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Written by Ramsey Brown.
Los Angeles is known as one of most popular music industry cities in the world, but which recording studios are really the best and most affordable for artists, rappers, bands, and musicians? We’re going to dive into this question and discuss different pricing, genres, software, hardware & everything else that Los Angeles’ top studios have to offer.
When you search for a music recording studio in Los Angeles, you will realize that you have many options available to choose from. However, some of the studios are not all that great when compared to others. It’s important as a musician or producer to select a reliable studio to work out of in order to produce the most high-quality work possible.
Luckily for you, we’ve done the research and have found the 11 Best Music Recording Studios that Los Angeles has to offer as of 2021. We understand that every singer, rapper, and producer has different recording and production needs. This is why we made this guide to give you the essential details about great studio selections, so you can pick the one that best suits you.
If you’ve ever wanted to record at a prime Los Angeles studio, then keep on reading to learn which spots are the best of the best in the city. We considered various factors when compiling this list such as the studio’s legacy, reputation, affordability, equipment, ambiance, and overall vibe.
Next time you find yourself in L.A. and are looking to book a studio session, check out one of these eleven spots and you’re sure to have an amazing West-coast recording experience.
Originally built in the late 1960’s, this studio located off of Santa Monica Boulevard has recorded names like Tupac, Backstreet Boys, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, The Jackson 5, and many more. As one of the most legendary studios in the entire entertainment industry, you can name most any iconic music artist and chances are they have recorded at Paramount before.
Decades later, Paramount now consists of eight studios: one large tracking/mixing studio with an 80 channel SSL 9000J with Ultimation. One mixing/overdub studio with a 56 channel SSL 6000E/G. One mixing/overdub studio with a 40 channel SSL 4000 Console, a mastering studio, and four pre-production studios for in-house producers to use. If you’re not keen on production and recording terms, just know this means the equipment at Paramount is state of the art.
Beyond having such high quality tools and premium software, you will be pleased to know that it is all run by a fantastic and professional team of staff. With such a large studio, high quality equipment, and excellent team members, the service you will receive at Paramount is guaranteed to foresee your expectations.
The Paramount rates are $1,650/day or $180/hour, which is in the mid to higher price range based on typical industry studio rates. You will find the studio comfortable and highly equipped with the most sophisticated systems available. Since Paramount has such an excellent reputation and maintains a highly professional staff, the prices are justifiable and your studio experience will be well worth the money you spend.
Founded in early 1970’s by Tom Hidley, a notorious audio engineer who is known for his help in the development of the very first car stereo, among other notable achievements. Hidley took his expertise into the recording industry and is credited for the “Westlake-style” room design that is now used among studios across the country.
The history and legacy of Westlake Recording Studios runs deep and has set the standard for outstanding results across the music production and recording industry. Most of the biggest music icons have recorded tracks at Westlake Recording Studios. These names include Justin Beiber, Madonna, Nas, Aaliyah, Britney Spears, and many more. The studio is also to credit for producing the number-one-selling record of all time, Michael Jackson’s Thriller.
Westlake has a total of seven recording studios among their two locations in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, four that are full size live rooms, two production rooms and one mixing suite. All of which include high quality hardware, consoles, analog, equipment, and instruments to meet any musicians production needs.
The studio's rates are in the premium range but may vary with the project's nature or the artist's arrangements. The level of quality and hospitality you will receive at Westlake is unmatched to any other studio in the country. Recording in the same room that so many greats provides a vibe that is sure to enhance your creative energy.
Union Recording Studios is a one-stop-shop for any and all professional recording needs. They offer recording, mastering, mixing, and production for all music genres and feature an impressive collection of high-end equipment. The studio operates the Universal Audio Apollo and Thunderbolt interfaces for recording, the Yamaha and KRK systems for monitoring, and Sony or Neumann accessories for your audio input and listening.
You will find the most advanced audio software at this studio, including MAC Mini, Avid Pro, Logic Pro, and other programs. Their top-notch production systems ensure that you get the best audio output possible and will have great comfort in completing your project.
One of the many great things about Union Recording Studio is their ability to cater to beginner and advanced recording artists. Studio rental rates start at $29/hour without a sound engineer and go up to $49 with a sound engineer included to help with any mix and mastering needs.
If you have the opportunity to record at Village Studios off of Butler Avenue in Los Angeles, you will be among the many icons who have made music in this fantastic recording space. From Fleetwood Mac, B.B. King, The Rolling Stones, John Mayer, Lady Gaga, and more, the clientele found at The Village Studios is above par.
In addition to creating chart topping albums, The Village is well-known for its impressive list of movie soundtracks as well. The equipment found here is primarily composed of Neve Consoles, but if you have a different preference then fear not. The Village has just about every outboard, monitor, or piece of equipment imaginable upon request or rental.
Depending on the studio room, prices range from the lower end of $50 per hour to the higher end of $150 per hour. Along with this cost you will receive premium service, access to high-end gear, a knowledgeable staff, and an overall outstanding ambiance and experience when recording at The Village Studios.
Over the past 50 years, Sunset Sound has thrived on Sunset Boulevard as one of the best recording studios in Los Angeles. Welcoming all sorts of genres including pop, R&B, funk, indie, and more, they serve to meet the needs of any and all musicians and producers.
The hardware consists of various custom consoles, vintage microphones, and equipment with discrete components. Furthermore, the studios run a wide range of software, including custom fine-tuned recording programs. You will also enjoy the studio's availability, ambiance, and outstanding customer service.
If you want a studio that prides itself in continuing the legacy of legends such as John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, and Carole King, then look no further than Henson Recording Studios. Located in the heart of Hollywood, Henson has five total studio rooms that are all equipped to meet the needs of the industry’s most brilliant talent.
