Recording Studios in Western New York

Several recording studios in Western New York are at the disposal of aspiring musicians looking to make a name for themselves in the industry. Within the region, Buffalo and Rochester are the epicenter of music-making. with many studios established for decades, and others just starting out.

Counties of Western New York

Blackdog Recording Studios in Rochester, incorporated in 2005, is a full-service audio and video production company located in the heart of downtown Rochester’s East End district, right near the world-renowned Eastman School of Music. The studio offers a wide array of specialized services including recording, mixing, mastering, and a wide variety of aspects of audio, podcast, video production, musical scores, sync licensing, and educational programming.

The sound room in Blackdog Recording Studios.

Wicked Squid Studios in Rochester offers recording, mixing, mastering, editing services, and music lessons for artists. The facility has two studios, A and B, and a mobile recording studio, “The Truck.” The custom-built RV functions as a mobile control room, and can be used for location recording, broadcast, and mixdown.

The sound room in Studio A at Wicked Squid Studios.

GFI Music Productions in Wayne County, part of the Rochester Metropolitan Statistical Area, has welcomed a steady stream of talented artists of all styles from legendary multi-platinum artists such as Lou Gramm (Foreigner) and Russell Tompkins Jr. (Stylistics) to well-known genre artists like Greg Howe, Victor Wooten and Dennis Chambers. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a band just starting, GFI will assure that your recording experience is a great one. GFI offers several recording, production, and artist management services. GFI has two studios, A, and B, available for artists’ recording needs.

GFI’s Studio A is one of the best tracking and mixing rooms in Upstate New York. Studio A offers state-of-the-art digital recording, a 14’x23′ control room, a 25′x 27′ main room, a 6′x 7′ iso booth, and more. Studio B is equipped with a 14’x 22′ control room, a 14’x 26′ main room, and a 5’x 6′ iso booth, and offers HD recording and editing, among others.

A guitar set in Studio B of GFI Recording Studio.

Outer Limit Recording Studio opened in 1993 and is located in the Erie County city of Cheektowaga, a suburb of Buffalo, and offers artists high-quality recording, professional mixing, professional mastering, music production, and more. The studio comes equipped with a control room, recording room, production suite, drum room, piano room, snack room, game room/lounge, and writing room. The control room is outfitted with top-quality outboard gear by Avalon, Focusrite, Universal Audio, Lexicon, PreSonus, Grace Design, Empirical Labs, and more. The recording room comes equipped with microphones from Neumann, AKG, Blue, Sennheiser, Oktava, GA Project, Shure, and a dozen others, allowing artists to have the best mic quality to achieve the best sound for their music. The production, the newest edition to the outer limit, is available to rent to produce beats with either Maschine and its controller and keyboard, or with Reason and the controller and/or keyboard.

Outer Limit provides musicians with four soundproof performance rooms, each offering its own unique sound, bringing a different depth and quality to your project. The 1945 Everett upright in the piano room, from the now-defunct Everett Piano Company, is always tuned and waiting, and the room has been specifically designed for great sound. The snack room is available anytime for artists to unwind or have a bite to build up their energy, and provides a microwave and a small refrigerator. While your songs are being mixed or if you just need a break from the studio, enjoy the Xbox One or PS4 in the game room. Lastly, the writing room is the perfect place to rework your music or put that last-minute sparkling touch on your project.

In business for nearly three decades as of 2023, Outer Limit Recording Studio is one of the top recording studios in New York State and one of the go-to studios in Buffalo. Owner and chief engineer Ken Rutkowski is determined to provide each client with the best recording possible and an inspiring and comfortable environment in which to create it. Big names in the music business like Smokepurpp, Eminem Raheem DeVaughn, and the music group D-12 have recorded at the Outer Limit, as have local recording artists based in Western New York and all throughout the East Coast.

Ken Rutkowski, chief engineer/owner of Outer Limit Recording Studio.

Discover Recording Studios from across New York State in the Capital Region, Long Island, the Hudson Valley, Central New York, and New York City.

GCR Audio, located in the heart of downtown Buffalo, has worked with the Goo Goo Dolls on several of their albums. Buffalo natives, the Goo Goo Dolls recorded their self-titled debut album Goo Goo Dolls, as well as Jed, Hold Me Up, Superstar Car Wash, A Boy Named Goo, Jessie J, and Who You Are at GCR Audio. Opened in 1980 and originally known as Trackmaster Audio, the studio is housed in the former chapel of the historically protected, 150-year-old St. Margaret’s Girls School.

GCR Audio was designed by world-famous studio architect John Storyk (Electric Lady Studios, Jungle City, personal studios for Whitney Houston, Bob Marley, Jay Z, Aerosmith, Green Day, and Alicia Keys). Prior to the Goo Goo Dolls gaining international success in the mid-’90s, both guitarist/singer John Rzeznik and bassist/singer Robby Takac worked at the studio in various roles that ranged from reception to engineering and producing. Their first #1 song, “Name,” was recorded at GCR Audio while it was still known as Trackmaster.

