Studio Tour: Treehouse Records

Olivia Schroeder

  • The Recording Academy
    Walking into Treehouse, you're presented with a 1100 sq. ft lobby
  • The Recording Academy
    3600 sq. ft. live room with floating walls
  • The Recording Academy
    The Treehouse is an analog only studio
  • The Recording Academy
    Primary recorder, Studer A27

The Chicago Chapter chatted with Matt Gieser, owner of Treehouse Records, kicking off a series of studio tours around the city to highlight some of the great spaces available for artists to record at. Treehouse is one of the few analog only recording studios left, and you would be surprised to know how new it is! Walking into the lobby of Treehouse, you’re presented with a combination of eccentric decor and nostalgic favorites, including old school arcade games, neon signs, and a gumball machine. Co-Founders Matt Geiser and Garrett Guzaldo have created an atmosphere that blends in with the DIY music scene in Chicago, while still pulling in national acts. Part of this is due their partnership with Consequence of Sound, where local and national bands perform a 2 song set and carry out a short interview in a series called Treehouse Sessions. Past artists that have participated include Violent Femmes, Cage the Elephant, and Twin Peaks. 

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Treehouse Records
Offers: Recording, Mastering, Practice Spaces, Mobile Recording, Live Sound
Recent work: Twin Peaks, White Mystery, Modern Vice, Red Francis
History: The Treehouse is a 5,000 sq. ft. professional analog recording facility located between Diversey and Fullerton on Chicago's northwest side. Featuring a 1,700 sq. ft. live room and an 800 sq. ft. control room bands and orchestras of any size can comfortably be accommodated. The Treehouse was designed to be a place where comfort meets professionalism in an effort to create an atmosphere that is both inspiring and effective giving you the opportunity to perform to the best of your abilities.

Click here to see a full list of gear available at Treehouse

Q: Is there a specific sound you specialize in? How would you describe the sound?
A: It’s your sound. The studio doesn’t lie. There’s nothing we can really do to manipulate what your band sounds like. There’s no Autotune. It’s barebones. It’s got the tape sound, but when it comes down to it, it’s your sound.

Q: How do you acquire all of your equipment?
A: Probably 80% of it my partner and I already had, and it was just shoved in our parents’ basement growing up. You know, when you’re growing up you start with shit equipment, and then you slowly learn more and get nicer stuff. We got rid of a lot of old junky equipment, and since then bought much nicer equipment. A lot of the gear we buy now is from Ebay or Craigslist.

Q: What’s your favorite piece of equipment?
A: The Studer A27. We got it off Ebay; there was a studio in Hollywood going into foreclosure, and the bank bought everything. They found all these old Studer recorders in the basement of this place. We had a tech go out there in Hollywood and check it out, and everything checked out good. I love vintage gear; I’m a huge guitar collector. I love pianos and organs; I just love learning about them and the stories behind stuff. Our Benson amp was built in Alabama in the early 60s, and it was used to record the “Spirit in the Sky” riff by Norman Greenbaum.                                                                                                                                                 

Q: Can you tell me about the Treehouse Sessions? How do you pick artists to feature in the Treehouse Sessions?
A:  National tour acts stop on their way to town and they’ll record two songs and do a little interview.  It’s a 50/50 effort between us and Consequence of Sound. It’s cool because a lot of studios have like one bigger band they can bring in, and every week we have someone huge coming in. We’ve had over 25 episodes now. It’s something we do differently than other recording studios. We’re not primarily a recording studio. We’re also an event space. We value the recording aspect of it, but when it comes down to it, it’s kind of a small part of the business. We try to do everything. We host art galleries, parties, expos. We do anything to stay busy.


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Chicago Chapter Executive Director - Sarah Jansen

President - Mark Hubbard

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