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Author Topic: Choosing a studio, room vs. console  (Read 3081 times)

maltess

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Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« on: September 21, 2015, 04:14:39 pm »

Hello, I guess this a very general question, but I would love to know some expert opinions about this. I am about to start an album recording as a executive producer of a well known classical player. I have to choose between two reputable studios, they have the same great quality mics and preamps. The main difference is: One studio has a Neve console and a medium size room, the other has a protools console and a big room. Sound guys from the city think one studio has a better console and the other has a better room, what do you think is more important? the main instrument is a classical guitar.
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Tim Halligan

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2015, 11:06:09 pm »

Given the same front end - mics and pre's - I'd go with the studio that has the most appropriate room size that can house the ensemble and achieve the right amount of bloom for the material.

Often times, the deciding factor can be non-audio in nature...is there a large enough lounge, or is there convenient parking for many musicians, or is there on-site catering?

Sometimes the selection process can come down to the least amount of inconvenience, as opposed to the most amount of convenience.

What non-audio factors are in play for this particular set of circumstances?

Cheers,
Tim
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An analogue brain in a digital world.

maltess

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2015, 04:05:53 am »

Both places have good parking capabilities etc. Both engineers are reputable professionals, the choice comes down pretty much to the set up. Most of the album is solo guitar, and then some occasional string quartet, flute, percussions, but 70% of the album would solo guitar.

Another difference is the studio with the big room is a bit cheaper and more flexible for payments
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maltess

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 04:08:15 am »

There is also the possiblity of recording guitar in the Neve studio and recording strings in the other place, would it be the best solution? would the solo acoustic guitar benefit from the big room as well?
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Tim Halligan

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2015, 07:06:54 am »

If it were me, I'd want the guitar and the rest of the ensemble to sound like they were all in the same room at the same time...whichever room it is.

Is there any possibility of putting your guitar player in each room for half an hour to see which sound he prefers?

Given the small ensemble sizes, I would go with whichever room sounds the best for the sonic goals of the project.

Cheers,
Tim

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maltess

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2015, 08:14:36 am »

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Tim Halligan

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2015, 09:13:35 am »

Ok...assuming that in the case of each studio you would be using the in-house engineer and assistants, research their discographies...both the studio's and the engineer's...and - assuming you like what you are hearing - go with the one that sounds most like your project, or the most like the way you'd like your project to sound.

Cheers,
Tim

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Jim Williams

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2015, 08:38:58 pm »

If the rooms are both nearby, visit each first and bring the guitar with you. Play in the room and choose.

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Dinogi

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2015, 07:46:30 am »

If the rooms are both nearby, visit each first and bring the guitar with you. Play in the room and choose.
Then go mix on the Neve.
From what you wrote I got the impression that you wouldn't be tracking through the Neve anyway. Record at the place that best suits the situation and if you think the Neve would impart the magic your'e looking for then mix on it.[/size]
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I'd trade everything I own now for a good sounding room and a bucket of 57's.

Fletcher

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2015, 02:34:37 am »

One studio has a Neve console and a medium size room, the other has a protools console and a big room.


Just for the sake of clarification -- there is no such thing as a "Pro-Tools console".  They are "control surfaces" -- sorta like a big mouse that can access different portions of the Pro-Tools program and control it -- there is no actual audio running through the thing, only "control voltages".

That said -- there are as many kinds of NeveŽ desks as there are flowers at a wedding.  The "N word" is a cute buzz word... but it can mean SOOOOoooooooooo many different things, that the "N word" alone is irrelevant.  A whole bunch of NeveŽ stuff sucks monkey ass... and some of it is great -- with the caveat that someone has been maintaining said NeveŽ stuff on a regular basis -- and knows what they're doing [which is getting fewer and farther between as nobody seems to feel like properly paying techs anymore, most of the good one I know have moved onto greener pastures].

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Sound guys from the city think one studio has a better console and the other has a better room, what do you think is more important? the main instrument is a classical guitar.

Understand -- ain't nobody EVER walked down the street humming the mic-pre. 

A recording is a destination, its about emotion, its about sharing the human experience with others via sound.  A "great room" for one thing could be intensely horrible for another... its a matter of taste, its a matter of the genre to be performed -- but the one thing that ALL of this is about it "the performance".

My suggestion to you would be to take the performer to the two potential performance spaces and have them perform for a minute or two [or seven].  Don't tell them where to sit -- allow them to gravitate to the place in the room where they FEEL most comfortable.  Remember -- you're working to capture a performance, so the comfort of the performer trumps all other technical / "fashion" aspects..

When you find the place where the performer feels they can deliver their best performance -- book that studio.  It appears you're not an engineer, so be sure to audition a couple of them to find one who you and the performer feel comfortable that they can do the work properly.  Never mind the tools!!!  Tools are the province and domain of the engineer as its their balls that are on the line every time they have a seat in the chair.  If the engineer is worth a shit they will find a way to make the tools that are available provide the sonic product that is most complimentary to the music being recorded --  and if you're really [REALLY] lucky, they will find a way to inspire the performer to play at a higher level, which will deliver an amazing performance.

At the end of the day it ain't about what happens "in the room" -- the only thing that matters is what you take "out of the room".

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm

maltess

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2015, 08:35:22 am »

Great explanation. I truly appreciate it. I am thinking about the big room studio ( No Neve) since the sound engineer is showing passion and more personal interes on the project. But I will try to test both studios if possible.

The Neve is NEVE VR60
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oneflightup

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2015, 11:16:39 am »

Have to chime in and second Fletcher. Plenty of dreadful Neves around.
Go with the right room for the guitar.

Best of luck.

Nick

One Flight Up Recording Studios
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Fletcher

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Re: Choosing a studio, room vs. console
« Reply #12 on: September 28, 2015, 05:59:20 pm »

A "VR60" is a definite "N-word" desk... as in it has the 4 letter word that starts with "N" on the side, but what's inside is crap.  The damn things run so hot that necessary maintenance includes changing ALL of the electrolytic capacitors ever 3-4 years [which nobody does], and even when that maintenance is indeed performed, the overall design is lacking the "depth of tone" found in the earlier "class A" models.

The room is the thing of main importance, the microphone selection is of slightly less importance... and above both is the skill, talent, and attention to detail of the operator - without superior operator skills its all just a collection of boxes, wires, and knobs that are for the most part meaningless.

Please let us know how your session goes!!!  I'm hoping upon hope it all comes out awesome.

Peace
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CN Fletcher

mwagener wrote on Sat, 11 September 2004 14:33
We are selling emotions, there are no emotions in a grid


"Recording engineers are an arrogant bunch
If you've spent most of your life with a few thousand dollars worth of musicians in the studio, making a decision every second and a half... and you and  they are going to have to live with it for the rest of your lives, you'll get pretty arrogant too.  It takes a certain amount of balls to do that... something around three"
Malcolm Chisholm
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