History of CBS Records 30th Street Studio NYC (many pictures)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by DMortensen, Oct 21, 2014.

  1. GLouie

    GLouie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Mea culpa for tossing out a mashup of thoughts. I'm not suggesting the Moog was photographed through the mystery window; it looks like the shot was taken right in the room. Doug Pomeroy might be able to say if the Moog shown is the one he recorded in "Studio D" for that Kazdin/Shepard album (or for that matter, Tom Shepard, come October) regardless of the mystery hallway window/door configurations. Then that would give us another mystery window/adjacent room configuration seen next to the Moog to ponder.
     
  2. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Right. I assumed, as I believe you did, that the photos were taken in the room, looking towards the front of the building, with the control room to the left through the two windows. But that doesn't seem possible, for the reasons above.

    BTW, the Moog 3p was apparently available from 1969 to 1973, so those photos are from 1969 at the earliest.
     
  3. GLouie

    GLouie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I just got the DVD from our library and listened to the commentary version, with Pennebaker, Prince and Stritch, which is quite enlightening about the making of the film. I got the impression that the sound is just through the camera system, not tied into the studio mics at all.

    DanM, you may as well invite Sondheim, too!
     
    MLutthans and lukpac like this.
  4. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    It's said that he routinely refuses such invitations.

    I did talk to someone in Hal Prince's office and sent details about the screening, as well as a link to this thread. No response yet.
     
    lukpac likes this.
  5. GLouie

    GLouie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    It would be quite awkward if all those guys just show up, and they get turned down at the door without AES badges or their names on Dan's list.
     
  6. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    That's one of the things about it that's fun to listen to. The viewer's audio perspective changes according to camera location, so things making sound nearby are louder than those further away. That is always distressing about listening to videos that are getting a board feed: you hear the same thing regardless of where you are looking from.

    In this movie, you hear and see what's going on right in front of you. I'm looking forward to seeing it in the sumptuous Dolby Screening Room...
     
  7. GLouie

    GLouie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    It would be interesting if Pennebaker could say how the sound was done. You can see a guy with headphones, a handheld mic and presumably a Nagra, in some scenes. The sound mix for docu IMO is a 2-edged sword; if you only relied on on-camera sound, you run the risk of a lot of unlistenable sound - too close, too far away, bad balance, doesn't match zoom, etc. especially with multiple cameras all working independently being intercut. I suspect a lot of mixing, and the general balances are good, but the movie sound definitely is way different from the CD I listened to. Also I wonder how much of the filmed performances made it into the final album, which has apparently been remixed for CD with a bonus track of Dean Jones' replacement, Larry Kert, doing his version of Being Alive.
     
  8. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Pennebaker talks a little about this during the commentary for Another Hundred People. Both about recording the different sections of the orchestra, and how he would cut a song together from many different takes, since they were usually so similar.

    One other minor observation: the scene of Elaine Stritch overdubbing her vocal for The Ladies That Lunch at Studio E is one uninterrupted shot, but the audio edits to another take as she starts to sing "Everybody rise!" near the end, where the audio clearly doesn't match the visual. My suspicion in this case is the audio is *not* from Pennebaker, but rather from Columbia, and is from a mix of different vocal takes. Interestingly, the final mix is slightly different:



    In the film, the switch between the take we see and the other (unseen) overdub is at "Everybody rise!", while on record it's a line earlier, at "Let's hear it for the ladies who lunch".
     
    DMortensen likes this.
  9. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    As my trip to NYC for the AES and further research approaches, I'm wondering if people here would want to come to Fletcher's pub in Suffern NY on October 14 to hear and see my talk about 30th St.?

    The last time we did it there we all had a GREAT time and all felt like we learned a lot from being with each other

    I haven't talked to Fletcher about this for a while, but he said he'd be into it when we talked after last time, so if there is interest I'll reach out to him about it again and nail things down.

    Still looking for a place in Manhattan (or nearby, reachable by train-- I'll clearly go anywhere!) around the same time; anyone have a place that will hold a few people, either with a big screen TV with HDMI input that I can plug my laptop in, or, if I can fit it, a white flat wall to shine my projector (or yours) on?

    It's nice to be able to share in person this project that I and we've had so much fun with. This thread is really great and I appreciate all the help, support, and interest, but it's really fun to get together with like-minded people and discuss things in detail. I ALWAYS learn something.
     
    lukpac likes this.
  10. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Nothing earth shattering, but just realized Bob Waller was also on the session for Company. You can see him in the machine room around 44:20:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    DMortensen, MMM and GLouie like this.
  11. GLouie

    GLouie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Speaking of Waller, I wonder if the 2 photos posted last year are in the same room, years apart.
    In the first photo, he's younger and shown with the old 4 track with mismatched meters, and the closet door is light wood grain.
    In the second photo with Jim Davis, Waller is definitely older (more grey hair, heavier) and shown with an AG-440A/B 8 track, and the closet door is dark color, like the trim of the machine room entry arch in Company. The wall tiles look the same. The wainscot color is different.

    Obviously machine rooms - the same one? Years apart? That would put the closet...in the north side of the machine room, against the studio wall? I have not seen any machine room shots showing the inside left.
     
