R/E/P Community

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Down

Author Topic: ...On the recent studio closings...  (Read 14482 times)

compasspnt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16266
...On the recent studio closings...
« on: February 03, 2005, 11:05:14 am »

It is with great sadness that we all see the news on the other forums, and in the press, of the closings of such landmark recording studios as Hit Factory NY and Cello (Oceanway/United/Western) LA.  The recording industry, and indeed the entire music business itself, is in an unstable state of flux at the moment, and the future will obviously be quite different than the past.

I am very fortunate to be located in Compass Point Studios here in Nassau, which (mostly through the efforts of many others over the years, especially Chris Blackwell) is one of those iconicly magnificent edifices dedicated to the preservation of musical genius.  In other words, it's a really cool studio.  I try very hard every day to remember to touch the ghosts which walk these halls, and to burn their spirit into my consciousness, but it always is the same:  it's another day at work, and the task at hand takes precedence over the ethereal.

However, I will take a small moment before today's 12 to 16 hours of audio effort to throw out a few theories about why studios are in the state that they are:

•No matter what anyone says to the contrary, I think that the free download availability of music to the masses has DEFINITELY resulted in a lessening of budget money made available by labels to artists, and thence a reduction in the numbers of sessions being booked into large facilities.

•The availability of relatively inexpensive recording gear which is capable of near-full professional results has DEFINITELY affected the number of sessions being booked into large studios.

•Major labels are not run today by men such as Blackwell, Branson, Ertegun, Ellis/Wright, et al, who were there because they LOVED MUSIC.  Yes, they were, or at least became, BUSINESSMEN, but that wasn't the driving force.  Today it's a lawyer-business-school-graduate-driven, ultra-corporate monster.  Chances are not being taken on "different" talent anymore.  This too lessens the number of sessions being booked.

•The economy in general was already in a slight downturn, but when September 11 came, it went much farther down.  It looks to be coming back well now, but businesses such as the music industry always lag a bit behind in recovery time.

•Modern society has changed, whether through social-Darwinistic natural evolution, or through the over-Democratisation of social interaction.  Men used to be above women; the wealthy used to be above the poor; whites in the US used to be above other races, etc.  Today, while those stereotypically repressive relationships are still around, they are not the expected norm anymore.  THIS IS A GOOD THING; I am all for freedom and equality amongst these groups.  However, as it relates to music, this equality has trickled down, so that there is little respect for the elite of audio engineering, of music production, or of commercial marketing acuity.  New groups or artists expect that they can produce themselves, engineer themselves, and sell themselves over the Internet.  Rightly or wrongly, this too has lessened bookings at large studios.

•The recording studio business has never been a routinely profitable one.  It has traditionally cost too much for gear, facility, staff, etc., to be able to charge the rates necessary to truly make it.  A studio was often only the loss leader tool for a record label or producer anyway.

I'm sure there are many other factors, but while none of the reasons abovementioned, by themselves, might be a death blow,  added together, they are causing problems.

I don't know if Compass Point, as a commercial studio, will survive all of this, or at least for how long.  For now, we're here, and I'm trying to savor it.  We keep our staff small (but quality), and our expenses as low as possible.  The closures we see may be partially because of poor management, as well as the external factors...that I don't really know about, and I'm not being accusatory here of anyone else.

But we must all hope and pray that there will be great audio spaces left for the future to enjoy.  I'm all for inexpensive, high quality gear; I use it myself.  But you CANNOT CONSISTENTLY RECORD GOOD SOUNDING MUSIC IN AN ACOUSTICALLY INFERIOR ROOM!

Peace and good luck...

Terry Manning
Logged

Joe Crawford

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 107
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2005, 12:16:49 pm »

Hi Terry and welcome to the forums.  Maybe it’s just my age showing through, but too me a big factor in the rise of music downloading is the song selection on current major label albums.    It seems like today, most, if not all, of the big record companies are under the thumbs of their marketing department.  Marketing will select one good/killer song for a CD and then scrounge up 9 or 10 trash songs just to fill out it out.  If a band has several new, really good songs, marketing will try to spread them out, one per CD in the hopes of selling more CD’s.  They don’t think far enough ahead to see how counter productive this is.  Why should someone pay $18 for a CD when they can go to iTunes and download the one good song for $0.99?  

Of the last dozen or so major label CD’s I have purchased, I don’t think there was one that had even a second tune worth listening too.  Granted, there is a lot of music theft on the internet, but, I think people would be a lot more likely to spend $15 to $18 on a CD with 3 or 4 good tunes on it that spend the time required to find and download those tunes from the internet.  To me, this attitude shows up in the number independant CD’s sold at concerts and festivals.  You can usually count on these CD’s having most of the songs you just heard, and liked, on them.  A band I recently recorded told me that as long as they included three or four songs from their last CD in their set, they could count on selling approximately one CD for every 10 people in the audience.  Sure, they sold them for $13 each, and as far as I know, no one had yet posted them on the internet.  But, I think it still makes my point.  People are willing to buy CD’s if they contain more than one (or two) good songs.  The current price-point is probably somewhere around $3 to $5 per good/great song.

Joe Crawford
Stony Mountain Studio
Shanks, WV 26761
Logged

Level

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1811
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2005, 12:19:03 pm »

Extremely good points...all.

I have noticed that the general respect for those who have been into this business for "most of or lives" is lacking. It tends to make on "cynical" in attitude. I certainly can attest to that and it is a inner struggle I must deal with.

Do I disrespect the guy who bought a PT rig and has been in this "business" for all of 2 years and is booked solid for months at 20 an hour out of a garage? Well..it is what goes around comes around. If I am asked to work with said individual, I demand the respect that is due based on my experience. I also am willing to learn how this person is doing things and if I see room for improvement (and I see plenty) I would hope this person would be open to listening to some of my ideas. I do not find this "overall" to be the case. This is why I teach structured lessons from time to time in the basics of sound quality and balance. I have gone to home studios that are "booked solid" for 6 to 8 months for peanut wages to see them using 20K in head end equipment and a cheap pair of rear deck car 6X9 speakers in plywood boxes as monitors. I just scratch my head. People come to me asking if I can master their album for 100 dollars because Johnny come lately is doing it for 120. I say a flat NO. Is this arrogant? Do I have a right to be arrogant? We have to place a value on our work. If we don't do things better than our competition, we do not deserve the spoils of our labor. We do deserve respect and we deserve to get paid. We deserve to be able to make a living.

