The uncompromising, venerable Abbey Road Studios made famous by the recording of many Beatles records with Sir George Martin. Remains today as a fully functional state of the art world class recording space.
Purchased from Skyline Studios previous owner, Alien Flyers owners were comprised of Robert Rubeni, Mark Satanovsky, and Mikhael Davidov, a Russian trio with a diverse background who were introduced to the studio by Jonathan Mover.
Blue Jay Studios was started by Bob Lawson. In 2001, Marcus Siskind bought Blue Jay from the Lawsons and took the studio into the digital age. The studio underwent a major renovation designed by Fran Manzella (technical design by John Klett) and the SSL, which had been the first in New England in 1985, went to Peter Frampton. The desk was replaced by a custom Neve VR and Blue Jay became one of the first studios in New England with Protools HD.
CBS 30th Street Studio, also known as Columbia 30th Street Studio, and nicknamed “The Church”, was an American recording studio operated by Columbia Records from 1949 to 1981 located at 207 East 30th Street, between Second and Third Avenues in Manhattan, New York City. It was considered by some in the music industry to be the best sounding room in its time and others consider it to have been the greatest recording studio in history. It was at the time one of the most renowned studios and a large number of recordings were made there in all genres, including Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue (1959), Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story (1957), and Percy Faith’s Theme from A Summer Place in 1960.
Deep in New York, in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen, The Hit Factory was one the world’s most recognized recording Studios. Started by Edward Germano in 1975, it saw everyone from Tony Bennett to amazing tracks. After Germano’s death in 2003, his wife Janice took over operations. Citing the “digital age,” she closed the doors and sold the building, moving the operations to an existing Hit Factory in Miami. Troy Germano, Edward’s son, later acknowledged publicly that his mother simply closed it out of greed. She wanted to move to Miami and thought she could make good money on the building’s sale. It is now a luxury condominium complex, with prices starting at $1 million.
The New York facility was purchased from Jerry Ragovoy by Edward Germano on March 6, 1975. From 1989 to 1993, the company also operated The Hit Factory London. This facility later became Sony’s Whitfield Street Studios
Criteria Studios (The Hit Factory Criteria Miami) at 1755 NE 149th St. Miami, Florida 33181 in 2011.
In 1999, The Hit Factory purchased Criteria Recording in Miami, Florida, revamping and reopening the studios under the new name The Hit Factory Criteria Miami. After Germano’s death in 2003, the business was taken over by his wife Janice Germano.
Hit Factory was closed on April 1, 2005. The last album to be recorded there was Octavarium by Dream Theater. The business’ base of operations moved to the remaining Hit Factory Criteria Miami in March 2005. The New York Daily News reported:
Big-name studios like The Hit Factory once had a lock on the recording industry, but technological advances have made it cheaper and easier for stars to build their own state-of-the-art facilities, often in their homes. In a statement, The Hit Factory acknowledged the industry is moving away from large-scale studios to “destination” locations like Miami that offer sunny weather and a hot nightlife.
In December 2006 Stribling and Assocs, a New York real-estate broker, began marketing The Hit Factory as a luxury condominium. Twenty-seven loft-style apartments went on sale, including six duplexes. Prices started at about $1 million. The developers have said that there will continue to be rehearsal space for musicians on the ground floor. In 2011, New York Knicks basketball player Carmelo Anthony and his wife, entertainer La La Vazquez, moved into a penthouse apartment in the W. 54th Street condominium building.
The studios occupied several spaces in and around Times Square and Midtown West after Germano’s purchase. Locations included “Hit Factory Times Square” at 130 West 42nd Street, “Hit Factory Broadway,” at 237 West 54th Street and finally the flagship facility at 421 West 54th Street.
The Hit Factory Broadway, located between Broadway and Eighth Avenue, was a four-studio complex that housed a mix of Solid State Logic and Neve VR-series consoles. The facility at 421 West 54th street was opened in 1992 and all operations moved there, while Hit Factory Broadway studios continued to be booked. To avoid confusion, studio names at the new location were given numbers instead of the more-traditional letters. The Hit Factory Broadway closed in early 2002, as new studios were planned in the main facility.
