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Townhouse closing down.
Old 28th September 2006
  #1
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clip6's Avatar
 

Townhouse closing down.

So all you UK sluts, what's the story on this?
Old 29th September 2006
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clip6 View Post
So all you UK sluts, what's the story on this?



No record label care about sound quality any more....If it is properly recorded, and it sounds good - than "it's overproduced and its not cool!"

Cool - means lo-fi, crappy sound of incompetent engineers and home studios!
But people get used to that sort of sound and it suits record labels even more - they dont have to pay top dollar for top class studios!

Bottom line - "can you do it any cheaper?" said the A&R studio co-ordinator, before hanging up on a studio manager....
Old 29th September 2006
  #3
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PhilE's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by clip6 View Post
So all you UK sluts, what's the story on this?
Similar story to Battery Studios I believe. Parent company pulled the plug cos not earning as much as they felt it should. This is only what I heard though so could be wrong.
Old 29th September 2006
  #4
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SnakeCained's Avatar
 

Ah the "parent" company.

Greed followed by mismanagement and dodgy practices means that a nice studio and good engineers get the shafted feeling.

I hear there is a very slim chance it may survive under new owners but sadly I forsee another auction that all you US guys can outbid me on
Old 29th September 2006
  #5
Gear Nut
 

Yeah, same old same old with central London studios - the real estate is now worth endless times more than the studio's revenue. The part of the grapevine I have heard is that it's gonna be turned into flats (that's apartments for all our friends across the pond).

So - where do we have left to track a band in London? Strongroom, AIR, Metropolis, The Garden, Pierce Rooms?

Do y'all reckon that there is gonna be a swell in facilities out on the North Circular?

Hmmmmmmmmmmm.............

Nice one,

D
Old 29th September 2006
  #6
Virgin records owned it at one point.

Where are the millionares (who dont need to make a profit) when we need them?

Some big companies should own these places simply to be cool..

But I suppose it's hard to sell that concept to accountants and shareholders..



Cant help thinking that those griping about home studios, will in the end, be glad they DO exist in 10 years or so when they may be standing on the rubble of what was the commercial studio business.
Old 29th September 2006
  #7
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Let's not forget that Abbey Road was very close to becoming flats a couple of years back.
Old 29th September 2006
  #8
Lansdowne closed to? Got the Funky-Junk email:


Quote:
LANSDOWNE STUDIOS EQUIPMENT. Well maintained* Exclusive
NEVE VX72S/remote patch/5.1/7.1 3tc. Superb £80000
LEXICON 480L with LARC £4000
UREI 1176LN original black faced (4 available) £1300ea
Teletronix original LA2A tube limiter £2400
Teletronix original pair LA3’s £1800
MASSALEC MLA-2 dual/stereo comp £1400
EVENTIDE H3000SE Ultra Harmoniser £1200
DSP4000 Ultra Harmoniser £1400
Old 29th September 2006
  #9
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilE View Post
Let's not forget that Abbey Road was very close to becoming flats a couple of years back.
Great news that I didn't happens as this would have changed my whole outlook on violence, blackmail and sabotage. Meaning I would have heartily encouraged all these acts being performed on the powers in question.
Old 29th September 2006
  #10
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Robert O's Avatar
 

So - where do we have left to track a band in London? Strongroom, AIR, Metropolis, The Garden, Pierce Rooms?

Hey! Don't forget us!
Old 29th September 2006
  #11
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toolskid's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damian taylor View Post

So - where do we have left to track a band in London? Strongroom, AIR, Metropolis, The Garden, Pierce Rooms?


D
Hey man! Eden is really good! Well maintained stuff and good assistants (apart from Zoe of course - hope yer reading this :P )

Miloco is doing some good deals and you can get a reasonable rate in the Dairy.

Personally, I'm off up to Newcastle to use Blast-Recording! Three and a half hours on the train (about the same from muswell hill to brixton for £10 each way and MAN!!! That place is so well stocked and sounds GREAT! And all for £250 a day BOOK RATE!!!!!!!!!

http://www.blast-recording.com/
Old 29th September 2006
  #12
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gainreduction's Avatar
 

Help my short/bad memory out... was it Townhouse or Strongroom who recently purchased AIR ???
Old 29th September 2006
  #13
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Thermionic's Avatar
 

Truly horrible news…

Townhouse was one of those facilities that I felt would be there for ever, along with Abbey Rd and AIR… If it can happen to Townhouse…

I guess the rot started when Virgin was sold off into the hands of the short-sighted, accountancy-orientated…

Bleak news… There’ll be no studios left inside London soon, they will all be based on out of town industrial estates and the amenities will consist of a salmonella-infested burger van that pulls up outside occasionally.

