Anybody hear the Recording Studio article on NPR today?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by djmukilteo, Dec 10, 2009.

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  1. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Nov 23, 2008
    Rainy Roads WA USA
    Interesting topic

    Recording Studios Face Uncertain Future?
  2. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Depressing. This is the part that will go unnoticed by the people who need to hear it most:

  3. EricIndecisive

    EricIndecisive Active Member

    Jan 4, 2007
    On the other side, I have had an amazing time improving my recordings over the past 4 years by myself and coming here for help. I have never been an amazing player, recording my music would have taken eons if I went to a studio. Plus, I am able to make it sound like I have an entire band right in my own dorm room completely by myself.

    I have never been to a real studio before. But from being exposed to it and trying everything myself, and seeing what I am able to get with my firepod and a couple decent mics, I would just want to make sure it is a good engineer behind the controls.

    Home recording is the solution for a nobody (like myself). We have no band, no money, no expectations of making it, only the dreams of doing so. So using what is available sounds great, and allows us to paint our pictures exactly how we want. This is the artist point of view.

    Hell, if someone signed me I'd be in a pro studio the next day. At home it's tedious, difficult, and impossible to get a sound like the pros do.

    I would not support some hack with some crappy hardware like me if I were going to pay for it. But people are cheap, I guess, and for most people the tradeoff point between quality and money are lower than the professionals price points...
  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    This home studio revolution has been going on for over a decade. Around where I live (Northern Ohio) new professional recording studios start up with much fan fare but in a few months they are selling off peak time for $35.00 per hour and these are NEVE or SSL equipped studios with good engineering staffs and nice rooms. I feel sorry for them but if they had done a better business plan and scoped out the surrounding area they would have discovered that this is really not the place to set up a pro audio recording studio at this time.

    One studio recently came in with a larger than normal fan fare. They were very cocky and said they were going to "own the recording scene in Northern Ohio". They had a very large SSL console which they promoted ad nauseam but they could not sustain the hype and they were closed within two years of opening. At the end they were selling off peak time for $35.00 per hour but could not attract enough clients to pay for their SSL lease.

    The same thing is happening in Mastering.

    Everyone is doing everything themselves and IMHO it is the music that is the loser in the race to the bottom. Collaboration is and always has been the basis for great music. Name any really big musical group or individual and you find that they have a whole lot of people supporting them and collaborating with them on the music. IMHO it is this collaboration that sets them apart from the bedroom musician/engineer.

    Lots of material I get in for mastering has never been heard before by anyone other than the all in one performer/recording engineer/mixer. I am sorry to have to say this but what they think is GREAT may not be that great but since they are the sole arbiter of what sounds good their output becomes their benchmark and that is not a good way to work. No one else critiques their music and they have no one else to bounce ideas off or tell them truthfully that maybe this doesn't sound as good as they think it does.

    Music is suppose to be a communication between the performer and the people listening to the music. If the production of the music stands in the way of people hearing what you are trying to communicate then you may have a problem.

    I am fortunate in that I get to hear a lot of GREAT music from a lot of very talented musicians who work in collaboration with other great musicians and turn out some amazing material. I also get the person who writes, sings, plays all the instruments, is the recording and mixing engineer and who's material is not ready for prime time but genuinely thinks that it is.

    I was at GC a couple of years ago. Four young people were pushing a large stack of equipment out the door of GC. I held the door open for them and said to them "that is a lot of equipment what are you guys doing starting your own recording studio?" They smiled and said "yes". They went on to say that each of them had put up $1500 and they had bought an all in one audio console/recorder, some powered speakers, a couple of microphones, some headphones and cables and a 1 to 3 duplicator. I asked them if they had any training in audio to which they all said "no". So I asked them how long it would take to get the equipment setup and start learning how to do the recording and mixing and they said almost in chorus "we plan to put up our first song by Sunday night (this is a Saturday afternoon) and have the album set by the end of the week" I was somewhat taken aback but I pulled out my card and said if you need some mastering give me a call but they said almost in chorus "no we are going to do our own mastering and we will be making copies of the album as well. I thought WOW!!! in one week they are going to learn to use all the equipment, record and mix down and master an album and put songs up on the WWW. I have a four year degree and 40 years in pro audio and I would not be attempting what they are going to do in the time allotted. I guess there is much to say for youthful enthusiasm and bravado.

    The bad thing about the loss of professional recording studios, besides the devastation it brings to the staff, is that the world is losing some great studios where there was magic made because of the room, the equipment and the engineers and other talented people who made it all work and those places will IMHO never be equaled. It is too bad but these are the times we all live in and I think it is going to get much worse before it gets better (if it ever does).

    FWIW and YMMV
  5. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Nov 30, 2008
    Lake Ki-Chi-Saga, Minnesota USA
    Yes hueseph, you nailed it. We all are suffering by our thirst for good new music, which IMHO is getting much harder to find these days!

    I sure do agree with you Thomas, its gonna have to get worse for people to see that music means nothing without the love and care of those around it.

    I think ego is partly to blame, its just a part of human nature to want to own it and do all the work. It is good for music to want to reach out to others and share what good things life has to offer.

    I can tell from my own personal recordings as opposed to my collaborations that working with others refines the work and helps bring common ground to all, thereby making it more pleasant to listen to and perform.

    Music is most certainly a form of communication, one that seems to be getting lost in self lately.

    Its hard to accept this new reality of this decade.

    Have you heard all the hype around the lack of a name for the decade?

    Perhaps we could name it the decade of decadence, the nothings or the good for nothings???

    Don't take it seriously now, Im only joking/ being cynical. :lol:
  6. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    I know today that many musicians want to be "found" or have something in their psyche that the are burning to record and put up on the WWW for others to hear.

    This is GREAT and I am all for the individual having the capabilities to do this in their homes without outside help but to put up something that was done in an hour and is all distorted and not recorded well does not do much for the message they are trying to get out.

    So much of what I hear on the WWW done by individuals is pure garbage. It is over recorded, has a ton of effects on it and the person doing the mix must of had everything in the red the whole time the were working. Sometimes if you can get past the distortion and over effected recording the song has something GREAT to say.

    If you have a great idea getting it down is important but use it as a scratch track and then do a proper job recording it later. Too many people rush into doing the recording because they are afraid that the emotion will not be there if they wait. When you do something in a hurry the emotion maybe more intense but the message will still be there later if you take your time to do it correctly.

    My advice is to be passionate about your music but learn to record yourself well so your message does not get garbled in transmission. If you can't understand the lyrics or hear the melody because of technical problems then you have probably lost the listener and it is hard to get them back.

    FWIW and YMMV

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