The main studio facility at 421 West 54th Street occupied most of a 100,000+ square foot building. Five dedicated floors (including basement) housed five recording studios, private lounges for each studio, the mastering business Hit Factory Mastering, with several suites, production rooms, an in-house rental company and operations, including a tech shop, tape library and storage areas.
Studio 1 occupied the entire top floor of the building and included four overdub booths. The control room was equipped with an 80-input Solid State Logic 9000J as the centerpiece. The lounge was also a flexible space, with room for a large orchestra or cast party, coat room, green room, office, production room, gym and several storage areas.
On July 24, 2002, it opened Studios 6 and 7, complete with Solid State Logic 80-input XL9000K consoles. Each studio contained a 48-channel Pro Tools MIXPlus system, a Sony 3348 HR, two Studer A827s, Lexicon 960L and 480L reverbs, and outboard racks tailored for surround mixing. Studio 7 was designed as a mix/overdub room, with a small booth adjacent to the control room. Custom Augspurger monitors featured dual 15-inch TAD drivers, horns and 18-inch hidden stereo subs. Studio 6 had a silver color scheme, also with custom Augspurgers and silver credenza ends in the control room, and a circle Hit Factory Studios logo at the back of studio. The studio featured a tracking room and overdub booths, all utilizing floor-to-ceiling glass for uninhibited sight lines between rooms. In addition to the views, each room in the studio has floating floors, separated and isolated from one another.
Originally Legacy Studios was a result of a merger by Simon Andrews of Right Track Studios and Sound on Sound’s Dave Amlen. It was born out of desperation to keep two world class facilities alive and vibrant. It was later sold to Dave Amlen who re-named it MSR (Manhattan Recording Studios) and is currently the largest commercial recording space in Manhattan.
In New York City, these truths have spelled the end for some classic rooms (R.I.P. Hit Factory), but they have also led to original approaches in the fight for survival. In the case of two of Manhattan’s other big rooms, Right Track and Sound on Sound, the move was highly unusual: a merger. First put into effect a little more than a year ago, in November 2005, the story of their quick transformation from fierce competitors to blood brothers now known as Legacy Recording Studios (http://www.legacyrecordingstudios.com) offers a revealing look into the evolving world of large studios in New York and worldwide.
Spearheaded by former Sound on Sound president Dave Amlen and former Right Track president Simon Andrews, the idea behind the merger germinated in 2004. Earnings were way off pace at the 11,000-square-foot Sound on Sound space on West 45th Street, and Right Track, headquartered in Times Square on 48th Street, was still reeling from a multimillion-dollar cost overrun incurred in constructing its masterful, 4,600-square-foot Studio A509 on West 38th Street.
With the agreement for the merger reached and scheduled to commence on November 1, 2005, Amlen, Andrews and their management teams next had to implement a plan that would make the most of both facilities’ personnel, real estate and gear. The retention of Right Track’s Studio A509 and adjacent space was an obvious decision, and there was a more stable tenant/landlord relationship at Right Track’s 48th Street location, making it logical that Sound on Sound would be the studio surrendering its beloved rooms and moving to new quarters.
tape copies, mastering — so we decided to change the scope of the idea. We went from the original $100,000 investment to over $1 million. It took a very long time to find the space, but Harry Hirsch found the Baptist church on 57th Street.” “I will always be grateful to
John Roberts, Joel Roseman and Bob Walters,” Hirsch says, “who listened when I told them, ‘I found a church from heaven on 57th Street,’ and trusted me to design, build and be its first president.”
