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Is it the end of commercial studios!! Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 8th June 2003
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
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Is it the end of commercial studios!!

With home set-ups becoming common as muck, this surely has an effect on the mid range studio and top range aswell.

Just wanted to know peeps feedback on whether 'the PC can do it all' world has affected your pockets.

What bugs me is people sometimes expect me to mix something thats been tracked ....well.....**** at home. Hello!!!

But with so many saying 'I can buy this and I've got a top studio' peeps around, wheres the future for places that offer good all round sound as a commercial venture.

The future is Post, high end jingles and also me thinks snotty teenagers.
Old 8th June 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
pounce's Avatar
 

there is no future in this.

send me your gear.

get out while you can.
Old 8th June 2003
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
Cape's Avatar
 

What address? Do you want fixtures and fittings?
Old 8th June 2003
  #4
Mindreader
 
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High End jingles???

LOL

over
Old 8th June 2003
  #5
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I have a lot of bands come through the studio quiz me about what they would need to get a product out at home. If they had everything I had, then they would still need to learn to engineer.

I mean some VS2480 and no idea is not going to get a pro product.. No matter what the shop says..

The future I see is Bands doing drums/bass in a studio taking it home overdubbing. (they need at least one ok preamp and mic) Then come back to a studio and replace the parts that are sonicly lacking and mix.

This is how I would do it today.

Its like a lot of people fix there own cars and some go to mechanics. Yes you can learn to fix your own car but you do not have the proper tools, take longer and could stuff it up.
Old 8th June 2003
  #6
Motown legend
 
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There's this little fact that kind of trumps the issue. I can't think of a major star from the '60s on who didn't have as good a home studio as money could buy yet almost none have ever produced any hits at home.

A studio is first and foremost a performance space and not just a bunch of gear.
Old 8th June 2003
  #7
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Yeah - what Bob said. And remember, the "guy with a fast computer and some mid-priced outboard" studios may do a little business with first timers, weekend warriors and garage bands, but sediment always ends up on the bottom. I wouldn't worry.

Scott
Old 8th June 2003
  #8
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adamcal's Avatar
 

Ive seen a few of my clients set up at home only to abandon it a few years later. What seems like a good Idea at first soon becomes problematic.

Common complaints are:
there is never enough gear, all the space it takes up, having people in your home and the mess they make, wires everywhere, working alone with no feedback, the reality of getting a good sound, all the time it takes up and how it affects your family, also when you look at all the little things like multiple headphones, spliters, sends, amps, chairs, mic stands, music stands, the hassles of repatching, finding and battling with noise,hum, buzz. soundprofing, acoustics, neighbours, and so on.


Lets see what did I did this week alone.

A voice over (sounds simple enough) for one of the biggest companies in Australia. There were at least 5 people involved including the CEO and 2 VO actors. you need the space, surroundings, seperate booth for 2 people, the ability for all the clients to see a video screen and both actors to see one each, talkback, video sync. ECT

next day, a band.
large drum kit, 2 kiks, 2 snares, 5 toms, 2 guitar players with seperate amp stacks, bass amp, keyboards, and a singer, and of course they all wanna play live in one go. Just the infrastructure alone of headphones (of course they all want seperate sends) and setting them all up is hard enough let alone all the micing and recording all on seperate tracks. Dont see to many doing that on a home setup. never mind the number of people, hangers on, girlfriends, manager, A&R rep.


two simple and common jobs most studio deal with daily. I think commercial studios will be around for a while yet.
Old 8th June 2003
  #9
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Transition, baby.

The commercial studio is not in a state of demise - it is in a state of transit.

The home-rigs are pre-production tools, that's all.

And that's good! Good pre-production makes for good results.

I think what we're seeing is a revolution on the pre-production side of the equation.

But I've been working with drum machines for 20+ years now, and I still want to get a good live drummer in a nice room, with ribbon mics, tube pres, opto compressors, a clean console, and an engineering team ready to capture that.

The hoopty DAW's will not do that. But that's not what the hoopty's are for.
Old 8th June 2003
  #10
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I guess it would depend on the style of music. We produce rap & r&b and the first thing we did when we came into some $ was set-up a replica of the Pro Tools room we had been working out of anyway but on a smaller level- things that we used, not things for show. We still do mix SSL so we go to a commercial facility for that (may soon try an few bussed out to Manley Mixer mixes), but it's nice to be able to record when needed and no clock, and it turns out to be way cheaper
Old 8th June 2003
  #11
I fell for the "do it all with a Pro Tools Mix + system" advertisements.

