BY TRICIA WITKOWER
Concerts, festivals, talented musicians and bands…these are all things the Coachella Valley is fortunate to have plenty of. What it doesn’t have is a world-class recording studio where musicians can rehearse, create, record, and produce. Until now, that is. 3M Studios is the brainchild of Mark Gregg, Mandy Calvano, and Misty Howell. All three of them had dreamed of building something like this for years, long before they even knew each other or became partners. This studio offers a unique service to Coachella Valley musicians never before available anywhere in the desert.
3M Studios, located at 3810 Dinah Shore Drive in Palm Desert, is open 7 days a week and provides a place to learn about music, instruments, and recording and broadcasting. They offer rooms of all sizes to fit each artists’ needs, starting at $25/hour. Artists can budget however they want, from bringing their own engineer or producer or having 3M help them find the perfect engineer for their project. Set up as a professional recording studio, everyone that works there is multi-decade experienced musician who is there to help. Each room is different, so people can pick which space to use based on size. There is a big range of space from small rooms to large and musicians can utilize the whole campus, if they need to. Everything is networked and tied together, with complete room connectivity.
Each partner is equally important and has their own role. Misty, who is recovering from surgery and is now jumping back into the day-to-day, is a big part in the policies and procedures. She has come up with Covid precautions to keep the space safe and clean for all who use it. They utilize microphone covers. They clean and sanitize each room after the band is done using it. As she tells me, “This is a drug and alcohol-free environment. We are a focused business, it’s about the music. Our space is safe for everyone. If teenagers want to come here to rehearse and perfect their craft, they are welcome and safe.” As a woman-owned and gay-owned business, all three partners emphasize that this is a welcome space for everyone.
As Mark tells it, 3M studios is “a place to rehearse or practice to get your craft to the next level. It’s a place to record: from rough demos in the rehearsal rooms, all the way to a complete, industry standard record ready to release on all formats.” It’s also a broadcast environment for live or Youtube, as well as video podcasts with full integration of all or any rooms for multiple, live performances during live streaming or video recording.
The space is completely networked, utilizing the latest technology for a cohesive experience for the client that can use all eight rooms for production, rehearsal, recording, mixing, editing, and mastering, with video capabilities on tap. The team provides all available support including in-house engineering, production, session musicians, videography, and more, if the artist does not wish to bring in their own team.
Aside from the utility of the studio, the space itself is impressive to see. As the only world-class recording producing facility in the valley, the space can be used as anything from rehearsal to a multi-platinum recording studio. 3M Studios has full video and live broadcasting capabilities. They have instruments available for use, including a baby grand piano. “As musicians ourselves, it is such an awesome, well-thought-out vibe that when you go in there you automatically want to work, and create, and play,” said Mandy. “This space wasn’t here before, we built this from a bare floor up to be what it is. It’s completely designed, down to the infrastructure, to serve musicians the way we set out for it to.”
All three partners are musicians themselves and have been local to the area for decades (with Misty born and raised here). Says Mark, “The client’s imagination is the only limitation here. We designed this campus as a complete entity that can be subdivided for nearly any use for music and broadcasting. We are here to help, and I have many decades of unbroken experience, as well as many contacts and friends in the industry. Simply coming here for any reason is worthwhile just in networking and for raising your awareness of what your own personal potential is, and what opportunities lie right in front of you that maybe you do not yet see. We will help raise your awareness and launch you to your next horizon in the business of music.”
3M Studios is open 7 days a week, with extended hours that you can find on their website at www.3mstudiosllc.com, along with hourly pricing and online booking options.