it, “all my kids,” remembers: “To get the studio in shape, we first
had to build up the floor on the main level because it sloped out
toward the altar.” Roseman adds, “It was a raked floor so that the
people in the back of the church could see, but we had to install a
huge floor shim to make everything level. Those huge wooden front
doors set the tone for the church, and we retained much of that atmosphere throughout, including all the stained glass, especially in
Studio A.” Before the walls were even up, word got out that the studio was being built, and Roseman and Roberts were approached about
doing a second facility, this one upstate. “We were not sure about
the upstate recording studio, but went anyway to check it out,” says
Roseman. “We were told that if the studio was built, there would be a
press party with Bob Dylan mingling with all the record company and A&R executives. I said, ‘Why don’t we skip the studio but do this concert idea that I had with Dylan?’ We would have Bob and others perform, and with the profits of the concert, we would go ahead and build the second studio in upstate New York.” The “concert,” of course, was Woodstock. Dylan didn’t perform, the second studio was never built, but Roseman and Roberts still managed to throw quite a party.
Opened in 1968 by Gary Kellgren and Chris Stone.
The next year, Kellgren and Stone opened a second studio in Los Angeles. In 1972, the company expanded again with a third location in Sausalito, California. Kellgren died in 1977, and in the 1980s, the New York and Sausalito studios ended up under different ownership and management. The New York studio closed in 1987 and the Sausalito studio closed in 2008. The Los Angeles studio continues in business as “The Record Plant“.
In 1987, the New York studio was sold to Sir George Martin and closed soon afterward.
– sourced from wikipedia
Skyline Studios of New York began in 1979 and ran until 1994 as an outgrowth of a project studio started by Paul Wickliffe, Skyline’s president and chief engineer for sixteen years. Located at 36 West 37th St., it began as a one room 16 track facility and grew into a three room 48 track SSL / Studer facility at the time of its closure in 1994. Skyline had earned a reputation as a world class studio and was invited to be a founding member of the World Studio Organization. It had earned five consecutive TEC award nominations from the readers of Mix Magazine for “Outstanding Studio Facility” from 1989 to 1993.
Then subsequently owned and operated by drummer Jonathan Mover (Joe Satriani, GTR, Aretha Franklin, Alice Cooper and many more). the list of platinum-selling artists, producers, and engineers who frequented the facility mushroomed into an awesome A-list. A tiny sampling includes Babyface, David Bowie, James Brown, Mariah Carey, The Cult, Miles Davis, Duran Duran, Mick Jagger, Meatloaf, REM, Talking Heads, and Frank Zappa, along with Jellybean Benitez, Frank Filipetti, Scott Litt, Hugh Padgham, Phil Ramone, Nile Rodgers, Ron St. Germain, Don Was, and Hal Wilner. In later years, it continued to be a hotbed of rock and jazz recording.
Aha, Air Supply, Debbie Allen, Tori Amos, Laurie Anderson, Patty Austin, B-52′s, Babyface, Phillip Bailey, Anita Baker, Bananarama, Pat Benetar, Sandra Bernhard, Mary J Blige, The Blues Brothers, Big E Smalls, Michael Bolton, David Bowie, Michael Brecker, James Brown, Peabo Bryson, Jimmy Buffett, David Byrne, John Cale, Cameo, Mariah Carey, Roseanne Cash, C+C Music Factory, Chic, Lou Christie, Eric Clapton, Natalie Cole, Judy Collins, Shaun Colvin, The Commitments, The Cowboy Junkies, The Cult, Taylor Dane, Miles Davis, Rick Derringer, Dr. John, Duran Duran, Robert Duvall, Sheena Easton, Jonathan Edwards, En Vogue, Brian Eno, Kevin Eubanks, Brian Ferry, Roberta Flack, Grandmaster Flash, The Fleshtones, Jane Fonda, Force MD’s, Steve