Have you ever had a studio that you dreamed about recording in? Maybe it’s just going to Nashville or New York to record. Well, this list is enough to make any musician drool. I hand picked all of them, and it wasn’t easy to choose.
So what are the qualifications you ask? There are three things that could help a studio make this list. First, the artists who recorded there in the past. Second, although “Hitsville” or Motown should of made the list, the fact that you can’t record there anymore is why it didn’t. Sun Records on the other hand still has artists recording there so it made the list. Third, if it had something unique, breathtaking, or awesome about it, then it made the list.
— Sarah Popejoy (@RadioCafe) April 19, 2015
Linear Recording – Past artists include Keith Urban, Miley Cyrus, and Robbie Williams. They offer world class recordings at a competitive price and guide you through the recording process.
Music Feeds Studio – A large space with timber floors and walls, Yamaha C5 Baby Grand, and specializing in analogue sounds and modern day digital Pro Tools.
Studios 301 – Originally opened in 1926 as “The Columbia Graphophone Company”, they later became “EMI Studios” in the mid-50’s. Artists who have recorded there include, Bruce Springsteen, Cold Play, Kanye West, Kacey Chambers, Lady Gaga, Neil Young, Pearl Jam, and Maroon 5, just to name a few.
A Sharp Recording Studios – Analogue and digital hybrid, they can schedule a photographer while you’re recording and it has a really cool vibe, with several audio engineers to choose from, and a variety of gear and mics to choose from.
Jet Studio – Their clients include Sony Music, Decca Records, BMG, and EMI among others. A few of their unique features is they have an echoroom for a natural reverb sound, vintage keyboards, and a vintage outboard.
ICP Recording Studios – Four studios, all with private bars, and meals are cooked on site by qualified in house chefs. They also have luxury suites and apartments right next to the studio.
Rio de Janeiro
Toca do Bandido – Wanting to record while on vacation in Rio de Janeiro? Check out this quaint little studio loaded with gear.
Canterbury – Classic vintage mics and equipment meets Pro Tools HD3. They have two edit and overdub rooms. Their clients include Barenaked Ladies and their engineer and producer Jeremy Darby has worked with U2, Patti Labelle, Prince, Ella Fitzgerald, Johnny Cash, Alanis Morissette, Alicia Keys, John Hiatt, and more.
Imprint Music – This studio definitely has swag. While designed and used for commercials, they also have artists record there. For Musicians traveling to or in the Toronto area, this studio is worth the visit. They’ve got the gear and a cool vibe.
Lacquer Channel Mastering – The first thing you notice when visiting their website is the #wecutwax statement. In Canada they are the only studio offering vinyl wax cutting services, getting your master ready so that your vinyl will sound better when cut.
Revolution Recording – They claim the “highest standards in acoustic architecture”, which is backed up with one look at their beautifully crafted wood covered sound rooms. Ideal for a warm acoustic live sound.
Phase One Studios – They have 100 gold and platinum albums to their credit. Rihanna, Bono, and Kiss among many others have recorded there.
England/UK Recording Studios
Headley Grange – This is where “Stairway to Heaven” was recorded. Built in 1795, tucked away in the countryside like a romantic fairy tale, this studio tops the charts for its charm.
Abbey Road Studios – Home of the world famous EMI recording studio where the Beatles recorded “Abbey Road”. Music for the movies: The Theory of Everything, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Imitation Game were all recorded here as well.
Air Studios – Located in Lyndhurst Hall, built in 1880 and originally a church and missionary school, is now known as Britain’s premier scoring facility for movies. One look inside and you will be mesmerized by it’s large space where now congregations of modern day orchestras gather.
Premises Studios – This place is just cool. It has 21 high-quality, low-cost music studios that are available for recording, mixing, or rehearsal space. Get hungry while recording? They also have a Turkish restaurant downstairs open 8am to 11pm.
Rockfield Studios – The first residential recording studio in the world. Queen, Coldplay, KT Tunstall, Annie Lenox, and The Stone Roses all recorded there.
Real World Studios – Peter Gabrielle turned this two hundred year old watermill into a world class studio while embracing its natural environment.
Germany Recording Studios
Hansa – David Bowie, Depeche Mode, U2, and R.E.M. have all recorded there. One really cool feature here is that they have a Marble Room. The room is in Italian marble with amazing acoustics for drum or amp recording and musicians can stay in visual contact with the other rooms.
