Whether you're popping in to hire the podcast room, or producing a single, you're likely to meet some of the team, who would love to show you round and make sure you feel at home.
Recording sessions are mostly undertaken by John or Bill, and you'll definitely have heard from Chrissy when making your booking. As for Jordan, well: I'm not sure there's anything he can't do...
Director of Crown Lane, John is a music producer with around 20 years hands-on experience recording, mixing and producing music across many genres, specialising in Jazz, Folk, and World. His love of all things sound, has been a life-long passion – he holds an equal love of all things related to music technology, alongside raw musical talent.
John graduated in 2002 from Canterbury Christ Church University with a 2:1 in Music and a PGCE teaching qualification in music. Alongside always working in music production, he has hosted creative music related training courses in many different countries; from Bulgaria to Zimbabwe, as well as managing UK music tours.
In July 2007 he ceased working as a music teacher at Cheam High School, where he was both Head of Music Technology and a Governor, to pursue his major passion in recording and producing music. He and his wife, Ruth put everything into making Crown Lane the home for musicians that it has become.
Outside of the studio, John is a dad of two boys; one foster daughter and a much disliked foster-cat. He loves running and recently completed a marathon for his favourite charity Zimkids.
Bill has worked at Crown Lane since 2008, recording, editing and producing client projects. He is also our in-house mastering engineer and does an exceptional job!
He has a keen ear for music and pays great attention to getting the best sound from both instruments and singers. He is particularly focused on guitar and bass tone due to his personal experience playing and recording with these instruments.
Bill has been playing guitar, bass and singing in bands and studios since the 70s! This has included festival, TV and radio work. He is experienced in session playing too.
Prior to working at Crown Lane and in addition to regularly gigging with a variety of bands, Bill worked in the IT industry for 20 years followed by work teaching at Kings College London and South Thames College.
Outside of the studio, Bill plays in covers band ‘Coast’ as guitarist and vocalist, he is keenly involved in fundraising for Crown Lane’s chosen charity, Zimkids.
Chrissy is our Studio Manager, with a background in Marketing, PR and Business Development. Chrissy is here to ensure the studio runs efficiently and works alongside the team at Metronome on music events and promotions.
She runs the studio office, taking care of bookings, payments and communications. Chrissy also enjoys promoting the various community and charity events that Crown Lane is involved in.
If you need to make a booking, would like to come and visit the studio or find out how we can help you engage with music and the local community – Chrissy’s the woman for you…
Outside the studio, Chrissy is mum of two, loves a good film, curling up with a good book or getting muddy in the garden.
Jordan is our Creative. Starting out as an intern in 2019, he now manages our social media platforms; gets hands on during sessions and helps us shape future plans. Jordan is an all-round go getter who keeps us on our toes!
In 2021 he released Being Yourself, produced by himself and John at Crown Lane.
History of Crown Lane
Back in art class, aged 14, I designed my very first studio. I am grateful still to my parents for always encouraging childhood dreams. In fact, it was Dad who saw an ad in the paper for a drummer in a touring band, which I auditioned for, and I guess that's where things started to get serious...
After returning from uni, teaching and marrying Ruth, we happily lived above what is now Metronome. At the back, in a cavernous lock-up, we slowly developed what would become Crown Lane Studio. At first, only the control room and Room 1 existed.
Then, near tragedy struck. Borrowing my dad's car as the weather was so stormy we feared the Nissan Micra might not make it to Reading and back, we enjoyed a day with family. On the late return journey, the wind pulling down trees and powerlines, on the eve of New Year's Eve 2001, my mum, thirty miles away playing the piano at home, suddenly stopped and felt the need to pray for our safety.
Then they got the call.
"Dad, we're ok... but your car... with us in it... got swept down a river".
A ford had suddenly become impassable as the waters burst their banks and swallowed the road entirely taking us, and several other cars and a lorry into the flow.
Now was the time. Time to stop teaching, stop waiting and stop trying to record in my free time. Time to risk everything.
Notice handed in, we worked flat out to get the business up and running.
The studio was open, and soon, the one room wasn't enough. 2010, and plans for Room 2 - a dedicated rehearsal room were in place. This led also to an opening through to the coffee house at the front, and a further extension for office space. Crown Lane looked more like it does today.
But the music industry looked very different. We offered "cutting edge": Instant FAST CD replication and on disc printing as well as packaging!
(Streaming? What's that?!.. We've seen quite enough water thank you very much.)
2015-17 we couldn't seem to stop winning awards! Including Best Business in Merton; Most sustainable business in the arts; runner up in the FSB London-wide awards; we recorded our 1000th project... became an eco studio...
...then, the lights went out.
Ruth, my wife, co-director, best friend and mother to our two fabulous boys became unwell. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma. Despite the most gruelling chemo involving over 50 nights in hospital and the kindest nursing staff, on the 9th March 2019, Ruth died.
Bill was exceptional. Single-handedly keeping the studio going.
Ruth brought so much joy to the studio, and her joy for life even more permeates through everything we do - and it will continue.
Choosing joy, and courage, we pressed on, and I believe the best is still to come.
FIrst Chrissy, then Jordan arrived, bringing so much life and fresh ideas.
Room 3 was built - for the developing podcast market, and to achieve a fully accessible recording space.
Next we opened Metronome, and Naomi joined the team to manage the coffee house. She then started building her team...
...and that's where you join the story...
It's today. How can we support the next chapter of your journey?
We'd love to chat.
John (May 2021)
We definitely punch above our weight.
As a boutique studio in a South London suburb, we're not naturally positioned at the epicentre of arts and culture, however our heritage, awards and returning customers continue to paint a very different story.
Listen into recent sessions here.
As a fully-accessible studio, we are regularly used by production companies to create recorded audio content for BBC radio, podcasts and BBC sounds.
Recording a month-long history of the jazz greats broadcast nightly on Jazz FM.
Regularly recording sample libraries for Loopmasters used across thousands of releases over the past 5 years.
Royal Albert Hall
Recording and mixing of live shows from the Elgar Room; soundtrack creation; audio content used in main venue.
A hospital trust commissioned us to record a song involving 100+ staff recording virtually, with musicians recording at the studio. The project aimed to bring joy to staff, patients and families during the Covid pandemic.