I had also had close up experience with PT because I was hiring PT operators to tune vocals and do "Frankenstein fixes" for my productions.... After a year or so, I figured I had better get a rig myself, so I went the whole way...Pro Control and all...

I made this transition from freelancer to DAW owner / empowered 'virtual studio owner' coming from a 16 year analog pro engineering perspective.

It drove me NUTS for about 3 years...

It still does grudge

Here are just a few 'extras' I hadn't bargained on, but have bought to "get happy" with my recorded audio.

Cranesong Hedd 192
Fatso Jnr
Ribbon mic's
Sony Oxford EQ & compression plug ins
Rosendahl Nanosync word clock device
16 ch of Prism Dream ADA converter / interfaces
Dangerous 2 Buss

That's SOME pile of 'extras'....tutt

Of course all this was for a Mix + system, the HD converters are an improvement although looking at it, I believe ALL the items in list would make an HD rig sound better too.

One could say ANY studio owner suffers from the 'one more box' syndrome...

But this has been my experience..

For 3 years I have kept most budgets I used to share with MIDRANGE studios in MY pocket. (for acts that needed to really 'spread out' I would book time at larger studios, then retreat back to my place) With an expansion underway, I hope to keep ALL the budgets for the studios I used to book in my pocket.

I am just turning a corner to become a serious 'modern midrange' studio owner myself.
Old 8th June 2003
  #12
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we all know it's about the ears and the gear. we all also know you have to pay to play, the good gear often costs more.

with that, a capable engineer (we'll take jules for example) can get good gear, set up a comfortable project space, and get real work done.

if you can tune your room a bit and use good gear, it's certainly possible to do. i think we only rally against the advertising hype. yes, everyone at banjo center wants you to think if you get a vs1680 or sonar you can do real work and i dont buy that at all. i have a suprisingly large amount of money sunk into my project studio room. (in fact, at my current rate of spending i'll have as much invested in gear as i do in my house in the next few years).

jules has gotten kick ass gear, experience, and he knows when to go to the big room and when to go to the project space. it's a great plan. i think it can work for the pro's, it just costs more than the banjo center folks want to let on. i'm more sure than ever that plug ins dont' replace high end hardware, (and nobody i know who has used real gear thinks so either) the one little box myth is great for newbies and hobbyists, but doesn't work for anything pro. the capable project studio is real in the right hands, and myself and others can get real work done in those spaces.
Old 8th June 2003
  #13
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

To say commercial studios are going away is as silly as suggesting that microwave ovens will lead to French restaurants going away.
Old 8th June 2003
  #14
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Bob Olhsson
To say commercial studios are going away is as silly as suggesting that microwave ovens will lead to French restaurants going away.

Well, there aren't any French restaurants near me...
Old 8th June 2003
  #15
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But just as we all know that DIY'ers will never demolish commercial studios- can we at least admit that real work- EPs or Records that are as great to listen to as some big budget ones- can come out of these smaller, personal studios?
Old 8th June 2003
  #16
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bob and dave are making me hungry.


i dont' have a plug in for that.


of course good music comes from small project studios. i thought the idea related more to an objection to the concept that is being sold at the stores....the idea that buying a 300 piece of software replaces big studios. that's not true for many reasons that we all know. it's a matter of the advertised perception that the better gear, tuned rooms, and experince of real engineers is replaceble with a freakin vst plug in - that is simply wrong and misleading. misleading to the consumer and it has a way of de-valuing and smallifying the contribution of real engineers in real studios.

otoh, i'd like to think that my modest project space puts out quality work, but it's a LOT more than a computer program and a mackie or whatnot. even modest project spaces can have great gear and talented techies.
Old 8th June 2003
  #17
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Amen, pounce. I guess I didn't read the thread too closely- of course Guitar Center bought prosumer stuff isn't going to do anything to edge out real facilities... though the Mackie HR824s and the BLUE mics I bought there are sweet ;-) The place by me also has a couple of the Chandler units in stock (granted, they don't have the power unit for them- lol).

