While Division One Studios is surrounded by the tranquility of the Swedish countryside, it is just 15 minutes from the centre of Gothenburg, in Hedefors. It was built three years ago in part of an old brick and stone factory complex and combines many of the building’s original features with the needs of a modern recording environment.
The names behind Division One are sound engineer Arnold Lindberg andTom Englund, lead vocalist with Swedish band, Evergrey. The appearance and features of the studio are the ideas of Arnold as translated by studio designer Claes Olssen, of Audio Support, into practice. He took the open upper floor of one building, emptied it of decades of disuse, and laid out a studio that would make maximum use of the floor space, natural light, and Arnold’s wish to have a very large control room window - 4 metres wide, achieved with 23mm thick glass.
The window dictated that the speakers be mounted above it. The Genelec 1038monitors appear flush mounted but are actually fully isolated from the wall structure and hanging on springs from the ceiling. This works well, and in conjunction with the control room acoustics, provides a punchy sound at high volume as the studio required. Nearfield monitoring is handled by 1031s positioned on top of the SSL 4000 E/G console. The console feeds a Pro Tools Mix3 system and wide range of outboard gear.
The studio area is purposefully very live yet with a slight delay before a very diffuse reverberation which makes it popular for large drum sounds with screens being used to control the liveness when needed. This sound has led to a certain type of clientele.
"Division One", explained Arnold, "has become associated with heavy metal bands because they are the kind of bands that I’ve been touring with. I would prefer a wider range of music here in the studio but so far that is what we have been doing. We had the Gothenburg Philharmonic Orchestra here to record some string parts for the last Evergrey album and they were amazed by the acoustics here in the room for strings. I’m really satisfied with Claes’ design, in the musicians area and the control room."