The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
More work for Recording Studios....
Old 11th November 2009
  #1
More work for Recording Studios....

Hey fellow GearSlutz,

On this site it is clear that i'm preaching to the wrong people with the odd exception. But, i'm aware of way too many bands (good bands) recording in the cheapest way possible outside of professional recording studios. The sonic differences are obvious, a recording studio is the way forward. But how do we go about re-enforcing this?

If you look at a band of 5 members, thats only Β£100 per person to fully record and mix a track at a professional studio. Considering how quickly most people can get through Β£100, its really not much... and the bigger the band, the less its costs each person.

Do recording studios need to be re-glamorized? Feature in more music videos? Run webcams so that people can experience studio life. With a rising number of musicians claiming to be 'audio engineers' wouldn't it make sense to make more out of the existence of recording studios and promote their importance, creativity and (dare i say it again) 'glamor'.

I think to some extent this is already being done, like the Live at Abbey Roads program...but what else can we do to fill our Recording Studios with clients who are currently undecided?

Studios are closing fast, and I believe alot of it has to do with how much recording is being done outside of the studio domain on cheap interfaces and laptops.

Band members who have an interest in audio engineering seem to prefer to do things themselves in Logic rather than doing it at a studio who have invested in outboard, great consoles and experience. Wouldn't they really prefer to take their skills to the next level in a studio??

I'd love to hear some comments on the whole idea and any suggestions.

Music is such a crucial element in our lifes (not just engineers), it surrounds us and everyone has some relationship to music, even if it is watching X-factor!!!!. The point is that everyone is involved with music. That being the case, why are studios being hit hard and closing down, the music hasn't disappeared. We need to do something to promote the use of studios better, because they way I see it going, Studios are going to be a rarity and not only is that a real problem for us engineers who work 24/7 in recording studios, but also for the music loving population.

All the best, and i look forward to hearing some ideas and comments

Tristan
(The Way Studio)
Old 11th November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
DarkSky Media's Avatar
Undoubtedly part of the problem is that smashed (I mean um.. mastered) to death and munged to low-bit-rate mp3s then played on stock ear bud fashion accessories, the sonic integrity of a professional recording is not so easy to differentiate from so much other dross that's available for free download. It should be, but often it isn't.

There are a lot of causes. But one conclusion you can draw is that we need to do more to differentiate ourselves.
Old 11th November 2009
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

I'm one of those musicians to which you refer.
I've always recorded my own music at home since I was about 13 and now 48.
I've always had a home studio and that is where I work and probably why I gravitate to this forum.
Getting me into a real studio would be great...but they are far and few between in this part of the country.
One of the reasons I stay at home is the immediacy of working at my own pace.For instance I had nothing booked at my day job yesterday afternoon,my wife was working until 8.I went home early and spent the afternoon putting down guitar tracks to a previously recorded rythm track.
I write while I record and record while I write.That would be an expensive proposition in a real studio.
Dollar for dollar I would have been and would be better off hiring a pro studio but the convenience of the home studio has always worked for me.

I have recorded in several pro studios over the years but the last time was like 94 or so.3 song demo,big SSL board,Neve,Pultec etc etc.We were ran in and out like an assembly line.

The last studio that almost got my business had a different approach.
The engineer heard some of my original music through a friend.He liked the songs and liked the way I tracked them.He approached me and praised the songs and the recording and said he would love to get me in his studio.Then he started telling me how much better my work would sound if I were just left to play instead of wear all of the hats.
I loved the idea,went to his studio,listened to some other bands he'd tracked and talked about what I wanted.
He was open to all of my ideas and then we talked price.
Started pretty simple and then all of the add on prices started to intimidate me.Every single piece of gear he had was an added expense.
The Fender Tremolux was $20 per session,The organ was $20 per session and on and on.

Personally in this day and age if I were approached like that again and had use of any gear the studio had to offer within reason I might be tempted.
Financially I am in a much better position now than then.....but I need finished dollars to be comfortable.

I think the studios should network with the local bands and be interested in the original music.If you like someones songs you should tell them.Get them interested in a pro recording.Going to shows and handing out business cards does nothing for me.Also don't start telling me about all of the great bands you've worked with.You are at my show.Talk about our music.When I am at your studio then you can tell me about your successes because then I am interested in what you have to say.
Invite for a quick tour.Play a few songs.Better yet ask me to bring along some of my recordings for us to listen to.Bet I would hear a huge difference in the quality of my recordings compared to yours.Don't tell me what you would do to my songs.Ask me what I would like to do to them.
Another thing...if you want to play some demos for me at least play demos that are in the same music genre as myself.
Old 11th November 2009
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by DSM Interactive View Post
Undoubtedly part of the problem is that smashed (I mean um.. mastered) to death and munged to low-bit-rate mp3s then played on stock ear bud fashion accessories, the sonic integrity of a professional recording is not so easy to differentiate from so much other dross that's available for free download. It should be, but often it isn't.

