Located near the picturesque village of Rosemount in County Westmeath, Ireland, and steeped in old world charm, Grouse Lodge is a world class residential studio that has welcomed the likes of Michael Jackson, REM, Snow Patrol, Tom Jones and many more through its doors over the years. Headliner caught up with resident producer and mix engineer Alex Borwick, along with studio manager Eavan Crowe, to learn more about their recent upgrade – a Neve VR60 desk – and why clients keep coming back.
As soon as I jump on a Zoom call with Borwick and Crowe, I immediately get a very easy-going, down to earth vibe from the pair, most likely due to the fact that they’re lucky enough to work in such a friendly, relaxed environment.
Originally a working farm, Grouse Lodge officially opened in 2002, and incorporates studios designed by Andy Munro of Munro Associates, along with nine double bedrooms in three separate renovated stone outhouses. The main studio is purpose built integrating the existing 275 year old stone structure, and features a large 900sq.ft control room with lots of natural daylight along with two large live rooms with superior acoustics. The extensive use of local cut stone is what gives the space its unique feel and sound.
Crowe begins by giving me a brief history of the facility. I’m told that the owners of the studios, Paddy and Claire Dunning, had always wanted to get out of the city, as Paddy already ran a couple of studios and rehearsal spaces in Dublin before acquiring Grouse Lodge.
“People thought he was crazy, but it worked out really well,” says Crowe. “Being in the middle of nowhere is great for productivity, and having everything on site makes it even better. If you want a pint, we’ve got a pub here; if you want a swim, we have a pool. There’s so much more to this place than just being another studio. A lot of the food we serve clients is grown on site – Claire is the cook, and it's just such a lovely family run business.”