Jazzanova Recording Studio – This beautiful studio is run by Axel Reinemer, a member of the group “Jazzanova”. His vision for the perfect recording and mixing environment shows in the way this studio was built with easy access for band members to see each other in separate booths. An extremely important aspect of Jazz music.
Teldex Studio – This studio was built in the 19th century and was originally a dance hall and concert hall. They specialize in classical music and film scoring. It is truly an amazing room.
Trixx Studios – Lil’ Kim, Fleetwood Mac, and Nicki Minaj have all been clinets there. They specialize in concert recordings. Studio A has the largest area for recording, while studio B has an urban feel with the white concrete walls and purple studiofoam, and studio C has a warm wooden acoustic feel.
Cloud Hill Recordings – This studio is extremely welcoming with it’s laid back “living room” feel for recording. They have accommodations for bands to stay there when needed. Holiday Inn is only a two minute drive.
Bauer Studios – Miles Davis and Stevie Wonder recorded at this 60 year old recording studio. They specialize in highend-mastering with their one of a kind “LISA Mastering-EQ” an analog dynamic equalizer built by Tomo Audiolabs.
Ireland Recording Studios
The Cauldron Recording Studios – Run by two Grammy award winning engineers, they have an amazing collection of vintage microphones.
Westland Studios – Paul Brady, Bob Dylan, Shania Twain and Def Leppard have all recorded here. They specialize in mobile recording.
Windmill Lane Recording – Norah Jones, Nanci Griffith, Carol King, and Bonnie Raitt have all recorded at this famed studio among others. With four studios, their largest studio can accommodate an eighty piece orchestra.
Grouse Lodge – (Moate – 76 miles from Dublin) Micheal Jackson, R.E.M., and Snow Patrol recorded here. Three separate houses for lodging with 4 bedrooms each make this studio surrounded by beautiful Irish countryside even more enjoyable. In addition this studio also has an indoor pool, jacuzzi, workout facilities, horseback riding, fishing, and archery for when you’re not laying down tracks.
Geimori Studio – I really love the concept and laid back feel of this place. It is very “thought out” as well. Their main booth has a 25 foot high ceiling, for the fact that it is the exact length of the longest base sound wavelength. This way they can pick up the fullness of the sound. The stones are cut from Sapporo quarry are beautiful and give the sound a richness. The mixing console was actually previously owned by Sir George Martin (the Beatles’ producer). They have eight rooms with 16 beds as accommodations.
Sony Music Studios – This label studio has a unique acoustic architecture. They specialize in audio and video editing and their “Petasite” is a large scale digital archive for storage.
Bellbottom Studios – With a view and a studio equally as breathtaking. this 90 minute car ride from Tokyo is worth the drive. Beautifully amazing is an understatement with wooden floors, ceilings, and walls promising a warm sound.
South Africa Recording Studios
Mmabatho, North West Province
BOP Recording Studios – Three world class studios that have some of the most amazing engineering on the planet. They are so sound proof that you can actually record through an earthquake. Their on site resort has 18 spacious cottages, a restaurant, and bar.
Spain Recording Studios
Sonic Vista Studios – You automatically score bucket list points when you can see the Mediterranean from the studio. Talk about inspiration. This studio has recently been used by Lady Gaga, so I have no doubt they can meet your recording needs. Did I mention it was next to the Mediterranean?
United States Recording Studios
Chase Park Transduction – R.E.M., Drive by Truckers Widespread Panic, Jason Isbell, and Amy Ray have recorded at this college town studio. Built by a couple ambitious guys with a few thousand dollars and a warehouse. They have a pretty impressive list of people who have recorded there.
Patchwerk - Built by Atlanta Falcons’ offensive tackle, Bob Whitfield, the 10,000 square foot building is the home of where 60 gold and platinum albums were created.
Doppler Studios – Seven studios with recording credits of Aerosmith, B-52s, Beyonce, Jimmy Buffett, Mary J. Blige, Mariah Carey, and Aretha Franklin among many others.
Zac Recording – Fergie, Missy Elliot, Pharrell Williams, and Whitney Houston are just a few names on their client list. Stonehenge is their ever evolving room A and room B has a nice cozy feel.
5th Street Studios - Specializing in vintage audio equipment in their Studio De La Ronjo, along with studios A and B just off 5th Street in Austin.
Arlyn Studios - Barenaked Ladies, Lucinda Williams, Neil Young, Coldplay, Willie Nelson, and Stevie Ray Vaughn are among a few on their client list.