I think that you can see a division of the studio gambit into 3 (blurry) camps.

1. Those who are doing it to pay their way through school (with no intentions of making a career out of it) doing "session work" out of a home for peanuts, 100 a day, what have you and don't really care about music (their are a few exceptions)

2. Those who put their entire life into this for the love of it and the hope of making a decent living and keeping creditors off of their backs, strive for excellence and will bend over backwards to provide a service that is the "best it can be" and continue to move forward.

3. Corporate greed bottom line pushers. They don't care about the music, they simply are looking at the bottom line and have the latest greatest gear, meanwhile the studio owner can't even turn a knob, let alone engineer and pays their personnel McDonald's wages. I am willing to bet their are more of these than we really care to know about.

Yes, I know you can't really separate ALL facilities into one of the three camps. Their are gaps and changes and the model is undefined. From my vantage point, I cannot see for the life of me how some of the large facilities are allowed to put out bad sound. The guy in the middle has to battle being competitive and make a living.

No one said any of this is easy. Some days, I wake up and say, I really wonder what I was thinking when I chose to do this for a living but then you get those magic sessions with magic performers and it becomes quite clear why we do this.

We love great music and love being a part of making it happen.
Logged
http://balancedmastering.com

"Listen and Learn"
---Since 1975---

maxdimario

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3811
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2005, 12:25:32 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 17:05


•Major labels are not run today by men such as Blackwell, Branson, Ertegun, Ellis/Wright, et al, who were there because they LOVED MUSIC.  Yes, they were, or at least became, BUSINESSMEN, but that wasn't the driving force.  Today it's a lawyer-business-school-graduate-driven, ultra-corporate monster.  Chances are not being taken on "different" talent anymore.  This too lessens the number of sessions being booked.


Terry Manning


Hallelujah!

regarding the democratisation issue:
"in life democracy, in art aristocracy" (toscanini)
Logged

shackleford

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2005, 12:39:13 pm »

Hi Terry,
You're obviously right about all this. Yes, there were some other factors in those studios' closing, but between them and Quantegy being in Chapter 11, it's been a tough couple of weeks for professional audio!
I have a "home studio," if you can call it that, but am getting okay results, sonically and otherwise. The first guy I did a bunch of demos for is now on an indie label and made a fantastic LP in a great NYC studio with some pretty great musicians on it, all due to those demos. The kid had no money; had I not bought some Alesis gear and been willing to work for next to nothing, I don't think it would have happened.
Now I am Digi 002-based, and can't imagine going back to ADAT. Recording other projects and results are good considering the budgets and constraints of working in my apartment or rehearsal studios with Mbox.
It's a huge drag to record this way, but reality is that these artists wouldn't be making any recordings if this gear didn't exist; they cannot afford even one day in a real studio. So I'm grateful for the tools at a cost that enables this.
It's a mixed blessing, I think, that Digidesign is taking over the business at every level and in every equipment area. But that ICON will surely replace many a large-format analog desk, and the Mbox brings decent-quality gear to anyone with $449.
I don't have any point here, obviously. It's sad that grand old studios are dying out, if that's what's happening here. But it's great that people who are very passionate about music but not affluent enough to spend money in a pro studio can still make recordings with some degree of quality.
I'd much rather be recording bands live; Booker T & the MGs, Aretha Franklin's Atlantic stuff, the old Allman Bros.. it had to be much more satisfying recording that essentially live. The Tom Dowd documentary is really good and spells it all out; I wish I'd been in the biz 40 years ago.
And I REALLY wish I could someday book Compass Point and work with you.
Logged

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2005, 01:57:01 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 10:05

However, as it relates to music, this equality has trickled down, so that there is little respect for the elite of audio engineering, of music production, or of commercial marketing acuity.  New groups or artists expect that they can produce themselves, engineer themselves, and sell themselves over the Internet.  Rightly or wrong, this too has lessened bookings at large studios.




i'm not picking a fight, and there is plenty of truth to the above quote.....BUT....

i think a lot of artists are starting to wake up, so to speak.

i think a lot of artists are starting to see the massive absurdity in paying a single person over 100k upfront and signing them up for points on their record (just to help "steer the ship") knowing good and well that they can't possibly recoup that money and make any thing to support their lives.

then they have to book a room that charges a pretty penny for all the fancy gear they have (hey i'd love to have it too).....but do i really need to pay for muffins every morning, and on-tap micro brews and catered lunches, or staff chefs??????????????????????

then we pay an engineer to track the session, then we have to pay a mixer to mix the album who some how has found justification in billing the band (let's get real, everything the label pays out is really the bands "loan" money) as much as the over paid producer gets, if not more, and in some cases successfully negotiates receiving 1 point for mixing your record.

so excuse me if i don't find the current status of the "elite audio professinals" to be a bit absurd.......but a band can easily make an incredible sounding record for 20k or MUCH LESS

tour on their own, sell records via shows, and internet, and sell FAR LESS records and make FAR MORE money then they ever could dream of if they took the road of major label "elite audio professionals"

the business is changing because people are waking up and saying, "what the hell am i paying these people THIS much money for??????"

Logged

Level

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1811
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2005, 02:26:59 pm »

J, it has come of age. Great records can be made for 20K. This said, I have made great ones on location in 4 days for even less and have been involved with 100K video shoots.

I really don't want to see the value of a great record get caught up in a money stuggle. You "gets" what you "pays for" and I do believe that a 300K audio production is nearing a thing of the past. I still will never subscribe to the 20 dollar an hour sessions being anywhere close to what we do daily. It just dont get here from there.
Logged
http://balancedmastering.com

"Listen and Learn"
---Since 1975---

bblackwood

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7036
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2005, 02:39:47 pm »

j.hall wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 12:57

but a band can easily make an incredible sounding record for 20k or MUCH LESS

That's a bit low, imo, but the point is a good one...
Logged
Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Fibes

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4306
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2005, 03:18:21 pm »

From my perspective 20k albums used to be the bottom of the budget, now they are close to the top, barring all of the major label stuff.

