Wally Heider Studios

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Wally Heider Studios
IndustryRecording studio
FoundedUnited States (1960s (1960s))
FounderWally Heider
Defunct1980 (1980)
Successor
Headquarters,
United States

Wally Heider Studios was a recording studio founded in San Francisco in 1969 by recording engineer and studio owner Wally Heider.[1] Between 1969 and 1980, numerous notable artists recorded at the studios, including Creedence Clearwater Revival, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, and The Grateful Dead. The studio changed ownership in 1980 and was renamed Hyde Street Studios, which is still in operation today.

History[edit]

Background[edit]

Heider had apprenticed with as an engineer and mixer at Bill Putnam's United Western Recorders studio in Hollywood in the early 1960s, after which he founded Wally Heider Recording with the opening of Studio 3 at 1604 N. Cahuenga Boulevard in Hollywood. Heider and his crew gained notoriety for top notch engineering that resulted in excellent studio and remote location recordings, including sessions with The Beach Boys, and Crosby, Stills & Nash.

In 1967, Heider assisted in the live recording of the Monterey Pop Festival. Bay-area artists like Jefferson Airplane, Quicksilver Messenger Service and The Grateful Dead had been recording in Los Angeles and New York, and Heider saw the need for musicians involved in the nascent San Francisco Sound to have their own well-equipped and staffed recording studio close to home.[2]

Hyde Street[edit]

In March 1969, Heider opened Wally Heider Studios at 245 Hyde Street, San Francisco, between Turk and Eddy Streets, across the street from Black Hawk jazz club, in a building that had previously been used by 20th Century Fox for film offices, screening rooms and storage.[1][3] The studios were built by Dave Mancini.[1]

Heider planned four studios—A and B on the ground floor and C and D upstairs. However, studio B was never finished and instead became a game room. The studio commenced operations in May 1969 upon completion of Studio C, with staff that included General Manager Mel Tanner, Booking Agent Ginger Mews, Technician Harry Sitam, and Staff Engineer Russ Gary. Studio C's dimensions were similar to Heider's Studio 3 in Hollywood—though its control room, instead of being at the end the room, was parallel to Studio C's long side. The walls were kept from being parallel with square gypsum devices that were used as mid-range sound diffusers and absorbers. At the Grateful Dead's request, its studio doors were covered with airbrushed paintings. Studios A and D became operational a few months later.[4]

Frank DeMedio, who had designed the 24-channel mixing console and an 8-channel monitor and cue—replicated for Heider's Studio 3 and remote truck in Hollywood, built all of the custom equipment and mixing console for Heider's new Hyde Street studios, using Universal Audio (UA) console components, military grade switches and level controls, and a simple audio path that used one preamp for everything in a channel. Monitor speakers were Altec 604-Es with McIntosh 275 tube power amps.[1]

The first release out of Studio C was Jefferson Airplane’s Volunteers, which was also the first album they recorded in their hometown. Between 1969 and 1970, many other high-profile acts followed, including Harry Nilsson, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, the Steve Miller Band. Creedence Clearwater Revival recorded several albums in that room, and named their record, Cosmo's Factory after the "factory" at Studio C (Cosmo's Factory was CCR's rehearsal area). Engineers and staff at the studio during that time included Bill Halverson, Stephen Barncard, and Glyn Johns.[4]

While Crosby Stills Nash and Young were recording, Studio D (an exact replica of Heider's Studio 3 in Hollywood) opened. Among the first things to be recorded in Studio D was Jerry Garcia's steel guitar overdub for Teach Your Children, while the live recording setup was kept intact in Studio C where CSNY recorded. In that same period, Deane Jensen supervised installation of a new Quad Eight console in Studio A. Santana and John Hall used Studio D a few times. CBS Records had a priority lease on Studio D for a year, before eventually taking over Coast Recorders as their west coast recording facility.[5] Many other artists followed.

In 1978, Heider sold the studio and its name to Filmways, but remained as manager[6] until 1980 when Filmways sold it to a partnership composed of Dan Alexander, Tom Sharples, and Michael Ward. The three partners renamed the business Hyde Street Studios, which is still an operating recording studio as of 2019, now owned solely by Michael Ward.[7]

Albums recorded[edit]

1969

1970

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

1977

1978

1979

1981

1982

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Hyde Street Studios History: Early Years p.2". Archived from the original on 2006-08-20. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  2. ^ Buskin, Richard (August 2010). "Classic Tracks: Crosby, Stills & Nash 'Suite: Judy Blue Eyes'". Sound On Sound. SOS Publications Group. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  3. ^ "Recording Wally Heider » The Birth of a Studio". wallyheider.com. Archived from the original on 2010-05-23.
  4. ^ a b "Hyde Street Studios History: Early Years p.3". Archived from the original on 2006-08-20. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  5. ^ "Hyde Street Studios History: Early Years - Page 4". Archived from the original on 2006-08-20. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  6. ^ "Hyde Street Studios History: The Next Step". Archived from the original on 2006-08-20. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  7. ^ "Hyde Street Studios History: Turnabout". Archived from the original on 2006-08-20. Retrieved 2017-02-17.
  8. ^ a b c d e Silvers, Emma (10 November 2016). "Into The Mix: How One Tenderloin Recording Studio Shaped the 'San Francisco Sound'". KQED. NPR. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  9. ^ "Billboard". 27 June 1970. p. 55. Retrieved 24 April 2019 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ Bang, Derrick. "Vince Guaraldi Timeline: 1972". fivecentsplease.org. Derrick Bang, Scott McGuire. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  11. ^ a b Bang, Derrick. "Vince Guaraldi Timeline: 1973". fivecentsplease.org. Derrick Bang, Scott McGuire. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  12. ^ a b Bang, Derrick. "Vince Guaraldi Timeline: 1974". fivecentsplease.org. Derrick Bang, Scott McGuire. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  13. ^ a b Bang, Derrick. "Vince Guaraldi Timeline: 1975". fivecentsplease.org. Derrick Bang, Scott McGuire. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  14. ^ Bang, Derrick. "Vince Guaraldi Timeline: 1976". fivecentsplease.org. Derrick Bang, Scott McGuire. Retrieved 16 January 2022.