Capitol Studios Tour – Hollywood CA

The finished product

The finished product

If you’re a music lover like I am, and you’re fascinated by the entire record-making process, get thee to WAX, the Los Angeles Record Fair, going on today and tomorrow over at the Capitol Records tower in Hollywood. An optional part of admission is a demonstration of the process of cutting an acetate. I was on-hand today while we went into the bowels of the iconic Capitol Records Tower, inside the Ron McMaster studio, where Ian led us through the entire process. We sat, watched, and listened while John Coltrane’s “Blue Train” was turned into a fresh acetate.

It’s pretty amazing and quite gratifying to see the completely manual and analogue process take place. Ian explained to us that the more bass there is in a record, the more of the disc is taken up, shortening the length of the music that will fit on to a disc. Now I have a much better understanding of compression, why it exists, and why some records seem to sound “flatter” than others. Ian operated a lathe called a SAL 74, made by George Neumann, something that looked right out of the 1960’s but with the precision of something years ahead of its time. Dust gets blown off each fresh platter with a burst of nitrogen, because compressed air may contain some moisture.

After the acetate is cut, the technician looks at the grooves through a microscope to make sure the grooves are the right depth. Then the disc is flipped over for the cutting of the B side. Thankfully, with vinyl making a comeback in recent years, this process still goes on every day at Capitol Studios. On average they are making one of these per day. Ian recounted to us how when he started working the lathe there he found an old unit in the closet and was told that this was the very lathe that the masters to Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side Of The Moon” was cut on, and how he begged the powers that be at Capitol to let him operate it. It is now creating records as it once did in the 1970’s. Some topics are hard to convey accurately, this is one of them. You just have to see this for yourself. Not a single computer is involved in this painstaking and loving process.

It’s no wonder that the building itself is on the national registry, the halls and rooms are lined with photos, certificates, and other icons that are just stunning. Now, before you think to yourself “that Ivor is one lucky guy”, you too can see all of this if you’re quick and snap up what tickets remain for this killer tour. The tour alone is $40, or you could get an all-day pass for tomorrow. If you love this stuff as much as I do, grab a ticket while they’re still available. Click here to purchase tickets

Related Posts
BeautyCon focus: Perfect365
. BeautyCon—the preeminent global summit for top digital fashion and beauty influencers, and their ever-growing number of fans—returned  to Los Angeles for its third-annual summit. BeautyCon Los Angeles was held in ...
Sept 23, 2006 - Feast of San Gennaro - Los Angeles, CA
The Feast of San Gennaro, the patron saint of Naples, is a BFD in New York, lasting ten whole days. You may remember it from Godfather II and Godfather III, as ...
Julie Newmar: Photo Courtesy of Philip Cohen
Come April 17th the world will have even more for which to thank Julie Newmar (above and beyond that of those articulated by Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo).  ...
Upcoming: Echo Park Rising Last year when Sunset Junction was cancelled, local businesses said, "Fuck it! Let's have our own festival!" It was such a success, they are putting on Echo Park Rising again. Presented by ...
The LA Zoo Gives Us a Preview of the Beastly Ball
The Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association (GLAZA) will be hosting its 46th annual "Beastly Ball" on Saturday, June 11, 2016, at 6 pm. This year's honorees are wildlife supporters/long-time GLAZA ...
Faulkner Rocks the KMPG Center Helipad in a Private Performance in DTLA!
On a Saturday evening for Memorial Day weekend, my friend Bonnie and I were escorted to the top of the KPMG Center building's helipad to witness a special and private ...
Scenes from the Ventura Blues and Brews Festival
Sunday's Blues and Brews Festival in Ventura featured lots of great BBQ, plenty of good beer and some of the best blues around. The unique design of the Mission Park ...
The Best Seat In The House – Ethan Russell Exhibition Comes To Santa Monica
If you're a lover of all things Rolling Stones, and you couldn't make it over to London for the Exhibitionism event, fear not, fellow Stones fans. The Morrison Hotel Gallery ...
BeautyCon focus: Perfect365
The Feast of San Gennaro is this Weekend!
Photo Essay: The Haunted Hayride
Liquid Kitty Punk Rock BBQ Labor Day Weekend
Garden of the Legendary Julie Newmar to be
Upcoming: Echo Park Rising
The LA Zoo Gives Us a Preview of
Faulkner Rocks the KMPG Center Helipad in a
Scenes from the Ventura Blues and Brews Festival
The Best Seat In The House – Ethan

Ivor Levene

About Ivor Levene

Ivor Levene likes to interview musicians, write about music and musicians, play music, listen to music, read about music, photograph musicians, and anything else you can think of with music. He has been involved with the music scene for over thirty years and his posts have appeared all over the place! Ivor says "I'm going to write about music as long as I have something to say".
This entry was posted in Attractions, Events, History, Music, News. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Capitol Studios Tour – Hollywood CA

Leave a Reply