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Written by Ramsey Brown.
New Orleans is notorious for its vibrant and diverse music culture, where many well-known recording artists and producers call home. The city has produced some of the most legendary sounds from Hip-Hop, Gospel, Soul, Rap, Blues, and holds the title for the birthplace of Jazz music.
A big credit to the iconic music coming out of New Orleans is the recording studios in which it was created. Some of the country's most beautiful and famous recording studios sit in the heart of the Big Easy, and we’ve found and listed the 10 best of them all.
What makes these studios stand apart from the rest is the state-of-the-art equipment, advanced technology, world-class producers and engineers, and overall atmosphere and vibe that they provide to musicians. We break down the history, reviews, pricing, and everything else you need to know about these legendary New Orleans studios, so you can check them out for yourself next time you need a place to record in Louisiana's Crescent City.
This famous studio sits just outside of New Orleans’ French Quarter and was repurposed and opened in 2010, after formly being a Luthjen's Dance Hall in the 1950s. The studio easily blends with the neighboring buildings, and you may fail to notice it from afar. Owned and operated by multi-instrumentalist, producer, and engineer, Rick G. Nelson - he’s recorded iconic musicians from genres consisting of classical, jazz, indie rock, rap, country, and more.
This studio is a legendary spot in NOLA, not just for recording artists, but for scoring sound and music for film, TV, and radio as well. You will find two state of the art recording rooms at Marigny, Studio A which is their live room and Studio B which is a more traditional room. Their gear list is quite impressive, including an analog Tascam 1/2” Tape Machine, 1910 Mehlin Upright Grand piano, a variety of brass and wind instruments, and just about any VST Software you could ask for.
Walking past this warehouse sitting on New Orleans’ Euterpe Street, you’d probably never guess that inside is a premier and Grammy winning recording studio. This studio is praised by artists and engineers all around the country and known for its comfortable vibe, eclectic decor, dedicated and passionate staff who produce outstanding results
This studio has recorded hits from names like Earth, Wind, and Fire, Janelle Monáe, and The Revivalist. Beyond working with A-List hall of fame musicians, they are also passionate about working with beginners and even offer classes to teach those interested the ropes of music production. If you are ever in need of a fantastic recording studio in New Orleans, you can book Studio A starting around $250 for a minimum 3-hour block, or Studio B for a very reasonable $60 per hour.
This infamous recording spot was opened by DJ Boudreaux after Hurricane Katrina in 2007. The city was silent with no music rehearsal or recordings going on after the disaster, and DJ wanted to provide an affordable 24-hour recording studio to bring back the life of music for the people of New Orleans. So he did just that, and now Studio 101 is honored as a beacon of hope for the city in such a tragic time.
This industrial and unpretentious recording studio honors it’s New Orleans roots and is a warm and welcoming environment that has been said to promote creativity, imagination, and collaboration. They offer lock-out practice studios, as well as pay as you go, fully equipped Co-Op rehearsal rooms. With 7 varying studio rooms A-G, they are certain to meet the recording needs of any artist, producer, or engineer.
The Parlor Recording Studio is a top of the line music recording facility located in the Irish Channel neighborhood of uptown New Orleans. Created in partnership between producer/engineer Matt Grondin and music industry entrepreneur Judy Van Zant, with construction and design by the same crews who built Blackbird Studio in Nashville, The Parlor offers large acoustic spaces and finely tuned rooms with plenty of isolation, as well as a live echo chamber.
This multi-Grammy award winning studio is one of the most beautiful studios in all of New Orleans, visually and sonically. From the interior decor to the modern technologized equipment mixed with analog and vintage instruments, they offer one of the finest recording experiences imaginable. If you want to record in the rooms where some of the greats like Robert Plant, PJ Morton, and Arcade Fire have, then we highly recommend you check out Parlor Studios in New Orleans.
This beautiful studio located in the arts hub of New Orleans’ 9th ward was developed by the music department at Material Institute. The sole purpose of this studio is to give access to New Orleans's recording artists by providing cost free access to a recording studio, engineer, and workshops. The Embassy has a Recording Artist Residency program and selects emerging artists every year to award them with studio time and the ability to work with a producer to record an album or EP.
