Are you inspired by the rhythm of the city or deep ocean views when recording your music? Do you need an epic studio console to mix? Wait, this post is not on the merits of a console vs no console pro studio setup…
Wherever you do your tracking, mixing, and mastering – be it a garden shed, on top of a mountain, or in your home music studio – these 21 creative music studios around the world are sure to inspire you to get into the studio and create magic.
Upstate New York / Residential Recording Studio / summit-sanctuary.com
Allaire Studios is set in one of the most breathtakingly picturesque locations in upstate New York, located in a 1928 estate on 20 acres of mountaintop overlooking Woodstock, the Catskills, and the Ashokan Reservoir. The world class recording studio has hosted the likes of David Bowie, Norah Jones, and My Morning Jacket. The studio offers a host of unusual rare instruments like the double bay Buchla 100 and the Chamberlin Riviera (one of 2 made). Views for miles. Vibes for life.
North Devon, England / Residential Recording Studio / devonanalogue.com
Imagine a holiday home on Acid…
Devon Analogue is a unique residential recording studio based in Devon, UK. The studio gives producers the chance to work with an insane array of classic vintage analog and digital gear – from the Waldorf Wave to the Roland Jupiter-6. With beautiful Devon countryside views and amazing walks locally – surprise your loved one with a little getaway. Acid optional…
Russian Recording Studio
Bloomington, Indiana / Residential Recording Studio / russianrecording.com
Russian Recording is a professional full-service recording studio owned and operated by Mike Bridavsky. Located in downtown Bloomington, IN – the studio provides recording, mixing, and mastering services in a majestic environment, accompanied by the finest studio cats you can find. When Bridavsky is not recording/engineering, you’ll find him doing local meet-and-greets or traveling the world his famous cat ‘Lil Bub.’
At the heart of the studio is the Sphere Eclipse Type II 24x16x2 – thought to be the only one ever made, and one of the earliest (if not the very first) large format Sphere consoles.
Hannes Bieger Studio
Kreuzberg, Berlin / Mixdown & Mastering Services / herrbieger.de
Producer / mixing engineer, Hannes Bieger runs a high-end music studio in the centre of Berlin on the border between Kreuzberg and Mitte. A high-end Speck Electronics LiLo console with +28 dBu headroom is the centerpiece of the studio with first class outboard gear by API, Chandler Limited, Manley for processing duties. Bieger’s mixes are printed either to analog master tape or captured with a state-of-the-art A/D converter, the Lavry Gold AD122-96 MX. Not pictured – a Moog System 35 Modular…
Ghent, Belgium / Private Studio / deeweestudio.com
Studio Deewee is the studio of the Dewaele brothers AKA 2ManyDJs/Soulwax. Designed by Glenn Sestig Architects. On the first floor, you’ll find the listening space (with more than 60.000 records) – the whole building is digitally connected so that music can be played and recorded in every room. Underground is where the magic happens – with the lack of sunlight, windows and noise eliminating all distractions. The brothers gonna work it out…
Milton Keynes, UK / Recording, Mixing, Mastering Services / orgonestudios.com
Orgone Studios is a dedicated recording facility owned by producer/engineer Jaime Gomez Arellano (Paradise Lost, Plan B, Hexvessel). Running a Solid State Logic AWS 948 Console/Controller, the desk has full DAW control at the touch of a button. The music studio primarily works with bands signed to independent metal and avant-garde rock labels – an ideal setup for recording up to six musicians in the main room.
Ontario, Canada / Private Studio / deadmau5.com
Modular heaven. Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman) runs a a custom built Modcan modular synthesizer (the world’s biggest B Series synthesizer) alongside Buchla modulars, and a host of insanely great synths (Nord Wave, Minimoog Voyager Lunar, EMS Synthi A, etc.). Deadmau5’s speaker system consists of ATC 300 speakers, a series of ATC 25 ceiling speakers, a 5.1 and 7.1 mid field surround system, and 11.3 Dolby Atmos system.
The studio space is built on dedicated floating floors and integrates an extensive cable troughing system which physically connects every space in the studio including all side wall racking systems.
