The people of Thirty Mill Studios
welcome you to our page.
In Jan '98 Colin started Thirty Mill Studios and has
been recording, mixing, producing and mastering for over 20 years.
His skills and personality have led him to work with such artists as, Grammy award winner Mamadou Diabate and local Aria award winners INXS, Monique Brumby, Matt Walker, Jeff Lang, Ashley Davies and many more. Colins work has appeared on albums alongside work by Mitchell Froom, and Mark Opitz.
Some of the other acts Colin has lent his expertise to include, Chris Wilson, Bic Runga, Fenn Wilson, Ella Hooper, Catherine McQuade, Owen Campbell, Bad Dreems, Glenn Skuthorpe, Scarlett Cook, Kerri Simpson, Maurial Spearim, Kee'ahn.
He has also played session guitar for the likes of Walmart, Jenny Craig together with a spot of shredding for the World Wrestling Federation.
With a long history in Australian music scene, and early pioneer of female musicianship within the mainstream music industry, Catherine McQuade has an incredibly diverse set of skills which she now focusses on composition and exquisitely tailored sonic arrangements.
Cathy's earliest days were as bass player in the iconic Melbourne art punk group, The Ears, who were the nihilistic band in the cult classic film, 'Dogs in Space', with a character playing Cathy.
She went on to become bass player with of Deckchairs Overboard. DCOB worked with local producers Mark Opitz and Martin Armiger, recording several charting singles before working with Disco legend producers John Morales and Sergio Munzabai ( M & M productions) in New York on their self titled album.
Cathy worked during this time as a session vocalist, recording the voice for the character Christine, in the ABC series 'Sweet and Sour', as well as recording backing vocals with luminaries such as The Models and Jenny Morris. She also sang the opening track, 'Love is the Law' ( comp. Paul Kelly ), to the movie 'Midnight Spares'.
Catherine formed Melodious Thunk with Scott Saunders (later of DIG) a jazz and Latin influenced live band, with three piece brass section, writing and arranging lyrics and music for the group. In addition to this, Catherine and Scott scored the music to 'Aspire', a documentary film about the 'spiderman' who climbed the Centrepoint Tower in Sydney. Melodious Thunk played around Sydney for 18 months. During this time Catherine was one of the earliest musicians to start using Cubase and integrating sequenced music into a more organic live hybrid.
Catherine then relocated to London, forming a musical collaboration with Amanda Villepastour ( formerly Amanda Vincent, and known as keyboard player with Eurogliders ), who had been touring with Boy George, Wendy and Lisa ( Prince's band) and Billy Bragg. Catherine and Amanda went on to record a number of tracks in London, with plans for an album, before a personal tragedy forced Amanda to shelve the project.
On return to Australia, Catherine immersed herself in Middle Eastern music and worked for a number of years as a professional Middle Eastern dancer, absorbing a deep understanding of the different rhythms and accents, composing a piece for live performance with Terezka Drnzic's Oriental Dance company. She also learned the basics of darbuka playing.
A longstanding interest in Latin music and jazz prompted Catherine to undertake training in jazz harmony and salsa music, playing briefly as pianist with a fledgling Latin group. She joined Musica Linda as bass player and backing vocalist, and they played the Sydney circuit for 4 years, performing salsa, bolero, rumba and other Latin genres.
Catherine returned to Melbourne in 2015 and joined La Familia, a popular local Latin group, who she is still involved with.
In 2016 Catherine began composing a solo CD, Perfect Storm and it was here that ( at Mark Opitz's recommendation) she began working with Colin Wynne. It was a perfect meeting of sonic sensibilities. The album was conceived as a dark, sensual cinematic journey, underpinned by deeply personal lyrics and with echoes of John Barry. Colin's depth of knowledge worked perfectly with Catherine's intention and their relationship has continued to grow through their latest set of recordings. Most importantly it is the sense of space delivered through an expansive aural landscape which allows the voice to take centre stage. The album received substantial airplay nationally and was critically acclaimed.
In 2018 Catherine joined Melbourne electro-Cumbia group, Dr Hernandez who recorded their debut CD at Thirty Mill studios with Colin Wynne at the helm.
Most recently Catherine wrote the score for the 1⁄2 hour noir crime thriller 'The Widow'. Set in Melbourne in the 60's, the brief was to construct a distinctive set of sounds and two haunting themes to represent the ill fated lovers. To date the score has garnered five international awards, in LA, NY and Italy.
