San Francisco Recording Studio Laughing Tiger Home Page


"Ari, this studio you have here is a beautiful baby. I'm glad to have discovered you. I'm loving the Big Room's tone on my guitar! We'll definitely be back!" Carlos Santana ~ Recording Artist

"I have never heard the lows and highs of Carlos' guitar tone captured so accurately as they were in Laughing Tiger's "A" room with the SE mics we used." Ed Adair ~ Carlos Santana's guitar tech. of 25 years.

"This is one of the very best sounding control rooms I have ever worked in! Kudos." Dave Schiffman ~ Producer, Engineer

"Man I just love this place. My favorite gear and service to rival the best in L.A.! The drum room is amongst the best I've ever worked in and these Peluso P67's sound as good as the best Nuemann U67s which are my favorite room mics. This is my new home studio."
Ron Nevison ~ Legendary Producer, Engineer

"I don't know what you did recording my vocals, but they sound amazingly present and crystal clear!" Ledisi ~ Recording Artist " I love this piano, A C7 is my favorite piano and this one smokes! I love the bright high end and the action is a dream to play. This is the best C7 I've played in a Bay Area recording studio and I'm thrilled to discover you." Rebeca Mauleon ~ Pianist, Composer, Artist

"Working with Ari and the Laughing Tiger crew was a wonderful experience. Ari is a jack of all musical trades and master of one...the ability to make sure your product is the best it can be. The professionalism and expertise at Laughing Tiger helped us feel like part of the team in the recording and production process." LaDonna and Denise-Danielle ~ Recording Artists

"I just wanted to write and tell you what a pleasurable experience it was to work at your studio last week. I needed a studio that was large enough to fit a 5 piece band playing live to capture great performances from the musicians vibe'ing off each other. Your live room not only had a very functional layout in terms of isolation and the ability to fit "lots" of equipment and people with great sightlines between each person but it had an amazing vibe to it. It's hard to quantify what constitutes vibe in a studio but you know you have it when everyone seems comfortable and inspired to perform at their best.

I was especially impressed with the drum sound I was able to get in your live room. Many rooms that you think would sound good, end up sounding boomy and/or trashy. The room sound I was able to capture was very balanced and had great decay. I noticed the cymbals were very smooth, not harsh as can be the case in some bigger rooms.

Your control room sounds very, very good, definitely one of the better rooms I have been in. I brought in my own monitors which I know the sound of very well and was extremely pleased with how well they translated. I was able to listen to our tracks for three days straight at around 65-90db and not have any fatigue. When I took the tracks home and played them in my own control room there were no surprises, it was exactly how I had heard it at your studio. You really made us feel very welcome and at home.

Lastly, your policy of a sliding scale is in my opinion the only way to go in todays studio marketplace."
Sean Beresford ~ Producer, Engineer

"Always conducive to a pleasant recording experience and an easy place to be. Laughing Tiger gets an A-plus!"
Dan Hicks ~ Recording Artist

"Laughing Tiger is perhaps my favorite world class recording studio in Northern California. I can always depend on a clean, meticulously maintained studio. The main studio (A) has a large, comfortable control room and an SSL 4000 G+ with all E series EQ's! This is a great sounding SSL amongst SSL's. There is also studio "B" upstairs which is excellent for overdubs, editing, mixing and mastering. The large selection of outboard gear and mics make it is easy to get the tones I need. The main recording room is large and tunable.With it's big assortment of gobos and baffles, it is great for live recording. The 2 iso booths (1 live and 1 dead) which have "line of sight" to the main live room and the control room make it ideal for live tracking.

Ari Rios, the owner of Laughing Tiger is the reason for it's greatness. I have never met a more fastidious and capable studio owner. Not only does he have great ears as a producer and engineer, but his mechanical background shows in the quality of his facility. Everything works... all the time! No funky modules, no mics that don't work. Then there's the staff of capable and helpful people who make sure your stay at Laughing Tiger is the best it can be. Bravo Ari, you and your joint are the bomb!"
Jim Reitzel ~ Producer, Engineer, Musician

"Laughing Tiger allows you to take your mixes out of the box and onto an SSL. You get the tactile feel of a mixing console and it's so much faster grabbing faders and knobs instead of scrolling up and down your session in Pro Tools. The vintage outboard gear selection gives you that sound you can only get with analog gear." Tyler Crowder ~ Producer, Engineer

"One of the best studio pianos in the Bay Area. This piano is a fine and well-maintained instrument. It afforded me great shading, nuance  and color, maximizing my expressive needs. Ari is a consummate professional with an impeccable ear and most importantly, a great sense of humor." Jason Martineau ~ Pianist, Arranger, Composer

"I have had the opportunity to record in practically every major studio in San Francisco's Bay Area. None of them compare to Laughing Tiger's combination of spacious, great sounding rooms and high end gear. You just can't get killer drum or guitar tones in those rinky dink home studios and the good news is that at Laughing Tiger, you won't spend a fortune to get them. For my money, I pick Laughing Tiger every time.  Ari Rios is a fine engineer with a keen ear who offers his experienced opinion only when called upon. His Pro-Tools skills have saved me countless hours of studio time and frustration."
Mighty Mike Schermer ~ Recording Artist, Blues Guitarist Extraordinaire

