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Dress to Impress.... Studio Bling???
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PRS1JAZZ
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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Dress to Impress.... Studio Bling???

You know what really drives me nuts... I was going to put this in the moan zoan but this belongs here. As an engineer I do not care what is in my rack, as long as it is a useful tool. As a musician, I really do not care about what a studio looks like, I just care about the product that the engineer can put out. But it seems that most kids now look for the lights and faders. The reason why I say this is because of a guy that I know, locally, with a fantastic background in pro audio. He has a Digi 001 and Peak, Panasonic and Lavery Converters, Groove Tubes Vipre, Distressor, C2, DAT, Vocal Booth, and a Blue Cactus. He mostly does R&B and has churned out hits when working at Hit Factory in NY. The stuff he is doing now is just as good. I have been very impressed. But since his rig is small... people refuse to go to him. They walk in and say.... "thats it? I am not paying $35 an hour for this" (He really is undercharging) They want the whole stereotypical picture of a studio.

Anyway.... not to say I do not like the look of gear.... man I LOVE the look of a sexy piece. I call it "THE AVALON SYNDROME". Its just plain ignorance is really bugging me.

So.... Do any of you feel this same pressure of lighting up your racks, and making sure there is enough.... dare I say.... COSMETICS....
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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I think Funk Logic makes some "gear" to address this issue.
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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HAHAHAHHA!!!!!! I admit it! I Admit it!!! I have the Palandrometer!!!!
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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yep - sad, but true. But, I myself, as I'm sure most everyone on this forum, have never bought a piece of gear because of how it looks but we do love the look of a piece of gear when it's got the mojo visuals going on - and the reality is - so does the paying customers. It's just one of those crazy facts of life and it'll always been that way I'm afraid it always will. Why does Britney Spears sell so many records? The Avalon gear is awesome looking alright ( it's like the Britney Spears of audio - although it DOES sound great!) although I don't own any of it and will never buy it solely on it's looks. When a perspective client walks in the door and checks out your studio it does help if it's looking great but don't ever buy gear for the look of it in the rack. Big mistake IMHO.
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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i am not sure this addresses "bling" which i just think of as a trendy kiddie word.

although it appears he may have the minimum kit he needs to do the job, setting up studio vibe is part of the equation. and being clear to clients that you are also really only selling your self and your skills as an engineer, not just renting them time and gear.

he is either not doing the sales pitch right or is selling to the wrong people. a higher price might even get a better client, but with that gear list he'd be hard pressed to get much more money (experience in the industry notwithstanding). lots of people with solid credentials have trouble getting and keeping clients nowadays.

can i presume this setup is at his house? surely not at a commercial space with so little kit? he needs to set up a vibe that gets people comfortable and doesn't look like it's more or less the same amount of gear as the average home enthusiast.

and although a little oooh and aaah is great, i think of my gear as tools and not as "bling". i hate even using the word, and i don't want to continue to present the idea that the gear is more important than the skills and personality of the engineer. i think this website sometimes overemphasizes gear itself. i don't use those funk logic panels as a result.

granted, i picked up a large analog console this year because i love the sound of it, but it also seperates me from the average music hobbyist and helps prevent any questions about whether of not my project studio warrants the money i charge. so there is some confidence that i have tools that they could not easily buy and wouldn't know how to operate. it's not a good measure of a studio, your friend may well be a great engineer. however, he obviously needs to stress to people that his space is simple and people freindly, but that he can knock out killer mixes. and then so long as that's true, he can have some other demo's of work done there to calm down any doubters.

i'd think any initial phone call with them would help set expectations so that minimal kit wouldn't be a problem. he has to sell himself and not allow his abilities to be measured by a minimal kit. and now that so many people have small recording rigs, be they young engineers or muso's, an experienced man with a small kit will have to work a lot harder to differentiate himself.
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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very true stuff here--too bad there isnt a funk logic console :-)
#7
22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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My dad always says "son don't sell the steak, sell the sizzle", people listen with their eyes. Personally, I think mixing with an 001 sucks.
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#8
22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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Engineer, Producer, whatever. All the people working at the top of their game know that just having great chops is not enough. The human aspect still figures highly if not equal to technical skills. There are probably very few that get by on track record alone and clients that will bend to their schedule and tolerate their idiosyncrasies. If this guy feels he has enough kit to get quality results it's his job to sell people that it's his skills they're paying for not what he uses. If he can turn out results that equal most of his rivals good for him. If he's complaining that his setup puts people off then he's got to do a little smoke and mirrors job. You'd be surprised (or not) to see some of the rigs and environments some name music makers get by on. Either their clients trust them enough to not give a shit and get hyped on what they're doing than the view from where they're sitting or they do a great job making them not pay attention.
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22nd March 2004
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I remember when people used to get turned OFF by walking into a studio and seeing a bunch of "old" gear!
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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Another principle similar to this is the name-game, where people look at your gear list and if it says, for example, "Neumann TLM103" they will choose your studio over one that says "Soundelux 251," since many band folk have picked up on Neumann, or Neve, or ProTools as being what to look for.

