Location Recording Service, often simply known as “LRS”, ran from the early 70s through the late 90s and had three mastering studios and one recording studio. Studios A, B and C were mastering studios that mastered vinyl records and later also CDs for Pop, Jazz, Classical, Blues and Big Band. One of the bigger acts for LRS was the Beach Boys, and they mastered “Holland”, “The Beach Boys In Concert- Double Live”, “M.I.U.”, “15 Big Ones” and “Love You”.
In the 80s you heard their mastering every week on radio syndication shows such as American Top 40, Country Countdown and other top of the charts shows featuring Kasey Kasem, Dick Clark and Rick Dees, as well as other syndication shows, like Dr. Demento. Studios A and C cut vinyl master lacquer discs, Studio B cut vinyl and later also did CD mastering. LRS used Studer 1/4″ and 1/2″ tape machines, Neumann consoles and cutting lathes, Sontec equalizers, and Urie compressors and Time Aligned monitors. The CD mastering was done to a Sony 1630, and in 1990 they installed a custom mastering console in Studio B.
The engineer most associated with Studio A was Bruce Kennedy, originally from Motown. Other engineers that worked at LRS included Jeff Peters (engineer for the Stray Cats, Beach Boys and others) and David Kulka (from Studio Electronics).
DCC Compact Classics (Studio B)
One of LRS’s audiophile accounts was DCC, and engineers Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray (now of AcousTech Mastering) remastered many classic albums for DCC’s 24 Karat Gold Disc CD series in Studio B. Since these classic albums were originally released on vinyl, the remastering was needed in part because of the differences in mastering process for the CD format. With only a few exceptions, they remastered from the original two track Analog master tapes, an important aspect for sonic quality and for the best mastering options. Many record companies would simply cut CDs from an equalized tape copy done from a previous mastering, often from a vinyl mastering session at that and sadly for some of the biggest selling classic albums.
While record companies usually already had their own CD releases of such classics, the quality of this mastering and the gold disc format had such a value that these companies licensed to DCC the rights to release their products while maintaining their own CD releases. The mastering for DCC products was done at LRS in Studio B from 1990 to 1995. The artists remastered included The Eagles, Paul McCartney, The Beach Boys, Joni Mitchell, Cream, The Doors, Heart and many more.
The recording studio within the LRS building was known simply as Studio 4, and was credited as “Location Record Service”, then “Channel Recording” and finally “Monday To Sunday”. Studio 4 opened in 1974 and would go on to host a wide variety of major Pop artists such as Madonna, Ambrosia, The Jets, Juice Newton, Larry Carlton, Al Jarreau, Cheech & Chong, Ted Nugent and many more. Having contributed to the sales of over 26 million records, Studio 4 helped create over 26x Top 40 hit singles and over 24x Top 100 albums, with RIAA certified awards that included 1x Diamond Record, 5x Platinum Records, 3x Gold Records and 3x Gold Singles.
It created product for TV shows such as The Midnight Special, Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert, Miami Vice and Rock Palace. Some of Studio 4’s movie credits include Terminator, Beverly Hills Cop II, Born On The Fourth Of July, At Close Range, White Knights, Karate Kid III, Licensed To Drive, Who’s That Girl and The Virgin Tour. Although it was often used as an overdub and mixdown recording studio, some of the Top 10 hit records that were completely recorded and mixed in Studio 4 include Madonna’s “Live To Tell”, Ambrosia’s “Biggest Part Of Me” and “You’re The Only Woman” and The Jet’s “Cross My Broken Heart” and “Make It Real”.
Before the Internet took hold, artists working in Studio 4 that had singles or albums in or near the Top Billboard charts would walk down the hall on Wednesday nights to our Studios A, B and C (which were the LRS mastering studios that cut various Billboard Top 40 or Hot 100 radio syndication shows hosted by Kasey Kasem, Rick Dees and others) to see where their songs or albums were charting that week. Since there wasn’t a lounge within the building, on any given night major recording artists and session musicians could be found hanging out up front, in the kitchen, or sometimes they visited with the mastering engineers in the mastering studios. Studio 4’s equipment included Electrodyne, Trident TSM and Neve 8108 consoles, Studer, Ampex and MCI Analog tape machines, and Urie Time Aligned and Yamaha NS-10 speakers.