The Best Recording Studios In Nashville

Photo of Kate Harrington
14 October 2016

Nashville, or “Music City,” is widely known as a rich site for musical history. Nashville’s country music took on its own sound – the “Nashville sound” – that’s essentially a pop-country hybrid. Greats like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash fostered their sound in Nashville. Outside of country music, however, Nashville has roots in rock and roll, the blues, and alternative music. These are some of Nashville’s famous recording studios that exemplify the city’s influence on music.

Nashville, Tennessee | © Thomas Hawk

RCA Studio B

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Grand Piano at RCA Studio B | Grand Piano at RCA Studio B
RCA Studio B, formerly referred to as just RCA Studios, is one of the oldest and most prestigious studios in Nashville. Gaining wide popularity in the 1960s, RCA Studios recorded huge artists like Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, and several others. Although most of the artists functioned with the Nashville country sound, there are artists like Jerry Byrd who recorded rock & roll and alternative rock. RCA Studio B is now open for tours. It operates under the control of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and its preservation is made possible by the Mike Curb Family Foundation, but it remains one of the city’s gatekeepers to the Nashville sound.

The Sound Kitchen

One of the finest recording studios in the Southeast and the country, the Sound Kitchen’s modern studio and client list is impressive. Balancing genres between Nashville’s country, alternative rock, and R&B, this studio has a well-rounded line-up that enables it to be one of the best in the country. Their client list includes legends like Bruce Springsteen and Earth, Wind & Fire, but the list also includes modern contemporaries like Jordin Sparks and Miley Cyrus.
The Sound Kitchen, 2508 Winford Ave #3, Nashville, TN. USA, +1 615-579-4655

Ocean Way Recording Studios

Including three different studio rooms, Ocean Way Recording Studios are of fine caliber. After renovating the former church, Ocean Studios was established in 1996. Belmont University purchased Ocean Way in the early 2000s; however, the studios still function normally, but Belmont includes educational value with the space. Ocean Way’s artists include huge artists and groups like Beck, No Doubt, Paul Simon, John Fogerty, and Lynaryd Skynyrd. The ghosts of this recording studio are incentive enough for a visit.
Ocean Way, 1200 17th Ave S, Nashville, TN, USA, +1 615-320-3900

The Tracking Room

Constructed during the 90s, the Tracking Room is a pivotal studio hosting a variety of musical genres. The Tracking Room is another seasoned recording studio that has been home to an eclectic blend of musicians and genres: Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Donna Summers, Barbara Streisand, the Dixie Chicks and Dolly Parton. A ‘building-in-a-building’, the Tracking Room has a unique architecture that adds to its dynamic acoustics and sound. A legendary recording studio located in downtown Nashville, this studio is worth a visit.
Blackbird Studio, 2 Music Cir E, Nashville, TN.USA, +1 615-467-4487

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