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Another sad day in the music biz....
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Geoff_T
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1st February 2005
Old 1st February 2005
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Another sad day in the music biz....

Hi

I've known about the situation for a while now, and even spoken with folk who were considering buying the place, but an email this morning confirmed that Cello Recording studios, just a couple of blocks from here on Sunset Boulevard, has finally closed their doors.

There's a big discussion on the topic on George Massenbergs Forum on the PSW Recording Forums...

http://recforums.prosoundweb.com/index.php/t/3674/0

...and these include an interesting post with three reasons why big studios like Cello have had a very hard time of late.

I've a photo of one of their big Neve consoles on my site's photo page...

http://www.auroraaudio.net/aa_html/n...les/cello.html

...and this console is unique because of the huge cue sub mixer on the console end nearest the camera.

What a sad day... I'm not optimistic to satisfactory resolution/ressurection.

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1st February 2005
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I just got done reading some of that thread at GMs forum...
That a pretty depressing thread!
Someone needs to go back in time and go Terminator on the guy who invented the MP3.....
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1st February 2005
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Yeah but then they would send the counter-terminator earlier in time.

Man one of the most amazing drum sounds I ever heard came out of that studio... an L.A. band called The Fents around 1983 did a live to 2-track album (killer players), engineered by Allen Sides. They built a porccupine of killer mics around the kit, the most I'd ever seen at that time.

RIP OceanWay/Cello
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2nd February 2005
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History teaches us. Dinosaurs disappeared and flexible species outlived. But it might happen to any business, state and whole nation. Not funny, but just fact of life and it’s constant strive to progress at any price (even if on the first sight it does not seem so).

GYang
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2nd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by GYang
History teaches us. Dinosaurs disappeared and flexible species outlived. But it might happen to any business, state and whole nation. Not funny, but just fact of life and it’s constant strive to progress at any price (even if on the first sight it does not seem so).

GYang
I could not have put it better myself GYang.

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2nd February 2005
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Yeah, I heard Oceanway was out too. I'm swallowing rat poison the day the Hit Factory shuts it's doors.
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2nd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kent
You call this "progress"? Please quantify that for me.
Who are you asking this question of?? I don't see anyone using the word "progress" on this thread, did I miss something???
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2nd February 2005
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Yep missed it. My bad, I deserve it for not reading carefully.

Well I do believe in the context of the GYang's quote this is "progress" just as much as the great extinction of the dinosaurs was progress.

IT REALLY sucked for the dinosaurs but it ushered in a period were fast and nimble creatures like mammals could get a leg up on the competition. This directly lead to the creation of science and art and unfortunately the atomic bomb.

Only two things can be said of change, good things and bad come from it and you can expect it will keep happening until the universe is a black ember. Bad music will happen because of the advent of home studios but so will good and something will come along and make the home studio extinct as well someday.

As far as this closing being seen as "progress" permit me to quote Brad Blackwood from another thread on the same subject because he put it better than I ever could.

Quote:
The fact is, large (and generally expensive) recording studios are no longer necessary to cut good sounding records. They certainly make it easier most of the time, but are not necessary any longer - when they were built, they were necessary. That's the diff.

It's sad to see these famous studios go away, but it's the way things go. There are still great sounding rooms around and there will probably always be a few great rooms around. But IMO, the access granted to the masses to record their art far outweighs the sadness I feel as these facilities find they no longer have the business to keep the lights on...
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2nd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by ransomRR
Yeah, I heard Oceanway was out too. I'm swallowing rat poison the day the Hit Factory shuts it's doors.
Careful, from what I've heard Hit Factory is not that far away from closing up shop.
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2nd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by robmix
Careful, from what I've heard Hit Factory is not that far away from closing up shop.
Well, read this...
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2nd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Kent
Hold on to your hats, kids... Another 'iconic' American studio closure will be announced in very short order. I'm still in shock. So hot on the heels of Cello's announcement...
would that be The Hit Factory NYC?

"The Hit Factory, one of the legendary New York recording studios and home to more hits than I can recant, is closing. They are no longer taking any bookings and have put the employees on notice as of today. It will close the end of Feb and by the end of March everything will be cleared out of the building. The press release comes out tomorrow. "

Nika Aldridge
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2nd February 2005
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Where did the rot set in?

Dont producer managers keep jacking up budgets?

Sushi for the producer
Sushi for the engineer
Sushi for the PT operator
Sushi for the assitant
We want $$$$$$ because that other guy got it for his last record

Would closing sushi bars save the industry?

That Beach Boy echo chamber perishing at Cello would be a real shame...

I find that echo trail in the break of "Good Vibrations" akin to the painting on the sistine chapel ceiling by Michael Angelo.... something spiritual is happening at that moment....the world pauses from spinning for a split second...

Sometime in the late 80's it was decided that The Beach Boys WERE America - represented in song. They should make that studio a national treasure (though making a single $ from it thenceforth might get complex) just to preserve it.

I keep expecting record co's to reach "Stop day" - when they decided to record no new material and secure no new acts and release no newly recorded material.....

