Sound_City_Studios Latitude and Longitude:

34°13′01″N 118°28′13″W / 34.21702°N 118.47039°W / 34.21702; -118.47039
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sound City Studios
Address15452 Cabrito Road, Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California, 91406
Location Los Angeles, California

Sound City Studios is a recording studio in Los Angeles, California, known as one of the most successful in popular music. The complex opened in 1969 in the Van Nuys neighborhood of Los Angeles. The facility had previously been a production factory of the English musical instrument manufacturer Vox. Throughout the late twentieth century, the studio became known for its signature sound, especially in recording drums and live performances of rock bands.

Hundreds of rock artists spanning five decades have recorded at Sound City, including Johnny Cash, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, U2, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bob Dylan, Guns N' Roses, Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Tool, Slayer, Rage Against the Machine, Death Cab for Cutie, and Fall Out Boy. Over one-hundred albums recorded at Sound City have achieved gold and platinum certifications. [1] [2]

The studio leased time for public use until 2011; in 2011 the owners closed the studio and much of the equipment was sold off. From 2011 to 2016, the studio was leased by Fairfax Recordings, who used it as their own exclusive in-house studio. In 2017 the studio was re-opened for public use and has continued to host artists in the years since. [3] The complex was the focus of the documentary Sound City (2013), directed by musician Dave Grohl. Grohl purchased some of the equipment sold in 2011, including the rare Neve Electronics 8028 mixing console that has been credited with creating the "Sound City sound"; it has since been re-installed at Grohl's Studio 606.


The studio was created by Joe Gottfried and Tom Skeeter, who wanted to start a record company and get into artist management. After a rough start, Skeeter and Gottfried purchased [4] [5] [6] a state-of-the-art recording console for $75,175 from the English electronics engineer Rupert Neve: [7] "One of four in the world ... a 28-input, 16-bus, 24-monitor 8028 with 1084 EQs and no automation". [6] [8]

The first song recorded on the console was performed by Buckingham Nicks and led to an invitation to join Fleetwood Mac.

During 1969, Sound City hosted the David Briggs productions Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus by Spirit and After the Gold Rush by Neil Young. Cult leader Charles Manson recorded in Studio B months before the Manson Family crime spree.

In the 1970s, Neil Young, Dr. John, Spirit, Crazy Horse, and Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, along with other bands, recorded music at the studio. Shelter Records founders Leon Russell and Denny Cordell found a home at Sound City as well, recording Leon Russell, Delaney & Bonnie, and Joe Cocker. Thanks to the Shelter founders, Sound City hosted a young band from Florida named Mudcrutch in 1974, providing an introduction to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers that resulted in a relationship spanning over two decades.

In 1976, Fleetwood Mac recorded one track at the studio, " Never Going Back Again", from what would become one of the highest selling and most critically acclaimed albums of all time, Rumours. [9] [10] [11]

During the 1980s and 1990s, the studio was used to produce works from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Rick Springfield, Ronnie James Dio, Foreigner, The Black Crowes, and Nirvana. Producer Rick Rubin chose Sound City Studios to record artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Johnny Cash (1996's Unchained). He also recorded Metallica's Death Magnetic, which entered the Billboard Top 200 chart at No. 1, at the studio. [12] [13]

Joe Gottfried died in 1992, at the age of 65. Tom Skeeter died on 12 September 2014, at the age of 82. [14] The studio was closed to the public in 2011 and much of the equipment sold off, including the Neve Electronics 8028 Console from Studio A which was purchased by Dave Grohl, former Nirvana drummer and current frontman of Foo Fighters, who installed it in his Studio 606 in Northridge, California. [15]

In 2011, record label Fairfax Recording leased Studio A for exclusive use of its artists [16] While the studio was left untouched, the control room was refurbished and analog recording equipment even older than the Neve console was added including an ARP 2600 semi-modular analog synthesizer, a Wurlitzer 140B electric piano and EQ modules designed for the Columbia CBS Studios in New York. Artists such as the Cold War Kids, and The Lumineers recorded at the facility during the Fairfax years.

