At 168 48th Street in Times Square, a 14,000-foot recording facility will soon become a casualty of construction and expansion in the bustling neighborhood. About 12 full-time employees were informed earlier this month.
The decision to close, MSR Studio president Dave Amlen says, had nothing to do with finances.
For the last two years, MSR has kept its chin up through the construction of a 50-story hotel — the attendant noise levels were a challenge for a facility dependent on (conditional) silence. “We weathered that,” says Amlen. “If people can’t work, that’s a bigger problem than rent,” he said, adding that sometimes construction noise went as late as 11 p.m.
“Most of our clients hire musicians who have shows [at] night… they can’t wait until 7 p.m. to record,” he said. “We recently had a superstar artist in here, and at 10:30 p.m. he wanted to start recording, but asked: ‘What the fuck is all that noise?'”
Amlen says that once MSR’s doors close on June 30, he will face the “daunting task” of decommissioning the facility. After that, he will look for another location. “Out of the ashes another place will rise,” he says. “As sad and horrible as it is, it’s sort of time.”
Amlen is proud of the work the facility has done over the years, sheparding recordings by J Cole, Beyonce, Madonna, Metallica, J. Geils, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Elton John, Phil Collins, The Spiderman Soundtrack with Bono and the Edge.
“There has been a lot of good albums done here — it’s a pretty incredible legacy of artists.”