The Fender Jaguar guitar is available for musicians to practice with at Select Sound Recording Studio.

Select Sound Recording Studios in Erie County Village of Kenmore, part of the Buffalo-Niagra Falls metropolitan area, has been in business in New York for nearly 50 years since 1974. Select Sound provides musical artists with two recording studios, A and B, and a comfort and convenience area with a reception, lounge, and coffee area. The main studio, A, has a control room, a Yamaha C-7 Grand Piano, a drum riser, and a live room. Studio B is equipped with a vocal booth for voice-overs, editing, and spot production. The studio was designed by Lakeside Associates, now the Yanchar Design and Consulting Group, who designed the Los Angeles headquarters of Disney-ABC, Capitol Records, and both the Los Angeles and New York headquarters for CBS Records.

ProTools MIDI suite with a vocal booth in Studio B of Select Sound Recording Studio.

Additionally, Select Sound Recording Studios offers a wide variety of training programs for musicians. The Vocational Training Program is made up of six courses, First in Audio Recording, followed by Non-Linear Recording, Advanced Production Techniques, Midi and Sequencing for the Home and Pro Studio, Analog Recording and Mastering, and lastly, an Independent Study for Advanced Students. Furthermore, internships are available for students in the Vocational Training Program.

The Control Room in Studio A of Select Sound Recording Studios.

Recording Technologies 1: Audio Engineering is a comprehensive study of the history of recording, the recording chain, the physics of sound, production techniques, studio acoustics, signal processing equipment, various applications of microphones and direct lines, and the operation of the mixing console. Students participate in the production of a recording session. Recording Technologies 2: Non-Linear Recording teaches students what they need to know to complete a recording project, from initial setup to final mixdown. Recording Technologies 3: Advanced Production Technologies provides a more detailed look at Pro Tools and covers all the key concepts and skills needed to operate a Pro Tools LE system. Students will learn about external controllers, loop recording, advanced techniques, audio editing and file management techniques, automation enabling, playing, viewing, and editing automation data, mixing, using sends, returns, plug-ins, master faders, and groups.

The Yamaha C-7 Grand Piano in Studio A of Select Sound Recording Studio. Tuning and maintenance by BPO technician Robert Sowyrda.

The next class, Recording Studios 4: MIDI and Sequencing for the Home and Pro Studio teaches students the basics of Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI,) event editing and its role in music creation. Students will learn how to create sequencer and drum patterns without needing any keyboard skills and be able to use them to enhance audio recordings, complete songs, or just create demos. The focus will also be on analog synthesis, sampling, and loop construction as it applies to the creation of much of today’s music using Propellerhead’s Reason software. In Recording Studios 5: Analog Recording and Mastering, students will learn analog recording and mixing, audio for multi-media, and 5.1 surround sound production. The final course, Recording Studios 6: Independent Study for Advanced Students concentrates on the student’s professional goals, and the student will receive a block of hours for instruction, pre-production, recording, mixing, and mastering.

Mammoth Recording Studio in Buffalo exhibits a laid-back, old-school feel akin to that of a ‘70s rec room or secret clubhouse, complete with a rotary dial telephone. Its décor radiates a colorful, comfortable vibe that reflects the studio’s philosophy, which is to provide creative, high-end production that helps to realize the musician’s initial ideas and facilitate their journey as artists. Mammoth is owned and operated by Justin John Smith and Mike Santillo. Smith, singer, and guitarist of Aircraft, has a degree in sound recording from Full Sail University in Winter Park, Florida. Santillo is the Keyboardist for Buffalo’s The Tins and has been recording his band’s music for the better part of a decade. 

The inside of Mammoth Recording Studio.
Musicians have access to the Korg MS-20 guitar center at Mammoth Recording Studio.

LBA Recording Studio in North Collins, a village in Erie County, was established in 2010 and offers music production, recording, analog mixing, mastering, and photography for musicians. LBA Studios is a 40-track professional recording studio focused on delivering high-quality audio with an inspiring analog sound. LBA is fully equipped with an extensive collection of vintage and modern pieces of professional recording equipment. When it comes time to record, there are multiple rooms with video communication and personal audio mixers for your headphones. It’s a comfy vibe just a short car ride from Buffalo.

Owner Mike Congliosi II has a long history and background in music making. Music producer, recording engineer, and sole proprietor at LBA, he has more than 20 years of experience in the business, first began recording music in 1998, and has an associate’s degree from Villa Maria College of Buffalo before obtaining his master’s in studio production from SUNY Purchase. Throughout his career, Congliosi has worked with hundreds of artists in many various genres from around the United States.

Mike Congliosi, owner of LBA Studios.
A drumset at LBA Studios.

A wide array of recording studios are at artists’ disposal who are looking to make a name in the music business in Central New York. Some of these studios have been in business for decades, while others are just starting out. Buffalo and Rochester are the epicenters of music-making in Western New York, with several recording studios at artists’ disposal.

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