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Topic: Greetings from Skywalker Studios!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Orcas Island

    Greetings from Skywalker Studios!

    Hi all!

    We're here recording a new Steinway & Sons Model B piano. Instead of a concert hall like our Model D, it is being recorded in one of the best sound stages in the world. Skywalker Studios is an impressive facility and unlike any other place I've been.

    Everything is going perfect. Like the Model D project, Steinway & Sons provided the piano, the technician and Steinway artist. The piano sounds gorgeous.

    We have a terrific Steinway technican and specialist, Peter Sumner. Great engineers - Leslie Ann Jones, Director of Music Recording and Scoring, and engineer Dann Michael Thompson. We had a gifted Steinway artist, Richard Cionco who played the Steinway. George Massenberg was also consulted on the project. Jeff is here as lead technical director and Tom is also here.

    Skywalker Ranch is located in the green hills of Marin County, California, about an hour north of San Francisco. The drive here is winding and the entrance is non-assuming and easy to miss. But when you get though the gate and security checkpoint you enter into a different world. The 6000 acre setting of the ranch is breathtakingly and bucolic. We passed a covered bridge, inn, fire department (yes the ranch has its own fire dept) and other buildings.

    The recording facilities are in the Technical Building. This vast building has many edit suits, various isolation rooms, a large control room equipped with state-of-the-art gear, Neve consoles and every vintage mike and outboard gear imaginable.

    We're recording in the main Scoring Stage where many movies are scored. The Scoring Stage is quite large, about 60 'x 80', with a 30' ceiling, and can accommodate a 125-piece orchestra. There are over 20 microphones, including a binaural head, set up to record the Steinway piano.

    Lunch is served at the Main House, a beautiful mansion nestled in the hills that houses the offices of George Lucas. The Main Building exudes quality and history. We walked though the hallways and were treated to displays of original movie props, like original light sabers from Star Wars, Charlie Chaplin's hat, Indian Jones' fedora (my favorite), the crystal skull and Holy Grail, the original keystone cops badges, original models from Star Wars, etc. There was exquisute artwork - sculptures, Norman Rockwell and Maxfield Parrish paintings. Large wooden staircases, stained galss doors (and domed ceiling in the library), intricate hand carved woodworking were abundant throughout the Main House. All this was a visual treat after sonic bliss at the Scoring Stage.

    We stayiing on the premises and the accomodations are first rate and they really pamper people here. Last night we were treated to a private showing in the on-premises theatre. This threatre is larger than most movie theatres I've experienced and has one of the best surround sound system's I've heard.

    The best thing of all is the atmosphere. So much going on here. The place is sizzling with creativite energy yet it is so relaxed. Being here puts you in a state to do your very best and inspires you. The force is strong.

    One of the music magazines also will be doing a feature on their visit to this Steinway session. To find out more about Skywalker Studios or view photos you can visit www.skywalkersound.com

    I am enduring these harsh conditions for you all - to bring you another fine Steinway piano.

    The hardest part is going to be leaving.

    May the force be with you,


  2. #2

    Re: Greetings from Skywalker Studios!


    You are living a charmed life and it couldn't have happened to a nicer guy (except maybe me of course).

    I know I speak for everyone when I say that we appreciate the hardships you must be enduring while going thru the process of bringing us another great product.

    Why I bet the faucets in your bathroom aren't even 18 kt gold. And I am sure that at lunch, the wine list has to be incredibly dull with less than a few hundred choices.

    Hard times. But we're worth you having to bring yourself to live and work in such deplorable conditions.

    Thank you for allowing yourself to be so deprived of the basic human needs, just for our benefit.

    "Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one." Albert Einstein


  3. #3

    Re: Greetings from Skywalker Studios!

    May the Schwartz be with you!

    ...and thanx for your efforts on behalf of "klezes" everywhere.
    Jim Williams
    Professor of Capitalism
    Indianapolis Brass Choir
    All Your Bass Sus&Short Are Belong to Us.

  4. #4

    Re: Greetings from Skywalker Studios!

    What a post--! Gary, you are a gem to take the time to describe Skywalker so vividly for us. I literally gasped out loud several times while reading--OOooohhh my my what an idyllic yet creatively crackling environment Lucas and his people have created. Auspicious place for the new Steinway project to be born.

    Thank you Much for this--ANd best of luck in tearing yourself away from there!


  5. #5
    Senior Member bigears's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Central Illinois

    Re: Greetings from Skywalker Studios!

  6. #6

    Re: Greetings from Skywalker Studios!

    I am enduring these harsh conditions for you all - to bring you another fine Steinway piano.
    What a hardship!

    Thank you all for enduring this hardship just for us!

    'nuther Steinway?


  7. #7
    Senior Member rwayland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    California Redwoods

    Re: Greetings from Skywalker Studios!

    Greetings, Gary!

    Such a rough life! It almost makes me want to drive down and see for myself. I have passed it may times (not lately) but have never felt the urge to visit (if that is possible). I hope you find time to visit the Marin Civic Center (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright), and manage to find a bit of time to look at Muir Woods, which is not far away. Not to be overlooked is Bodega & Bodega Bay, made famous by Alfred Hitchock.


  8. #8

    Re: Greetings from Skywalker Studios!

    Skywalker ranch. I am amazed and jealous and extremely happy for you. Ever since I watched the Bill Moyers interviews with Joseph Campbell that were filmed there I have thought of it as a charmed place. Star Wars and THX notwithstanding! Those Joe Campbell interviews helped me realize a few things about my life at the time (which continue to this day) and opened entire new worlds for me. I will be forever grateful to George Lucas for the setting of some life-changing information for me.
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice there is.

    http://reberclark.blogspot.com http://reberclark.bandcamp.com http://www.youtube.com/reberclark

  9. #9

    Re: Greetings from Skywalker Studios!

    I was reading on their website: they have 80 Pro Tools systems.

    Eighty! Eight-zero!

    And a Neve worth salivating over...

    Best of luck finishing up the recording process, Gary.

  10. #10

    Re: Greetings from Skywalker Studios!

    Wow, what a fantastic experience!

    We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams …
    24" 2.4 Ghz iMac, OSX 10.4.10, MOTU 828 MKII, 2 Glyph 250 Gig external drives, Logic 9, Finale 2008 GPO, JABB, Strad, Gro, Reason 4, EWQL Storm Drum, Adrenaline, Symphonic Choirs, SO Gold,All Arturia Synths, Many NI Synths, Spectrasonics Synths, KH Strings, VEPro on a Windows 7 4x 2.8 Ghz 12 gig of RAM

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