Our History


The Legend Continues
“Why would I want to own a studio,” Walt Disney responded to the suggestion of his company’s director of recording Tutti Camarata. “I’d rather be a client.” Was this gentle Walt’s way of asking his music man to seek employment elsewhere, or a subtle nudge to encourage entrepreneurship? Tutti presumed the latter, and so it began.It was a perfect little brick structure, once an automotive repair garage. The walls, ceiling, and floor all slanted toward one corner of the cavern where the excess automobile fluids trickled into a drain. Non-parallel surfaces are ideal for acoustic control—and ideal for a studio! Tutti kicked the tires a few times and declared “I’ll take it!” Little did he know that the small step he took in 1958 on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood would soon be joined by the stampede of giants.

Once he got the engine up and running, Sunset Sound’s one studio began cranking out Disney recordings for “Bambi”, “Bedknobs & Broomsticks”, “Mary Poppins”, “101 Dalmations” and dozens of others, many in the then state-of-the-art format: magnificent mono. Fortunately the formats evolved as quickly as the stellar giants revolved in and out of the studio’s doors over the next few years. In short order, it was “Goodbye Goofy, Hello Rock’n’Roll.”

Oh, there were a few sputters along the way, even a backfire or two, but that Studio 1 eventually grew into a three-room complex, driven by a credo of technical and musical excellence without compromise. Sunset Sound geared up from a Model-T, added RPMs of horsepower (including the Sound Factory in 1981), and cruised into the classic collection it is today. No one can yet refer to the company as an Edsel: now with son Paul in the driver’s seat, it’s too busy racing into the future!

Like Sunset Sound, the Sound Factory has its’ roots in the 1960’s, during which time the building on Selma Avenue in Hollywood was home to Moonglow Records and Recording Studio. (Moonglow Records released the Righteous Brothers single, “Little Latin Lupe Lu”). Around 1969, former RCA staff engineer and Warner/Reprise staff producer, David Hassinger decided to go into business for himself and bought the Moonglow Records/Studio building and named his new enterprise, The Sound Factory.

The Sound Factory soon became one of the busiest studios in Hollywood. The demand for studio time was more than the one room could handle, so David opened a second studio in West Hollywood and called it The Sound Factory West. After awhile, David found that operating two studios in different locations to be a little burdensome, and eventually negotiated to buy out the restaurant on the property adjacent to the Selma Avenue location. After a period of complete renovation, the restaurant was converted into a new studio, tech shop, and a proposed disc mastering room. Upon completion, David closed the Sound Factory West and opened studio “B” for business.

For close to a decade, The Sound Factory operated at capacity and was host to many well known artists such as Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Seals & Crofts, Warren Zevon, Little Feat, and many others. From the ranks of its engineering staff emerged a number of prominent engineers / producers, such as Val Garay and Greg Ladanyi to name but a couple. Around 1980, for reasons known only to friends, employees, and industry insiders, the Sound Factory shut its doors, ceased operation, and sat dormant for close to a year.

Enter Paul Camarata and Sunset Sound! During the early 1980’s, when the recording industry was in a slump and the record companies were cutting recording budgets; many record producers began leaving the larger studios and booking overdub time in less expensive commercial and project studios in order to keep their recording costs under control. Looking for a way to stop this exodus and offer their clients more flexibility in their recording budgets, Paul and Tutti Camarata considered either building a new room or buying an existing studio that would serve as a less expensive overdub room.


It was during this time, that it was brought to their attention, that The Sound Factory was for sale. Paul made arrangements to inspect the facility and during his initial walk through, discovered what he believed would be the perfect economical compliment to the rooms at Sunset Sound.

 


The two-room facility was equipped with A.P.I. consoles, with a great arsenal of microphones, and the location was less than five minutes away from Sunset Sound. Paul bought The Sound Factory in November 1981, and spent the next couple of months doing minor renovation and cleaning out the cobwebs left over from a year or so of neglect. During January 1982, a number of demo sessions were conducted to insure that everything was in proper working order, and The Sound Factory was officially re-opened in February 1982. When word got out that The Sound Factory had re-opened, studio “A” was immediately booked for six weeks by Elektra/Asylum artist (and Jackson Browne sideman), David Lindley & El Rayo-X, and recorded David’s second solo album, “Win This Record”.

