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Different Fur Studios, SF, Gets New Owners

Historic recording facility celebrates 54 years as longtime studio engineers take over management and operations.

(San Francisco, CA)—Different Fur Studios, one of the West Coast’s most iconic music recording studios, is proud to announce several employees have joined together to take over the company’s management and operations as the independent studio celebrates its 54th anniversary. 

With a shared passion for producing music while working alongside creative, forward-thinking artists, engineers Grace Coleman and Lien Do have recently gained ownership of the company from award-winning producer and fellow engineer Patrick Brown, who took the reins at Different Fur in 2007. 

New owners/engineers at the Different Fur SSL console, from left: Lien Do and Grace Coleman.

“It has always felt like such an honor to be able to create at such a historic place as Different Fur,” said co-owner and engineer Grace Coleman. “To now have the opportunity to expand upon the legacy from a management and operations perspective alongside someone as talented and thoughtful as Lien, is truly a dream come true! I look forward to exploring ways to make this space more accessible to the direct community here in San Francisco so more people can have the opportunity to relish in the same magic that I’ve been so lucky to experience the past eight years.”

Coleman has been with Different Fur since 2013 after relocating to San Francisco to complete her college degree. She then quickly climbed the ranks from intern to runner to house engineer and ultimately was promoted to Studio Manager. During her time as an audio engineer at Different Fur, she recorded countless hours of audio for records, podcasts, audiobooks, documentaries and radio spots. 

Coleman has had the pleasure of working with a wide variety of music artists in the Bay Area and beyond such as Courtney Barnett, K.Flay, P-Lo, Sage The Gemini, The She’s, Pllush, Spiritual Cramp, and Caleborate while working alongside established engineers such as Patrick Brown, Jack Shirley, Beau Sorenson, Chet JR White and Damien Lewis.

After growing up in Northern California and graduating from the University of California at Davis, Do joined the Different Fur team in 2015 while also later working as a producer for Text Me Records, a record label based out of Different Fur Studios. Do’s notable past studio projects include Au Revoir Simone, Mr. Carmack, Qing Qi, ALL BLACK, and Toro y Moi, in addition to special broadcast programs such as NPR’s Jazz Night in America and NBC News’ Asian American, while also assisting with projects from chart-topping acts like Diplo, G-Eazy, Halsey, Matthew Nathanson and others. 

Outside of their in-studio engineer work, Do continues to act as producer and composer for a number of artistic projects while also releasing experimental electronic music under the personal solo project Leviathe.

“To be honest, the main reason that I originally joined Different Fur was because of the fact that I knew of Grace and her work through word-of-mouth around town,” said co-owner and engineer Lien Do. “I actually knew about her way before I started interning at the recording studio. Grace was someone I originally admired from afar, so when you fast forward to today, having worked alongside her for so many years, I feel incredibly lucky to have learned from such a talented engineer. It’s an honor to work with her on a daily basis, especially now as business partners.”

Founded in 1968, Different Fur has become one of Northern California’s busiest modern studios while maintaining its legendary status within the local music community. Located in the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District, Different Fur is not only seeped in musical history, but also happens to be surrounded by some of the city’s best restaurants, bars and nightlife.

The recording space currently features a mid-size live room with an original SSL 4000 E/G console. Different Fur also offers a deadened isolation room quiet enough for recordings beyond just music, including podcast, ADR, audiobooks, radio, commercial ads, and other projects that require intimacy without reverberation. 

For special projects, the studio also offers mobile recording services for off-site purposes such as events, shows, home recordings, podcasts, and more.

Some of the most notable projects recorded at Different Fur Studios during the studio’s first 50 years include Herbie Hancock’s “Head Hunters” (1973); David Byrne & Brian Eno’s collaborative album “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” (1981); Stevie Wonder’s “Characters” (1987); Bobby Brown’s “Don’t Be Cruel” (1988); and Primus’ “Sailing the Seas of Cheese” (1991). 

Studio projects recorded in recent years include Michael Franti & Spearhead “The Sound of Sunshine” (2010); The Morning Benders’ “Big Echo” (2010); Big K.R.I.T. & Grillade’s “The Wuz Here Sessions” (2011); The Park’s “The Silvercloud Time Machine” (2012); Toro Y Moi’s “Anything in Return” (2013); and K.Flay’s “Life as a Dog” (2014); as well as The She’s “All Female Rock And Rock Quartet” (2017), Spiritual Cramp’s “Television”  (2018); and Pllush’s “Stranger to the Pain” (2018).

Different Fur Studios has fully reopened and is available for bookings. Although all staff members are fully vaccinated from Covid-19, the facility has implemented a number of new health measures that include rigorous deep cleanings after every session to help ensure client safety.