Based in the beautiful Blue Mountains, World-class recording equipment, Fantastic range of analog hardware

About

Future State Studios is a boutique project recording studio,
based in the beautiful Blue Mountains, Australia.

Future State Studios provides all of the comforts of a home studio, without compromising on world-class equipment, or the setup of a professional recording space.

Located in the heart of the beautiful Blue Mountains, enjoy a coffee from one of the many cafés around Katoomba and wait for inspiration to strike, or get busy recording, producing and mixing your next hit.

Read about us in the Haze Magazine.

Our vision is to bring the definitive warmth of using real analog outboard gear to lift your tracks to the next level, in a comfortable environment that fosters creativity. We work with solo artists, bands and more unique projects across all genres, abilities and budgets from Folk to Punk.

We welcome you to come in for a visit; view the space and meet our producer / engineer who will guide you to bring the best out of your music.


"First class mixing and mastering"
 

Corin Shearston
Radio Blue Mountains

"Stuart is an absolute whiz and his studio is state-of-the-art"

Jake Coleman
Merekat

"...getting our tracks back has been f-ing incredible!"

Kyle Collier
Merekat

"Future State Studios don't just produce, they nurture artists"

Willem Hendriksen
Retro Rehash

Services

If you have something in mind that isn't listed below,
please get in contact to see if we can help!

Mixing / Mastering

With our professionally treated space, variety of monitoring options and range of fantastic equipment, we are confident we'll get your music singing through the speakers. We can do either in-person or unattended mixes.

Recording

We have a wide selection of microphones and pre-amps to capture your perfomance with clarity and focus. The space is the perfect size for solo artists and small bands looking to record - we can fit a typical drum kit setup and several players.

Production

Sometimes your tracks need that finishing touch, perhaps re-working in-the-box sounds with analog hardware, a lush string arrangement or some musical flourishes. We can help finish and polish your music.

Stem Processing

We have a great range of analog synthesizers and outboard equipment. We can help bring your music to life by crafting replacement stems.

Vocals

Looking for backing vocals, harmonies or perhaps some vocal lessons? Our talented vocalist, Ally Oliver, can help you.

Studio Rental

Know what you are doing? Have a laptop with a USB3 and Displayport connection? Want to explore the equipment? We offer hourly studio rates to producers and engineers.

Portfolio


Future State

Blue Mountains based independent artists, Future State, released their debut EP "Rising Tide" on 30th April 2020. This cinematic 5 track EP captivates the listener with trip-hop beats and haunting vocals, creating a sombre reflection of this current moment in time.

Future State consists of two extremely different and yet complementary individuals. Stuart Cam, originally from Bristol UK, brings musical influences such as Portishead and Massive Attack to his production, crafting melancholic soundscapes pushed along by brooding beats. Ally Oliver sings haunting vocals, inspired by Florence Welch and Regina Spektor, bringing a modern twist to the genre.

"The concept for the Rising Tide EP came to us through the current isolation we are all experiencing. Isolation creates the opportunity for self reflection, it is no coincidence that our selected tracks express the themes we are all feeling during this time of loneliness; reminiscing on lost love, uselessness, addiction and the human condition".

"Whilst the themes we are exploring are quite dark we hope the journey of the EP leaves the listener feeling seen and ultimately uplifted".

Read more in the HMC Music article by Hayley Casey.

You can follow Future State for more details at the following links:

 

Rising Tide Cover

Safire Palms

Safire Palms are a Blue Mountains-based four-piece band, with keyboard and vocalist Nick Macken, guitarist Rory Wilson, bassist Riley Johns and drummer Bailey Brown.

After being awarded a Blue Mountains City of the Arts Trust Grant the band decided to record their single "Jam Sandwich" with Future State Studios, after being introduced by the local music community legend, Willem Hendriksen.

The band had gone through a pre-production with Ricardo Moreira and Aiden Young (of Hibiscus Biscuit) and brought with them a demo of the song to be recorded.

The recording process was to capture a classic vintage funk sound, with a modern twist. All three of our classic vintage electric pianos were used on the record; a beautiful 1972 Rhodes Fender Mk1, the funk-monster Hohner Clavinet D6, and taking main stage, the Wurlitzer 200A. All recordings were through classic Rupert Neve pre-amps - set to maximum transformer tone, with the vocals through the incredible Chandler EMI REDD microphone for tube-sound goodness. For the modern twist, synth parts from the Dave Smith Instruments OB6 were layered on top.

After a comprehensive recording, re-amping and overdub process the tracks were hybrid-mixed through the outboard, imparting even more tone.

The result sounds like it was recorded in 1975, with equipment from the 21st century!

Read more in the Blue Mountains Gazette article by Michael Smith.

 

Safire Palms Cover

Merekat

Merekat are Jake Coleman (music & production) and Kay Collier (lyrics & vocals). Based in Katoomba, together they create honest and down-to-earth alternative hip-hop.

