way.

“Over the years there have been thousands of sessions in so many genres; indie, rock, metal, hip-hop, rockabilly, classical, folk, singer-songwriter.

“For me, the real highlight of my time at The Mill is the shared experience of making these recordings with the musicians and I hope the tracks continue to bring enjoyment to anyone who listens.”