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Is The DAW kicking our ass?

Member for

21 years 2 months
Just wondering, how many feel the DAW revolution is kicking our ass out of the business. Where will the big studio be in the next few years? How many were there two years ago and how many will be operating next year?


Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Wed, 05/08/2002 - 22:25
Maybe what needs to happen is studios rent rooms with DAWs or rent out the DAW at a rate for recording that is less expensinve and more convenient for someone than going out and buying one.

For example. If I am really interested in the recording process and have passion for it. Instead of spending tens of thousands on all that time to go rent a big room and record my record, I could invest in a Pro Tools rig and then have a place to record more than just one project. And mor ethan just MY personal you have a way to make money...If you're good enough.

I still think there will be a demand for the "big studio." I mean, are major labels just going to atart handing out Pro Tools systems as part of a band's signing advance and say "Here, take this and this producer and go make a record!"

Doesn't it all have it's place in the game? Or maybe the problem is that EVERYBODY does not need to rent studio time anymore to make a record.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 05/09/2002 - 01:54
This is what I would do now if I did not have a studio. For a basic rock band.

1) by a Mbox as it makes taking tracks home from a PT studio easier,
2) and hey at home 2 mic pres are enough

Go into a studio record down all your songs.
Take home stripped down tracks.
Maybe only kick, snare, OH's, bass, guitar, vox.

Cut up the tracks at home re-arrange etc.
Put down other parts at home to test sounds and if they work.
So you have all the guitar, keys, and especially backing vox all worked out.

Then when you record properly in a good studio, you can quickly put things down and not waste time.
Its funny bands umming and arring about sounds or parts wastes money.
And hey if you cannot get your part down in 2-3 takes then your just not prepared enough,
Bands used to know there shit now it is can't we fix it in the mix.

2) A variation on this if your drummer is tight to a click would be to do the same but as
The drums can be replaced easily later as they are done with a click you can keep some of
Your parts at home

3) Another variation would be to take home full drum tracks do the overdubs at home
and then re mix in a studio. Problem is most people have not good mic pres etc and no
experience so when you get the tracks to mix they need a hell of a lot of work,

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Thu, 05/09/2002 - 10:26
Hi ,
From my experience in Paris ,Big Studios are doing very well here . They offer great acoustics,microphones and competent personnel .The problem is more for the mid-sized studios that don't offer anything special .The market is now divided between the big Studios that work full time and a lot of small Pro Tools based studios . Still, there's always work for studios that offer something special (vintage gear) or a person in the studio that attracts the clients. I went to work in Germany recently and the situation seemed different there probably because of the huge success of Electronic music made by musicians in their "bedroom" .

Member for

19 years 10 months

Tommy P. Thu, 05/09/2002 - 10:38
I think the ability to offer an affordable professional DAW setting , while making available ( selling and marketing) the traditional studio services would be a neccesary move for survival. Jumping on and riding the wave is better than getting wiped out. Big studios have the advantage to compete because they have the capital to afford the best DAW equipment and the professionals to use it. I only own a home DAW, so my opinions are based on that. I don't know what a plasterer could have done when sheetrock was invented. ;)

Member for

21 years 2 months

SonOfSmawg Thu, 05/09/2002 - 20:03
I'm in a unique situation. Here in Pahrump, NV, population 35,000, there are only a few guys with DAWs in the whole town, and no pro recording studios. There's only one little Mom&Pop music store, which sells band gear to the school kids, and has a few cheap dusty guitars hanging on the wall. They don't even have my Tortex picks...LOL.
That's why I'm going for the Soundscape system. Once I have it, I'll start putting my money into building materials. I'm on an acre, and the whole back half is empty ... plenty of room for the studio. I'm going to build it myself, out of adobe, but steel-braced, with a non-traditional, heavily insulated roof. It'll be dirt cheap (hehehe)! It'll be in a "U" shape, with a courtyard in the middle, which will have a Japanese-style garden for relaxing. One of the side sections of the "U" will be a "lounge", but will basically be a studio apartment ... full bath, kitchenette, TV, stereo, a couple of sleeper-sofas. I'll have the first and only recording studio in Pahrump!
Can I compete? Hehehe ... no competition!

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 05/11/2002 - 09:59
Access to affordable technology for the common person dilutes every professional market. I have 3 college degrees, 1 in graphic design, 1 in photography and 1 in journalism, plus I've engineered audio for nearly 30 years.

Now chances are if you want your multimedia or web project to come out looking and sounding professional I can deliver.

Does that mean that the 20 somethings that took an adult ed class in web design, bought an autofocus digital camera, have bootlegged software and know someone that has an Mbox are going to deliver a comparable product ? Hell no. Does that matter ? Hell no. Price matters and ignorance on the client's part as to what the potential quality is matters.