In early 2017 a partnership was formed between Sandy Skeeter, daughter of founder Tom Skeeter, and Olivier Chastan in order to reopen the studio. Sound City is now the home of two of just 11 surviving Helios Type 69 consoles [17] and continues to use classic analog recording techniques in many of its productions. While the control rooms received some upgrades, including Pro Tools, the main studio remains exactly as it was built in 1969. [18]


Sound City Studios prides itself on having a very particular sound when it comes to recording drums. [19] [1] [7] [20] [21] [22] Toto drummer Jeff Porcaro insisted that one only had to set up the drums in order to get a good drum sound. [23] Producer Rick Rubin said that "guitars sound pretty much the same everywhere, but drums change from room to room, and the sound at Sound City was among the best". [2] Producer Greg Fidelman recorded the sound of a bass drum from each of the big recording studios in the Los Angeles area, subsequently playing the sample for Metallica without divulging from which studio the sound had originated. Based upon this sample, the band chose Sound City Studios to record Death Magnetic. [23] In addition, when asked by Nine Inch Nails to be a guest drummer on some songs, Dave Grohl agreed only if the songs were to be recorded at Sound City Studios. [23] The interior of the main studio has allegedly never been painted over, nor its linoleum tiles changed, due to fear that any such change would directly affect the "legendary sound quality" of the room. [8]


1970 Spirit Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus David Briggs
1970 Neil Young After The Gold Rush Neil Young
David Briggs
Kendall Pacios
1972 Dr. John Dr. John's Gumbo Jerry Wexler
1973 Buckingham Nicks Buckingham Nicks Keith Olsen
1974 Evel Knievel Evel Knievel Ron Kramer
1974 Elton John Caribou Gus Dudgeon
1974 Bachman–Turner Overdrive Not Fragile Randy Bachman
1974 Bill Cosby At Last Bill Cosby Really Sings Stu Gardner
1975 Fleetwood Mac Fleetwood Mac Keith Olsen
1975 War Why Can't We Be Friends? Jerry Goldstein
1975 Nils Lofgren Nils Lofgren David Briggs
1976 Rick Springfield Wait for Night Mark K. Smith
1977 Grateful Dead Terrapin Station Keith Olsen
1977 REO Speedwagon You Can Tune a Piano, but You Can't Tuna Fish John Boylan
Gary Richrath
Kevin Cronin
Paul Grupp
1978 Cheap Trick Heaven Tonight Tom Werman
1978 Walter Egan Not Shy Lindsey Buckingham
Richard Dashut
1978 Foreigner Double Vision Keith Olsen
1979 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Damn the Torpedoes Jimmy Iovine
1980 Gentle Giant Civilian Gentle Giant
1980 Pat Benatar Crimes of Passion Keith Olsen
1981 Rick Springfield Working Class Dog Keith Olsen
Bill Drescher
1981 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Hard Promises Tom Petty
Jimmy Iovine
1981 Santana Zebop! Keith Olsen
1982 Pat Benatar Precious Time Keith Olsen
1982 Hawks 30 Seconds Over Otho John Ryan
1982 REO Speedwagon Good Trouble Kevin Beamish
1982 Fear The Record Gary Lobow
1982 Barry Manilow Here Comes the Night Bill Drescher
1982 Rick Springfield Living in Oz Bill Drescher
1983 Dio Holy Diver Ronnie James Dio
1983 Sharon O'Neill Foreign Affairs John Boylan
1984 Ratt Out of the Cellar Beau Hill
1984 Rick Springfield Hard to Hold Bill Drescher
1984 Lionheart Hot Tonight Kevin Beamish
1984 The Winans Tomorrow Scott V. Smith
1984 BeBe & CeCe Winans Lord Lift Us Up Bill Maxwell
1984 Saxon Crusader Kevin Beamish
1985 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Southern Accents Tom Petty
Jimmy Iovine
1985 Loudness Thunder in the East Max Norman
1986 Guns N' Roses Appetite for Destruction (Sound City Sessions) Mike Clink, Manny Charlton
1988 Fleetwood Mac Greatest Hits
1989 Keel Larger Than Live Ron Keel
1991 Nirvana Nevermind Butch Vig
1992 Kyuss Blues for the Red Sun Kyuss
Chris Goss
1992 Masters of Reality Sunrise on the Sufferbus Chris Goss
Ginger Baker
1992 Rage Against the Machine Rage Against the Machine Garth Richardson
1992 Green Jellÿ Cereal Killer Sylvia Massy
1993 Kyuss Welcome to Sky Valley Kyuss
Chris Goss
1993 Tool Undertow Sylvia Massy
C.J. Buscaglia
1993 Rancid Rancid Brett Gurewitz
1993 Tom Petty Greatest Hits
1994 Tom Petty Wildflowers Rick Rubin
1994 The Black Crowes Amorica Jack Joseph Puig
1994 Slayer Divine Intervention Rick Rubin
Toby Wright
1995 Dashboard Prophets Burning Out The Inside Garth Richardson
1995 Red Hot Chili Peppers One Hot Minute Rick Rubin
1995 Kerbdog On The Turn Garth Richardson
1995 Kyuss ...And the Circus Leaves Town Chris Goss
1996 Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Songs and Music from "She's the One" Tom Petty
1996 Carl Perkins Go Cat Go! Various artists
Eddie Kramer
1996 Johnny Cash Unchained Rick Rubin
1996 Weezer Pinkerton Weezer
David Fridmann
1996 Tonic Lemon Parade Jack Joseph Puig

