World's Best Recording Studios

Global

For those who create music in a recording studio, the promise of a well-equipped work space goes beyond the right gear. Artists, producers and engineers know that many studios carry on the spirit of legendary sessions and past hits - and many hope to tap that energy for their tracks today. Reference: Billboard.com

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Updated a year ago

Editor's Pick

Know where your favorite classic hits came to life! Go on a tour around the world’s best recording studios with Berklee College of Music alumna Celine.


Abbey Road Studios

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London, United Kingdom • Wishlist • 

The Beatles recorded "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" here. More contemporary acts include Ed Sheeran, James Bay, and more. Album Hall of Fame: The Beatles, "Abbey Road" (1969)

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Air Studios

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London, United Kingdom • Wishlist • 

Coldplay's "Kaleidoscope" EP and the score to Dunkirk are among recent projects recorded at the former church. Album Hall of Fame: Kate Bush, "The Kick Inside" (1978)

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Grundman Bernie Mastering Studios

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Los Angeles, United States • Wishlist • 

Prince and Michael Jackson enlisted the services of Bernie Grundman in the 1980s. More recent acts from Kendrick Lamar to U2 have gotten their music mastered, thanks to the studio's use of customized gear. Hall of Fame: Michael Jackson, "Thriller" (1982)

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EastWest Studios

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Los Angeles, United States • Wishlist • 

Home to more Grammy-winning albums in the last four years than any other studio -- and host to stars like Whitney Houston and Justin Bieber during the last 60 years -- the landmark building in Hollywood is known for its striking chandeliers and whimsical set pieces, as well as for its privacy. Album Hall of Fame: The Beach Boys, "Pet Sounds" (1966)

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Conway Recording Studios

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Los Angeles, United States • Wishlist • 

Family-owned and operated, Conway, which features a spacious outdoor garden, has become the go-to recording spot for artists like The Weeknd, Lorde and Pharrell Williams. Icons like Barbra Streisand and Michael Jackson also graced the three studios where music from Justin Timberlake and N*E*R*D recently was crafted. Album Hall of Fame: The Weeknd, "Starboy" (2016)

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Capitol Studios & Mastering

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Los Angeles, United States • Wishlist • 

In 1956, Frank Sinatra christened the famed studios in the Capitol Records Tower. Other notables include Bob Dylan and Neil Young. Album Hall of Fame: Frank Sinatra, "Songs for Swingin' Lovers!" (1956)

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Electric Lady Sound Studios

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New York City, United States • Wishlist • 

Founded by Jimi Hendrix in 1970 in the heart of Greenwich Village. Known as one of the oldest working studios in the city due in part to its cool aesthetic, which partner/GM Lee Foster describes as “late-’60s futurism meets midcentury modern.” Stevie Wonder and Blondie are just a few of the acts that have recorded at the location. Album Hall of Fame: Stevie Wonder, "Talking Book" (1972)

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Germano Studios Inc

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New York City, United States • Wishlist • 

The two-studio facility, established in 2008 by former Hit Factory owner Troy Germano, quickly became a force in the studio community, attracting an A-list roster with Frank Ocean, Big Sean and Lana Del Rey all passing through in recent months. Germano explains that the ability for impromptu collaborations is something that home recording spaces can never compete with. “John Mayer was once recording in Studio One while Travis Scott was in Studio Two, and they bumped into one another,” he says. “Moments later, John was recording guitar on one of Travis’ songs.” Album Hall of Fame: Beyoncé, "4" (2011)

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Henson Recording Studio

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Los Angeles, United States • Wishlist • 

Once home to Charlie Chaplin’s soundstages and then A&M Records, the old-time Hollywood locale that became Henson Recording Studios in 2000 was the scene of fabled sessions throughout classic pop’s and rock’s formative years. Recent clients include Coldplay and Katy Perry. Album Hall of Fame: Carole King, "Tapestry" (1971)

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Larrabee Studios

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Los Angeles, United States • Wishlist • 

Larrabee began its 40-year life as the home studio of the hit songwriting team of Carole King and Gerry Goffin. With such lineage, it’s not surprising that the North Hollywood spot evolved into a nerve center of the Los Angeles studio scene, as credits include John Mayer, Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. The studio recently hosted the mixing of Luis Fonsi’s global hit “Despacito.” Album Hall of Fame: Michael Jackson, "Dangerous" (1991)