Blue Rock Studio – (Wimberley, TX) Just outside of Austin, Lyle Lovett, Mary Gauthier, and Kevin Welch are among the many talented songwriters who have recorded at this retreat. They have three elegant guest rooms and a rehearsal room with a kitchenette. Let’s just say this place is on my bucket list of places to record.
Congress House Recording Studios – Shawn Colvin, Nanci Griffith, and Ani Difranco (three of my favs) all recorded there and so did Pat Green and Janis Ian among other songwriting greats. Let’s just say my bucket list keeps getting bigger. Road trip time!
Orb Recording Studios – If you would have told me that Justin Beiber recorded in Austin, I would have called you a liar. But evidently he recorded here, along with Lil’ Wayne and Blue October in addition to many others. What is also unique? It’s a beautiful studio multi-room studio with a piano room.
Buffalo, New York
Select Sound Studios – Designed by the same designers who helped create Capitol Recording Studios and Ocean Way Recording Studios in L.A., they specialize in format restoration.
Bristol Studios – They have studios in Boston, New York, L.A., and Worcester and specialize in artist development. Their past clients include several major label recording companies, Meatloaf, New Kids on the Block, and YoYo Ma.
— Bristol Studios (@Bristol_Studios) April 22, 2015
Perfection Studio – Chris Daughrty recorded the theme song for the show “Utopia” at this studio. They specialize in audio, music video, and photo sessions at the studio. They also are a Christian based studio.
Lava Room Recording – Located in the same space as WHK radio station, the first U.S. Radio station to broadcast 1000 watts and in the city where the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame is located. Mike Brown, graduate of Berklee College of Music. They specialize in digital and analog recordings. Lil Wayne, Justin Beiber, Garbage, and Quiet Riot have all recorded there.
CRC Music & Post – They have four studios in their facility that’s been around since ’75. Chris Shepard, the general manager has worked with The Smashing Pumpkins, Wilco, and Elvis Costello. He also owns American Mobile which has recorded live at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, and Bonnaroo, specializing in live music webcast, broadcast, and remote recording production.
Studio 11 Chicago – They specialize in online mastering and have an online blog. Kanye West and Snoop Dogg are among some of their prestigious clients.
Audio Dallas Recording Studio – (Garland) Paul Osborn has recorded and mixed more than twenty five gold and platinum albums. In addition to band recording they have a special songwriter demos package.
January Sound Studio – Ray Charles, Tony dorsett, Paul Simon, and Eddie Rabbit have all recorded here in this Dallas studio, perfect for live sounding sessions.
The Kitchen Studios – Erykah Badu and Charlie Sexton have recorded there. They specialize in recording, mixing, mastering, beats, CD duplication, and graphic design. I’ve had a recording session here and worked with J.P. He did an amazing job and this studio is really known by indies around the Dallas area.
Luminous Sound – They say everything’s bigger in Texas as it is with this 6,500 square foot facility. Blake Shelton and Pat Green have both laid down tracks at this studio in Dallas.
Marshall Sound Design – Run by Johnny Marshall, he’s recently won awards from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, and the 2014 London Critics’ Circle Film Awards. Johnny Marshall is an amazing professional to work with. He’s amazing at mixing and mastering and a great piano player as well.
SugarHill Recording Studio – Over seventy years have passed since this studio got its start and in that time legends such as George Jones and The Rolling Stones recorded there.
Los Angeles, California
4th Street Recording (Santa Monica) – Only three blocks from the Pacific Ocean, in the past twenty years, twenty four acts have signed record deals with a recording that was from 4th Street, including Incubus and Fiona Apple.
Bell Sound Studios – With four studios, this studio has been in L.A. since 1965. They also specialize in videos, graphic design, and various audio formats.
The Boom Boom Room – (Burbank) Will Smith, Stevie Wonder, Christina Aguilara, J-Lo, Katy Perry, and Whitney Houston all recorded some of their most popular works at the Boom Boom Room.
Capitol Studios – This world famous studio for Capitol Records has been used by genre leaders including Frank Sinatra, and Paul McCartney. Capitol has three studios and eight echo chambers. The echo chambers each have their own unique personality and mic placement.
