Henson Recording Studios

Location: Hollywood, CA

Founded: 2000

Website: http://www.hensonrecording.com/

Purchased by The Jim Henson Company in 1999, the former site of A&M Records is now the Henson Recording Studios. However, despite a music history that stretches back to the 1960s, the studios were born of film legacy.

Notable Products

  • Live music recording
  • Final mix down
  • Audio mastering



What to Expect

In 1917, Charlie Chaplin founded his film studio on North La Brea Avenue in Hollywood. There he made one of his first feature-length classics, The Kid. Nearly 50 years later, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss bought Chaplin’s headquarters, renovating the soundstages into a recording studio and establishing A&M Records. Until A&M was sold to Universal Music Group, the studio churned out hits for some of music’s most influential artists, including The Supremes, John Lennon, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Diana Ross, The Ramones, Rage Against the Machine, Janet Jackson, Dr. Dre, and Pearl Jam. The studio was also the site chosen to record “We Are the World” in 1985. During the sale to UMG, The Jim Henson Company (Sesame Street, The Muppets) acquired the studio facilities, including the recording studios and equipment. Today, Kermit the Frog greets visitors who pass by the iconic lot, from atop a roof built by The Tramp.

Henson Recording Studios is a gorgeous facility and continues to be a top choice for music artists, laying tracks in the last decade for Bon Jovi, Rihanna, Ozzy Osbourne, Alice in Chains, Shakira, and the television show Glee, among others. There are five studios, including the Studio Mix room. A loyal fan of the Solid State Logic line of consoles, the company employs several, including an SSL SL 4072 G+ with Ultimation in Studio D. Studios A, B, and D each contain large live rooms and vocal isolation booths. In Studio Mix, the facility’s dedicated mix down room, engineers use a 72-channel/144-input SSL SL 6072 E/G console. Studio C, under a long-term contract to a private client for more than a decade, was renovated under A&M Records management to be converted to house a 48-module/96-input Euphonix CS-3000 analog console with surround sound panning. The room has an acoustic design by The Waterland Group, and the 5.1 monitoring array is a custom dual-concentric design, specifically installed to meet the emerging needs for surround sound and multiformat sessions in the late 1990s.

The Henson Studios employ a small staff of veteran technical engineers and support staff, including engineers, setup technicians, and maintenance techs. All employees are selected not only for their skills and experience but also their discretion in serving high-profile clientele. The company has a strict policy of secrecy concerning acts, which may be using the facilities at any given time, committed to providing a relaxed and disruption-free atmosphere for recording artists during the creative process. Henson does not offer internships but will accept applications from those interested in being considered for runner positions. It isn’t glamorous work, and there is no guarantee you’ll get much time to observe a recording session—slim at best—but it is a foot in the door at one of the industry’s most celebrated studios. When employment opportunities are available, vacancies are typically listed on the company’s official website.

Legendary Places: Henson Recording Studios from Caroline Davies on Vimeo.


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