Studio Shorts: The Hideaway Studios and The Garage Studio

The Hideaway Studios

Last updated on March 9th, 2020 at 09:37 pm

Recording studios hold an important role in our community. These magical places are the cornerstones for developing bands and finding a desired sound for their music. Studios are tucked away in corners of our neighborhoods, in buildings often without signs, and removed from any advertisements.

“If you had a sign above every studio door saying ‘This Studio is a Musical Instrument’ it would make such a different approach to recording.” Brian Eno

The Hideaway Studios – Northeast Minneapolis

The Hideaway Studios was founded in 2004 by owner/engineer Joe Mabbott and has a client list filled with local and national artists. The studio has a plethora of features that sets them apart from others. The engineers that work there consistently put out high quality albums and are dedicated to helping clients achieve their vision. The studios are comfortable and filled with a warm vibe, making it conducive to a relaxed environment and creative experience. The versatility in their spaces include the live, vibrant Tile Room, the controlled and open 33’x19′ tracking space, and a tighter sounding space in the vocal booths.

The Hideaway Studios

Their diverse track record includes hip hop, rock, folk, pop, soul, jazz, and R&B. This ability to work with any type of music is a huge benefit for any band rolling through the doors. Combined with the range of experience and space is an equally impressive list of equipment at your disposal. Joe shares that the studio was based off of a build-your-own tone and style of work flow. This means they don’t have a traditional console, but instead have all the flavors of gear from Neve, SSL, API, Crane Song, and others. From clean to dirty, transparent to tonal coloration, any sound you envision can be brought to life.

The Hideaway Studios

The decision over home recording versus professional recording studio has pros and cons each way. “Aside from the fact that you can turn up to whatever volume you need without making your neighbors mad,” Joe says, “in a studio you get access to equipment that can help you capture the sound you desire and help in the creativeness in the album making process.” He also notes that another big benefit comes with having an engineer. Having someone that is focused on the technical aspect of the recording allows the artist to focus on getting the best performance.

For rates and availability, please email Hideaway Studios through the website.

The Garage Studio – Burnsville

Studio Manager Rob Frost had a direct hand in the creation of The Garage Studio back in 2015. Originally designed by acoustical mastermind Dave Ahl, Rob adapted the plan to fit their budget. Operating as a part of the nonprofit group Catalyst Music, the all digital studio features Pro Tools and a wide selection of keyboards and amps. Rob also spotlights his use of the Cascade Fat Head microphones for electric guitar, noting the darkness of microphones perfectly balance the brightness of guitars.

The Garage Studio

One of the biggest advantages that studios have over home recording is acoustics. Rob championed for this element when the studio was being designed. This ensured the most money and time was spent on the sound of the room. No one can fix bad acoustics at home. The Garage Studio has features a large tracking space, which is extremely natural sounding and sonically tight. They hand-built diffusers based on designs from Acoustical Surfaces in Chaska. This all translates to a tracking space that is versatile, concise, and large enough to handle any style of music.

The Garage Studio

What the studio is most known for is the Live Studio Sessions. From the very beginning they wanted to incorporate video into the setup. These crowdfunded sessions allow the bands to sell tickets to cover the cost of the session. The 6 hour day consists of recording music and turning two of the songs into videos, all with their exclusive fans surrounding them in the studio. The band then gets two high quality videos to use on social media. The studio just received a grant of $10k for additional video equipment, adding 4k cameras, new lighting, and SlingStudio, allowing them to live stream to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For rates and availability, please email Rob Frost at

Written by Smouse

Having spent 13 years recording and producing Minnesota artists, along with running a small record label, Smouse is a passionate advocate of musicians and artists in Minnesota.


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