There is little doubt that Bali fosters creativity, both among its residents and visitors. Whether you are professional musician looking to cut some tracks or just someone who performs in the privacy of your own shower, Bali’s recording studios can make composing tunes a breeze. Decked out with the latest equipment, here are five music studios to give your vocal cords a workout.
Billing itself as the first resort-style recording studio in Bali, Swarapadi translates to the sound of rice paddies in Indonesian. This name seems pretty apt for a studio and villa combo that is fringed by verdant rice fields and coconut trees. Set just outside the center of Ubud, the recording studio regularly plays host to musicians, songwriters, DJs and producers looking for peaceful surroundings to compose and record.
Swarapadi’s Managing Director, Didi Hanafi, opened the venue in 2010 when he noticed the lack of professional recording studios in Bali. Over the years, Swarapadi has gone from strength to strength, welcoming well-known names such as Nick Jonas, Noah Cyrus, Delta Goodrem, Ruby Rose, and many more whose photos now appear on the studio’s wall of fame. “We figured that if musicians or music producers could work and enjoy a holiday in Bali at the same time, that would be an awesome combination,” Didi says. “Being able to record, eat and sleep without leaving the comfort of a villa is a very unique experience.”
The recording studio has been designed according to the principle of LEDE (live end, dead end), where the area around the monitors is ‘dead,’ or made absorbent acoustically, and the reminder of the room is ‘live’ or reflective. The control room comes equipped with high-end analog and digital equipment, including a 9000-J series console, which features a total recall and moving fader automation. There is also a selection of microphones from renowned brands such as Neumann, DPA, Beyerdynamic, AKG, JZ and Audio Technical.
Didi says that Swarapadi often connects its guests with local session players-a particularly appealing proposition for those who want to incorporate traditional Balinese instruments into their music. There is also a sound engineer on hand, but guests are welcome to bring their own entourage. “We have had Gus Teja do sessions with our clients in the past. We have also had some local musicians from the Seminyak area visit us to do a session with a number of guests.”
Designed in a modern Balinese style, the four-bedroom (the rooms can be rented individually) villa blends with its tropical environment to maximize inspiration. The property features a 17-meter swimming pool, a spa and massage room, as well as a media room where guests can watch movies or play video games in their downtime between sessions.
W Sound Suite
The W Sound Suite is W Hotel’s first recording studio-W Hotel Barcelona, W Hotel Seattle and W Hotel Hollywood have since followed suit. A part of the W Retreat and Spa Bali in Seminyak, the soundproof space has seen its fair share of professional recording artists, studio musicians, producers, as well as tourists (hotel guests can book the suite for a private masterclass with W Hotel’s music curator). Large enough to fit an entourage, the W Sound Suite consists of a private vocal booth overlooking a lush garden and a mixing room equipped with professional gear from popular names such as Native Instruments, Pioneer and Moog.
Masterminded by the brand’s North American Music Director DJ White Shadow, the studio has been designed with both quality and style in mind. The space features locally-sourced wooden furniture and hand-woven rugs. These are complemented by a large print of a 1980s boom box by Lyle Owerko and an oversized photography print. Multi-level lighting system, a minibar, and GoPro and LiveStream cameras complete the picture.
Located in the center of Seminyak, the Bali Praia Recording Studio features all the cutting-edge equipment a musician may need to achieve either contemporary or more vintage analog sound. Guests are also welcome to utilize the venue’s music production programs such as Ableton Live and Logic Pro X. The neighboring lounge can accommodate up to 40 people, and comes with a 3D projection mapping system, a 5000-Watt VOID sound system, and cameras for recording Facebook and YouTubeLive videos. The venue can arrange a sound engineer on request, and offers beginner and advance DJ courses. Bali Praia holds regular events and has played host to the likes of David Penn, Chus & Ceballos and Dennis Cruz.
Boom Box Recording Studios
With a state-of-the-art recording studio and karaoke rooms, anybody can be a star at Hard Rock Hotel Bali’s Boom Box Recording Studios. Budding artists can even record their karaoke efforts. There is also a resident sound engineer on hand to pave your way to success. More affordable than most other options on the island, the recording studio can be hired per hour at a very reasonable rate. You can even hire a Fender guitar overnight to aid your efforts and take some great shots as souvenirs.
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