• About Us

    • The Blue Grotto is an award-winning boutique recording studio located in the heart of Brentwood, Tennessee, 15 minutes from downtown Nashville. Designed by renowned studio designer Carl Tatz, the Blue Grotto was ranked as one of the top 20 new studios in the world in 2011 by Mix Magazine. We offer:

      • music production, recording & mixing
      • musical arrangement
      • remixing
      • post production audio for film, television and radio
      • voiceover recording
      • sound design
      • dialogue editing and noise reduction
      • final mix (rerecording mixing) for broadcast, film or DVD
      • creation of jingles unique to your brand
      • studio rental (if you'd like to engineer your own session)

      We approach every project as if it were our own and strive for excellence in every area of the process.

    • Born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sean is a gifted music producer and quite the enthusiast with an ear for quality and talent. From Gaga to Gershwin; whatever he hears inspires him. When he's not taking in the beauty of Nashville, Sean spends his time either producing, engineering or listening to music, which every so often includes random electro mood music with the occasional hint of melodrama.

      An audio engineer with a wide variety of technical and artistic skills, his background and experience of 12 years range from music recording, production and arrangement to television post production, film sound design and live music engineering. Sean produced and engineered the track "This Is Your Moment" by South African Christian/pop/rock band Finding Noah, which charted at #1 on a popular South African radio station. His work as sound designer and rerecording mixer on the short film "A Life With Less Meaning" helped the film win gold at the Colorado Film Festival in 2010.

      Sean has the talent and expertise to take an album from hatchling dream to full-fledged art with tireless enthusiasm and gusto. His goal is to establish a reputation in the industry as someone who values the unique sound and qualities of every artist and won't rest until that potential is revealed and released.

    • We are honored to have multiple Grammy Award winning engineer, David Thoener, grace the Grotto with his presence on a regular basis. David is available for engineering sessions at the Grotto and brings incredible experience and talent to the table. He has been a heavyweight in the music industry since 1974 and cut his teeth by working on albums for such notable artists as Aerosmith, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, John Lennon and Electric Light Orchestra to mention a few. Since then, David has enjoyed a thirty year run of hit records including classic records like AC/DC's "For Those About To Rock", John Mellencamp (including "Little Pink Houses"), John Waite (including the smash "Missing You"), Matchbox 20 and many others.

      With 3 Grammys to his name, including album of the year for Supernatural by Santana, and record of the year for Smooth by Santana ft. Rob Thomas, his talent and experience are legendary. In 2005, David mixed hit records for Rob Thomas "Lonely No More", Jason Mraz "Wordplay", Canadian rock band, Idol Sons, in 2006 country artist Faith Hill's "Fireflies" and several hits on Sugarland's "Enjoy The Ride".

      His mixes have been featured on the television shows HOUSE, BIG LOVE and THE EVENT, and in the films GROWN UPS and LITTLE FOCKERS and were also spotted in Target and Conan commercials.

      Since 2011, David has been kept busy, working on a variety of different albums for artists from across the globe, including Vintage Trouble, Alex Woodard, Miyuki Nakajima and Jennifer Paige and on the 4-time Grammy-nominated album Independiente by Guatemalan singer-songwriter Ricardo Arjona, which became his fourth number-one on the Top Latin Albums chart the week ending 22 October 2011, including #1 single El Amor and 4 other top 10 singles.

      David is available for tracking and mixing sessions. For a full list of his work, visit http://www.allmusic.com/artist/david-thoener-mn0000811742

    • Anelda specializes in television and film related audio and happens to have a bizarre love for undiscovered folk acts and quaint indie films. With a BA Degree in Motion Picture Medium from the South African film school AFDA, her educational background includes sound design, picture editing and screenwriting.

      In the past 5 years, she has worked extensively as a sound designer and final mix engineer in the South African and Canadian television and film industries, with over 170 episodes of television, numerous advertisements, short films and infomercials under her belt. In 2011, she worked as the dialogue editor and as part of the sound design team on her first feature film, Hoofmeisie, which was a South African box office hit.