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2nd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by ransomRR
Yeah, I heard Oceanway was out too.


Nope... so far that one's false... Cello was next door and once part of Ocean Way so the confusion is understandable.

Quote:
I'm swallowing rat poison the day the Hit Factory shuts it's doors.
From what I just heard... that will be like March 1st... may I suggest you add it to like a cream soda and maybe chase it down with some Bourbon.

See ya.
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2nd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Where did the rot set in?

Dont producer managers keep jacking up budgets?

Sushi for the producer
Sushi for the engineer
Sushi for the PT operator
Sushi for the assitant
We want $$$$$$ because that other guy got it for his last record
That's exactly one of the problems.
Everybody wants their payout upfront, insteadd of putting the effort into making something good, so they make their money on the tail end. The way it used to be.
I mean, charging 100k to produce a single track for a new artist is ridiculous.

Bands getting ridiculous upfront signing bonuses.

What's more ridiculous is the fact that labels fork over the money.
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2nd February 2005
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OMG, I just threw that one out there because I've worked there once, it's relatively close by, and I've never seen a better studio! I had no idea they were about to close! Maybe I have some special power. Let me try again. I'll swallow rat poison the day Behringer shuts their doors.
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2nd February 2005
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Although let me toss out a couple of thoughts and see if you guys think this is where the market and music industry is heading.

Scenario A: In Hong Kong, musicians give away their music because piracy is so rampant. They make their money by becoming famous and doing sponsorship, corporate advertising, licensing their songs for video games/commercials/movies, and live concerts. We may be headed there.

Scenario B: Artist records album in his bedroom using garageband/PT/Logic/DAW, releases it himself internationally on the iTunes Music Store from his bedroom, and sits back and checks his account balance from his bedroom. Thereby recording, mixing, mastering, manufacturing, advertising, distributing, and recouping all from the comforts of home. We may also be headed for this model. Obviously there will always be producers and engineers that will be able to mix better than any band member
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2nd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Where did the rot set in?

Dont producer managers keep jacking up budgets?

Sushi for the producer
Sushi for the engineer
Sushi for the PT operator
Sushi for the assitant
We want $$$$$$ because that other guy got it for his last record

Would closing sushi bars save the industry?

No there are different reasons for different studios to close.

Obviously the music biz is in upheavel and the blame lies with:

1. Piracy/less product being sold

2. The Labels:

2a: Not releasing quality music or developing artists
2b: Not willing to spend money on tracking and overdubs but more than willing to dole out huge sums to mix engineers
2c: Not caring about the quality of the product.. but rather if they can market it and keep their jobs. Sonic quality is their last concern... just as long as the CD is loud when they play it in their car.

3. The producers who won't stand up to the labels to fight against #2.

4. Mismanagement of studios by reducing their rates (too low to survive) or trying to expand in a slow market -- or simply spending too much money on their own high salaries while booking the studio at too low a rate or having conflicts of interest when they also own rental gear in the rooms they're booking.

5. Consumer/Pro-sumer gear... most of my projects are now done in small DAW based studios with very little overhead -- owned by producers or artists... but this is tied in with 2b and 2c. Often times the producers don't want to spend money on high quality mics or preamps, etc.. and you have to use whatever thay have lying around (or cart all your own gear 'round free of charge).

6. Producers overusing DAWs to edit every nuance of their production to death... which is leading to artists who aren't skilled or able to perform live.

7. The buying public (what's left of them) not caring about the quality of the music they buy... and would rather buy a video game.

8. Clear Channel.

The days of huge food budgets are long gone -- have been for a while. Producers and engineers have been reducing their rates and doubling up on the work they do for a while -- but the mix engineers are still getting the same fees and points as they always have. The labels also aren't interested in taking chances with anyone else mixing their projects.. they need to have the 'name' mixer. Producers are being given $40k to $50k to track and overdub... and they're spending $120k on mixing... there's no balance. Mixers are also being given worse and worse recorded tracks to mix.

Anyway.. that's my ramblings.

Rail
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2nd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by ransomRR
...Scenario A: In Hong Kong, musicians give away their music because piracy is so rampant. They make their money by becoming famous and doing sponsorship, corporate advertising, licensing their songs for video games/commercials/movies, and live concerts. We may be headed there.

Scenario B: Artist records album in his bedroom using garageband/PT/Logic/DAW, releases it himself internationally on the iTunes Music Store from his bedroom, and sits back and checks his account balance from his bedroom.
Scenerio A is exactly where we're headed although Silicon Valley really wants the stock market to believe in Scenario B.
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3rd February 2005
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As a guy who started out as a musician I must surely be responsible for this situation. ( at least in part )

Flashback to 5 years ago
Me " Hi Mr studio owner I would like to record 10 songs"
Studio owner " great that will be around $10k "
Me " holy shite batman I don't have that kind of cash. Let me get back to you"

Forward to modern day
Me " Hey honey I'm going out to the studio to record some ideas."
Wife " Ok hey your new music gadget came in today"
Me " Ok thanks I can't wait to add it to my collection of stuff"

