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If you build it, will they record?

Musicians have one more option in town with the opening of the latest recording studio

When you enter the studio, everything is new and shiny except for the collection of vintage amplifiers from manufacturers like Marshall, which date back to classic rock.

Bobby Ferrari started life as a bass player for legends ranging from The Coasters to Spencer Davis. He eventually wound up working in an LA studio. “I got into the studio business working with people who were working with Nine Inch Nails and bands like that, and I would not let go.” Not that the job was always glamorous. At one point he was assigned to work with a songwriter for a top-selling metal band. “My job was to record everything he wrote and keep him off heroin, and that kind of jaded me. LA was turning into a scary place.”

To escape LA, and for family reasons, he moved to Henderson about a decade ago. Once here, he felt Vegas had potential as a studio scene. “There was a local band scene trying to do something. I was a few years behind the scene. There were good players and energy, but it had not gestated yet into The Killers and Panic at the Disco. Now the area is busting out with the bands, the Palms studio and places to play.” On April 20, Ferrari opened Odds On Recording Studio, officially adding to the options.

Odds On took an earlier studio space and expanded and vastly upgraded the equipment to create a top-tier professional recording option for bands who want to work in Henderson: a quiet area near the intersection of Sunset Road and Mountain Vista. The studio is forming a label, with Air Supply as its first marquee act.

Considering the ease of home recording and the traumas of the music industry—not to mention the economy—you would think the planners of this studio had to do market testing, move carefully into this project. Come on, is that rock n’ roll? “There is a lot of gut feeling, but after seeing the Palms studio success, we felt better.” Ferrari says many more rock stars live in Vegas than most people realize. Already locals who do not want to fly to LA have dropped by to record: “Steve Harwell of Smash Mouth lives around the corner. He has been here recording many times, because it is a lot easier than going to LA.”

Even the Palms Studio is excited to have another player in the area. Zoe Thrall, who runs the Palms Studio and attended the opening of Odds On, says, “Having another studio open in Las Vegas helps strengthen the argument that this city is quickly becoming the next professional music destination—on par with New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and Atlanta.” Even if you can’t make that argument yet, at least it can be said Vegas is catching up to Memphis.

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Richard Abowitz

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