Best Recording Studio - 2008
The Distillery Studio
In this fake digital age, where just about any 11-year-old with a Mac laptop and a copy of Garage Band can sound like he's got a full backing band and an American Idol-worthy voice, it's nice to know we've still got places like Costa Mesa's Distillery. Run by Mike McHugh, bands such as the Aquabats, the Black Lips, the Specials, Smile, Epsilons and tons of others, local and otherwise, have recorded here. The best thing about the Distillery is that it's all analog, which means no computers and everything cut to reel-to-reel tape—who the hell even does that anymore? Warm, intimate sound of analog, good; cold, distant, bland sound of digital, bad.