Welcome to the New Improved Wally Sound celebrating its 24th year, located in Oakland’s Rockridge district. The goal at Wally Sound is to offer a creative environment, high-end equipment, and a skilled engineer.
The studio is based around a 1973 AUDITRONICS 501 “son of grand” quad console modified by Wally Heider and Dean Jensen, equipped with inductive (think Pultec) EQ . It is a perfect match for the Ampex MM 1200 2″ 8/16 track and the Apollo 16 / Pro Tools and Logic DAWs.
A marriage of old and new, the studio is equipped with a large selection of vintage and new microphones- Neumann, Altec, Electro Voice, Shure, Oktava, Groove Tubes etc-lots of great outboard gear as well as 2 plate reverbs, cool echo devices and all that other good stuff like tube and solid state guitar amps, keyboards, basses and guitars that are all available when using the studio.
Wally’s clients include 4AD , Fantasy, Bloodshot, Warner Brothers, Ruby Works, Future Farmer, ABC television, Light in The Attic, Water, 4 Men with Beards and Ace Records London ,where with Alec Palao he has remixed rare unheard tracks from such bands as the Zombies ,Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Chocolate Watchband, Sean Bonniwell’s Music Machine, Zakary Thaks, Mel and Tim, the Paris Sisters, Wayne Cochran and the CC Riders, Sly Stone and many others.
Competitive pricing, relaxed atmosphere and a really nice neighborhood with gobs of parking , good plces to eat (close to Bart too!) make the Wally Sound the logical choice for you next recording project.
That’s right!!! HELLO WORLD! It’s like I have crawled out from this huge rock that was my old studio, ripping out, tearing , moving ,painting , head scratching , nailing, glueing, purging, rolling away the stone that was old to uncover something that is new and vibrant and all of those ings! Its been a … Continued
What People Say
Top notch gear, both new and vintage, digital and analog, run by a seasoned engineer. Wally strikes the perfect balance, providing a solid, professional service while maintaining a cozy, lived-in atmosphere. If I had to choose one recording studio in all the world, I would choose Wally Sound.Bart Davenport
Back in the dark days of 2009 I attempted to record the legendary Aboriginal country and western singer Roger Knox While he was traveling in the United States Unfortunately The United States decided not to let him in But I had a studio booked in Oakland with my great friend wally sound And I had the Sadies from Toronto In my back pocket ready to rock…. So we went ahead anyway and I had to be Roger Knox… singing the great man’s soaring ballads in my gravelly welsh pirate groan…. strangely enuff It was a huge success and I flew to Australia the following spring to have my dreadful vocals replaced by Roger’s. The tracks we laid down at Wally sound sounded absolutely fantastic bursting out of the hallowed speakers at ENREC in Tamworth NSW. Thanks to Wally… he gets the job done!Jon Langford
Mekons, Three Johns
Wally Sound is where we go to throw balls in the air and turn them into songs. A mad, magical place with a wizard at the board, one who can be coaxed to play four recorders at once and find the perfect sound of a spinning coin. No art band should miss the opportunity of working in Wally’s cozy madhouse. His breadth of musical knowledge takes in the obscure, the straight-up lunatic, and the brilliant. Wally’s encouragement, even indulgence, has spurred us on into unpredictable territory from which we haven’t yet emerged.Adam Klein
Size Queens, author
I’ve been in a few studios in my time and while he has a lot of great gear (both analog and digital) what really makes Wally Sound a special place is the fact that Mark Wally McClellan is a wonderful, talented, wise and warm human being. I was lucky enough to record multiple times with East Bay Grease at The Wally Sound and working there was always effortless and most importantly, fun. He got the sounds we wanted and always put out needs and ideas as musicians first. Being someone who suffers from “red light fever” in studio situations I usually have mixed feelings about being in a studio but Wally Sound is one of those places where I felt very much at home and was able to play and be heard the way I wanted. I can’t ask for much more when it comes to a studio.Raj Kumar Ojha
Once and Future Band, East Bay Grease, Danny James and Pear, Colossal Yes
Things have change enormously since the first time I stepped into a recording studio. Back in the day if you managed to scrape together the cash to be able to afford to get into a decent place to begin with, more often than not had to deal with an engineer with a snotty attitude that couldn’t care less about your songs or how you thought they should be recorded.
Wally Sound was different.
He cared about songs and the musicians who came to him to record them, His place back then was no frills but he knew how to find great gear for cheap and how to make the most of it. (As I recall he even had a holder for one of his ldc’s made out of rubber bands and a colander. ) When you went to Wally’s, he made you feel like you were in your own living room (except with a much better comic book collection) and especially if you were tracking everything live the relaxed atmosphere he created made a huge difference in what got down on tape.
He also knew how hard it was for struggling musicians to pay for studio time and was very understanding if you needed a some extra time to settle accounts.
Today with so much recording being done at home it’s hard to imagine how different things were back then when engineers had more or less a monopoly on the gear and expertise it took to make a decent sounding record. Running a studio today you have to treat musicians well or you won’t survive, back then Wally did that because it was what was in his heart.Brian Belknap
Wally has been involved in every record I have made and I am always drawn back to him, his studio, and the way he works. Over the years I have tried other places (sorry Wally!) and have to admit nothing I have made anywhere else compares to what I have made with him at his studio. He is excellent to collaborate with and truly knows how to balanace the art of being truthful (such as knowing when he is getting or not getting the best out the artist) and letting the artist find his own way. The Wally Sound” is warm, spacious, and at this point I don’t even bother with other studios. I love recording with him and have turned many friends onto his studio over the years. Like myself… they always return.Carlos Forster