Lately i've been doing a lot of 10 song demos as records. Why? Becuase bands are not able to do as well as they should on the road anymore. Clubs are hurting, gas is expensive and making 45 bucks on a gig doesn't get you to the next gig, never mind a recording fund. It's a trickle down thing, you gotta adjust or die.

Besides...

You don't have to have a 1.5 million dollar house to hang your art in, bands know this.

OTOH technology is finally allowing indy artists that have it together and are awesome to get noticed on a much wider scale. Word of mouth has become incredibly powerful. The machine is losing cylinders because of it.

Welcome Terry, it's great having you here.



Logged
Fibes
-------------------------------------------------
"You can like it, or not like it."
The Studio

  http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewArtist ?id=155759887
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse
http://cdbaby.com/cd/superhorse2

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2005, 03:56:22 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 13:39


That's a bit low, imo...



i couldn't disagree with you more.
Logged

compasspnt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16266
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2005, 04:13:06 pm »

j.hall wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 13:57


i think a lot of artists are starting to see the massive absurdity in paying a single person over 100k upfront and signing them up for points on their record (just to help "steer the ship") knowing good and well that they can't possibly recoup that money and make any thing to support their lives.

then they have to book a room that charges a pretty penny for all the fancy gear they have (hey i'd love to have it too).....but do i really need to pay for muffins every morning, and on-tap micro brews and catered lunches, or staff chefs??????????????????????

then we pay an engineer to track the session, then we have to pay a mixer to mix the album who some how has found justification in billing the band (let's get real, everything the label pays out is really the bands "loan" money) as much as the over paid producer gets, if not more, and in some cases successfully negotiates receiving 1 point for mixing your record.

so excuse me if i don't find the current status of the "elite audio professinals" to be a bit absurd....

...the business is changing because people are waking up and saying, "what the hell am i paying these people THIS much money for??????"




Actually, I agree with you.  I was only citing reasons I believe have lead to the decline in large studio business, not necessarily pontificating on the relative morality of the situation.

I too HATE the incredible excesses of this business, which at the end of the day are actually taken out of the artist's money...or, if they haven't recouped, it may end their chance at a career.

BUT, I think the pendulum may be swinging too far in the opposite direction (how human is THAT?)  There is a definite need for true, honest professionals in this, and any, business...ones who can help and guide artists to be the most that they can be.  People who have honed their craft, learning the ins and out of recording, production, and yes, even marketing, should be embraced and capitalised upon, at least, they should if it is a reasonable financial  situation for all involved.

Best,

TM
Logged

bblackwood

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7036
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2005, 04:17:31 pm »

j.hall wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 14:56

bblackwood wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 13:39


That's a bit low, imo...



i couldn't disagree with you more.

OK, you record for two weeks, mix for two weeks - you have 28 days of engineering fees. Even if the engineer works for $250/day (good luck finding a good, experienced engineer for that), that's a third of your budget right from the get-go. And then you have to hire a good room...

Some people pull it off, most simply cannot. Not for an "incredible" sounding record, ime...
Logged
Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Level

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1811
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2005, 04:17:32 pm »

Example of a great record done on the shy side of 20K

Recording, 4 days in large hall.

1600 per.

6400.

(Hall + me)

Lodging and expenses for 4 days, 645

7045

Mixing 3 days:

600 day

8845

Mastering 2 days

1500

10345

Artwork for album:

1000

11345

Printing: 3000 pieces 1815

13160

Pressing 3000 pieces and assembly

2515

15685

Mailing to distribution:

902

16587


Bonus for me:

1500

18087

See, under 20k

Start to finish. March 6 to March 22.

That is what it is about with indie productions.
Logged
http://balancedmastering.com

"Listen and Learn"
---Since 1975---

Level

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1811
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2005, 04:28:36 pm »

Quote:

OK, you record for two weeks, mix for two weeks - you have 28 days of engineering fees.


Brad, this is not going to fly.

If a band cant record in one week, they need to go practice somewhere. Why spend 2 weeks? The studio is not a rehearsal hall. IMO.

Mix in 2 weeks, how about mix an album in 2 days and sounding killer if you tracked it?

2 weeks is not happening these days.

Great albums have been cut in a day and mixed the same day and pressed the day after.

March 2 1969. April 22, 1969, Kind of Blue. Miles Davis. Hello!

Two days.

I see no reason to babysit a band for 2 weeks to record. It shows they don't have their act together and should NOT be recording at that time.

Big budget projects where the band is blocked for months with no clue what they will do is just not feasable in this industry anymore. I wish it were. I would like to "grow with the baby steps" of seeing an album come together..but this is not what is happening now. At all. If it is, sign me up. I could use the income and have fun watching it unfold.

The more I think about MM's book, the more I never accepted a situation like that ever. I would have dropped the hammer.

Logged
http://balancedmastering.com

"Listen and Learn"
---Since 1975---

bblackwood

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7036
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2005, 04:41:39 pm »

Well, we'll just disagree, then. Few (if any) records made today can be done in 7 days total as you outline above and still fit the word "incredible". Maybe jazz records and such, but a majority of music being produced/bought isn't jazz...

Good pop records can be made all day for $20k - I work on some of those every week. But the best have taken longer/cost more than that for 30+ years...
Logged
Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #15 on: February 03, 2005, 04:41:51 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 15:17


Some people pull it off, most simply cannot. Not for an "incredible" sounding record, ime...


ok, fair enough....the adjective i used was a definite exageration....i'll give you that.

incredible is peter gabriel's up......can't be done for 20k, and it can't sound like that with out tchad blake.....you can't disagree there.

i have MANY MANY records on my shelf that sound great and were performed great that were done for less then 20k and in less time then your 28 day estimate.

j.robbins
steve albini
brian deck
kip beeleman
christopher walla
scott solter
tim gilles
jack endino
mitch easter
ben moore
ed rose

i can keep going, but that list is good enough....

all those guys have made great records for less then 20k and have done it (and some still are doing it) iin less then 28 days per record.

