Opened in 1977 by French pianist and composer Jacques Loussier, Studio Miraval was once a world-famous recording facility used by the likes of Pink Floyd (during sessions for The Wall), AC/DC and Sting. Now, having been left abandoned for the best part of 20 years, it’s set to be redesigned and reopened by none other than Hollywood superstar Brad Pitt and Emmy-winning producer Damien Quintard.
Located at Château Miraval in the South of France, which is now owned by Pitt, the new studio proposes to “honour the past while pushing forward a new take on recording.” It transpires that Pitt was impressed by Quintard’s work - he’s previously collaborated with the likes of Brian Eno, Arca and Parcels - and asked him to come on board with the project.
“When we met in Paris, we immediately clicked,” says Quintard. “It was an intense moment where we just talked and talked about sound. I was amazed at how sensitive and precise he was in his analysis of music.”
Rather than ripping out the old studio and starting again, Pitt and Quintard have chosen to renovate what was there, even using some of the old equipment, much of which was still in good working order. However, the main desk will be a new digital/analogue hybrid that the duo have designed together.
Commenting on some of the studio’s best qualities, Quintard says that it has “a remarkable natural reverb so we can record voices or instruments anywhere in the studio. It really is a space where you can produce anything from pop and rock, to hip-hop and classical records.”
The new Miraval Studios will feature a fully integrated Dolby Atmos system and be able to handle pre-mixing for film and television. Boasting 25-foot ceilings, Studio One has a 100m2 control room and 320m2 live room.
There are also recording booths, a vintage synth room, workstations for sound and video editing, a mezzanine overlooking the entire studio, a swimming pool and a connected tower where visiting bands and musicians can stay.
“The combination of Brad’s vision for Miraval and our common passion for taking the time to make simple but beautiful things has resulted in something that is one-of-a-kind,” believes Quintard. “We are so excited for musicians of all types to be a part of what we’ve created.”
Bookings at Miraval Studios are now being taken for Summer 2022.