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Leading US studio pioneer Chris Stone dies aged 81

A dazzling number of singers and bands have recorded at Stone's Record Plant studios

Notice has been posted on the Record Plant Diaries facebook page of the passing of the studio’s founder, Chris Stone, at the age of 81.

The entrepreneur created the first Record Plant studio in New York City with fellow recording engineer Gary Kellgren in 1968, going on to build Record Plant LA in 1969 and Record Plant Sausalito (outside San Francisco, Stone’s birthplace) in 1971. The studios provided services for everyone who was anyone in the US music scene, from the Eagles to Bruce Springsteen, Jimi Hendrix to Fleetwood Mac, Whitney Houston to Barbra Streisand, and many more besides.

With Grammy-winning recording engineer/producer Ed Cherney, Stone was co-founder and executive director of the Music Producers Guild of the Americas 1997-1999, a non-profit guild for leading audio engineers and music producers that was merged into The Recording Academy as the present day Producers & Engineers Wing. Stone was also a co-founder and former president and chairman of the Society of Professional Audio Recording Services (SPARS) 1979-1989. In 1992, Stone he founded the World Studio Group, which serviced the elite of the recording industry, facilitating projects for his clients in 30 premier recording studios around the world.

Stone was also a prolific writer, providing his “Sound Business” monthly columns on the business aspects of audio recording for Pro Sound News and Mix magazines in the US, and Sound On Sound in Europe. He lectured and appeared onstage extensively, including the keynote address for the European conference of the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS) in London, and the keynote address for the Audio Engineering Society convention in 2008.

In January 2016, Kellgren and Stone were inducted into the NAMM TEC Awards Hall of Fame, which honours pioneers of the music industry for Technical Excellence and Creativity.

The Record Plant reports that Stone suffered a “heart attack and massive stroke” and died on September 10. He is survived by his wife Gloria, son Matt, daughter Samantha, and grandchildren Jessica, Zachary and Zoe.

Picture: c/o Mr Bonzai. For the full obituary and tributes from the industry, see the Record Plant Diaries facebook page.