Perfect Sound Studios is a small team of specialists, striving to provide you with the best possible service imaginable in order to make your stay with us as smooth, pleasant, and creative as possible! If you're looking for the best studio experience available- we've got you covered!
The Guy to Talk To About ANYTHING!
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Norm Kerner was born in New York City, in 1955, where he attended public schools until 1972, when he enrolled in Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn. He was in the pre-med program majoring in Bio-Psychology and minoring in Music. Graduating in 1976, he moved to San Francisco and formed a rock band playing his own original material. The band gigged throughout Northern California and made several recordings with Norm on both guitar and bass as well as lead vocals.
In 1979, Norm and a friend designed, built and opened Starlight Sound, a state of the art recording studio in Richmond, CA. Norm began as an assistant engineer and reached the position of chief engineer at Starlight by 1983. There he began producing artists in '85, primarily in the realm of Soul and Funk music. Starlight and Norm were responsible for some of the most important Hip-Hop, Soul & R&B records that came out of the Bay Area during the 80's, including Digital Underground, Toni Tone Tony, Club Nouveau, En Vogue, Stanley Burrell (later MC Hammer), Surf MC's and many others. Norm left Starlight in 1987 to broaden his horizons and experience other studios.
From 1987-1989, Norm produced independently at many studios in Northern and Southern California, and started a record label called Homebass Records, where he signed, co-produced, engineered, and mixed the 1st recording of the well known producer-DJ The Automator. Homebass's initial release, "Music to be Murdered By", won the 1988 Billboard Magazine Award for Dance Record of the Year. As The Automator’s career took off, Homebass, an indie without major financing, could not hold on to its most important artist. The Automator left to sign with a bigger company. Homebass then folded from lack of funds.
In 1989, Norm met a new partner who raised the money for him to design, create and build a studio designed completely to his personal specifications, which included a 5 bedroom apartment, where artists could come from all over the world to live and work in one environment. What he created was the now legendary Brilliant Studios in downtown San Francisco. Brilliant became the West Coast home for alternative rock in the 90's, drawing artists from all over the world. By now, Norm was an in-demand producer/engineer/mixer with a client list of such groundbreaking artists as American Music Club, Spain, Sky Cries Mary, Imperial Teen, Sister Double Happiness, Kelly Willis, Faith No More and Jewel. Most of these albums were made for either major labels directly, or for Indies distributed by majors (see discography).
Other artists who worked at Brilliant with Norm's helping hand include The Breeder's, Cracker, Grant Lee Buffalo, 7 Year Bitch, Mr. Bungle, The Melvins and Psychic TV. Norm also composed, produced, engineered and mixed music for TV and film, for release in the US and the UK. During this same period, Norm was Musical Director for the artist Jewel, which led him to work on both the Saturday Night Live and MTV Unplugged, and to choose musicians, write arrangements, and rehearse Jewel's band to prepare for her performances on Sarah McLachlan’s Lilith Tour in 1998 and her singing of the National Anthem at Super Bowl XXXII.
In 2000, a time of massive change in the industry, Norm found himself largely uninspired by what he heard on the radio and by the artists that he was being offered to produce. He decided it was time to step back and reassess his career. Norm closed Brilliant, put his recording gear in storage, and moved to LA looking for fresh challenges. He made several records, but wasn't feeling inspired enough to continue--so he went to work in Real Estate, specializing in properties that have recording studios on site, while waiting for the music business to morph into whatever its next incarnation was going to be. By 2006 there were some new signs of life and Norm was once again optimistic.
In 2007, Norm met Jake and John Rodenhouse, and together they decided to build a studio that would meet the demands of the new music biz, while creating a special sanctuary for musicians, producers, engineers and artists alike: a studio that embodied the best of the past and the best of the future. That studio was named Perfect Sound. Norm and Jake designed and created Perfect around the proven concept of the residential studio, though in the context of a private estate in the Hollywood Hills, rather than Norm’s previous urban sanctuary in San Francisco.
