The History of Depot Sound

Depot Sound opened in 1996 as a part of the Depot Artspace creative community in Devonport. Originally a practice room, it was soon taken over by Rikki Morris who ran The Bus recording studio until 2005. Rikki nurtured seminal Devonport artists including Finn Andrews and The Veils, The Checks, White Birds and Lemons, The Electric Confectionaires and Gin Wigmore. Rikki also recorded albums with kiwi icons Barry Saunders, Graham Brazier and Paul Holmes.

From 2006 Depot Sound was run by engineers Spencer Fairhurst, Kenny MacDonald and Mark Howden. It continued to focus on nurturing young talent and remaining accessible to the Devonport and wider music community. Many more up-and-coming artists were recorded during this time including Lorde and Graham Candy.

In 2012 Tui award winning engineer Dave Rhodes was hired to manage the studio. “What I love about the Depot is that it’s affordable for your average musician, so we get to work with all sorts of people and musical styles.” says Dave.

Under Dave’s management the studio has built a great reputation for affordable quality recordings and has become a busy musical hub in Devonport. To meet growing demand, a new control room was built in March 2015 to accommodate larger groups. At the same time, a second production studio was added for singer-songwriters and artists who need instrumentation to flesh out their musical ideas.

In the past few years, Depot Sound has recorded an eclectic mix of bands including Brendon Thomas and the Vibes, The Warratahs, Dead Beat Boys, John Rowles, Fire At Will, Shepherds of Cassini, Static Era, Ghosts of Electricity, The Dirty Sweets, Play it Strange, School of Rock, and a lot of as-yet-unknown artists, including many young people who had never been in a recording studio before and left inspired to pursue their musical dreams.

“We provide a friendly creative space where artists can express themselves and, with our experience and technical knowledge, we guide them to achieve the best possible recording, while still retaining their individual uniqueness and style” says Dave.

From Feb 2019, after many years recording and volunteering at Depot Sound since his teenage years, Morgan Allen transitioned into the role of studio manager and has also worked in the new production studio producing pop, hip hop, electronic music and movie scores.

Currently (Aug 2020), Depot Sound is managed by Neil Baldock. Neil has worked as the head engineer at both Revolver & Roundhead studios as well as working in some of the best studios in UK & LA (where he was a freelance engineer for 6 years). Over the past 30 years Neil has worked with artists like Kanye West, Neil Finn, Crowded House, Dave Dobbyn, Bic Runga and Head Like a Hole and had the privilege to learn off of some of the world’s best producers like Jim Scott, Joe Chicarelli, Nick Laurnay and Chris Lord Alge. Neil has also won a Tui for music engineering.

Neil is looking forward to sharing, teaching, encouraging and helping a new generation of artists, engineers and producers, both local and across the greater community to produce world class results and continue on the legacy of Depot Sound.