      The pressure of having to perform accurate, and sometimes highly creative work under impossible deadlines and strict broadcast restrictions has helped Anelda hone her skills and sense of humor.

    • In 2010, we asked Carl Tatz to design a recording studio that would be aesthetically pleasing, acoustically phenomenal and fit snugly in our basement. Boy, did he deliver! As they say, the rest is history. The Blue Grotto was born. So who is Carl Tatz?

      In addition to being a Grammy Award nominee, “Carl Tatz used to own “Recording Arts”, a world-class music recording facility in Nashville that was named one of the "Great Studios Of the World" by Mix Magazine in 1995. The studio was purchased by recording artist Sheryl Crow in 2003.

      While enjoying nearly two decades as a recording industry professional and studying with some of the top acoustic minds in the country, Carl began designing monitor systems and studios, both commercial and private, and quickly evolved into home screening room design.

      Carl knows that understanding the client's vision is paramount. ‘A properly designed studio and especially a monitor system will have the most profound impact imaginable on those who use it so it becomes my quest to help them realize that this is going to be better than they think possible.’

      See www.carltatzdesign.com for more details.

    • About Blue Grotto Sound
    • About Sean
    • About David
    • About Anelda
    • About Carl Tatz
    • About Blue Grotto Sound
    • About Sean
    • About David
    • About Anelda
    • About Carl Tatz
  • Facilities

    • The Blue Grotto control room boasts a state-of-the-art Phantom Focus monitoring system, coupled with custom designed floating ceiling, room layout and wall treatments. Married with Dynaudio M1 & M3 monitors, the listening environment in the control room is one of the best in Nashville. In fact, most engineers who visit the Grotto agree. Whether tracking an ensemble, mixing a film or song, or cleaning up on-set audio for film or television, every nuance of the audio material you're working on is audible and crisp, changing the way you think about production, arrangement, editing and mixing.

      This not only makes the Grotto a great place to record and mix, but also creates the perfect listening environment for sniffing out those troublesome frequencies and elements in your works-in-progress. Don't believe us? Feel free to contact us for a demo session in the control room.

    • Whether you are looking for a dry or a naturally live sound, the beautifully designed and versatile, 419 sq. foot tracking room is perfectly suited for recording ensembles and overdubs or voice overs, ADR and foley. Light spills into the room to create a cozy, comfortable atmosphere to be creative in, with plenty of room for musicians and gear alike.

      The Aviom Cue System and CCTV monitoring of the room allows for easy communication between the tracking room and the control room.

    • Controller: Solid State Logic Nucleus
      Pro Tools HD|2
      Apogee Symphony I/O with 16X16 analogue I/O
      Digidesign 192 I/O

      Great River MP-2NV Dual Pre
      SSL SuperAnalogue Preamps (included in the Nucleus)
      API 3124+ 4 Channel Pre
      Universal Audio 4-710d
      Joemeek VC2 Tube
      Focusrite Platinum Trak Master Channel Strip

      Universal Audio 2-1176
      dbx 266xs

      Neumann M 149 Tube
      sE Electronics / Neve RNR1 Ribbon Mic
      AKG C414 XLS (2)
      Audio Technica AT4033
      Rode NT1-A (2)
      Shure SM7b
      Shure Beta 52
      SM57 (4)
      AKG C1000
      sE Electronics SE4
      M-Audio Nova
      Samson C03

      Aviom Cue System
      Behringer V-Amp Pro
      SSL Duende Firewire DSP Unit
      TC Electronic Powercore Firewire DSP Unit
      UAD-2 Duo
      UAD-2 Quad

      Our tracking room also features:
      An Eterna (Yamaha) Upright Piano
      A vintage Technics PCM E220 Digital Organ

    • Software

      Pro Tools HD 10
      Pro Tools LE 8 (mobile recording option)
      Nuendo 5.5
      Cubase 7.5
      Universal Audio Plugins
      Waves Diamond Bundle
      SSL Duende Plugins
      TC Electronic Plugins
      MicMod FX

      VST Instruments:
      Native Instruments Komplete 9 Ultimate
      Spectrasonics Omnisphere, Trilian & Stylus RMX (with expansion kits)
      Steven Slate Drums (SSD4) with expansions
      Access Virus Indigo TDM

      We have several stock music libraries on hand as well as a huge sound effects library for any sound design requirements.

