Unique Recording Studios, a five-room New York studio founded in 1978, closed on May 10.

Unique Recording Studios, a five-room New York studio founded in 1978, closed on May 10.

Owners Bobby and Joanne Nathan cite multiple reasons for the facility's demise. "In the past five years, a large part of the recording process has moved to the home studio," they tell Billboard.biz via email. "The professional studio business that remains today is what cannot be done at home: live recording and mixing. The overdub business has become almost non-existent, except for the vocal-party session.

"Shrinking major-label budgets have forced many artists to work at home," they add. "Many producers and artists feel that if you get a $30,000-$50,000 budget to make a record, a home studio is a better investment. If the record flops, at least you still have a home studio."

Unique Recording was home to the world's first MIDI studio with the 1983 launch of "Midi City." By 1998, the facility had furnished all five of its studios with Pro Tools 24 MIXplus digital audio workstations (DAWs). Ultimately, all of Unique's studios would feature Pro Tools HD DAW systems.

In a stark illustration of technology's impact on the commercial recording industry, by 2003 the facility's vintage Neve 8068 console was replaced with a Pro Tools HD and Focusrite/Digidesign Control 24 interface.

"We've adapted to change all these years," say the Nathans. "We're going forward to the next change."

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