Merging helps power East London’s newest creative sanctuary
A purpose-built studio in London’s bustling Wood Wharf has put a new stamp on the infamous ‘studio hire’ concept. Founded by friends Amin Hamzianpour and Nicholas Sonuga, Qube East is the newest venture for the pair – a creative sanctuary that utilises innovative audio technology, including a Dolby Atmos system based on Merging and Neumann products.
Hamzianpour and Sonuga met in 2017 whilst working as producers and songwriters. Their studio space at the time was far from ideal, but comparing notes in cramped kitchens forced them to come up with a better solution. They wanted to allow like-minded people to collaborate and socialise in an affordable and creative environment, without the constraints of rental and equipment costs.
A location in West London close to the A40 was chosen for Qube’s very first site. Named Qube West, all members receive a discount on room hire here, but anybody can book a space for as little as half a day and take advantage of the on-site facilities. These are open to everyone from musicians to podcasters, YouTubers, artists, photographers and more.
Unsurprisingly, Qube West has proven to be extremely popular. The opening of Qube’s second multifaceted creative space in East London earlier this year (aptly named Qube East) has only added to the changing landscape of the local area, which has now become a desirable residential location with a growing creative community.
“East is the epicentre of London’s creative community,” begins Sonuga, “so we had always intended on opening on that side of town. Although we’ve only been open a few months, we’ve seen a massive demand from new members waiting for us to open on their doorstep. The vision for Qube has always been to offer flexible, premium studios across a number of easily accessible sites. Qube East is the first in the string of the expansion rollout.”
“We worked with the landowners of Canary Wharf to play a key role in helping to change the identity of the new neighbouring development, Wood Wharf. Its intention is to be a stark contrast to the financial district, instead it’s full of fresh bars, restaurants, and creative businesses. It was an exciting opportunity to really put our stamp on one of London’s prime locations and help shape the culture in a meaningful way.”
The success of Qube West and the changing market allowed the pair to expand their kitchen top dream with Qube East to incorporate more ambitious plans. A Merging Dolby Atmos mixing facility, supplied by Emerging, Merging sales partner in the UK, and designed and built by Sustainable Acoustics and Acoustics GRG has completely reinvented the new space by addressing the rapid growth of Qube’s immersive audio platforms.
Qube East is built upon the blocks laid by Qube West, but with this space both Hamzianpour and Sonuga wanted a bigger and bolder upgrade, especially on the technology front. You’ll find Neumann and PMC loudspeakers in every room of the facility, alongside innovative new studio offerings, including fully automated video streaming rooms for DJs and podcasters and post-production edit suites. Qube has become a home for all content creators across various disciplines.
“We wanted to cater to engineers that may not have the means to install their own set up. At Qube, we’re all about carving out affordable and flexible access to creative professionals at all levels,” furthers Sonuga.
“Until now, if you wanted an Atmos mix, you’d need to book an expensive room at one of the established studios, whereas Qube offers an alternative, booking by the hour. This allows our members and clients to mix in Atmos without the budget constraints or time limitations. East London has the largest demographic of music creators in the country, so we were sure that the rise of Dolby Atmos for music would allow us to cater to them accordingly.”
Merging was selected for its reputation and helpful demo service, too. “We were blown away with the transparency of the conversion along with the handy integration of the Anubis/Hapi control system which gave us the functionality we needed in a rack and desktop format.”
“An important feature was being able to easily switch between stereo and Atmos mixes, as well as simplified plug and play options for clients bringing in their own rigs. The Merging rig gave us everything we were looking for in a tech spec. It sounds incredible, it’s certainly the best sounding room in the building. The immersive audio is unreal, it really allows you to place yourself within the audio field and experience the music to its full potential.”
Qube East opened its doors back February and has since attracted a large portion of London’s creative pool, with over 500 people on the waiting list for a membership before the studio launched. “The Atmos rig is pretty intuitive to use, even our community staff and assistant engineers can fire it up without tons of technical experience. Ease of use is super important for us as we have so many different people in and out of the studios, we like to make things as streamlined as possible,” concludes Sonuga.
“The feedback that we have had from our engineers regarding the quality of the Merging rig, combined with the Neumann monitoring system, has been incredible. We have seen very big smiles in the studio every time we fire up a reference track. The Anubis is the star of the show each time, the ability to reference from 7.1.4 to a 2.1 folded-down mix with the press of a button is a Godsend.”