The team on staff consists of well-seasoned and highly knowledgeable engineers who are dedicated to professionalism and giving their clients the best recording experience possible. When it comes to the studio gear, Henson has a wide range of options for artists and producers to work with. The studios' hardware consists of Neve Consoles, a range of custom outboard gear, and various audio systems and equipment.
Each of the rooms are set up differently in order to cater to the unique production preferences of each customer. Since Henson Studios is one of the industry’s most world-class recording facilities, the highly sought after space is known to stay booked out for most of the year.
If you are looking to get into one of the highest quality recording studios in all of Los Angeles, it’s recommended that you get in touch with Henson with much time in advance in order to secure a session at this wonderful studio.
Conway Recording Studios is famous as the birthplace to an incredible number of popular hits and has hosted hundreds of the most famous musicians from all over the world. If you think about a legendary pop icon, the chances are that they made some music at Conway Studios.
The incredible spot has been called a “recording oasis”, inside and out. The lush and private garden that surrounds the studio gives contrast to the Melrose Avenue chaos that is just outside the gate. This not only brings a sense of zen to the studio, but also serves as a barrier from the paparazzi when huge name clients like Taylor Swift, The Weeknd, Ariana Grande, and Beyonce come to record.
The hardware at Conway consists of Neve consoles and recording systems with the Yamaha Grand piano and various custom tools. The studios also run Pro Tools programs and various other custom software.
The pricing is $45 per hour or $400 per day, along with a wide range of VIP options. You will also get quality services for all audio creation and manipulation needs along with some of the world’s best studio engineers and producers. No matter the artist size or genre, Conway Recording Studios is more than capable of meeting and exceeding your studio needs.
The EastWest Studios are located on Sunset Boulevard in the heart of Hollywood and has a history that spans over 80 years. This legendary studio has produced more Grammy winning albums than any other studio in the world and is famous for hits by Frank Sinatra, Frank Ocean, Rihanna, Macy Gray, The Wu-Tang Clan, and may more.
With five different studio rooms for artists to choose from and each with unparalleled sound design, EastWest channels a creativity energy where musicians can go to let their art flourish.
The studio operates Neve consoles, discrete components, ProAc and Ampex speakers, and digital and analog recorders. Furthermore, the software includes AVID Pro Tools and Mothership Converters. When recording at EastWest, you will enjoy VIP services and their other comfort provisions among all other assets the studio provides.
You will find this studio at Rampart Boulevard in Los Angeles, California recording genres from Hip-Hop, heavy metal, jazz, rock, and EDM. Among high-end recording spaces, MIX also offers mixing, mastering, video production, photography plus more.
The audio interface is Universal Audio Apollo and Thunderbolt. Audio monitoring is with Yamaha, Dynaudio, and KRK systems. Furthermore, the studio's outboard is a twin preamp by Universal Audio 710 with Empirical Labs and ART Pro-VLA compressors. The studio also runs AVID Pro Tools software.
The hourly rates range from $42/hour for self-directed sessions to $72/hour for recording with a chief engineer. These prices are extremely attractive compared to some of the other L.A. studios we mentioned previously, You will also be glad to know that the studio works with such major labels as Universal, Epic, and Atlantic.
The studios are located on Vine Street in Los Angeles and are famous for their rock and roll productions among many other genres. Katy Perry, Bob Seger, Nat King Cole, and The Beach Boys are among the many legends that have recorded at the Capitol Studios.
The studio is equipped with some of the most sophisticated gear money can buy, Grammy award winning mixing services, and cutting-edge technology that provides guests with the most high-end recording experience imaginable. They operate with Neve hardware for recording and outboard gear with many discrete components. The software includes Pro Tools programs and a wide range of other plugins.
The studio provides exquisite services for artists, including adequate space for large teams of up to 50 people. Aside from recording, the rooms at Capitol can be rented out to host parties, red carpet events, artist showcases, and more.
The rates fall in the premium range at about $100 to $150 per hour. You will realize that the pricing also caters to the spacious room, exquisite support services, state of the art gear, and overall VIP treatment you will receive when recording at Capitol Studios.
The Studio City Sound is found on Whitsett Avenue in Los Angeles and has a wide range of famous clientele from British rock and pop singer Sir Rod Stewart, rappers Nelly and T.I., to EDM group Big Gigantic. Not only does SCS cater to a diverse list of genres, but they also provide a wide variety of services for artists and guests.
The hardware comprises Neve consoles with ATC monitors and Yamaha pianos. You can get a full suite of music recording services at this studio, including recording, mastering, mixing, vocals, and songwriting services. You will also access a full range of post-production services. They even offer mobile production for livestream recording with multi-camera HD video.
There are three different studio rooms available for booking. The pricing is in the premium range of $100 per hour or $800 per day. The studio also provides an offer of $90 per track for self-directed services. If you are in Los Angeles looking for a high-quality recording space, we definitely recommend checking out Studio City Sound.
Now that you know about the top recording studios in Los Angeles, you can make a wise and educated decision in selecting the best one for your artistic needs. When you find a proper studio, your creativity will naturally flourish and you can focus on doing what you do best, making music.
Like we mentioned above, all of these recording studios are equipped with the best of the best gear and technology, highly-knowledgeable staff, history of legendary clients, and an overall ambiance that will allow you to thrive in the studio.
Recording music is a fun and exciting experience when it is done in a great environment. Next time you are in Los Angeles, we highly recommend checking out any of these eleven spots. Feel free to share this post with your musician friends so they can explore the multitude of opportunities these L.A. studios have to offer.
Comment below to tell us more about your recording and studio experiences, or any other topics you would like us to discuss in the future. Happy Recording!
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