Two Local Firms Launch Portable GrovePods for Recording Music, Podcasts, and More

Grove Studios, a rehearsal and A/V production company in Ypsilanti, and Three Squared Inc. in Detroit, a leader in cargo architecture, are designing, constructing, and installing compact rehearsal and recording studios built from shipping containers.
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Grove Studios in Ypsilanti and Three Squared in Detroit are collaborating to make portable recording studios out of shipping containers. // Courtesy of Grove Studios
Grove Studios in Ypsilanti and Three Squared in Detroit are collaborating to make portable recording studios out of shipping containers. // Courtesy of Grove Studios

Grove Studios, a rehearsal and A/V production company in Ypsilanti, and Three Squared Inc. in Detroit, a leader in cargo architecture, are designing, constructing, and installing compact rehearsal and recording studios built from shipping containers.

Known as GrovePods, the 320-square-foot studios allow artists and consumers to develop their own projects anytime, anywhere. They provide an instant, convenient space for people looking to record music, podcasts, and more.

“Part of that vision includes scaling our current studio location to 200-plus creative communities worldwide using 24/7 access, modern cargo architecture, innovative design and construction methods, and Internet of Things technologies,” says Rick Coughlin, chief vision officer and cofounder of Grove Studios.

GrovePods are 100 percent portable and can be built quickly and deployed to most locations. They’re constructed inside a controlled factory environment where the containers are modified before being delivered.

“With careful coordination, we can erect the structure of a building in several hours instead of weeks or months. It’s quite a spectacle to see a building take shape in just one day,” says Breck Crandell, direct of design at Three Squared.

GrovePods contain recorded sounds inside and block unwanted outside noises. As wind- and water-tight boxes, the studios keep sound from escaping while their sheer mass helps control the acoustics.

“The weight of the containers helps isolate the sound, so nearby pods won’t be bothered by loud performances within each studio unit. We make sure the sound inside the box is perfect for creatives,” says Coughlin, who launched Grove Studios with Crandell and Erich Friebel, chief of operations and co-founder, in 2016.

With the ease of relocation and off-grid power solutions, GrovePods are versatile. They can be a stand-alone product or integrated into a larger development venture to form a creative community.

Grove Studios plans to launch future locations supporting multiple GrovePods, the first of which will be in Detroit. It also intends to make units available to individuals, companies, and nonprofits for purchase.

“You can order one to put in your backyard as your personal recording haven, or you can put one next to your Airbnb to generate additional income. As secure, self-service units with 24/7 access, GrovePods can be rented out at an hourly cost. We’ve run the numbers multiple ways, and even if we consider 50 percent capacity, the units pay for themselves within two years,” Crandell says.

Three Squared and Grove Studios are taking pre-orders for GrovePods, and anticipated delivery of the units will come later this summer.

Grove Studios is a 24/7 self-service rehearsal, recording, and content creation firm. Clients can book music, DJ, podcast, photography, video, and livestreaming space and purchase monthly subscription packages online.

Three Squared, Inc. is an architecture and design firm which utilizes steel intermodal shipping containers to build mixed-use spaces, condominiums, and apartment complexes.

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