Big studio facilities in large cities are very difficult to maintain, considering that real estate prices have skyrocketed and studio prices have plateaued in recent years. That’s why it’s no surprise that another of iconic New York City studio is about to close its doors. Manhattan Sound Recording (or MSR as it’s known) is shutting down as of later this week, but the reason for the closure isn’t what you might think.
Generally, when a large studio facility shutters it’s because the real estate has become too pricey or valuable and the amount of business or income generated from it isn’t sufficient to keep the doors open, but MSR is a completely different situation. The studio, which at one time was known as Right Track, is located directly in the heart of the city on 48th Street near Times Square, which has been a hotbed of construction for quite some time, and that’s been the problem. With the construction of a 50 story hotel next door going as late as 11PM at night, the noise became just too much to contend with. To top that off, another building is also scheduled for construction nearby that would last another 3 years.
The studio has been used by a variety of music superstars, including Beyonce, Madonna, Metallica, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Elton John, Phil Collins, and many more, but it’s close proximity to the Broadway theaters and it’s large tracking room made it a favorite for Broadway soundtrack albums as well. Of course, actors are only free during the day, but if you can’t record because of the noise from construction, that pretty much means you go elsewhere.
MSR might resurrect at another location, however. After the studio is decommissioned (which could take quite a bit of time), owner Dave Amlen looks to open elsewhere, although it’s possible that the studio might have a new name.
That said, with 14,000 square feet, MSR was one of the largest facilities in NYC, and it’s demise will definitely mean that there will be a limited number of studios in the city left that can handle a large Broadway-style tracking date.