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Written by Ramsey Brown.
When beginning one's music-making journey, finding a studio that best fits your needs is imperative for success. Recording studios are spread far and wide throughout the US, and it can be challenging to narrow down the best ones. There are many cities that are known for their vibrant music scenes and lavish recording studios, but Nashville, Tennessee is among the best of them.
Many great artists have launched their careers in this city and multiple hits have been made in the confines of Nashville recording studios. The Music City lives up to its name by being home to over 70 recording studios, all with a significant clientele list. Nashville recording studios have a credible reputation, and most have been recording tracks for decades.
This article will list the top 11 recording studios in Nashville, TN, based on equipment, price, and overall aesthetic. We will be sure to discuss both the pros and cons of each studio in depth so you can make the most educated decision when looking for a place to record your music in Nashville
The first to top the list is the Southeast’s largest recording complex, Sound Kitchen Studios. This studio offers seven different types of recording rooms, each designed to accommodate the various needs of artists. The rooms include Big Boy Studio, Plug and Play Cafe, and Studio A, B, C, D, E. Among these rooms are private lounges, meeting spaces, and a large area for events and entertaining.
These studios mainly differ in size, Big Boy is a 3,700 square foot recording room and is their flagship studio known across the world. The spacious room has a Yamaha C7 grand piano, one of a kind API Legacy Plus 80 input. Studio E is a more affordable room and offers five isolation booths, all specified for a different sound and uses a 64 Input SSL 4000G+ with Ultimation. The Plug and Play room is the smallest and offers the same quality sounds, but you are responsible for bringing the recording equipment if you have it. Each of their 7 studios are equipped with extensive consoles, monitors, and outboard gear list.
The price depends on how long you wish to stay in the studio, which room you want to record in, and if you need an in-house engineer or not. Sound Kitchen promotes the best sound with helpful and professional staff to assist with any recording needs. Artists like Dolly Parton, Taylor Swift, and Elton John are among the many A-list celebrities who choose to call Sound Kitchen their recording home.
Another highly renowned studio located in the heart of Music Row is Black River Entertainment’s Sound Stage Studio. This location offers three different types of recording rooms, Front Stage, Back Stage, and Ronnie's Place. Front Stage is the most prominent recording studio and takes up an entire stage room. It consists of three booths, a piano room, and is decked out with recording equipment from top-notch dynamics to pre-amplifiers.
The Back Stage recording studio is a bit smaller and therefore a bit cheaper than the Front Stage recording area, yet still offers many dynamics with a pre-amplifier and EQ. The gear list is less extensive than the other rooms at Sound Stage, but still delivers most all basic recording needs.
The final studio is named after one of the many owners of this recording studio, Ronnie's Place. This recording room has been a staple in Nashville for over 50 years and was one of Nashville’s first purpose built studios. Though the room has recently been remodeled, the current owners have taken pride in preserving the unique atmosphere and vibe that originated with the studio decades ago.
Sound Stage also offers video shoots, overdubs, rehearsal space, and a venue for performances. It is not the cheapest studio to record at, but the equipment, space, and overall legacy make it worth the price. If you don’t get the opportunity to record at this amazing studio, you should at least take a private tour of the building next time you are in Nashville. Also to note, they offer an internship program for those aspiring to be in the recording industry.
Parlor Productions is a couple-owned studio that offers not only top-notch equipment but also counseling and guidance services for those looking to break into the music industry. Designed with aspirating talents in mind, this studio first likes to consult with people wishing to use their studio. With a solid price tag of $150 for the first session, the professional advice will help you take steps towards a bright future. This company stresses the importance of having a solidified path to greatness and will even offer you crucial advice on what your next move should ultimately be.
In regards to their studio, they have a small intimate recording area that features many different tools to promote your specified genre. They use a Trident 80 C - 32 Input Console and have an extensive list of all of the other features and gear that can be found on the front page of their website. The sound at Parlor is said to be sonically superior and the preferred go-to recording spot for many experienced and upcoming artists alike.
Ocean Way Studios is another highly professional and well-renowned studio located in the heart of Nashville’s Music Row. Offering three different studios, each producing incredible sounds in different volumes. Ocean Way Studios is not your average recording studio; it’s housed in a 100-year-old Gothic revival grey stone church which provides exceptional acoustics perfect for orchestral recording and film scores.
Studio A is their largest recording room and is designed to accommodate entire bands, tracking, choral, video shoots, Film/TV scoring, and up to an 80-piece orchestra. With 30 foot tall ceilings and 4 large isolation rooms, Studio A has ideal acoustic dimensions.
Studio B is a bit smaller in size and specializes in mix, tracking, and overdub. It features a custom Neve VRP 96 input console and lists many different sound enhancers and mic amps that will bring your music to life on record. The sound in studio B is impeccable but what also makes this room so sought-out by artists is the large entertainment area with a full kitchen, billiards table, and the outdoor patio overlooking Music Row.
Studio C is the smallest of all the recording booths and is designed for ADR, foley, surrounding mixing, mix, overdub, and sound design. This intimate and private room offers high-quality equipment like a Digidesign ICON D-Control 16 Fader and a long list of different mic preamps, dynamic processors, plugins, and monitors. Prices are not listed directly on the website and require you to contact them in order to find out session costs and availability.
This studio has been recording, developing, and helping artists grow since the 1990s and continues to thrive today based on reputation. The Tracking Room is listed on pretty much every top 10 recording studio list and is sought-out by artists and producers from all over the world.