After producing their debut album Some Spent Summers independently, the duo worked with Future State Studios in mixing and mastering their sophomore album, Twenty Two Years in Babylon.

The individual stems were passed through outboard analog gear, imparting punch, warmth and tone. The stems were then mixed in-the-box, checking balance and positioning on the multiple reference monitors in the studio. The mixes were treated with various 2-bus enhancements, tape effects, transformer tone shaping and analog compression. Replacement vocals and guitar parts were re-recorded in the studio to give better clarity where appropriate.

On completion of mixing, the tracks were unified in their tone and loudness to bring a cohesive sound to the project. The finished album exudes a depth and quality which surpasses what would have been achieved with a purely in-the-box approach.

January 2019 interview on Radio Blue Mountains:

 

Merekat Cover

Retro Rehash

Retro Rehash is a weekly two-hour show on Radio Blue Mountains, hosted by Willem Hendriksen and Roger Kidd, featuring interviews with local creatives, unappreciated Australian musicians from the 60s to 90s and up-and-coming locally produced music. They promote and organise events and help network musicians together.

Follow their Facebook page: www.facebook.com/retrorehash

Future State Studios contributed to the radio show by mixing some of the Friday evening live music performances. The performance room presents many different mix challenges; equipment hum, RF interference and low-mid build-up. The recorded stems were brought into the studio, cleaned up, passed through the various outboard equipment and mixed for the videographers to sync. The mixes were put together with Tyson Fuzzman, the original recording engineer, whose knowledge of the room, performances and equipment used was invaluable.


Studio Work

Studio Gear

Our studio equipment lends itself to a variety of music,
using a hybrid approach of in-the-box coupled with outboard analog gear.

The Space

The 40㎡ studio space is fully treated with Primacoustic London, Nimbus & MaxTraps. Artwork is incorporated around the studio. All lights are colour controllable for setting the right mood.

Playback

We have the incredible Focal SM9 monitors, accurate down to an earthshaking 30hz, the SE Munro Egg 150 system, the KRK VXT6 around the studio and the Avantone Mixcube Pros for simulating worst-case scenarios. All speakers are switchable in/out via the Drawmer MC2.1.

Sampling

We have a pair of Vestax PDX 2000 turntables and HAK 360 mixer wired in for sampling & listening to vinyl, as well as several hundred records in a wide range of genres. Shure M44-7 and Ortofon cartridges deliver a thick and rounded low end to any record.


Microphones

Condensers; World-class Neumann M149 tube for vocals and string instruments, Neumann U87 that works well on virtually everything, Chandler EMI REDD tube, the first EMI microphone in over 50 years with a great silky character and forward presence that works exceptionally well on vocals, matched pair of SE 4400a for stereo recording.

Dynamics; Sennheiser MD421, Sennheiser E 602 II, Beyerdynamic M201, Beyerdynamic M88, 3 x Shure SM57 for guitar cabinets, drums and percussive instruments.

Ribbons; 2 x Beyerdynamic M160 and Beyerdynamic M130 mics

We also have a range of options from MXL, TC Helicon, Groove Tubes and Sony.


Vintage Electric Pianos

We have a 1972 Fender Rhodes Mk1 from the most desirable period (1971-1973), a timeless sound that has found its way onto almost every genre of music.

We also have a Wurlitzer 200A electronic piano, considered by many to be a tone cousin to the Rhodes.

We also have a Hohner Clavinet D6, most famously used on most Funk, R&B and groove records in the 1970's and beyond.

Give your record a timeless sound with one of our vintage keyboards!

All of our electric pianos have been serviced and set up to perfection by a master technician.

We are confident examples represent some of the best in Australia in terms of condition, tone and playability.


Synthesizers

We have a range of both monophonic and polyphonic analog synthesizers. All synths are kept in immaculate working order.

Monophonic

A semi-modular Arp 2600 dominates with its size and sound. Moog Voyager XL a fully patchable monster synth capable of fat bass and weird effects, its modern cousin the Moog Sub37 with a great arp and step sequencer. A Korg MS20 great for bright lead sounds and effects. A Behringer 303 clone for brings the acciiiiiiddddd!

Polyphonic

We have the Moog One 16 Voice, an absolute beast with a massive range of sounds.

The Dave Smith Instruments OB6 and Dave Smith Instruments Prophet 6, both analog powerhouses. The modern Novation Peak, an NCO-based digital synth with wavetables, great for complex pads and organ sounds. The incredible Elektron Analog Keys and Elektron Analog Four, two units with deep programmability for modern sounds.

Drums

Moog DFAM for fierce organic drums, the Elektron Analog Rytm with sampling capabilities, the Roland Octapad with hi-hat and kick pedals, with an additional mesh-head snare. A Behringer RD-8 brings the 808 classic drum sounds.

