Hit Factory at 421 West
was a recording studio
in New York City
famous for its clientele. It was officially closed
for business April 1 2005.
The New York facility was purchased from Jerry Ragovoy
by Edward Germano on March 6
From 1989 to 1993, the company also operated The Hit Factory
London. This facility is now Sony's Whitfield Street Studios In 1999, The Hit
Factory purchased Criteria Recording in Miami, Florida, revamping and reopening the studios under the new
name Hit Factory Criteria.
After Germano's death in 2003, the business was taken over by his
wife Janice Germano.
Hit Factory was officially closed for business April 1 2005. The
last album to be recorded there was Octavarium by Dream Theater.
The business' base of operations moved to the remaining Hit Factory
Criteria Miami in March 2005. The New York Daily News
- Big-name studios like The Hit Factory once had a lock on the
recording industry, but technological advances have made it cheaper
and easier for stars to build their own state-of-the-art
facilities, often in their homes. In a statement, The Hit Factory
acknowledged the industry is moving away from large-scale studios
to "destination" locations like Miami that offer sunny weather and
a hot nightlife.
Troy Germano (CEO and son of owner Edward Germano) told the New
, however, that rumors about the "digital age" or a
lack of business were false, and that the studio had closed
directly due to the actions of his mother, Janice Germano.
In December 2006 Stribling and Assocs, a New York real-estate
broker, began marketing The Hit Factory as a luxury condominium.
Twenty-seven loft-style apartments went on sale, including six
duplexes. Prices started at about $1 million. The developers
have said that there will continue to be rehearsal space for
musicians on the ground floor.
The studios occupied several spaces in and around Times Square and
Midtown West after Germano's purchase. Locations included "Hit
Factory Times Square" on West 48th Street, "Hit Factory Broadway,"
at 237 West 54th Street
finally the flagship facility at 421 West 54th Street.
The Hit Factory Broadway, located between Broadway and Eighth
Avenue, was a four studio complex which housed a mix of Solid State Logic
and Neve VR
-series consoles. The facility at 421 West
54th street was opened in 1992 and all operations moved there,
while Hit Factory Broadway studios continued to be booked. To avoid
confusion, studio names at the new location were given numbers
instead of the more-traditional letters. The Hit Factory Broadway
closed in early 2002, as new studios were planned in the main
The main studio facility at 421 West 54th Street was a
mega-complex, occupying most of a 100,000+ square foot building.
Five dedicated floors (including basement) housed five recording
studios, private lounges for each studio, a mastering business
Hit Factory Mastering
several suites, numerous production rooms, a full in-house rental
company The Rental Company
well as operations - large offices, tech shop, tape library and
Studio 1 occupied the entire top floor of the building. The main
studio studios wood floors spanned approximately 50 by 50' feet
with a 30' ceiling height, for which the roof was raised from the
original structure. It could accommodate a 60 piece orchestra. Four
overdub booths of varying size added extra flexibility during
tracking. The control room was designed for the comfort of groups,
yet similarly equipped as the other studios with a 80-input
Solid State Logic
9000J as the
centerpiece. The lounge was also a flexible space, with room for a
large orchestra or cast party, coat room, green room, office,
production room, gym and several storage areas. The large windows
faced 54th Street with a clear view of the Hudson River, and Times
Square all the way to the twin towers of the World Trade
On July 24
opened Studios 6 and 7, complete with Solid State Logic
consoles. Each Studio contained a 48-channel Pro Tools
MIXPlus system, a Sony
3348 HR, two Studer
Lexicon 960L and 480L reverbs, and outboard racks tailored for
surround mixing. Studio 7 was designed as a mix/overdub room, with
a small booth adjacent to the control room. Custom Augspurger
monitors (dual 15" TAD drivers, horns and 18" hidden stereo subs)
were custom painted bright red with matching furniture in the
lounge. Studio 6 had a silver color scheme, also with custom
Augspurgers and silver credenza ends in the control room, and a
circle Hit Factory Studios logo at the back of studio. Studio 6
featured a generous tracking room and overdub booths, all utilizing
floor-to-ceiling glass for uninhibited sight lines between rooms.
In addition to the views, each room in the studio has floating
floors - separated and isolated from one another.
1994, Dr. John recorded a spontaneous and
furious series of jingles for the nascent Crown Casino of
Louisiana, a riverboat to be based at Luling, Louisiana.
After arriving at the studio, Dr. John wrote lyrics, composed
music, and recorded a jingle within two days with a ten-piece group
and several backup vocalists, despite a cold acquired in Europe
several days before the session.
The working session included vocalist Lani Graves of Steely Dan
fame. The recordings were managed and mixed by
Brad Broussard of Nexxt Productions, from Lafayette,
The Crown Casino Venture failed before the gaming riverboat was
opened, and several one of a kind audio recordings of Dr. John made
at the Hit Factory are of indeterminate status, presumed in the
Crown Casino or Nexxt Productions intellectual property
John Lennon controversy
After the death of John Lennon, on December 8, 1980, the legendary
status of the hit-generating Hit Factory became even greater.
Mourners and music fans around the world read accounts of the
murder in newspapers on the days following the shooting, and the
Hit Factory was mentioned in some of these publications. However,
there is controversy as to whether he was recording at the Hit
Factory or the nearby Record Plant
day he was murdered. Most publications cite the Record Plant
as the location. Individuals
present with John, including his producer Jack Douglas
, cite the Record Plant
as the studio where he spent his
time recording and mixing tracks that evening.
If Lennon was recording at the Hit Factory, it was not at the 421
West 54th facility, as the Hit Factory was not located there until
and Marley Marl
dedicated a song to the House of
hits on their album Hip Hop Lives
song features Busy Bee Starski
the chorus. In the song, KRS-One name drops a few of the most
potent artists in Hip Hop.
- White Mark Limited - White Mark Clients: Hit
- "The Sound of Silence at Studio", Daily News
Hit Factory Condo Website
- House Of Hits Krs-One And Marley Marl Song Lyrics
UpLyrics.com at www.uplyrics.com