New York's Hit Factory To Close

The Hit Factory, one of New York's largest and best-known recording facilities, will close within a month.

NEW YORK -- The Hit Factory, one of New York's largest and best-known recording facilities, will close within a month.

The company will move its headquarters to its Miami facility, the former Criteria Recording, which the Hit Factory acquired in 1999. The future status of the New York studio at 421 W. 54th St. is unknown.

Since the late Edward Germano purchased it from producer/composer Jerry Ragavoy in 1975, the Hit Factory has become one of the world's most celebrated recording facilities, offering an opulent work environment for the likes of John Lennon, Michael Jackson, Tony Bennett, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Madonna, U2, Barbra Streisand and Paul Simon. It has long been favored by top producers and engineers.

The closing serves as the starkest illustration to date of the precipitous and, many audio professionals fear, irreversible decline in the fortunes of commercial recording studios. Industry consolidation and reduced recording budgets have severely hampered the ability of large, multi-room facilities to maintain a business model that had worked for several decades. The rise of inexpensive digital audio workstation equipment has allowed high-quality recording to be accomplished in virtually any environment by non-professional recordists.

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