Established in 2009 by the late Kevin Thorpe, Swanyard Music is run by musicians for musicians; a relaxed and creative area set in a town centre courtyard in the North Nottinghamshire Georgian town of Retford. With a population of 30,000 and an established live music and local arts scene, Retford has a village feel with good pubs, shops and restaurants and hotels. And from here, Swanyard Music provides a range of musical services at very competitive rates; from solo artist and band recording, to rehearsal facilities, to electronic production, to voiceover recording, to transfer services... and many more!


James Bennett is Swanyard Music's resident producer, composer and engineer. Graduating with a BA (Hons) in Creative Music Technology in 2004, James expresses keen knowledge of effective production methods and a flair for creative technique. With our often-complimented, relaxed atmosphere, Swanyard Music aims to nurture the goals of our clients - without breaking the bank.

We know how important it is to have a comprehensive palette of ideas at hand - so for songwriters, we can provide you with great bass players, guitarists and pianists/keyboardists as well as helping get the best arrangement for your song.


Affordable recording doesn't have to mean a cheap or textbook sound. A varied pallette of microphones, classic outboard, vintage keyboards and even some custom curiosities form the basis of our setup. We're running Logic Pro and Reason as primary DAWs, with a variety of plugins and samples, to provide up to 16 channels in at once and an almost unlimited number on mixdown. We also have provision of analogue recording and tape effects, with a collection of fully serviced '60s and '70s quarter-inch tape machines at our disposal.

Recording rates start as follows:

Day rate for full band - 8 hours: £150

Day rate for solo artist - 8 hours: £100

Half-day or evening slot rate for solo artist - 4 hours: £60

Hour rate for solo artist: £25

See this PDF for our up-to-date tech spec:

[PDF link]

Concessions are available for block bookings or larger projects - feel free to get in touch to discuss your project.


Here are a few recent examples of Swanyard productions. Click each one to check them out on Bandcamp, Youtube, and major streaming platforms.


Practice space is available provided the studio isn't booked for recording. We provide a PA system and mixer, bass rig, vocal mics and basic drum kit - minus cymbals, snare and kick pedal - drummers are welcome to bring their own breakables of choice! The studio is ground floor situated, in an air conditioned room, so no staircases or stuffy rooms to worry about. Bookings are also publicly available to view via our Google Calendar which makes free slots much easier to grab! Get in touch if you would like to book.

Rehearsals are priced at:

Two-hour slot: £15

Three-hour slot: £20

Contact us for a price if you need more time!


Swanyard Songwriters, formed in 2011, is a group made up of musicians, writers, poets, and everything in between - and you are invited. By joining, you will be supported by the studio and the group to practice the art of original songwriting, recording and performance. Every year, members aim to produce one of their songs on the Swanyard Songwriters compilation album, with the help of the group’s collective talents!

We meet on Thursday nights at the Retford studio, from 7:30pm until 9:30pm.

Your first session is free, and single sessions are just £5 thereafter.

Alternatively, generous discounts are available by becoming a member:

One Year membership for £15 per month, with a 10% discount on recording costs


One Year membership for £30 per month with a 50% discount on recording costs

If you would like to be part of this creative and diverse group, call or email for more details.


Swanyard Music can also transfer cassette, minidisc, open reel tape, vinyl record, DAT tape or DTRS tape to digital audio files or music CD for a low price. VHS and Beta to DVD or digital video files also available. Get in touch for a quote.


Been recording here for almost five years. Seventy seven tracks recorded with twenty four in the offing! I cannot recommend it highly enough!
- David Wright

Highly recommended. Great studio with an excellent engineer. My go to studio for all recording.
- Oliver Whitehouse

Fantastic studio! I have recorded at Swanyard with James many times and always been happy with the finished results. It's a relatively inexpensive studio considering the equipment and James's unique ear. Also a very relaxed, inexpensive and private rehearsal space.
- Robert Cook

Great studio. I record most of my work here. James is very knowledgeable and excellent to work with.
- Tom Pryce

fantastic studio, I've spent many a happy hour working with James on my tracks!
- Rory Cannon


James Bennett

07801 393204


[Click here to view our Google Calendar for booking availability]

Georgian House,
81 Carolgate,
DN22 6EH

[Click here to view on Google Maps]