We offer a variety of services at Orchid Studios, and generally do these things pretty well.  There are also things we don’t excel at and if your project is not a good match for our expertise, we’ll be honest about that and direct you to someone suitable.

Producer / Arranger

It all starts with the song.  And if it doesn’t start with the song, it doesn’t end well.  Computers cannot make good songs sound great.  A vintage microphone with incredible Mojo cannot make a good song sound any better than good.  A great song, conversely, makes any microphone more exciting!  We can boast exceptional songwriting / arranging talent at Orchid Studios.   A Producer with this level of expertise, can help transform a song from good to great, and bring your vision into sharper focus.  It’s nice to know someone’s got your back.


Orchid Studios’ goal was to be the “Mushroom of Overdub Rooms”  (an homage to a now defunct classic West Coast studio which once housed a tremendous collection of classic gear).  We can’t capture the ambiance of a 30 foot ceiling, but we can compete with the major studios when it comes to Vocal, Guitar, Organ, & Piano overdubs.  This is exactly what the facility was built for: the recording room treatment was designed by Steven Drake, and sounds great.

Orchid Studios houses The Orchid Highway’s impressive collection of vintage amplifiers, guitars, basses, organs & electric pianos, including perhaps the oldest working Hammond organ in Canada: a 1935  Hammond A, originally installed at the Orpheum Theatre.

Clients may use this gear at no additional cost.  Want to record using a real Wurlitzer or 1966 Vox instead of a simulation?  Want to record the drums and/or vocals for your project at a higher quality than you can get with a Zoom 16 track in your bedroom? Say…  with a vintage Ludwig Kit, and a Microphone Preamp from a famous LA Studio’s recording console…   Sure.  You can do that.  Book yourself a session.

Tracking (Bedtracks)

Orchid Studios’ live room is cozy, but the studio is wired to allow for full band bedtracks.  With a little creativity we’ve recorded up to a 7 piece band live off the floor, with some members setup in the control room, kitchen, and even bathroom, working off headphones.  It was a blast, and worked surprisingly well.  We’ve also had great success and good separation putting guitarists in the live room with the drummer. The setup limitations force creativity and often open interesting doors   Low-watt amplifiers and re-amping techniques go a long way towards getting the most out of this sort of scenario.  But it can lead to a great vibe, and a great sound!


When Orchid Studios current location was constructed in 2008, it was conceived as more of an overdub studio than a mixing facility.  However, increasingly clients loved hearing the sound of their recordings through our console and wanted to mix here as well.  “Great idea!” we said with a knowing smile…  “This means we’ll need more vintage gear!”  (the control room has since doubled in size).

Whether you recorded your tracks on an iphone, a laptop, at Abbey Road, or in your Madrid flat, we’d be honoured to make your songs sing.


One of the down sides of artists having greater access to recording equipment  is that we have less opportunity to learn, in a hands on way, from the skilled musicians, writers, and engineers who blazed trails before us.  The Artist -Producer relationship, when the chemistry is right, is a powerful enabler.  The trust established and lessons learned continue long after.  There are many — perhaps too many — options when setting out on foot towards making a record.  While valuable resources exist (Gearslutz & similar forums come to mind)  it helps to have someone who can advise you re: how to make the most of a recording budget, how you can economize without it being “heard”, give advice on signal chains, song structure, etc.

Remote Recording

We’ve had some successes with this.  A few years ago one of our studio clients organized an insane, covert operation, and turned a posh West Vancouver house-sitting gig into a brash raw, on location album!  At the time, Orchid Studios was still under construction so tracking here wasn’t a possibility.  And we didn’t yet have our remote rig.  So we loaded racks and racks of sensitive studio gear into a Grumman and took off at 30 km per hour.  It was a fantastic time, but the work and logistics involved were ridiculous.  Thankfully…  we allowed ourselves to be ridiculous.  As some great memories, and a cool album came out of the experience.

We now have a remote rig with an HD24 and 16 channel Soundcraft GBR2, with direct outs for event or on location recording.  The highly prized vintage audio gear stays home, but adds its flavor in post-production.