Close Up: Pen Station Studios

Taking New Flyte: Launched in January 2022 in the heart of Santa Monica, Pen Station Studios enjoys a colorful nearly two-decade history, starting in 2003 as Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis’ West Coast Flyte Time Studios and including nearly a decade as Windmark Studios, which added a Studio F to the original five rooms. Now operated as Pen Station Studios, an independent, full-service company affiliated with the new record label, Encore Recordings. Encore Recordings specializes in hip-hop, pop and R&B with its executives having more than 20 years of experience at Interscope, Def Jam Records and Warner Music Group. Much like some of the best record label studios such as Abbey Road, Capitol and A&M, the studio is open for major label, indie, and inhouse recording and production.

New Management Team: While currently booking clients, the studio is in the process of doing substantial renovations and optimization upgrades under a new management team that includes VP of Operations and Director of Engineering Peter A. Barker and Studio Manager Kat Neis. Barker, who likes to say the legendary studio has “good bones that gives us plenty to build on,” served as Sony Music’s Director of Engineering for ten years and later was Technical Manager for Interscope Records’ Studio. Neis was Interscope’s studio supervisor for five years before moving into an A&R position with the company. “We’re excited to play integral roles in this exciting new venture,” she says. “While maintaining the facility’s history and great vibe, we’re bringing a modern perspective with more collaborative open spaces to the mix.”

Veteran Engineers and Top of the Line Equipment: Pen Station has three full tracking rooms (with iso booths and a live room) and three production suites equipped with Neve and SSL consoles (including a 40-input console originally built for CBS Records in Japan) and a great selection of onboard gear, monitors and vintage mics (including the Neumann U47, Telefunken 251 and Sony C800G). The two largest rooms have private lounges. Pen Station also offers in house mixing, editing and mastering services in all genres of music. Over the years, Pen Station engineers have worked with a diverse group of clients, including Bonnie Raitt, Elvis Costello, ZZ Top, Heart, Dio, Frank Zappa, Black Label Society, Guns N’ Roses, Fall Out Boy, Jason Aldean, Shawn Mendes, EST Gee, Yo Gotti, Stunna 4 Vegas, Babyface Ray and Lil Poppa. The new management team is committed to creating a comfortable, relaxed vibe and great customer service.

Perfect Environment for Collaboration: Barker emphasizes Pen Station’s unique set up that makes it an ideal place for collaborative production sessions and writing camps. All rooms have the same Pro Tools rigs, plug-ins, Neve pre-amps and vocal chain, so clients can move from one of the bigger spaces to smaller ones without compromising productivity. While many major artists who have used the studio in its previous iterations, most in the hip-hop/R&B world, have returned to work at Pen Station, the facility eagerly encourages indie bands and artists of all genres to book time in the great sounding rooms that will sound better and better with facility improvements ongoing.

Contact Pen Station Studios, 424-238-8800, penstation.la