Since our first studios in 1986 we have received many great testimonials from our fans and happy clients, here are a selection from a wide variety of recording and multimedia customers from bands, managers and professional performers through to schools, councils and corporate users of the studios:
I have had an association with Paul Higgins and Trevor Carter for many years. Their studios have been a catalyst to launching many artists. Their recording and production expertise with Delta Goodrem enabled me to get a recording deal with Sony. Their studios have also established artists like Natasha Duarte, Marc Collis and the extraordinary legacy of Kool Skools. Their new studios I am sure will continue the tradition of helping establish many a career. Glenn Wheatley Talentworks
I have been involved with and promoted projects that Paul Higgins and Trevor Carter have created for over 3 decades. From their Kool Skools program to Studio 52 recording artists, Empire Music endeavours and more, I have not hesitated to connect my name and my publications to their ventures, as I can be confident that the highest level of passion, professionalism and quality will always be attributed to them. Greg Phillips – Editor, Australian Musician magazine.
Had the pleasure of working with Paul and Trevor at EmpireStudios to record a music track. Supremely professional end toend and very happy with the final result – highly recommended! Peter Scougall, Head of Strategic Accounts at Telstra
There are plenty of â€˜cowboyâ€™ studios around which might have a nice room or fancy gear, but without a savvy engineer, it is meaningless. Paul & Trevor understood the sound I was going for straight away, which made the process 10x easier, I was quite impressed. Aynsley Green, Jazz Pianist
I recently worked with Paul and Trevor on a global project, at Empire Music Studios. EMS is a fantastic recording studio, with world class facilities, total professionalism at all levels and dedication to excellence. l strongly recommend this team if you want world class music recording results. My great thanks to EMS. Don Farrands SC, Commercial Barrister
A huge Thanks to Paul Higgins & Trevor Carter of #Studio52 (Empire Music Studios Pty Ltd) for all their support over the years. I started there as engineer in 2007 (after I did work experience in 2006) as one of 2 engineers to record/mix school bands for #KoolSkools. The next 2-3 years working on ‘Kool Skools’ projects is what really made me the engineer I am today, if I hadn’t been given that role (basically producing an album in a few days for a large group of high school kids & doing up to 50 schools like that in a year) it would’ve taken over 10 years to get to that level. Initially it was overwhelming, but Paul & Trev were always supportive & I’m eternally grateful they took a risk on bringing me in when I was a new engineer. In 2013 I moved to Sydney & again was given an opportunity by Paul & Trevor to continue with a local studio that connected with the ‘Kool Skools’ project. I really enjoyed that. I’ve seen many photos & spoken a lot to Paul in particular about their new facilities in Heidelberg West. I can’t wait to see it for my self & fingers crossed work on some projects with them again. The ‘Kool Skool’s project is coming up for their 25th Anniversary! Wow! ‘Kool Skools’ is definitely something you MUST look into if you’re musician in school, a music teacher at school or a parent with a children interested in music. I definitely hold Paul & Trev in high regard & would recommend their studios to any musicians. Michael Robson, Previous Engineer at Studio 52 and Megaphon in Sydney for Kool Skools
First of all, Paul and Trevor are just the nicest most down to earth guys you could ever find in the music industry. Iâ€™ve known them for 40 years and neither of them has any BS attached. After nearly that many years recording in Collingwood, they have now set up their Dream Studio. It has everything â€“ and I mean everything you could ever hope for in a recording studio. It can even accommodate an orchestra if youâ€™re feeling like you have a symphony in you. These guys are committed to making your music sound the very best it can. Just check it out. You wonâ€™t be disappointed. Neil Wallace, the Bassplayer
I have been in the Music Industry for in excess of thirty years and Studio 52 is without doubt the most modern and well presented Recording Studio I have ever seen. It is definitely Five Star and the quality of the equipment is second to none. It is a Showpiece. The Management are very Professional with years of experience. It is well worth a visit. Congratulations Paul for the masterpiece you have created. Ray Lastelle, long-term client
