Madison's Smart Studios closing
The recording instution may cease operations for good by March
Confirming some Internet rumor chatter that was brewing Friday, an engineer at Smart Studios—the Madison recording studio co-founded by producer Butch Vig, and the site where many notable albums were recorded and/or mixed, perhaps most famously some demo sessions for Nirvana's Nevermind, as well as records from Sparklehorse and Fall Out Boy—has told us that the place is closing up shop. "We kind of came to this decision a couple days ago" for financial reasons, engineer Beau Sorenson told The A.V. Club this afternoon. Smart hasn't set an official closing date yet, Sorenson added, but might shut down for good around March 1. The studio still has recording and/or mixing sessions in the works with such artists as Freedy Johnston, Mr. Gnome, and Chris Walla.
Sorenson isn't sure yet what he and fellow Smart Engineer Mike Zirkel will go on to do after the closing, but says that making records is "kind of really all I know how to do." We'll follow up with more details as we get them, but for now, we're officially bummed to hear about it.
UPDATE: Zirkel says the studio will put out a call soon to artists who've worked at the studio so that they can pick up master tapes. To answer a question he's been getting a lot, the studio might sell off much of its highly enviable gear through a third party. But "we've got a fantastic grand piano that I'd love to sell locally," and maybe a couple of plate reverb units, Zirkel says.