  12. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I had assumed they must be shots of different areas because the door didn't appear to match, but looking again, it does seem like the door and trim was simply painted/replaced. And yes, assuming that's the machine room (and it seems to be), it seems that closet (?) must be between the machine room and studio. The question is whether it was the full width of the machine room (and thus also opened into the control room) or if there were two separate closets, one opening into the control room and one opening into the machine room.

    Funny how Columbia always seemed to have racks that weren't quite big enough for their tape machines.
     
    GLouie likes this.
  13. GLouie

    GLouie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Note that there's another "closet" door down in the right front of the new control room. Another question would be how to reconcile the height difference of the floor from entry (south) down to glass. Is the machine room the same level as the entry of the new control room? The control room has step/s down to the glass; what happens inside the machine room if there's a closet there?
     
  14. GLouie

    GLouie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    A few more things I saw in Broadway Masterworks photos.
    In Annie (1977), the control room shows its current decorations - perfboard now all over the back/side walls, and curtains with track above and below. Behind Andrea McArdle's rear at far lower right, I see the base moulding ends with a curve, inferring a step there. She's kneeling on a vinyl sofa or some such.
    [​IMG]

    In Sweet Charity (1966), if I could figure out the size of the wall tiles, dimensioning the room would be easy. Bob Fosse at far right. The patchbay is 4- racks wide, with a fair amount of space to the right.
    [​IMG]

    Last, in Mr President (1962), I note the space behind the patchbay, and dark wainscot color. The caption identifies Goddard Lieberson, Anita Gillette, and Irvin Berlin - but is that Tom Z. Shepard in back?
    [​IMG]
     
    DMortensen and lukpac like this.
  15. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I'd say we know or are at least reasonably certain of the following:

    - the closet (?) door from the control room is at the level of the door into the control room; that is, a step down from most of the control room.
    - the machine room seems to be on the same level as the control room.

    Beyond that, everything seems to be speculation short of more photos/footage. Were there actually two closets, perhaps at different levels? Was it one closet, with a step somewhere?

    It seems like the higher floor must have extended towards the front of the control room enough for a row of chairs in front of the console, but clear views of the area are not forthcoming.

    That looks like it's probably Shepard to me.

    Dan, I'm wondering if, for the screening of Company, you could ask Shepard for his thoughts on Fred Plaut, as well as his thoughts on the interaction between them in the film. There are several instances where Shepard basically cuts off Plaut, who seems extremely patient. I'm curious what their relationship was like, if he feels the film misrepresents that, etc.
     
    DMortensen likes this.
  16. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Great finds and organization, Gary!

    Yes, in the last picture that looks like TZS to me, too.

    The space behind the racks looks like it's just enough for a stool and someone to squeeze by.

    And that's the corner of a tall rack just visible over Goddard's head, and clearly in the tape machine room.

    The pictures for that session and the Annie one (and probably Sweet Charity) were taken by Don Hunstein. His pictures and the Masterworks site are really treasure troves that keep on giving for us amateur sleuths.
     
  17. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    I'd be quite happy to do exactly that.

    Any other questions, from you and anyone else? It'd be great if I had a list going in.
     
    lukpac likes this.
  18. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Hard to say for certain, but I'm wondering if maybe it's a picture on the wall or something. It seems like it's taller than a rack for a tape machine would be (probably 3-track at the time), and unless the light is just funny, it doesn't look like a rack of Ampex 351 electronics to me.
     
  19. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Maybe. That's a crappy frame if it's a picture.

    I say "rack" but it looks more like just the rack rail going up on the right with some kind of crosspiece at the top that's bolted to the rail. Or maybe rack rail bolted to the equivalent of 2x6 or something. I have racks like that. :winkgrin:

    Or something completely different.

    Is that wainscoting that starts to our left of the room and goes between Goddard and Anita the half-wall between control room and machine room? That's what it looks like to me, and the rack/picture thing looks beyond that.
     
  20. GLouie

    GLouie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I vote for a picture on the wall. You can't see more of a rack UNDER Goddard's left arm, framed by his right cuff, but you can see the baseboard moulding and color of wainscot.
     
  21. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    While my inclination is that it isn’t a rack, I believe under Goddard’s arm we’re seeing the partial wall between the control room and machine room, which would be blocking anything in the machine room regardless.

    [​IMG]
     
    DMortensen likes this.
  22. GLouie

    GLouie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    Probably right, maybe the little counter on the machine room divider wall.
    What's the silver framed panel behind Franks head? It's in Company, too. Too early for white board, I think.

    And I know I mistyped Irving Berlin.
     
  23. GLouie

    GLouie Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Seattle
    I'd like to know if the Moog pictured was his for his album, in Studio D. Of course, you could shove drawings in front of him and ask if they are correct.

    I'd tread carefully about his working relationship, it could be a sensitive issue. Sometimes, the producer is boss and the tech guy keeps his/her mouth shut. Or it could've been edited that way.
     
  24. lukpac

    lukpac Senior Member

    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    I seem to recall seeing something from him regarding Company, that he felt his behavior towards Stritch was harsh. I’ll see if I can find that later.
     
  25. DMortensen

    DMortensen Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Seattle, WA USA
    Looks like there' s writing on it...
     

Share This Page