Recording Studios Hit Play On Solar Power

A professional recording studio is an impressive sight to behold. Inside the expansive recording rooms, it is extremely hushed due to the pains taken to insulate the rooms from outside noise. Surprisingly, it’s also often very warm due to the imposing stacks and stacks of mysteriously blinking equipment humming quietly along the walls and in the control room. Those mixers, effects, compressors, recording decks and remixing desks use an enormous amount of energy. But now, the idea of a solar-powered recording studio seems to be gaining traction as studios convert and bands both big and small seek out an alternative energy recording solution.

Among the most notable solar-powered success stories of late is the band Cake. Back in 2004 the band purchased a home in Sacramento, Calif., and began to convert it into a recording studio. Five years into that process, the band started moving toward solar power. By the time the band was ready to write and record their 2011 album, Showroom of Compassion, they were able to complete the entire project using solar power. According to trumpet player Vince DiFiore, “The conversion box is continually making electricity, which is either used in the house or sent back into the city’s grid, and you get credited for it on your [electric] bill. We have a negative balance on our SMUD [Sacramento Municipal Utility District] bill. It’s working out really well.”

cake studio

image via Cake

Now, solar powered studios have sprung up across the world and the list seems to be continuously growing. Treesound Studios in Atlanta, whose clients include Whitney Houston, Sevendust, Outkast and the Roots, not only keep diligent track of their solar power consumption on their website, but also offer clients use of their biodiesel car service.

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.


  • Reply January 30, 2012


    Green energy as we move into the future! Musicians have always been proactive for environmental issues, and it is not surprising to see solar recording studios in operation and in construction all over the world. The music and the solar photovoltaic industries combine for a great collaboration. Do any audiophiles feel that the records actually sound better when they incorporate solar power?

  • Reply February 1, 2012

    Jeff Mahajan

    Dear Steve, thanks for this article spotlighting this growing trend. I built and operate the first fully solar powered recording studio in New Jersey (, and since opening we’ve already saved over 10,000 lbs of carbon. In addition to solar power, Brooksound installed native allergy-free landscaping, bamboo flooring and a host of other eco-friendly features. Most of our artists feel that the natural features of the studio are inspiring. Very glad to see this trend catching on and to see forward-thinking creative minds turn their attention towards our environment. Best, JM

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