This thread will be a discussion of what many people believe was the all-time best-sounding recording studio anywhere. Those who believe otherwise are entitled to an opinion and may well be right, but that will not be the discussion here. Please take other studio talk elsewhere. This initial post will be an introduction and have some resources you can look to in order to examine the studio. There are links to a few videos and webpages to see and hear the studio in action and repose. No doubt others will be added as we proceed ahead. Background: I am the Spark Plug for the Friends of the 30th Street Studio, an organization I created at the last AES meeting I put together with my friend Frank Laico, who was an engineer at the studio for a little over 30 years. He moved to Seattle around 2006 and in 2008 another friend, Bob Smith, started bringing him to our local AES Section meetings and we discovered more about who he was and what he had done. We had one Section meeting devoted to Frank that June, and when there were no plans to do more Bob and I decided to do another in December. The process of preparing for that meeting kept peeling back layers of the incredible things Frank had done and what a good guy he was that we wound up doing six or eight more in-person presentations about his career and probably that many more on the Internet. When we first met him, he was 89 and mostly sharp as a tack, but the process of doing that first meeting really invigorated him and seemed to take off years for him as well as being fascinating for us. That invigoration process repeated each time we did a meeting, up until the last in-person meeting we did at his care facility on June 19, 2012. Each time, it was remarkable to see the years peel away and to go back with him to what in hindsight were really glory days. From him, we learned about the 30th Street studio and what made it special and how that specialness came out of a confluence of ordinary factors that were individually unspectacular but in combination were spectacular. That is the story I hope to tell here in what I intend to be an ongoing series of almost-daily posts. I can honestly say that almost all I know about big-time recording I learned from Frank, which is to say that I am not going to be able to answer questions about the recording process or specialized gear. That will have to come from the readers and participants. I have done live sound for concerts for 41 years and so have familiarity with microphones, mixers, speakers, wiring, and stuff like that. I also enjoy seeing pictures rather than reading descriptions, and will wrap up this post shortly and do a second one with pics. First, though, you should know that my intention is to go in roughly chronological order, starting with the construction of the building and ending with its demolition, a span of 107 years. The bulk of the pictures I have (~1700 or so) are from the early years, and I hope when we get to the later years that some of you will have pictures to post that I haven't seen. I do not expect to post 1700 pictures here, but a few a day with some discussion of what we are looking at. Next, I've divided the eras of the building into categories, and there may be more divisions which make sense that I'm not aware of. Here is what I think they are: 1. 1875 to approx. 1945: Pre-studio, church era 2. 1945-ish to 1952-ish: Pre- and early CBS studio era 3. 1952-ish to 1961-ish: Upstairs West wall control room CBS era. Studio left alone, not cleaned up. Most well-known and well-regarded albums recorded during this time IMO 4. 1961-ish to 1976?-ish: Main floor South wall control room, cleaned and painted studio, rotary fader console 5. 1976?-ish- May 1981: Remodeled Main floor South wall control room and studio, cleaned and painted studio, linear fader console The building was torn down in 1982 and condos are now on the site. You can see that many of the transition dates are in question along with many other details as we shall see, and I hope as we go along people who know more will chime in and increase our understanding of what went on and why. Other resources you may enjoy: Wikipedia page, which seems to have less info as time goes by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CBS_30th_Street_Studio Reeves audio website; Jim Reeves worked at 30th St for several years: http://www.reevesaudio.com/vintagesessions.html An exceedingly amateur video of the first half of my first PNW AES meeting with Frank in 2008: (that all goes on one line, of course) (Hey, that embedded the video; don't know how I did that) Glenn Gould - On the Record 1959 First and most relevant half of CBC tv show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0MZrnuSGGg Glenn Gould- Final sessions at 30th St. 1981 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2YMSt3yfko Tony Bennett Harold Arlen's "So Long Big Time" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkCqYADxNhY A Brief History of the Madison Square Presbyterian Church https://archive.org/details/briefhistoryofmadi00park Stravinsky @ 30th Street: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9MWHO_y2Fu4 Most of the pictures of the 30th St. Studio that we enjoy were taken by CBS Staff Photographer Don Hunstein, whose photographs were just as exquisite as the music that is enjoyed on a daily basis around the world. His most recent book, edited by Leo Sacks, is full of wonderful pictures of the studio and the artists who recorded in it. The book is a continually enjoyable read, and you can see it here http://www.amazon.com/Keeping-Time-...8&qid=1414180923&sr=8-1&keywords=don Hunstein Forward!