A Swan Song for Doppler Studios

July 8, 2016

After nearly half a century, famed Atlanta recording hub Doppler Studios is shutting its doors for good. The Piedmont Circle studio has seen the likes of Beyoncé, Aerosmith, Kanye West, Aretha Franklin, Pearl Jam, OutKast, the B-52s, Mariah Carey, Usher, Stevie Wonder and many more during its long lifetime. “After some 46 years of happy times and countless sound recordings, Doppler Studios is closing,” Doppler wrote on its Facebook page. “To infinity and beyond!”

Over the years, Doppler Studios has provided a venue for all manner of sound recording in Atlanta, including voiceovers for films and television shows like Cartoon Network’s Boondocks and FX’s Archer. From radio spots to synched dailies to ADR for feature films to audio books, Doppler recorded it all. “Back in the previous century, during what I would call the golden days of sound recording, we grew to be huge operation for an audio business, with seven studios and auxiliary rooms,” longtime owner Bill Quinn tells Oz. “In those days if you wanted to make recordings and edit or mix or otherwise manipulate sound in any way, you had to come to a place like ours. We grew to meet the demand and all the opportunities.”

 

But, adds Quinn, with modernization comes big changes. “After the turn of the century, the evolution of the PC brought about the ‘democratization’ of sound recording and mixing,” he says. “There’s more recording going on now than ever before and it’s happening all over the place. Musicians have home studios, our ad and corporate clients have media

departments, and voice talents have studios. We still think that what we do is superior, but when the product only plays on iPads and cell phones, it doesn’t make much difference.”

 

Quinn says that while his team continued doing vital work for loyal customers to the end, it became harder and harder to fill all seven studios. Plus, he adds, he and his partner were just about ready for retirement. A well-timed offer on their real estate sealed the deal. “I’ve been sorting through old office records and I pulled out some of the old paper schedules and sign-in sheets from the 1990s and it triggered memories of what Doppler was about then,” says Quinn with an air of nostalgia. “We had days and days when all seven studios were booked, and the sign-in sheets held the names of writers, voice talents, producers, creative directors, singers, account execs, musicians, politicians and celebrities. Add to that our own very special staff and what you’d find here was a convergence of talented people and a very vibrant atmosphere featuring a ‘Who’s Who’ of the creative talent in Atlanta. That’s what I’ll remember about this place. For decades, it was a fun spot to be and work.”

 

 

This story can be found on page 10 of the July/August issue of Oz Magazine 

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