More hit records have been produced at this studio than any other in the world. A few of the artists who have recorded at Western: The Rolling Stones, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Alanis Morissette, Natalie Merchant, R.E.M., Bette Middler, Barenaked Ladies, Stone Temple Pilots, Matthew Sweet, Motley Crue, Green Day, Avril Lavene, and Blink 182.
Liquid Blue recorded and mixed every track from the album “Supernova” at Western Recorders. The photo below shows the board that “Supernova” was mixed on by Joe Chiccarelli. It’s an SSL-9000 at a value of $1.2 million dollars.
Below is an interesting history of this famous studio, which was also called “Cello Studios” and “United Western Recorders”. For even more detailed information, pick up a copy of the book, “Temples of Sound”. Here is a quote from page 33 of the book:
“United Western Recorders has arguably been the scene of more hit records- from the 1950’s to right now- than any other studio in America. No other studio has won more technical excellence awards, and no other studio has garnered as many Best Engineered Grammys as this complex of studios on Sunset Boulevard“.
Bill Putnam is considered to be the “Father of modern recording.” He is acknowledged to be the firstperson to use artificial reverberation for commercial recording. He also developed the first multi-bandequalizers, and with his company Universal Audio, was responsible for the development of classicequipment like the Urei 1176LN and Urei Time Align Monitors. He was involved in the early development ofstereophonic recording and founded studios in Chicago, Hollywood and San Francisco. During the 1950’s, Putnam’s engineering credits grew quickly working with such artist’s as Patti Page, Vic Damon and DinahWashington. A number of firsts occurred at the Chicago based Universal Recorders: the first use of taperepeat, the first vocal booth, the first multiple voice recording, the first use of 8-track recording trials andexperiments with half-speed disc mastering. With his Chicago studio so successful, Putnam’s clients: Nelson Riddle, Mitch Miller and Quincy Jones urged him to open a facility on the west coast.
Finally in 1957, he sold his interest in Universal Recording and started a new company called United RecordingCorp. and moved to Hollywood, taking over a building at 6050 Sunset and started new construction on new studios. Stereo was taking off and Putnam was determined to incorporate as many technological innovations in to the new complex as possible. In 1961, Western Recorders at 6000 Sunset was acquired and remodeled and incorporated into the complex with the facilities being known as United Western Recorders.
Western Recorders Studios at 6000 Sunset hosted the who’s who of music in front of and behind theglass: Bones Howe, Wally Heider and Lee Hirschberg were on staff while artists like Bing Crosby, FrankSinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Nat King Cole, Johnny Mercer and Ray Charles were recording thehits of the day. Ray Charles’ classic, “I Can’t Stop Loving You” was recorded here as well as Sinatra’s,”It Was A Very Good Year,” and the legendary “Pet Sounds” album, which was the inspiration for The Beatles’ Sgt. Peppers album, was recorded here also.
In 1977, the United Recorders building at 6050 was purchased from Bill Putnam by Allen Sides. Shortly thereafter, the Western Recorders building at 6000 Sunset was added to the complex that became Ocean Way Recording. Ocean Way still exists at 6050 Sunset and the two buildings together continued under Allen Sides to produce many hits of the 70’s and 80’s, including albums by Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Elton John and Eric Clapton to name a few.
Cello Studios assumed ownership of the building located at 6000 Sunset in January 1999. The equipment inventory was also purchased from Ocean Way Recording at the time. The collection of rare vintage microphones alone is irreplaceable, not to mention the outboard gear, with such valuable effects units as Fairchild 670 limiters which are no longer made. Additional equipment was added by Cello. Many sought after vintage mics and additional items both old and new have been incorporated into the studio’s gear list, making this studio the perfect blend of rare analog equipment, as well as state of the art gear. The building itself has also been modified to accommodate the new facility’s needs. The studios themselves have not been altered in any way since Bill Putnam’s original design. During the “Cello” years, the studio has been host to such artists as Alanis Morissette, Natalie Merchant, Elton John, R.E.M., Bette Middler, Barenaked Ladies, Stone Temple Pilots, Matthew Sweet, Motley Crue, Green Day and Blink 182.
At the end of 2003 the name was changed back to Western Recorders. The staff at Western Recorders is comprised of Industry Veterans as well as a support staff of eager new audioenthusiasts. Studio Manager/Owner, Candace R. Stewart,an industry vet has managed such facilities as Take One Recording, Red Zone Recording and most recently Sound Castle Studios. The chief engineer and director of technical operations Gary Myerberg, came to Cello after over 20 years in the audio industry spearheading the technical efforts of Bruce Springsteen, Bob Clearmountain’s “Mix This!” RoyaltoneStudios (and too many others to list) with 14 years as the key technical player at A&M Studios as wellas it’s chief engineer in the late 90’s
Western Recorders still exists in the same location as it did 40 years ago. It is the ultimate Temple of Sound. Owners Gary and Candice are shown below.
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