At the intersection of Hollywood and Vine is a special building that has become a historic and cultural icon; the Capitol Records Tower. As home to both Capitol Records and Capitol Studios, the building has been host to some of the biggest names in music, from Frank Sinatra to Katy Perry. It’s also an iconic piece of architecture representing Hollywood glitz and glamour to the world.
Rising to 150ft high across 13 floors, the building was created in 1956 by architects Welton Becket to resemble a stack of records on a turntable, with the tower’s famous spire resembling the turntable’s spindle. On the first floor are the hallowed corridors of Capitol Studios A, B & C, alongside state-of-the-art Mastering and Production suites on the second floor. Often referred to as “The house that Nat built” thanks to the huge success of Capitol Records artist Nat King Cole in the years prior to the tower’s creation, the studio’s first recording customer was Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra.
The blinking light at the top of the tower flashes the Morse code for the letters “HOLLYWOOD”
One of the most revered rooms in music, Studio A is regularly in use capturing the sound of big bands and orchestral sections. While Rock bands and mixing sessions do see time in Studio A, the studio’s incredible louvered wall panels allow a variable decay time much loved for capturing the drama of orchestral work. Featuring a mix of old and new gear including a cutting edge, custom Neve 88RS console, Studio A also boasts a significant selection of analogue gear purchased new in the 1950s that is still in use today.
Often considered “The Rock Room”, Studio B has seen an amazing number of legendary albums recorded between its walls. Featuring one of the most sought-after drum booths around, the studio also acts as the regular home to Nat King Cole’s New York Steinway ‘B’ piano – a virtually priceless treasure of musical history still being used in sessions today. Rumor has it that the Neve 8068 console at the heart of Studio B is serial no. 1.
The main mixing room at Capitol, Studio C is as at home mixing feature film soundtracks as it is when used on Grammy winning mixes for Pop, Rock and Jazz. Recently updated, Studio C is one of the few mixing studios in the world designed to fully capture Dolby Atmos multi-channel sound for both audio and video production.
Deep below the parking lot of the Capitol Records tower are eight of the most prized spaces in the music industry. The trapezoidal echo chambers feature no parallel surfaces and were designed by none other than Les Paul, offering an exceptionally unique and special sound to anyone recording at Capitol Studios. If there is such a thing as a ‘Capitol sound’ then it comes from within these walls.
FirstCom Music brings you the legendary sonic integrity of Capitol Studios with the launch of Capitol Studio Masters; a collection of curated original music recorded, mixed and mastered at the iconic Capitol Studios.