Other

A Moog Theremin which can used standalone or connected to the Moogerfooger pedals as a CV controller.


Converters & Outboard

The hub of the studio is the RME Fireface UFX+ sound card, 2 x RME ADI QS, 2 x RME AD-32 and a RME DA-32, bringing the total channel count to 96 inputs and 50 outputs.

All outboard and instruments are connected through a series of patchbays to allow for flexible signal routing. MIDI duties are augmented by the MOTU XT Express.

All equipment is connected with high quality Canare cables and Neutrik & EWI hardware. We use Furman PL-Pro DMC E power conditioners for clean and noiseless power.

We have a choice of front-end recording options; a pair of Rupert Neve Designs Portico II channel strips for capturing the perfect vocal take, a pair of matched Rupert Neve Designs Shelford Series channel strips for vintage vibe. We also have a British valve-based TL Audio 5052 for colouration. We also have clean and transparent pre-amps onboard the RME Fireface UFX+.

Compressor duties are complimented by a matched pair of (and single) Empirical Labs EL8X-S distressor units, with British mod and image link features for stereo, the stereo High Voltage Audio 4000 G-Series SSL and Elysia XPressor compressors. The Warm Audio WA-2A brings the opto-compression from yesteryear.

The effects section includes the valve-based Culture Vulture Super 15, ideal for warming up sounds and introducing harmonic distortion, a fully restored Roland RE-201 vintage tape delay, a Vermona DSR spring reverb tank and the insane Sherman Filterbank II analog filter. We also have a range of 500 series gear for shaping, warming up and thickening sounds.

For stereo bus duties we employ the absolutely incredible Louder Than Lift Off Silver Bullet tone amplifier and Rupert Neve Designs Master Buss Processor. A pair of Rupert Neve Design 542 Tape Emulation, Heritage Audio 1073 EQ and IGS Rubberbands Pultec EQ modules brings the vintage vibe.


Guitars & Amplifiers

We have a Marshall 1974x, Vox AC15 and Fender '65 Deluxe Reverb electric guitar amplifiers, 2 x Fractal Audio AXE FX XL+ modellers with a variety of different incredibly realistic guitar and bass cab/amp simulations. A Radial X-Amp Re-amp module for re-amplifying guitars and bass, and the Radial EXTC module allows you to incorporate your favourite guitar pedals.

Acoustic Guitars; Martin HD-28, Martin HD-28 VS Marquis, Fender DG8S, Art & Lutherie Spruce.
Electric Guitars; Gibson 335 Custom - with zebra pickups, Rickenbacker 360.
Electric Bass Guitars; Yamaha BB1600, Rickenbacker 4003.
Ukulele.

We have a full scale 4/4 violin bow for playing electric guitar, as well as an E-bow, a metal slide, glass slide and serated edge coins for you to experiment with. We also have quality capos and plenty of picks of different thicknesses.


External Effects

No studio is complete without a Roland RE-201 Space Echo. We have a perfect working version with self-oscillation at the 3 o'clock position! We also have the modern Echofix EF-X2 tape echo with CV control and wonderful digital reverb.

We have the complete range of Moog Moogerfooger analog pedals for bringing your guitar, bass or synth sounds to life. We have 2 x MF-104M Analog Delay pedals with the highly coveted analog BBD delays chips and MIDI support, capable of everything from subtle slapback delay to alien abductions! We also have the complete range of Strymon "Big" pedals; BigSky, Timeline, Mobius, Volante and the Flint.


Controllers

  • ROLI Seaboard 49
  • Roger Linn Linnstrument
  • Expressive E Touché
  • AKAI APC40 & APC20
  • Ableton Push
  • Clavinova CP709

Live Gear

Stagebox, Mixer & PA System

We have a fully digital setup with the Presonus Studiolive 32R stagebox, connected to a Presonus Series III mixer. The complete live system is 32 line/mic input channels and 18 outputs, all via a discreet 30 metre ethercon cable.

We also have a 4000W QSC PA system, with 2 x KW181 18" subwoofers and 2 x KW153 15" 3-way full range speakers.

In Ear Monitoring (IEM)

Connected to the live system are 4 x Sennheiser EW 300 G3 transmitters along with 8 x receivers. This allows up to 4 stereo or 8 mono independent mixes. Need more click, more vocals? each band member is able to control their own personal mix via their smartphone.

Playback

We have a RME Fireface UFX soundcard, able to stream up to 12 independent channels into the live system. Ultra low latency drivers and wide system compatibility ensure a simple setup with your own laptop or tablet device.

Our Team

Stuart Cam

Stuart Cam

Producer / Engineer
Ally Oliver

Ally Oliver

Vocalist / Administrator

Contact Us

Get in contact for a friendly discussion about your project.

Katoomba, Blue Mountains
New South Wales 2780

mail@futurestatestudios.com.au

04 20 456 575
(Australia +61)