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About a studio: Sound City


mixing console in the control room of sound city studios

When it comes to the world of music recording, Sound City Studios is a name that cannot be ignored. Established in 1969 by Tom Skeeter, this Van Nuys, California-based studio quickly made a name for itself as a premier destination for artists looking to record high-quality music.


With an emphasis on both artist-friendliness and technological advancements, Sound City Studios soon became a go-to spot for many of the biggest names in the music industry. The studio's impressive reputation was thanks in no small part to its state-of-the-art equipment and excellent acoustics.

Over the years, Sound City Studios played host to an impressive roster of artists, each of whom left their mark on the studio and the music world at large. From Fleetwood Mac's iconic "Rumours" to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' "Damn the Torpedoes," Sound City Studios saw its fair share of groundbreaking albums. One of the most famous albums recorded at Sound City Studios is Nirvana's "Nevermind". The album was produced by Butch Vig and recorded at the studio in 1991. The iconic track "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was recorded in just one take at the studio's Studio A. The album's raw, powerful sound was heavily influenced by the unique acoustics of the live room at Sound City Studios, which helped to capture the energy and intensity of the band's performance.


Another legendary album that was recorded at Sound City Studios is Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours". The album was produced by Ken Caillat and recorded at the studio in 1976. The album's emotional depth and complexity were perfectly captured by the studio's state-of-the-art equipment, including the legendary Neve 8028 mixing console. Despite the tensions and interpersonal drama between the band members during the recording process, "Rumours" went on to become one of the best-selling albums of all time.


Sound City Studios was also a popular destination for artists in the punk and alternative rock scenes. In addition to Nirvana, bands such as Rage Against the Machine, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Weezer all recorded seminal albums at the studio. Many of these artists were drawn to the studio's laid-back, low-pressure atmosphere, which allowed them to experiment and push the boundaries of their music.


One of the defining features of Sound City Studios was its ability to adapt to the unique needs of each artist that recorded there. For example, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers famously recorded their album "Damn the Torpedoes" at the studio after their previous recording sessions were plagued by technical issues. The band members appreciated the studio's commitment to providing them with the best possible equipment and support, which allowed them to focus on their music and create a classic album that has stood the test of time.


Sound City Studios was also known for its impressive collection of vintage equipment, which was meticulously maintained and used to capture the signature sounds of many classic albums. For example, Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" was recorded at the studio in 1970 using a custom-built tube console that was over 20 years old at the time. The console helped to capture the warm, organic sound that became a hallmark of Young's early recordings.


Despite its success, Sound City Studios was not immune to the ever-changing music industry. In 2011, the studio was forced to shut down due to a lack of business. While it was certainly a difficult time for those who had spent countless hours within its walls, the closure of Sound City Studios was not the end of the story.

In 2014, Sound City Studios was reborn, thanks in large part to the efforts of Foo Fighters frontman Dave Grohl. Grohl, who had recorded Nirvana's "Nevermind" at Sound City Studios, felt a personal connection to the space and was determined to see it restored to its former glory. With the help of a group of investors, Grohl was able to reopen Sound City Studios, preserving much of its original equipment and layout in the process.


Today, Sound City Studios continues to be a beloved destination for musicians and music lovers alike. While the music industry may have changed significantly since the studio's founding in 1969, the legacy of Sound City Studios lives on, inspiring new generations of artists and music enthusiasts with its rich history and dedication to excellence in music recording.



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