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Real World Studios

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Bath, United Kingdom • Wishlist • 

Real World, established by Peter Gabriel in the late 1980s, is far removed from city studios, set in the English countryside near Bath. Its famed 2,000-square-foot Big Room is a vast space with no separation between the artist and control room, while the residential complex allows for artists to stay in a house or separate cottage. “You just have to turn up here and be creative,” says in-house engineer Oli Jacobs, who names Alicia Keys and Van Morrison as recent guests. “The idea is to provide the perfect space to do that.” Album Hall of Fame: New Order, "Technique" (1989)

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Ocean Way Nashville Studio

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Nashville, United States • Wishlist • 

Founded in 1996, Ocean Way Nashville oversees scores for video-game franchises including Call of Duty and Madden, as well as records from stars like Blake Shelton and Luke Bryan. Its three studios are situated in a 100-year-old church, which director of operations Pat McMakin says is “inspirational and allows you to hear yourself well.” Album Hall of Fame: Luke Bryan, "Kill the Lights" (2015)

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Metropolis Studios

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London, United Kingdom • Wishlist • 

Queen was one of the first big names to record at Metropolis, which opened in 1989 and is housed inside a converted Victorian power station. It still attracts big names, with tracks from Drake’s More Life and Adele’s 25 among its recent credits. Album Hall of Fame: Queen, "Innuendo" (1991)

  • +44 20 8742 1111
  • The Power House, 70 Chiswick High Rd, Chiswick, London W4 1SY, UK

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Island Sound Studios

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Honolulu, United States • Wishlist • 

Island Sound Studios is located on a marina, five minutes away from the famed Hanauma Bay snorkeling site, yet studio manager Gaylord Kalani Holomalia says that artists like Dr. Dre and Kanye West are often so absorbed in their work that they never make it outside, “preferring to sleep anywhere in the studio and get up to work again.” Holomalia also suggests that one of the virtues of a commercial facility like Island Sound is “to give you space to create without interruptions,” with lounge and deck areas for when artists need a break. Album Hall of Fame: G.O.O.D. Music, "Cruel Summer" (2012)

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Record Plant

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Los Angeles, United States • Wishlist • 

Artists including Kelly Clarkson and Zayn Malik have recorded at Hollywood’s Record Plant during the last 18 months, and the famed studio, which originally opened in New York in 1968 before establishing a Los Angeles outpost the following year (the New York location closed in 1987), has become known for excelling at writing “camps,” says vp/GM Jeff Barnes, where artists and their teams take over various studios at a time. What keeps artists coming back? “[Our] customer service is paralleled only by the finest hotels and resorts in the world,” he says. Album Hall of Fame: Fleetwood Mac, "Rumours" (1977)

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Sterling Sound Inc

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New York City, United States • Wishlist • 

Sterling Sound has been New York’s leading mastering destination for an array of hits since opening in 1968. Taylor Swift and Shawn Mendes are a few who recently stopped by to make use of the largest independent mastering studio in the world. “We have a wide array of in-house-designed and classic analog and digital signal-processing tools,” explains Chris Gehringer, partner/ senior mastering engineer. “And, most importantly, engineers with the creative insight to listen to a mix and know if and how it can be enhanced.” Album Hall of Fame: Bruce Springsteen, "Born to Run" (1975)

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Sun Studio

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Memphis, United States • Wishlist • 

Largely credited as the birthplace of rock’n’roll, the famed Sun Studio opened in 1950, attracting icons including Elvis Presley and B.B. King. More recently, it has hosted John Mellencamp, U2 and Chris Isaak with chief recording engineer Ples Hampton crediting its storied history and current PBS live performance series as helping to maintain its relevance. Album Hall of Fame: Johnny Cash, "With His Hot and Blue Guitar" (1957)

  • Memphis, TN 38103, USA

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United Recording

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Los Angeles, United States • Wishlist • 

Studios where Brian Wilson and Frank Sinatra once recorded. Vintage tube microphones let Madonna get cosmic with Ray of Light and helped make Eric Clapton and Beck repeat customers. More recently, JAY-Z used the studio to work on his latest project, 4:44. Album Hall of Fame: Green Day, "American Idiot" (2004)

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