Level......it's a bad idea to use yourself as an example....unless you can say, "i did pink floyd, the wall in 5 days for 2 dollars" it's best to stick to records that are easily found.

Logged

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #16 on: February 03, 2005, 05:05:10 pm »

compasspnt wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 15:13



Actually, I agree with you.  I was only citing reasons I believe have lead to the decline in large studio business, not necessarily pontificating on the relative morality of the situation.



sorry terry, in the hail storm of posts and my frantic urge to slam a reply in, i missed your post.

i wasn't trying to "paint you in a corner".  i just read your post and took a snipet for my own rant on the excessive nature of the current music biz (or not so current).

i'm no seasoned pro.....and have never claimed to be, and i try to not come off as thinking i am.

every industry needs seasoned pros....people that have seen it all and done it all thousands of times in there specific job.

i just don't think that there is anything so special about mixing a record, or producing one that warrants so astronomical fees.

in a job that i'd like to think is pro artist, MANY of the people in the "elite" seem to be as anti-artist as you can find.



Logged

RMoore

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4584
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #17 on: February 03, 2005, 07:34:02 pm »

Level wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 22:28

 
March 2 1969. April 22, 1969, Kind of Blue. Miles Davis. Hello!



Do you mean 1959?
Cheers,
RM
Logged
People's Republic of Ryan

http://www.myspace.com/twilightcircus
 http://www.youtube.com/user/Ryonik
 
By the end of today, another day is gone forever. You will never get it back.
We must never let up for a second. Work harder at every single thing - Terry Manning

 You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take - Wayne Gretzky

Linear

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #18 on: February 03, 2005, 07:58:10 pm »

Hi,

I'm really not sure what to make of all this over here. We have a couple of bigger studios, but a majority of them are small scale operations. The bigger ones closed down years ago. Budgets for albums have always been smaller here (Aust).

I think having smaller shops with in-house engineers will be the way of the future. major label stuff is not what it used to be, and despite what many think, there are a bunch of people out there that want to make good sounding records, usually self-funded, usually with no huge asiprations for getting signed to major labels. This situation is when it becomes critical to be able to make a good-sounding record for under $20K (I'd say under $10k).

In reality, what percentage of albums in the top 100 really needed a large facility to record in?

My slant on this is that prior to the CD (pre-1984) there was no 'home recording' equipment so if you wanted to record, you needed to go to a pro studio. when CD's came out, there was a huge injection of cash into labels when everybody repurchased their catalog. After that frenzy was over, MP3's came out, semi-pro audio equipment came out, etc etc and it's been downward ever since.

I do think however that this is just a phase, and that music is far too important for quality stuff to go the way of the dinosaurs. Once this fad of cheap-sounding throwaway music has passed, real music will come back. The cream always floats to the top.

I also look at what electrical audio/big blue meenie have been doing and think that this will be the only way to successfully carry on a largeish recording business.

Terry recently tracked in Sydney (I suspect Studio 301 - am I right?) and that operation was bought by Mr SAE as a flagship operation for his business. It doesn't turn a profit (his words from an interview in audio technology) but he runs it anyway, no business could run that size here and still make money.

I wonder how the studio business is going in the UK? Seems like alot of the larger studios do lots of film work too (AIR, Abbey RD) for their bread and butter.

Interesting times.

Chris
Linear Recording


Logged
http://www.linear-recording.com.au

"Fashions change, the laws of physics don't"
Steve Dove

pipelineaudio

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 379
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2005, 09:09:24 pm »

"3. Corporate greed bottom line pushers. They don't care about the music, they simply are looking at the bottom line and have the latest greatest gear, meanwhile the studio owner can't even turn a knob, let alone engineer and pays their personnel McDonald's wages. I am willing to bet their are more of these than we really care to know about.
"

riiiiggght

you show me one studio that PAYS mcdonald's wages and I will be there in five minutes soldering iron and knowledge in hand and with a HUGE smile on my face

Im no slouch, I have done this all my adult life, and if someone can guarantee me  mc d's SOLID wage I will be your slave grinning ear to ear

jfrigo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1029
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #20 on: February 04, 2005, 11:42:16 am »

Linear wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 16:58


I also look at what electrical audio/big blue meenie have been doing and think that this will be the only way to successfully carry on a largeish recording business.


Which is what exactly? Seems their model is to have an "outsider" image, target indies, and have in-house talent that draws? Seems somewhat promising. But remember, a big part of Steve's high profile came from doing some traditional, "old model" record label hits.

It will take some doing to knock out the freelance engineer model, but I agree that studios are getting smaller in order to survive. I've been doing a lot of work at a place that's been open less than a year but seems to be onto something - high quality though certainly smaller than Hit Factory sized rooms, with some attached talent, though not actually staff, and the residential, out-of-the-city vibe. There's actually a full time tech on staff too, which is nice. www.studiometronome.com. He was going to build a big 9000J room (had mucho $$$ in the architectural design already) and decided late in the project planning to downsize as the big room made little business sense.

The music biz is definitely changing, but I'm not as pessimistic as many seem to be. It's changing, not dying. We may not know exactly what it willl look like in 10 years (making the right guess determines who will make it) but it won't be all kids in bedrooms posting their stuff for free or near free on MP3 sites. Adapt or die; just because the old model is in crisis doesn't mean a new model won't eventually become evident. We need to try new things, not keep hammering at the old model hoping it will come back.
Logged

bblackwood

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7036
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #21 on: February 04, 2005, 12:03:13 pm »

jfrigo wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 10:42

Linear wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 16:58


I also look at what electrical audio/big blue meenie have been doing and think that this will be the only way to successfully carry on a largeish recording business.


Which is what exactly?

