Armoury Studios  
Control Room
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  view 3
Recording Room
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  view 4
Mono reel-to-reel recorder, circa 1965
Since the age of thirteen I've had some sort of "recording studio" in my basement. The first one, in 1965, consisted of a Sears catalogue mail-order reel-to-reel recorder, about the size of a telephone directory (see image). 

I discovered, by covering the erase head with Scotch tape, I could record a second and third track of audio without erasing the first one (although the quality diminished exponentially with each pass).  Later I inserted a small "Radio Shack" toggle switch to disable the erase head. From that day on I was hooked on recording, and I dreamed of one day building my own studio.

Over the years I've had a series of basement studios.  A long list of recorders, mixers and miscellaneous gear came and went: Philips, TEAC, Revox, Ampex, Neve, Sound Workshop, Urei, Pultec, Neumann. 

By the summer of 1989 my home studio was stretched to the limit.  I had Studer 24-track recorder, an SSL E-Series console, and rack-upon-rack of compressors, limiters, reverbs and effects units.  I was writing and recording with Aerosmith at the time ... very loudly ... and I had a new-born baby napping upstairs. My wife had been very tolerant up to this point, but she gently suggested it might be time to move the studio out of the house!

I looked for a building to rent, but as soon as I said "recording studio" the answer was "no vacancy".  I thought about buying a building, but I couldn't find anything suitable. 

So I purchased a vacant lot, hired an architect, and began the design and construction of Armoury Studios ... from the ground up.
Howard Airey's
"first draft" conceptual drawing, above, and the finished studio, below

For a hundred years Vancouver's architecture rivalled that of many of the world's great cities.  Sadly, since the 1970's a succession of visionless city councils have allowed many significant buildings to be demolished by greedy developers and wealthy immigrants, without regard for the city's history or heritage.

When I built The Armoury I hoped to reverse that trend. I wanted to create something that looked liked it had been there since the 1920's.

The construction was managed by Dick Reid's "Kindred Developments". The studio's technical and acoustical elements were designed by Ron Vermeulen (aka "Ron Obvious"). 

Ron told me about a building he'd seen near Little Mountain Sound Studios.  It was a new building buillt in an old style.  I did a bit of research and discovered it had been designed by Howard Airey, a brilliant young architect with an affinity for "heritage" buildings. We met, and twenty-four hours later Howard presented me with a conceptual drawing. I loved it. With very little modification, that's exactly what we built.