There are a lot of causes. But one conclusion you can draw is that we need to do more to differentiate ourselves.
------------------------------------------------------

Although i agree with everything you said alot of people aren't just listen to songs on ipods. The first thing someone says to me when they want me to evaluate a mix for them on an ipod is that "its gonna sound shit on these ear buds, is there anyway to playback through the speakers"
People do realize that stock earbuds and headphone sound like shit, its not just people with more experienced ears. Even if people can't describe in words the difference between a polished recording/mix and a crappy home recording, the difference still has an impact on how much they enjoy and connect with the music. Even with a low bitrate mp3 (don't ask me why these are still in use, its beyond me), you can still hear the difference between the opposite processes pre-mp3.

Yes, everything is pretty much free these days, but if the general public had a grasp on why they prefer Track A (with a professional recording/mixing process) and Track B (done in logic, mixed on headphones) then they would prefer to download Track A and therefore it makes sense that the band goes through route A!

Radio stations need to be meriting (where appropriate) a good song for its production in addition to the artist.
TV programs centered around bands need to explore the studio side of music production properly and promote it.
Studios need to appear more attractive to the artists.
If a band wants to try and mix thier own tracks, thats fine, but the recording needs to be done properly, and that needs to be an obvious decision to musicians. Im all for bands doing pre-production at home and then coming to studios to turn their dreams into a reality, that makes sense for everybody.

I realize that alot of people listen to music on crap playback systems, but that doesn't mean they can't tell the difference between a professional recording and a laptop/headphone/logic mp3. They will want to listen to better recordings, the sooner that artists realize that, the better.
Old 11th November 2009
  #5
Lives for gear
 

Hi
The old business model of studio, artist and label has too much 'dead wood' in it and the stock answer is to legislate against anyone who 'steals' music. This of course does not really work(unless you are a lawyer) but few have come up with a plan thet gets revenue from 'punter' back to artists and studios.
The fact that so many are happy to listen to appalling quality on MP3 is just another twist.
I would happily buy CDs perhaps after listening to 'tasters' off the internet or radio but having decided what I might want to buy it is getting difficult to find emporia where I can browse.
A 'free' world devalues everything, what can you expect for nothing? The question is 'can the trend be reversed'?
Matt S
Old 11th November 2009
  #6
Gear Nut
 

If you want to entice the home studio bedroom players out of their cupboards and into the rooms of some major studios here's my take.....

Offer to train them on equipment that they could not possibly have used

for example - say yr an ssl room - take a day or two a month to invest in relationships with the more talented and prolific local recording musos - get them to bring the priority tracks and train them to mix it on the ssl.

Leave them to play and get really comfortable - once these guys get the feel of it down and have the results from working that way you should find they'll be back to do it again and again.

The reason most of these guys stay at home is often the comfort of getting a known result - and they often cant afford to send the $$$$ to learn SSL's etc so they feel that staying at home is much better.

However if you get them addicted.........you can reel them in.
Old 11th November 2009
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keystone View Post
One of the reasons I stay at home is the immediacy of working at my own pace.For instance I had nothing booked at my day job yesterday afternoon,my wife was working until 8.I went home early and spent the afternoon putting down guitar tracks to a previously recorded rythm track.
I write while I record and record while I write.That would be an expensive proposition in a real studio.
Dollar for dollar I would have been and would be better off hiring a pro studio but the convenience of the home studio has always worked for me.

I have recorded in several pro studios over the years but the last time was like 94 or so.3 song demo,big SSL board,Neve,Pultec etc etc.We were ran in and out like an assembly line.

The last studio that almost got my business had a different approach.
The engineer heard some of my original music through a friend.He liked the songs and liked the way I tracked them.He approached me and praised the songs and the recording and said he would love to get me in his studio.Then he started telling me how much better my work would sound if I were just left to play instead of wear all of the hats.
I loved the idea,went to his studio,listened to some other bands he'd tracked and talked about what I wanted.
He was open to all of my ideas and then we talked price.
Started pretty simple and then all of the add on prices started to intimidate me.Every single piece of gear he had was an added expense.
The Fender Tremolux was $20 per session,The organ was $20 per session and on and on.