Quality staff that works for the good of the entity instead of good for self. This means taking low paying gigs at times to help fill the coffers that pay everyone. Quality staff is the key here and the thing that many of the larger studios seem to have forgotten about in recent years - but the very thing that Steve and Tim (and other studios that are able to remain afloat in these times) have focused on...
Logged
Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

JGreenslade

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 824
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #22 on: February 04, 2005, 01:02:45 pm »

Quote:


I wonder how the studio business is going in the UK? Seems like alot of the larger studios do lots of film work too (AIR, Abbey RD) for their bread and butter.



The larger facilities have been going the way of the Dodo for several years now here (I commented on Ridge Farm earlier today in GM's forum). As you assert, if Abbey Rd or AIR lost their film / media work they would be out of business pronto.

From what I've observed, the studios who've been hit the hardest have been the "industry standard" larger facilities, who were unable to attract sufficient work from film / TV and simply couldn't survive on the remaining scraps from the dedicated music industry.

There are a few "niche" studios that seem to be doing quite well, such as ToeRag or Heliocentric – these studios are not large sprawling complexes, but survive off the back of the individual sound their vintage equipment and dedicated staff afford artists.  

Property developers have been eyeing up much of what remains (such as Whitfield St studios), and you have to wonder how long the owners of these studios can / will resist their offers...

The way I see things, the "niche" / "museum" studios will be around for a while yet, there will always be artists who want the unique signature a Redd or Helios desk / vintage mic closet imparts into their project. As for the more conventionally equipped mainstream studios with their SSLs and 88Rs, I think the next couple of years are going to be really hard for them. Sphere in Battersea went down quite recently, the place was only set up in 2001.

In 10 years time the UK will still have the likes of AIR or Abbey Rd, there will be a few (possibly more) "museum" studios such as Toerag or Heliocentric, and the rest will be home studios – the "middle ground" studios are likely to suffer the most IMHO.

Justin
Logged
Audio is a vocational affliction

"there is no "homeopathic" effect in bits and bytes." - HansP

Phil

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 204
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2005, 07:10:41 pm »

Linear wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 16:58


My slant on this is that prior to the CD (pre-1984) there was no 'home recording' equipment so if you wanted to record, you needed to go to a pro studio.

That depends on what you call 'home recording' equipment. Remember Tascam and the 'semi-pro' stuff? That was definitely prior to 1984. While the old guard sneered at that, savvy gear dealers started peddling to a new breed of recording studios, and that must have been the beginning of what we call pro-sumer today. As far as I was concerned, if it fit through my front door, it was 'home recording' stuff.
Quote:

when CD's came out, there was a huge injection of cash into labels when everybody repurchased their catalog. After that frenzy was over, MP3's came out, semi-pro audio equipment came out, etc etc and it's been downward ever since.

I'll never accept the argument that inexpensive gear is to blame for the music biz woes.
Quote:

I do think however that this is just a phase, and that music is far too important for quality stuff to go the way of the dinosaurs. Once this fad of cheap-sounding throwaway music has passed, real music will come back. The cream always floats to the top.

The magazines used to talk about the 'consumer demand for better audio'. Bullshit. They want louder bass - that's how important music is to the average person. Music is not the primary force in the lives of the public at large. Music is the accompaniment to a nubile in pelvic motion on MTV (wanna point fingers? point one their way); music is what you jump to while stoned and looking to get laid; music is what you turn up loud in your car so people will think you're hot shit, and to piss off the neighbors - music is also a lot of things good, but it needs to be kept in perspective.

Until these studio closing threads erupted, I never realized how much the 'elite' glorified themselves, and held the rest of us in contempt. I've worked all my life in the music business, and supported myself shoving faders and watching meters. I'm nowhere close to being an industry legend, but the industry legend names don't mean diddly to most of the people who plunk down 15 to 20 for a CD either. The engineer or studio doesn't mean anything to them - it's all about how the music makes them feel in the groin.

Geez - this is all about cowboys isn't it? When you walk into town wearing a six shooter, and you think you're the meanest SOB in town, you expect everyone to kiss your ass. When some unknown shows up that's a little faster, and blows a hole in your heart, do all the pundits stand around and talk about the quality or price of the armament? Or how it's all gone downhill lately?

You know, the good ole days could be just ahead.

Phil

Logged
Phil Nelson

electrical

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 674
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2005, 08:53:57 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 12:03

jfrigo wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 10:42

Linear wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 16:58


I also look at what electrical audio/big blue meenie have been doing and think that this will be the only way to successfully carry on a largeish recording business.


Which is what exactly?

Quality staff that works for the good of the entity instead of good for self. This means taking low paying gigs at times to help fill the coffers that pay everyone. Quality staff is the key here and the thing that many of the larger studios seem to have forgotten about in recent years - but the very thing that Steve and Tim (and other studios that are able to remain afloat in these times) have focused on...


This is precisely it. If you have a good studio (that's a whole can of worms right there), it will not attract a clientele if it isn't run by people who care and are good at it, and it cannot earn more than the clients think it is worth. Not what it is really worth, but what the clients think it is worth.

Good staff is the number one critereon for making the clients content and comfortable. By "good," I mean that they are trained, active, prepared for anything and prepared to do anything to get the job done.

If you have good staff, then:

The equipment will all be in good repair
The studio will be clean and easy to work in
There will be no question that the equipment is fully under their command
Client equipment can be repaired immediately as necessary
There will be no "down" time
Nobody will have to scratch his head and figure something out on the clock
The clients will not want for creature comfort
The clients will feel respected and catered to
There will be a body of referrals of other clients who enjoyed themselves
and ultimately, the clients will feel they got their money's worth.

I dream of a $20k budget. I don't see one of those in a year. If your studio's business model requires budgets of that size, then you will be sleeping in the park before long.

If you feel independent bands (and their "paltry" budgets of $1000 - $5000) are beneath you, then you are welcome to join the pool of old-school institutional studios who are wishing in one hand and shitting in the other. No prize for guessing which fills up first.

