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Up Close with Clear Lake Recording Studios

ClearLakeRecStudios

After 12 years of engineering experience, years of playing piano and keyboards and a degree in sound design and music production from Berklee College of Music, Eric Milos landed a dream gig working at the world renowned Henson Recording Studios for the next two years. Though he had the opportunity to work with major label artists, his desire to record and produce a wider variety of artists and pursue his dream of owning and running his own facility led him to purchase the long established Clear Lake Studios in North Hollywood, CA in 2012.

Billed as the “practical alternative to big budget Hollywood studios,” Clear Lake Studios had a colorful history of its own since its founding in the late ‘80s. Studio A, aka the “big room,” was the first studio to be completed and has remained the premier room at Clear Lake. Famed acoustician George Augspurger was enlisted to design and tune the studio.

The control room was designed to be spacious and comfortable while maintaining incredibly accurate acoustics. The Trident 80b console was selected as the console best suited for the centerpiece of a great tracking room. In an effort to accommodate longer term projects and long term lease lockouts, Studio B was added in 1992 and Studio C in 2000.

Despite its obvious distinction as a well-established, long surviving facility on the L.A. scene, Milos felt the studio he purchased was ready for a major facelift—and immediately set to work with contractors to improve the aesthetic experience and capabilities to make it a state of the art recording destination. He renovated the existing spaces by installing all new flooring, upgrading the air conditioning, transforming the lounge with new furniture, cabinets and appliances, new bathrooms as well as creating a private outdoor lounge.

Milos is equally excited about the combination of unique equipment in Studio A, and the upgrades he installed. “One of the coolest things is that we have five vintage Pultec EQs, some great Neve 1073 modules from a classic console, and a number of vintage tube microphones,” he explains. “Upgrades include an updated Pro Tools rig, choice modern microphones and in demand outboard equipment. One of the biggest selling features of the room is that it’s a fantastic sounding space for tracking drums. The Trident 80b console adds a great tonality to the drum kit while providing a flexible route to Pro Tools or the Studer 827 tape machine. The live room has two main iso booths, one with a grand piano that can also be rolled out, and other iso areas for amps, so we can track a full band live with isolation.”

In addition to an exceptionally well-tuned live and control room, the console and impressive array of vintage mics and outboard equipment, Clear Lake Recording Studios also boasts a host of quality instruments, ranging from a Yamaha C7 Grand Piano, a custom Mapex drum kit, to a 1957 Hammond B3 and Leslie 122.

Milos found the production lockout rooms Studio B and Studio C in good shape. “When I built Studio D as a brand new production room, I patterned it after B and C, as another space where producers, engineers, artists and songwriters could do long term projects,” he says. “These rooms include an acoustically tuned control room and vocal booth, and clients bring their own equipment.”

By mid-2014, Milos hopes to have expanded Studio B from a lockout project room into a recording room along the lines of Studio A at a more affordable rate. “Among many things, a fully-equipped studio B will make it more affordable to complete a project start to finish,” he adds. “We’re always looking to improve the facility and accommodate all of the needs of L.A.’s major label and independent musicians.”

Clear Lake continues to host sessions for top artists (No Doubt, Jimmy Eat World, Steel Panther, Jesse McCartney, Ringo Starr, Melissa Etheridge), A-list producers and engineers (Peter Asher, Ric Wake, Shea Taylor), film and sessions by indie and major labels alike (Hollywood Records, Interscope, Universal, EMI, Warner Bros.).

Contact Clear Lake Recording Studios, 818-762-0707