Another funny example is where people will put "Neve" beside their clone name, to make sure shoppers get it.
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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I put "Neve" next to my Vintech. I felt like a poser doing it but no one around here has ever heard of Vintech, but they think it's awesome there is a "Neve" 1272 here!
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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Impression and perception are very important when selling time in your room. I make sure all of the gear is on and the mood lights are set whenever I'm giving a tour. I have a CD with work I've done ready to go and I tend to tell stories about past recordings I've done. A large console and a rack full of pretty lights and VU meters can help to sell the room. My last big purchase was based more on client desire that personal...
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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If the guy is doing awesome work with small amount of gear perhaps he needs to to send his impressive work FORWARD in advance on a CD showreel then explain over the phone that he can do this quality of work on his set up and to warn folks that 'it might not look so impressive' but that they shouldn't worry about it and trust him..

Its all about the initial meetings, I suggest his initial 'meeting' with the client is via them hearing his work on a showreel CD.
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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Re: Dress to Impress.... Studio Bling???

Quote:
Originally posted by PRS1JAZZ
I have been very impressed. But since his rig is small... people refuse to go to him. They walk in and say.... "thats it? I am not paying $35 an hour for this" (He really is undercharging) They want the whole stereotypical picture of a studio.

Do those people rent only the studio or do they rent him with his musical / technical skills ?
#15
22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
If the guy is doing awesome work with small amount of gear perhaps he needs to to send his impressive work FORWARD in advance on a CD showreel then explain over the phone that he can do this quality of work on his set up and to warn folks that 'it might not look so impressive' but that they shouldn't worry about it and trust him..

Its all about the initial meetings, I suggest his initial 'meeting' with the client is via them hearing his work on a showreel CD.
I agree. It feels like he might be unintentionally shooting himself in the foot.
Jam
#16
22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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Is this the time to remind everyone of the Focusrite Red 2U blanking plate. MMMMMMMM Anodized

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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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Another funny example is where people will put "Neve" beside their clone name, to make sure shoppers get it.

I put "Neve" next to my Vintech. I felt like a poser doing it but no one around here has ever heard of Vintech, but they think it's awesome there is a "Neve" 1272 here!


This is sort of bizarre but its also a good example of one of the many problems with this "business" (something with such a poor return on investment really stretches the concept of "business".) I don't disagree with either jburn34 or natpub, I just find it unfortunate that potential clients make decisions based on nonsense like this.

I guess I should be glad that my Vintech is one of the old ones that actually says something like "made from Neve 1272 parts" on the front.
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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hey dim,

Yeah, we're all so glamourous around here that we occasionally forget that the rest of you aren't all working on fur lined consoles. With every suburban kid hanging out at the shopping mall covered with tacky gold and/or diamond jewelry, it gets harder and harder to set your studio apart from the trailer park "home" studio crowd. (Have you seen the new line of Gucci rack screws?)

In all seriousness, no client completely ignores the appearance (style, cleanliness, "vibe" etc.) of your studio when they are deciding where to spend their money. Even the most authentically bohemian post punkers appreciate a clean bathroom and a comfortable environment. Although your options are to a large extent limited by your budget, there are a lot of things you can do without breaking the bank.

All of the clich├ęd bargain basement design tips are as appropriate for your studio as they are for your new loft apartment. You would be amazed at how different a space can look with as little as $100 budgeted for improvements.