If you and your studio are not prepared to work all day, every day, for less than you think you deserve, then you should not expect to survive. Those of us with a knack for survival come to think of it as normal, and are not put off by it.
Logged
best,

steve albini
Electrical Audio
sa at electrical dot com
www.electrical.com

electrical

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 674
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #25 on: February 04, 2005, 09:05:38 pm »

jfrigo wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 11:42

Linear wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 16:58


I also look at what electrical audio/big blue meenie have been doing and think that this will be the only way to successfully carry on a largeish recording business.


Which is what exactly? Seems their model is to have an "outsider" image, target indies, and have in-house talent that draws? Seems somewhat promising. But remember, a big part of Steve's high profile came from doing some traditional, "old model" record label hits.

Hooey.

I supported myself and my studio for many years before I ever got within spitting distance of a "hit." Doing it every day matters much more than doing it once for a famous band. Doing hundreds of records for bands who appreciate it is much better at creating a trustworthy reputation than having your name on the back of a record-of-the-month.

And it isn't an "outsider image." It is an entire existence -- an entire culture -- that exists "outside" the cliche of the mainstream music business. Bands, labels, engineers, studios, promoters, gigs, venues -- it's all there, just not competing for attention with U2, Sony, Humberto Gatica, Cello, Clear Channel and House of Blues.

The underground/independent music scene is both vibrant and productive, and everyone whose livelihood depends on music would do well not to dismiss it.
Logged
best,

steve albini
Electrical Audio
sa at electrical dot com
www.electrical.com

jfrigo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1029
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2005, 09:12:07 pm »

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 09:03


Quality staff that works for the good of the entity instead of good for self. This means taking low paying gigs at times to help fill the coffers that pay everyone.


Sounds like a return to an older model when staff engineers were a studio's best asset. However, in contrast to the old model, it also seems that studios need to shrink to stay competitive. What were the conditions that caused the shift from staff engineers to freelancers, and are those conditions sufficiently different to support a return to the staff model? I don't know, but I'd like to formuate an informed opinion. Reactionary conclusions that fail to consider the full picture are often flawed, so we all need to think this stuff through before settling on an answer that seems to fit the limited data at hand.

A return to staff engineering in a sleeker, more efficient studio package sounds like a nice idea that I wouldn't  be opposed to at all (nor would all the new recording school graduates looking for jobs). What I want to know is: can it work? I have a feeling that there are some other problems that still need to be worked out before that model graduates from a success in a couple of isolated cases to the new paradigm for successful studios.
Logged

jfrigo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1029
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2005, 09:42:57 pm »

electrical wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 18:05


I supported myself and my studio for many years before I ever got within spitting distance of a "hit." Doing it every day matters much more than doing it once for a famous band.


I understand all that and agree with it. All I'm saying is that you can't ignore the contribution those few big credits have made to your reputation, and somebody trying to copy your business plan may not fare as well without something to set them apart like those big projects do for you.

Quote:

And it isn't an "outsider image." It is an entire existence -- an entire culture -- that exists "outside" the cliche of the mainstream music business.


I'm not accusing it of being somehow false. Everybody has some kind of image, whether it comes naturally, or they work at it. There's nothing negative about that, so don't take the comment as a criticism. On the contrary, the vibe you create works and is an assett, and if we're analyzing what makes your operation a success, I think that's a valid thing to add to the list. It has been effective for Fletcher, EveAnna Manley, Mixerman, Electrical etc. That's not to say these people are affecting it. It's the real deal, but it happens to be effective in the marketplace right now, and there's nothing wrong with talking about it while analyzing what's working in the industry right now.

Quote:

The underground/independent music scene is both vibrant and productive, and everyone whose livelihood depends on music would do well not to dismiss it.


I think that's obvious, and I'd be surprised if anybody here wasn't happily doing indie work and hoping for tons more. I wouldn't stay afloat without the indie side of my business, but more to the point, I wouldn't be happy if I weren't working on plenty of indie projects. I'm no more excited about the current crap released by the majors than anybdy else.
Logged

bblackwood

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 7036
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2005, 11:07:17 pm »

jfrigo wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 20:12

What I want to know is: can it work? I have a feeling that there are some other problems that still need to be worked out before that model graduates from a success in a couple of isolated cases to the new paradigm for successful studios.

Look around - it's not new nor is it uncommon. All of the current studios that are successful and are built for the long haul are doing this...

Quality staff has always been the way a studio stayed alive. Even during lean times, if you have good, attentive, well trained staff, clients will find a way to work with you, whether you are a little more expensive (or not) or out of the way (or not). Ardent is another great example - you get the best staff and engineers under one roof, all well trained, and you get it for less money than you'd pay almost anywhere else.

I learned a lot from my many years at Ardent - John Fry is an incredibly smart business man on many levels - one of the main things was to always give your best to your clients, regardless of what they're paying you to work for them. I believe that attitude has helped my company do well right from the get go, and  I will always run my facility just as John, Steve, Tim, and many others have for years, as it's a proven method of success.
Logged
Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

jfrigo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1029
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #29 on: February 05, 2005, 12:22:51 am »

bblackwood wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 20:07

I will always run my facility just as John, Steve, Tim, and many others have for years, as it's a proven method of success.


Mastering studios especially have always been about staff engineers, and post houses have been as well. Also, in the secondary markets, indie music studios, as you have pointed out, count on staff engineers. In the major markets, they need to have good staff to survive, but it's staff seconds and runners, not first engineers. This is where the freelance model took hold. Freelance engineers in many cases essentially became the client instead of actual artists. I'm wondering if we'll see the flagship rooms in the major markets downsizing and moving toward this staff firsts scenario, or perhaps we just won't have many (or any) flagship rooms left in major markets? It will be interesting to see how it all shakes out.
Logged

compasspnt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16266
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2005, 12:35:11 am »

Phil wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 19:10

...

Until these studio closing threads erupted, I never realized how much the 'elite' glorified themselves, and held the rest of us in contempt...

...Geez - this is all about cowboys isn't it? When you walk into town wearing a six shooter, and you think you're the meanest SOB in town, you expect everyone to kiss your ass. When some unknown shows up that's a little faster, and blows a hole in your heart, do all the pundits stand around and talk about the quality or price of the armament? Or how it's all gone downhill lately?...

