Famed Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA, Unveils Major Renovations

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Top Bay Area recording facility, Fantasy Studios at Zaentz Media Center has just completed major renovations, transforming one of the most requested studios in Northern California into an even more sought after space. 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 countless others have been made during its 40-year history. The tradition of providing an inimitably creative environment continues, as Fantasy Studios has also been the recording studio of choice for some of today's hottest artists including Counting Crows, The Donnas, AFI, Ozomatli, and the Kronos Quartet.

Top Bay Area recording facility, Fantasy Studios at Zaentz Media Center has just completed major renovations, transforming one of the most requested studios in Northern California into an even more sought after space. 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 countless others have been made during its 40-year history. The tradition of providing an inimitably creative environment continues, as Fantasy Studios has also been the recording studio of choice for some of today's hottest 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 when Wareham Development purchased the Zaentz Media Center - the building that houses the studios - from Saul Zaentz in January 2007. Thankfully, the new owners are doing quite the opposite by investing heavily in renovations for the building and studio, ensuring the preservation of sound quality for which the studios are famous. They have also maintained the entire Zaentz Media Center as a mecca for a thriving community of independent filmmakers and tenants in all forms of media including film, new media, television and production.

Fantasy Studios (http://www.fantasystudios.com) was first opened in 1971 as the in-house studio for artists on Fantasy Records and many legendary jazz recordings of such greats as Sonny Rollins, Cannonball Adderley, Tony Bennett & Bill Evans, and McCoy Tyner were created there. The studios are also well known as the place where Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded. In fact, Studio C was built specifically for CCR equipped with a separate entrance to accommodate late night recording 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, 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 all been created within the studio walls. Most recently, the Counting Crows recorded much of their 2008 certified gold album, Saturday Nights & Sunday Mornings at Fantasy Studios.

In addition to the rich musical history, Fantasy Studios also boasts an impressive history in film and television. Much of the post-production work including additional dialog recording, foley, voiceover, or soundtrack recording for Academy Award winning and hit films such as Amadeus, Apocalypse Now, The English Patient, Good Will Hunting, Sixth Sense, Mrs. Doubtfire, Chocolat, Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love and many others have been produced at Fantasy Studios.

What also separates Fantasy Studios from most other studios nationwide is the quality of the overall recording experience. No other studio in Northern California has the level of expertise within its walls. Studio director, Jeffrey Wood, helms the staff with 25 years of industry experience under his belt. James Gangwer, the chief technician, is a renowned microphone expert. In-house engineers James Willetts and Jesse Nichols have worked with artists from every genre of music including Rock, Pop, Jazz, Gospel, Classical and World Music. Not many studios can boast the breadth of music that has been recorded at Fantasy Studios.

The studios themselves bolster the rich history and top-notch personnel. Only a handful of studios in the country have the variety of rooms for different sounds and styles of recording. Fantasy Studios also 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 as well as ProTools HD. Furthermore, the facility provides complete ISDN services linking Fantasy Studios to studios worldwide.

It is no surprise that in 2000, Billboard Magazine deemed Fantasy Studios the #1 Recording Studio in America.

Well-respected producer, engineer, musician and composer, Bruce Kaphan, who most recently recorded with Camper Van Beethoven at Fantasy Studios heralds, "over the last number of years, I've come to view Studio A as a house of worship of music. I've recorded jazz, classical, world, Americana, rock & 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."

Not to be mistaken as a place where only big names can play, Fantasy Studios has supported local Bay Area artists throughout its existence by offering studio packages and a welcoming atmosphere second to none. In addition, many of the independent filmmakers and documentary makers in the Bay Area and Zaentz Media Center community come to Fantasy Studios for their post-production work. Jeffrey Wood, studio director, comments, "The goal for Fantasy Studios is to be an accessible place for artists at every stage of their careers. 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."

The recently completed renovations to Fantasy Studios pay homage to a place where musical history has been made time and time again. In an era when the rest of the music industry is contracting, Fantasy Studios is a rare success story. Because its doors remain open to a wide variety of creative minds in music, film, television, and production, lives of millions will be enriched.

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