Castle Row Studios
Castle Row Studios
By Tonya Little
DEL CITY, Okla. - Castle Row Studios, located at 2908 Epperly Dr. in Del City has been open just under two years now. It was once the Del City movie theater, built in 1949 by George Epperly. It then turned into Del City music and Woodside Studios, owned by Bob Wood, where names like Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton have all recorded. Ashton and Garrett Starks came across the building, in beat up disarray, and knew it was the perfect place for the studio that they envisioned creating. The married couple had been running a small studio out of their house for a while at that point. Garrett is a music producer/engineer and Ashton is a singer/songwriter, they met through music and continued to pursue it together.
“We started growing, we started branching out a little bit and connecting to studios in Nashville and kind of all over. We saw this hole in the Oklahoma music industry which was the need for a commercial studio that could kind of harness the needs of artists who really want to make a go of this and make a career,” explained Garrett.
The Garrett’s didn’t just want to create any studio though, they wanted to make a unique state-of-the-art studio that would stand out among the crowd. The couple took great care and traveled all over the U.S. to hand pick the pieces of equipment that would go into the studio. They also hired Steven Durr, an acoustic engineer from Nashville, to help design the studio and make their dreams come true.
Steven Durr is nationally well known and respected for his studio engineering. He has been designing studios since 1977 and has designed for such names as Willie Nelson, Clint Black, Lenny Kravitz, Leon Russell, Ray Stevens, Disney and Dreamworks Studios just to name a few. Durr’s eye for detail and extensive sound engineering knowledge make him one of the top notch acoustic engineers in the U.S.
“There’s a lot of studios in town and a lot of studios that do really great things. We just saw that there’s a difference between the production value here, and what they are doing in say Nashville or L.A., all the big towns. All of our artists here in Oklahoma, they feel the need to leave to those areas, and so we just kind of wanted to try and reduce that need and kind of fill that gap and say you don’t have to leave town to get what you are looking for,” explained Garrett.
The 10,600 square foot facility houses three distinctive recording studios, a live music space, plenty of production rooms and has it in the works for an on-site apartment to be available for musicians to stay in while recording. They don’t want to just offer the Oklahoma Music Scene an amazing place to record, but they want to draw in people from all over the United States by offering a top of the line facility.
“The reason most of these artists are fleeing to Nashville or L.A. to cut a record is because of the sound of the room, the sound that you get from the tracking room. So that was one of the main focuses of this studio, and that definitely is our biggest aspect that sets us apart. But also our equipment as well. We have some really great pieces that were well maintained, we have a SSL9000J console, the only one in the state, we have a V series Neve from the early 80’s. We have a lot of gear here and there that definitely sets up apart from other guys for sure. But in a general sense the acoustics of the studio are really what makes us the next level type of thing,” said Garrett.
“As the most well equipped music studio in Oklahoma City, Castle Row Studios offers a full range of services in a creative environment. From music production to off-site visual work, there is sure to be something for you here. Our wide selection of outboard gear, vintage mics, drums, instruments, and luxury lounges, gives artists the freedom to do what they’ve been born to do….Create,” boasts their website.
The largest of the three studio rooms is Studio A, which features the 56-input SSL 9000J Console and a 2000 square foot tracking room. Upstairs you will find the smaller but no less impressive Studio B, which was formerly Woodside Studios. It has been updated with modern features, but retains a classic feel to it. Studio C is located close by as well, which means it can be used alongside the other studios if need be for convenience and efficiency. It was designed to be affordable for projects like solo artists, overdubs and post production. With these three studios available, there’s not a project too big or too small for Castle Row. You can find out more information about the studio and what they offer on their website at www.castlerowstudios.com