Earhead Recording Studios
Earhead is a professional recording studio in West Asheville, North Carolina
Earhead's approach is about flexibility to your music and your projects needs.
The studio is designed to adapt to your process and goals.
We have a large collection of microphones including AEA R84 Ribbon, AKG C414, Shure SM81, Bluebird, AT2050, etc.
We use stacks of beautiful tube preamps and fantastic RME interface and AD/DA-conversion.
Most of our recording and mixing is done in ProTools using top-notch plugins, and mastering in Adobe Audition.
We have resident instruments for your use including: a vintage Fender Rhodes, Sho-Bud II 20-string pedal steel guitar, and a 1903 pump organ, along with acoustic and electric guitars and bass, tube amps, Nord Stage II keyboard, mandolin, melodica, drums, djembe, DTX drum pad controllers, and small percussion.
Our rates are artist-friendly, and much more affordable than the larger studios in town.
Send a message using the contact page on this site for inquiries, rates, and conversation about your project!
Please enjoy listening samples of our recent recording projects below!
America (Or, One for the Mullygrubbs)
by Grant Wallace Band
“Nature is a haunted house,” wrote Emily Dickinson, “but Art—a House that tries to be haunted.”
Grant Wallace Band improvised in Earhead studio for three days, then assembled the results into a full-length album. They were joined by cellist Emmalee Hunnicutt. We recorded guitars, trumpet, alto sax, pedal steel, clarinet, electric bass, drums, cello, voices, Rhodes, kitchen sounds, autoharp, toy piano, bodhrán, piano, mandolin, and dulcimer.
Then, the haunting occurred on the evening of July 4, when the group set up microphones around the house and simultaneously, each in their own room with a battery of instruments and noise-makers, listened through the full album, adding a layer of sound throughout. The fireworks let themselves in through the open windows. The result is a digressive album, full of stylistic trap-doors, secret passageways, transcendental warblings and comic asides.
On the Way to Pleasure Way by Dom Frigo
For Dom's intricate album, we focused on a high-quality yet DIY sound. We captured a variety of acoustic, electric, classical, and pedal steel guitars recorded in a variety of different styles. Some are up-close and clear, others capture Dom filling up a room with sound.
We added vocals, bass, melodica, trombone, duduks, and homemade drums (couch pillows & broken cymbals).
The addition of silly digital drums & fretless (DI) guitar on Floriduh were recorded late at night through headphones to let the neighbors sleep.
Earhead was proud to work with Dom as our first major recording project in our new home base in West Asheville.
We think you'll enjoy the humor and twists of his lyrics, and the unique chords and counterpoint of his songwriting.
Released September 2019.
More to Come by Mercer
Chris Mercer's elegy to the analog era and the heroes of late-night television
This album was recorded partly at Earhead, and partly at the studios at Northwestern University. Over the course of two summers, we worked all day and late at night to capture drums, piano, Rhodes, guitars, pedal steel, bass, mandolins, and lots of vocals.
We used and learned from Mercer's recording techniques including a spatial technique of capturing a room with the stereo mics and moving to different locations around the room to fill out sections of vocals and strings.
After falling in love with Mercer's 2013 release Futures Market, we were honored to get to record with him for this follow up, and we hope there is more to come!
Released by Merstar Records, August 2019.
mashup by Kong Must Dead
Kong Must Dead's expansive album holds Earhead's largest recording and mixing undertaking to date.
The album is packed with multichannel drums, basses, guitars, keys, and vocals. In keeping with KMD's surreal sound palette, it weaves in steel pans, pedal steel guitars, Rhodes, drum-pads with warped 808 samples, iPad-controlled synthesizers, just intonation MIDI-controlled frame drums, stacks of living guitar feedback, and ingressive vocal multiphonics.
This was Earhead's first recording, mixing, and mastering for vinyl. It's powerful thing to hold the art in your hand, and to see it in a record store. Thanks to our neighbors, American Vinyl in Asheville for doing the pressing. And if you're in town, stop by Harvest Records for a copy.
Released on Two Labyrinths Records, August 2019.
Valle Crucis by Golconda
This album takes its name from the small community in the mountains of North Carolina where Earhead was born.
As our first official recording project under the name Earhead, it feels fitting.
For this album we focused on different types of guitar recording. We went for direct close-up acoustic for some songs, and a more raw and back-country-tuned sound on an old arch-top Gibson for others.
We added vocals, Indie-style drums, and some pedal steel guitars to fill it out. Then we concluded by adding shimmering bowed guitars and bowed cymbals to Solstice along with guest cello by Emmalee Hunnicutt.
Golconda's quaint and direct songwriting speaks to seasons of life, to inherited memories, and to the places we've loved.
Released on Two Labyrinths Records, June 2018.