Sigma Sound Studios

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Sigma Sound Studios is an American music recording studio in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania founded by recording engineer Joseph Tarsia in 1968.

Located at 212 N. 12th Street in Philadelphia, it was the second studio in the country to offer 24-track recording and the first in the country to use console automation. Tarsia was formerly chief engineer at Philadelphia's Cameo-Parkway Studios.[1]

On April 15, 1972, singer-songwriter and pianist Billy Joel played an hour long concert at Sigma Studios. The recording of "Captain Jack" from this event received extensive radio play in the Philadelphia area, long before Joel became nationally known.

In the 1970s, Sigma Sound was strongly associated with Philadelphia soul and the sound of Gamble and Huff's Philadelphia International Records (a precursor to disco music), which combined a driving rhythm section with a full orchestral sound of strings and brass.

David Bowie recorded much of his album Young Americans in August 1974 at Sigma Sound.

Tarsia opened a branch of Sigma Sound Studios in New York City which operated from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s. Madonna used the New York studio to record her 1983 debut album, Madonna. Tarsia sold Sigma Sound Studios in 2003.

The majority of the tapes recorded in Sigma Sound Studio's history are part of The Drexel University Audio Archive.

The studio recently underwent a massive renovation and now has five state-of-the-art production studios, a live production sound stage, and media production center.


  1. ^ Joe Tarsia, Philadelphia History of music, rock & roll, oldies

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