    • Control Room
    • Tracking Room
    • Gear
    • Software & Music / SFX Libraries
    • Control Room
    • Tracking Room
    • Gear
    • Software & Music / SFX Libraries
  • Services

    • Whatever your musical needs are, we can help. The Grotto offers everything from demo recording services to full album production. We can create your music from scratch, or record a full band. Whatever your vision is, we want to bring it to fruition in whatever way we can.

      Services we offer include:

      • full band/ensemble tracking
      • programmed music production
      • singer/songwriter acoustic recordings
      • mixing of existing material
      • vocal tuning & drum alignment
      • remixes
      • overdubs (vocal & instrumental)
      • demo production
      • musical arrangement
      • backing tracks
      • jingles

    • Do you need an experienced engineer, in a studio designed to expose the strengths and weaknesses of your material, to take your recorded tracks and get them sounding the best they can? Take a listen to some of our mixes and contact us for rates:

    • The Blue Grotto is available for rent. If you are a producer or engineer looking for a first class facility where you can feel comfortable and get the best out of your project, our facilities could be just the right fit. Whether recording or mixing, for music, television or film, feel free to contact us and we'll see how we can help fulfill your needs.

    • If you are a songwriter, you know how costly it can be to demo all your songs, even just guitar vocal versions. That's why we offer one-on-one tutoring on recording your own demos. Bring your system and we will teach you how to record great quality demos by yourself. We'll cover recording techniques, mixing concepts, getting the most out of your gear or any questions you may have about the art of recording. Demo lessons are booked by the hour and group rates are available (for groups of 3 or more). Give us a call now.

    • Are you a songwriter looking to record a demo? We can help! Whether you want a simple guitar/vocal recording or a fully produced demo, contact us and we can bring your song to life.

    • We've had the pleasure of working on hundreds of episodes of television, over a thousand commercials (radio and television) as well as the odd short or feature film and we know from experience what it takes to provide broadcast quality post production audio on a deadline. Whether you need an entire audio landscape to be built around your visuals, or just a quick mix to tighten up your project, we have the expertise to bring your vision to fruition.

      We offer a range of post production audio services, including:

      • voice over
      • sound design
      • dialogue editing
      • audio editing
      • animation audio
      • ADR
      • foley
      • specific sound effect creation
      • re-recording mixing
      • compliance to broadcast specifications
      • audiobooks
      • event audio design

      We have provided post production services for such notable clients as:

    • Music Recording And Production
    • Mixing
    • Studio Rental
    • Learn How To Record Your Own Demo
    • Demo Production
    • Audio Post Production
    • Music Recording And Production
    • Mixing
    • Studio Rental
    • Learn How To Record Your Own Demo
    • Demo Production
    • Audio Post Production
  • Our Work

    • Music
    • Post Production (Long Form)
    • Post Production (Short Form)
    • Radio Spots
    • Music
    • Post Production (Long Form)
    • Post Production (Short Form)
    • Radio Spots
  • Clients

    • These are some of the clients & projects that have come through the Grotto.

    • Clients
    • Clients
  • News


    • The latest addition to the Blue Grotto gear is a Joemeek VC2 tube preamp. This is a piece that Sean has been wanting for a long time. The reason is that this preamp offers a lot of vintage character to the source being recorded. It is not 'clean', it is not 'pretty'. It is thick and rich making it incredible for full, classic sounding vocals or punchy guitars. It also includes an opto compressor, similar in style to an LA-2A.

    • We could not have been more excited to have recorded and mixed Jessica Martindale's rendition of the White Stripes hit "Seven Nation Army" here at the Grotto. In addition, while tracking, Anelda shot an in-studio music video for the track. Both the track and the video turned out incredibly so it was no surprise that Noisetrade chose to feature Jessica as a New and Noteworthy artist in the mailer and on their website. Take a look at the video below and, if you like it, head on over to iTunes to buy it!

