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Recording / Mixing in L.A.
Old 5th July 2005
  #1
Gear Nut
 
PurpleGuitars's Avatar
 

Recording / Mixing in L.A.

Hey there,


I'm working on a Rock album and I'm doing the pre-production here in my studio in Holland, but when we've done that I want to finish the Album in a Recording Studio in Los Angeles with a great vibe, I have only had expierence with: Cherokee Studio's, the Mothership and Musicians Institute's SSL Room in L.A.
I want to track live drums, do some Guitar Overdubs and Mix in a studio with some really good Vintage gear, Any Ideas? Also how much it cost to record and mix there?

-with music-
MarOeN
Old 5th July 2005
  #2
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleGuitars
Hey there,


I'm working on a Rock album and I'm doing the pre-production here in my studio in Holland, but when we've done that I want to finish the Album in a Recording Studio in Los Angeles with a great vibe, I have only had expierence with: Cherokee Studio's, the Mothership and Musicians Institute's SSL Room in L.A.
I want to track live drums, do some Guitar Overdubs and Mix in a studio with some really good Vintage gear, Any Ideas? Also how much it cost to record and mix there?

-with music-
MarOeN
no offense, but why LA?
Old 5th July 2005
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

Definitly, why LA, why not Nashville? LOTS of vintage gear....



We did some work for some people you probably know. Have you ever heard of The Yardbirds or Junior Senior?
Old 5th July 2005
  #5
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleGuitars
Hey there,


I'm working on a Rock album and I'm doing the pre-production here in my studio in Holland, but when we've done that I want to finish the Album in a Recording Studio in Los Angeles with a great vibe, I have only had expierence with: Cherokee Studio's, the Mothership and Musicians Institute's SSL Room in L.A.
I want to track live drums, do some Guitar Overdubs and Mix in a studio with some really good Vintage gear, Any Ideas? Also how much it cost to record and mix there?

-with music-
MarOeN
Hey, I'm from Holland too... I'd go to Galaxy studios or ICP studios in Belgium: best rooms in the world and very skilled people. I think Roland Prent engineered and mixed Kanes album (at least the one from 4 years back, haven't heart the new one), which is one of the best sounding albums I have.

Good luck,
Dirk
Old 5th July 2005
  #6
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

If I lived in Holland I'd go to London. In L.A. my personal favorite for tracking drums is Sound City (vintage Neve, great room), but I'd mix elsewhere. The choice for mixing depends on budget, format and console desired.

-R
Old 5th July 2005
  #7
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Henchman's Avatar
Where you record is way less important that who you work with and who produces it.

I seriuously see no advantage in going to LA and recoridng there when Europe has so many great studio's. If you're hopign the LA "Rock" will rub off, well, it's just not the way it works.
It's all about who's engineering, who's Producing etc.
You say you're doing pro-production overe there. Who with etc?
Are you bringing a band over? Or Hire session players.
Be ready to spend anywhere from $50-100k.
Old 5th July 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 

The only place worth coming all the way the hell over here for is Cello which is gone.
Old 5th July 2005
  #9
Dont forget the Euro may be strong & the US Dollar weak - so folks that dream of coming to the US to do some studio work - may be in a position to fulfill that dream - and get some good value for their money.

But then folks everyywhere can jack prices high for 'out of towners' and without local help might get ripped off - or charged a high 'card rate' the likes of which hasn't been paid since the 80's..

Knowing that US studios are hungry, keen, able and willing should be an exciting prospect for Europeans with a fat dollar wallet. I have reccomended 2 projects that have a C&W flair to get their asses out to Nashville to record for WAY cheaper (and no doubt quicker) than in London.

Old 5th July 2005
  #10
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strauss's Avatar
 

I agree with DirkB.
Have a look at Galaxy studios.
Their tracking room is great and the new API console might be a good thing for rock.
And they speak dutch!
Old 5th July 2005
  #11
Gear Head
 

LA Studios

There are obviously a lot of factors involved in coming halfway across the world to record, but for what its worth...I can recommend 2 studios in LA that are both really great drum rooms, not too expensive, and have a lot of history. Sound City (in Van Nuys), and Grandmaster (in Hollywood).
Old 5th July 2005
  #12
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Glenwood Place's (Burbank) newly rebuilt live room is stellar. Great live space to track. I'm not a fan of ribbon tweeters (on the mains in their rooms), so I'd suggest someplace else if you share my tastes. I just cut drums at Spiral (used to be Musicgrinder) studios (Hollywoood/ Little Armenia) and it was difficult to make things sound bad. They have a competent staff and MUCH better vibe than Musicgrinder used to have, which always felt kinda warehousey to me. Soundcity (Van Nuys) is great for live drums, as is The Village Recorder's (Santa Monica). I'm also a big fan of the live rooms at NRG (North Hollywood), but good luck getting in there. As for mixing I'd probably recommend Scream or Chalice (Hollywood).

I miss Cherokee's live rooms for drums and elec guitar. Sustain for years. Cello's live rooms were great, but I always seemed to have gear issues there. I'd plan an extra hour setup time just to deal with them. Even in 'Jim's room'.

