TOM HEDDEN MUSIC, inc.
The Warehouse Studios
Gastown, Vancouver, BC, Canada
This gem of a studio has quite a mic collection of its own. While perhaps not quite the rival of Abbey Road, this is far more eclectic and decorative. Double glass walls, filled with rare finds and outlandish shapes documenting the history of microphone technology make up the center of the building. Decorated to evoke the industrial revolution, this oldest of Vancouver’s brick buildings, feels both like a factory and an artist’s loft. This was (and is) the scene of some amazing sessions; the Warehouse serves as the last and to my mind, highest evolutionary step of the rock studio in the Pacific Northwest. This was a grand progression of its own through landmarks like Little Mountain and Bad Animals (if you don’t know what I’m talking about see “Grunge, Seattle” and try to crawl out from under that rock…). These rooms made it possible for the huge number of successful artists from the northwest to stop heading off to California to record. This also created a new family of producing and recording royalty that rivals any other in the world – Bob Rock, Bruce Fairbairn, Randy Staub, Mike Fraser… You get the idea.
We found The Warehouse on a search for a mixing room in 1998. The goal was a space with an SSL 9K and a great atmosphere and the with the US-Canadian exchange rate in a very favorable swing for the purchasing power of the southern side of the boarder we were buried with recommendations for Bryan Adams’ new studio in Vancouver. So we spent a week (or maybe ten days), enjoying a view of The Lions, the twin mountain peaks that tower over Vancouver and mixing. The city is great, the room is great and the staff is great (although we did steal our assistant engineer on the date and dragged him back to the US where he joined that list of “collaborators”).
My favorite thing about The Warehouse webpage is that they have a “jobs” section. Under advice about recording schools they say to pay careful attention they day they teach you to make coffee. Wise words.
While I don’t have any cute, funny stories about my time at The Warehouse, it’s a magnificent complex with really nice studios. I felt that fact alone warranted inclusion on this list. The place appears to have changed hands but looks to still be up and running, full-steam ahead. I hope that remains true for a very long time. I’m also unabashedly fishing for a volunteer from the audience to join the conversation…