The Sound Company
History of Gosfield Street, lower down - Advision

"Gosfield" Street? Possibly from Gocefeild, Gorefeld, Gorsfeild and Gosfend, or possibly from Goosefield, Godís field or Gorse Field - or from an ancient family surnamed de Gosfeld during the reigns of King Henry II (1154-1189), Richard 1st (1189-1199) and King John (1199-1216).

There is a village called Gosfield in Essex, where, in Gosfield Hall, King Louis XVIII lived with his Queen & 350 courtiers in the early 1800's.

But why was George Street changed to Gosfield Street between 1827 & 1898? Answers, as they say, on a postcard please...



Here, you can just about make out the old painted street sign "Upper Marylebone Street". Many thanks to our eagled-eyed Studio 2 sound engineer and Studio Manager Dom Boucher who spotted this.


In the late 19th century, Charles Booth carried out a survey into life and labour in London. Below is an extract from his actual notes about Gosfield Street - inhabited by "clerks, artisans and women of easy virtue". So, no change there then.



No. 23 was then The All Souls National Girls and Infants School. This was later split into the "poor school" in Ogle Street and the current school in Foley Street.



Fast-forwarding to 1969, a company called Advision set up what was to become one of the most famous sound studios in Europe.

See also Phil's Book for more info, photos & discography



Advision, as the name implied, initially recorded voice-overs for TV and cinema commercials


Orson Welles


London at that time was the centre of the European Film business and was the culture capital of the world. If you had to be anywhere in the swinging sixties, you had to be in London.

             

      

An enormous studio space practically the height of the whole building and accomodating 60 musicians, was fitted out with 35mm projection on to a full cinema screen. (The projection room now being our Studio 6).

              

(Above left)   The main music studio in 1992, 6 years before we bought the freehold in May '98. (However, we rented a couple of floors from 1993.)    Because we didn't want to ruin or carve-up the space, the studio is now is used for
TV media training facilities, broadcast TV interviews & various other audio/radio projects.

             

We built an audio post studio in what was the music studio control room. (Studio 1, below)

An additional mix suite was placed in the basement... (now our Studio 2, below)

       

and a large voice dubbing theatre on the first floor... (now our Studio 3, below)

   

The whole set up was run exclusively on the state-of-the-art WESTREX recording system - its familiar logo adorns the title sequence of many a well loved film.

During the seventies, the industry changed. The need for massive orchestrations meant that vast out of town studios were built, capable of housing large studio orchestras. Advision had to find a new niche - and became one of the leading rock industry facilities.

Bands such as Yes and ELP cut their most famous works here, as well as solo artists such as Paul Young and David Essex. The Essex hit "Hold me Close" was recorded and mixed here on Eight Track. For some reason, probably best forgotten, the mix took 36 hours of continuous slog!!!

Probably the most famous work ever to be recorded in the studio was Jeff Wayne's epic concept album "The War Of The Worlds".

This was an epic in more ways than it's 2 hour length. The Album took nearly four years to complete.


The coup of Richard Burton agreeing to record the narration was offset for the staff by Burton being 3 weeks late for the recording session; a fact that may well give some notoriously tardy voiceovers some comfort.

See Phil's Book for more info about Advision...

Film had always been an important part of studio life. Peter Greenaway edited some early works there. Advision continued to be popular with documentary makers and commercial producers, using actors such as Orson Welles. All sorts of material was recorded - from Buxted Chicken TV ads to the late Johnny Morris' animal impersonations for his Animal Magic programme. Jingles for Toblerone & Typhoo were recorded here by Barry Gray (writer of all the themes & incidental music for Twizzle, Four Feather Falls, Secret Service, SuperCar, Fireball XL5, International Rescue & so on.)

   



A SMALL DIGRESSION:

Although none of the above themes were recorded at Advision, many were recorded at IBC Studios where, in the late seventies, Geoff Oliver (MD of The Sound Company Ltd) started a company called RadioTracks in partnership with the late Chas Chandler. Chas was the bass player in The Animals, signed-up Jimi Hendrix, managed Slade & many other bands.


(The Animals found some success with their first single "Baby, Let Me Take You Home", but it was their second single, "House of The Rising Sun" which catapulted them into international fame.)

       
(IBC Music Studio A & Control Room (above right)

  

Above, (ex-IBC Studio B) one of the two RadioTracks production studios based at IBC Studios, 35 Portland Place, London W1. Not being involved with musicians, our studios weren't as "trashed" as the music studio!


Much fun was had by all!


Chas Chandler eventually sold out to Don & David Arden, so we (RadioTracks) bought ourselves out & moved out to Great Titchfield Street near to where The Sound Company is based now. Apart from the usual voiceovers (inc. Aardman's The Wrong Trousers) we remastered & re-synched the audio (in many languages) for the entire ITC library (series & films) - which included all the Gerry Anderson programmes (apart from Twizzle). This was a 24/7 operation for many months, re-syncing from 16mm mag audio using a clutch of Sondor sound-followers, and a collection of Nagras - to mainly Marconi 1" VTRs. The 1" videos had been telecined from various sources. To find the best prints or negs they sometimes had to use what could be wildly different foreign cuts. Sometimes it took hours & hours to piece one soundtrack together. Often titles were missing from the videos - I spent many days at Molinare and Evolutions re-creating title and credit sequences.



IBC started out as The International Broadcasting Company, beaming sponsored radio programmes to Britain from abroad - such as Radio Normandy. This was commercial radio even back in the thirties!

IBC was originally housed in Hallam Street on the site of what is now BBC Broadcasting House Extension. To allow the BBC to develop the BH site, the deWalden Estate moved IBC over the road to a prestigious site in Portland Place, previously mainly occupied by embassies. Now it's an embassy again - The Columbian Embassy

See Phil's Book for more info about IBC...

BACK TO ADVISION:

In the early 90's Advision followed the trend of moving out of London, building residential studios in Brighton. Unfortunately by the time we (The Sound Company) found the building in 1993, the ground floor (including what used to be the main recording studio) and mezzanine had been already let.The remaining studios and offices were in a fairly derelict condition. In 1998 the other tenants moved out and we bought the freehold, expanding into the rest of the building.

The studio tradition still survives. The Sound Company Ltd have once again earned a name for quality at the old school in Fitzrovia.

E & O E. © Geoff Oliver
The Sound Company Ltd
1993-2017