Amplifying the Abbey Road Sound

World famous studio seeks to diversify its activities

London’s Abbey Road Studios is the best known music studio in the world thanks in large part to its work with The Beatles in the 1960s. Now owned by Universal Music Group, the facility is seeking to maintain its status as a high-end studio for music professionals while also positioning itself as a forward-looking music innovation hub and a consumer-facing brand that can connect with its global fanbase.

Speaking to IFA International, Abbey Road Studios Head of Audio Products, Mirek Stiles, said he was in Berlin to showcase the company’s expansion into audio products.
“I used to work as a recording engineer at the studio,” he began. “Now I oversee a division that creates music production tools based on our classic IP. We have partnered with software company Waves and hardware company Chandler on mixing consoles, EQs and compressors. It means professional musicians can use great products and enjoy the Abbey Road legacy without coming to the studio.”

John Eades, Innovation Manager at Abbey Road, is also in Berlin to promote the studio’s work at the cutting edge of sound. “At the same time that we are trying to capitalise on the analogue history of the studio, we are also looking into new technical innovations around subjects like AI and virtual reality so we can figure out where the future of music production and consumption is going,” he said.

The studio runs an innovation division called Red – within which there is an incubator programme. “We work with young companies – providing them with skills, contacts and market knowledge in return for an equity position,” said Eades. “I work like a kind of strategy director, figuring out what each company needs and then calling in expertise from different divisions within the Universal group.”
As part of his activities, Eades said he would be talking to companies at IFA Next. In addition, Stiles and Eades were invited by Sony to take part in a session exploring developments in high-resolution audio.