Bruce Dickinson

Accident of Birth Roy Z
1997 Fu Manchu The Action Is Go Jay Noel Yuenger
1998 Various artists Godzilla: The Album Foo Fighters
1998 Frank Black and the Catholics Frank Black and the Catholics Frank Black

Bruce Dickinson

The Chemical Wedding Roy Z
1998 Superdrag Head Trip in Every Key Jerry Finn
1998 System of a Down System of a Down Rick Rubin
System of a Down
1999 Frank Black and the Catholics Pistolero Nick Vincent
1999 Jimmy Eat World Clarity Mark Trombino
2000 A Perfect Circle Mer de Noms Billy Howerdel
2000 Queens of the Stone Age Rated R Chris Goss
2001 Black Rebel Motorcycle Club B.R.M.C. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
2001 Frank Black and the Catholics Dog in the Sand Nick Vincent
2001 Slipknot Iowa Ross Robinson
2001 Treble Charger Wide Awake Bored Matt Hyde
2001 Fu Manchu California Crossing Matt Hyde
2001 Vanilla Ice Bi-Polar Vanilla Ice
2003 Matchbook Romance West For Wishing Brett Gurewitz
2003 Hotwire The Routine Matt Hyde
2003 Kings of Leon Youth & Young Manhood Ethan Johns
2003 Poison the Well You Come Before You Pelle Henricsson
2003 Rancid Indestructible Brett Gurewitz
2004 Ash (band) Meltdown (Ash album) Nick Raskulinecz
2004 Bad Religion The Empire Strikes First Brett Gurewitz
2005 Queens of the Stone Age Lullabies to Paralyze Joe Barresi
2005 Wolfmother Wolfmother Dave Sardy
2005 Nine Inch Nails With Teeth Trent Reznor
2005 Madrugada The Deep End George Drakoulias
2005 Ry Cooder Chávez Ravine Ry Cooder
2006 Zico Chain Food Joe Barresi
2007 Mavis Staples We'll Never Turn Back Ry Cooder
2008 Cold War Kids Loyalty to Loyalty Kevin Augunas
Cold War Kids
2008 Metallica Death Magnetic Rick Rubin
2008 Nine Inch Nails The Slip Trent Reznor
2008 Elvis Costello and the Imposters Momofuku Elvis Costello
Jason Lader
2009 BigBang Edendale Greg Richling
Kid Rock Born Free Rick Rubin
The Higher It's Only Natural Mike Green
Wolfmother Cosmic Egg Alan Moulder
2010 Josh Groban Illuminations Rick Rubin
Death Cab for Cutie Codes and Keys Chris Walla
Death Cab for Cutie
Triggerfinger All This Dancin' Around Greg Gordon
Year Long Disaster Black Magic; All Mysteries Revealed Nick Raskulinecz
2011 Mastodon The Hunter Mike Elizondo
Everclear Return to Santa Monica Nathaniel Kunkel
Art Alexakis
Arctic Monkeys Suck It and See James Ford
Haloes Living Like Kings In Confined Spaces Greg Richling
Noah and the Whale Last Night on Earth Noah and the Whale
The Lonely Forest Arrows Chris Walla
Monstro Flora Between the Stars [24] Greg Richling
2018 Fall Out Boy Mania
Death Cab for Cutie Thank You for Today Rich Costey
Boygenius Boygenius N/A
The Crystal Method The Trip Home Tiny E
2019 Andrew Bird My Finest Work Yet Paul Butler
Big Thief Two Hands Andrew Sarlo
Perfume Genius Set My Heart On Fire Immediately Blake Mills
2020 Phoebe Bridgers Punisher [25] Tony Berg and Ethan Gruska
Bob Dylan Rough and Rowdy Ways None listed
The Killers Imploding the Mirage [26]
2021 Switchfoot Interrobang [27] Tony Berg
2022 Jack Johnson Meet the Moonlight [28] Blake Mills
Marcus Mumford (self-titled) [29] Blake Mills