Ocean Sound Recordings
Giske, Norway / Residential Recording Studio / oceansoundrecordings.com
At the end of the world, on the edge of the sea, lies Europe’s most stunning recording facility. Full analog and digital recording setup with a Rupert Neve Designs 5088 Shelford Limited Edition console. Constructed by US studio designer Ric Vaughan. Record your killer drums in the superb live room on Studer A-800 two inch recorders while overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Outstanding studio gear, once in a life-time studio session, out of this world location.
Northbridge, Western Australia / Recording & Mixing Services / crankrecording.com
Crank Recording is a studio in Perth, Australia offering pro recording and mixing services based around the legendary SSL 4000 console. The studio features a nine-foot Yamaha CFIII concert grand piano. There are two isolated rooms connected to the main room which function as vocal and amp rooms when separation is needed during a live recording.
5 Cat Studios
Pacific Palisades, California / Private Studio / 5catstudios.com
5 Cat Studios is a post-production music facility with state-of-the-art recording studios and mixing room owned and operated by the composer John Powell. The studio operates as a hybrid studio/label model – producing albums of concert music and soundtracks. Recent projects at 5 Cat Studios include: Star Wars – The Last Jedi, Jason Bourne, and Ferdinand. The studio’s impressive monitoring setup includes Meyer Sound BlueHorns, B&W CT7.3 Surrounds, and Genelec 7070A Subwoofers.
- Focal Press
- Mike Senior
- Publisher: Routledge
- Edition no. 1 (02/27/2011)
- Paperback: 352 pages
“This book is truly a game changer. Mike Senior’s Mixing Secrets for the Small Studio will save you a lot of time and money trying to cut through the industry hype to figure out what you need to move forward.”
Berlin, Germany / Private Studio / ternesc.bandcamp.com
Blawan’s studio is sonic paradise – modular focused (Livewire Frequency Generator, Serge Modular Waveshaper modules seeing heavy use on his last two EPs) with incredible rack gear for processing, a Burl Audio AD/DA Converter, and even a Vinyl Lathe cutter to cut tracks to and test out in the clubs the same day. The minimal, super-focused studio space looks like a joy to create music in. Always remember it ain’t what you got it’s what you do with what you have.
Westlake Recording Studios
West Hollywood, California / Recording & Mixing Services / westlakestudios.com
Historic music studio still pumping out the hits. In 1982, Michael Jackson’s Thriller was recorded in Studio A. Founded in the early 70s and credited as “one of the first big commercial efforts to produce acoustically standardized interchangeable rooms.” The studio rooms aimed for an acoustic design that gave a fairly flat frequency response at the recording position, with the ability to control reverberation delay. The studios became very popular with music producers and artists, and “Westlake-style” rooms spread to a number of other studios and around the world by the late 70s.
Nashville, USA / Recording, Mixing & Mastering Services / blackbirdstudio.com
Unique in the world, Blackbird Studio’s Studio C room was designed by renowned audio engineer and inventor George Massenburg. The concept of an open floor plan, with an emphasis on sound diffusion rather than absorption, translated into a 10,000 page Excel spreadsheet based on acoustic diffusion algorithms. The end result: 138,646 individual sticks of formaldehyde-free MDF wood in 4′ X 8′ sheets, with no stick being the same size or length.
Standing inside the room sounds similar to standing in a quiet forest with no wind. Standing inside and mixing your track – priceless.
Remote Control Productions
Santa Monica, CA / Private Studio / hans-zimmer.com
Remote Control Productions recording studio run by Hans Zimmer is a seven-building complex. At its center is Zimmer’s personal studio – housing wall to wall vintage analog synthesizers, from Moog Modulars to the MC-54HZ (the largest CMS system on the planet).
Explain again how I get my track placed in a Blockbuster movie so I can justify buying a CMS modular synth? Hey Siri “How to BRAAAM…” No, I think I’m going to need a lot more than that – genius-level composition for starters. What a majestic-looking studio.
Black Rock Studios
Greek island of Santorini / Residential Recording Studio / blackrock-studios.com
Where Have All The Rock Stars Gone? No they’re not dead. They’re ‘deep at work’ at Black Rock Studios located on the magnificent Greek island of Santorini. The studio offers a breathtaking panoramic view of the Aegean sea and the volcanic islands. At the heart of the studio is a Solid State Logic 9080 J series desk with Ultimation and total recall. Notable artists who recorded on this desk include: Justin Bieber, Steve Harris, and Björk.