The difference for me is that I now own the stuff to do my own recordings. I didn't have to shell out all the money at once. If I don't like something I recorded I'm not stuck paying for it and finally noone was going to buy my music anyway cause I can't promote it like some folks and franlky it's not mainstream stuff.
The end result is that I get better at writing tunes, learning new instruments and I can start my own little network of musicians that can be called on at any time to hang out. It's also a lot less pressure on me since I don't have a clock ticking in the background.
I don't get the expert engineer tracking and mixing for me but I can learn in time and like I said noone was going to buy my crap anyhow.
It's a lot like going to Home Depot to buy some plumbing parts. A profesional plumber might do it better but I can get the results I want if I mess around with it long enough.
SO there you have the perspective of a guy who is in part responsible for the changing face of recording music. This may be a little bit of a tangent but I don't think I'm the only guy out here with the same experience.
Anywho that's my nearly worthless opinion.
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3rd February 2005
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Live Music

Bob/Ransom

has scenario A in Hong Kong helped the live music industry??

scenario A could possibly remove "artists" like Ashlee Simpson from the game. If you can't perform live - you don't make much money??

A return to the days of quality live music would be grand. Live music is suffering much more than recorded music in this world.

edit to add:

I do not support music piracy of any kind - I have no pirated music in my house/car/work - but the effects of scenario A in hong kong interest me.
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3rd February 2005
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"1. Piracy/less product being sold"

Actually, CD sales increeased 2.3% last year, the first increase since 2000. Legal digital downloads toped 140 million, equivalent to 14 million CDs.

So even with all the file sharing and "shitty, poorly produced" music everyone is complaining about, 666 million albums were sold. A small increase, but an increase all the same.

-gil

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/4150747.stm
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3rd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rail Jon Rogut
Obviously the music biz is in upheavel and the blame lies with:
I'd add: less places to gig. Less gigs = less money to pay for recording (among other things), and less time honing skills before going into the studio.

Peece,
T. Tauri
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3rd February 2005
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Re: Live Music

Quote:
Originally posted by peterr
...
scenario A could possibly remove "artists" like Ashlee Simpson from the game. If you can't perform live - you don't make much money??...
Ashlee Simpson is a TV star, not a music star. I see lots more of that and not less in the advertising-supported scenario.

The third way is reigniting the minor leagues of live music which is where all the good stuff came from in the first place.
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3rd February 2005
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Quote:
The third way is reigniting the minor leagues of live music which is where all the good stuff came from in the first place.
Amen.

Hitsville USA had a dirt floor and a three track for a bit, and their stuff still stands.

And it wasn't because they tracked any piece of fluff with a spiral notebook full of tripe and a synth. Although if there's good stuff coming from kids with spiral notebooks and synths, it would be welcomed. It has to be better than the "It doesn't sound like the band we just made $20,000,000.00 off of" idea.

Good writing and performance is WAY more important than what you use to track it with.

If new music is only supposed to come from certain sources, you're shooting yourself in both feet.
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3rd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by bunnerabb

And it wasn't because they tracked any piece of fluff with a spiral notebook full of tripe and a synth.
Hahahahahaha...

Ain't that the truth.
You hit the nail on the head with that one.
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3rd February 2005
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How do you compete with a guy in his basement with his Mix system full of cracked plugins charging $150.00 per song to record?
That's what I have to deal with!

I hope Digi buys all the Mix systems out there and rolls over them with a bulldozer!
GO Digi GO!
Even worse now with Widows systems and Radium doing thier *hit too!
All I can say is fuuck
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3rd February 2005
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Quote:
Originally posted by T_R_S
How do you compete with a guy in his basement with his Mix system full of cracked plugins charging $150.00 per song to record?
That's what I have to deal with!

I hope Digi buys all the Mix systems out there and rolls over them with a bulldozer!
GO Digi GO!
Even worse now with Widows systems and Radium doing thier *hit too!
All I can say is fuuck
Dude, don't get me started.
Digi is one of the main reasons studio's are dying.

When it became acceptable to use their crappy 888 prosumer coverters and substandard gear to make records, THAT was the beginning of the end.
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3rd February 2005
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i hate to even get in on this

[QUOTE]How do you compete with a guy in his basement with his Mix system full of cracked plugins charging $150.00 per song to record?
That's what I have to deal with!

but i must say
do a better job!

if some one with a p.c. and a bunch of cracked plugins is kick-en you @#$% then you have a bigger problem.

if you don't have something to sell get a job at wal-mart!
with that here's to
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3rd February 2005
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sorry to offend with the drink, it will be my only apology.
just tired of hearing folks blame a cheap garage set up for bigger problems.
eliminating cheap studio's, recording some band with a budget of 150.00 is no fix, most of them would not be recording at all, if not for guys learning or just having fun in their garage set up.

very sorry if i offend anyone over the OJ and the shot of water. it was a symbolic gesture.


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3rd February 2005
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I took it to mean "pass on the drink", as in "pass one on to me"

-g
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