Personally in this day and age if I were approached like that again and had use of any gear the studio had to offer within reason I might be tempted.
Financially I am in a much better position now than then.....but I need finished dollars to be comfortable.

I think the studios should network with the local bands and be interested in the original music.If you like someones songs you should tell them.Get them interested in a pro recording.Going to shows and handing out business cards does nothing for me.Also don't start telling me about all of the great bands you've worked with.You are at my show.Talk about our music.When I am at your studio then you can tell me about your successes because then I am interested in what you have to say.
Invite for a quick tour.Play a few songs.Better yet ask me to bring along some of my recordings for us to listen to.Bet I would hear a huge difference in the quality of my recordings compared to yours.Don't tell me what you would do to my songs.Ask me what I would like to do to them.
Another thing...if you want to play some demos for me at least play demos that are in the same music genre as myself.

Hey,

Thanks for your comments. At the studio I work at, we are much closer to 'the last studio' that you went to. We are much more involved with people and spend alot of time meeting bands and showing them where they can take their music. I really disagree with studios that churn out artists like a chicken factory.
I'm sorry that the majority of your studio experience has been partly negative, but not all studios are cold and factory-like. Alot of people come back to our studio because it was a great place for their creativity to run wild, people feel comfortable and at home, they are in charge of their music and we are there capturing the best of their abilities, offering some production if needed and presenting the artist in the most sonically pleasing way possible.

Studios have to charge a small fee for using instruments as these items need maintenance so that other people can use them. And believe me, its alot cheaper to rent a Floyd rose from us for your session rather than renting one from a rental company!!! You don't have to rent additional instruments, they are just there if you want them.

Regarding your writing while you work, theres nothing wrong with that, but if you want to take those compositions and really do something with them, for most people that means taking your hard work (from your own time) and bringing it all together in a professional recording studio. Pre-production is always a must. I have problems with people composing from scratch in the studio and it is only for the rich ego guys, not for talented artists.

I'm glad you brought up these comments, because it shows how some musicians think that studios aren't for them. People need to realize that studios are there for musicians (we really don't have any other purpose). Some studios do treat you like a document that needs filing, but if you come in for a chat with the studio manager at any studio, you will know after 5 minutes wither a studio is good for you or not... and if not, well you have just walked into a beautiful studio control room and your gonna be smiling anyway!... Pick yourself up and find a studio that you do want to work with.

Thanks for your comments,

Tristan
Old 11th November 2009
  #8
Lives for gear
 

Hi
The 'vibe' of the environment is far more important than the gear specifically.
A relaxed friendly place with 'chill out' areas which feel 'homely' are more likey to attract new clients than 'total professionalism' where the prospective client feels to be treated like 'just another job'.
The gear must work and you need someone on hand to run through any tricky bits like driving a patchfield.
This may sound a bit obvious but there are so many places that can't get it right.
Previous session's full ashtrays and beer bottles are also a let down!
Matt S
Old 11th November 2009
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Syson View Post
Hi
The 'vibe' of the environment is far more important than the gear specifically.
A relaxed friendly place with 'chill out' areas which feel 'homely' are more likey to attract new clients than 'total professionalism' where the prospective client feels to be treated like 'just another job'.
The gear must work and you need someone on hand to run through any tricky bits like driving a patchfield.
This may sound a bit obvious but there are so many places that can't get it right.
Previous session's full ashtrays and beer bottles are also a let down!
Matt S

Thankyou, you just explained perfectly what i was trying to say in my last reply.

There are many studios like this, and the big cold ones and dieing and will probably reemerge, smaller and friendly, which i believe is the true sign of a professional studio.
Old 11th November 2009
  #10
The whole concept of having Films on DVD is that the film makers needed to fit their films on a media that has enough space. But while doing this, they realized that there was still loads of space on the DVD that wasn't being used.

For this reason we started seeing DVD Extras, the making of, photos, music from the film, Easter eggs, outtakes, website links etc etc. In fact this proved soo successful in seling DVD's to the public that sometimes films have a additionally included DVD just for extras!


