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Author Topic: ...On the recent studio closings...  (Read 16247 times)

compasspnt

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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.
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ted nightshade

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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?
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Ted Nightshade aka Cowan

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Linear

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

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compasspnt

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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
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Phil

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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
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Phil Nelson

Linear

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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
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j.hall

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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.
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jfrigo

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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.
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j.hall

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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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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