Best coast: LA’s Sound City Studios back in business

Sound City Studios operator Olivier Chastan has told AMI that the legendary LA recording facility “probably has the best sounding room” on the US West Coast.

Sound City is back in business after nearly 10 years of dormancy, with Chastan (pictured) working with Sandy Skeeter (daughter of founder Tom Skeeter) to bring the studio back to its former glory.

The pair oversaw an extensive refurbishment earlier this year, kitting out the studio with modern audio technology as well as an impressive haul of analogue gear.

“The standard was already high, so I just wanted to maintain the place and give some of the special equipment I’d acquired a special home,” continued Chastan.

The refurb included the installation of two Helios analogue recording consoles, one of which was used to record a variety of albums from the likes of Joe Cocker, Black Sabbath, Donna Summer and Kraftwerk in some of Europe’s biggest studios.

Commenting on the studio’s revival, musician and record producer Tony Berg (Edie Brickell, Public Image Ltd.) who has recorded at Sound City for over 30 years, said: “When I learned that Olivier Chastan – a respected producer and entrepreneur – had occupied the space and brought it to it’s original luster, I was thrilled.

“The sound was immediately impressive, at once broad and warm. It was just what I’d hoped for and it was a terrific experience overall. The Helios struck me as a wonderful complement to the room; less colour than other consoles perhaps, but musical, easy to use, and immaculately restored. It has always been one of the great recording environments – big, musical, and inviting.”

You can read the full Sound City Studios profile in the October 2017 issue of Audio Media International, or online here.