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Biography

Founded by Harry Hirsch, with assistance from Bob Walters and financial/business backing from owners Joel Roseman and the late John Roberts, Mediasound opened in June 1969 at 311 West 57th St. in the heart of Manhattan. Once a home to the Manhattan Baptist Church, today the site is currently Providence (formerly the trendy Le Bar Bat).
The original idea came out of a random talk between Hirsch and Walters, who then went looking for money. “There were many 4-track studios in New York City,” recalls Roseman. “There was room for a state-of the-art facility, one that could handle any kind of recording,
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.”
Fred Christie, chief engineer and a sort of father figure to, as he calls
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.
Some of Mediasound’s producer and artist credits include Tony Bongiovi with Gloria Gaynor’s “Never Can Say Goodbye” in Studios A and B; Godfrey Diamond engineered Frank Sinatra, with Charlie Calello and Joe Beck arranging and producing on the Paul Anka tune “Everybody Ought to Be in Love”; Ron Dante brought in Barry Manilow for “Mandy” and Pat Benatar for her second record, the hit Crimes of Passion; Michael Brauer got his break with Luther Vandross. Add in Frankie Valli, Nancy Sinatra, Englebert Humperdinck, the Rolling Stones, Ben E. King, Stevie Wonder. Then there were the session players such as Will Lee, Paul Shaffer, Richard Tee, Andy Newmark, Steve Gadd, Rick Marotta and Bob Babbitt of the Funk Brothers.
The studio in the mid 80’s had two Neve consoles (also a Harrison and a Trident) and Studio A (the original West 57th Street Baptist Mission church) was a great tracking space. The collection of mics was extensive and you had a few flavors of tape to choose from. – See more at: http://www.sonicscoop.com/2013/10/01/op-ed-and-another-one-gone-what-we-lose-when-studios-close/#sthash.ORZQkBXV.dpuf
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311 West 57th Street New York NY USA

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