My studio, after I treat the live room (a converted master bedroom with cathedral ceilings and hard wood floors, and cool beams running across the ceiling to dangle stuff from) will be a very cool, vibey place to track music that doesn't require a pristine sound. I've got a Spider, some real sweet other pieces of kit- and some other stuff on the way. Because I'm basically only recording friends whose music I dig, and my own music, this works out for me when I can't find someone/somewhere else I want to work with. The vibe is just super great, and the sound quality is going to rock once I've got everything in place.

But I wouldn't attempt to record R&B, Classical, or any hip hop needing real acoustics here. Never in a million years =P
Old 8th June 2003
  #18
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Martin
Well, there aren't any French restaurants near me...
Sorry Dave, I can't help but think that you are in Nashville after all!!(ha, ha) Any Indian or Thai near you? I did have a good meal or two at Blackstones when i was there a few years ago...

I'm in agreement with those who are saying that this is just a low/transitional time for the commercial facility. In my experience in both home and commercial places, I always feel like I can get more work done in the commercial places. They are set up not only with the gear, but also with the support staff and recording spaces designed to make music in.

Cheers,
john
Old 8th June 2003
  #19
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i like to compose at home. very nice.

i like to "go to work" though. i get more done when i feel like i'm there -to work-. it's a mindset thing. sure, a studio with a nice coffeemaker is a gem, but past that i'm pretty flexible

enough of the right people appreciate the value of a real studio. there is a perception problem on the low end, from people who haven't been in a real studio to "get" what the difference is about.
Old 9th June 2003
  #20
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Curve Dominant's Avatar
Quote:
posted by Pounce:
it's a matter of the advertised perception that the better gear, tuned rooms, and experince of real engineers is replaceble with a freakin vst plug in - that is simply wrong and misleading. misleading to the consumer and it has a way of de-valuing and smallifying the contribution of real engineers in real studios.
I've seen a lot of examples of this. Mostly with local DJs who've bought DAWs, thinking they will proceed to "produce tracks." Then enduring the frustration of finding it's not so simple, or worse: producing really lame MIDI-generated crap (laced with samples they never bother to have cleared, of course).

Just today, a local "producer" sheepeshly told me he'd inadvertantly deleted the audio files for all the tracks he was working on, because he hadn't understood the distinction between a mix file and an audio file. He's not a stupid guy! Very intelligent and creative - just getting in a bit over his head on the engineering side.

THAT is why the home DAW studios are not exactly poised to put the pro houses out of business. You not only need a bat and a ball to play this game; you also need to know the playbook inside out, and that's the hard part, the part that takes years of dedication. That's the piece of kit you DON'T see in the MOTU and Emagic adverts.
Old 9th June 2003
  #21
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by paterno
Sorry Dave, I can't help but think that you are in Nashville after all!!(ha, ha) Any Indian or Thai near you? I did have a good meal or two at Blackstones when i was there a few years ago...
Cheers,
john
Yeah, there are a couple of decent Indian places; one of them is fairly near the Row (Beside Varnderbilt Plaza), so it gets an interesting lunchtime mix, and a couple of others get my wife's seal of approval. I'm not familiar enough with Thai food to know whether the ones around town are that good...
Old 9th June 2003
  #22
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

I'm not particularly a fan of exotic French food but I'm told the Wild Boar qualifies. I can't afford more than a cup of coffee in that place.
Old 9th June 2003
  #23
Lives for gear
 

My take.........

It is, always has been and always will be about talent, in the end. Well, that and marketing.

BUT, technological developments in music making gear have brought the cost of expressing that talent, while maintaining at least decent sonic fidelity, vastly lower in price. And consequently, to a vastly larger number of potential contestants for the spot.

And it is not, never has been and likely never will be about ultimate sonic fidelity. That's the part we don't want to hear about, as Gearslutz, for obvious reasons.

I just took a number of record company meetings in LA. And the majority of new acts that had the A&R people excited were bedroom recordings that were basically being left alone except for mixing. In one sense, I agree with that call. If it's cool, it's cool. Who cares where or how? Don't fix what ain't broke.

And so I believe that the line that seperates the Us's from the Thems will continue to blur, whether or not we like it or will even admit it to ourselves. The world, she is changing. We snooze, we loose.


Regards,
Brian T
Old 9th June 2003
  #24
Gear Addict
 
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It seems to me that if a guy on a DAW was putting out quality work, he would eventually want to open up a studio anyway. Then in time he would have a "pro" studio and no longer be home enthusiest and would just be one more studio owner.