During the following years The Sound factory served its original purpose, as an alternative overdub studio for Sunset Sound Clients, but over the course of time it eventually developed its own unique identity and client base. Since its new beginnings in 1982, The Sound Factory has seen a lot of changes under the ownership of Paul Camarata and Sunset Sound, and has managed to flourish even during the ups and downs of the recording industry. With the addition of Flying Faders automation and extensive modifications to the API Consoles in the 1990’s, The Sound Factory has emerged as a full service recording facility in its own right.

Sunset Sound Clients 1962-Present

Studio I
Van Halen, Paul McCartney, James Taylor, Macy Gray, Bee Gees, Doobie Bros., Whitney Houston, Barry Manilow, Oingo Boingo, Luis Miguel, Rolling Stones, Dave Grusin, Crosby, Stills, Nash, Lee Ritenour, Fourplay, Richard Thompson, Yes, Brian Wilson, Beach Boys, Annette Funicello, Carly Simon, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Bangles, Fishbone, Randy Newman, Sly & Family Stone, “Fabulous Baker Boys”, Vonda Shepard, Tom Petty, “The Firm”, Sheena Easton, Patti Austin, Aaron Neville, “Mary Poppins”, Sam Cooke, The Turtles, “101 Dalmations”, Lovin» Spoonful, Buffalo Springfield, Janis Joplin, Genesis, Kenny Loggins, Jackson Browne, “My Best Friend»s Wedding”, Reel Big Fish, “Dr. Doolittle”, “The Truman Show”, “Tootsie”


Studio 2
Van Halen, Led Zeppelin IV, Sheryl Crow, Smashing Pumpkins, Matthew Sweet, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Celine Dion, Earl Klugh, Alanis Morrisette, Michael Jackson, Toto, Lita Ford, Robert Palmer, “Dick Tracy”, “Dune”, “Days Of Thunder”, “Rocky II & IV”, Ry Cooder, Richard Marx, Aretha Franklin, Tom Waits, Neil Young, Crowded House, Bob Dylan, Jennifer Holliday, Olivia Newton-John, Melissa Manchester, Barbra Streisand, Roberta Flack, Rick James, “Major League”, “Great Balls Of Fire”, Michael Feinstein, “Wayne»s World”, “Wayne»s World II”, Alice Cooper (Muscle »73), Leo Sayer, “The Waterboy”, “The Big Lebowski”, “Pleasantville”, Doyle Bramhall, Weezer, “The Prince Of Egypt”, DDT, Poison, Andy Williams


Studio 3
The Surfers, Elliott Smith, Social Distortion, Sugar Ray, Mary Lou Lord, “Midnight In The Garden Of Good & Evil”, Earth Wind & Fire, Prince (Æ81-»87), Dan Fogelberg, Hiroshima, Rancid, k d lang, The Wallflowers, Beck, Mr. Mister, Stevie Nicks, Belinda Carlisle, Kix, Desert Rose Band, Air Supply, Counting Crows, Deborah Harry, Jody Watley, Neil Diamond, Rita Coolidge, Lionel Ritchie, Sam Phillips, Fleetwood Mac, Tom Jones, Van Dyke Parks, Gillian Welch, The Refreshments, Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Thisway, Melissa Etheridge

Sound Factory Clients From 1970’s

American Flyer, Lynn Anderson, Hoyt Axton, The Blackbyrds, Karla Bonoff, Herman Brood, Jackson Browne, Jimmy Buffet, Eric Carmen, Valarie Carter, Cher, Natalie Cole, Crusaders, Neil Diamond, Dolenz,Jones,Boyce,&Hart, Flying Burrito Brothers, Fools Gold, Ritchie Furray, Art Garfunkel, Louise Goffin, Andrew Gold, Don Henley, Thelma Houston, Tom Jans, George Jones, Jules & The Polar Bears, Carole King, Evelyn King, Little Feat, Memphis Horns, Rick Nelson, Orleans, Pablo Cruise, Gene Page, Pyramid, Eddie Rabbit, Bonnie Raitt, Helen Reddy, Linda Ronstadt, Red Ryder, Lalo Schiffren, Seals & Crofts, J.D.Souther, Spirit, Starguard, Al Stewart, Sly Stone, Taste Of Honey, James Taylor, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Tim Weisberg, Nancy Wilson, Warren Zevon, and many more…

