The future of music

15 Best Recording Studios in Seattle

July 21, 2023
recording studios in seattle

Seattle has long been graced with the evocative name, the Emerald City.

And like its fictional counterpart in Oz, it is an enigmatic, multidimensional place that captures the imaginations of those near and far and inspires ambitious, starry-eyed pilgrimages.

While you won’t find munchkins in this Pacific Northwest mecca, you will find fervent, untamed creative culture in spades.

It is not often that a city becomes the animus, the driving force, and the living expression of a whole genre, ethos, and cultural way of life.

Inevitably when we discuss Seattle, the specter of grunge is never far from mind.

The rain-soaked ambiance and moody introspection that defines grunge and west coast alternative rock, more generally, run like a strong ocean current through Seattle.

Seattle, now as much as ever, is a site of negotiation, a geography of cultural meaning-making and symbolic reimagining. 

Should you pull a Dorothy and seek out the Emerald City for your own recording needs, go forth and go west!

Enjoy our list of the best recording studios in Seattle!

1. London Bridge Studios

London Bridge Studios

Talk about groovy, baby – with vintage, mod, Warholian appeal, London Bridge is stocked to the rafters with record wall plaques, fuzzy pillows and throw rugs, and well-displayed ephemera.

Producer-owned and managed, London Bridge has its finger on the pulse of evolving technology and current trends, but the gang never replaces their beloved vintage Neve 8048 and all its analog warmth goodness.

The most disarming, revolutionary artists, who have come to define the reflective and poetic Seattle sound, have put their careers in London Bridge’s hands, as have alternative visionaries from further afield.

We are talking about Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, Temple of the Dog, and Blind Melon. 

Contact them for rates or stop by for a $55 one-hour studio tour at this veritable living museum.

2. Robert Lang Studios

Robert Lang Studios

During its four-decade reign, Robert Lang has been the beating heart and moody soul of the grunge and nineties alternative rock world and is one of the foremost alt studios in the country.

No surprise that they specialize in rock, in all its iterations, and they have two well-equipped studios and an acoustically treated live room for high-voltage, resonant sounds.

Artists like Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Peter Frampton, and Dave Mathews have created their disruptive, uncompromisingly original output at Robert Lang.

David Grohl is one of their most avid fans and left a glowing testimony: “The studio that changed my life forever. I wouldn’t be me without you.”  

Contact them for rates.

3. Earwig Studios

Earwig Studios

Unsettling name aside, Earwig has a stellar, far-ranging worldwide reputation, and they play host to all sectors of the music game, from the first-timer to the stadium sell-out.

Owned by tech junkie and audio engineer Don Farwell, you can sleep easy knowing that they take technical sophistication and sonic purity extremely seriously here – it’s like a religion.

Earwig is notorious for its dedication to meticulous analog and digital equipment, such as the formidable Yamaha PM2000 console.

Farwell and the gang have recorded over 250 independent and big-name musicians in their time, many of whom represent the wide interests of the staff here: rap, folk, indie rock, and pop.

Start picking up late-night shifts – a full day in the studio with their stellar team will set you back $750.

4. Avast Recording Co

Avast Recording Co

What do Soundgarden, Death Cab for Cutie, Built to Spill, The Shins, Fleet Foxes, and Bikini Kill all have in common? The strident and self-assured Seattle recording studio, Avast.

Converse Music called them a staple of the local scene and praised them, saying, “They’ve recorded some of the most important alternative rock of the past 20 years.”

Whether you’re an emo navel gazer or a riotous band with a cataclysmic message, Avast will welcome you with open arms and allow you free reign across their spacious Studios A and B.

They have an extensive collection of digital and vintage analog gear and a gorgeous, showstopping Yamaha U3 piano. 

Contact them for rates.

5. Blash Studios

Blash Studios

Blash Studios has a healthy reputation as a studio with integrity, and they offer services galore for fresh-faced musicians looking to elevate their skills in a safe and encouraging place.

