Bell Music is a team of passionate and experienced musicians who cater for artists of all sounds, shapes and sizes. Whether you’re just starting out in your musical journey or you’ve been doing it professionally for years, we have something for everyone. Bell Music has rehearsal spaces, musical equipment and staging hire, a shop, and a music academy. This blog offers an overview of what’s involved in each of these areas.
Every single one of our guys have been on the performance side ourselves, so we understand the potential frustrations involved with the majority of rehearsal rooms and using not only gear that’s not your own, but subpar gear at that. We also fully understand that it’s paramount for the player to be concentrating on the task in hand and to be confident that everything else has and is being taken care of, and that’s where we come in!
Bell Studios have many options to choose from with 8 rooms in total all varying in size. Our rooms offer natural daylight, fresh air which is filtered through cleverly hidden vents above the ceiling, air conditioning and free Wi-Fi. There is also an upstairs lounge which offers space for you and/or your group to relax, grab a coffee, watch TV or play some retro games. Full spec can be seen on our website www.bellperc.com but here’s the basics – we’ve also colour coordinated each one to make life easier when booking and finding the rooms on arrival.
Silver and White Rooms
Our two smallest rooms are 2.6m x 2m and are intended for solo drum practice, however, you often see guitarists or singers in there with the drummer or non-drummers just wanting to blow on their trumpet or bow their violin. These rooms come with a professional drum kit which include cymbals (all drummers need to bring are sticks!) and PA with mixer which is very popular with people looking to plug in their phone or laptop in order to play along with backing tracks.
The next size up is the Purple Room which measures 4.5m x 2m. This comes with exactly the same gear as the White and Silver, but offers almost double the space. The additional space easily allows for a trio to rehearse in here.
Our Yellow Room is another smaller ensemble space and is perfect for small groups or multi-percussion set-ups. This room is 3.8m x 3m and comes with PA, mixer, and CD player. Similarly with all of our other rooms, any additional instruments or equipment can be hired from our in-house hire fleet.
The Green Room is 4.4m x 2.7m and includes a general band set up. Drum Kit, three guitar amps (2 x electric guitar, 1 x bass guitar), two vocal mics, PA, mixer and effects processor all come with this room as standard. This room is ideal for smaller acoustic or jazz groups, and becomes a creative haven for practice and musical contemplation.
The Orange Room is 4.3m x 4m and allows for a bit more breathing space for the standard full band set-up. It comes with the same spec as the slightly smaller Green Room, except from an upgraded mixer and effects processor.
The Blue Room offers very generous proportions at 5.8m x 4m. This space is a great option for bands that need to squeeze a lot of their own added extras in to the mix, or require additional pieces of kit from our hire fleet. This room comes with the same backline as the other band rooms, but is also home to a Yamaha upright piano for those of you that wish to use it.
Bell’s largest and most adaptable room is the Red Room which measures at just over 11m x 8m. This room comes with a 24 track Digital Mixer, flown side fills, monitors, drum fill, playback and outboard. As with all of our rooms, additional items from our hire fleet are available on request. The Red Room also includes a sprung flooring, a full length mirrored wall, acoustic curtains, an air conditioning/fresh air system and two huge windows that allow in natural daylight. As well as this, there is also a private lounge and kitchen with a dedicated production/orchestral managers office exclusively for use with the Red Room.
We provide anything from a microphone stand or bass drum pedal, to the full back line for a touring act playing on the world’s biggest stages. As a London based company, Bell are never far away from the Smörgåsbord of live venues and recording studios that often need the toys we have available. In saying that, it’s not uncommon for us to deliver the gear to and from venues all over the UK and even further afield.
We pride ourselves in our customer service and knowledge within this industry, which is invaluable when it comes to recommending to our customers what they should opt for if they are unsure, or simply offering advice when necessary. You can see all of our hireable equipment online, and you can always contact us for more information, but let’s go through a concise list of what’s actually available to our customers.
Listen up guitarists – I’m starting with you!
Whether you’re a fan of Fender, Vox, Orange, Mesa or Marshall, we have something that will fit the bill for whatever style of music you play. We have the timeless Fender Hotrod Deville 212 Combo if you fancy a taste of the “world’s most popular tube amp” to get that unmistakeable Fender tone. Or perhaps you’re a metal head that would rather opt for the Orange DT30H Dual Terror Head!! Maybe you crave that 60’s sound for your album, in which case you’ll probably want our Vox AC30C1 Custom. Failing that, then there’s always the option of going for the whole kit and caboodle and opting for the classic look of a Marshall stack!
For those of you that play with four strings, we have just the thing for you, too. If you want to keep things a bit more compact and portable, then we have the incredibly light Fender Rumble 500, or a Mark Bass Traveler 1x15 with the tidy Little Mark III on top. If you want something much larger and louder, then you could go for our Mark Bass 4x10 with the addition of the Big Bang Head!
As well as providing the device in which the guitar gets plugged into, we also provide a whole host of Guitars, Basses and Effects Pedals to join the party if you so wish. In our collection we hold the standards such as the Telecaster, Stratocaster, Les Paul, SG, and even the less common Gretsch Black Falcon which is absolutely stunning to look at as well as play. We also have the Fender Jazz Bass, a left and right handed option of the Fender Precision Bass, and numerous other treats. Then the weird and whacky world of pedals come into play with our Script Phase, Flanger, Digi Delay, Crybaby, and the Digitech Whammy to name but a few.