The Bearded One
Chief Engineer, Jason Donaghy, is a two-time Grammy nominated recording engineer, mixer and producer. Trained at Dublin’s prestigious Sound Training Center, Jason quickly established himself as one of the foremost up-and-coming engineers in his native Ireland. Such notoriety earned him the position of studio manager and engineer at Temple Lane Studios in Dublin where he worked with Josh Ritter, Mundy and The Red Labels in addition to innumerable local and international acts.
Thereafter, Jason relocated to the world-renowned Grouse Lodge Studios, where he worked with the Manic Street Preachers on their critically acclaimed, Send Away The Tigers album, amongst other projects. Moving to America in 2008, Jason found himself working at Broken Wave Music in Glendale, California where he assisted on Cynic’s second album, Traced In Air.
Today, Jason is head engineer at Perfect Sound Studios, where he has engineered, mixed and produced for some of the top names in the business, including Grouplove, Matt Corby, Ryan Adams, Rob Zombie, The Murderdolls and Tenacious D. His work with Band Of Horses and Sum 41 has to date garnered him two Grammy Award nominations.
Producer, mixing/mastering engineer, and multi-instrumentalist Jake Rodenhouse has played many roles through the years- whether in the studio or out touring America- including his part in the set up and management of two successful recording studios, Hopewell Recording in the Finger Lakes region of New York, and Perfect Sound Studios, in Los Angeles.
Hopewell Recording began as a small hobby studio near Canandaigua Lake in New York and grew into a virtual assembly line of great independent artists and bands, mostly centered around the vibrant local music scene in Western New York state. Open for only 4 years from 2000-2004, Hopewell produced hundreds of indie and punk records, every one of them produced and engineered by the dream-team of Jake Rodenhouse and Dave Drago.
With the close of Hopewell Recording, Jake moved to Los Angeles to pursue a greater career in the music business. In his early time in LA, he played in many different acts, whether as drummer, guitarist, or bassist, and toured much of the western United States with power-pop band, The City Drive.
After the dissolution of The City Drive, Jake began the hunt for a space and a team to create Perfect Sound Studios. The studio was built in a stunning Hollywood residential location in 2008 and immediately had discerning artists banging down the door to record. The experience was designed and implemented by Jake as an "artist's retreat,' and in many ways parallels the experience of a world class luxury resort. Many of its major and Grammy winning/nominated artists have not only recorded at the studio, but have also enjoyed staying in the attached house. In it's short time open to the public, Perfect Sound has seen such artists as Band of Horses, Ryan Adams, Tenacious D, Grouplove, Sum 41, Matt Corby, J. Cole, Mackelmore & Ryan Lewis, 5 Seconds of Summer, and many other independent artists and producers.
Jake's personal credits in mixing and mastering include; Grouplove, Tallahassee, Caveman, Cage the Elephant, Snowmine, Ang Low, Your Sister's Canary, Dan Croll, and many others. Jake also performs on records by Amanda Rogers and Frankie Marathon, and has production credits on those albums as well as Tallahassee's "Jealous Hands." He has also been integral to many uncredited projects that have come through his studios.
Originally hailing from sunny New Hampshire, Sean Kellett joined the team for the first time in 2010. After having attended Los Angeles' Recording School in Hollywood, Sean was brought on as an assistant, with credits on Rob Zombie's "Hellbilly Deluxe, Vol. 2" and Tallahassee's "Jealous Hands," as well as many uncredited roles on other projects.
He then went on to work with Steve Vai; at the Mothership and Harmony Hut studios, where he worked on Vai's "The Story of Light," and on the road, covering much of Europe and the US on his 2012 tour.
Sean re-joined Perfect in 2013 and picked up where he had left off, only this time as a full-fledged staff engineer, rounding out the team and continually working on new projects, including Juanes' 2014 release, "Loco de Amor," with legendary producer Steve Lillywhite.