The Trueanon 5-part sub-pod about the history of Tiny Telephone is here!!!!!!

“Throughout the aughts, Tiny Telephone became a go-to place for the who’s who of indie rock: Death Cab for Cutie, Spoon, Sleater-Kinney, St. Vincent, Deerhoof, and the Mountain Goats have all had sessions there.” – Vice

“Since it opened in 1997, San Francisco’s Tiny Telephone has become a destination for some of the most respected indie artists around.” – SF Weekly

“John Vanderslice, owner of Tiny Telephone in SF, is renowned for his shaman-like knowledge of tone.” – Wired

“As a community of engineers and musicians cohered, Tiny Telephone became an important hub for a strain of ambitious American music. Deerhoof, Death Cab for Cutie, Spoon, Sleater-Kinney, and the Mountain Goats have all done interesting and influential work there.” – New Yorker

“The casual vibe has translated into remarkable recordings, including the high-water marks in several bands’ oeuvres.” – SF Weekly

“Vanderslice, the musician and producer, helped put out groundbreaking records from indie bands such as Death Cab for Cutie, Spoon and The Mountain Goats.” –KQED Forum

“Sleater-Kinney recorded in secret at John Vanderslice’s legendary Tiny Telephone.” New Yorker

“An eclectic roster of engineers ensure constant traffic from some of the hippest bands around.” – Mix Magazine


Tiny Telephone was opened in September of 1997 to provide affordable hi-fi recording to San Francisco’s independent music community. 

My name is John Vanderslice, I’m a songwriter, touring musician, and producer. I own and manage Tiny Telephone, and I’m always happy to help guide anyone through the confusing (and thrilling) process of record making. You can always contact me directly at

Tiny Telephone San Francisco closed in July 2020. Tiny Telephone Oakland, which opened in Jan 2016, is 2700 sq. ft. (45′ X 60′ with 23′ wood ceilings), anchored by a rebuilt 56-channel 1976 Neve 8068. The brilliant Brian Hood is the builder and co-designer of Tiny Telephone. 

Engineers are an additional $300-$400 a day. Please email or call me (415-819-1960) to get more information or book days. We are booked at least one month in advance so please plan ahead. Our pricing is clear and transparent and we are happy to help you accurately budget a record or project.

Tiny Telephone features a refurbished Neve 8068, Studer 820 2″ tape machines, rebuilt-Ampex ATR 102 1/2″, Pro Tools HD with 32 channels of excellent Prism conversion, Aviom headphones, and Bob Hodas-tuned control rooms. We also provide classic instruments that every band should have access to: Hammond B3 w/ Leslie 122, Cunitz-rebuilt Wurlitzer 200a and Rhodes, and critical synths like the Moog 3c modular, an ARP 2600, and a restored Roland Jupiter 8.

There is an excellent 1936 Mason & Hamlin 9′ grand and a Lyon and Healy upright piano, both restored by the brilliant Steve Benjamins.

Everything in the studio is included in the day rate. 

We provide free 2″ 24-track tape to help bands to discover the magic of analog recording. Our Studer and Ampex tape machines are not for show, they are in constant use: expertly teched, well-maintained, and precisely calibrated.

We offer top-notch session musicians at a fixed price, these are excellent players and great people to spend a session with.

Since I am painfully addicted to buying audio gear, our gear list will only continue to improve. The studio is stocked with Ritual Coffee and Five Mountains Tea. Tiny Telephone is stridently democratic, we encourage bands from all genres and experience levels to record here. Go to our FAQ to get detailed information about rates, direction, and deposit info.

Please email me if you’d like a studio tour, I usually schedule a few every week. I’m happy to give anyone a tour, I don’t care if you’re booking the studio or just visiting Oakland. Late mornings and weekends often work best.


some videos