The market changes, that's inevitable. Adapt and grow or find a new line of work.

If PT is kicking your studio's butt then become a PT expert, keep the old 2" ready for the client's that know how great it sounds and buy some great A/D converters so you can move it all over the PT if needed.

Know any stock brokers who are doing well ?

How about travel agents ?

The era of life long careers ended years ago.

Member for

21 years 2 months

audiokid Sat, 05/11/2002 - 11:03
what he said.

Sounds like my story Kirk ( less a few degrees). Started out as a guitar player, then keyboards, midi, then soundman, then booking, then studio, retail, then web design, networking, Dam exciting and it never gets boring, keeping the old ready and able to export to the new is my theory. If you sell the old be dam sure it will never be needed again. question long can you get parts and service.

DAW's out there and from free to fee. Good thread

Jules, has been very successful with PT eh.

The era of life long careers ended years ago.
Isn't that the truth!


Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Sat, 05/11/2002 - 22:05
As a strictly Pro-tools user (no 2" tape in sight) I suppose that makes me the Anti-Christ or whatever in this discussion. I'll cheerfully accept in both theory and practise that the old school analog studios can kick my ass in the pure sonics department.

I got into this gig from being a musician. I never interned at a studio, I've never aligned a tape deck. I'm not sure i even know exactly what relapping heads is. I'm not bragging, I wish I had all those skills and knowledge... but the point is I have a strong comfort level with computers, more so than with soldering irons and oscilloscopes. As a musician with limited tech credentials and skills, I found DAW type recording an easy way to get into the process.

Initially my intention was to record only my own musical projects, but somehow word leaked out, and pretty soon other musicians were begging me to let them record here.

There are a lot of factors that have helped my unintentional business grow rapidly (a really good piano, my sparkling personality, some isolation, and having a very comfortable non-traditional space and vibe) as well as some factors that limit what i can do (size of the rooms, height of ceilings, etc).

So for certain projects I suppose I am in some ways competing with the full-blown high end commercial facilty. On the other hand, a really good studio with great acoustic recording spaces is a treasure that I don't pretend to be able to match. There have been a number of classical music projects, large choral projects, as well as some Windham Hill stuff that I have actually turned down (maybe I was crazy!) and referred to bigger rooms because I honestly felt (after careful consultation with the client) that a better acoustic space was a requirement for the successful completion of the project.

I never really felt like "the enemy" before, but i guess it's all a matter of perpective!

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Tue, 05/14/2002 - 22:55
Littledog failed to mention that he has a bonafide genuine 2 micron large diaphragm condenser microphone.

That's what really makes him a threat......

PT isn't the only Bogey anymore either. Nuendo and Cubase SX have that new linking method that will allow you to go get a new dual proc G4 monster Mac and slave your old Mac(s) to it for extra dsp. With an OK control surface, high quality converters, Littledog's mike and a VIPRE ? Gulp.

Look out, big studios. The 'dogs are at the door. As it were.

But seriously, folx. The big rooms will always have the clientele who want the best and can afford to pay for it. They have 2" analog, 0.9 micron Stephen Paul microphones, the best in vintage and boutique tube gear, great mic pres that, lined up end to end, would reach from the Honky Chateau to Pahrump NV, and a whole gang of interning gearheads to maintain it all. And their name looks great in the liner notes.

I guess there is room for everybody. Just look at the sheer volume of available musical choices (I hate that "genre" word -- half the time it's just an excuse for all your songs to sound the same) compared to 40 years ago!!! The market is immense today, even despite Napsterism and the billions it stole.

In 1993, a group I had worked with in the 70s did a reunion album. It was tracked in a big first class LA studio with first call musicians. That studio has platinum albums hanging in the john. Many of the lead vocals were done in a smaller room in Orange County, but still a full service studio. The bulk of the vocals were done in a 3-car project studio so far up in the Hollywood hills it took 30 minutes to slap a liplock on the nearest burrito. The whole project was mixed back in the room where it was tracked, by the golden eared owner. Artistry by Freeway. A little bit of the pie for 3 echelons of studio.

Wave of the future? Or will we all stay home and collaborate, record, mix, master, publish, distribute and sell in cyberspace?

Member for

20 years 1 month

Henchman Thu, 05/23/2002 - 11:02
This is why I have focused on post in my studio. Way too many midlevel studios competing for the same, overworjked, underpaying gigs. I do music I want to do, because post pays the bills, and buys all the nice gear. We get the same rate as a local big room that has an SSL4k, an SSL9J in a huge ass complex.

We spent less to outfit our whole studio as they did on the SSL4k.