On the Cover: Paramount Recording Studios, Los Angeles

Dec 1, 2011 9:00 AM, By Bud Scoppa

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Owners Adam Beilenson (left) and Mike Kerns in Encore Studio A with film music mixer Joseph Magee (The Muppets, Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, Spiderman 3; seated)

Owners Adam Beilenson (left) and Mike Kerns in Encore Studio A with film music mixer Joseph Magee (The Muppets, Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers, Spiderman 3; seated)

Adam Beilenson and Mike Kerns, co-owners of the Paramount Recording Group, the biggest music-dedicated studio operation in L.A.—and quite possibly the biggest on the planet—have gotten to this point by boldly bucking trends.

Tellingly, the Paramount Group began to hone its competitive edge in 2000, the year after Napster appeared, sending the music business reeling and dealing a devastating blow to the recording sector as a direct consequence. At that critical juncture, Beilenson and Kerns, a pair of ex-musician L.A. natives who’d opened Hollywood’s Paramount for business 14 years earlier, made a move that seemed foolhardy at the time, buying Ray Parker’s Ameraycan Recording in North Hollywood. Four years later, just as prices were bottoming out post-downturn, they snapped up Encore, formerly part of the storied Kendun complex on Glenwood Place in Burbank. In 2008, they purchased Track Record, built in 1980 by producer Brian Ahern for his then-wife Emmylou Harris. Just last year, they added a fifth facility, acquiring Wilder Brothers in Century City, where film composer Henry Mancini once worked. (Mancini’s piano is still on site.)

“We’ve also bought and sold a few other studio properties over the years, as well as doing some other real-estate deals together outside of the studio business, including vacation rental properties in Venice Beach where we often put up out-of-town studio clients,” says Beilenson, sitting at his desk at the group’s command central just off the entryway of Paramount Recording. “Some of those investments did well, and it afforded us the opportunity to buy these other facilities. These are all interesting studios that really did well at one time, but then they went downhill for one reason or another. And one of the reasons why we were able to buy low was purely by virtue of the fact that there weren’t a lot of prospective buyers out there. Some of these studios were on the market for a long time, but that was not reflective of their quality as studios; they were as premiere as you could get—and the hardware came with it, although we did the necessary upgrades.”

The addition of Wilder Brothers brings Beilenson and Kerns’ empire to 11 SSL mixing and tracking rooms, along with 20 production rooms, following their canny transformation of pretty much every square foot of available space in their various facilities into income-producing units. At the same time, they’ve styled up every one of these 31 rooms in response to the standards of their current clientele. This operation is a case study in economies of scale.






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