Any keys players out there?
Are you the modest twinkle fingered genius hiding in the corner, or are you the one wearing a loose, unbuttoned floral shirt, lapping it up, all whilst the perfectly placed spinning fan hits just the right part of your head in order to make you look like a keys-playing lion-deity? Well, whatever you are, we have some delights for you to play with and how delightful they are indeed.
Our Yamaha CP300 and Roland RD700NX Stage Pianos are a popular choice for the seasoned professional that needs a no nonsense, industry standard, reliable keyboard with some fantastic in-built samples with great feeling keys. However, if you’re after a fancy synthesizer, then the Roland Jupiter 80 is an incredible device that will make you feel like Rick Wakeman at the press of a button. There’s also the equally incredible Nord Stage 2 HA88 and Nord Electro III SixtyOne with too many functions to mention, so give them a go and do some experimenting!
To supplement these keyboards, we also have plenty of amps to choose from. If you’re after something portable to carry along to your busking spot, then our Roland Cube Street is probably the amp for you. Then again, if you need something meaty, then you could always opt for the Roland KC550 or Hartke KM200 Combo.
Now on to the drummers
The Bell Audio Hire team consists of quite a few drummers and that really shows when it comes to our vast array of drum and percussion equipment. We have about 20 drum kits in our fleet, all of which consist of almost every size of drum you are ever likely to need. Anything from a Gretsch Vintage Maple and Ludwig Super Classic, all the way through to DW Collectors Series, Sakae Trilogy and Almighty, and the beautiful Sonor SQ2. To supplement these kits, we have a load of cymbals to choose from. If you’re a jazz player and require something dry, then our Zildjian Special Dry Pack is probably the best thing for you, but perhaps our Sabian HHX Stage Pack would suit the live rockers out there!
If you have to keep the noise down or want to flick between different kits or sounds between songs, then perhaps you’d prefer to use some of our electronic percussion. Our Roland TD-30 is an incredibly sophisticated piece of kit that boasts an almost limitless list of options (you can even decide what the shell is made from in electric land!). Then there is the Roland SPD-SX Sampler. This is a valuable add-on used by almost everyone these days!
4” triangles to 80” gongs
As well as the contemporary acoustic and electronic drum kits, Bell also has an Aladdin’s cave of orchestral percussion – if there’s something out there that you can strike, then we most probably have at least one in our fleet. From the standards such as a set of timpani, xylophone, glockenspiel, clash cymbals, and marimba through to the more uncommon instruments such as a 60” Japanese Taiko, 80” Paiste Gong, 2 octaves of boobams, or 4 octaves of Thai Gongs, we have the lot. We even create bespoke instruments for composers that are after something unique. Our Doorbellophone is a prime example of this, which is ultimately a deconstructed aluphone connected to doorbell buzzers. Of course we also supply the small items too, so if it’s just a triangle, tambourine, or woodblock that you require, then that’s covered as well!
Check, check, one, two, one, two…
Whether you need a microphone and P.A. system for a conference or best man speech, or you need to mic up a full band set up for a recording or live concert, we have something to suit the needs of everyone.
We provide everything from D.I. boxes, cables, microphone clips all the way up to dynamic mics, condenser mics, full microphones packs and wireless systems. The latter is a great option for the players that like to run around the stage and jump into the crowd like it’s 1990 again when health and safety regulations were slightly more lenient.
As well as this, we also supply monitoring and mixing desks. For smaller set-ups we have the smaller Mackie VLZ1202 12 Channel Mixer, and for the big boy set-ups we have the Allen & Heath GLD80 Digital and ZED420 Mixers.
Who needs Tiesto?
Last but certainly not least is Bell’s collection of DJ equipment. If you don’t have the budget to hire DJ Smoke from Holland, then you can always use some of our gear and get your best pal, DJ Davey from Dagenham to get the party started with the help of our Pioneer CDJ’s. If you do have a rather meaty budget, then you can tell your superstar DJ that he can leave his/her decks at home and make use of our industry standard Technics 1210 Turntable, mixer and interface. Leaves more luggage space for the Big Ben Keyring and Queen Elizabeth II beer mat from the Crown & Anchor.
The shop at Bell has come a long way since its humble beginnings of just having a few bits and pieces in the corner of a room. It currently has a huge selection of brands and items big and small, and caters for kit players, tuned percussionists, as well as audio accessories for the band that needs the essentials for their rehearsals and gigs. Not only is the shop crammed full of gear for budgets great and small, we make sure to fill it with the best gear at all times in order to offer the customers as great a selection as possible. As an example, one of our guys will head over to Germany every few months and handpick the best of the bunch from the Meinl cymbal factory; this way the customers and ourselves know that what they try in our shop really is the best quality. We also stock items that aren’t seen everywhere such as StonEdge Drums. StonEdge is a boutique brand that makes their shells out of a stone composite, and what a unique sound indeed.
The newest addition to the Bell family is our music academy. Bell Music Academy offers some of the best instrumental teaching in the UK and is intended for people who have never touched an instrument in their life through to the musicians who know what they’re currently doing, but want to expand on it and need some guidance and inspiration! Whether it’s bass, guitar, drum, percussion, keyboard, saxophone or vocal lessons you require, we have a fine selection of the best teachers in the business available just for you. From pop, rock, jazz, classical and the rest, every style is covered and open to