The Anexe Studio: helping local talent
PUBLISHED: 09:58 27 March 2017
Budding musicians now have the chance to use a high-tech, purpose-built recording studio right here in Devon. Chrissy Harris went to meet the music-loving couple behind this exciting project
Lindsey and Steve Troughton have all the home comforts they need: a beautiful house, garden, a console and hear-back system and a TC Electronic M3000 Digital Reverb.
The Anexe Studio, attached to the couple’s Exeter house, is a mind-blowing place, full of state-of-the-art recording equipment designed to help our local talent rise and shine.
Microphones, a drum kit, endless cables and plug-ins are on hand to help talented types – whatever their preferred style – record and mix their tracks.
They’re in safe hands, too. Both Lindsey, 36, and Steve, 38, trained as audio engineers in New York and are passionate musicians.
Steve is a trumpeter, bass player and vocalist and Lindsey has been in bands since she was 12 and has even duetted with Robert Plant.
“We’re so excited,” says Lindsey. “Not many studios have this sort of space. This is purpose built, so everything’s here. When people come in, they just say: ‘wow!’”
Steve adds: “Usually, studios are stuck out on industrial areas or are part of another older building.” He points out the soundproof booths and high ceilings which make for perfect acoustics: “They’re often designed a bit like the Starship Enterprise, quite stark and clinical. We didn’t want that.”
This place is anything but clinical. Even if, like me, you know nothing about singing, chords or mixing tracks, just being in here is great.
There are photographs of musical icons hanging on the walls outside and upstairs has a chill out area, which has been decked out with super-cool furniture gathered from years spent living in London and New York.
There’s even a guitar-shaped sink in the bathroom.
“It’s got that homely feel,” says Lindsey, adding that she has spent years ‘hanging around in corridors’ when she was working in recording studios.
“We wanted it to be a place where people can relax. Although it’s a professional studio, it’s a home studio.”
Lindsey and Steve moved from New York to Exeter in 2013 and promptly set about building their own Grand Designs-style home in Exeter’s leafy Pennsylvania suburb.
“It was a big plunge. But we loved the location because it’s so peaceful,” says Lindsey.
So how did plans for a rebuild and recording studio go down with the neighbours?
“Ha!” says Lindsey, before adding that the couple had to go to a meeting to explain their plans to slightly concerned local residents.
“Once we’d explained it, everyone was lovely. It’s so friendly around here.
“We’ve been rocking out until 3am some days and it’s fine. People tell me they never hear us.”
That’s all thanks to the ultra-modern soundproofing the studio enjoys, making it ideal for artists and neighbours alike.
There can be all manner of instruments and vocals going on inside but the local postman will be none the wiser.
It helps to add to the discreet nature of the studio, something that’s important to the couple.
“We know there are a lot of famous people that live in this part of the world,” says Lindsey.
“We’d love them to think: oh, I’ll give Lindsey and Steve a call.”
The Anexe Studio is also open to up and coming young bands “of a reasonable standard” who want to come and mix their tracks, making the most of the equipment and the expertise.
Steve and Lindsey can offer their sound engineering skills, as well as their musical knowledge.
“I’m really looking forward to working with younger vocalists and helping to nurture them,’ says Lindsey.
Steve has plenty of big ambitions too. “It would be great to have our own record label one day,” he says. “I’d like to before I’m 50, sometime in the next ten years or so.”
Who knows, maybe the next big thing on the music scene will start life in Exeter – after all, it worked for Coldplay.