This week we’re pleased to welcome to campus Drew Waters, the Head of Studios, Archives and Strategy for the legendary Capitol Studios in Los Angeles.
Opened in 1956 at the base of the iconic Capitol Records building, this facility has been home to groundbreaking recordings from artists like Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, and the Beach Boys, and is still revered by artists and engineers today for its unique acoustics.
Drew will be presenting a lecture titled “Capitol Records….Past, Present and Future” on Thursday, March 21, offering students insight into the facility’s rich history, and how they have continued to evolve along with the industry over the past 50-plus years.
Darren Schneider, Course Director for the Advanced Session Recording class, sees the visit as a great opportunity to learn more about one of the country’s premiere music facilities.
“Capitol is a straight up icon in the business, there’s no question, it was one of the places where everything was happening,” Darren says. “For students, there’s such an advantage to listening to someone like Drew talk. He’s in that studio every day. How can you get better information about what’s actually happening in the industry than from somebody who’s running a place of that size?”
Capitol has long been hailed for its signature sound, including the natural reverb from its underground echo chambers prominent on many classic tracks from the 50s and 60s. Those features and more solidify that even in this age of inexpensive recording gear and home studios, there will always be a need for professional spaces with distinct character. Major artists continue to work in facilities like Capitol to get a certain flavor that no digital plug-in could reproduce.
“There’s a reason that so many hit records have been made in certain key studios throughout the world – there is some magic mojo that happens in a place like that which you cannot replicate somewhere else,” Darren says. “You could go intern at Capitol, even for a month, and what you would learn in just a short amount of time in a place like that, you can’t exchange.”