Due to its location right off of the expressway, Tracking Room architects built a building inside of a building in order to manage the sound effectively. The subfloors "float" on springs that were designed in Germany, reducing motion and locking out as much vibration as possible. The studio has 5 different isolation booths with doors designed by NASA (comparable to blast doors with magnetic locks) so there is virtually no sound leakage during recording.
The design and structure of this studio is of no comparison to any other studio in the world. There is little to no information about the studio equipment or gear they carry but based on reviews, it is one of the most exclusive and sought-out recording studios in the business. Tracking Room doesn’t seem to be a good option for ameatur or upcoming musicians due to their elite approach to booking and withholding studio information. Nonetheless, if you are able to get in contact with them and have the big funds to spend, by all means you should give Tracking Room Studios a try.
Omnisound studios has been servicing musicians for over 35 years with many different top charting hits and soundtracks under their belts. Though they have worked with names such as Beyonce, Faith Hill, Widespread Panic, and Pixar, they still maintain a strong passion for working with independent artists as well. The studio’s goal is to give their clients the most friendly and professional service possible, along with the best gear and an environment that sparks creativity.
They offer three leading studios, each of which is equipped with high-quality consoles and dynamics. Studio A offers a roomy area to record and a high-tech API legacy console, complete Pro Tools HD system, and Studer 2 inch tape machine. Studio B is a cozier atmosphere with a large overdub booth, perfect for editing, mixing, and overdubs.
Last but not least, Icon A is a spacious yet comfortable room perfect for the same features as studio B. However, it also has plenty of analog gear and a library of plug-ins perfect for boosting your creativity and jumpstarting your music recording career.
All the different features and equipment are listed plainly on their site, offering clarity and security if you choose to move forward with recording at this Nashville studio. Like most renowned studios, they require you to inquire about studio preference and length of time before they quote you a price.
Of all the different recording studios listed, this particular business has the most rooms available for recording. They offer eight different studios to record in all specialized for mixes, overdub, and tracking. Each studio is similar to the other, but the surplus allows recording times to open up more frequently. This is also the only studio that can supply you with everything you need and have caught the likes of Alan Jackson, Alicia Keys, and Ed Sheeran. However, this all most likely costs a pretty penny as they offer multiple recording studios and frankly, anything else you need to create your music masterpiece.
Red 3 Music studios are the friendliest for beginning artists due to their focus on providing a fun environment free of judgment. They express that they want to help all musicians, from Grammy winners to street performers. This is the first recording studio on this list to show their prices on the website blatantly. They run for $50 for five hours, and they offer a wide range of different dynamics, consoles, and soundboards.
They also offer a plan for those wishing to record with them full-time and offer specific benefits with that subscription. However, the different studios they offer are not listed on the site. Due to the price and availability, it can be safe to assume they offer standard recording rooms. Depending on if you are a member or not, you can select which studio you prefer upon booking online.
Diamond sound studios support musicians and movie producers, and other types of areas that require sound. Commercials and previews, soundtracks, and more, this studio has all you need for the most diverse sound creators. This studio is enormous and offers such a variety of different recording booths and consoles.
They list all their rates for each studio on their website and clearly express what costs extra and what equipment will come with each studio. Each studio has microphones and D.I.’s. They have extra bass and guitar packages and require at least 3 hours of recording time. The prices are very reasonable, starting at $15 per hour. Depending on what you need, you can effortlessly search and find the proper studio for your art on their website without the hassle of reaching out to someone.
House of David has excellent reviews and is located in the famous Music Row neighborhood. They have an outstanding reputation with past clients and are suggested for those looking to jump start their careers. The only thing about this studio is the lack of prices listed. This usually means they are selective of the people they allow to record here and are also expensive. However, they do list their properties and features directly on the front page of their website, so you can decide if they have the right equipment before requesting a quote.
They have a Vintage API 32 input console and a long list of outbound gear to create the most voluminous sounds. Whether you are experienced or learning, this easy-to-follow website will allow you to look thoroughly into the equipment offered before reaching out to request a time to book.
This multi-room facility has been around since 2004 and is a very open and diverse company. They have three different studios, A, B, and C. Engineers and producers are one of the main concerns for this first room, studio A. Consisting of an API-designed concept Elite + console total recall with 96 moving faders. A Studer track analog recorder and a long list of outbound equipment, this room is severely high-tech.
In this studio alone, there are five isolation booths and a piano room on hand. Perfect for any recording, producing, or engineering needs. Studios B and C have less information on the website but have been the choice recording studio for many successful artists. It is a bit more on the cozier side but still offers everything needed for the perfect tracks. The studio does require you to reach out to get a quote for their pricing. However, after looking at the gear list and everything else offered, it will be hard to imagine anything better.
Overall, the list of all the great recording studios in Nashville is highly intimidating. From the different services to recording studios, it is almost impossible to figure out where to start on your own as a beginner. With that in mind, Omari Music Production has your back covered. Omari is a company designed to help you achieve dreams or keep them going. With specialized services like courses, vocalists, and engineers, you will get a complete understanding of what you need and how to get it.
Omari knows that succeeding in the music industry takes a bit more than just talent in this day and age. It takes organization, understanding, and even a team of people to get the job done. Taking the time to research or even reach out to further your career will be taken in stride with Omari's professional help and consideration for aspiring or seasoned creators. Make the overall best choice for you and your brand by covering all bases and having a professional member of Omari guide you through confusing descriptions and decide which studio best suits you today!
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© 2023 Omari MC, LLC. All Rights Reserved.