The Atomic Garden is two high end analog/digital hybrid recording studios located in Oakland, California. The goal of these studios is to provide the highest quality recordings for the most affordable price possible.

The East Room - Jack Shirley - and the West Room - Jesse Nichols - both offer large format consoles, full analog capability, and lots of boutique outboard equipment.  The studios share a 1,000 square foot live room, a versatile mic locker, 4 plate reverbs, and large assortment of backline gear.   

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The average projects that we record are done at this studio from start to finish.  This typically includes tracking, editing, mixing and mastering.  We are also available to do any of these things separately and/or at other studios.


Mastering is a process that takes a finished mix and optimizes it to sound as good as possible on as many different playback systems as possible.  It's the finishing touch on the recording process.  Depending on the quality of the mix, mastering can mean anything from a lot of heavy processing to a simple seal of approval.  

Also included in this step is sequencing (putting the songs in order and solidifying their transitions) and preparation for different mediums (vinyl, cd, tape, download, etc.).

Traditionally, records are mastered in studios that are built specifically for this purpose, and by engineers who specialize in this field.  The Atomic Garden is not a mastering house, and we are not mastering engineers.  That being said, we are available to master recordings for a fraction of the cost of most mastering studios.  The quality is surprisingly similar.


Tape sounds wonderful, but it is expensive.  One reel of 2" tape (about 30 minutes of recording time) costs around $350.  Most projects require one or two reels.  This cost is one of the more prohibitive aspects of analog recording.  A band with a $1000 recording budget doesn't want to drop $700 just for the tape. 

Fortunately, we've got you covered.  Most often, your audio is transferred into the computer, so the tape can be erased and used again on a different project.  And tape can take several passes of this before it starts to degrade.  That is why using a reel of 2" tape is FREE here.  And since each reel only gets used a handful times, everyone basically gets good tape for no cost.


This studio facility houses two nearly identical control rooms, each opening into a single large tracking room. Both control rooms were designed using true RFZ principles, resulting in exceptional accuracy and imaging characteristics.

The tracking room features fully adjustable acoustics with easily adjustable absorptive and diffusive wall treatments.  There are three isolation booths for each control room.

The studio design was done by the Wes Lachot Design Group.  Acoustical build-out and oversight was performed by Oakland native Will Rutherford and crew, with guidance and assistance from Tony Brett.  Brett Acoustics was also responsible for the fabrication of all acoustical treatments and studio furniture.