Windmill Lane Studios (now known as Windmill Lane Recording Studios) is an Irish recording studio in existence since 1978. It is currently located in a 3-storey building located at 20 Ringsend Road in Dublin, Ireland. It was originally opened by recording engineer, Brian Masterson in 1978, and was first located in the Dublin Docklands on Windmill Lane Road, just off Sir John Rogerson’s Quay. It was originally used to record traditional Irish music, notably by Planxty. However, no rock band recorded in the studios until U2. The drums on the album ‘Boy’ (1980) were recorded in the reception area of the recording studios, due to producer Steve Lillywhite’s desire to achieve “this wonderful clattery sound”.
After U2 based themselves at the studios, Van Morrison, Sinéad O’Connor, and Elvis Costello recorded at the studios. Clannad’s hit ‘Theme from Harry’s Game’ was recorded at the studios; this song propelled the band and their singer Moya Brennan into international territories. Status Quo recorded two albums here in 1980, during a tax year away from the UK: ‘Just Supposin” and ‘Never Too Late’, released in 1981. The studios were expanded in the 1980s under the supervision of Andy Munro of Munro Acoustics. Much of the work was done specifically for U2’s album The Joshua Tree.
In 1988 the recording studios relocated to its current location, about a kilometre further east on Ringsend Road, Dublin. Orchestras regularly record their music at Windmill Lane Recording Studios, as Studio One is the only recording room in Ireland that can record an 80-piece orchestra apart from Radio Telefís Éireann. Various movie scores were recorded: ‘Mission Impossible’, ‘The Remains of the Day’ and ‘A River Runs Through It’ for instance.
Between 2006 and 2009, the studio remained empty. In 2009, Pulse College took over Windmill Lane Recording Studios and updated the studios, which now are internationally perceived as being at the heart of the Irish recording industry. The multimedia college has transformed the facilities with state-of-the-art equipment which encompasses not only 3 fully equipped recording studios, but also a creative hub for Digital Media Training in areas of Music Production, Film Production and Game Design.