United Sound System's Studio A is large enough to record a whole orchestra on site. Photo by Ed Wolfrum, United Sound's Chief Engineer from 1969 to 1973.
Detroit, MI (January 28, 2014)—United Sound Systems, the legendary recording studio off I-94 in Detroit that recorded many of Motown’s greatest artists, including Aretha Franklin, George Clinton and Miles Davis, will open its doors to the public with weekly tours starting February 8. The facility, shuttered for the last few years, came back into the public eye last summer when a proposed expansion of the nearby highway was made—a move that would mean tearing down the historic studio.

Opening the facility up to the public comes following an Open House that was held at the studio in December by owner Danielle Scott, who said at the time in a statement, “The lights are coming back in Detroit’s music world and when they do, the world will see a little known group at United Sound Systems made up of a team that was too afraid to fail.” While the tours will be held on weekends, the facility is underway to become a working studio again, and has undergone extensive renovation in recent months.

United Sound Systems isn’t quite out of the woods yet, however. According to the Detroit Free Press, work on the proposal continues, and officials are mulling options, which may mean moving the studio to a nearby empty lot or possibly leaving it unaffected, depending on how architects devise the highway expansion.

For now, however, things are now looking up for the facility at 5840 Second Avenue; United Sound Systems is set to appear in both a History Channel program this summer, where funk impresario George Clinton will present the studio with a piano, and a separate documentary film on the studio itself. In the meantime, tours will be held Friday-Sunday each week, with admission of $10 for adults and $8 for kids and seniors.

United Sound Systems