The brainchild of music enthusiast, microbiologist and entrepreneur Chathura Masinha, Pearlbay is Sri Lanka’s newest studio complex and creative hub. Providing recording and production services, education and equipment retail all under one roof, it is also home to the country’s first Audient ASP8024-HE console. The British analogue desk serves at the heart of the commercial studio doubling up as a valuable educational tool and is heralded by Chathura as “a much needed upgrade to our music industry.”
Originally starting out as a standalone recording facility, Pearlbay Music Studio continues to offer a comprehensive, bespoke service tailored to the needs of the individual. Headed up by COO, musician and New York Institute of Audio Recording-trained audio engineer, Ranga Dasanayake, the studio quickly caught the attention of young, Sri Lankan artists. “We managed to create a concept, vibe and atmosphere that made them demand more,” says Chathura.
The studio’s success among these creatives sparked the idea to develop the retail and education sides of the business. Pearlbay Studio customers wanted to continue making music at home using the same quality gear, and Pearlbay Music Store was born. Acting as agents for a number of leading professional audio brands (including Audient) a broad range of equipment is now available to buy.
Driven to inspire the next generation of producers, engineers and artists, Chathura opened Pearlbay Institute in December 2020. Rolling out an array of educational options for budding audio students, over 15 short courses are already on offer at certificate and diploma level. “We hope to introduce a Higher National Diploma within the first half of this year and the UK-accredited degree programs in Audio Engineering by September,” he explains, underlining the 12 students per class concept, ensuring every audio student gets the attention they need.
“Pearlbay champions relevant and innovative training with our state-of-the-art facilities, expert staff, and professional opportunities. We want to equip students with the knowledge and skills to meet the demands of a perpetually evolving industry.” Each student has the chance to work at one of the 12 workstations (each with its own Audient iD4 audio interface) and, from an early stage in their training, even the main Audient desk. “All students from all courses – even at beginners’ level – will get workshops and practical sessions on the ASP8024-HE. We want them to see the possibility regardless of their level of study,” says Chathura.
Chathura has continued to work tirelessly to develop the complex into the ‘Audio Super Hub’ it is today. “We have managed to complete a beautiful, creative space packed with superior equipment, experts and a dynamic team. I hope this will be a turning point for the next generation,” he says. He is particularly proud to promote equal opportunities, highlighting the ‘Audient Scholarship for Women’ initiative to encourage more women into the audio industry.