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Southern Hospitality

Westminster, SC’s Red Arrow Studio Gives Back to Regional Bands with World-Class Facilities

Red Arrow Studios has been in operation for over three years, but the studio has undergone a transformation during that time, and can now offer what owner Cliff Witherspoon says is “national quality and affordable prices.” In addition to fully equipped rooms, the 7,000-square-foot facility also provides regional bands a place to perform for a live local and online global audience, as well as a fair rate to record their music.

“People are trying to make records in their bedrooms using closets as iso rooms,” says Witherspoon. “They don’t think they can make a quality record in a real recording studio. That’s not true. We do stuff by the project, not the hour. We even have payment plans available.”

The main room of the studio is built around a Soundcraft SI Expression 32-channel console, Mackie control surfaces and three Universal Audio Apollo 8P Quad processors. Other gear includes two UA LA-610 MKII preamps, an Apogee Big Ben Word Clock master digital clock and three ART S8 splitters with isolation transformers. Users can choose from a collection of microphones, including a Neumann U87 and Rhode K2, as well as models from Lauten Audio, Shure, Audix, beyerdynamics and Sennheiser. Mixing is done through Logic Pro 10.

Red Arrow has a 750-square-foot live tracking room (with a 14-foot-high ceiling) and a 200-square-foot vocal chamber, both of which have two-way audio/video communication. There is also an iso room for the amplifiers, so the full band can track live without the worry of bleed.

Witherspoon is a musician himself, having played bass for the hard rock band Jackyl, and it is clear he built a studio with deep attention to the musicians’ needs, including mood lighting, personal headphone mix controls for every member of the band and a full assortment of guitars, basses and amps to create whatever sound they are looking for. He even supplies a six-piece Pearl Masters maple shell drum kit if the band wants it.

Witherspoon built the facility up himself from an empty large warehouse space. “I did pretty much everything,” he says. “Even the acoustic treatments, which I learned from watching video tutorials.”

In addition to the recording studio, Red Arrow also has a 20- x 24-foot stage area that can be used as a rehearsal space, but he also invites regional bands in every Thursday so they can perform in front of a live audience (the room holds around 100 people) that they also broadcast live on the studio’s Facebook page.

The performance is captured by four Sony NXCAM HD cameras, is professionally edited, and includes concert-level lighting and effects. The band even gets a DVD of 1080p HD video to take with them — all for no charge.

“I’ve been very fortunate in my musical career,” says Witherspoon, “and I wanted to give back to the community. Most bars want cover bands, so I created a place for original bands to be heard.”

Of course, Witherspoon would love if national acts made the trip to Westminster. In fact, now that he is fully open for business, he hopes to attract talent from the surrounding areas such as Greenville and Columbia, SC; Asheville and Charlotte, NC; and Atlanta and Athens, GA. “We have plenty of room if they need to stay over,” he adds, further making the point that Red Arrow Studios is a full service facility.

For more information on Red Arrow Studio, visit And to see a live show on Thursday, as well as a collection of past performances, search for “Red Arrow Studio” on Facebook.