Forbert, Samantha Fox, Michael Franks, Art Garfunkel, Dizzy Gillespie, Al Green, The Gypsy Kings, John Hammond, Herbie Hancock, Corey Hart, Sophie B. Hawkins, Heavy D., Jim Henson, Jennifer Holiday, Bruce Hornsby, Phyllis Hyman, Freddie Jackson, Joe Jackson, Mick Jagger, Ahmad Jamal, Al Jarreau, Jodeci, Grace Jones, Kashif, Chaka Khan, Carole King, Frankie Knuckles, KRS-1, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Lisa Lisa, Living Colour, Joe Lovano, Melissa Manchester, The Manhattans, Barry Manilow, Bobby McFerrin, Meatloaf, Stephanie Mills, Kylie Minogue, Eddie Murphy, The Nevil Brothers, Ric Ocasek, Yoko Ono, Joe Piscopo, Buster Poindexter, Sean “Puff Daddy” Combs, Joshua Redman, Lou Reed, REM, The Replacements, Sheryl “Pepsi” Riley, Lionel Ritchie, Diana Ross, Rupaul, Jennifer Rush, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Richie Sambora, David Sanborn, Scritti Politti, Seduction, Paul Shaffer, Ravi Shankar, Tupak Shakur, Shannon, Shinehead, Sister Sledge, Soul Asylum, Soundgarden, The Spinners, Lisa Stansfield, Steps Ahead, Rod Stewart, The Stray Cats, The Stylistics, The System, Talking Heads, Dr. Billy Taylor, James Taylor, They Might Be Giants, Tony Toni Toné, Tina Turner, Richard Thompson, Thompson Twins, Til Tuesday, Tone Capone, Troop, Bonnie Tyler, McCoy Tyner, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Suzanne Vega, Kurt Whalum, Loudon Wainwright, Yellow Magic Orchestra, Vanessa Williams, Paul Young and Frank Zappa.
Ashford and Simpson, Freddie Bastone, Roma Baran, Jellybean Benitez, Rick Chertoff, Desmond Child, Clivilles and Cole, Tony Dofat, Neil Dorfsman, Barry Eastmond, Jonathan Elias, Frank Filipetti, Rob Freeman, Stephan Galphus, Gil Goldstein, Richard Gottehrer, Dave Grusin, John Hill, Bob James, John Jansen, Kevin Killen, Danny Kortchmar, Lloyd Landesman, Bill Laswell, Arto Lindsay, Tommy LiPuma, Scott Litt, Tom Lord-Alge, John Luongo, Michael Manieri, Arif Mardin, Steve Miller, Rob Mounsey, David Nichtern, Hugh Padgham, Richard Perry, Shep Pettibone, John Potoker, Phil Ramone, Rex Rideout, Nile Rodgers, Ron St. Germaine, Phillipe Saisse, Jim Steinman, Ralph Shuckett, Ben Sidran, Alan Silverman, Cheryl Smith, Creed Taylor, Russ Titelman, Ric Wake, Don Was, Hal Willner, Lenny White, David Wolfert and Bernard Wright.
Films / Television:
A Rage In Harlem, Beethoven, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Commitments, Coming To America, Earth Girls Are Easy, Footloose, The Fly, HBO, Home Of The Brave, Motown Anniversary Special, MTV, One Life To Live, Saturday Night Live, Showtime, Tender Mercies, Vamp, Wayne’s World, White Nights, Wuthering Heights.
Some Notable Gold / Platinum Records:
B-52′s – “Cosmic Thing”, Michael Bolton – “Soul Provider”, Mariah Carey – “Mariah Carey” and “Emotions”, Eric Clapton – “Journeyman”, Duran Duran – “Notorius”, Living Colour – “Vivid” and “Cult Of Personality”, David Sanborn – “Close-up”, James Taylor – “New Moon Shine”, Vaughn Brothers – “Family Style”.
Paul Angelli, eng.; Scott Ansell, eng.; Jimmy Biondilillo, mgr.; Knut Bohn, eng.; Ed Brooks, eng.; Judy Elliot Brown, tech eng.; Eddie Ciletti, tech eng.; Matt Curry, eng.; Pat Dillett, eng.; Lloyd Donnelly, V.P / mgr.; Tom Durack, eng.; Keith Freedman, eng.; Mark Genfan, tech eng.; John Goldberger, eng.; Steve Goldman, eng.; Hiro Ishihara, eng.; Michal Jurewicz, tech eng.; Richard Lamb, eng.; Dave Lichtenstein, eng.; Justin Luchter, eng.; A. T. Michael MacDonald, eng.; Francis Manzella, tech eng.; Dave McClure, tech eng; Katherine Miller, eng.; Barbara Moutenot, mgr.; Roger Moutenot, eng., Eugene Nastasi, eng.; Arthur Payson, eng.; Doreen Pinto, mgr.; Scot Read, eng.; Mario Rodriguez, eng.; Dave Shiffman, eng.; Paul Shook, eng.; Deena Shoshkes, ass’t mgr; Dary Sulich, eng.; John Wall, eng.; John Williams, tech eng.; Jim Williamson, tech eng.; David Young, eng.
