MUSCLE SHOALS — A major renovation project at FAME Recording Studios has been completed, and the legendary Studio B is open for business with a brand new, expanded control room.
Studio B at FAME is a historic music landmark that has served as a launchpad for many acclaimed careers and award-winning and record sales-breaking songs, according to a news release announcing the renovations.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for FAME and the continuing evolution of FAME’s legacy in the music scene,” said Rodney Hall, FAME President and son of legendary FAME recording studio owner and producer Rick Hall.
Hall said he and award-winning producer/engineer Glenn Rosenstein began working on the project around Thanksgiving, and finished the construction about eight or nine months later.
"We went in and gutted the control room down to the cinder blocks," Hall said.
They took out a wall and used a "machine room" to widen the control room, then built it back and added a 56-channel Solid State Logic recording console.
"There's never been anything like that in there," Hall said.
Hall said nothing was done on the studio floor itself.
"That studio has always been amazing," he said.
Rosenstein brings a wealth of experience, having worked with Ziggy Marley, Madonna, Talking Heads, The Ramones, U2 and many others.
As a producer, mixer and engineer, Rosenstein’s projects have won three Grammy Awards, garnered five Grammy nominations, and have won both an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award.
His work is responsible for record sales in excess of 300 million units.
Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau Executive Director Suzann Hamlin said FAME Recording Studios is a popular tourist attraction, as are Muscle Shoals Sound Studio at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield, and Cypress Moon Productions on Alabama Avenue in Sheffield, which is located in the building once occupied by the second incarnation of Muscle Shoals Sound.
"They are extremely popular," Hamlin said.
She said tour groups and individual tourists are usually at the studio every week.
Hall said the lobby at FAME was renovated about the same time as Studio B.
Hamlin said the lobby can accommodate more tourists, and features a merchandise area with a variety of FAME T-shirts, vinyl LPs, compact discs and other memorabilia.
"They've done an amazing job," Hamlin said.
While FAME and the Shoals saw an increase in visitors after the release of the "Muscle Shoals" documentary, Hall said the studio continues to see not only more tourists, but artists booking studio time.
That's likely due to the number of high-profile artists who have recorded at the studio, including Trey Anastasio of Phish, Gregg Allman, The Raconteurs and The Revivalists.
"If anything, I think it's getting bigger," Hall said.