04 Jun Studio style
Do y’all remember when I posted the “Chateau on Monroe” feature a few months ago?
It’s the hip VRBO house in Nashville that a songwriter and his wife opened on Monroe Street with a nod to Music City everywhere you look. There’s 3000 square feet and it sleeps a dozen people!!! From guitars, to headboards, the place has a playful vibe.
My guess is it’s booked for CMA Fest this week!!!
In their personal space downstairs, singer songwriter Kent Maxson even has a recording studio which got me thinking it would be interesting to feature one. After thinking about who had a cool studio, he recommended someone who he called, “the real deal.” And that’s coming from a gold record songwriter who co-wrote with Garth Brooks! So not too long after that, I visited Randall Griffith in Gallatin at his very unassuming (from the outside) studio.
The modesty of this building 25 minutes away from Music Row belies the treasures inside.
And Randall built it from the ground up. Everything. From framing, to wiring and everything in between, he’s the magician who designed and built it all and he’s built 44 other studios in his storied career. This is a one of a kind custom resort studio with many special features.
There are 26 rooms with house drum kits and percussion gear, among many other features.
Those things on the walls and ceiling are not for looks. They all have a purpose, whether absorbing sound or diffusing it. If these walls could talk?!? Or sing!!! Randall has engineered and produced over 279 album projects, produced TV and radio jingles, voice overs, and has also toured as a musician, performing on the Grand Ole Opry, and on many other stages. He was part of the country group, Dixiana, and played keyboards for them in the late 1980’s and ’90’s.
Currently, he’s working on a studio for Steely Dan and 3 Dog Night.
I won’t bore the non music engineer types with what everything does, but suffice it to say that if you could hear the rich quality of sound in here, you’d be so impressed. This may not be a typical stylish retreat, but it is truly a dream retreat for musicians, engineers, and producers who know quality. Custom album projects and video shoots have happened here. I would LOVE to be here when that’s happening! Maybe some day in the future???
I can’t begin to explain what all this equipment does but I do know the studio has live sound reinforcement for up to a 5000 seat venue, featuring JBL dual 18 inch subs and he has a 24 input Yamaha front of house console. This is the bomb, as they say, when it comes to recording beautiful clear, rich sound.
He also showed me how he made the walls four feet deep in his master control room, all part of getting the sound right.
It’s hard to believe that when Randall was a high school kid back in West Virginia, he begged to be in the high school band but they never allowed him to play. Well that didn’t stop him. He played guitar in his first band. If they could see him now, and his musical retreat!!!
Later Randall switched to keyboards. And he has some impressive ones. Like this Hammond B3 rare find. It came from Jackie Gleason’s home!!!
And this exquisite grand piano he purchased from the Cincinnati Symphony. A sleek Yamaha C7 that he has tuned before each recording session.
There’s so much more I could write about, but it’s hard to really show it. You need to hear it! I felt like Randall’s story needed to be shared, especially during CMA Fest week, when performers and other musicians get all the attention. He’s a gem, tucked away in an inconspicuous location, making others hit all the right notes.
Thanks so much to Randall for showing me around his impressive studio. He’s so humble for what all he’s accomplished in his career. If you know someone looking to book studio time, the name of his company is The Harrison Entertainment Group Studios. And thank you for following Stylish Retreats.