I understand why you want to goto one of the bigger market city's, especially if the record label is in town. Having access to good resources is always helpful to any project. For example, when I'm in Miami, it's a cinch to find a low budget percussionist. Rates out here vary a lot, so you'll kinda have to do your own research there. One week it's $1K or less a day, the next week it's $2k a day.

If you decide to stick to Europe, have you considered Metropolis in the U.K.? I mixed a rock project that was tracked there about a month back, and it was done very well with some rather incredible room mic tracks.

Best of luck with it.
Old 5th July 2005
  #13
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Henchman's Avatar
Having live din Hollnad,
I can say that the level of musicianship is top notch there.
Again, reality is, that you will spend about 3-4 weeks tracking and at least 2 weeks to mix.
If you are goign to take the time and effort to go to the US, you might as well do it right, instead of tryign to rush it becasue that's all your budget allows.

So 6 weeks of studio time in a really nice studio is goign to run you at least $35k.
This doesn't inlcude the engineer. Now, any of you LA guys may correct me, my guuess that a dcent engineer will cost $400,- per day.
So that's $2400,- per week based ona 6 day workweek.
So basically another $15k.
This does not include gear rental, hotel rooms, paying for additional players, food etc.
And you are already at $50k.

I personaly would use any of a number of studio's in belgium or Holland (Wisseloord?).
Studio magic ahppens when you have the right people workign on your records. Not necessarily the right studio.
Old 5th July 2005
  #14
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Waylon's Avatar
 

And yet another " I want to do "X", anyone have any ideas where/how ? " thread immeadiately turns into " Why would you want to do that?"

MAYBE the guy just wants to work in LA. MAYBE the band wants to . MAYBE, he is using a drummer from there. Why does it matter?


Not being an LA native, I can throw my 2 cents in and discourage against going to the Plant or OHenry etc, as it seems you end up paying for that name more then content ( not to knock those houses..)
Good Luck, and have a great trip!
Old 5th July 2005
  #15
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waylon
And yet another " I want to do "X", anyone have any ideas where/how ? " thread immeadiately turns into " Why would you want to do that?"
T answer his question about money.
Again to work in the kind of top notch facility he wants to come over for, to do a full record, is going to cost him, including everything, $75-100k minimum.

Anybody think that this is over-estimated?
Old 5th July 2005
  #16
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Waylon
And yet another " I want to do "X", anyone have any ideas where/how ? " thread immeadiately turns into " Why would you want to do that?"

MAYBE the guy just wants to work in LA. MAYBE the band wants to . MAYBE, he is using a drummer from there. Why does it matter?


Not being an LA native, I can throw my 2 cents in and discourage against going to the Plant or OHenry etc, as it seems you end up paying for that name more then content ( not to knock those houses..)
Good Luck, and have a great trip!
What's wrong with that?

He's getting some solid advice from some of the insiders in the LA scene, but also some possibilities to think about doing something else.

With budget permitting I'd try to get in the Galaxy Hall and have Ronald Prent engineer and mix the album, satisfaction garantueed.

And as Henchman said, musicianship in the area (I live around 1 hrs drive from Galaxy) is top notch and definitely a lot cheaper than LA.

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 5th July 2005
  #17
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Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arrogantbastard
The only place worth coming all the way the hell over here for is Cello which is gone.
I can't believe I'm even gonna dignify that statement with a response...

Oops. Just did.
Old 5th July 2005
  #18
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Waylon

Not being an LA native, I can throw my 2 cents in and discourage against going to the Plant or OHenry etc, as it seems you end up paying for that name more then content ( not to knock those houses..)
Good Luck, and have a great trip!
You're not just paying for the name at O'Henry, but you may be paying for a lot of stuff you don't need for rock n roll. They have a great mic collection, great consoles, and a room that's great for up to medium size orchestras and choirs. Rock bands might feel a little small there, or not. L.A. is a complex place with everything to offer, depending on your needs. But i don't think there's a typical "L.A. thing" that gets laid on top of records that makes them somehow sound right. If anything, there are a million traps to fall into and lots of ways to do it wrong. For every successful producer or studio owner, there are a hundred wannabes who don't know jack. And out of the successful producers there may be only a small fraction who will be appropriately sympathetic to your vision.

That said, you can certainly come to L.A. and get a professional job done on your recording if you research it properly and aren't afraid to shell out some cash. Just go to Sunset Sound, or the Village, or Sound City, pay the money and make the most of it. FWIW, my favorite small studio with lighter rates is Mad Dog in Burbank, and I could certainly recommend an engineer who knows how to get the most out of that room.

That studio in Belgium everyone is talking about is fabulous, from what my friends say. Likewise, I had a great experience mixing at Air Lyndhurst in London. Even caught of glimpse of George Martin lurking in the halls. however, it was totally because of engineer Paul Hume that I did so well there.