The Echobar Recording Studios – (North Hollywood) They have three studios including a “Live Room”. The studio was designed by two engineers, Erik Reichers and Bob Horn, who had worked at studios throughout the U.S. and combined the best attributes of those studios. In the past they have worked with many notable artists including Michael Jackson, Usher, and James Brown.
Henson Recording Studios – In the heart of Hollywood, this is where anthem albums such as Carole King’s “Tapestry” and Joni Mitchell’s “Blue” were recorded. John Lennon, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, The Eagles, Bon Jovi, Tracy Chapman, and Shakira are just a few of the names that have also recorded here.
NRGRecording – Sara Bareilles, Bush, Dido, Linkin Park, Celine Dion, and Evanescence have all recorded here. Studio A alone is a 5,000 square foot facility. Studios B and C have a pub like atmosphere one with a Moroccan theme and the other with a Gothic Revival theme.
Ocean Way Recording – Green Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Mick Jagger, and John Mayer is an all too short version for the big names who have recorded here. This Hollywood studio has recently been bought by United Recording.
Paramount Recording Group – Paramount has six different studio buildings, each with two to five studios located within the building. Bruno Mars, Pink, Pitbull, Brad Paisley, Steve Martin, and Olivia Newton John are a few from their past client list.
Serenity West Recording – This beautiful recording studio has four studios in it and three production suites. Adele, Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Rihanna, Alana Morissette, and Shakira along with many others have all recorded here.
Studio City Sound – Rod Stewart, Willie Nelson, and Keith Richards are among the stars that have graced this studio. They have an amazing list on their site of world class session musicians.
Sunset Sound – With two facilities, Sunset Sound and the Sound Factory, and six studios they have a long history (over 50 years) of famous music recorded at their facility including The Doors, Counting Crows, The Dixie Chicks, Rascal Flatts, Sheryl Crow, and Prince.
The Village – The beautiful Moroccan Ballroom doubles as both a ballroom and recording studio. They also have an auditorium, in addition to the four recording studios, for on stage video recordings.
Westlake Recording Studios – They make up 5 recording studios in addition to two production suites perfect for vocal tracking, songwriting, overdubs, and mixing. Michael Jackson, Madonna, Keyshia Cole, and Missy Elliott are just a few of the giant names who have recorded here.
Ardent Studios – They have a long history that dates back to their founder John Fry who began recording in his teens with a couple buddies, one named Fred Smith, who later went on to start his own company in Memphis, called Federal Express. The studio has one of the most versital past client lists around from B.B. King to Tanya Tucker, Bob Dylan to ZZ Top, and from rebels like Ryan Adams to Christian bands like Skillet. Although they are extremely diverse their one comon thread is their enormous success.
Sun Studio – One of the most famous studios in the world, Sun Studio is often thought of where Rock’n’Roll was born. This is the studio where Elvis got his start and recorded, “That’s Alright Mama”. It’s where “Walk the Line” was recorded by Johnny Cash.
Cresent Moon Studios – Opened by owners Gloria and Emilio Estefan in the early 90s, this studio became the central location for the Latin Music boom. They also specialize in video editing and post production.
Muscle Shoals, Alabama
Fame Studios - “When a Man Loves a Woman” was recorded here along with Etta Jame’s classic “Tell Mama”. Aretha Franklin’s career was launched by the recording of “I Never Loved a Man” and “Do Right Woman” there. Recent recordings include Jason Isbell, Alicia Keys, and Gary Nichols.
Blackbird Studio – Launched by John and Martina McBride, Beck, Sheryl Crow, the White Stripes, Kings of Leon, and Taylor Swift have all recorded here.
Castle Recording Studios – (Franklin) The most obvious point first, it’s a recording studio in a castle! How cool is that. Beyond that you have access to Nashville’s enormous pool of talent. Past clients include Brad Paisley, Etta James, Neil Young are just a small few of the big names who have recorded here. Did I mention it’s in a castle?
Dark Horse Recording Studio – Taylor Swift, Amy Grant, Tim McGraw, and Faith Hill have all recorded here. The Lodge and the Barefoot are spacious and elegant recording rooms.
First Avenue Sound - (Franklin) I have a partiality to this studio in historic downtown Franklin. I met J.D. Shuff when I first moved to Nashville. The first studio album I recorded was in a studio in his house at the time. My second album was at this studio. He provided me with a fill in background singer at the last moment when I needed someone. Gwen Sebastian later went on to be a contestant in the Voice and toured with Blake Shelton and Miranda Lambert.