Perhaps this is something that needs to be taken further in the Music Industry. Some CD's do contain music videos, which is great.
But if we also have videos and photos from the recording process, alternate versions, instrumentals. The buyer would have a much greater understanding of the process it took to make their album purchase. And ultimately would make Recording Studios more attractive and 'glamorous"

Additionally, this is a great chance for people who work in Recording studios to advertise their company and show the engineers, assistants and the team behind the album. I hate it when I can't find who recorded an album, someone worked very hard to produce that album and has almost no recognition for his/her input. People will recognize these studios, visit their websites and some might even decide to record their own material in that studio. Part of the reason why people love places like New York etc is that they see it on TV/Films and it becomes an icon of appeal. We need to do the same thing for studios. Open up to the public and get them hooked!

I think the more connection you allow the buyer to make with the music the better. If they feel involved in the process they are more likely to follow that band through to their next album, which is great for the artist and the studios involved.

Tristan
Old 11th November 2009
  #11
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristan Hackney View Post
The sonic differences are obvious, a recording studio is the way forward.
The sonic differences become less obvious with every passing day. When you are overdubbing you are using one mic and one channel of that big sexy board. Almost everyone can buy one good mic and one good preamp. Studios are no longer recording to tape, so everyone using DAWs with their nullable sonics have leveled the playing field considerably.

Quote:
If you look at a band of 5 members, thats only Β£100 per person to fully record and mix a track at a professional studio. Considering how quickly most people can get through Β£100, its really not much... and the bigger the band, the less its costs each person.
the cost of an album at this rate is comparable to the cost of setting up a very decent home rig. A rig that can be used to record a second third fourth and fifth album, None of which are going to show a profit because music is now "free"!

Quote:
Do recording studios need to be re-glamorized?
what is left of recording studios are running on the residual glamor of the days of Yore
Quote:
Feature in more music videos?
heh heh heh
you mean where the studio is a big party filled with chicks and champagne and a song is tracked and Finished in 4 and a half minutes?

Quote:

Run webcams so that people can experience studio life.
As Kenny's thread on 'access' pointed out- this may only have the effect of cheapening and deglamorizing the process. I also think few artists would want their outtakes, flubs, squabbles and tantrums posted on the web

Quote:
Studios are closing fast, and I believe alot of it has to do with how much recording is being done outside of the studio domain on cheap interfaces and laptops.
I think "free music" is a bigger factor, but yes the fact that musicians are recording themselves is a factor. But I seriously don't think there is any way to reverse this trend. It is unrealistic to be nostalgic for a golden era that is not coming back. It is foolish to make efforts to bring it back.

To pick up the slack in actual recording gigs, I have moved into education, consulting and mixing in service to this market. If you can't beat 'em...

Quote:
Band members who have an interest in audio engineering seem to prefer to do things themselves in Logic rather than doing it at a studio who have invested in outboard, great consoles and experience. Wouldn't they really prefer to take their skills to the next level in a studio??
some would and some wouldn't.

the big bugaboo of the studio is the Clock. While The Clock can pressure a musician to perform his or her best, it can also provoke paralysis and force people to 'settle' for less than perfect takes and so on.

The Golden Era of studios was also the Golden Era of Crazy Big Record Company Budgets. Many of the bands who made those Golden Era records often has as much time as they needed to try new ideas and retake and re-do things.

The other factor here is Artistic Ego and Control. People who record themselves like to think they are as good at that as they are at playing their instrument. And some of them are correct.

Quote:
I'd love to hear some comments on the whole idea and any suggestions.
Studios can only offer a few things to get the modern self-recording musician back in.

1 acoustics: A large, professionally designed space or don't bother to apply for this category. With a great space, MAYBE the pro studio can grab the Drum Tracking or Band Tracking part of the session away from the Bedroom rig.

2 board and outboard: if someone wants to mix OTB, there you go

3 grand piano/hammond organ: when a sample won't cut it.

Note that I did not put SKILL on the list. The reason is simple. Half the great engineers I know are out of a gig because their studio closed. They too now have home rigs, and are doing 'home recording' at extremely high professional skill levels and very competitive prices.

Sadly, THAT should pretty much kill what is left of the big studios.
Old 11th November 2009
  #12
Want more work?

Lower your rates.

When you equal or undercut the guy at home you might lure some back in.

Now who was it that said this was a glamorous business?

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 11th November 2009
  #13
Thanks Joe,

Alot of people don't actually have 1 great mic and 1 great pre-amp (perhaps you are thinking of like minded GearSlutz).

Even with 1 great mic and 1 great pre-amp. you still aren't going to be able to track multi-mic instruments, and you still need a good space to record in.

