studio sessions productionBedpicKarma Frog

Karma FrogKarma Frog
Karma FrogSessions
For Hire
Karma FrogBoutique Production

Take your music to the next level.

Karma Frog is an all-purpose recording studio located in the west San Fernando Valley, owned by musician/producer Adam Marsland. We specialize in tracking with live instruments, pairing the flexibility and economy of digital recording to analog techniques of arrangement, production, and getting sounds "in the room" to create vivid, three-dimensional soundscapes that set our tracks apart. We have been whole or partially responsible for literally hundreds of masters, most recently the new album by founding Beach Boy David Marks, and we are also affiliated with a sister record label and promotion company that can help get our artists heard. Our goal is to make your music the best it can be.


The recording atmosphere at Karma Frog is informal. Tracking is in a garage or in an interior room. The lower overhead allows us to charge less than comparable studios. The relaxed atmosphere and not having to communicate with the client from another room allows sessions to move more efficiently and flow better.


When shopping for a studio, the key question is do the tracks sound good. A long list of credits or equipment does not guarantee a great recording. Also, consider if the studio is right for your project. If you are a mostly electronic musician, Karma Frog is not for you. If you are interested in the crisp, 3-D sound of the pre-digital era, we have a lot to offer.

Karma Frog has prepared several highlight reels over the years that showcase our work.

Watch the video below to hear what we can do.


If you want to hear more, check out our earlier promo videos:

2012 promo video

2011 promo video

Videos for individual tracks that were recorded at Karma Frog:

Pacific Soul Ltd. - Blue Summertime

Norman Kelsey - Huckleberry Finn

Harold Honey - Calamity Train

Adam Marsland - No One's Ever Gonna Hear This Song

Notable musicians that have tracked at Karma Frog include The Standells, Evie Sands, members of The Beach Boys, Earth, Wind and Fire, X, Three Dog Night, The Urinals, The GAP Band, Brian Wilson Band, and countless others. We have recorded genres including vintage pop, garage and soul; punk, country, and rock.


Most of the greatest producers -- George Martin, Daniel Lanois, Todd Rundgren, T-Bone Burnett, to name a few -- were musicians first. Producing is about drawing on your experience to bring out the best in the artist -- knowing what to do, how to solve problems, how to interpret where the artist is trying to go. And most of all, how to move the project forward without getting derailed in the recording process.

At Karma Frog, the experience is there -- 1,000 gigs as a performer, nearly 800 tracks as a musician, live/sessions on nearly all instruments and as a vocalist, running a record label and dealing with promotion. We don't simply hit "record" and we don't dictate. We listen, coach, offer creative suggestions and help guide the process to the outcome everybody wants: a great record.

We also are not interested in racking up a huge studio bill. Karma Frog is one of the most inexpensive full-service studios in Los Angeles, and we do everything possible to keep things on track. Our goal is for you to make a great record with the minimum of hassle.

Karma Frog
Karma Frog
The Record Label

Karma Frog is also an established (since 2001) nationally-distributed record label that specializes in targeted promotion to internet, radio and press that is focused on the hardest thing for new (and established) artists -- developing an audience. It is possible to record, press, and promote an album at Karma Frog for about what it would cost to simply record an album elsewhere. Ask us for details.


Karma Frog has in its arsenal a 1977 vintage Neumann U87 and UA LA610 preamp/limiter -- an industry standard signal chain. Our vocal tracks are comparable in quality to any major studio.

Autotune is never used at Karma Frog. We use vocal coaching in the room and precise editing to achieve perfect vocals that still sound and reflect a real performance without leaving annoying artifacts.

We are specialists at arranging and performing background vocals. We can add anything from a single harmony to complex, Beach Boys-style arrangements to your recording.


Karma Frog specializes in fat, live drum tracks. Drum tracking is in a 20 x 20 garage space with acoustic characteristics that highlight presence without reflectivity.

A solid beat is key to a great track. Finding a drummer who has the skill set for the studio can be difficult. With that in mind, we can also perform tight, tasteful drum tracks specialized to your songs and arrangement (see "rates" below).

For more intricate work, we also have access to some of the best session drummers in Los Angeles.


