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New studio sets up shop in Eagle Rock

Young musical entrepreneurs set sights on premium recording space.

September 09, 2011|By Adam Popescu
  • Sam Darring and Spencer Cox in the waiting area of their new, soon to open, studio their calling Darring Studios in Eagle Rock on Tuesday, September 6, 2011. (Tim Berger/Staff Photographer)
Sam Darring and Spencer Cox in the waiting area of their…

Every day the space at 4400 York Boulevard is bombarded by passersby who are curious at the construction going on inside. During smoke breaks, sweaty, tired young men come out of the building and gather in front under the large oak tree. Neighborly sidewalk chatter leads to heads poking into the space and asking, “What are you working on in there?”

Putting hammer to nail and hand to wallet, co-owners and Eagle Rockers Sam Darring and Spencer Cox are turning an old property into a high-end, professional recording studio with a mix of DIY can-do, technical skill and local support.

“People want to know what’s happening on York,” said Darring, a 28-year-old engineer. The project, he added, is “a minimalist perspective at business.”

“The minute we saw it, we thought, ‘we gotta be here,’” said Cox, 24, who calls Eagle Rock the next big thing. “Artists are here. People are here.”

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“Here” is a light industrial stretch of York Boulevard, off Eagle Rock Boulevard, that is full of auto body shops and mini-dealerships. The property’s location and zoning make it ideal to record music, without concern for noise or residences. With people living stacked together in apartments, and side-by-side in houses, the co-owners see the space as a high-end recording venue that can double as an art installation/gallery.

It’s an affordable, positive place to record and display art, Darring said. “It happens to be an empty room … In Los Angeles, people like that. They like empty rooms because they can do whatever they want in there [musically, artistically].”

The partners said they had just installed a high-tech lighting system and were working on building an isolation booth to allow for simultaneous activity in different parts of the space.

“I’m isolating the control room and the isolation booth from the rest of the building, too,” Darring said. “It’s awesome for us because we get to provide something to our community and the people that we work with.”

For the things the team can’t do, they hire carpenters. But everything else, from painting to wiring, is done by Darring and Cox.

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