Stuart Cam (producer / sound engineer) and Ally Oliver (singer / songwriter) have set up a world-class project recording studio in Leura, Future State
Studios, with an enviable gear list.
“I’VE always had a home studio, for about 20 years, in one form or another,” Stuart reminisces.
“I started getting into music as an escape; I came from a pretty run-down part of Bristol, UK. I was really into drum and bass music (Roni Size) and the
'Bristol Sound' (Tricky / Massive Attack / Portishead) and started DJ’ing at the shockingly young age of 15. I DJ’d in clubs for 5 or 6 years around
Bristol and the greater London area,” he reveals.
Working alongside live drummers, with synthesizers and 3 turntables, Stuart says it got to a point where, from a musical perspective, it was still limiting.
“I thought maybe I could have a go at making music myself, so at 22 I began producing.”
“I was trying to stabilise my situation in life, so I kept music as a passionate side interest for many years. In that time, I wrote for independent films,
collaborated with local musicians, produced my own albums and scored an orchestral piece for a wildlife show – I even met Sir David Attenborough!”
“I spent a lot of time in the studio. Over a period of time you learn how things work, what sounds good together and with YouTube and online learning you
can fill in the rest. My interests have shifted from abstract electronica to hip-hop, soul, funk, rare groove, 60s 70s … many different genres!”
Stuart explains the two eras of his journey so far; the first, where everything was in the computer, or as he calls it the ‘machine’, then the latter era
of ‘proper’ analog synthesizers, pre-amps and outboard.
Around a year ago they raised the capital for the recording studio and moved up to the Blue Mountains from Sydney. Having already immersed themselves in
the local community, they are amazed by the talent, “with our incredible group of musos based up here, it feels like we have the ‘best parts’ of my
With their combined knowledge and experience, both Stuart and Ally are in a great position to help bands and musicians further themselves. Recently working
with Titan Sky, The Last Exposure, Merekat, recording local artists Jason Thornton, Isaac Beggs and Mitchell Pearce, who can all testify to this fact.
Alongside their experience, the gear plays a role too. Future State Studios has ample analog and digital gear and Stuart is confident in his production
‘magic’, as well as perfectionist mixing style. He says musicians often drop their jaws when they hear their tracks through the gear, “It’s the secret
nobody’s telling you - you can’t do this in the computer, there’s no substitute for having the real hardware, it’s like magic!”
“The name Future State is like an open ended question, this idea that we are always trying to think about what the future state is going to look like.
If you have the right resources and creativity, the future can be really bright. It’s about keeping an optimistic view on life,” he says.