Launched in 1989, Third Encore Studios operates a 70,000 sq. ft. Main music production campus adjacent to the Burbank Airport, in North Hollywood.
Third Encore features: 7 large production studios; ranging from 600 to 2,400 sq. ft.; storage and office space for artists and industry businesses; and a comprehensive audio and backline rental department. 3E also operates 9 other locations with over 250, 24 hour lockout studios situated across the greater Los Angeles area. Started by a handful of Eagles roadies in the late 80’s, Third Encore was acquired in 1999 by entrepreneur Wynnsan Moore who recognized that the underperforming operation was ripe for fine tuning, Third Encore now sees artists such as The Rolling Stones, Billie Eilish and Maroon 5 frequently within its walls.
Music Connection sat down with Alex Moore, VP of Third Encore, to discuss what sets 3E apart from countless others.
Music Connection: What inspired the launch of Third Encore Studios?
Alex Moore: Some veteran Eagles roadies wanted to move off the road and realized that the industry was consolidating around the North Hollywood area and saw an opportunity. Eventually the business owners started to feud, and ultimately that lead to the sale of 3E to Wynnsan in 1999. Originally it had some storage and three studios, in 25,000 sq. ft. as time passed demand grew. There are now seven studios, and our main facility is 3 times as large as when we started.
Around 2001 Third Encore started getting calls from developing bands and artists inquiring about 24 hour lockout studios. Taking a chance Wynnsan bought a building in NOHO and built out the space with sixteen studios to a high quality standard, which were all pre-leased before construction had finished. Now there are 9 buildings with 250 plus studios ranging from small drum rooms to spaces big enough to accommodate multiple bands. All buildings are kept immaculately clean and each space includes quality amenities!
MC: What sets Third Encore apart from other studio and practice spaces?
AM: Our experienced staff and level of customer service. Our Operation’s Manager Doug Poulin has been with 3E for 32 years, and most of our other staff has been on board for 10+ years. At our scale, there are only two main competitors in Los Angeles. Our employees are always smiling and willing to help. We don’t charge for every little thing, our facilities are clean and we have a huge parking lot. Also, we have a large on-site storage facility that our bands can store their instruments with us reducing cartage costs and environmental impact.
Also we can support any artist across the entire spectrum of their career: from the early stage of their development in our 24 lockouts;, and when they are ready for a big tour, practice in our production studios, and rent our gear on their tours.
MC: What kind of gear rental do you offer?
AM:. When I saw a competitor’s truck dropping off equipment, I realized that it was inefficient to have artists come to our place and then call another company to deliver gear. Some of this stuff is big and no one wants to have to move a [Hammond] B3 organ or a grand piano. I decided to begin buying all the equipment needed to be a full-service backline rental business, most of the equipment is new so it is fresh and road worthy. We now have a huge inventory of backline, wireless systems, microphone packages, and case rentals. I rarely see a competitor’s truck here now. As an example, we probably have 90 keyboards, all purchased in the last 2 years.
Our chief focus is on in-house rentals that artists will then take out as a tour package. The economics are in their favor when artists rent touring gear from us and take it on the road than it is for them to rent the same gear in different cities. With us, the equipment that artists rehearse with will be the same as that they’ll use on tour. We’re working toward becoming a one-stop shop.
MC: Third Encore offers 24-hour lockouts. How often are artists there late at night?
AM: Frequently, I’ll drop by at one a.m. and will hear bands practicing. The 24-hour studios are scattered across the San Fernando Valley with one location in Anaheim. Those are rented monthly. We have nine lockout locations and one satellite with two hundred and fifty-plus studios in total. Separate from the lockout studios is our main campus that is open from 9;00 AM to Midnight. That’s where we do storage, rentals, cartage and house our seven large studios.
MC: How far in advance do artists need to book space?
AM: We prefer as much time as possible so the artist gets the specific studio they prefer, but since COVID, it seems that everything has been last-minute or changing. Our booking manager, John Hoik, is incredible and will do anything he can to keep the clients happy. If someone calls on a Friday and wants to come in the following day, we’ll accommodate them, provided there’s space available.
MC: What are the three most important lessons you’ve learned about studios and practice spaces?
AM: One, keep your cool and stay calm no matter how stressful things become. Be focused solely on what needs to get done rather than why something negative is happening. Two, be flexible with different personalities or challenging people because sometimes emotions can run high. If someone is getting heated, just take a step back and smile. Three, build and foster relationships.
MC: What’s in Third Encore’s future?
AM: In the near term our rentals will continue to grow as we acquire more equipment each month. In the long term we’ll focus on providing a great rehearsal space, medium-sized studios and production spaces. We’ll also offer a bigger space that’s to scale for what’s needed for an arena tour: things like a larger footprint and higher ceilings.