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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sound City Recording Studios


Being a musician I have always been interested in the recording process and the various studios around town. Los Angeles is full of current and past landmark studios. The Valley has quite a few popular studios tucked away in non-discreet buildings. One I have a particular fondness for is Sound City Studios in Van Nuys. It is on Cabrito Rd. which is just south of Roscoe Blvd. and Sepulveda Blvd. I used to live on Langdon Ave. which is right around the corner from the studio.

During the time I lived in the area Fleetwood Mac recorded their 1975 comeback album at the studio. Later Tom Petty used Sound City to record "Damn the Torpedo's". Years later I found out Nirvana recorded parts of their "Nevermind" album at Sound City.

During those days I would come home late at night and exit the 405 at Roscoe Blvd. I would cut up Orion St. on my way home. More times then I remember I would see rock bands and expensive cars at the Denny's restaurant at Roscoe and Orion. A fun feature of the studio was its parking lot on the roof. The studio was recessed from the street a bit. You drove in the driveway under an arch and there was a ramp which took you up to the roof. Many times I took advantage of this ramp to disappear from a friend who was following me in his car. it was a great place to hide and confuse a friend. I never told them about my hiding spot until years later.

Curiously I lived near another recording studio when I lived in Valley Village and worked near a studio owned by Frank Zappa. More to come.

5 comments:

Navana said...

I can't remember the last time I remembered "Sound City Recording Studios".I just meet my ex and he was recording bands in 1971. I believe at a year earlier he was mixing Spirit's "Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus". That was a great studio at that time.What happened to the place??? Thanks,Navana

Carey Wilson said...

Hi Navana, That was a great album by Spirit. Sound City is still there but i don't think it is a hot studio for bands anymore. Maybe for voice overs and band rehearsals. But that is second hand info so don't hold me to it. Do I have it right that the Spirit LP was mixed at Sound City? Thanks for your comments.

Navana said...

Carey, I do believe that was where my ex did the master mix at, for Spirit. It's been a longgg time ago,but he was working there and mixing with other bands also,My goodness, it was 8 tracks just going into 12 tracks.Haven't been in the L.A. area since 82,I"d be lost. Navana

Anonymous said...

Voice-overs and band rehearsals? That IS BAD information. Spirit did record that record here. The first giant hit we did was Fleetwood Mac. But we have been recording Tom Petty since 1975.The entire hits of the 80's sound was done here-- Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Pat Benatar Rick Springfield. Lots of Metal too- "Holy Diver" anyone?. In 1991 we recorded a little record called "Nevermind" by Nirvana. In 2007 we hosted Metallica, produced by Rick Rubin -- they took lockout on both our A and B studios and lived here on and off for six months. At the start of 2008 we had Jenny Lewis for her new solo album-- she is the lead singer for uber-hip Rilo Kiley on Warner Brothers. She is so hip that Elvis Costello guested on her record-- he loved the studio so much he booked in for his latest solo album in February. Since then we've had Nine Inch Nails and the Dixie Chicks -- so we may be ANALOG, but we are still RELEVANT. To keep up with Sound City, you can make friends on myspace!

david said...
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