Sound City Studios opened in 1969 in the Van Nuys neighborhood of Los Angeles. The facility had previously been a production factory of the English musical instrument manufacturer Vox, churning out Vox AC30 amplifiers. Throughout the late twentieth century, the studio became known for its signature sound, especially in recording drums and live performances of rock bands.
Many rock artists spanning five decades have recorded at Sound City, including Nirvana, Neil Young, Fleetwood Mac, Elton John, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Bob Dylan, Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, Johnny Cash, Slayer, Rage Against the Machine, Death Cab for Cutie, and Fall Out Boy. Over one-hundred albums recorded at Sound City have achieved gold and platinum certifications.
In 2011 the owners closed the studio and much of the equipment, sadly, was sold off. From 2011 to 2016, the studio was leased by Fairfax Recordings, who used it as their own exclusive in-house studio. In 2017 the studio was re-opened for public use and has continued to host artists in the years since. The complex was the focus of the documentary Sound City (2013), directed by musician Dave Grohl. Grohl purchased some of the equipment sold in 2011, including the rare Neve Electronics 8028 mixing console that has been credited with creating the Sound City sound; it has since been re-installed at Grohl’s Studio 606.
Finding information on the effects used is not easy, and thus far it has been a process of looking at old pictures from inside the studio and working out what they used. I am sure there is much more than what appears here, so if you have any information to offer, please contact us.