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Thomas Dolby’s solar-powered boat studio

Submitted by on July 19, 2010 – 9:03 pm 3 Comments

Keyboard magazine recently did an interview with Thomas Dolby in his home studio, which just happens to be… a boat.

Powered by both solar and wind power, the studio is located somewhere on the north coast of England. The studio is based inside a large 1930’s lifeboat called Nutmeg, and has all the tools and gear needed to record his last album. He jokes:

“When the polar icecaps melt, my recording studio will rise up like an ark, and I’ll float off into the drowned world like a character from a JG Ballard novel”

Here is The Nutmeg, firmly rooted to the ground. You can just see the the solar panels and wind turbine at the top, which power the entire studio.

The main mix position has a Mac Pro with dual displays, Thiel SCS-4 monitors, the ever venerable Yamaha NS-10 monitors, and the whole thing is built right into the existing cabinetry of the boat.

For recording, Thomas uses a Millenia STT-1 channel strip and PreSonus FireStudio rack-mounted. Yes, that’s all the high tech you really need as long as you know what you’re doing with it!

Here’s his Nord Lead 3 virtual analog synth.

and a CME UF7 MIDI controller keyboard facing outwards to the bow of the boat.

Access Virus TI Polar synth.

Pretty sweet setup.

In this video, Thomas Dolby talks about his studio and the ideas behind it, then a rendition of a new song he wrote in the boat, at TED. He’s backed by members of the modern string quartet Ethel:

More pictures of the boat on Tiny House Living.

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  • thomas dolby home
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  • I love the idea of a studio that is on a boat!! that is just genius. You can have a cruise and do music without compromising on your sound.
    P.s. I am really hot right now for a nord synth 🙂

  • Cool, putting a solar powered studio on the boat instead of home or office. In this way, a composer fan can have fun while travelling. Perhaps more ideas and inspiration could come out! Dolby’s rock!

  • Paul Diaz says:

    great to see the revolution catching on,besides the kitchen at Tree Sound being solar powered, we now have 3 mobile hybrid wind/solar power stations that we run our Myer Sound PA with. I think we need to build an Arc next. Feeling blinded by the science. Thanks Thomas Dolby

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