I posted this story for a brief period a few weeks ago, but was asked to pull the story back until the official announcement. Now that the cat is out of the bag, here it is.
Get ready for another big change in the New York City studio scene as it’s finally been confirmed that the famed Avatar Studios is changing hands. The studio, formerly known as Power Station, has been at the center of creation of more than 400 gold and platinum albums from artists like Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, John Mayer, Muse, Josh Groban, Donald Fagen, Norah Jones, Diana Krall, My Morning Jacket, Kings of Leon, Bruno Mars and hundreds more. It’s one of the few studios in New York City left with a tracking room large enough to fit an orchestra, and thanks to its close proximity to Broadway, has been a favorite for recording soundtrack albums of Broadway plays (there’s a great overview of how its done there on the studio website).
What’s surprising is that the buyer is Berklee College of Music, which has long wanted a more permanent home in New York. The studio will be shut down for a number of months as structural renovations to the building and cosmetic upgrades take place, although the acoustics of the studios won’t be tampered with.
The good thing about this sale is that the studio isn’t being purchased by a real estate developer to turn into it into condos (a trend seen with commercial studio space everywhere), and will still continue as a studio. The word is that Berklee will leave Avatar as a working commercial studio, and will be itself in just as any normal client.
Needless to say, there are a lot of studio veterans and artists that are shocked over this development, but it might not be as big a deal as it could have been. If Avatar lives on in any form, there’s still the chance you can still use it, right?