They offer the whole nine yards, with voice lessons, instrument training, songwriting mentorship, lessons, artistic development, and consultation, along with the usual suspects of engineering and production.

Blash is committed to artist growth, and their customized, visionary guidance will allow you to reframe and reimagine your career and will allow you to approach your music professionally and decisively. 

They love working with independent and novice singer/songwriters and bands, and they focus on education and empowerment at every step – contact them for custom rates.

6. Mirror Sound Recording Studios

Mirror Sound Recording Studios

A creative paradise that will intoxicate your senses and provoke your inner iconoclast, Mirror Sound has a storied and sturdy history in Seattle, opening its doors in the infectious, culturally sprawling mid-eighties.

Whether you’re a nostalgic bleeding heart or a committed futurist, Mirror Sound has both analog and digital equipment to satiate your soul.

They market themselves as a studio by musicians for musicians, and they have an impressive suite of API 1608 recording consoles, Pro Tools 11 HD, and Barefoot MM27 monitors to back up their claims. 

Don’t let their nineties-core website put you off, they have scores of satisfied clients, hundreds of pieces of world-class equipment, and 25+ years of results-oriented experience.

Contact them for rates.

7. Orbit Audio Recording Studios

Orbit Audio Recording Studios

Kitschy and neon and charmingly gregarious, Orbit is a trusted choice for the A-listers and aspiring Billboard charters among us, with Macklemore, Vance Joy, The Fray, Lil Yachty, and Maroon 5 among their happy clients.

Established in 1995, they offer an impressive selection of guitar amps, and artists can rotate between two studios, a live room, and an ambient and elegant lounge. 

Their meticulous, acoustically-treated rooms are pure sonic luxury, and their bespoke, intensely personalized services are designed to make every client feel like Jagger and McCartney.

Backing that up, they offer approachable indie artist rates, which start at $125/hour or $950 for a full day in the studio with their engineering and production teams.

8. Electrokitty Studios

Electrokitty Studios

In addition to having a compelling and killer name, Electrokitty is a robust, full-suite digital/analog hybrid Eden where the vintage and the modern coalesce effortlessly. 

With their retro wood-paneled interiors and opulent Persian rugs, you’ll be spirited away to a comforting and reliable inner sanctum where wildly experienced and modestly approachable staff will hold your hand and sing your praises.

They welcome an impressive mix of performers from a range of stylistic traditions: Dave Mathews Band, Brandi Carlisle, U2, Mudhoney, Nas, and Los Campesinos, for starters.

They will happily tailor recording and mixing studio packages to meet your budget, time constraints, and vision.

Contact them for rates.

9. Bear Creek Studio

Bear Creek Studio

Quick- how many studios do you know that are set on 10 acres of verdant, forested land and feature a rustic, terribly trendy cabin as the center of the action?

Enter Bear Creek, a bohemian studio that dials futurism way back and embraces the organic soul and untamed spirit that drives so many musicians to pursue their craft.

They have ample studio, control room, and isolation space, and their interiors are lined with bound books, old musical marginalia, moody candles, plush Persian rugs, and fairy lights.

The Lumineers, Metric, Fleet Foxes, Train, Brandi Carlisle, and Big Thief have all spent time in this rural tree house.

They even have accommodation for longer creative stints or mini-sabbaticals – Contact them for rates. 

10. AD1 Studios

AD1 Studios

Committed to a laidback, vibey, chilled-out atmosphere, AD1 specializes in hip-hop with soul, substance, and sparkle, and they do their best work with independent artists like Starghost, Paradame, Esai, and Luca. 

On top of acoustically treated rooms, they have an extensive collection of heavy-duty gear, cheerful neon lights, and spunky wall art to inspire your whimsical, irreverent side.

The vibe they cultivate at AD1 is akin to your cool friend’s basement stocked with all the goods and a hype-up team, to boot.

Recording and mixing are $50/hour, and mastering is $50 per track, so you can put feelers out and get your start without dipping into the retirement fund.