Without a doubt this is Melbourneâ€™s most productive recording and production complex for musicians and producers alike. The way they have stuff set up you can really get a fast workflow. I particularly like the sound or the newer drum booth in studio C, plus all the Universal Audio pres and fabulous mic kit they have. Iâ€™m always happy with the sound I get out of 52, and they have great coffee. Ross Kordakis, Bass Player with Stick Mareebo
Paul and Trevor have done an amazing job building this studio in West Heidelberg. The quality of the fit out and attention to detail is staggering, and the facilities extensive. Thereâ€™s not only two gorgeous recording studios with a third on the way, but also a video suite, recreation area, full kitchen, bathrooms with disabled facilities. Ask the guys to give you a tour, not only is it special, itâ€™s simply the best. Laurence Hunter, Hunter Pianos Heidelberg heights
Studio 52 has pursued recording studio excellence with a passion for music that is reflected in the commitment of its guru like sound producer, engineer, musicianâ€™s muse Trevor Carter and the business driving force of Paul Higgins. My music was brought to life by these peopleâ€¦my son is soon on his recording journey with them. Studio 52 is not just about recordingâ€¦it is living the dream of turning notes, lyrics and melody into an experience of ultimate music expression. Damian Manassa, singer-Songwriter
A spacious modern audio recording facility that can accommodate individual performers to large bands. I have recorded there in studio 2, as well as conducted many commercial photography sessions in their photostudio. The sheer space in the facility is a welcome feature too, providing a modern kitchen and breakout area . Highly recommend an inspection. Stan Traiandes, Ikon Photography
Iâ€™ve been a big fan of Trev and Paulâ€™s work in their previous Collingwood studios, but the new ones make anything Iâ€™ve seen before look pale in comparison. Not only are they huge and could literally accommodate just about any size band or even an orchestra, they sound amazing. Seriously consider using Empire when you next need a five star recording. Nigel Ross
Went to the first opening of Empire Music Studios, looking good. A large range of equipment to work with. Trevor & Paul more than happy to explain the process. Steve McCall
Okay, letâ€™s get the important bit out of the way first. In my opinion, this studio is world class. The recordings I did with these guys back in 2002-3 got my band festival gigs in Europe. I got us interviews on the BBC in England and have garnered us a series of really strong reviews, both on the web and in print. One of those songs was even used as the inaugural, opening track for a new radio station in the UK. (How often does that happen?). Iâ€™ve worked in a number of other studios and with other producers, but ten years on, I still go back to these guys when I need that something extra. Now the disclaimer, the work Iâ€™ve done has been with their producer, Trevor Carter. I canâ€™t comment on the other producers in residence, although I can’t imagine them employing any duds either. Personally speaking, Iâ€™ll keep booking Trevor. Heâ€™s really good. I guess one reason youâ€™re reading this review is to decide whether the extra money you’ll spend will be worth it. My mates in the band wondered the same thing. There are, let’s be honest, a lot of places out there who will record music for much less. You can put together something yourself without ever leaving your bedroom. Like most things, it depends on what you want. If you just want to put something rough up on sound cloud so that everyone else can hear your chops, then this place is probably an overkill. On the other hand, if you really want your project to impress people, then this is the place for you. But back to my mates in the band. We get mates rates from a studio owner who is, indeed, a good friend of ours. He works at a fraction of the cost of these guys in terms of dollars per hour. But the guys in the band are now convinced it will end up cheaper in the long run to do our stuff via Studio 52 than with him. You kind of have to be there in order to appreciate how that can be true. But suffice to say that having a world-class producer driving the latest, a state-of-the-art recording software has its advantages. Things get done quick, and you get good results faster. Anyway, that’s my rap. I should say for the record that Iâ€™m not getting any incentives or free studio time, or anything like that for writing this review. But these guys have done really well by us and I think they deserve to be recognized. Whoever is reading this, best of luck with getting your sounds out there. Geoff Dawes
