Air Studios


For recordings from 1991 on, please use newer location "Air Lyndhurst Studios" / "Air Lyndhurst Hall".

British recording studio founded by George Martin, located in 214 Oxford Street, London, England, UK. A.I.R. stands for Associated Independent Recording.

Active since 1970 to 1991.

Also credited as:
· Air Recording Studio
· Air Recording Studios
· A.I.R. (London) Studios
· Air London Studios
· Air London Studio
· Air Studios, London
· Air, London
· Air London

AIR Studios began its long and prestigious history in 1969 when George Martin left EMI to establish an independent recording complex in the heart of central London, eventually opened in October 1970. AIR’s first facility was on the fourth floor of 214 Oxford Street, containing four studios, and later a MIDI programming room. The facility included two large studios (one 58×32 feet, the other 30×28 feet) and two small ones. The studios contained two Bösendorfer pianos, many soundproof booths, and a 56-channel mixing console, custom-designed by Neve to AIR’s specification. During 1987 they also purchased two Fairlight CMI III models (at a cost of £35,000 each) for the burgeoning Midi Suite. They also were early adopters of then new fully Midi integrated ATARI STf for Midi control and sequencing using the grand-daddy of modern day Cubase – Steinberg’s Pro 24 III. This setup was used often as a stand-in during the frequent Fairlight CMI downtimes.

The larger Studio One had a live sound was great for orchestral work, while the drier sound of Studio Two made it popular with bands. But the big drum sound that bands got in Studio One meant that it was booked out for months in advance, and film people couldn’t get in. Two more studios were added to meet demand.

Classic albums recorded or engineered at AIR in its first decade include Meddle by Pink Floyd, Queen’s Sheer Heart Attack, Roxy Music’s For Your Pleasure (and their three following albums), Paul McCartney’s soundtrack to Live and Let Die, the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks, Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush, and The Pretenders’ eponymous debut album. T Rex, Genesis, Supertramp, ELO and a host of other big names all worked on new releases at Oxford Circus.

Known engineers: Peter Swettenham, Chris Michie (2), Keith Slaughter (studio manager), Dave Harries (4), John Middleton, Alan Harris, John Punter, Jack Clegg, Bill Price, Steve Nye, Simaen Skolfeld, Jon Kelly.


Construction of a sister studio, "AIR Studios, Montserrat" on the Caribbean island of Montserrat, began in the mid 1970s attracting major artists from around the globe. Sadly, Hurricane Hugo devastated the island in 1989, and the studio was forced to close. However, 1991 heralded the beginning of a new Air Lyndhurst Studios located in the beautiful Lyndhurst Hall in London.

Parent Label:Air Studios Ltd.
Contact Info:

214 Oxford Street (fourth floor)

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