Associated Independent Recording

Associated Independent Recording ( AIR) is one of the largest independent recording studio, which was established as a production company in 1965 in Oxford Street in London by the Beatles producer George Martin following his departure from the record label EMI. First, the manufacturing company only consisted of music producer who performed their music productions for artists in foreign studios.


George Martin was increasingly unhappy about the fact that he was not adequately involved in the growing success of its productions by EMI, because of the now renowned producer received as an employee a fixed salary, but no sales-based royalties from record sales. Therefore, he announced in mid 1964, when the Beatles in particular produced by him could already point to many hits with million-seller status. So he brought the EMI Group in such a tight spot that it offered him in 1964 for a 3% profit sharing. For 1963, pre- credited to him, he would not earn as producer through the profit sharing gross 66,000 pounds, of which the Parlophone- costs (salaries and other fixed costs ) would be deducted from 55,000 pounds, so that he would have received net 11,000 pounds - compared to its actual fixed salary of 3,000 pounds a year. This EMI had thus earned in 1963 by George Martin a profit of 2.2 million pounds. The statement pointed to a crucial mistake at the expense Martins: From EMI's net profit, the cost was already deducted to the Parlophone costs were not again be deducted from Martins royalties. When Martin realized this, he left EMI in August 1965, founded with borrowed 5,000 pounds in London with AIR (Associated Independent Recording) an independent record companies manufacturing company without first own recording studio.

Own recording studio

The production company had to AIR lack of own recording studios use other studios (such as the Abbey Road Studios) and pay for rent. Therefore, the capital -less Martin was looking for sponsors who should it finance setting up its own recording studios. When this was succeeded in his ambitious plans were realized with time delays. After the construction costs of the recording studio had almost doubled and a financial crisis triggered, it was opened in Oxford Street on October 7, 1970. First shots were already here on October 9, 1970 Cilla Black's LP You're My World. It was followed by the album A Lot of Bottle by Climax Blues Band, which was produced by the exchanged in March 1968 to AIR Chris Thomas.

With George Martin in 1965 another important creative people had left the EMI Group: his longtime assistant Ron Richards, Columbia producer John Burgess and Peter Sullivan, who for a long time at HMV assistant to producer Wally J. Ridley was. Each of the four partners received a 25% stake in the capital of AIR. With the producers, many of the performers went to can be produced by AIR, but kept their record deals with the EMI label. Therefore, EMI was forced to conclude a contract with AIR. Then AIR received 7 % of the retail price of EMI produced for a plate. In the case of under contract with EMI artists AIR also received a production royalty of 2% of the retail price. This was not for the Beatles: Here EMI was only willing to pay ½% off retail price in UK sales, in the U.S., only 5 % of the cost of the pressing factories. Despite the ongoing success AIR This did not wealthy.

AIR Studios in Montserrat

In 1979, Martin opened the branch of AIR Studios on the Caribbean island of Montserrat. The first album was produced in the studios Real To Reel by Climax Blues Band from 1979. Martin traveled to several productions specifically to, such as for the album Time Exposure Little River Band ( August 1981). Police took here on the million-seller Every Breath You Take and other title for the LP Synchronicity between December 1982 and February 1983. Also artists such as Paul McCartney, Rush, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Little River Band, Sheena Easton, Luther Vandross, and Supertramp added plates here. Between November 1984 and March 1985 was established here, among other things for the Dire Straits album Brothers in Arms, The Rolling Stones played here their album Steel Wheels between 29 March and 29 June 1989. A few months later the studio on September 17, 1989, largely destroyed by Hurricane Hugo. The complete destruction of the studio and a large part of the island then brought the eruption of Soufriere Hills volcano on 25 June 1997.

AIR Lyndhurst in London

As a result of the devastation caused by Hurricane Lyndhurst Hall, a new studio complex in the northern part of London ( Hampstead ) was opened with excellent acoustics in December 1992 in converted Victorian church ( built in 1880 by architect Alfred Waterhouse ). Again, nearly doubled the estimated cost of conversion. The opening was living with Prince Charles. First recording session was rehearsed by Henry Mancini in January 1993 soundtrack to Son of the Pink Panther ( The Son of the Pink Panther ). Already in March 1993 to take Chrysalis Records and the Japanese electronics company Pioneer in a joint venture each half the shares in AIR. The expenditure of £ 1 million for the acquisition could Chrysalis recoup almost back within a year by the profits from AIR, AIR for had now become a renowned recording studio. In 22 years, emerged at AIR 22 British number one hits. The reconstruction of the church, costing almost £ 20 million, to be shared, the two consorts.


Lyndhurst consists of four recording studios and post-processing department for television recordings. Lyndurst Hall, the meeting room of the former church, is planned with an area of ​​300 m² for symphonic ensembles of more than 120 people. In addition, here there is a capacity of 500 guests; it is the largest of the recording studios. Studio 1 summarizes in an area of ​​140 sqm approximately 50 people, the recording facility is on 72 channels, designed the console in Studio 2 for 80 channels. Here was the first order, the Dire Straits live album On the Night remixes of March 1992. Studio 3 was one of the first digital Abmischungsstudios world.

The studios were expanded for film music recordings and for the post-production. The Internet Movie Database According to 176 film scores were produced in the AIR studios.

Today the AIR Studios are among the world's most renowned recording studios. For Mark Cunningham they are perhaps the best studios in the world.


On 8 February 2006, the Chrysalis / Pioneer consortium sold the AIR Studios for 3.3 million pounds to Richard boats, the owner of the Strongroom Recording Studios.