Yes many mix engineers are going freelance and working from 'home' but I think you'll find that their work spaces are studios in their own right and not a laptop with headphones. And even when they are working at 'home' they do also get requests to mix in specific studios. These guys will have invested in equipment, and you cannot throw them into same same bag as people at home with their m-audio interfaces and guitar pods.
Old 11th November 2009
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Want more work?

Lower your rates.

When you equal or undercut the guy at home you might lure some back in.

Now who was it that said this was a glamorous business?

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades

Although this might seem attractive at first for the musican's, if everyone lowers their rates, people will only then want things cheaper as they get used to it, to the point where they want it free and think its a charity.

Alot of money and time goes into building and running a recording studio, reducing your rates and trying to undercut people who haven't invested any real time or money in equipment will just spiral the recording industry into nothing.

In regards to: 'Now who was it that said this was a glamorous business?'
I think you'll find that bands who are about to record in a studio or have just finished, tell everyone within 2 meters that they were 'in the studio'. You cannot deny that studios seem attractive to musicians... they facebook and twitter their session until their fingers are burning with exhaustion.
Old 11th November 2009
  #15
Gear Nut
 
Noise10's Avatar
 

The trick is to follow in the footsteps of our elders. Daily I see posts about Maserati, CLA/TLA, Eric Valentine, Alan Parsons, etc. Those guys developed a unique sound and were/are pursued based on the "character" the artist/label wanted for the record. Many modern "engineers" have almost NO true understanding of their gear, the physics involved, or the hard to capture "artistic" side of this job. THAT is what people will pay for in the end. Study your craft, study your gear, become the biggest asset in your studio. It's not about mic pre shootouts or finding the closest "vintage clone". Do something new, create a sound, and know how to do that for every artist that enters your room. If you can achieve that you will draw the artists back out of their home studios. At the end of the day the music industry will/is learning how to make money outside of the record stores, producers and engineers that shine will ALWAYS have work.
Old 11th November 2009
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristan Hackney View Post
Although this might seem attractive at first for the musican's, if everyone lowers their rates, people will only then want things cheaper as they get used to it, to the point where they want it free and think its a charity.
Alot of money and time goes into building and running a recording studio, reducing your rates and trying to undercut people who haven't invested any real time or money in equipment will just spiral the recording industry into nothing.
Don't know if you noticed, but that has already happened. Maybe it's the reason the OP asked the question.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Old 11th November 2009
  #17
Lives for gear
Guy came to my studio the other day saying he wanna re-track some songs he had recorded at his bed room studio to make them sound more professional.. After listening to the songs, I told him re-tracking the songs is not the problem. The tracks sound fine, it's the mix that's the problem..!..This is where that statement of " it's the user, not the gear" comes into play..This is where I think the short comings of the " home studio type" is.. Not having good acoustics and sometimes the experience/ears to bring a mix together...Since a lot of material are recorded midi/computer based DI'ed ( with the exclusion of those tracking live sometimes), from home type studios, it takes the acoustics out of the equation for tracking..Now limited to not proper acoustics/monitoring enviorments...
Old 11th November 2009
  #18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snatchman View Post
Guy came to my studio the other day saying he wanna re-track some songs he had recorded at his bed room studio to make them sound more professional.. After listening to the songs, I told him re-tracking the songs is not the problem. The tracks sound fine, it's the mix that's the problem..!..This is where that statement of " it's the user, not the gear" comes into play..This is where I think the short comings of the " home studio type" is.. Not having good acoustics and sometimes the experience/ears to bring a mix together...Since a lot of material are recorded midi/computer based DI'ed ( with the exclusion of those tracking live sometimes), from home type studios, it takes the acoustics out of the equation for tracking..Now limited to not proper acoustics/monitoring enviorments...

It's true, your mix is only going to be as good as the engineer's blood sweat and tears that goes into it, but there are some things that you can't physically record at home, whether its acoustics that aren't up to scratch, lack of experience, lack of instruments, lack of mics etc etc.

Personally I want to try the 'missing track idea'.
A band approaches you with a song that has a missing instrument(s), like drums. He/she gives you a mix of the current recording and a midi drum groove as an example. You then take that song into the studio and add drums that match the midi and or description of whats needed.

Everyone in our studio plays an instrument to a session standard, so we don't need to charge extra for hiring a session guy.