â€œWe used Studio 52 to record our Symphonic Showcase concert in August of 2014. They brought their mobile equipment to our auditorium and recorded our Symphony Orchestra, our Senior String Ensemble and our Symphonic Wind Band. We were hugely impressed with the results. Paul & Trevor and their staff were easy to work with, particularly during the complicated task of setting up to record ensembles of this size, and we were thrilled with the results of the recording. Studio 52 captured the performances of all of our ensembles with a wonderful clarity, and just the right amount of production to enhance the sounds of the live performance. We would recommend Studio 52 to any school looking for a professional recording of their large ensemble.â€
Scott Templeton, Director of Music, Yarra Valley Grammar
“Very pleased with the quality of recording , service and attention to detail, particularly by the Sound Engineer, Trevor Carter” – Naomi Selvaratnam
“Sound Engineer Trevor Carter was great” – John Huf
“Really enjoyed the day – got alot out of it and plan to go back in the future” – Chloe Davies
“Awesome recording session, well worth it” – Russell West
“Quality of the production we were able to make was great. I would highly recommend Studio 52” – Maryla Juchnowski
Studio 52 has been part of my life for 5+ years, and never fails to please me. Studio 52 has a great vibe about it that seems to provide inspiration and motivation. The studios are all very high quality with top grade engineers and gear that delivers an end product that always leaves listeners amazed. Over the years I have been very enthusiastic about Studio 52 and could never fault it. I have nothing but good things to say about it. Thanks to Paul, Michael, Trevor and Brendan for making Studio 52 such a great experience. Justin B
I’ve worked with studio 52 for two years through the kool skools project – I can honestly say this is the closest experience your students will get to the music industry. They are great blokes who are not only dedicated to their jobs but go out of their way to make sure you are satisfied with your recordings. It was the other day, I was playing a gig and the drummer I was playing with mentioned the kool skools project and how he thought it was the best experience young musicians could have while still under the age of 18 – enough said. Thanks for all your dedication fellas, much appreciated by the teachers, students and school communities involved with this fantastic project. Ben Salvador (Music Industry Teacher)
Ben Salvador, Heathdale Christian College
I highly recommend Studio 52 for corporate recording work. A very friendly and professional team guided me through a complex corporate project incorporating audio and video production for a training video. Trevor and Paul helped plan, organise, record, film and edit our project to a result that far exceeded my expectations. And all this for a very affordable price, much lower than other alternatives I considered at the time. Great Job guys, I will certainly be coming back for more.
“All the staff created an incredibly positive vibe for our students to work in. Brilliant facilities, sound guidance and an awesome result!” Rowville Secondary College (*first time project in 2015)
â€œThis was an amazing experience for our young people. They will be talking about this for a long time. What a fantastic environment the Studio 52 team have created and a great opportunity they have provided for young artists. Well Done!â€ Strathbogie & Murrindindi Shire Councils (*first time project in 2014)
â€œIâ€™m a HUGE fan of the Kool Skools project, Real recording experiences you wouldnâ€™t normally get the chance to be part of. This yearsâ€™ students (2011) said it was the coolest thing they have ever done!â€ Ben Salvador . Music Co-ordinator -Heathdale Christian College
â€œI was involved with Kool Skools from the start and thought it was a winner of an idea as soon as I heard the concept many years ago when it was first pitched to a handful of teachers in 1996. Over the last 15 years I have seen first hand what an amazing impact the â€˜Kool Skoolsâ€™ project had on our school and its community. It is not an understatement to say it has changed the lives of many of its participants and always for the better. Before we got involved with the â€˜kool Skoolsâ€™ project our school had an almost non existent music program . Thomastown SC now boasts its own music recording studio and an extensive music program and a strong musical culture that owes its existence to the ongoing success and participation within the â€˜Kool Skoolsâ€™ project. (Thomastown has participated in every single year of Kool Skools since its inception and it has become an integral part of the school, its curriculum and its community.) There has never been, in my 25 years of teaching, a better program that teaches, motivates and instills such pride in achievement to students who take part in it.â€
Jim Sismanes . Music Co-ordinator -Thomastown Sec. College- 1996-2007
#19th CD for Wangaratta High School! Kool Skools has influenced and changed the lives of many of our students. it has allowed the music department to grow and prosperâ€.