Personally, I don't think you have to have the absolute best gear to make a mix sound great. Mics and outboard gear are in essence "EQ's." Want to make something fat, run it through a Distressor right? No! Use your ears. Want to make your life easier? Well, then get a Distressor.

People with great ears and a knowledge of how to get "that sound" are what it requires to make good records. Thats why you go to a studio. To get the best possible sound in the least amount of time and work with someone who can work as fast as you can put tracks down. (or your money back )

Beez
Old 9th June 2003
  #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by Beezoboy
if a guy on a DAW was putting out quality work, he would eventually want to open up a studio anyway.

I don't think you have to have the absolute best gear to make a mix sound great
yeah, but i'm not sure i have the money to open an A grade studio (in the real sense of the word). i appreciate A grade gear, but i've been a business owner before and i dont' think that task is undertaken lightly if you really think about how much is involved. it would be a -huge- undertaking and financial repsonsibility to own a big dog space. i might be happy to work at one while letting others deal with the financial issues that surround owning and maintaining such a space.

otoh, the best gear, while expensive, sounds better. good gear and good ears are needed for quality mixes. a great engineer with good gear can do a lot, but a great engineer with great gear can do more. my increasing insistence on better gear in concert with my always learning and getting better at engineering are making my recordings noticeably better. better gear isn't everything, but it means a lot and it is a big difference between the home spaces and the commercial places. i guess i just disagree that it's acceptable to think that lower quality gear provides the same results as the better gear.
Old 9th June 2003
  #26
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Several of my friends who own "SSL rooms for hire" are hurting (actually the bank owns them). The ones who own their gear outright and don't need to "sell time" to cover the nut are doing fine.

Not sure what my point was...

Oh yeah: to go into debt for gear that you turn around and rent to someone else seems to not be working. To have a set of tools that you own that accompany you on your gigs seems to be working. So, I guess people and talent are still the true commodities in this biz. ProTools, SSL, whatever...make hit songs, get paid accordingly.
Old 9th June 2003
  #27
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by BrianT

...If it's cool, it's cool. Who cares where or how? Don't fix what ain't broke.
Absolutely. In fact some of the best sounding stuff I've mastered has been done in bedrooms.

But new acts are a very different story from established acts who can't afford to spend a couple years recording 10 songs for the second album in their bedroom with all their buds pitching in services for free.

There's cheap, good and fast, you've always got to pick TWO!
Old 10th June 2003
  #28
Gear Maniac
 
Cape's Avatar
 

The above is my point, artists when in their own space can express themselves do all the silly moves they wanna do and get the take they want. Now what they don't get is the best sonic take.

Hire to clients and advise accordingly. Then get em back in studio for stuff that can't be done at home.

I'm no vet, as you all might of noticed. I do produce my own music aswell as engineer, but love to record other artists/bands of all styles it keeps me healthy. There's nothing better than having people around who are masters of their own instruments.

The reason I asked the question about what you guys thought future of studios was because I'm on a fast track upgrade path. Building a three large tracking areas big ceilings, big rooms and all the gibbings.

I'm no where near some of you, but my main aim is to have a facility that attracts other engineers and also have people onsite who can get the job done, they know something I don't (which ain't hard!!) so hopefully I'll learn or i'll think what the hell's he/she doing.

So from your comments above aslong as the mixes are sweet, then all should be cool.

This game takes awhile to crack and my upmost respect goes to those who have stuck at it and acheived a great sound. And also those who gave it a shot, but the bank man got angry.

Bevvy - High jingles do exsist in the UK, not the kind with the singing, but wicked production.

Anyway off to the Spainish Costa del Sol now to swim and chill and forget about where I should position mics on the drums today.

Laters
Old 10th June 2003
  #29
Gear Addict
 

Home studio hack checking in. Atypically, I'm not a DAW guy but an obsolete analog guy. My whole premise in operating is that I can't equal a "real" studio but I can do something really singular that can't be done elsewhere. I have no fidelity, the slightest studio chops, but I have a house no one else has, gear few others are using and almost certainly not in the same combo I'm using it, and time. If I were given a ton of money to record a major label rock record (low risk of that), I wouldn't be doing it in my studio. I'm happy enough to record myself or an occaisional friend who doesn't have conventional expectations, though.

Bear
Old 10th June 2003
  #30
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That sounds great, man :-)
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