I guess that means Townhouse will also be selling off the vinyl mastering studios.

Justin
Old 29th September 2006
  #14
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Thermionic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gainreduction View Post
Help my short/bad memory out... was it Townhouse or Strongroom who recently purchased AIR ???
Strongroom.

J
Old 29th September 2006
  #15
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jindrich's Avatar
 

Well, if true, this is very sad indeed.

The Townhouse was founded by Richard Branson in the late 70's after all the money he made with Oldfield's "Tubular Bells". It is (was?) one of the world greatest studio complexes, boasting a wealth of history. Every single artist from the who's who list of the last 3 decades has recorded something there. A billion Hits came from its rooms. A creme de la creme studio with exceptional variable acoustics.


I had the photo of Studio 1 control room (cover of Mix in october 1995, the first Mix mag I ever bought) as wallpaper in my computer for a couple of years, while I was a project manager in some IT department some time ago, dreaming of building some day a room EXACTLY like that one, just to LIVE THERE actually. So cozy it was. And still is.
I got the big pic from someone at SSL. First thing every morning at the office was to stare at this picture for a couple of minutes.


So, can I buy the room now?
Old 29th September 2006
  #16
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themaidsroom's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Virgin records owned it at one point.

Where are the millionares (who dont need to make a profit) when we need them?

Some big companies should own these places simply to be cool..

But I suppose it's hard to sell that concept to accountants and shareholders..



Cant help thinking that those griping about home studios, will in the end, be glad they DO exist in 10 years or so when they may be standing on the rubble of what was the commercial studio business.

there was a great article in the new yorker some years back about great nyc
music venues and millionaires - bascially with the theme that vibe and profit usually
can't hang under the same roof. if i know correctly, cbgb's finished up last night....


i think a new artist owned commercial studio business is developing and will develop......
it's hard to beat mixing desks and tape recorders.......
it's a shame there is no nrs in london that i know of - a place that makes a very
small profit on tape.........with the £/$ situation.....everyone yonder should not
have to pay more than £100 for a new reel of tape.......
my limited experience pricing tape in london is that the retailer triples the price.....
all those old machines should be spinning in basements and garages.......
or with one soviet style collective to track basics in a big room for everyone
to convert and bring to smaller facilities

as willy wonka said "we are the melody-makers; we are the dreamers of the
dream"


be well

- jack
Old 29th September 2006
  #17
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Jim vanBergen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilE View Post
Let's not forget that Abbey Road was very close to becoming flats a couple of years back.
Just like the NYC Hit Factory. These Condos are sickening. But not quite as bad as the slogan, "Live in the house ROCK built" or some ****e like that.
Old 29th September 2006
  #18
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Ol' Betsey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toolskid View Post
Personally, I'm off up to Newcastle to use Blast-Recording! Three and a half hours on the train (about the same from muswell hill to brixton for £10 each way and MAN!!! That place is so well stocked and sounds GREAT! And all for £250 a day BOOK RATE!!!!!!!!!

http://www.blast-recording.com/
Wow, that place looks great...

R.
Old 29th September 2006
  #19
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the place looks nice in newcastle

the no tape recorder thing is ridiculous.......

to have rooms of that sort and to record digital is very backwards

to my ears......

a room like that should have at least 2 brand new A827's......

choice of 16 or 24............

to my ears pro tools at avatar or pro tools in bedroom........not much

difference......



be well



- jack
Old 29th September 2006
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by themaidsroom View Post
the place looks nice in newcastle

the no tape recorder thing is ridiculous.......

to have rooms of that sort and to record digital is very backwards

to my ears......

a room like that should have at least 2 brand new A827's......

choice of 16 or 24............

to my ears pro tools at avatar or pro tools in bedroom........not much

difference......



be well



- jack
Old 29th September 2006
  #21
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Farfensound's Avatar
 

dude I mixed a demo for a few years back just got signed to one of the big 3. I asked him the other day what studio he is going to record at. The answer. "They are advancing me the money to build a studio.

needless to say he's excited. This dude is a great song writer but he isn't a studio designer. I'm hoping that I can take my meager skills over to his place and help him make some good decisions.

