Berkeley, CA (May 19, 2008)–Bay Area recording facility Fantasy Studios at Zaentz Media Center has just completed major renovations, transforming one of Northern California’s historic studios.
During the renovations, architects and technicians were careful to preserve the rich history and heritage of Fantasy Studios, where platinum records by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, Journey, Green Day, En Vogue, Aerosmith and many others have been made during its 40-year history. Fantasy Studios has also been the recording studio of choice for contemporary artists including Counting Crows, the Donnas, AFI, Ozomatli and the Kronos Quartet.
Amidst a flurry of studio closures in the Bay Area, the same fate was rumored to befall Fantasy Studios until Wareham Development purchased the Zaentz Media Center–the building that houses the studios–from Saul Zaentz in January 2007. The new owners of the Zaentz Media Center have invested over $4 million in the building and studio. They have also preserved the entire Zaentz Media Center as a mecca for a community of independent filmmakers and tenants in all forms of media including film, new media, television and production.
Fantasy Studios opened in 1971 as the in-house studio for artists on Fantasy Records. Many legendary jazz recordings by greats such as Dave Brubeck, Vince Guaraldi and Sonny Rollins were created there. The studios are also known as the place where Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded. Fantasy’s Studio C was built specifically for CCR, equipped with a separate entrance to accommodate late night sessions. The studios have also been graced by such hitmakers as Huey Lewis & the News, Chris Isaak, Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Rancid, Bobby McFerrin, Tesla and many others. Chart-topping singles such as Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” and “Open Arms,” Green Day’s “When I Come Around,” and En Vogue’s smash hit, “My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)” have been created within the studio walls. Most recently, Counting Crows recorded much of their 2008 gold album, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings, at Fantasy Studios.
Fantasy Studios also boasts an impressive history in film and television. Much of the post-production work including additional dialog recording, foley, voiceover and soundtrack recording for Academy Award winning films such as Amadeus, Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, Fellowship of the Ring, The Sixth Sense, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille have been produced at Fantasy Studios.
Studio director Jeffrey Wood helms the staff with 25 years of industry experience under his belt. Chief technician James Gangwer is a renowned microphone expert. In-house engineers James Willetts and Jesse Nichols have worked with artists from every genre of music.
Wood comments, “The goal for Fantasy Studios is to be an accessible place for artists at every stage of their career. 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.”
Fantasy Studios offers one of the largest selections of vintage and new microphones and outboard gear in Northern California. All three studios are equipped with Studer analog tape machines as well as Pro Tools|HD. The facility provides complete ISDN services.
“Over the last number of years, I’ve come to view Studio A as a house of worship of music,” says Bruce Kaphan, who most recently recorded with Camper Van Beethoven at Fantasy Studios. “I’ve recorded jazz, classical, world, Americana, rock ‘n’ roll, country and old-time music within the venerable walls of this Bay Area institution, and it doesn’t matter what style of music, the room sings. Every group of people I’ve recorded in this room has come away with a little bit of awe as to what a great facility, run by great people, and outfitted with great gear can mean to a production. Working in this room has made me a better producer and engineer.”