The Embassy Studio is truly a blessing to the city of New Orleans and strives to make a positive impact in the city’s music scene and culture. If you or someone you know is an emerging or aspiring recording artist, and may not have the budget for high-quality recording sessions, check out the Embassy Studio and the wonderful opportunities they can bring to less fortunate musicians.
When Esplanade opened its doors in 2013, it became the largest recording studio in all of Louisiana. The 14,000 square foot building was formerly a 1920s church that has been completely restored and renovated, allowing the highest quality professional sound recording services available in a unique architectural setting. When it comes to acoustics, this building provides some of the highest quality sounds imaginable.
Available for recording are 5 different studio rooms: Studio A is their ‘live’ room with 30 foot ceilings and enough space to hold a full symphony orchestra. Studio B is a multi-purpose room that is configured for recording, mixing and mastering. Studio C is a full functioning post-production studio held on a long-term lease for famous composer and conductor, Jay Weigel. Studio D is their other post-production studio room and is also reserved on a long-term lease for Grammy-nominated, Oscar and Academy Award winning composer, Donald Markowitz. Last, they have their Basement room, configured for musicians to perform and record live before a select audience.
Engineer Tim Stambaugh is the creative force behind this West Bank establishment specializing in local jazz, R&B, funk, Latin, gospel and brass band recording for more than 30 years. Though Word of Mouth doesn’t have a clientele of huge A-list celebrities like some of the other places we mentioned in this list, it does have a loyal following of many renowned New Orleans musicians thanks to the engineering prowess of Stambaugh.
The interior and gear of this studio is said to be quite impressive, featuring 7 different spacious rooms which include a variety of instruments and tools such as Yamaha drums, a C3 Grand piano, Pro Tools HD3, and many different options of amps, preamps, guitars, microphones, and more. The studio information found online seems to be pretty outdated, but from previous customer reviews the prices are very affordable and their contact info for booking can be found on their Facebook page.
Originally, this studio was formed in Chris George's living room of his two-bedroom house, hence the studio’s name. George and his friend later opened it in a 3,500 square-foot, 1930's wood frame church and retained the name, yet it's said to still feel like you are recording in someone's home when you are there. This studio's atmosphere and scenic location across from the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans will automatically lure you into its whims of beauty.
Beyond the visual appeal of this recording studio, the client list and equipment list are both extensive and diverse. They offer one large live recording room and two isolation booths, among amenities that include a full kitchen, two full bathrooms, living area, workshop, and a large backyard with a seating area and fire pit.
NOLA Recording Studios is one of the newest studios on our list, but Grammy-nominated chief engineer and studio owner Mike Harvey has been working with New Orleans musicians since 1998 at his first studio, Nashville Ave Sound Recording. The devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina left the studio and it’s equipment destroyed, ending the era of that location.
Mike then rebuilt the studio into NOLA Recording Studios, in the heart of Mid-City. By utilizing cutting edge sound production techniques, the studio offers clients modern tools for creative expression with a friendly and relaxed recording atmosphere. Harvey is passionate about sound and dedicated to giving his clients the best recording experience and results possible. The equipment and services they provide are capable of meeting high standards that are the 'industry' sound of places like New York, LA, and Nashville.
Originally opened by voice artist and producer Micheal Ziants, Airlift Productions only specialized in Radio/TV commercial production. As time went on and the studio became the leading destination for voice over production, Ziants decided to expand into the musical arena as well, and now helps artists produce albums, tracks, demos and more.
Although the studio is still more specialized in audio production for film, TV, audiobooks, podcasts, and voiceovers, the team there is highly trained and educated and can help bring life to almost any recording project you have. If you are looking for this kind of studio in New Orleans, this place will be your sanctuary. Their overall experience in the recording field will guarantee you great results for whatever it is you may need.
Some people undermine the power of great, famous, or beautiful studios in contributing to the success of famous songs and hits. For an artist to perform best, their mental state needs to achieve equilibrium. The above recording studios in New Orleans will be the perfect place for you to record and produce your next best and biggest hit. Comment below and let us know your thoughts on any of these studios mentioned on our list!
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