Manhattan Center Studios

Oct 1, 2001 12:00 PM


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Company Name: Manhattan Center Studios.
Company Contact: Victor Moore, Vice President of Audio Sales and Production.
Services Offered:
Audio recording and mixing, 5.1 surround mixing, film scores, orchestral recording, digital audio editing, video production, video post-production, online digital video editing, Web page design and construction.
Main Technology Platforms:
Neve VR consoles (2), Pro Tools, Sony 3348, Studer, Avid.
Partial Client List:
Virgin Records, Sony Pictures, Interscope Records, Elektra Records, Columbia Records, Mandalay Pictures, VH-1, Island/Def Jam, Paramount Pictures, Sony Classical.

Manhattan Center Studios
311 West 34th Street
New York, NY 10001

Tel.: 212/695-6600 x201
Fax: 212/564-1092


Few studios in New York play equally strong roles in preserving the city’s media history and in propelling its media future. Manhattan Center Studios is one of those special few. The facility's heritage is remarkable: It opened at the turn of the 20th century as the Manhattan Opera House, under the guidance of Oscar Hammerstein, father of legendary theatrical composer Oscar Hammerstein Jr. In mid-century, the building was purchased by the Masons and additional floors were added. This provided New York not only with an opera house (now known as the Hammerstein Ballroom) but also with a world-class acoustical space, the Grand Ballroom, which was used by Broadway casts and conductors including Leonard Bernstein. These changes also paved the way for the facility’s development as a multiple-studio complex.

The Grand Ballroom (Studio 7), Manhattan Center's renowned scoring studio, has a Neve VR 96-equipped control room and a simply awesome, gigantic 94x98-foot music room with a 60x80-foot stage. On one occasion, it was able to hold the entire Metropolitan Opera orchestra and choir simultaneously for a recording performance, and it has become a favorite of many scoring composers and film directors.

"The acoustics of the Ballroom are quite extraordinary," observes Victor Moore, Manhattan Center's Vice President of Audio Sales and Production. "The Masons had very specific construction techniques, and they imparted this space with a sound which is remarkably warm, yet retains great punch and clarity."

Being one of the city's jewels of scoring and orchestral work would be enough to secure the Grand Ballroom a berth in the top tier of media studios. However, the facility has expanded significantly into multimedia applications in recent years. In addition to a second audio studio (Studio 4), equipped with a Neve VR 72 console, Manhattan Center also offers video production and both audio and video post-production capabilities. There is an audio editing suite (Studio 8) that houses a Digidesign Pro Tools system, and two online Avid/Sony digital video editing suites. In addition, the facility holds two fully equipped and broadcast-operational television stages with control rooms, one of which is the nerve center for New York's cable Metro Channel. All of the media control rooms, post suites and acoustical recording spaces are networked via fiber, allowing post to proceed even as productions remain in progress.

Moving further into multimedia, Manhattan Center two years ago inaugurated a new division, Manhattan Center New Media, which specializes in Web page design and construction.

"The studio has evolved into a comprehensive, soup-to-nuts media facility over the last decade," says Moore. "But while the diversity of capabilities we have here is sizable, what I truly believe sets Manhattan Center apart is the fact that it had this tremendous history as a performance space behind it. The place has a vibe that can't be duplicated just with technology. It's truly a part of New York history, and in the process, we continue to make history here."

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