See also


  1. ^ a b Coffey, Padraic (8 March 2013). "Sound City: Classic rock fans will find much to admire". filmjamblog. Retrieved 9 June 2013. Sound City Studios was host to a plethora of talents, recording over 100 certified gold and platinum albums, before its closure in 2011. [...] The studio's incomparable reputation for quality percussion sound is tested in a brief high-energy montage of Grohl, Foo Fighters drummer Taylor Hawkins and other players behind the skins.
  2. ^ a b Turan, Kenneth (31 January 2013). "Movie review: 'Sound City' is homage to recording studio equipment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Rebirth of a Legend". Sound City Studios. Archived from the original on 13 July 2017. Retrieved 26 November 2023.
  4. ^ Florino, Rick (29 January 2013). "'Sound City' Movie Review — 5 out of 5 stars". Santa Monica, California: Artistdirect. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  5. ^ Mervis, Scott (26 April 2013). "Movie Review: 'Sound City' captures heyday of a legendary LA music studio". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  6. ^ a b Filbin, Patrick (9 April 2013). "Rock Docs: Sound City (2013)". Buzz Weekly. Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. Retrieved 11 June 2013.
  7. ^ a b Deming, Mark (1 February 2013). "Sound City (2013) - Review - AllMovie". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  8. ^ a b Scoppa, Bud (1 March 2009). "L.A. Grapevine, March 2009". Mix. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
  9. ^ Q staff (May 1997). "The recording of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours (February 1976 - February 1977)". Q. No. 128. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  10. ^ "100 Best Albums Ever". The Guardian. London. 19 September 1997. Retrieved 8 April 2018 – via Discogs.
  11. ^ McLaughlin, Katie (27 June 2012). "Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours' at 35: Still the 'perfect album'". CNN. Retrieved 13 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Metallica | Chart History. Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 8 April 2018.
  13. ^ "Dead Magnetic - Metallica. Awards". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Archived from the original on 1 January 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2013.
  14. ^ Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club : 2014 July to December". Retrieved 15 September 2014.
  15. ^ Hutchinson, Charles (21 May 2019). "Blues godfather John Mayall to play York Barbican". The Press (York). Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  16. ^ Bieger, Hannes (January 2017). "Fairfax Recording, California". Sound on Sound. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  17. ^ Ramsey, Colby. "Studio Profile: Sound City Studios". Audio Media International. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  18. ^ "Sound City Studios". The Audio Hunt. Retrieved 20 June 2019.
  19. ^ Sound City Drum Sound on YouTube.
  20. ^ Scherstuhl, Alan (30 January 2013). "Dave Grohl and Other Rockers Toast L.A.'s Sound City". The Village Voice. New York City. Retrieved 9 June 2013.
  21. ^ Wren, Alec (11 March 2013). "Sound City Documentary – Review". Retrieved 9 June 2013. Coupled with the console was the large live room, a room that defied its undesirable acoustical sizing and characteristics to generate drum tracks that would redefine rock music.
  22. ^ Murphy, Ronan Chris (6 April 2009). "Sound City Studios Documentary. Neil Young to Metallica to Kyuss to Tom Petty to Nirvana". Retrieved 9 June 2013. This place is heaven for analog recording gear fanatics and has what some consider the best drum room in the world.
  23. ^ a b c Fackenthall, Kent (19 July 2012). "The Sound of Sound City Studios". Retrieved 27 February 2018.
  24. ^ [1]
  25. ^ Petrusich, Amanda (May 17, 2020). "Phoebe Bridgers's Frank, Anxious Music". The New Yorker. Retrieved May 19, 2020.
  26. ^ "The Killers take new approach". The Columbian. Retrieved 2022-09-21.
  27. ^ "Ryley Walker Finally Gets To Interview Switchfoot About New Album 'Interrobang': "I Want To Say For The Record That I'm A Huge Head"". Retrieved 2022-09-21.
  28. ^ "Meet the Moonlight". Jack Johnson Music. Retrieved 2022-09-21.
  29. ^ "The Secret at the Heart of Marcus Mumford's New Solo Album". GQ. 2022-08-10. Retrieved 2022-09-21.

External links

34°13′01″N 118°28′13″W / 34.21702°N 118.47039°W / 34.21702; -118.47039