Whether it's recording music, spoken word, soundtrack, or post production, Fantasy Studios is a first-rate facility located in the heart of the San Francisco Bay Area.
The new owner, Wareham Development, has invested over four million in the building, allocating much of that to the studios. During the renovations, architects and technicians were careful to preserve the 40-year history of Fantasy Studios, while successfully melding its rich heritage with state-of-the-art gear and amenities.
Who has walked through the doors at Fantasy, you ask? Platinum certified artists like Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, Journey, Green Day, En Vogue, Aerosmith and countless others. The tradition of providing an inimitably creative environment continues, as Fantasy Studios has also been the recording destination for some of today's hottest artists including Counting Crows, The Donnas, AFI, Ozomatli, and the Kronos Quartet.
Last year, Plugin Alliance CEO Matt Ward and Brainworx CEO Dirk Ulrich hosted an event at Fantasy where a number of pro guitarists came in to try out Brainworx’s guitar emulation technology. Producer John Cuniberti (Joe Satriani, Sammy Hagar), who has been making great records at Fantasy for decades, pitched in by inviting some Bay Area guitar slingers including Vic Johnson (Sammy Hagar), Micheal Lee Firkins, Chris Solberg (Eddie Money, Santana) and Tommy Odetto. While everyone loved the sound of the amp emulations one of the biggest thrills for Dirk was to be in the studio where his favorite band, Journey, recorded some of their biggest albums. For Matt, who grew up in Berkeley and had spent many days in the Saul Zaentz Film Center helping them with their transition to digital technology in the 1990s, it was more of a homecoming.
In addition to its rich musical history, Fantasy Studios also boasts an impressive history in film and television. Much of the post-production work including additional dialog recording, foley, voice-over, and soundtrack recording for Academy Award winning films such as Amadeus, Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, Fellowship of the Ring, Sixth Sense, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille and many others have been produced at Fantasy Studios.
Fantasy Studios' three historic rooms have been recently upgraded to meet the most modern standards. "Studio A is one of the most requested tracking rooms on the West Coast. We also offer complete ISDN services linking us to studios worldwide." says Jeffrey Wood, Studio Director.
All rooms are fully equipped with Studer analog as well as ProTools HD. Fantasy may just have the largest selection of vintage and new microphones and outboard gear in Northern California. "Fantasy houses a 9′ Yamaha C9 piano in studio A and a 7′ Yamaha C7 grand piano in studio D that record beautifully and have been featured on many famous recordings," says Wood.
The large rooms can be made available for film, video, photographic shoots, and Internet streaming. Fantasy offers one of the most comprehensive transfer and editing facilities on the West Coast, offering the ability to digitize audio from almost any format.
The staff at Fantasy Studios takes pride in providing clients with the best possible experience. Studio Director, Jeffrey Wood, helms the staff with 25 years of industry experience under his belt. James Gangwer, the chief technician, is a renowned microphone expert. In-house engineers James Willetts and Jesse Nichols have worked with artists from every genre of music including Rock, Pop, Jazz, Gospel, Classical and World Music.
Fantasy Studios first opened in 1971 as an in-house studio for Fantasy Records and then opened to the public in 1980.
Wareham Development purchased the Zaentz Media Center - the building that houses the studios - from Saul Zaentz in January 2007.In spite of flurry of studio closures in the Bay Area, the new owners of Fantasy Studios have demonstrated the utmost respect for the studio's history and its dedication to quality. The new Zaentz Media Center remains a mecca for a thriving community that includes tenants in film, new media, television and music production.
Not to be mistaken as a place where only big names can play, Fantasy Studios has supported local Bay Area artists throughout its existence by offering studio packages and a welcoming atmosphere second to none. In addition, many of the independent filmmakers and documentary makers in the Bay Area and Zaentz Media Center community come to Fantasy Studios for their post-production work.
Jeffrey Wood, Studio Director, comments, "The goal for Fantasy Studios is to be an accessible place for artists at every stage of their careers. Having a great sounding record or film should not be reserved for the privileged few. We work with bands, managers and film productions to craft the best studio packages possible working within individual budget constraints. Every big name artist that has recorded at Fantasy was once a developing artist. We strive to provide the best experience for both the stars of today and the stars of tomorrow."
It is no surprise that in 2000, Billboard Magazine deemed Fantasy Studios the #1 Recording Studio in America.
To request a tour or for bookings contact:
Amanda Howell or Jeffrey Wood, Studio Director
2600 Tenth St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
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