Sound Factory Clients From 1980’s

David Lindley & El Rayo-X, Jimmy Messina, Toto, Beverly D’Angelo, Lisa Hartman, Sheena Easton, Toni Basil, Hiroshima, Bette Midler, Jackson Browne, Mr.Mister, The Bangles, Los Lobos, Oingo Boingo, Nu Shooz, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Waits, Manhattan Transfer, Ringo Starr, Jesse Colin Young, Kiss, Deneice Williams, Nina Hagen, The Plimsouls, Lee Ritenour, T Bone Burnett, Cinderella, Faster Pussycat, T.S.O.L., Tonio K., The Del Fuegos, Crowded House, Dan Reed Network, Gary Puckett, Sam Phillips, The Bodeans, Elvis Costello, Pat McLaughlin, Don Randi & Qwest, Maria McKee, Downey Mildew, Richard Thompson, Stephen Bishop, Melissa Manchester, King Cotton, The Blasters, James Harmon Band, The Rave Ups, Cheech & Chong, Fishbone, Glen Campbell, Paul Rodriguez, Animotion, Kris Kristofferson, Victoria Williams, Semi Twang, The Subdudes, The Black Velvet Band, Melissa Ethridge, John Wesley Harding, Marvin Etzione, David Baerwald, Brian Wilson, Passion Fodder, Albert Lee, Buckwheat Zydeco, and many more…

Sound Factory Clients From 1990’s

Joseph Arthur, Adam Cohen, American Music Club, Tasmin Archer, Jose Augusto, Doyle Bramhall II, Bodeans, Tracy Bonham, T Bone Burnett, Meredith Brooks, Blue Areoplanes, Ben Folds Five, Frank Black, Blind Melon, Beck, Box Set, Amy Correia, Mel C., Sheryl Crow, Counting Crows, Citizen King, Cibo Matto, Julian Coryell, Jude Cole, Elvis Costello, Crowded House, Catherine Wheel, Peter Case, Eduardo Capetillo, Circle Jerks, Danzig, The Dandy Warhols, Dori Caymmi, Oscar Castro-Neves, Dime Store Hoods, Phil Driscoll, Dove Shack, Dave Dobbyn, Everclear, Edna Swap, “E”, Boingo, Danny Elfman, Neil Finn, Tim Finn, Robben Ford, Freewheelers, Wendy & Lisa, Lisa Germano, Chocolate Genius, The Geraldine Fibbers, Greta, Don Grusin, Nawfel Hermi, Human Nature, Hiroshima, Hazeldine, Honeyrods, John Lee Hooker, Lauren Hoffman, Jai, Susanna Hoffs, Enrique Iglesias, Gary Jules, Jack Drag, Jayhawks, Jack Mack & The Heartattack, Los Lobos, Jordan Knight, The Knack, Wayne Kramer, Kent, Los Super Seven, Michelle Lewis, Martin Lawrence, L7, Latin Playboys, Nils Lofgren, Little Caesar, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Muffs, Molotov, John Mayall, Motorhead, The Mutton Birds, Chris Mars, Randy Newman, Me’shell Ndegeocello, Aaron Neville, Old 97’s, The Odds, Michael Penn, Pell Mell, Kendall Payne, Phantom Planet, Prong, The Pontiac Brothers, Sam Phillips, Reef, Michael Petak, Flora Purim, Henry Rollins, Matthew Ryan, Bonnie Raitt, Cesar Rosas, Reel Big Fish, Royal Jelly, Kimm Rogers, Red Aunts, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Carl Hancock Rux, Rainbirds, Mama Stud, Liquid Jesus, Maldita Vecindad, Mitchell Froom, Duke Daniels, Johnny Rivers, Toni Childs, Kristin Hersh, Brian McKnight, Bonnie Pink, Glass Tiger, The Pretenders, La Lupita, La Cuca, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Madeline Peyroux, Soulwax, Vonda Shepard, Sebadoh, Peter Stuart, Elliot Smith, Ron Sexsmith, Stanford Prison Experiment, The Surfers, Scheer, Screaming Trees, Soul Asylum, Spinal Tap, Soul Coughing, Matthew Sweet, Jimmy Scott, School Of Fish, The Sand Rubies, Skin, Patti Scialfa, Jeremy Toback, Scott Thomas Band, Richard Thompson, Tricky, That Dog, Ten Foot Pole, Tonic, Three Mile Pilot, The Toadies, Sonichrome, Jack Tempchin, Suzanne Vega, Velvet Crush, Rufus Wainwright, The Wallflowers, Weezer, Paul Westerberg, Kirk Whalum, Wild Colonials, Gillian Welch, Vanessa Williams, Victoria Williams, Paul Winter, Tom Waits, Dwight Yokum, Dan Zanes, Warren Zevon, And more…