Phil




Welcome, Phil.  I am glad you are here to show us the evil of our ways.
Logged

ted nightshade

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1272
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #31 on: February 05, 2005, 01:49:24 pm »

My hat is off to Steve for providing a quality service for those who need to make a record with just a few grand.

I see this industry at a time where "standard studio practice"/"what hits sound like"/"what money can buy" is increasingly divorced from actual music being made on a grassroots level. The DAW revolution seems to offer a way for grassroots folks to manipulate and assemble in the style of the big studio major label top 40 records. Of course, every bit of that manipulation and assembly costs dearly in vibe and sound quality- if you are past master at it and have the finest tools and the finest listening space, it still costs dearly. With less experience, worse tools, and bad monitoring, it gets really grim.

And what is grassroots? Well, there's all the bands that can't even perform without industrial life support systems, again in the image of "the real deal"TM. I've been priveleged to attend concerts by high-level pros where microphones were not in use, but it's very rare outside of classical. And these were not bigtime pop artists, although they were some of the finest. But, for most, a microphone is simply taken as a basic necessity, and a PA and lighting are de rigeur for a performance. Even, if the PA is utterly dismal and in fact induces pain, and plenty of it. That's how it's done! You need a PA, right? And the act will never sound even decent until they have a very high quality PA well implemented (including not least mic technique), and that is not a common thing anywhere near entry level. It's rare even at bigtime big money shows. Sure, it cost a lot, but it rarely is actually a pleasure to listen to.

So, there is this thicket of industrial "musical" equipment in between most acts and their ability to simply perform! Cheap industrial "solutions" are pitched to fill this void, which most of the acts, created in the industry image, can not imagine life without.

That's the entire crux of the biscuit, I'm sure of it.

Most artists cannot even perform without industrial sound engineering, yet few can afford to hire quality help or gear. So they hire mediocrity or worse.

There was a time when artists could perform without anything but their instruments. This kind of performance is straightforward and rapid to record in a suitable room. Mixing need not be a separate procedure. You can record a 3 minute song in 3 minutes, and it can be mixed and done the moment you press stop. Takes some experience and experimentation, but what doesn't.

But, that's not the "pro sound" that we are selling, by and large. So we continue to perpetuate the dilemma of music that takes a long time and a lot of gear to record, and in emulation of that "pro standard" people buy a lot of cheapie knockoff gear that is all they can afford, and after all, they can not even perform without out it! Because their entire idea of performance is modeled after the "big pro deal", with stages and PAs and lights.

I can see how to do an end run around the entire dilemma. Is it really worth continuing this vicious cycle for the glamour and mystique of manipulated and assembled productions?
Logged
Ted Nightshade aka Cowan

There's a sex industry too.
Or maybe you prefer home cookin'?

Linear

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #32 on: February 06, 2005, 07:18:28 pm »

Phil wrote on Sat, 05 February 2005 11:10

As far as I was concerned, if it fit through my front door, it was 'home recording' stuff.


That's funny, both my Ampex MM1200 and Studer A80 multitracks track fit through a front door. Does that mean they're not pro?

Quote:

I'll never accept the argument that inexpensive gear is to blame for the music biz woes.


I'll give you an example - A guy I know was given a $10K budget to record his 2nd album by an 'investor'. Instead of going down to the local pro studio to record, he decided to buy a ProTools rig, some mics, a little outboard etc and do it himself. Results? They speak for themselves. It sounds like it was recorded at home. Is he happy? Not at all. That's $10K more in the Digidesign/Studio Projects/Mackie coffers and $10K less in a studio that was designed and built for that very purpose.

Quote:


The magazines used to talk about the 'consumer demand for better audio'. Bullshit. They want louder bass - that's how important music is to the average person. Music is not the primary force in the lives of the public at large. Music is the accompaniment to a nubile in pelvic motion on MTV (wanna point fingers? point one their way); music is what you jump to while stoned and looking to get laid; music is what you turn up loud in your car so people will think you're hot shit, and to piss off the neighbors - music is also a lot of things good, but it needs to be kept in perspective. <snip>

Phil




I once worked at a radio station here in Sydney for a couple of months, making radio ads. It sucked bigtime.

I remember thinking this for a while, and then I quit. Music is much more than those things you describe, and to write it off as easily as you have shows a cynical attitude that, at this time more than ever, the industry could well do without.

Chris
Logged
http://www.linear-recording.com.au

"Fashions change, the laws of physics don't"
Steve Dove

compasspnt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16266
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #33 on: February 06, 2005, 08:47:06 pm »

Linear wrote on Thu, 03 February 2005 19:58




Terry recently tracked in Sydney (I suspect Studio 301 - am I right?) and that operation was bought by Mr SAE as a flagship operation for his business...
Chris
Linear Recording




Hi Chris,

No, I actually was at Trackdown Scoring Stage on the Fox lot.  We were going to be at 301, but there was a scheduling conflict.

Trackdown has a HUGE room, with long rev time, somewhat reminiscent of AR1.  It's really for orchestra scoring, not rock.  So I put a rented tent in one end for the drums, and it worked great.  I could get any  room decay I wanted from separate room mics, but was able to get distinct drum sounds when that was necessary.  I'll post a photo later of the drum tent...

Best,

TM
Logged

Phil

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 204
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #34 on: February 06, 2005, 10:59:27 pm »

Linear wrote on Sun, 06 February 2005 16:18

Phil wrote on Sat, 05 February 2005 11:10

As far as I was concerned, if it fit through my front door, it was 'home recording' stuff.


That's funny, both my Ampex MM1200 and Studer A80 multitracks track fit through a front door. Does that mean they're not pro?


No. My 'home recording' studio was professionally equipped with Ampexes too, and they rolled right through my front door. The point is, not all facilities located in a home can be dissed and dismissed with a broad sweep of terminology.
Linear wrote on Sun, 06 February 2005 16:18

Phil wrote on Sat, 05 February 2005 11:10

I'll never accept the argument that inexpensive gear is to blame for the music biz woes.