Tristan
Old 11th November 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 
mexicola's Avatar
 

I think to really keep a studio alive, you've got to wear multiple hats. I think the days of engineers or producers making a comfortable living doing only that are gone except for a small few.
I run a smallish local studio, but I also run live sound at a local rock club, I build gear for other engineers, and do occasional tech work like recapping/rechipping gear and fixing guitar pedals, etc.
But you also need to be in a good location and have a niche. Being very close to Chapel Hill means there are a lot of good bands around my area. Also, the fact that I only record analog seems to attract a good number of bands that aren't satisfied recording digitally. And having a spectacular live room that's in an old art-deco style house helps! Talk about vibe...
I'll never be a millionare, but I'm making a living doing what I love.
Old 11th November 2009
  #20
I have done many tracks at home and then taken them to the big studio to polish and mix. After leaving and playing the finished product just not liking the result and I and others often perferring the original inhouse version. It really is all about the engineer and his knowledge of the setup he or she is behind. I was working in a great studio on 48th st nyc and had to compete with grammy winning engineers for work at a studio charging a ridiculous rate while i got a small kick back for my service but i got an education that I took back to my local home studio. over the past couple years ive updated my gear in huge ways pretty much a new setup. now i charge a very affordable rate that goes 100% into my pocket and giving me the abillity to underbid a lot of places where you will get a similair result. Create a great vibe and work hard. to many engineers due a lazy job of it like cab drivers taking the long way to make more money. Be efficient and artist labels etc.. will feel there moneys well spent. end of the day its all about when you leave and throw the cd in does it bang. If your confident in your own skill offer a free hour thats what I do for non believers knowing once you here what you can sound like youll want that sound. Some people dont know what there missing......
Old 11th November 2009
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Infernal Device's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mexicola View Post
I think to really keep a studio alive, you've got to wear multiple hats. I think the days of engineers or producers making a comfortable living doing only that are gone except for a small few.
I run a smallish local studio, but I also run live sound at a local rock club, I build gear for other engineers, and do occasional tech work like recapping/rechipping gear and fixing guitar pedals, etc.
But you also need to be in a good location and have a niche. Being very close to Chapel Hill means there are a lot of good bands around my area. Also, the fact that I only record analog seems to attract a good number of bands that aren't satisfied recording digitally. And having a spectacular live room that's in an old art-deco style house helps! Talk about vibe...
I'll never be a millionare, but I'm making a living doing what I love.
I like your space, man. Very cool. It says you have worked with thousands of bands? Geez.

Very cool looking gear too. I wouldn't mind hearing some of that!! Very cool.

I see so many places struggling. It shouldn't be a struggle. It depends on what you are "selling". Pitching gear to people? Boring. Advertising "affordable"? Boring.

I am no expert, but I am booked damn near solid for the next seven months. I do not have pro-tools, no nuemanns, no sm57's. I am not cheap, about $8,000 a month, sometimes a little less. Not like that is a million dollars, but I will take it. When I talk to artists looking to have me do their album, I notice these things....

1. They are tired of trying to do it themselves.
2. They are tired of doing it themselves and it takes 6 months to just be listenable.
3. They talk with studios and get the exact same "pitch" that usually involves the words "any genre", "pro-tools", "affordable" "high quality", "experience", and so on.
4. They get the kid at the local bar saying they need to go to his dining room to record them and uses the exact same words.
5. Every studio website has the words "affordable high quality recording".

Studios sound like a broken record, and are very boring. I talked with a guy the other week, he said a band he recorded is not coming back because their new drummer can record them. Some would curse the home-recording stuff. I said "why did you do an album and give them an experience that can be replaced by a beginner?"

Think about it.

I have a full kitchen in my house, but I still go out and spend a lot on a good dinner. Why?

I have a 50" plasma with a Blue-ray in my living room, I still go out to the movies. Why?

People can record themselves, but why would they come to you? Ask yourself that. If you do not have answers besides "PT HD, affordable, high quality, blah blah", you need to do some soul-searching.

There is *plenty* of work out there. I am in a small town in Pennsylvania, I do not advertise, I do not have business cards, I have an unlisted phone number.

I also have people flying in from Hollywood, NY, Nashville, Boston, even overseas. I do not brag about clients or mention gear.

Take some time and think of why someone would work with you. I did.

Then go do it.

I am not re-inventing the wheel, I am not parting the seas, they make sounds, I record sounds. That's all.
Old 11th November 2009
  #22
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristan Hackney View Post

Alot of people don't actually have 1 great mic and 1 great pre-amp (perhaps you are thinking of like minded GearSlutz).

Even with 1 great mic and 1 great pre-amp. you still aren't going to be able to track multi-mic instruments, and you still need a good space to record in.