It opened in 1993, and closed in August 2007.
The complex hosted the first US version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire for ABC in 1999 (on a one-day delay), before the current syndicated version and occasional specials moved to ABC-owned studios further north on the West Side of Manhattan. Other programs recorded or aired live from the Sony Music Studios included MTV Unplugged (including MTV Unplugged in New York, 1993 by Nirvana ), Sessions at West 54th, Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn and VH1’s Hard Rock Live.
Sony Music was also home to the current version of the word game Chain Reaction, hosted by Dylan Lane. Millionaire and Chain Reaction, both packaged by Michael Davies, are the only two daily national quiz shows currently produced in New York.
Sony Music Studios also hosted America: A Tribute to Heroes, a live telethon held 10 days after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. The special also featured segments from CBS Television City in Los Angeles. Neither location was disclosed before air time because of security concerns.
On June 7, 2007, after a failed buyout attempt by former studio head Andy Kadison, Sony BMG Music Entertainment announced that it would be closing the studios. The building sold in November 2007 for $44 million, and it has been razed to be replaced by luxury condos.
The last television production housed by the studio was “Grand Slam”, another Michael Davies and Embassy Row production, hosted by Dennis Miller.
Sony Recording Studio is a renovation of a former rehearsal room at Sony Music Studios. The famed 54th Street recording and mastering facility provides state-of-the-art technologies and a wide variety of services for the music industry. The conversion from a rehearsal room also included the addition of a video editing room, a lounge, and an entrance vestibule. The recording control room is located across the corridor from the new recording studio, with visual contact between the studio and control room made via video. The project was completed in 1999.
Artec Consultants Inc worked on insuring an ideal acoustical environment for the recording space. The new studio does not allow an excessive amount of noise to pass into the new video editing room. Similarly, noise from the video editing room and its equipment does not pass into the recording studio. A concrete block wall and isolated floor were chosen to isolate these spaces.
Unique Recording Studios was a technologically innovative five room recording studio operating in New York City from 1978 until 2004. The business got off the ground as a rehearsal studio with a Tascam 8 track recorder in 1978, but soon expanded to 16, and then 24 tracks with the first Otari MTR-90. Some of the biggest names in the music world recorded at Unique. The still operating Unique Recording Studio website lists the following among their former clients:
Bobby Nathan, Joanne Nathan (founders)
The studio complex was located just off of Times Square in the top three floors of the Cecil B. DeMille Building, adjacent to music-store row. The business was owned and operated by husband and wife team Joanne and Bobby Nathan. Many Grammy-winning albums were recorded at Unique over the years.
