Close Up: Dragonfly Creek Recording 

Dragonfly Creek Recording 


Perfect Blend of Natural Environment and State-of-the-Art Recording: Testament to Dragonfly Creek Recording’s compelling blend of relaxing, bucolic environment and state-of-the-art studio is the response AWOLNATION frontman Aaron Bruno had when he began working there in 2013—a year after veteran composer-producer-engineer-mixer Charley Pollard and his entrepreneur wife Anne Marie opened the private facility on their beautiful, expansive ranch property in the scenic hills of Malibu to outside artists. The band reserved the studio for three weeks and wound up staying for nine months. Bruno loved the area so much he bought a property nearby. Surrounded by lush vineyards and with horses and two goats roaming freely, the studio became a word-of-mouth success, attracting numerous up-and-coming bands and indie artists from a multitude of genres, and hip-hop performers being attracted to the chill environment. Dragonfly Creek has also been a top destination for big names like Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson (who stayed in the property’s guest house while working on her Joanne album) and top jazz cats like Tierney Sutton, Grant Geissman and Gordon Goodwin, who said the studio’s Yamaha C7 piano is the best he has ever played. 

Studio Specifics: Dragonfly Creek’s main studio features a completely isolated tracking room with 12-foot ceilings, great light and variable acoustics, a large iso room for piano or drums and a small iso booth for vocals, single instruments or amps. The owners added a separate machine room to keep the noise floor very low in the Control Room so it can be used as an additional recording space. The control room was custom designed by George Augspurger, whose monitors are found in the top recording studios in the world. Pro Tools 12 HDX is the main workstation with Apogee Symphony providing 32 analog I/O. The collection of outboard gear includes Retro, Purple audio, DBX and Empirical Labs. Monitoring is by Shadow Hills and Barefoot Audio, and was fine-tuned by Bob Hodas. There is a wide assortment of mics, including tubes and ribbons as well as 24 channels of mic pres. Clients can bring in their own engineers or benefit from the decades of expertise Pollard and his on-site team offer. 

Rebuilding to Create a Lifestyle Experience: The devastating 2018 Woolsey Fire completely destroyed the Pollards’ property—all except for the recording studio. The couple felt the ranch, the opportunity to make music and the relationships they had with their clients were too magical to give up on, so they decided to rebuild. Among the new additions for those seeking to stay on the property while using the studio are two bungalows: a one bedroom, one bath structure among the oak trees (with full kitchen and living room) and a creekside, two bedroom, two bath bungalow with a kitchenette. Their main five-bedroom, seven-bath house (with a pool) will be available to rent out in September 2022. 

The Pollards: Charley says: “I spent many years as a composer working by myself, and it’s been incredible being around, collaborating and recording with so many great musicians.” Anne Marie adds, “The studio looks like a barn from the outside, so I joke, you have your barn and I have mine with all my horses. The property serves both purposes for us.”

Contact Dragonfly Creek Recording, 310-753-2067