The past decade has been difficult for many recording studios, as they’ve struggled to compete against do-it-yourself home production amid broader changes in the music business. The latest studio to give up the ghost appears to be Reflection Sound in Charlotte, NC, where R.E.M. recorded in its early days and legends such as Whitney Houston and Robert Plant took the mic.
According to a local Craigslist post, Reflection is selling off two grand pianos, some other keyboards, amplifiers, drums and other instruments, in anticipation of shutting down. Over on eBay, account holder “studioworks1018” is selling several microphones, compressors and other gear used at the location as well.
R.E.M. cut 1983’s “Murmur” and 1984’s “Reckoning” at Reflection’s Central Avenue location, where the studio has resided since the early 1970s. Others who recorded there include The Eagles’ Glenn Frey and Joe Walsh, Joe Cocker, Buddy Guy, Aaron Neville, the Dixie Chicks, Hootie & The Blowfish, Mary J. Blige, Ben Folds Five, Don Dixon, and Southern Culture on the Skids.
As CD sales have eroded, record labels have slashed recording budgets correspondingly, leading to slower business for studios. For many artists, inexpensive home recording software has also taken the place of traditional studio work. Los Angeles-based Sound City Studios, for one, closed its doors for business in 2011, and was memorialized in a 2013 documentary produced and directed by Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters.