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studio spotlight

Open the door and enter The Village!

Liz Phair & friends at the Village

What do Guster, Dido, Usher, Café Tacuba, Damien Rice, REM, and Ricki Lee Jones have in common?
They’ve all been spotted recently working at The Village, Los Angeles’ premiere Westside recording facility.

No Doubt with producer Glen Ballard

With an impressive history, the Village continues to be a top recording hot spot for cutting edge artists, both established and new-on-the-scene. "Past projects by artists such as Fleetwood Mac, Steely Dan and Sly and the Family Stone have contributed to its glory, but The Village remains vibrant today largely because of its original artist-friendly philosophy," says CEO Jeff Greenberg. Evidence of this consistent philosophy are loyal clients including No Doubt, Korn, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Foo Fighters, to name a few.

Steely Dan circa '73

Established in 1968 in a 30,000 square foot former Masonic Temple, The Village is a multi-story, multi-studio complex featuring the best of both modern and vintage gear. It’s historic Studio D has not only a spacious live recording room with five isolation booths, but is also connected via audio and video tie lines to the building’s second floor with its 4000 square foot performance space complete with stage and chandeliers.

The Village ordered the first Neve 88R for its Studio D in 2001. "We postponed the install in favor of lockout sessions by Guns & Roses," says Greenberg. The Village’s main studios all boast Neve consoles: Studio A features a vintage 72-input 8048, and Studio B with its VR Legend, is a
favorite for scoring work. Also in the complex is Studio F, a compact, multi-purpose surround suite offers Pro Tools HD systems linked with a Fibre channel SAN.

Mya and friends

To be a fly on The Village’s walls would make one a witness to legendary recording sessions of Rock and Roll history, including The Rolling Stones’ Goat’s Head Soup, Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk, Eric Clapton’s landmark, After Midnight, as well as his Grammy Award-winning Tears in Heaven, most Steely Dan records including Aja, numerous Bob Dylan records, as well as modern blockbusters including the last three Smashing Pumpkins releases, The Wallflowers, Rage Against The Machine, Melissa Etheridge, The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ By the Way, the Foo Fighters’ One By One, and Nelly’s blockbuster Nellyville.

Mike Myers and Possy

The Village is also considered to be one of the Hollywood film industry’s premier recording and post-production facilities where film scores for Finding Nemo, The Shawshank Redemption, The Mighty Wind, Something About Mary, and Almost Famous, were recorded. Additionally, TV spots are recorded at the Village for handful of commerical companies including Jack In The Box and Porsche.

Aaron Carter and Chris Douridas

The recent buzz at The Village is due, in part, to almost daily live recordings in the facility's Neve 88R-equipped Studio D, where the nation’s hottest radio program, KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, broadcasts some of the most exciting music to be found on the air--or on the ‘Net. Helmed by influential tastemaker Nic Harcourt, the morning sessions at The Village are not only broadcast in real time but are also simulcast and archived on KCRW.com. In one recent week alone, Village staff engineer Jason Wormer recorded Morning Becomes Eclectic sets by The Eels, Seal, and red hot up-and-comers East Sound Mountain, The 88s, The Frames and Butterfly Boucher.

Seal and Chris Douridas

Powering The Village’s hit making studios are a bevy of Apple Macintosh computers, which run ProTools™ in the various tracking and composer studios, and scheduling and accounting software in executive offices. The Village uses more than twenty Apple Macintosh computers on a daily basis – not including additional ever-present G5 towers and personal PowerBooks brought in by clients. Greenberg notes, “About 95% of our sessions these days are recorded to hard disk and backed-up nightly through our Storage Area Network – a process that depends entirely on the performance and reliability of our Apple Macs.”

Pictured above is Jeff Greenberg, CEO of The Village with one of the numerous Macintosh Computers used throughout LA's most notable and historical recording studio.

"Long before the Apple Computer Company revolutionized the way people listened to music with the iPod, iTunes, and the iTunes Music Store, The Village was using Apple Computers exclusively to record the hits that would eventually wind up on millions of iPods," says Greenberg.

According to Jeff, The Village was one of the very first professional recording studios in the country to completely embrace the Apple platform.




Heart's Nancy Wilson with Village CEO Jeff Greenberg on deck at Village's roof-top lounge with views of the Pacific ocean.

The Village attracts top musicians who need the finest equipment, ambiance and support services to record their music. In addition to great artists, the studio has recorded the film scores for Almost Famous, Vanilla Sky, Moulin Rouge, Girl Interrupted, Stewart Little, Million Dollar Hotel, Hurricane, Next Friday, The X-Files Movie, Toy Story 2, Mulan, The Shawshank Redemption, There's Something About Mary, Big Daddy, Oscar and Lucinda, Con Air, Dr. Doolittle, Mad City, the Oscar winning Good Will Hunting, and the Ali.

Sarah Mclachlan and Nic Harcourt

For the past three years, The Village has been nominated as studio of by the year the readers of Mix magazine.

Jonathan Davis

Jeff states, “Our Storage Area Network is a centralized server that sends all of the sessions through fiber to a secure block of hard disks with a RAID configuration. A dedicated Apple Macintosh G5 CPU backs-up all of the data on a nightly basis, ensuring security and redundancy for all of our sessions.”

studio D with Neve 88R

All Village Studios use Apple Macintosh G5 with an Apple Cinema Display, again running ProTools, with all sessions recorded to the Storage Area Network.

Studio B recently hosted the Stone Temple Pilots who recorded their latest CD, 4, and it was the Smashing Pumpkins’ studio-of-choice where they recorded their last three CDs. And, as rumor has it, Guns & Roses have been holed up in B working on a famously forthcoming CD.

Brian Setzer and John Holbrook

Studio F (designed by Vincent VanHaaf) recorded Missy Elliot’s Under Construction, and Nelly’s Nellyville, two of the most successful hip-hop albums of 2002/2003.

Ricki Lee Jones’ new CD, The Evening of My Best Day, was recorded and mixed entirely at The Village produced by Jones and David Kalesh and recorded by Jason Wormer and Mark Johnson, with Joe Chiccarelli on board mixing. Jones’ first album of original material in six years, the long-awaited CD is released on the V2 label.

Korn Sessions -- Jonathan Davis Michael Beinhorn Frank Filipetti

Most recently the score for Russell Crowe’s Master and Commander (the 200-million-dollar epic) was recorded in Studio D with Ry Cooder producing with Rail Rogut engineering.

DaveGrohl and JimScott

Other engineers and producers hard at work at The Village on recent projects have been producer Steve Berlin with engineer Robert Carranza recording Los Lobos, R&B giants Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis producing Usher with Ian Cross engineering.

Ricki Lee Jones and freinds at the Village

Summing it all up, Greenberg explains, “Whether recording in one of our tracking studios, surfing the web during a break on any one of the numerous iMacs in the studio lounges, writing in a composer’s studio, or working in one of our offices, our goal is to help make the experience enjoyable. The goal is to provide the latest tools and best people to help deliver artist/producer's vision.”

The Village People

Contact: Sharon Lewis, Studio Manager
The Village (310) 478-8227
web site: http://villagestudios.com

Watch the video interview with producer John Wooler from the historical Village Studios here!

To view download FREE Real One Player here!