Zoe Thrall Upgrades Vegas' Musical Chops
BY DIANE DESANTIS
Zoe Thrall keeps things pumping at Studio at the Palms.
Zoe Thrall fostered an unyielding passion for music as a youth and never looked back. Now she’s pushing the envelope of Vegas as a music town with recent upgrades to her Studio at the Palms.
Thrall has been director of the multimillion-dollar recording studio since it opened in 2005 and has since run a well-oiled and star-studded machine.
And if walls could talk, this studio would be the perfect place to listen: Thrall’s studio has hosted some of the most influential recording artists of all time, including Rihanna, Celine Dion, Will.i.am, The Killers, Katy Perry, Eminem, Alicia Keys, Britney Spears, LMFAO, Mariah Carey, and Maroon 5. Lady Gaga recorded her number-one hit “Born This Way” there, and Usher recorded songs from Raymond v. Raymond, which won the 2011 Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album. And last but not least: Michael Jackson’s final single, “Hold My Hand,” featuring Akon.
Many of the studio’s first A-list clients came through Thrall’s contacts and reputation in the industry; later, word of mouth kept them coming. Keeping up with specialized recording equipment is key to success in this industry, and Thrall is always up to speed.
“It’s a huge part of why artists and producers of such caliber continue to come here,” Thrall says. “We recently went through another upgrade with Avid editing software. It’s something that artists and producers look for, and if you don’t have it, they wonder why and may look elsewhere.” In layman’s terms: These upgrades offer high resolution and speed. Thrall ensures that the studio is constantly upgrading software and hardware to compete with the studios in Los Angeles and New York.
What else attracts big-name artists to this Las Vegas music-making haven? “It’s a one-stop shop,” she says. “When artists call to book the studio, we also handle their hotel and whatever else they need. Las Vegas is a true 24-hour city. We live on the kind of schedule that artists make records on.”
Thrall’s music pedigree goes back a long way. “I was a musician, and then in college, I was exposed to audio and fell in love with it,” she says. After graduation, Thrall headed straight for the recording studio and worked her way up from intern to engineering, eventually landing at Studio, an innovative idea dreamt up by Palms Casino Resort founder George Maloof Jr.
“He wanted to drive that high-end music industry here,” she says. “And he succeeded.”
photography by ryan reason