Impressing a gear-slut type of client can be lot more epxensive, but there are still things you can do without robbing a bank. (we're assuming that you already have what you need to get the job done, you are looking for something to impress clients, its actual performance is secondary to the fact that it looks great sitting in your rack). Before you waste $100 on one of those cheap "toob" compressors or preamps that are actually super cheap solid state designs with a tube installed in a viewing window, instead, go find some surplus piece of audio related tube gear from the 1950s. For a hundred bucks you can find a working piece of tube equipment thats at least 5 rack space high and is covered with huge knobs, dials and lights. Just having that thing glowing in the corner of your room can go a long way towards making your studio look like a "real" studio, worthy of commercial rates. (I knew a guy who had two floor-to-ceiling racks filled with this kind of stuff - his room looked like bridge of the Starship Enterprise and most of the gear cost him $10 or $20 at garage sales. There were no Fairchild 670s in those racks, but it all looked sooooo damn cool.
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by natpub
very true stuff here--too bad there isnt a funk logic console :-)
funk logic console



Fleaman
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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[i]
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Originally posted by natpub
very true stuff here--too bad there isnt a funk logic console :-)
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

funk logic console
****************************************************


Oh man, don't get me started on that Argosy stuff.......Nothing against the actual product, they look kinda nice, but what kinda moron spends $2,400 to house a P.O.S. Mackie 8-bus? I know that some guys buy the Argosy desks for the Sony DMX or any of the various Yamaha digital mixers, but I swear that 90% of the time that I see an Argosy desk, there is a Mackie board inside. WTF?!?! That's like paying $600 for a custom ebony jeweler's box for your cheap Chinese knock-off mic. Priorities, gentlemen!
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22nd March 2004
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OK... again I give in.. I own an Argosy Console myself. I dont house a piece of sh#@ Smackie, but it is SO much better than some of the ergonomic desks out there. It is much more comfortable overall.
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22nd March 2004
Old 22nd March 2004
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he should give the client his rate and a separate studio rate for doing their project at a more expensive and gear groovy room...and then give them a composite rate for doing the project at his more "economy with dignity" set up. if the latter is at or approx the same...and the client can hear things done on "his" rig...

a few of the Top Knobs I know actually think the 001/LE stuff has better "sound" (different math?) than the more expensive PT sand. sounds better to me as well, but I'm not a fan of...aww you know.

001 is probably a buzz kill for the young aspirants however.
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23rd March 2004
Old 23rd March 2004
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As I always say: "If I only had a dollar for every time someone calls up and asks if I have a "Newman" microphone"...
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23rd March 2004
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Well, I got the bling. 1ft mohawk.

Now, the studio bling.... howabout all the discs on the shelf Ive done that sound better than anything anyone in this area could ever imagine to put out.

BOOM. take that.
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#25
23rd March 2004
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Quote:
As I always say: "If I only had a dollar for every time someone calls up and asks if I have a "Newman" microphone"...

next on my list, get an Mbox so I can answer, yes, i have protools, lol

peace,

KT
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23rd March 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by natpub

next on my list, get an Mbox so I can answer, yes, i have protools, lol

peace,

KT
If I even give in and get a computer for the control room, I'm getting an Mbox for the same reason. I may keep it in the box and just point when the question is asked.
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23rd March 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Drumsound
If I even give in and get a computer for the control room, I'm getting an Mbox for the same reason. I may keep it in the box and just point when the question is asked.
Lol!!!!

On the other hand, how about keeping the 2" around (that hasn't been used in years) for the same reason

For a little more than the cost of an Argosy you could get a pretty
impressive looking 2" to put in the corner.

Or, for much less, a non-working 2".

Hmmm.



Fleaman
#28
23rd March 2004
Old 23rd March 2004
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For a little more than the cost of an Argosy you could get a pretty
impressive looking 2" to put in the corner.

Or, for much less, a non-working 2".


Actually, these days the value of a working 2" is NOT much more than a non-working machine. For $3k you can have your choice of dozens of machines in LA on any given day. Only the most cherry Studer 820s or 827s seem to command substantially more dollars.
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23rd March 2004
Old 23rd March 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Drumsound
If I even give in and get a computer for the control room, I'm getting an Mbox for the same reason. I may keep it in the box and just point when the question is asked.
Even better... ProTools Free. I use it for SoundReplacer ONLY, but make sure the PT icon is nice and visible on my Mac desktop.
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#30
24th March 2004
Old 24th March 2004
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Quote:
Originally posted by Fleaman
Lol!!!!

On the other hand, how about keeping the 2" around (that hasn't been used in years) for the same reason

For a little more than the cost of an Argosy you could get a pretty
impressive looking 2" to put in the corner.

Or, for much less, a non-working 2".

Hmmm.



Fleaman

I used my 2" machine tonight. And I'm starting a album mix on it Saturday.

Plus I may buy a "new" machine really soon...
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