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Recording studios in churches

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by mazort, Apr 5, 2002.

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  1. mazort

    mazort New Member Thread Starter

    San Antone
    It seems that old churches are often recycled into recording studios. Which seems spiritually correct, to my way of thinking. Music is spiritual, and one always hears music in churches as part of religious ceremonies. Also, music sounds good in churches. I know of at least 3 studios that are in churches - the old CBS studios in New York where Miles Davis' landmark recording "Kind of Blue" was recorded was a converted church, Blue Heaven Studios owned by Acoustic Sounds, and recently I looked at George Martin's Air Studios website and discovered it may be the ultimate church/studio - with a massive choir loft.

    Does anybody know of other church/studios or other kinds of unusual buildings that were made into studios?
  2. Mal

    Mal Phorum Physicist

    Right here in my home town of Brighton there was a recording studio ("Advision") which was in a converted church.

    I once helped a friend build a studio in a detached garage building in his garden - it was incredibly small. With my drumkit in the live room there was hardly room for anyone else to join me. It wasn't a big kit either - one floor tom and one tom mounted on the bass drum, snare, hi-hat and 2 cymbals, but it's not quantity but quality that's important!
  3. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    The most famous of all was the New Jersey church that the Victor Talking Machine Co. used for recording with a "natural" sound when they were making their first electric records in the 1920's.

    You should hear Fats Waller wail on the church pipe organ on "Sugar" and "I Ain't Got Nobody". Lowest bass I've ever heard on a record, and this is from 1929 no less...Amazing sound!
  4. Highway Star

    Highway Star New Member

    eastern us
    Would Link Wray's infamous "Wray's 3 Track Shack" studio which was built from a converted chicken coop qualify as an unusual building? Most of his 60s recordings were done there. Gives new meaning to his obscure hit Run Chicken Run doesn't it! And while we're on the subject of church let me add... Link is GOD!!!:cool:
  5. Paul L.

    Paul L. New Member

    Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics had a church studio in England. It was even called "The Church."
  6. DanG

    DanG On Green Dolphin Street

    Apparently there's some great sound to be had from recording in churches.

    Chuckorama reminded me that Jazz Samba, Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd, was recorded in a church, Pierce Hall/All Souls Unitarian Church, Wahsington, D.C., 2/13/62.
  7. Bob Lovely

    Bob Lovely Super Gort Staff



    Rock Around The Clock was recorded in a church. The Jazz Samba album was recorded in a church...

  8. Djose

    Djose New Member

    Garland, Texas

    Brendan Perry of Dead Can Dance bought a church somewhere in the British Isles
    Tourists would walk right in to find recording epuipment and beer cans.
    Love to get a deal on one myself. Gotta be cheap though

  9. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    The West
    Didn't they use this same church for some of the acoustic recordings as well? I recall reading Stowkowski and Tosconini both making records there acoustically.
    I'm guessing that the church is long gone.

    I would LOVE to hear that Fats Waller recording. Anyone know of a good sounding transfer available?

    Dan C
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Dan, I've NEVER heard a great sounding transfer of a 78. Not even the King of transfers Don R.T.D.'s stuff moves me like an original.

    I found my original Scroll Victor copy of the Fats Waller on this auction site. I paid 20$ for it two years ago....Their new auction is up now and there are some great deals to be had.


    By the way, I don't think that an acoustic recording session could be held in a big room like in a church, using a horn as a recording device but I could be wrong. I must admit that my handle on the recording history of the Victor Talking Machine Company is pretty sketchy.
  11. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    You mean John R.T. Davies
  12. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Yeah, but I was in too much of a hurry to type out his entire name, so I just used initials....:)
  13. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    The West
    Many thanks for the link and the advice Steve!:)
    Dan C
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    Sure Dan.

    It's still possible to get amazing sounding 78's for not much money.

    When RCA bought the Victor Talking Machine Co. in 1929, they created the "Bluebird" label which basically reissued higher priced Victors on the lower priced label.


    So for 10$ a record (instead of 100$) you can have a pretty darn good collection of vintage Ellingtons, etc.

    Good luck.
  15. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    If you are satisfied with transfers, that's OK. If you play 78's, use what works for you. If I had a 78rpm collection and a turntable that plays 78's, I'd be listening to comedian Cal Stewart who I've heard once at a garage sale and it is very funny stuff. Transfers suit my taste though.
  16. BradOlson

    BradOlson Country/Christian Music Maven

    BTW, for digital transfers of old Cal Stewart recordings and others from that era, check out www.oldcrank.com and there are a few MP3's of the transfers. For those who have written to me for so long know I expect CD's as gifts at anytime so as of April 29, I'd sure like the Cal Stewart CD's available at the site.
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