Studio Profile: Black Rock Studios, Santorini

As part of our Studio Profile series we spoke to Kostas Kalimeris, Black Rock Studios, Santorini

How long have you been running and why was your space set up?

We started running the studio in June of 2009. Black Rock Studios was my dream to put Greece on the map of international recording studios. Our space was setup to accommodate artists/bands who are keen to hideaway, and find inspiration in our studio environment and the landscape of Santorini.

Who helped you build, tune or upgrade your space?

The studio was designed by Roger D’Arcy of Recording architecture and built by Bogdan Valceanov.

Architects Voula Gogorosi and Alexandros Gavriilakis helped with the interior design and building renovation.

What artists, presenters or other creators pass through your doors?

Our client roster includes, One Republic, Justin Bieber, Joe Bonammassa, Skrillex, Bjork, Bring Me the Horizon, Youmeatsix, Rita Wilson, Sarah Connor, Sido, to name a few.

What’s your USP as a studio based on feedback from artists and completed sessions?

The studio offers a unique vibe and that is always part of the music that comes out of it. It’s a unique sounding place, and somewhere to come and record something special.

Who’s on the team (you can introduce everyone while the drum solo goes on)…

Besides me, the team running Black Rock Studios are the assistant sound engineer, the housekeeper and the pool guy.

Studios have experienced massive change in the last few years and there’s many different types – where do you fit in?

This is so true and I had to find a way to build a studio concept that can last. The domestic music market is small and labels are rarely keen to rent big studios for production. Also there is a huge increase of home studios owned by producers or artists, so professional sound people can only get mixing jobs.

My aim was to create a new recording destination for international clients, targeting big markets like the USA, UK and Germany. Somewhere for artists looking to be inspired and bands looking to spend a month together recording in a nice setup.

How would you describe the overall vibe of the studio and what’s the balance between creating a great sound vs a great vibe – can they exist hand in hand without compromise?

The recording studio is attached to a luxury villa with views of the Mediterranean sea and Santorini Volcano and offers a state of the art creative space. I think we achieved the perfect balance of vibe and great sound. We also spent a lot of time designing the right balance between a hi-tech setup and our traditional buildings.

Recreation areas like the large outdoor infinity pool provide relaxation time between recording sessions. The peaceful setting means you can even record outdoors with an amazing view.

How do you feel about remote collaboration in your studio with apps such as Audiomovers, do you embrace it or does it change the magic in the room?

A need for remote collaboration is rare, but I’m always excited to host remote sessions. Our sessions always include video which I think helps maintain the same vibe between the two studios.

Can you share a list of the gear you have and the room types and dimensions?


Solid State Logic 9080 J series with Ultimation and Total recall

Digital Recorders

Pro Tools HDX

Digidesign 192 I/0 X 4 (32 in – 64 out)

Apple Mac Pro  32 GB RAM


Main : Genelec 1035B

Near field : KRK VXT 6, Yamaha NS10, 6 x Genelec 8040, 6 x Genelec 8050

Furman HDS 16 Headphone Monitor System

Furman HRM 16 remote mixers (4)





Audio Technica ATH-M50x

Pre Amps / EQs

Neve 1081 classic (4 modules) Mic pre/Eq

Neve 1073 (8 modules) upon request

Chandler TG2 –Abbey Road edition

GML 8200


Manley ELOP

ADL Stereo tube CL 1500

Chandler TG1 –Abbey Road edition

Focusrite Red 3

Distressor EL8X w/brit mode (2)

FX Processors

Lexicon 960L

Eventide Orville


AKG C-12VR, AKG D112, Cascade Fathead II (2), DPA 4006 , Electro-Voice RE-20 (1), Microtech Geffel 711(2), Neumann U87(2) , Royer R-121(2), Sennheiser MD421(3), Shure SM57(4), Shure SM58 (3), Neumann KM 184(2), AKG C 451 (3) Shure SM7B

Our Control room is 40 square metres and the Live room is 30 square metres with a 5.5 metre high arch-shaped ceiling. Booth 1 is 15 square metres and Booth 2 is 10 square metres.

The studio is designed so that you can clearly see all of the separate areas through soundproof windows and glass doors.

Can artists stay at your studio and if so what’s the set up?

Black Rock is a 400 square metre 3-storey villa, built on a cliff area of 7.000 square metres with a 360º view of the ocean.

All five guest rooms have en-suite bathrooms. All bedrooms are bright, airy and have fantastic views. Outside areas include, dining areas, jacuzzi and a large infinity pool.

Talk us through your rooms and why they are designed in the way they are

The control room is designed to host as many people as you need for modern productions, with acoustic treatment able to host a big speaker system such as Genelec’s 1035B.

The live room offers a unique room sound for drum recording because of the high arch-shaped ceiling.

The first booth is mostly used for vocals so artists enjoy the pool and ocean view when cutting vocals, while the second booth is used as an amp or production room.

What’s your dream recording project or client?

If The Rolling Stones or Mick Jagger are going to record any new stuff then that would be my dream band to have at the studio!