Smart Studios

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Coordinates: 43°05′15″N 89°21′59″W / 43.08748°N 89.366468°W / 43.08748; -89.366468

Smart Studios
General information
TypeRecording Studio
LocationMadison, Wisconsin, United States
Address1254 East Washington Avenue
Town or cityMadison, Wisconsin
CompletedOpened in 1983
ClientVarious bands
OwnerButch Vig
Steve Marker
LandlordButch Vig

Smart Studios was a recording studio located in Madison, Wisconsin. It was set up in 1983 by Butch Vig and Steve Marker to produce local bands. The studio produced bands such as Killdozer, The Smashing Pumpkins, L7, Tad, and Nirvana. After initial production and remix successes, the building became the focus of operations for Vig and Marker's own group, Garbage, who released their debut album in 1995.

The studio survived various mishaps, including flooding, and in 2003, a backhoe crashing through the walls of the downstairs studio.[1] On May 1, 2010, the studio closed its doors because of financial difficulties.[2] Following the closure, Madison filmmaker Wendy Schneider made a documentary on Smart Studios, The Smart Studios Story (2016), in which she interviewed artists, record producers, and engineers who worked in the facility.[3][4] Schneider's Madison-based production company, Coney Island Studios, produced the film. In 2012, the Wisconsin Historical Museum assembled an exhibit on the studio, Smart Sounds, Alt Music, Mad Scenes.[5] In September 2013, producer and musician Brian Liston re-opened the former Smart Studios facility as Clutch Sound.[6]

Selected list of albums recorded/mixed at Smart Studios[edit]

Producers and engineers associated with Smart Studios[edit]


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  2. ^ David Wahlberg (January 9, 2010). "Smart Studios closing March 1". TownNews. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  3. ^ Bob Koch (February 19, 2010). "Madison Music Scene & Heard: Smart Studios documentary; reuniting bands, Smart tapes". Isthmus. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  4. ^ Kory Grow (March 6, 2014). "Dave Grohl, Billy Corgan and More Appear in Smart Studios Doc Trailer". Rolling Stone. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  5. ^ "Wisconsin Historical Museum looks at Madison's rock past in Smart Sounds, Alt Music, Mad Scenes". Isthmus. June 21, 2012. Retrieved October 19, 2015.
  6. ^ Michael Popke (June 26, 2014). "Clutch Sound brings music back to the old Smart Studios space". Isthmus. Retrieved October 18, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Heller, Jason (February 26, 2014). "Get Involved, Internet: Smart Studios doc will honor where Nirvana made history". The A.V. Club. Retrieved April 5, 2016.
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External links[edit]