Studio rental with in-house engineer:  $200/day + $35/hour

In-house engineers:

Phil Manley - email:, phone:  (415) 515-2001

Donny Newenhouse - email:, phone:  (415) 624-7790

Phil Becker - email:, phone:  (415) 503-8024

Freelance engineers are welcome.  Please send inquiries to:

We require a 50% deposit to secure dates at the time of booking.  The remaining 50% is to be paid before the completion of the session.  Please make all checks payable to El Studio.

We suggest booking at least 2 months in advance, but please don't hesitate to ask about last minute bookings.  There are often holes in the schedule.



Q:  How much time should I book?

A:  Every project will vary, but a good rule of thumb is to book one day per song.

Q:  What constitutes a "day"?

A:  As for studio rental, a "day" is a 24 hour lock out.  A half day is 4 hours or less.  Anything over 4 hours rolls over into a full day rate.  Like most people, our engineers prefer to work a humane 8 hour day:)

Q:  Should I record to tape?

A:  We prefer recording to tape.  If you wish to record digitally, we still recommend mixing down to tape.

Q:  Where can I buy tape?

A:  Tape can be purchased online here:

or here:

Be sure to sort out your tape order well in advance of your session as tape stock is often limited.

Q:  How much tape will I need and what type should I buy?

A:  If you plan to track using the 24-track or 16-track tape machines, you’ll need 2″ tape.  If you’re mixing, you’ll need 1/4″ tape.  A 10.5" diameter reel of tape is 2500′ long which translates to roughly 33 minutes at 15 IPS (inches per second).  If you plan on tracking at 30 IPS, please take into account that a 2500′ reel will be only 15 minutes long.  An album can usually fit on two reels of tape.

We also offer additional multitrack options of 1" 16-track and 1/2″ 8-track.

Q:  What brand or formula of tape should I buy?  

A:  Tape brands that are currently being manufactured are ATR and RMGi.  Either brand will do.  If you’re buying RMGi, we recommend using the SM900 formula.

Q:  Does El Studio offer tape for use?

A:  Yes, we have a stock of tape at El Studio which we reuse for those interested in recording to tape, but who don't care about keeping their analog master.  Once a project is completed, the analog tape will be transferred to digital and then the analog master tape will be erased for further reuse.  This service comes at no extra cost.

Q:  Should I buy used tape to save money?

A:  We don't recommend buying used tape.  Tape can deteriorate over time if it's not stored properly.  It's often difficult to determine the condition of a reel of tape until it's up on the machine.  If you're lucky, it'll work fine.  If you're unlucky, it can be a real pain and cause problems which can delay your session. Therefore, it's best to avoid used tape.