Catherine's passion is for musical arrangements which allow a huge dynamic range- from the intimate to the epic, using the broadest range of available instrumentation. It's all about how the musical elements are designed, both as parts and as sounds. This is where the magic happens.
Mark Opitz AM began his career in the 1970s with ABC TV in Sydney, and since then he has gone on to work with many great Australian musicians that have enjoyed national and international chart success in the last three decades. Opitz is to Australia what Don Was is to the U.S. — the go-to guy for mainstream rock and pop production — having worked with nearly every Australian band that has graced the pop charts, including INXS, Cold Chisel, The Divinyls, AC/DC, and Hoodoo Gurus.
When Australia’s pre-eminent production team, Vanda and Young, offered Opitz a position as their apprentice producer, fresh from his job at EMI Music as label manager, he immediately set to working with their staple artists AC/DC, John Paul Young, Flash in the Pan, Rose Tattoo, and more. It was during this period that Opitz was given the job of producing Alberts artist The Angels, and stumbled upon gold in the form of a signature, thick guitar sound that ruled Australia’s early 80s and 90s airwaves.
In the early half of the 80’s, Warner Music offered Opitz the position as Head of A&R while he was producing the album East for Cold Chisel. Accepting the offer, Opitz went on to sign Billy Field, sign and produce The Divinyls, as well as produce INXS’ classic album, Shabooh Shoobah. In the years to come, Opitz left corporate A&R and entered into a partnership with Rhinoceros Studios. He established his own production company, going on to produce albums for a number of artists, among them: Jimmy Barnes, Cold Chisel, Australian Crawl, Hoodoo Gurus, Richard Clapton, The Models, Noiseworks, and The Reels.
In the latter half of the 80’s, Michael Gudinski (Mushroom Group) invited Opitz to join his executive team, his task being to oversee Australian artists’ music projects — as well as production duties with artists such as Paul Kelly, Hunters & Collectors, and Deadstar. This period saw Opitz working in many facets of the industry, notably in producing the highly successful “Mushroom 25th Anniversary” concert, albums, DVD, TV, and radio specials. Opitz garnered critical recognition for his work, winning the industry-voted Australia’s Best Producer Award seven times (two ARIAs and five ABC TV Countdowns).
Through the decade, Opitz continued to work extensively with INXS, producing several more albums (Welcome to Wherever You Are; Full Moon, Dirty Hearts) and accompanying them on their international tour as music production advisor. This period also had Opitz based primarily overseas, working with a multitude of international artists, such as Bob Dylan, Lenny Kravitz, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, and many other U.S., European, and Asian artists.
Opitz’s career enjoyed steady success throughout the 2000’s, which saw production work with artists like Kiss, Mental as Anything, Jimmy Barnes, and Bad//Dreems. In 2012, Random House published the critically acclaimed “Sophisto-Punk”, a biography of Opitz’s life and his contribution to the music industry, as written by Luke Wallis and Jeff Jenkins. The following year, Opitz produced the very successful INXS television bio-picture “Never Tear Us Apart”, before travelling to France to produce for the Parisian act Jesus Volt. He returned to France in 2015 to record another album with the band in the Loire Valley.
In 2018, Opitz was awarded the HC Coombs Creative Arts Fellowship by the Australian National University, in recognition of his immeasurable impact on Australian music. Sharing his experience and expertise, Opitz guest lectured for music recording courses at the ANU, and was a recordist and key facilitator in an innovative research project entitled ‘Performance in the Studio’, which offered audiences rare insight into the recording process.
The following year, Opitz appeared on ABC’s ARIA award-winning television series, The Recording Studio, as a host music producer. During this time, he also produced albums for Guiltfilter, The Casanovas, and Rose Tattoo, amongst other projects. In 2020, Opitz was named a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to the performing arts, particularly in the field of music production.
Currently Mark Opitz is a full voting member in all categories of The Grammy Awards, and is a Visiting Fellow at the Australian National University.
David is a terminal muso. Having grown up playing air drums to records in the family home he eventually burst through the sliding lounge doors and stated in a very loud voice “I want to have drum lessons!” Amazingly it was okay and David spent the next 25 years with crap cars and his arse hanging out of his trousers, playing in original bands, living on two minute noodles and having the time
of his life. After a brief hiatus training horses, racing cars, doing a carpentry apprenticeship and running his own home maintenance business he is back, broke and extremely happy.We like to give him things to do here at Thirty Mill as it stops him from stinking up public transport. Working with people at Thirty Mill Studios is something he is passionate about. It’s all about the song.
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