I'll give you an example - A guy I know was given a $10K budget to record his 2nd album by an 'investor'. Instead of going down to the local pro studio to record, he decided to buy a ProTools rig, some mics, a little outboard etc and do it himself. Results? They speak for themselves. It sounds like it was recorded at home. Is he happy? Not at all. That's $10K more in the Digidesign/Studio Projects/Mackie coffers and $10K less in a studio that was designed and built for that very purpose.

Gimme a break, that's an overworked anecdote. So, are you saying that any nitwit who signs a lease for a space in an industrial park and loads it with high-priced gear is automatically a 'professional'? I've heard lots of very stinky crap come out of places like that - 'pro' studios that were run by a big mouth with a talentless slob attached.
Linear wrote on Sun, 06 February 2005 16:18

Phil wrote on Sat, 05 February 2005 11:10


The magazines used to talk about the 'consumer demand for better audio'. Bullshit. They want louder bass - that's how important music is to the average person. Music is not the primary force in the lives of the public at large. Music is the accompaniment to a nubile in pelvic motion on MTV (wanna point fingers? point one their way); music is what you jump to while stoned and looking to get laid; music is what you turn up loud in your car so people will think you're hot shit, and to piss off the neighbors - music is also a lot of things good, but it needs to be kept in perspective. <snip>

Phil




I once worked at a radio station here in Sydney for a couple of months, making radio ads. It sucked bigtime.

I remember thinking this for a while, and then I quit. Music is much more than those things you describe, and to write it off as easily as you have shows a cynical attitude that, at this time more than ever, the industry could well do without.

Chris


OK, we disagree. Music is, as I said, also a lot of things good, but trying to paint all music as a glistening gift from above is just too full of crap to even argue with. Don't try to convince me that the guy with the ball cap turned sideways is looking at the CD cover to see if it was tracked on a Neve. Don't try to tell me that the boom-boom loop and the bad rhymes are not part of the music industry. Now, try to tell me that the people dancing to the boom-boom are listening for detail and transparency, and not watching the butt motion in front of them.

Cynical? You bet your ass I'm cynical, and the industry should have been a lot more cynical instead of kissing up to the fat cats that offered a spoonful while they stole everything that could be converted to cash.

I don't know what gives you the right to look down on people who create radio spots, because I've done thousands of them - and I was damn grateful to have the work. The willingness to work, the quality of your work, and the respect you give you work - all of it - is what contributes to one's being a professional. Where I choose to work - home or not - has no bearing on my professionalism, and when I work, I give 100% to the job I was hired to do.

My entire adult life has been spent behind a console, and I wouldn't have had it any other way. But this industry has a dark side that needs to be addressed - not ignored. Blaming the guy that buys a Chinese condenser mic while the broadcast monopoly shuts off all access to new artists and material is just ludicrous. Deals that allow that kind of crap to go on are made at the top, not down here where guys like me bust our butts to put food on the table. When big businesses close, it ain't because someone spent 10k on a Mackie and PT.

Phil
Logged
Phil Nelson

Linear

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 25
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #35 on: February 06, 2005, 11:49:29 pm »

Phil wrote on Mon, 07 February 2005 14:59


Gimme a break, that's an overworked anecdote. So, are you saying that any nitwit who signs a lease for a space in an industrial park and loads it with high-priced gear is automatically a 'professional'? I've heard lots of very stinky crap come out of places like that - 'pro' studios that were run by a big mouth with a talentless slob attached.


Phil,

With all due respect, I never implied that doing radio spots was a bad thing, I meant that it wasn't for me and it made me more cynical. I'm sorry if you took it personally or if it rubbed you the wrong way.

With regards to the $10K budget - Of course I can't talk in definites however in most cases, a competent engineer in a professional studio will produce a better final product than a guy at home with a $10K ProTools rig. Arguing about that fact is just lame and boring.

Just from the way you answer your posts, I would say that I wouldn't be asking you to record my next album (if I were doing one). I've met a whole swathe of older, cynical, condescending and impatient engineers that treat musicians like morons and cannot work out why they aren't getting much work. Funnily enough, they always end up doing jobs they don't like 'for a crust'.

I'm not questioning your professional capability, however there is more to the music business than pure technical skill and those who manage to remain polite, personable, approachable and understanding seem to remain longer than those who aren't.


Chris
Logged
http://www.linear-recording.com.au

"Fashions change, the laws of physics don't"
Steve Dove

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2005, 12:38:49 pm »

jfrigo wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 20:12


Sounds like a return to an older model when staff engineers were a studio's best asset. However, in contrast to the old model, it also seems that studios need to shrink to stay competitive.



shrinkage is not necessary.....bands simply don't need a staff sushi chef, on-tap micro brews, massages, and all sorts of other absurd amenities.

it's those things that raise the overhead for unnecessary reasons.
Logged

jfrigo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1029
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #37 on: February 07, 2005, 12:53:01 pm »

j.hall wrote on Mon, 07 February 2005 09:38

jfrigo wrote on Fri, 04 February 2005 20:12


Sounds like a return to an older model when staff engineers were a studio's best asset. However, in contrast to the old model, it also seems that studios need to shrink to stay competitive.



shrinkage is not necessary.....bands simply don't need a staff sushi chef, on-tap micro brews, massages, and all sorts of other absurd amenities.

it's those things that raise the overhead for unnecessary reasons.



I think it may also be real estate costs, especially in big cities. Larrabee west closed not because the business wasn't there, but because the property was just too valuable to continue as a studio. Other large rooms with enough space for string dates are underutilized and therefore too expensive to leave open. You could fit two studios into the same space and maximize the financial return on the pricey square footage. It's one reason reverb chambers disappeared. Maybe very large tracking spaces will suffer the same fate. Many new studios are coming online with essentially oversized booths instead of large studios. It seems that's part of the trend for competitive studios these days. I hope enough good sized tracking spaces survive.
Logged

j.hall

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3787
Re: ...On the recent studio closings...
« Reply #38 on: February 07, 2005, 01:21:55 pm »

jfrigo wrote on Mon, 07 February 2005 11:53

I hope enough good sized tracking spaces survive.




mee too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 [All]   Go Up