After a year of renovation, Brad Pitt and French producer Damien Quintard have announced that they’ve reopened the doors to Miraval Studios in the south of France.
Located on the Miraval Estate, which is owned by Pitt, the studio was originally opened in 1977 by the estate’s then-owner, French pianist and composer Jacques Loussier. It went on to host sessions for Pink Floyd’s The Wall, and the likes of AC/DC, The Cure, Sting, Sade and The Cranberries also recorded there.
Miraval fell out of use in the early 2000s and sat dormant for almost two decades. However, in 2021, Pitt and Quintard announced that a full-scale update and redesign was on the way.
This revamp incorporates both the studio’s original gear - the SSL 4000 G+ console, for example - and additions such as ‘The Spaceship’, a new hybrid analogue/digital desk designed by Quintard and Pitt themselves. There’s also a fully integrated Dolby Atmos system.
Consideration has also been given to those who want more of a 'home studio' experience at Miraval - Quintard says that he had Billie Eilish and FINNEAS in mind when he was planning the space - so the control room features a plug-and-play option for those who want to record in Logic Pro or Ableton Live.
The main ‘Studio One’ at Miraval features 25-foot ceilings, a 100-square-metre control room and a 320-square-metre live room. This contains Jacques Loussier’s restored, 1860s-era Broadwood & Sons piano, plus a Bosendorfer piano and synths from Moog, Roland and Solina.
Speaking to Billboard, Pitt explains: “There were always plans to revamp the studio. It has great historical provenance and so we didn’t want to do it until we could do something special.”
“As a French engineer, it was a holy grail,” Quintard adds. “Miraval is one of those legendary, iconic studios. But it wasn't until I came to Miraval that I understood how deep the roots go.”
Commenting on the studio’s spec, Quintard says: “It was important for us to preserve all the analogue technology that was here, but to also fully incorporate the best digital technology of today. Making a desk that incorporates both analogue and digital really allows the artist to use the best of both worlds in a fresh and new way.”
Discussing the studio’s ‘vibe’, Pitt notes: “We wanted to create a space where you can be free and it was in that spirit that we approached it - ‘let’s make a sanctuary’. I’m really excited to see what music comes out of here.”
It’s been confirmed that the first artist to record at the new Miraval Studios was Sade, who’s working on a follow-up to 2010’s Soldier Of Love album. Booking enquiries can be made via the Miraval Studios website.