Musical duo exchange London for Liverton

Two of the UK’s leading music mastering engineers have moved their studios to Exmouth – and are now working just two doors apart!


Musical duo exchange London for Liverton

Mike Marsh and Simon Davey were colleagues at The Exchange Mastering Studios in London for many years, but when the landlord said the building where they worked was being turned into flats they set up separate studios in different parts of the country.

Mike moved back to his home county of Devon and set up Mike Marsh Mastering at the Liverton Business Park in Exmouth, owned by Clinton Devon Estates, while Simon founded The Exchange Vinyl in Hertfordshire. But Simon was again forced to up sticks, and after Mike told him about Liverton, he took a unit just a few yards from his former workmate, opening for business in January

Mike’s client list includes Oasis, Calvin Harris and the Chemical Brothers, and he has also worked on tracks by bands from ABC to Zoot Woman, via Depeche Mode, Erasure, Massive Attack, The Prodigy and dozens of others. He said: “Liverton has to be the best business park in East Devon, if not all of Devon. It’s obviously important to me that my business is in a great location, but it’s equally important that it’s in the right place for my clients.

“My work involves mastering audio for CDs, DVDs, digital downloads and vinyl for a wide range of musicians, including International Pop, Hip-Hop, R&B and Rock artists, so good communications are obviously very important. The communications here are very good: some of my clients fly in from Italy, France, Germany or Spain, and we’re only 15 minutes from Exeter International Airport. We’ve also had clients fly from Canada to London and get the train down to Devon. There’s a really good rail link from Exmouth to the main line at Exeter. And Exmouth is an ideal place for clients to stay, with plenty of choice of hotel accommodation and food outlets. Many have commented how waking up in the morning at their hotel, whilst looking out to sea, has such a relaxing influence and readies them for a busy day ahead! The high-speed broadband is excellent here too.

“We get 75MB download and 20MB upload, which is about as good as you can get anywhere in the country. I think my fellow tenants take pride in being part of Liverton. The place is very well managed by Clinton Devon Estates, it looks nice, it’s kept tidy and the security is very good. There’s also plenty of parking, which is important for visiting clients.”

Estates Surveyor Adrian Pitts, from Clinton Devon Estates, said: “The Liverton Business Park provides employment space for a wide variety of enterprises, creating jobs and contributing to the economy of Exmouth, East Devon and beyond. The location, facilities and easy access mean Liverton is very popular with the public – and with businesses looking to expand or relocate. We have recently completed the new Harpford Units, which are already generating a great deal of interest from new tenants.”

Simon added: “Mike really sold Liverton to me – everything he says about it is true. Many creative people are being squeezed out of London by a shortage of suitable premises at reasonable rents. But Exmouth is so well connected that in many ways I could be back in London – just without the disadvantages like the long commutes. The majority of my work arrives over the internet nowadays, so it really doesn’t matter if I am not actually in London!”

Having worked on releases by Emeli Sande, Dizzee Rascal, Calvin Harris, The Swedish House Mafia, The Spice Girls and Tinie Tempah among many others, Simon has recently decided to concentrate on mastering music mainly for vinyl records.

He said: “At the moment I would say that around 95 per cent of my work is mastering vinyl records. Many people don’t realise that an album can take many months to record and mix in the studio, often with different producers working on different tracks at different times. My job is to bring all that together so the sound is consistent. Mastering is the last chance to get the music sounding its best before the public get to hear it.”

Vinyl records are currently enjoying a resurgence, with sales at the end of 2016 hitting £2.5 million a week compared to £2.1m for digital downloads.

Simon said: “A lot of young kids have come to the vinyl market for the first time and are discovering the joy of going to a record shop, choosing a piece of vinyl and taking it home and listening to it. Downloading music isn’t enough for a lot of music listeners now, they are enjoying the fun element of vinyl. Most downloaded digital tracks are in the MP3 file format which is compressed to save space and download more quickly and so have a certain sound, when it comes to vinyl it is a totally different listening experience.

“The resurgence of vinyl has also rekindled the interests of the older generation. A lot of people in their 50s and 60s are getting their turntables down from the loft and enjoying vinyl again too.”

Find out more about Liverton Business Park here.

But our power for good or evil in this world’s affairs in a countryside is enormous

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892

We are trustees for life of the countryside

– 22nd Baron Clinton, 2002

Handing over something more valuable than we have today,

– Estates ethos

Do what you can to elevate your profession. It is an honourable one

– Robert Lipscomb, Steward 1865 – 1892

to set out against the Scots, the King’s enemies and rebels

– Instructions given by Edward 1 to John de Clinton on 8th April 1298, prior to him leading the Royal army to victory at the Battle of Falkirk. As a direct result the Clinton Barony was formed on 22nd July 1299