Do You Believe In Magic (Drum Rooms)?


If you've ever recorded live drums, then you know how important the actual room is to the finished product. Small, carpeted rooms with additional acoustic treatment will have a super "dry" sound, due to the lack of sonic reflections, while big rooms with high ceilings, hard surfaces (like concrete and dense wood) will produce a much more "live" drum sound due to long decay times (aka natural reverb).


But here's the crazy thing.... One of the most iconic drum rooms in history was never even meant to be a drum room at all. The live room at Sound City Studios was originally built as a factory for Vox amplifiers in the 1960's. With it's parallel surfaces (an acoustics 101 no-no) and square, "boxy" shape, it technically should sound horrible. But it doesn't. It sounds like hit records.

Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Rage Against The Machine, Metallica and The Red Hot Chili Peppers (just to name a few) have recorded some of their most successful albums in this very (unconventional) room. 

What are your thoughts and theories on drum rooms? Please leave your comments below!

Sound City Studio Dave Grohl

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  • Has anyone recorded impulses from Sound City?

    Tim A on
  • Just killer sounds! Dave Grohl is one of my favorite ever! Between his personality as a human and his personality as a drummer, he is just fantastic!

    Randy Willcox on

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