"Laughing Tiger rocks! The rooms sound great, the crew is happening and an SSL 4k with a Pro-Tools HD4 Accel make it off the hook!  If Ari looked a little more like Uma Thormon it would be perfect." Stephen Hart ~ Producer, Engineer

"Laughing Tiger is my favorite tracking room! The big room is great for drums and there are two convenient iso rooms in studio "A".   The SSL has the dream 'E' series EQ and the Pro Tools system is completely current." Steve Savage ~ Producer, Engineer

"Ari Rios built Laughing Tiger with his own hands and knows every nuance of what it does. The studio's top-notch digital and analog technology combines with his wide experience, acute ears, great taste, hard work and high standards to create a top quality product. We had a very tight production calendar and Ari was with us every step of the way. His immense spirit, humor and musicianship made it happen right along with us. I can also tell you how grateful I was that there was wi-fi available for those hours in the mix while Ari performed his magic at the computer! My co-producer and I were able to go forward on the rest of the project at the same time the mixes were happening, communicating with the cover designer, the media, the band and so on. We were very comfortable there, like a home away from home. Laughing Tiger is the real thing and I knew it right away." Lua Hadar ~ Recording Artist

"Thanks for taking such care recording my vocals. The extra time and attention really made the difference."
Angela Strehli ~ Recording Artist

"Laughing Tiger is a great place to mix and a wonderful place to work in, at any stage of a project. First-rate support, client friendly hospitality and Ari's combination of vintage gear & current technology makes Laughing Tiger my studio of choice."
Howard Johnston ~ Producer, Engineer

"I work in recording studios all over the world and it is a rare treat to run into an engineer who is not only technically capable but also has a sound musical aptitude. Ari Rios is that kind of engineer. He was so instrumental in hearing and listening to not just what was being laid, but how it was being laid. I wish I could take him on the road to do live sound."
Rusty Watson ~ Singer, Songwriter, Producer

"I always look forward to tracking at Laughing Tiger. The staff is highly competent and friendly; the rooms comfortable and well designed; The equipment state-of-the-art and dependable; and the coffee strong and abundant." John Cross ~ Songwriter, Producer

"Recording at Laughing Tiger Studios is always a good time. From the interns up to the owner, everyone works hard to make me, the client, happy. Whether it's grabbing some food from the numerous restaurants nearby, setting up a studio room for a new recording, or recalling the previous days takes for a play back, everyone is extremely professional and passionate about their jobs."
Brian Andres ~ Recording Artist

"I recorded percussion tracks at your studio last Wednesday with singer/songwriter Loren Davidson and had a great time working there. The studio has a wonderful sound and feel. Your crew are not only pros at their job, but good guys, too."
Stephen La Porta ~ Musician

"While completing some bass overdubs in the main control room I was amazed at the clarity of the bass response. The low-B on my five string was present in a way I had not experienced in a long, long time. Highly recommended!"
Michael P. Lazarus ~ Bassist, Engineer

"It was a real treat to play the fabulous grand piano. The studio offered a friendly environment for me while the engineers worked on my tracks. They had coffee, tea and wireless so I could do e-mail on my laptop and stay in touch with everyone."
Annette Sendak ~ Recording artist

"I want to thank you and Rick for a great recording. I can't remember the last time I heard drums that big! You should be very proud of your studio. Great gear and a great room!" Brian George ~ Recording Artist

"This is my favorite place to cut vocals. Great vibe, great gear, great rate!" Sista Monica ~ Recording Artist

"I recently recorded my new CD "Gracias Madrecita" at Laughing Tiger Studios in San Rafael Ca. If you are looking for a professional and friendly environment where you can create and record your music, then I recommend this studio. Ari Rios is the owner, a professional musician, Engineer, producer and arranger. Ari Co-produced my new CD and gave my music the quality sound I was looking for. Ari tambien habla Espanol, Peace." Jorge Santana ~ Recording Artist

"I have worked with Ari and Laughing Tiger for a few years now and this studio continues to amaze - Ari has put passion and the necessary solution's in place that we have found so lacking in many studios. As a independent record company we are so happy with the staff, experiences and assistance. Here's to more sessions and continued work at Laughing Tiger." Ray Cooper ~ Recording Artist

"The studio itself is very inviting, very professional, well staffed.  Parking, no problem. I read some of the negative comments on Yelp and chuckled. Ari Rios, the owner of the studio, brings incredible artistry to the mundane tasks of tracking, mixing and mastering. He is inspired both about his work and your work. He speaks not technical jargon but music. He embodies it. That made me very comfortable. He was available to me at all hours throughout the project and I know he really felt it was his baby too.

