Andy Magoffin has transformed an old stone stable in Preston into a fully functional recording studio
All around Cambridge there are countless historic buildings, but in the heart of Preston, inside the stone walls of a former stable, is a studio apartment full of 1970s antiques and pretty Instruments to Shame a High School Music Hall.
Down an unassuming street, in what looks like an old stone barn, as it was, is the House Of Miracles, a recording studio that has worked with indie bands from all over southern Ontario.
“I do everything, everything falls under the cover of the musician. I tune pianos, I play on people’s records, I record, mix and master. It’s just a bag of music,” said Andy Magoffin, owner of The House of Miracles.
The music studio is divided into two sections, the main room where a band can set up and where shows can actually be played. This is also where most of Magoffin’s instruments are stored.
The second is the recording, mixing and mastering side. With high ceilings and classic old fashioned studio lighting. The mood is set from the moment you walk in; it’s a place to be creative and ultimately, relax.
All over the studio, instruments line the walls, are in the middle of the room, and everywhere you look you’re bound to see a guitar or piano that has a different story to tell.
“I acquired most of my instruments when I left London, Ontario 11 years ago,” Magoffin said. “I have a cool ’60s Gibson and a ’70s refrigerator-sized 16-track tape recorder.”
Magoffin has over 25 years of experience in the music industry. He was part of groups, “Two-Minute Miracles”, “Raised By Swans” and appeared on several discs.
Currently, Magoffin is focused on video game soundtracks and expanding beyond typical media types.
“I really loved the video game stuff! I did the soundtrack for Jurassic World and I’m doing a special edition LP for a game called Planet Zoo,” Magoffin said. “It’s just soundtrack mastering work, but I love it, so many people hear this stuff.”
Due to the pandemic, The House of Miracles did not accommodate too many bands to record in person, but received files and mastered them remotely.
With advances in recording technology, Magoffin said what’s possible today would have been a dream 20 years ago.
“The technology is there so people can write, record, mix and master on their own, but most people just want to play around and leave the real technical side to someone like me,” Magoffin said.
The studio mixes classic recording equipment with new technology to get that old-school recording and new-age mixing all in one place.
Magoffin sometimes has to get outside of himself to appreciate what he has and how eclectic his collection is.
“Because that’s where I wake up and come to work, it takes a rare moment for me to realize, like what I have is pretty cool,” he said. “What I have built and accomplished is a dream I have always had.”
One of the highlights of House of Miracles is the live recording of Steve Parkinson and the Stony Lonesome, where the band recorded their album live in front of a crowd of 60 people.
“It was one of my highlights here. To fill this place to record them live was amazing,” Magoffin said.
His recording days began over 30 years ago when he bought a tape recorder for fun.
“I started recording songs because I had this great tape recorder, but you can’t record a song unless you find something to play,” Magoffin said. “So I would find something to play, sometimes I would start with drums or guitar and then I would hit the record and keep adding to it. I don’t think I would even write songs if it wasn’t for tape recorders.
Today, Magoffin has brought together technologies and instruments from different eras and designed his own studio, creating a space where he can be creative and work on projects that matter to him.
“I focus on creating music that I love and am proud of, what could be better than that?” Magoffin said.