Keyboard tracks and samples that are programmed into a one-size-fits-all digital workstation will usually sound sterile and lifeless. We have an array of specialized keyboards to deliver high-quality, organic sounds that bring a unique character:

Previa digital piano
Korg CX-3 digital organ (specialized for Hammond sounds)
Farfisa organ
Wurliter electric piano
Hohner clavinet
Korg X-50 (Triton samples)
Korg DSS-1 (vintage '80s synth)
EMU Vintage Pro (specialized vintage keyboard samples).

A good session keyboard player can be expensive; we can perform a first-class keyboard track for you (usually in less than an hour) for a modest surcharge (see "rates" below).

guitar, bass, and everything else

Karma Frog gets great sound from combining the colors of different live instruments; we can provide bass guitar, rhythm/lead/acoustic guitar, and many different percussion instruments for your recording and perform them for you as well.

We also have access to first-class musicians (sessions with Brian Wilson, Paul McCartney, etc.) who can add strings, horns and exotic instruments such as theremin to your recordings.

Instruments available at Karma Frog include:

Fender Precision bass
D'addario Starfire bass
Fender Telecaster (1984 Japanese)
Epiphone Les Paul
Phantom hollow-body 6-string with whammy
Phantom electric 12-string
Alvarez 12-string acoustic
Sigma 6-string acoustic
Ludwig Tambourine

Miscellaneous American and Balinese percussion instruments

Guitar amps include Mesa Boogie Caliber 50, Vox AC4, Music Man (1980 vintage, Leo Fender constructed), various Lunchboxes.


More equipment is not necessarily better, and a long list of gear does not guarantee a great recording. The engineer has to know how to use it, and when not to use it. When shopping studios, make sure to listen to samples of each studio's work. Always trust your ears over impressive credentials or a gear list.

The emphasis at Karma Frog is getting great sound in the room with a clean signal chain. The equipment we use and the digital plug-ins we employ are carefully selected.

Our microphones are industry standard:
Neumann U87 (1977 vintage)*
EV RE-20
Sennheiser 421 and 604
Shure SM57/58
and many other microphones chosen for their unique characteristics.

*Most smaller studios advertise Neumann microphones. Be aware that these are usually the newer, cheaper TLM series, or a more recent version of one of the more expensive microphones. They do not have the same characteristics as the older, vintage Neumann mics. They're Neumanns, but not "the" Neumanns.

Preamps include UA LA-610, Joe Meek, Drawmer, Presonus, Digi003 and others.

full band recording

Our 20 x 20 garage space offers amazing acoustics for band recording -- an airy, non-reflective live sound without compromising control over the final mix.


Modern-day digital mixes tend to sound flat and slightly distorted, partly because most studios rely on plug-ins for most of their sound. Digital artifacts from plug-ins and autotune accumulate and create this effect. Karma Frog avoids this by getting our sounds in the room, using analog-era mixing techniques, understanding how to create space for each element of a track, and deploying plug-ins and synthesized sound sparingly.

Karma Frog can deliver mixes that have been compared by industry professionals to analog mixes done on Neve desks. Many modern mixes lack depth and "crowd the center." Our philosophy is to use all parts of the stereo and frequency spectra for vivid, three-dimensional mixes that jump out of the speakers.

digital editing

Because we do not use autotune, MIDI or digital programming, Karma Frog has developed extremely fast and precise editing to perfect our tracks in post-production. We are also available for digital editing projects (such as comping tracks) for other studios or for your home recording.



$280 (prepaid 8-hour block, can be spread over multiple dates)

$36/hour piecemeal

surcharge for simultaneous session playing (by me) + engineering: $10/hour


(Exact fees will vary per project, quote will be given before work is undertaken):

Full track production from scratch: generally starting at $575

Full track production from scratch + songwriting: generally starting at $700 (copyright share NOT waived)

Mixing: generally $275/song.

Mixing + overdubbing instruments combo rate: varies, generally about $375/song.

Sessions by mail on drums, keyboards, vocals, guitar, bass: flat rate depending on project, starts at $100/song.

See also our pages about boutique production (work for hire) and for sessions-by-mail. Inquire for details.

*8 hour block can be used over more than one session.

surcharges for musical performing on your recording:

percussion (tambourine, etc.) - none

vocals/all other instruments - $10/hour.