Yes many mix engineers are going freelance and working from 'home' but I think you'll find that their work spaces are studios in their own right and not a laptop with headphones. And even when they are working at 'home' they do also get requests to mix in specific studios. These guys will have invested in equipment, and you cannot throw them into same same bag as people at home with their m-audio interfaces and guitar pods.

The first thing I do as a Consultant to people setting up their home studio is to make sure my clients DO get at least one great mic and one great preamp. The second thing I do his help them treat their space. Sorry if I am doing a good job, maybe I should be sabotaging them by recommending B-word gear, Chinese mics and claiming that bass traps are a 'waste of money'.


I think you are being unrealistic if you believe all the self-recording bands are using crappy interfaces and pods. I teach in a college and every semester I get kids in my class who really know what is good and what is crap.

And the differences between the home rigs of the former studio engineers and the home rigs of a rock band are also narrower than you might think. In either case, both types are taking gigs away from the 'old paradigm' studios.


You might be also surprised to learn how many of these self-recording musicians ARE the 'like minded Gearslutz' you refer to. They are right here reading the same thread as you and me and whatever big studio owners are left.

The direction and trend is that the 'home' studios are getting better (and better equipped) and the 'real' studios are slimming down. The only way to reverse this trend would be to come up with a new way of recording music that is so expensive only millionaires and big corporations could afford to do it, AND come up with a new way of distributing that music so that people had to pay for each and every copy!

Oh yeah, the new music and new sound would have to be better enough to have people willing to pay for it rather than getting the current music and sound for "free".

I think it is a mistake to be looking to recapture the glory of a previous era when there is no end in sight of its decline. None of these ideas changes the nature of 'the times' or of the reality of How Things Are Now. One or two individuals may find an eddy that carries them upstream, but the vast bulk of the river trends in one direction.

Only when you can look honestly and coldly at what is really happening will you be able to see a way forward. Looking to the past is deadly from an economic standpoint.
Old 11th November 2009
  #23
Lives for gear
 
waxx's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Keystone View Post
But on a happier note there is still a small customer base who buy CD's and care about sound quality and not all of them are old or from the analogue generation.
that customer base actually buys vinyl, not cd's (at least here in europe). While cd shops close down fast or merge to dvd and game selling, specialised vinyl shops still survive and vinyl webshops florish on the internet.

cd is a rather dead medium for music distribution, vinyl still lives, and those who don't buy vinyl use mp3.
Old 11th November 2009
  #24
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Don't know if you noticed, but that has already happened. Maybe it's the reason the OP asked the question.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
Don't know if you noticed, but he is the OP!
Old 11th November 2009
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by waxx View Post
that customer base actually buys vinyl, not cd's (at least here in europe). While cd shops close down fast or merge to dvd and game selling, specialised vinyl shops still survive and vinyl webshops florish on the internet.

cd is a rather dead medium for music distribution, vinyl still lives, and those who don't buy vinyl use mp3.
Vinyl seems to be a bit more in mind over here these days but I have yet to talk to any customers who are heading in that direction.The home theatre market has an edge but not as viable in the turntable uses as where you are located.

The project I am currently working on in my real band rather than my personal music is slated for vinyl release as the writers market has been predominantly overseas for several years.
Old 12th November 2009
  #26
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post

Studios can only offer a few things to get the modern self-recording musician back in.

1 acoustics: A large, professionally designed space or don't bother to apply for this category. With a great space, MAYBE the pro studio can grab the Drum Tracking or Band Tracking part of the session away from the Bedroom rig.
But that's what a real studio is - a great space. Most of the studio's I see are bullshit. They're no better than the home studios. They can't even track a whole band live off the floor with decent result! You can set up a click or some drum samples and record one track at a time in your bedroom till the cows come home - why would anyone spend a nickel going to a studio that does the same thing? So personally I think most of those studios are a rip off and deserve to go out of business. The major studio's on the other hand are closing due to different reasons, not the least bit due to shrinking budgets directly related to a disinterested public.

I think the biggest problem is fashion trend. The current (almost passe) trend in the last 7 years has been devoid of the human element. Strict and rigid tempos, rigid dynamics, sample based instruments used to create a song without an actual performance does not need a studio for it's birth. This ethic exacerbates a sameness of sound without identity that leaves the listener proportionally unmoved.

There is however a clear trend away from this as artists are beginning to rebel against the confines of grids, imperfect perfection, and the general sanitization of artistic identity.