david ashfield (wangaratta high school)
â€œ(Re Kool Skools Awards 2013) Congratulations on another great event. As ever, I was blown away by the artist performances and especially Bonney Ranch and Tash Eloise who proved to be worthy winners of the JB HI FI prize.â€ mike glynn (music manager JB HiFi)
â€œ(Re Kool Skools Awards 2013) Just wanted to commend you for last nights Awards Night Just brilliant guys! The standard was so high this year â€“ what amazing talent we are blessed to see. On behalf of Heathdale, Thank-you!â€ ben salvadore (Heathdale Christian College)
â€œA big thank you to you and all the team at Studio 52 for continuing to run such a marvellous program.â€ caroline servadei (Korowa Anglican Girls School)
â€œ(On receiving the Award for Koolest Skool 2012) Wow â€“ thanks so much for Saturday night. What a brilliant night! Thankyou so much for your support to our students over the years.â€ ryan black (Notre Dame College)
â€œfor the past 11 years, kool skools has launched the careers of many of our music students including missy higgins and axle whiteheadâ€.
paul retke (geelong grammar school)
â€œwith the challenge of the lack of transport and remoteness of the community, itâ€™s given our young people the chance to meet and collaborate with different musos from other towns. theyâ€™ve worked remotely in the past so kool skools has been a great way to really push them into getting together, getting creative and writing their own musicâ€.
dion griffin (north central llen/buloke shire)
â€œwe discovered there was a necessity for an outlet to support more student driven musical projects. after being accepted into the kool skools project, students began working overtime to produce original material. students from both campuses were inspired to collaborate with students they may not have worked with beforeâ€. michael davis (caulfield grammar school)
â€œthe project has provided a unique opportunity for young bands in hobsons bay to experience a recording experience first hand. the young people are very excited at the opportunity to record their music and showcase it to friends, family and their local communityâ€.
daniel taylor (hobsons bay youth services)
â€œkool skools was incredible experience. it created teamwork musically but also pulled everything together across campuses, year levels, ethnicities and backgrounds. from year to year the â€˜legendâ€™ of the experience of doing kool skools keeps the students focused and creative.â€
helen jensen (copperfield college)
â€œitâ€™s amazing to work alongside professional engineers with access to state of the art equipment. kool skools has been a fantastic learning experience. it has had a positive impact on all students from the very young year 8â€™s through to our vce students. itâ€™s our schools first involvement in kool skools and has been a very positive and rewarding experienceâ€.
scott solimo (benalla college)
â€œkool skools has been a great project for our youth council members to be involved in. it has given members the opportunity to be involved in a collaborative project with other youth council members who they might not otherwise usually work with. they all talked about how much they enjoyed coming to the recording studio and seeing how everything came together. they are all asking about whether we can do it again next yearâ€.
kate munro (manly council)
â€œkool skools has given students an insight to the recording and sound engineering side of the industry. students have a feeling of ownership on the cd and a sense of pride about their schoolâ€.
lynn liu (cranbourne secondary college)
â€œkool skools has provided an outstanding opportunity for our young people to develop themselves creatively and professionally by having industry experts take them and their work seriously. all the feedback from both bands and our fresh crew is very positive. kool skools allows us to offer young local bands an opportunity to get recognition and community support for their talentsâ€.
heather padden (frankston youth resource centre)
â€œour students have experienced the realities of the music industry which has taught the students the necessities of recording which include: adequate rehearsal time, â€˜polishedâ€™ pieces, techniques to record in time, how to work as a team, how to work effectively in a small time frame, how to cooperate in a team environment under stress, fine tuning their listening skills and the importance of the whole recording procedure at every phase (i.e. rehearsal, record, overdubs, mixing). the multimedia students have learnt the importance of time management and new skills in design and multimedia. also, friendships are formed and some students have learnt how to adapt to different environments and improve their communication skills on a personal levelâ€.
kris garner (brisbane water secondary college)
For a historic look at the previous studios in Collingwood (1986-2019) you can download our old brochure from 2015 (PDF). Studio 52 2015 brochure
The new Empire Music Studios opened in Heidelberg West in November 2019 just as Collingwood was shut down. The new facilities include three Major Recording Studios, Production Suites, Art, Photography and Video Dept, along with offices, kitchen, bathrooms and large lounge and events areas.