Tag Archive for: Sound City Studios

Sound City Studios

Tom Petty passed away yesterday. Very sad news.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers recorded a number of their albums at Sound City Studios including Damn The Torpedoes, Hard Promises and Southern Accents.

Sound City was started in 1969 and became a private studio for a period between 2011 and 2016. The studio reopened earlier this year.

From their website:

Originally built as a factory for Vox amplifiers, a studio was added in 1964 to test amplifiers. After a few years the building was purchased by Tom Skeeter who partnered with Joe Gottfried in 1969 with the intent to operate a commercial recording studio: Sound City Studios was born. Despite a few high profile sessions such as Neil Young, Dr. John and James Gang, the studio struggled to stay afloat for the first few years.

Then in 1973, the studio invested in purchasing additional equipment to attract clients. But it will not be until a young couple named Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks came in to record their debut album that fortune changed.

Through a chance encounter with drummer Mick Fleetwood, the couple joined Fleetwood Mac and went on to record the start of a string of hit albums. The release of their eponymous album in 1975 made the band superstars and put Sound City firmly on the map. It also further reinforced the reputation of the studio as one of the greatest drum room in the world.

Soon the 70s saw a flood of stars finding their way to Sound City: War, Elton John, The Grateful Dead, REO Speedwagon, Santana, Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Alice Cooper, Peter Frampton, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers among others.

The studio had purchased a Neve desk back in the early days, an 8028, that Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters later purchased for his own studio.

The 1970s and 80s were such an amazing time for music recording and it is wonderful to see Sound City Studios reopen its doors. So much history there.

Sound City Studios

Sound City Studios recently celebrated its 40th anniversary. Which, in the recording business, is something of a miracle. Their website is similar to the general vibe of the facility — just a bit off the mainstream. But still pretty cool.

There is a lot of history in that studio. And a belief in the magic sound of the iconic Neve consoles in the two rooms. Studio A features a Neve 8028 (pictured below) and Studio B an 8078.

As far as I know, the studio is still all-analog. No Pro Tools in the house. Unless you bring one in under rental.