11. Undercaste Recording Studios

Undercaste Recording Studios

Undercaste over-delivers when it comes to producing immaculately-crafted radio-friendly hip-hop, EDM, rap, and pop, and they’ve been in the game for twenty-plus years.

They have a full suite of Avid Pro Tools and offer a compelling array of services, such as mastering, beat enhancement, and developmental and marketing assistance.

Their producers will mentor you and refine your brand, mission, and philosophy, helping you unlock your potential and capitalize on expert knowledge and guidance. 

Plush leather sofas and hip street wall hangings create a relaxed but upmarket urban ambiance.

Hourly rates range from $70-$100.

12. LUNA Sound

LUNA Sound

A trendy, boutique studio that focuses on bespoke recording, mastering, and production services for the independent artists and hip urban insiders among us.

Female-owned and committed to the magic of the craft, LUNA offers unceasingly personalized attention and wise candor. 

With a charming, mythical gold star hanging atop their control panel, they take a meticulous, careful approach to their work, and not a single detail will escape their incisive attention.

Some of the most enchanting, disruptive indie acts of our young century have trusted LUNA to deliver the goods: Lucidvox, Tarantula Tapes, Glowbug, and The Haunted North.

Contact them for rates.

13. Bard Rock Studios

Bard Rock Studios

A spirited, unorthodox space where unadulterated, unrepentant originality and creative verve come out of the shadows and wreak delightful havoc.

The studio takes minimalism seriously, and they don’t try to impress with the latest tech and digital wizardry, rather taking a pared-down yet intellectually ambitious approach.

Located on a nature reserve, they allow the grandeur and solitude of the Pacific ecosystem to inspire fresh perspectives and paradigm shifts.

They are tireless promoters of regional and independent singer/songwriters, and they also have a mobile unit that can come to you.

They have a wide range of pricing options for recording, mixing, mastering, and band packages – recording and mixing will cost you $100 per song, while a full day for a solo artist is $300.

14. Bad Animals

bad animals recording studio seattle

You’ll find some bad animals and a very groovy sound at this kitschy, unpretentious Seattle recording studio, founded by local radio personality Steve Lawson in 1979.

With purple, poster-lined walls, you’ll feel light-hearted and cheerful indeed, and the generous support and decades-worth of experience will inspire intriguing and surreal musical experimentation.

They have a blue room studio and a red room studio, so you can pick your primary color of choice, and they have a suite of the best tech going, like Avalon and ProTools Ultimate gear.

Contact their big-hearted team directly for a quote.

15. Dynamic Sound Service Studios

Dynamic Sound Service Studios

Affordable, dedicated, and a newcomer to the scene, Dynamic is a mastering studio that has an unfussy, unerringly friendly ambiance and a commitment to working collaboratively and closely with artists.

With an elegant, cabin-core design philosophy and sound-enhancing wood paneling, Evolution offers broad rehearsal space in addition to their full-suite recording and post-production services.

A blend of focused, professional services and genuine approachability, Dynamic is an ideal first stop for artists who want to dip their toes into the water in a high-energy, vibrant space.

They have a tightly-edited selection of Wavelab gear, Genelec S30C, and Yamaha N10 monitors.

Mastering will set you back $45/song, while an album will cost you $400 – not bad, not bad. 

Best Recording Studios in Seattle – Final Thoughts

So, what do you think?

Do you have it in you to be at the fore of the next big genre to come out of Seattle?

Will you be at the helm of a modern cultural paradigm shift? Not all hear the call, but we have a feeling you do.

Go get the phone and contact one of Seattle’s best recording studios.

See you on the cover of Rolling Stone.

You may also like: Best Recording Studios in Atlanta

Will Fenton

Will, the founder of MIDDER, is a multifaceted individual with a deep passion for music and personal finance. As a self-proclaimed music and personal finance geek, he has a keen eye for futuristic technologies, especially those that empower creators and the public.

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