- Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014
It’s well known that Hollywood Center Studios has played host to innumerable film and television productions over the course of its long history. Few people, however, are aware that some of the most popular musical recordings of recent years—including work by such artists as Eric Clapton, T. Bone Burnett, Ben Harper, Bruno Mars, Diana Krall and Robert Plant—have also come to fruition on the lot.
The focal point of all this musical activity is Lurssen Mastering, a world-renowned mastering facility that has resided in a 3000-square-foot building on the lot for the past eight years. The final stage in the production of a recording, mastering, is a delicate art combining razor sharp engineering with exquisitely refined audio aesthetics. Lurssen Mastering, featuring the talents of mastering engineers Gavin Lurssen and Reuben Cohen, is among the best in the business with credits on dozens of Grammy, Golden Globe, and Oscar-winning recordings. The company’s list of hits includes Diego Torres’ Distinto, a Latin Grammy winner for Best Engineered Album, the soundtrack for Up, an Oscar-winner for Best Original Score and O Brother Where Art Thou, a Grammy-winner for Album of the Year.
This year, Lurssen Mastering was nominated for yet another Grammy for its work on the Queens of the Stone Age’s Like Clockwork. Just last month, the soundtrack for the movie All is Lost, which was also mastered at the facility, picked up a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score for a Motion Picture, and is currently an Academy Award nominee for Best Sound Editing. The latter was produced by Alex Ebert of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, whose past two albums have also been mastered at Lurssen Mastering.
Individual tracks for Like Clockwork were recorded in different locations and Lurssen Mastering’s role was to smooth out the inevitable differences in the recordings and give the album a consistent sound. “The essence of our job is to make it sound like we were never there,” explains Lurssen. “There are colors, flavors and vibes to what we do—our analog equipment injects a certain attitude into the sound—but it’s a visceral thing to be felt and not noticed.”
“To be recognized by members of the Recording Academy for what is a hard rock album is particularly gratifying to us.”
Lurssen Mastering is located near the center of the lot in a building that originally served as a mill where sets were made during the 1920s. The company transformed the space into a world-class mastering facility, adding the necessary acoustical features and an array of audio technology, while retaining its brick walls, concrete floors, wood ceilings and loft. Lurssen and his team process audio using their highly-customized analog console. Gear includes ATC speakers, Benchmark converters, Esoteric Audio Research and GML equalizers, Manley and Fairchild compressors, Antelope digital clocks and a Sonic Studio mastering platform.
While it may seem surprising to find a mastering studio in the middle of a television and film production lot, Lurssen Mastering likes the vibe. “It’s a great facility,” says Studio Manager Nikki Nieves. “We’re constantly receiving compliments on our space. We are grateful for all the services that Hollywood Center provides. We love it here.”
Currently, Lurssen Mastering is working on a new album from country chanteuse Miranda Lambert. Produced by Chuck Ainlay, Frank Liddell, Glenn Worf, it will be released later this year. In its latest collaboration with Academy Award-winning composer Hans Zimmer, the company is also mastering the soundtrack for the upcoming film Winter’s Tale.
About Hollywood Center Studios
Hollywood Center Studios has a rich and colorful history that mirrors the development of Hollywood and the growth of the entertainment industry. The studio has played host to some of the most notable productions of the past century, including such iconic television shows as I Love Lucy, The Addams Family, Jeopardy, Rockford Files and Mad TV, and classic film productions such as When Harry Met Sally and The Player. In recent years, Hollywood Center Studios has continued to grow and modernize to support its large television clientele which includes Disney, NBC, Comedy Central and MTV. Hollywood Center Studios remains a vital part of the Hollywood community and a place where entertainment history continues to be made every day.
Hollywood Center Studios is located at 1040 N. Las Palmas Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90038. For more information, call (323) 860-0000 or visit www.HollywoodCenter.com.