My next date is in Beijing, and I know they have a huge room with a Neve 88 at their television network, and I bet it can be booked at a bargain rate, but you'll have to know how to say "less highhat" in Mandarin.

-R
Old 5th July 2005
  #19
Gear Addict
 

The key is not really where you record, but who is producing and who is engineering. If I were you, I would focus on people and not street names and addresses. One can find many horrible sounding records made in great rooms and on great consoles.

Steve
Old 5th July 2005
  #20
Lives for gear
 

Mag Dog is a great studio and reasonably priced...if money is no object, check out ocean way, especially if you're looking for an old vibe and esoteric gear.
-brian
Old 6th July 2005
  #21
It's fun to rag on L.A., but there are a bunch of great studios. If you can't find a place to make a record in L.A., you aren't looking hard enough. There are studios of every level, and there are some deals to be had. I like Studio Atlantis for mixing (www.studio-atlantis.com), but they don't have a large enough recording space to do serious tracking. But the list of potential candidates... Conway, Record Plant, The Village... the list goes on; and there are some worthwhile mid-level rooms too. I tracked a record on the API at Stagg Street in Van Nuys and it came out great. Not a mix room, and not fancy like the expensive L.A. rooms, but we got a great deal, and had good tracks to take to Atlantis to mix.
Old 6th July 2005
  #22
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Henchman's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayfrigo
It's fun to rag on L.A.
I didn't really notice anyone ragging on LA.
Old 6th July 2005
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Henchman
I didn't really notice anyone ragging on LA.
Yeah, but c'mon; it is fun! you have to give me that...
:-)
Old 6th July 2005
  #24
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paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by arrogantbastard
The only place worth coming all the way the hell over here for is Cello which is gone.
This is just not true. I never had great experiences at Cello. I've always been much happier at Sound Factory, Sound City, and Henson. There are also places like Grand Master [as mentioned by Mr Barresi], Sunset Sound Studio 2, and a few others that you will get great tracks from.

And I, for one, had a good experience at O'Henry the one time I worked there, and would not hesitate to go back...

Cheers,

john
Old 6th July 2005
  #25
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MJGreene Audio's Avatar
 

Sorry to drift off topic, but is Stagg Street still open? If so that is great news.

Michael Greene
Old 6th July 2005
  #26
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RKrizman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by paterno
always been much happier at Sound Factory, Sound City, and Henson.
Just what is it about Sound City? The old Neve? The room? That wooden platform you always put the drums on? The old world rock n roll vibe? Shivaun O'Brien (sp?)?

It's certainly not their mic collection or the neighborhood ( or maybe it is the neighborhood?).

Anyhow, that's the kind of place you can't find anywhere else, as opposed to the more glitzy high end rooms like the Village that are always trying to be the latest thing (but that works too).

-R
Old 6th July 2005
  #27
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e-cue's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
Just what is it about Sound City?
For me, the live room is the moneyshot. Plenty of decent sushi in the area too, which is always a major consideration for any "L.A. Rock Project".
Old 6th July 2005
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJGreene Audio
Sorry to drift off topic, but is Stagg Street still open? If so that is great news.

Michael Greene
Don't know - it was a while ago I was there. It would be too bad if they had disappeared.
Old 7th July 2005
  #29
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paterno's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman
Just what is it about Sound City? The old Neve? The room? That wooden platform you always put the drums on? The old world rock n roll vibe? Shivaun O'Brien (sp?)?

It's certainly not their mic collection or the neighborhood ( or maybe it is the neighborhood?).

Anyhow, that's the kind of place you can't find anywhere else, as opposed to the more glitzy high end rooms like the Village that are always trying to be the latest thing (but that works too).

-R
Sound City is everything you mentioned [sans drum riser for me]. They also have something that is not present in most places -- a great staff. And let's not forget the studio ghost! It is a place that lets you get work done, and makes you look good in the process. As far as the mics, there are more than enough to do the job, even if the list is not as big as in a place like The Village [which could be my least favorite place to work -- ever].

Cheers,
john

PS -- someone I know was at Stagg Street recently, so i would say it is still going strong...
Old 7th July 2005
  #30
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soultrane's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jayfrigo
It's fun to rag on L.A., but there are a bunch of great studios. If you can't find a place to make a record in L.A., you aren't looking hard enough. There are studios of every level, and there are some deals to be had. I like Studio Atlantis for mixing (www.studio-atlantis.com), but they don't have a large enough recording space to do serious tracking. But the list of potential candidates... Conway, Record Plant, The Village... the list goes on; and there are some worthwhile mid-level rooms too. I tracked a record on the API at Stagg Street in Van Nuys and it came out great. Not a mix room, and not fancy like the expensive L.A. rooms, but we got a great deal, and had good tracks to take to Atlantis to mix.
Hey, I tracked at Atlantas once... they had an 80b i believe in the tracking room... wasn't really that pleasant...

A VERY NICE studio no one has talked about yet is Track Record on Vineland in North Hollywood. You can probably get that place for $800 a day if you schedule it right. This is almost half of some of the other rooms mentioned... (and it has a basketball court...)
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