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Preston horse stall from the 1800s now a music studio

Andy Magoffin has turned an old, stone horse stable in Preston into a fully functioning recording studio

All around Cambridge there are countless historical buildings but deep in the heart of Preston, inside the stone walls of an old horse stable, is a studio filled with antiques from the '70s and enough instruments to put a high school music room to shame. 

On an unassuming street in what looks like an old stone barn, because it was, lies the House Of Miracles, a recording studio that has worked with indie bands from across Southern Ontario.  

“I do it all, it all falls under the blanket of musician. I tune pianos, I play on people's records, I record, mix and master. It's just a grab bag of music stuff,” said Andy Magoffin, owner of The House of Miracles.

The music studio is divided into two sections, the main hall area where a band can set up and shows can actually be played. This is also where the main bulk of Magoffin’s instruments are stored. 

The second is the recording, mix and mastering side. With high ceilings and classic old school studio lighting. The vibe is set from the moment you walk in; this is a place to be creative and ultimately, relax. 

Throughout the studio, instruments line the walls, are in the middle of the room and everywhere you look you are bound to see a guitar or piano that has a different story to tell. 

“I acquired the bulk of my instruments by the time I left London, Ontario 11 years ago,” said Magoffin. “I have a cool Gibson from the '60s and a 16-track tape recorder the size of a fridge from the '70s.”

Magoffin has over 25 years experience in the music industry. He has been in bands, ‘Two-Minute Miracles,’ ‘Raised By Swans’ and has featured on multiple records. 

Currently, Magoffin has been focusing on video game soundtracks and expanding beyond typical types of media.

“I’ve been really into the video game stuff! I did the soundtrack for Jurassic World and I'm doing an LP special edition for a game called Planet Zoo,” said Magoffin. “That's just mastering soundtrack work, but I love it, so many people get to hear that stuff.”

Due to the pandemic, The House of Miracles has not been taking in too many bands to record in person, but has been receiving files and mastering them remotely. 

With the advancements in recording technology, Magoffin said what’s possible now would have only been a dream 20 years ago. 

“The technology is all there for people to write, record, mix and master all on their own, but most people want to just play and leave the real technical side to someone like me,” said Magoffin. 

The studio mixes classic recording equipment with new technology to get that old-sounding recording and new age mixing all in one place. 

Magoffin has to step outside himself sometimes to appreciate what he has and just how eclectic his collection actually is.

“Because this is 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’ve always had.”

One of the highlights for 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. 

“That was one of my highlights here. Filling this place to record them live was amazing,” said Magoffin. 

His recording days started over 30 years ago when he bought a tape recorder to mess around with. 

“I started recording songs because I had this great tape recorder, but you can't record a song unless you figure out something to play,” said Magoffin. “So I'd figure out something to play, sometimes I'd start with drums or guitar and then I'd hit record and keep adding to it. I don't think I'd even be writing songs if it weren't for tape machines.”

Now Magoffin has collected technology and instruments from different eras and designed a studio of his own creating a space where he can be creative and work on projects that mean something to him. 

"I get to focus on making music that I love and I'm proud of, what could be better than this?" said Magoffin. 

Joe McGinty

About the Author: Joe McGinty

Joe McGinty is a multimedia journalist who covers local news in the Cambridge area. He is a graduate of Conestoga College and began his career as a freelance journalist at CambridgeToday before joining full time.
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