The studio FX consists of an Lexicon 960L and an Eventide H8000FW. On main monitoring duty are the Genelec 1035B’s – classic speakers and an extremely powerful monitor system, designed for large control rooms.
BOP Studios (Bophuthatswana)
Mafikeng, South Africa / Residential Recording Studio / boprecordingstudios.co.za
BOP Studios (originally Bophuthatswana Recording Studios) is a recording studio located in the outskirts of Mafikeng, South Africa. The residential recording complex houses three world-class studios, designed by Tom Hidley. Each control room is equipped with a set of flush-mounted Kinoshita RM-7V monitors by Rey Audio featuring T.A.D. transducers, capable of 130 dB!
Riksmixningsverket / RMV Studio
Stockholm, Sweden / Residential Recording Studio / rmvstudio.se
Riksmixningsverket is a music recording studio located on the island of Skeppsholmen in the center of Stockholm. Housed in a 150-year-old naval warehouse, the studio can accommodate up to 45 musicians in the live room overlooking the Stockholm waters.
Surrounded by state-of-the-art equipment from the last 50 years, their NEVE 8068 console (the most sought-after NEVE console) represents the heart and soul of the studio.
Sonic Vista Studios
Ibiza, Spain / Residential Recording Studio / sonicvistastudios.com
Sonic Vista Studios is a residential recording, mixing and mastering studio, located in a 400-year-old villa just 12 minutes from Ibiza town. Designed, built, owned, and managed by recording engineer Louis Henry Sarmiento, Sonic Vista offers not only views of the Mediterranean Sea but also access to world-class music production gear (Thermionic Culture, GML, Manley, etc.). Past clients include: Lady Gaga, Goldfrapp, and the Pet Shop Boys. Left to my own devices – I’d never leave the studio…
Five Thirteen Recording
Phoenix, Arizona / Recording, Mixing & Mastering Services / 513recording.com
The biggest little studio in the desert. Five Thirteen Recording is owned and run by Catherine Vericolli. The studio houses a Rupert Neve Designs 5088 console (built around state-of-the-art motorized faders and DAW control over ethernet). In the studio rack you’ll find a Thermionic Culture Vulture, Lexicon 224X, Eventide H949 Harmonizer, and many more incredible studio effects, dynamic processors and EQ tools. For all of your analog printing needs, they’ve got you covered with a Studer A80 1/2″ 2 track mix-down machine on deck.
Elektrobahn’s Analog Mobile Studio
Location Unknown / Private Studio / Elektrobahn.com
Elektrobahn is an experimental studio project formed by Bartoz Blank. The studio rig is based exclusively on technology from the year 1984. Gear used includes: Roland tr606/tr808, the Memorymoog+, Moogerfoogers, Ensoniq dp/4, Teac 3440s, and copious amounts of deoxit.
Elektrobahn is the exploration of the void between zero and one, between off and on. OK, I want to wheel my studio workspace into a wide open field and go off…
Sydney, Australia / Recording Studio / analogcabin.net
For lovers of machines. Analog Cabin is a bespoke music and recording studio located in Sydney, Australia, specializing in electronic, dance, and progressive music. This studio is an electronic musician’s dream, with a slew of classic synthesizers – from the Alesis Andromeda to the Waldorf Microwave XTk, all running through a Soundcraft 6000 desk. Sweet dreams are made of this…
Around the world, around the world – from the edge of the sea in Norway to an underground studio in Belgium. If you’re looking for real-world inspiration, why not book studio time at one of the residential recording studios featured? Maybe a view of the ocean from the music control room, printing to tape on a Studer A-800, or synth programming on a Waldorf Wave is part of your next creative adventure…
I’ve just re-racked a host of classic 90’s synths as a result of researching for this post. Time to get in the garden shed and fire up Ableton.
Want to make it 22 inspiring music studios? Add your studio in the comments below.
iZotope Spire Studio: A Mobile Music Recording Studio That Fits in Your Bag
Touring singers/songwriters looking to lay down acoustic demos of songs while on the road: Check out Spire Studio by iZotope. Seamless integration with your iPhone – you can plug in your musical instruments with XLR/TS combo jacks. Share tracks with friends, fans, and bandmates on-the-go. Mobile music production never sounded so good.