The House of Blues Studios – Located in Berry Hill, over eight buildings, five bookable, and several “Producer Cottages.” T-Bone Burnett and Billy Bob Thornton have recorded here.
MasterFonics – They specialize in mastering. Located off the Row, they have done mastering for Wynonna Judd, Leann Rimes, Willie Nelson, Dave Mathews Band, Trisha Yearwood, and for just about every label in the industry.
Ocean Way Studios – This church turned recording studio was bought by Belmont University in 2001. Right in the heart of Music Row, they specialize in recording strings and orchestration. It has a rich history with past performers including Paul Simon, George Strait, Train, Steve Martin, and Kenny Chesney.
Omni Sound Studios – Miranda Lambert, Jewel, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Porter Wagnor have all recorded at Omni. They’ve worked with pretty much every single major label and publisher out there.
Quad Studios – With four studios just off the row, Keith Urban, the Band Perry, the Fray, Terri Clark, and a host of others have recorded there. They specialize in online/remote mixing and analog recordings.
Sound Kitchen Studios – Bruce Springsteen, Keith Urban, Taylor Swift, and Dolly Parton have recorded albums there. They have 4,000 square feet of space, seven isolation booths, and a full service kitchen.
Sound Emporium Studios – Robert Plant and Allison Krauss’s album “Raisng Sand” and the “O Brother Where Art Thou” album where both recorded there.
Starstruck Studios – Originally home of Reba’s offices and her publishing company, this studio has lots to offer. Not only does it host a fabulous recording studio, but also a broadcast facility as well.
The Tracking Room – Barbara Streisand, Point of Grace, Big and Rich, and Gretchen Wilson are a few who’ve graced their studio. It was constructed by Tom Hidley to be a building within a building. There are subfloors that float on springs to reduce motion and any other unwanted vibrations from being recorded.
New York, New York
Atlantic Sound Studios – (Dumbo, Brooklyn) Record on the waterfront overlooking Manhattan. They specialize in analog and digital recordings.
The Cutting Room – Lana Del Rey, Prince, Jay Z, and Art Garfunkel have all recorded there. They specialize in mastering with electronic delivery.
EastSide Sound Studios – They have six isolation booths and a live room and specialize in analog. Les Paul, Eric Clapton, Santana, and Beyonce are among their client list.
Electric Lady Studios – Jimi Hendrix converted an old club called The Generation into the Electric Lady Studios. The Rolling Stones, U2, Lana Del Rey, and Beck have all recorded there.
Jungle City Studios - This three room facility with wide skyline views was designed by Ann Mincieli, engineer for Alicia Keys, Jay Z, Mariah Carey, and Whitney Houston among others.
Mercy Sound Recording Studios - Located in the Village, this studio was recently rebuilt, their team has worked with legends such as Snoop Dogg, Blonde, Ice T, and Cher.
The Record Plant Recording Studio – They tout more GRAMMY award winning music being recorded there than anywhere else in the world. With studios in LA and NY, artists from the Beatles to Bieber and pop Giants in between have recorded there.
Underground Audio NYC – They work with music artists, feature films and TV. Their film works include the “Lord of the Rings” films.
San Francisco, California
Fantasy Studios – They have a 1.3K square foot recording room and a two-story ceiling. The high ceiling gives a sublime sound to the room. Up to 60 musicians can comfortably perform in the room. Green Day, Patty Labelle, Tears for Frears, and Lucinda Williams are among a few of the hundreds who have recorded there.
Hyde Street Studios – Cake, Neil Young, Jerry Garcia, Willie Nelson, and Earth, Wind, and Fire have all recorded there.
Bear Creek Studio – (Woodinville) Besides being a nice little get away out in the woods, let’s be real. Who would not want to record in a tree house? That is just too cool.
ELECTROKITTY Sound Studio – Carrie Underwood, U2, and Dave Matthews have used this studio for their projects. They have a live room and affordable rates with highly skilled engineers.
Robert Lang Studios – Dave Matthews and Train recording there, along with a laundry list of others, is actually the least interesting thing about this studio! Ghost sightings and Christ appearing in cut marble are among the real juicy pieces of history of this place!
Studio X Inc – Aerosmith, BB King, Johnny Cash, Nirvana, and R.E.M. are just a small taste of who is on their client list.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this list! Is there a studio that I left out that should have made the list? Each and every studio was hand picked from all over the world! Have you recorded at any of these studios? I’d love to hear about it!
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