New recording studio opens in South Philly

By PW Staff
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 10 | Posted Apr. 20, 2010

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Start your engines: Main control room at Racetrack and the live recording space.

Photo by PW Staff

Last Saturday marked the grand opening of a new, sweet-ass recording space in South Philly, Racetrack Sound Studios. Located at 1418 Darien Street just off Reed between Eighth and Ninth, the place is mammoth, and features a live room the size of the Spectrum. We can totally see some Abbey Road or Black Crowe’s Amorica-type shit going down in there. Local artist and engineer Lance Davis gave PW the deluxe tour of the studio’s different suites on opening night, and told us a bit of the impressive history of the space and what they’re working on currently.

History of the building: In the 1980s, it was a film studio called Metropolis. David Dye's World Cafe was recorded here before XPN moved to 33rd and Walnut streets.

History of Racetrack: Started as a partnership in 1995 by Paul Chiacchierini and Sal Chandon. After working in several top recording studios on the East Coast, they opened a mix and mastering facility in the D.C. metro area. They then moved to Gettysburg, Pa., into a two room facility in 2000. They expanded to Philadelphia last year to close a gap in the recording market and expand the recording studio school, Pennsylvania Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.

Not just another studio: The school for recording started in 2007 to fill a need for job placement in the recording and entertainment industry in Pennsylvania. The school exists in a working recording studio, and the staff is made up of recording engineers with actual credits to their name, which is unique. The studio and school is multi-faceted, multi-functional production space that can be used for tour rehearsals, CD release parties, photo shoots or even as a live venue for shows or CD release parties. As Metropolis, the space was used primarily as a film studio, and as Racetrack it can be used for video shoots and TV and film production too.

On tap at Racetrack: They’re currently teaming up with Davis’ ROKBOX productions on a number of projects including a Bob Dylan Tribute record, which will honor the troubadour’s 70th birthday. It features many Philly local singer/songwriters including Andrew Lipke, Chris Kasper, Nicole Reynolds, and LATEBLOOM. Philly artist Theotis Joe will be shooting a music video in the live room for his upcoming release “After Hours,” also produced by Lance Davis and ROKBOX Productions.

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Comments 1 - 10 of 10
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1. Sal Chandon said... on Apr 21, 2010 at 12:17PM

“Many thanks to Philadelphia Weekly for the article and recognition. Come see us anytime!”

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2. Meredith said... on Apr 21, 2010 at 04:14PM

“As a PARAS graduate (Gettysburg campus) I'm really glad to see this article! I wasn't able to make the grand opening so I haven't seen the place yet but I've heard it's great :)”

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3. tommy.genes said... on Apr 22, 2010 at 12:20PM

“No mention of that location also having been Indre Studios for ten years?”

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4. Brendan said... on May 6, 2010 at 08:49AM

“Im starting classes at the Gettysburg location and am also really excited to see this write up as well but was wondering if there are any other pictures of either studios to show to friends and family?”

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5. Jake said... on Jun 16, 2010 at 10:20AM

“Seems like there's another recording studio/school in Philadelphia doing something similar -- The School of Recording Arts:
Retro City Studios:

Not sure how similar the programs are”

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6. Shanise said... on Jul 27, 2010 at 03:20PM

“Yeah, I actually took a great class at the School of Recording Arts this summer. Never knew the school existed, guess it opened recently. Very friendly and knowledgeable is pretty amazing too!”

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7. Jay said... on Sep 1, 2010 at 02:17AM

“Why does it cost 12,000 for a 5mo course? Thats alot of money i would like to see what the former graduates are doing and where they are working.”

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8. Fans of Brittany said... on May 29, 2011 at 12:52PM

“Should have mentioned that Brittany Opperman from Gettysburg will also appear on the Dylan Tribute. She's an AMAZING vocalist with an soon to be released EP coming out. Better keep track of that girl...just saying.”

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9. Industry guy said... on Sep 9, 2011 at 08:21AM

“As a note to all who are interested in a career in the music industry. Don't waste your money on schools for recording, contact a local studio and volunteer on your free time and learn like that...they will be happy that you can help them and they can help you. Big studios with big jobs don't exist in Philly, you'd have to go to NYC, LA, or Miami and even then you won't get a job because their are veterans that have all the work. There is less work because record companies have all cut budgets to the point that if you want to be a working engineer - you have to open your own home studio - but first you need years of training to learn how to record and unless you're independently wealthy, your best bet is treat it like a hobby until you get good enough (if you ever do) to do your own thing, its 2011, not 1995 anymore - recording schools have NO value to ANYBODY!
Music Industry Vet”

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10. Proactive Industry guy said... on Nov 1, 2011 at 01:50PM

“Hey Industry guy. You need to get out of your basement and get out there. There's more recording going on now than ever, and you know that. Yes, the contracts of the 90's are not nearly as big, but the same revenue can be made by higher volume using rental studios. It's the guys out there hitting the pavement and networking at shows that are bringing in the paydays. Sorry, I can't piss in the same bowl as you brother.”


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