    • We are passionate about capturing your sounds to the highest possible standards,
      so we are really excited to announce that latest addition to the Blue Grotto mic
      locker - the Neumann M 149 Tube microphone. It is based on the classic U 47
      and it sounds absolutely amazing. You will want to hear this mic in action!

    • We have been very busy recently with rock band, Jonathan Jackson & Enation. They have been recording overdubs and mixing their upcoming record with producer / engineer, Greg Archilla (Collective Soul, Matchbox Twenty, Neil Young). The band consists of vocalist, guitarist, pianist Jonathan Jackson; brother and drummer, Richard Jackson and Dan Sweatt on bass.

      They will be performing their new single on the View on June 10th so be sure to keep an eye out for them!

    • We were thrilled to be featured in the February edition of Pro Sound News. The article tells a bit of the history of the Blue Grotto, some of the gear we use and what we have been up to recently. Check it out here:

    • Be sure to check out the upcoming release from country / southern rock artist, Scott Coner. We had a lot of fun in studio recording overdubs with him and mixing his EP. The first single and title track from the EP, "Feels Like Friday", lands February 7 and the EP will follow in March.

    • We at the Blue Grotto want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year. To say thanks to you all for a great year, we recorded a rendition of O Holy Night. Simple, reverent & emotional, we are thrilled with how it turned out. Huge thanks to the incredibly talented folk involved - Steven James Wylie & Erin Sparks on vocals and Gary McGuire on acoustic guitar. Take a look and enjoy!

    • The Blue Grotto is excited to announce the addition of several pieces of gear to the studio. While many engineers have been of the opinion that the Grotto is the best sounding room in Nashville, with the installation of this gear, the studio is now fully equipped to handle full tracking sessions and offer even more services of great quality.

      Here are some of new additions:

      *An Apogee Symphony Interface with 16X16 analogue I/O featuring their incredible Big Ben clocking technology
      *The Solid State Logic (SSL) Nucleus controller / console featuring 2 SSL SuperAnalogue Preamps and fully integrated DAW control
      *Four API preamps courtesy of the API 3124+
      *The Universal Audio 4-710d with 4 UA ‘Twin-Finity’ (tube & solid state) preamps with built-in compression and 8 channels A/D conversion feeding the Digi 192 I/O
      *A Universal Audio UAD-2 Quad (an add-on to our current UAD-2 Duo)
      *An upgrade to Pro Tools HD 10
      *An assortment of microphones, including:
      -An sE Electronics / Rupert Neve RNR1 Ribbon Mic
      -2 AKG C414 XLS’s
      -3 additional Shure SM57’s
      -The legendary Shure SM7
      -A Shure Beta 52
      -The sE Electronics SE4 small diaphragm condenser
      *And, most importantly, a Marshall Fridge with knobs that go up to 11.

      For more photographs of the studio and gear, see our Facebook page.

      If you have any recording or mixing needs, or if you would like to visit the Blue Grotto, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

    • Update: 5 Dec 2012 - Arjona was also nominated for
      a regular Grammy in the category "Best Latin Pop

      Congratulations to Ricardo Arjona for receiving 4 Latin
      Grammy nominations, including Album and Song of
      the year!

      Arjona's album Independiente was mixed at the Blue
      Grotto by David Thoener.

      His complete list of nominations is:

      1. Record Of The Year - Fuiste Tú (feat. Gaby Moreno)
      2. Album Of The Year - Independiente
      3. Song Of The Year - Fuiste Tú (feat. Gaby Moreno)
      4. Best Sing-Songwriter Album - Independiente


    • Latest News Via Twitter
    • The Latest Photos From The Grotto
    • Jan 2015 New Preamp
    • Dec 2014 Music Video
    • New Microphone
    • May 2014 Jonathan Jackson & Enation
    • February 2014
Pro Sound News
    • 14 January 2014 Scott Coner
    • December 2013 Seasons Greetings
    • 31 Jan 2013 New Gear
    • 25 Sept 2012 Ricardo Arjona
  • Contact

    • Contact Us
    • Contact Us