Situated about 80kms north of Sydney’s CBD, The Grove Studios provide a unique recording facility in picturesque surroundings complete with accommodation, pools and spas. Some of Australia’s most revered artists have called The Grove home while recording or mixing their records. Now the studio with everything, is adding yet another string to it’s bow with the announcement of their partnership with Hunter TAFE - RMI (Regional Music Institute) to deliver one of Australia’s premier audio learning experiences. We spoke with The Grove Studio’s director and head producer Scott Horscroft.
Tell us about the history and recent happenings of The Grove Studios?
The Grove was once known as Mangrove Music Studios, originally built by INXS’ bassist Garry Gary Beers. Its idyllic, world-class facilities are nestled away on an elevated 25 acres of secluded bushland, only a five-minute drive out of the major rural centre of Gosford. A lot of important Australian releases have been recorded here. Silverchair recorded Neon Ballroom and Diorama; Eskimo Joe made Black Fingernails Red Wine and Something For Kate moulded Echolalia. Other ARIA Award-winning artists who’ve made The Grove their creative home in the past include The Whitlams, Troy Cassar- Daly, Human Nature and, of course, INXS.
After taking over The Grove Studios just over 12 months ago, we‘ve had a productive time expanding the studios and now have 4 studios as well as a dedicated world class studio for our new education program. We’ve built an incredible team of producers and engineers including Burke Reid, Matt Lovell and Andy Mac who have been working with cutting edge musicians and artists in Australia including Courtney Barnett, Alison Wonderland, DMA’s, Sarah Blasko, Oh Mercy, Tkay Maidza and Birds of Tokyo.
You’ve recently partnered with Hunter TAFE – RMI (Regional Music Institute) to bring a state of the art Sound Production Diploma, how did this partnership come about?
The Hunter TAFE RMI partnership came about through a desire to provide the next generation of music industry talent a unique program that’s focused on hands-on learning in a real world environment. Grant Walmsley, an RMI teacher and Screaming Jets founder recorded an album at the studios some years ago. The partnership began through this initial experience. Grant understood the level of quality and professionalism our facilities offered and knew it would be a perfect location to offer a unique learning model for students, reflecting the same high standard of teaching that Hunter TAFE RMI is so well known for. RMI is focused on delivering real world job outcomes, and through this partnership we’re able to deliver a unique Sound Production Diploma on a boutique campus. It’s enabled us to offer budding music professionals an opportunity to be taught by and work alongside seasoned industry professionals, and the chance to study in a studio where the likes of Daniel Johns and Birds of Tokyo have recorded. We believe is something that will help students grow and flourish.
Tell us about the course itself.
The course held at The Grove Studios is 3 days a week for approximately 9 months. This qualification is for students who want to work in the creative arts – music, performing and entertainment industries as sound engineers or sound designers. The details of the course can be obtained from the RMI website. Successful students may be selected to extend their learning after the course as part of The Groves’ intern program where students can work further with the producers and engineers and gain further knowledge about the operation of the studio to help them better position themselves to gain employment in the music industry.
The Grove Studios is hosting an Open Day on Saturday May 16, tell us about it.
The Open Day will take guests and prospective students through the amazing facilities that will be at your fingertips as a student of the Sound Production Diploma. They’ll be able to meet teachers, ask questions and enjoy the amazing atmosphere this boutique campus has to offer.
What sets this sound production course apart from the rest?
The course itself has the same syllabus across all teaching facilities. The students will be learning within an operational sound recording studio with access to all of our facilities. They will have the opportunity to discuss their work with actual producers, engineers and artists and gain a special experience not normally available.