L.A.'s Temples of Sound
From Fleetwood Mac to Foster the People, The Beach Boys to Justin Bieber, few cities have the musical pedigree of Los Angeles. No wonder it's among the world's top recording destinations, then and now.
4th Street Recording
1211 4th St., Santa Monica
Soundproofed with sand hauled from the beach three blocks away, this Westside gem is one of L.A.'s old-school hideaways. The laid-back atmosphere is ideal for artists looking to move in for long stays. Famous For: The Beach Boys' "Kokomo," No Doubt
1750 N. Vine St., Hollywood
The historic centerpiece of L.A. recording sits on the first floor of the iconic stacked-records tower, which also houses EMI's West Coast operations. Today, bands and orchestras book its three studios for unrivaled acoustic spaces. Famous For: Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin
845 N. Highland Ave., Los Angeles
A veritable who's who of artists, from Diddy to Demi Lovato, have walked through the door of what is primarily a pop- and hip-hop-heavy complex with a focus on teen artists. For nine months of the year, Swedish producer Adam Anders holes up in rooms A and G to work with the stars of Glee. Famous For: Justin Bieber, Leona Lewis, Glee recordings
5100 Melrose Ave., Hollywood
Focused on the needs of major artists, the studio's four recording spaces are configured around a tropical garden that offers a calming environment for long sessions. Dr. Luke has called Conway his second home since 2005. Famous For: Katy Perry, Britney Spears, Avril Lavigne
6000 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
In the early 1960s it was the hottest studio in the country, playing host to legends such as Sinatra, Ray Charles and Elvis. Despite its turbulent history with multiple owners, the acoustic spaces have been untouched, and a Philippe Starck redesign ushered in the modern age. Famous For: The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, Elvis Presley's 1968 Comeback Special
1416 N. La Brea Ave., Hollywood
The former home of A&M Records was bought by the Jim Henson Co. in 2000. It's known for professionalism, comfy surroundings and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies (a staple of every session). Daft Punk has a studio on the lot, as does American Idol judge Randy Jackson. Van Halen recorded its new album there. Famous For: The ghost of Karen Carpenter; "We Are the World" recorded in Studio A
5074 Alhambra Ave., Los Angeles
Indie rock bands flock to the 2,000-square-foot facility -- once an East L.A. motorcycle paint shop -- which has a mastering suite, a vinyl record cutting lathe and a Neumann microphone that belonged to Elvis. Famous For: Beck, Fool's Gold, Wavves
3400 Eagle Rock Blvd., Eagle Rock
An indie powerhouse on the Eastside's "rock block," this complex of studios has a room to fit every budget. Committed to supporting the community, Kingsize hosts a stage at the annual Eagle Rock Music Festival to showcase up-and-coming bands. Famous For: Rilo Kiley, She & Him, Panic! at the Disco
1200 Alta Loma Road, West Hollywood
The "as you wish" ethos of this 1,100-square-foot facility beneath rock-star favorite the Sunset Marquis hotel caters to A-list clients. Those avoiding the paparazzi can enter from the underground garage. Famous For: Michael Jackson's Immortal, Cee Lo Green's The Lady Killer
11128 Weddington St., North Hollywood
Featuring eccentric designs in two of its three rooms (think Moroccan goth), this San Fernando Valley haunt has been a rock haven for more than two decades. Famous For: Linkin Park with Jay-Z, Sara Bareilles, Matchbox Twenty
Ocean Way Recording
6050 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
A bridge between the old and new, this L.A. location, part of a national network of 10 studios, has one of the largest collections of tube microphones thanks to owner-producer Allen Sides' decades-long tenure. Famous For: Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," Beck's Mutations
Paramount Recording Studios
6245 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
With a surprising history that involves cameos by Harrison Ford (as a carpenter, he worked on Studio C), the Brolin family (James' brother Brian was an original owner) and Black Eyed Peas' will.i.am (his affiliation with the studio goes back to the early '90s, when he was called Will 1x), Paramount has segued seamlessly among genres and music trends through the decades, one reason it remains fully booked. Famous For: The Jackson 5's "ABC," N.W.A., Pink
2840 Rowena Ave., Silver Lake
The space formerly known as Sound Castle was bought in 2004 by writer-producer Josh Abraham and now houses three recording studios and writing areas (Bonnie McKee, of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" fame, works out of one). Pulse also doubles as a management and publishing company. Famous For: Kelly Clarkson, Adam Lambert, The Shins, Foster the People
1032 N. Sycamore Ave., Hollywood
The storied site of several much-heralded jams in the 1970s (think Mick Jagger, John Lennon and Harry Nilsson -- together), this home of rock-star excess is now a favorite of pop artists such as Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga. Famous For: Eagles' "Hotel California," Rick James' "Super Freak"
6650 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
Celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2012, the former Disney sound house became a destination studio in the late '60s and early '70s. In the '80s, Prince spent six years holed up in Studio 3, where he allegedly had a purple bed. Today, Ryan Adams has a room there, and Jason Mraz is a recent client. Famous For: The Doors' Strange Days, Led Zeppelin IV
1616 Butler Ave., Los Angeles
This collection of studios inside a former Masonic temple has been a hotbed of activity since its 1968 opening. With a client list that reads like a cross between the Grammys and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the space also hosts KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic live performances. As its website boasts: "Music is everywhere, but it sounds better at The Village." Famous For: The Shawshank Redemption score, We Bought a Zoo, Dr. Dre's The Chronic
7265 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood
In the 1970s, it was the most acoustically influential studio in the U.S. Today, the complex, with its 1,200-square-foot A Room, still churns out chart-topping hits like Rihanna's recent Calvin Harris-produced smash "We Found Love." Famous For: Michael Jackson's Thriller, Alanis Morissette's
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