The expansive live room known as Legacy Recording’s Studio A509 will close its doors permanently on November 21, 2008. An awe-inspiring 4,060-square-foot room that has hosted an impressive list of orchestral, film score and Broadway cast recordings since it went online in 2001, the facility appears to be the latest victim of a Manhattan reality: Real estate is more lucrative than music.
Like Sony Studios and The Hit Factory before it, the building housing A509 and the two production studios, D1 and D2, will be demolished and replaced with condos. In the meantime, Chris Bubacz, general manager of Legacy—which represents the 2005 merger of Sound and Sound and Right Track Recording—emphasized that the 48th Street operations are full-speed ahead.
“We’re still here, and we’re building two new Larry Swist–designed rooms, scheduled to open in May ’09,” Bubacz says. “We are renovating and giving a facelift to the whole facility, and the console [an SSL 9096J] is coming from A509 to Studio A. The core technical staff from A509, with all of their experience, will stay with us, and we expect to continue doing some of the work here [at 48th Street] Studio A that we can’t do at A509 anymore.”
Bubacz noted that the closing comes, ironically, at a time when film scoring work appears to have bounced back in New York City. For film and Broadway cast productions being made in in the city, the most prominent options remain the large rooms at Avatar and Manhattan Center in Manhattan, and KAS Music & Sound in Queens.
Figures provided by Musician’s Union Local 802 say it all about the importance that this highly advanced room had in its regrettably short life: For the union alone, it hosted more than 1,500 recording dates, working out to more than 25,000 musician sessions earning over $10,000,000 for the musicians, and between $25-30,000,000 for New York City and the state.
For more information, visit www.legacyrecordingstudios.com.