An Alternative Recording Studio Model Pops Up in Austin

A much cheaper alternative to traditional recording studios has just opened in Austin, and you’ll feel like you are right at home. That’s because it’s actually in a home. Brandon Perry is the guy behind Wandering Robot Studio, which is available for musicians to rent from just $50 an hour.

The setting feels comfortable and casual, but it offers the same pro-level gear and sounds as the bigger outfits. The studio also has a guest room for traveling artists who want to record or work while staying in Austin. North enough of Downtown that festival traffic isn’t an issue, but close enough to make it to a gig on short notice, this studio might just be the answer to your musical prayers. We spoke to Brandon to learn more about his unconventional business.

365 Things Austin: How did the idea for Wandering Robot Studio come about?

Brandon Perry: I’ve been playing guitar since I got my first $99 Walmart-brand electric guitar on my 13th birthday. I’ve loved music ever since. As I was learning how to record my own music, I realized I was building a studio that would be useful for more than just myself. This city is overflowing with artists who deserve to be recorded, if only for archival purposes. I wanted to offer a resource for locals with the highest quality gear. I also firmly believe artists deserve to own their music, from production to final payments and distribution.

365: How did you come up with the name?

BP: I have several pieces in the studio by Lauren Briere, a local artist who puts a robot in different landscapes and contexts. I love her art and I’ve never had the chance to tell her personally! I hope I paid her rent once. I purchased her art at Austin Art Garage.

365: Why does Austin (and the world) need something like this?

BP: Artists deserve a chance to make a living from their art. Wandering Robot Studio helps them own their own publishing and keep as many of their own money as possible. With the ability to record and mix at a professional level, and guidance on publishing and managing your own music, we give you the power to keep creating.

365: What’s your favorite part of running this business?

BP: I love capturing the moment when great music is made. It’s usually spontaneous, and often an artist never sings the same song twice. It’s just the one that gets recorded that everyone ends up listening to. Listening to a song evolve as an artist records it, honing the core of where a song is going—it’s very rewarding.

365: What feedback do you get from musicians who record with you?

BP: As a guitar player, I care a lot about how a guitar sounds. Every guitarist I record loves the sounds we can capture. From clear, transparent, acoustic guitars to gritty, sawtooth distortion (sometimes feedback in more than one way), I want your guitars to sound as amazing as possible. Artists also love the vocal tracks we are able to capture. We have modified analog gear that makes vocals ring!

365: What music/artist/album are you loving right now?

BP: I’m currently listening to the Great Courses 30 Greatest Orchestral Pieces. The enthusiasm of the professor and the subject matter make it incredibly enjoyable. I recently found a super funky drum loop on an old vinyl called Something for Everybody by saxophonist Dave Duplissey (1978) that I’m working on for a guitar track. I love the local band Trouble In The Streets. They are awesome and I’ve seen them several times! They recently won an award from BlackFret and it was much-deserved.

365: What are your plans for the future of the studio?

BP: Just keep recording!