Rap and hip hop was born at Unique Recording Studios with Tom Silverman‘s Tommy Boy Records featuring Arthur Baker and John Robie – Planet Patrol, Soul Sonic Force, Freeze and Afrika Bambaataa. Run DMC, LL Cool J, Kurtis Blow, Kool Moe D, Public Enemy, The Fat Boys, ODB, Wu-Tang Klan, Eazy-E, Melle Mel, Marley Marl, Grand Master Flash, Sugar Hill Gang and later Queen Latifah, Heavy D, Nas, 2Pac, Notorious B.I.G – Biggie Smalls Puff Daddy, Naughty By Nature, Mobb Deep, KRS-One, MOP, DMX, Jay-Z, Raekwon, Moby, Pink and Kanye West
Engineers who started their careers at Unique Recording Studios include:
- Chris Lord-Alge (Joe Cocker, Cheap Trick, Ric Ocasek, Stevie Nicks, Carly Simon, Tina Turner, Chaka Kahn, Nona Hendrix, James Brown)
- Tom Lord-Alge (Steve Winwood, Malcom McLaren, David, Johansen, OMD, TKA, Jeff Beck, Little Steven, Wendy & Lisa, John Waite, Earth, Wind & Fire, Supertramp, The System)
- Jeff Lord-Alge (Richard Barone)
- Bob Rosa (Prince, Mariah Carey, James Ingram, Paula Abdul, Toni, Braxton, Taylor Dayne, C+C Music factory, Celine Dion, Debbie Gibson, Michael McDonald, Lisa Lisa, George Benson, Stephanie Mills, Freddie Jackson, Janet Jackson, Starpoint, Michael Bolton, NSYNC, Backstreet Boys, Jay-Z, Jon Secada, Gloria Estefan)
- Michael Finlayson (Unique’s first engineer, started his career as Moogy Klingman’s personal engineer. Unique sessions included: Johnny Copeland, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Danny Gatton, Stewart Copeland, Ian McDonald, Bill Bruford, Aerosmith, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Bobby Watson, Roy Hargrove, Joshua Redman, Alex Bugnon, Charles Fambrough, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Lisa-Lisa & Cult Jam w/ Full Force, Jocelyn Brown, Freddie Jackson, Oran “Juice” Jones, Divine)
- Peter Robbins[disambiguation needed] (Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, Bob James/David Sanborn, David Johansen, Skyy, Billy Ocean, Afrika Bambaataa, Divine, Melba Moore, Ofra Haza)
- Frank Heller (Edgar Winter, New Edition – “Candy Girl”, Force MD’s, Jonzun Crew, Jimmy Cliff, New Kids on the Block, Afrika Bambaataa + James Brown – “Unity”, Apollonia, Bell Biv Devoe, LL Cool J
- Steve Peck (B52′s, Pointer Sisters, George Michael, Jennifer Rush. New Order, Pet Shop Boys, Duran Duran, Sweet Sensation, Will Downing, Depeche Mode, Debbie Harry)
- Roey Shamir (Al B Sure!, TKA, Devo, Run DMC, Heavy D, Melba Moore, Full Force, Information Society, Ashford + Simpson),
- Josh Chervokas (Madonna, Kool Moe, Dee, Mobb Deep,2 Pac, Just-Ice, Nas)
- Kennan Keating (Nine Inch Nails, Don Johnson, Sarah Dash, Al Green, Color Me Badd, Larry Coryell)
- George Karras (Madonna, Najee, Heavy D, Kool Moe Dee, Keith Sweat, Donna Summer, Joe Public, Me’Shell NdegéOcello)
- D’Anthony Johnson (DMX, MOP, Raekwon, Nice + Smooth, Sybil, Miles Davis “Doo Bop”)
- Angela Piva (Jude Cole, Run DMC, Color Me Badd, Gerado, Heavy D, Queen Latifah, Zhane’, Groove Theory, first female engineer to have engineered a #1 record – Naughty By Nature’s “OPP” )
- Matt Hathaway (KRS-One, Christina Aguilera, Destiny’s Child, Alicia Keys, Pink, Wu Tang Clan, Mary J. Blige)
- Michael “Wolf” Reaves (Mary J. Blige, Jessica Simpson, Brandy, Wu-Tang Clan, Marilyn Manson, Big Daddy Kane, Boyz II Men)
- John Holmes[disambiguation needed] (OutKast, Usher, Indigo Girls, Elton John)
The explosion of high quality home and project studio recording systems such as Digidesign‘s Pro Tools, along with declining album sales and skyrocketing Manhattan commercial leases helped contribute to the demise of a number of major New York studios, including Unique Recording Studios.
Unique Recording Studios was located on the top three floors of the Cecil B.DeMille buildingCorner of 47th Street and Seventh Avenue in the heart of New York City’s Times Square(the building under the”Vistor Guide” Billboard shown in the image above) just around the corner from NYC’s famous 48th Street Music StoresManny’s Music and Sam Ash.