“This is a significant improvement!” declares broadcaster and choirmaster, Gareth Malone, describing the addition of the desktop monitor controller to his studio. “Before the Nero I had to switch speakers in my DAW and that was so cumbersome that I rarely bothered.”
He explains, “I recently bought two extra sets of monitors for my studios. ATC near fields and Avantone mix cubes. I knew that I needed a switching device that was transparent and would fit on my desk at hands’ reach.” Enter the Nero from British studio gear designers, Audient.
“It’s the first time I’ve had a ‘cut’ button which has proven very helpful when mics feedback. I also wanted a mono switch: this has transformed my workflow as I monitor most of the day in mono and allow myself a little stereo treat now and again. It’s great to have that at my fingertips instead of having to change in the box.”
Tucked away in his north London back garden, Gareth’s studio was designed and built by Miloco. Soundproof and acoustically treated, Gareth confirms, “It sounds incredible in here.” Ideal for what he’s doing there. “I mostly record vocals, my piano with a Sontronics ribbon mic and write demos here. I have ProTools and an audio interface. I also have various guitars and a bass and am slowly building up my synth collection,” he says.
He has spent a good number of hours in this studio – especially during the more challenging periods of lockdown during 2020-21. It was here that he hosted the Great British Home Chorus on his YouTube channel, a 2020 lockdown choir for amateur vocalists longing for a sing-song.
Channelling his experience of 2020 into a moving choral piece, he used his studio to compose ‘Locus Iste’ for the Stay At Home Choir, which was performed by 1500 singers from around the world in 2021. The final video is the culmination of online rehearsals, masterclasses and global socials.
With so much time spent in his studio, it not only has to sound great but feel comfortable, too. With large acoustic glass doors, it is flooded with natural light and he’s able to watch the world go by as he works. “I also have Philips Hue lighting which was a brilliant investment as I can control it from within the house and there’s a lighting state for every room. I just need a sofa now!” he laughs.