Anyone willing to consult on room design?
Old 29th September 2006
  #22
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Quote:
"They are advancing me the money to build a studio."
My guess is that they're just advancing him money and he's decided to build a studio with it.
Old 29th September 2006
  #23
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mtstudios@charter's Avatar
 

These are some tough days for the music industry and all its busuness. On the other hand it opens new doors for new ideas.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
Old 29th September 2006
  #24
Gear Head
 

[QUOTE=toolskid;899615]

Personally, I'm off up to Newcastle to use Blast-Recording! Three and a half hours on the train (about the same from muswell hill to brixton for £10 each way and MAN!!! That place is so well stocked and sounds GREAT! And all for £250 a day BOOK RATE!!!!!!!!!


Blast looks like a really good set up and I bet they get excellent results.

But is it realistic for most musicians who are based in London to switch to studios a long distance away? £250 a day may be cheaper than comparable London studios but by the time you factor in the full travel costs it could be a false economy.

For example, a five piece band plus a producer staying away from home will need somewhere to sleep. Dossing down on someone's floor is not the best way to prepare for a session and even the cheapest hotels will add over £100 a day to the bill. The £10 cheapie train fare to Newcastle is limited availability and for off peak hours only. Most people have to pay £50+ and you also have to get to and from the station at both ends. You also have to cart all your gear there and back. (I wouldn't fancy lugging backline and drumcases on and off a crowded train). Driving the 560 mile round trip will take 6 hours each way, cost about the same and knacker you out. Plus you have to learn Geordie.

Maybe it would make sense if it was only a couple of people travelling but for most situations the cheaper day rate would be offset by the higher travel costs.

I'm not saying it doesn't make sense for anyone in London to use an out-of-town studio only that it should be based more on whether it's where you want to record than just a lower day rate.

There will always be a market for studios in London because that's where most of the industry live and work.

However it has clearly become uneconomic for large studios in CENTRAL London to work on the day rates the industry can now afford. The market has shifted permanently and the 'good times' are never coming back. I suspect a quick look at their accounts in Companies House would show that they are all losing money fast (Air was showing a massive loss before Strongroom bought it - for a price that looks like it was based mainly on the value of the property).

It is sad but probably inevitable that more of these classic facilities will close once their owners can no longer ignore the fact that they can get a much better return from the capital tied up in them.

On the positive side, those studios that are located in accessible areas of London but not on prime real estate in the centre will begin to do quite well as the competition thins out. Lower overheads and a more sensible business model will mean they can meet the demand for good sounding rooms and high quality gear at a price that is affordable. The launch of new studios like The Way in East London shows the market is still there and I think more will begin to emerge.
Old 29th September 2006
  #25
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Phil Cibley's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilE View Post
Let's not forget that Abbey Road was very close to becoming flats a couple of years back.
I guess if it could happen to Columbia 30th Street and RCA, it could happen
to Abbey Rd.
Old 29th September 2006
  #26
eso
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Personally, I'm off up to Newcastle to use Blast-Recording! Three and a half hours on the train (about the same from muswell hill to brixton ;) for £10 each way and MAN!!! That place is so well stocked and sounds GREAT! And all for £250 a day BOOK RATE!!!!!!!!!

[url
http://www.blast-recording.com/[/url]
How do they manage to keep the costs that low (presuming it is excluding engineers fee?), with what is obviously a huge investment in design, build and equipment?
Old 29th September 2006
  #27
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PhilE's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by eso View Post
How do they manage to keep the costs that low (presuming it is excluding engineers fee?), with what is obviously a huge investment in design, build and equipment?
I'm guessing they'd rather make a small proffit than be empty. Don't forget life is a lot cheaper outside of London
Old 29th September 2006
  #28
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[QUOTE=Dot Neck;900051]
Quote:
Originally Posted by toolskid View Post



There will always be a market for studios in London because that's where most of the industry live and work.

.

Not true especially the more the years pass..

The days of being successful and having to live in London are going, going, gone...
Old 29th September 2006
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
These are some tough days for the music industry and all its busuness. On the other hand it opens new doors for new ideas.

www.bluethumbproductions.com
This past year we've seen a lot more people dropping by from the UK than ever before. I'm not sure whether there's a direct link to the closing of a series of London based studios. I'm aware that, because of the fact that we're a mixing studio, bands don't have a lot of gear and people transfers to do, but yet, it didn't happen before. And I must say, we're quite happy about that, because it IS a lot of fun to have people around from other places. On the other side, more local bands are peeking across the borders as well, going to places they probably wouldn't have gone to five or ten years ago.
Irina VS
Old 30th September 2006
  #30
Quote:
So - where do we have left to track a band in London? Strongroom, AIR, Metropolis, The Garden, Pierce Rooms?
Olympic, Sarm, Abbey Road.
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