With that in mind, if your one who believes that "this is it" and there will be no revivals or musical renaissance's ever again - forget the studio business. If you believe that music is ever changing, sometimes taking 3 steps forward and 2 steps backwards, hang in there. But for God's sake do it right, don't be part of the problem.
Old 12th November 2009
  #27
Here for the gear
 

Hey Tristan. I've every sympathy with your arguments. I think there are exceptions...I worked on one of them and it was top ten in the UK, but on the whole I'm totally with you.

My line of work is mainly composing for the media and the last ten years have been a double edged sword for us. At one level we've had a revolution in sampling and computer power that allows us composers a chance to realise much bigger productions that previously would have been possible on the kind of budgets we get. By the same token the industry now expects demos of an incredibly high standard....we've entered into a kind of arms race. My solution is to have my own studio with a mix of budget and high end gear and employ an engineer when needed. Particularly to mix. I've had clients who are suggesting that they'd prefer not to spend 4 or 5k extra on an orchestral session and use a sampled demo for a major uk advertising campaign with a total budget that must have exceeded several million. That really is bananas. I've done music for tv shows where they can't afford me to score the whole thing, but then the show is publicised with FULL PAGE ads in the national press the cost of which would be probably hundreds of times my fee.....!

So what am i saying? Ultimately the success of something is in the content i.e. the writing, but none of the awesome contribution to the realisation of great music by engineers and producers should be taken lightly. Keep at it. Keep turning out great stuff.

I'm also a hackney resident. Perhaps I should come down and check out your place!

Jim
Old 13th November 2009
  #28
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tristan Hackney View Post
I'd love to hear some comments on the whole idea and any suggestions.
GLAMOUR?!?!?! IMO, it's the wrong direction and the very reason we are in the mess we are in in the first place. If studio life hadn't been glamorized so much, not as many people would be going to SAE, Full Sail, and a thousand colleges, and we'd have a healthier studio market due to fewer studios.

Make everyone want to build a studio regardless of business sense or financial sense and you end up exactly where we are today.

Glamour is what got us into this mess. But it won't get us out of it.
Old 13th November 2009
  #29
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Want more work?

Lower your rates.

When you equal or undercut the guy at home you might lure some back in.

Jim Williams
Audio Upgrades
I though that happened 5 years ago.....



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Williams View Post
Now who was it that said this was a glamorous business?
tutttutt I dunno, not me that's for sure.
Old 13th November 2009
  #30
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kats View Post
I think the biggest problem is fashion trend. ...This ethic exacerbates a sameness of sound without identity that leaves the listener proportionally unmoved.

There is however a clear trend away from this as artists are beginning to rebel against the confines of grids, imperfect perfection, and the general sanitization of artistic identity.
there is nothing in this rebellion that requires or even implies a renaissance of the Big Studios. There is also nothing in this rebellion that provides any mechanism whatsoever for the main problem of people taking your music without paying for it.

Quote:
With that in mind, if your one who believes that "this is it" and there will be no revivals or musical renaissance's ever again - forget the studio business.
If you mean forget the "old" studio business, I already have, as has everyone else. Music may evolve and thrive without elite studios to record it. It looks like it will have to.

Quote:
If you believe that music is ever changing, sometimes taking 3 steps forward and 2 steps backwards, hang in there. But for God's sake do it right, don't be part of the problem.
I disagree that a sober realization of the nature and extent of the reality of the business situation is 'being part of the problem' ! If someone's house is on fire and they say 'my house is on fire' - do you tell them 'stop being such a downer' ?

Music is changing, as is technology. But nothing could be more foolish than expending energy trying to force that change to be a change back into what it used to be. Of all the possible things that might happen, that has to be one of the least likely.


Looking too hard for any desired outcome clouds our vision, making us unable to see the real opportunities, the real dangers, and the actual 'next things' that are really around the corner.


In the infinitude of Time all things are possible, but in our lifetimes we are not going to see, for example, the 'return' of Transatlantic Dirigibles, however glorious they were, even if we feel we can solve that nasty Hydrogen Problem and they will "come back".



The forces at work changing the music business and studio business are "small" 50-footers which are part of a larger Tsunami of changes affecting our whole society. It is the height of arrogance to think we can 'command' such changes by building a nicer room, making hipper music or getting studios featured more in rock videos. We can not command these waves- but we may be able to survive them by riding them out.

Riding a such wave involves submitting to its power and letting it take you where it will.

Beats drowning.
πŸ“ Reply
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
πŸ–¨οΈ Show Printable Version
βœ‰οΈ Email this Page
πŸ” Search thread
♾️ Similar Threads
πŸŽ™οΈ View mentioned gear