I recommend Ari and the studio to those who understand that true talent and passion come with an edge. Ari's got it and it translated into my CD.  I'm pretty ecstatic about finding someone so knowledgeable and really into music." Carolyn D ~ Manager of Gator Beat

"I did a voice over only - recording of an audio book, and they charged $90/hour, for sessions and editing. Having no experience with recording, and after doing a bit of shopping around the city, I decided to go here since it's close to  home and had such good reviews on Yelp and on the web site. The engineer, Jared, was patient, friendly, professional and kind, and did great work on the editing. I'm happy with the end product." Gene Teglovic ~ Author

"I've done a few projects at Laughing Tiger and I couldn't be happier.  The equipment is first class.  The space is comfortable and the rooms sound great.  Ari is a first rate engineer.  This place has got to be on the short list for anyone in the Bay Area needing to book a studio." Manny La Carrubba ~ Producer, Engineer, Acoustician

"I am a starting artist (singer) launching my career within the Latin Music Industry. I have just finished recording my first demo at Laughing Tiger Studios in San Rafael. Ari was tremendously instrumental as a director and engineer with the completion of my demo. The director was professional, clear and patient with my entire demo project. I highly recommend this terrific studio. Whether you are into music as a professional or as a hobby, I'm absolutely positive you will experience the same terrific and personalized recording sessions as I did at Laughing Tiger Studios!!!!" Ruben Villalpando ~ Recording Artist

"Recorded my EP here. Very nice studio space and helpful staff. The engineers are helpful in that they offer their opinions, but let you mix the sound as you envision it (some places will be pushy about having their engineers do the mix, or will over polish your sound). Ari also brings his years of experience to the table which is nice (notices quickly if something sounds off, or if there's buzz or noise problems). A little pricier, but you get what you pay for. Mastered our EP here too, and our fans say it sounds great."
Harrison Russell ~ Recording Artist

"I've been recording an album here for almost a year now and its become like a second home.  The studio is as good as any you can find anywhere, complete with anything your little heart could dream of.  And if your heart comes up with something they don't have, I'd be willing to bet Ari will go out and find it for you.

Ari is absolutely fantastic!  If there were an option for six stars he'd get it.  He's been in the business for years and has an unimaginable amount of talented musicians at his disposal.  Plus, he's hilarious!  He's very light hearted and playful which makes going to the studio a pleasure.  Beyond being a A+ human being, he's also extremely gifted as a producer.  His ideas for everything from bass to keys to percussion have made my music sound like I never dreamed possible.  More than just a producer/engineer, he's become a mentor to me as a vocal coach as well.

Honestly, I could not possibly say enough good things about this studio and Ari, its owner." Matthew Rothman ~ Recording Artist

"This is one of my favorite places to play and create music. If you are serious about your project this is the place to be. My first session was back in 2002 and I immediately felt comfortable at Ari's Laughing Tiger Studios. Ari's roster of top notch engineers and crew create a professional atmosphere where musicians can create, explore and do what they best. The studio has plenty of room to relax on comfy couches when you are between takes or need to give your ears a break. The high ceilings in the main room and conveniently located iso-booths make the studio a versatile setting for any project whether it's a live recording or a highly produced layered sound. All of my recording experiences at Laughing Tiger have led to compositions and tracks that I have used on my albums."
Aram Danesh ~ Recording Artist

"Perhaps the most hidden musical Jewel in the Bay Area is not some great band but a great recording studio nestled just off the 101 Freeway in San Rafael CA: Laughing Tiger Studios owned and operated by Engineer, composer and musician Ari Rios.

With the advent of home studios, you ask yourself "why go to a studio when I can do it all at home?" Well that's a simple question with a complex answer: Most of you out there don't have a great room to record drums, vocals or live music, you don't have a great collection of microphones to record in that room,you don't have the proper hardware to get great tone, don't have the ability to master or track at any time of the day. And most of you out there don't have an SSL console or 25 years plus of recording Engineer experience.

Laughing Tiger Studios is the perfect place for the Independent musician/producer: Great room, great equipment and accessibility. You're within 20 minutes of San Francisco. You're within 45 minutes of great beaches and scenic country side the best this state has to offer. And if you need to catch a plane you're within 25 minutes of 2 Airports: Oakland International and SF International Airport.

Ari Rios is not only highly qualified as an engineer, his skill as a musician is a bonus while tracking/mixing and mastering. When he's not doing one or the other he's quite the person to hang with and talk about politics, musicians, restaurants or the weather.

I recommend Laughing Tiger Studios to anyone looking to take their music project to the next level. His client list speaks for itself. And I for one am happy that I got to be one of those Clients." Edo Castro ~ Bassist, Recording Artist, Composer

"I did some voice-over at another Marin studio but wasn't satisfied with the results. Then I discovered Laughing Tiger! The sound quality for our iPhone apps was extraordinary. Ari was a pleasure to work with, more like a collaborator than a sound tech, and he made even the grueling experience of recording four straight hours of narration (on three separate occasions) enjoyable. Highly recommended."
Stephan Bodian ~ Author

"Recording at Laughing Tiger is real pleasure. The studio has a great vibe. This review would be incomplete if I did not say that I LOVE that piano!!" Christie W.

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