Open Source Project Idea

Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by tompoe, Feb 20, 2002.

  1. tompoe

    tompoe Guest

    Hello: A couple of folks have expressed an interest in moving forward with an Open Source Project aimed at setting studios around the country, and around the globe. Open Source Project means every community participates, every group/individual participates on equal footing.

    Now, the idea is, with this particular project, funding and donations drive the Open Source Project to outfit a studio in a community, staffed by volunteers, and dedicated to providing recording facilities for musicians that want to record and move onto the Internet to distribute. It also means that the musicians are seeking alternatives to being signed to labels. It also means that there will be some level of commitment to providing music under a modified GPL license that gives the work to the Public Domain.

    In other words, it raises the bar for providing entry to the wonderful world of recording artists, that might not otherwise be available to many.

    Those on this forum that have an interest, and think they might want to learn more about this, please send me an email, directly, or let me know if this is an appropriate forum for continuing a discussion about this Project. I'm particularly interested in confirming initial cost quotes for equipment and studio facilities. Oh, and it wouldn't hurt to attract some interest from established artists to this Project, either. Thanks, Tom
  2. audiokid

    audiokid Chris Staff

    Mar 20, 2000
    BC, Canada
    Home Page:
    hmm, sounds interesting, Welcome aboard. Tom, can you explain more? :(
  3. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    I must be misunderstanding the concept. We are supposed to volunteer our time and/or donate our funds to setting up studios where musicians can record for free, thereby undercutting all of our own businesses?

    What am I missing here? :confused:
  4. MikeG

    MikeG Guest

    Tom, Strangely enough your suggestion has mirrored our discussions of having a centralised community recording studio here in Highlands of Scotland, though under a slightly different pretext. The Highlands and Islands already has a dozen independent community radio broadcasting stations staffed by volunteers covering many of the isolated communities of northern Scotland. The plan to have a centralised community recording studio in Inverness would allow bands to record who thus far have been unable to afford the rates of(more distant)commercial studios. Also having skilled volunteers means we could also record and archive stories from these communities i.e. the decline of the fishing industry, memories of wartime etc. before they are lost forever. Funding such a venture would take a lot of time and effort but we feel the results would be well worth it! The only doubt I have now is how would commercial recording studios react to such a venture??

    Vice Chairman of The Highlands & Island Community Broadcasting Federation
  5. tompoe

    tompoe Guest

    Hi: Littledog said it nice and concise. Yep, anything that lowers the cost and raises the opportunity for would-be musicians is not appreciated by the "establishment". On the other hand, just maybe we're looking at a niche that needs to be targeted which positions more musicians to be enabled to reach a level where littledog can be considered an option [where they might not be otherwise]. That said, Mike, it sounds like you have a solid footing for moving your concept, which is not very different from this concept, forward.

    Since this list is probably not appropriate for such a controversial topic, I suggest we take it off-line. Contact me by email:, and I'll share the information I have about grant-funding with you. Maybe we'll both benefit.
    Thanks, Tom
    P.S. audiokid, you're invited as well, and I'll send you more information/details. Let me know.
  6. Ted Nightshade

    Ted Nightshade Active Member

    Dec 9, 2001
    Hey, these guys are cool, they're not exactly the "Establishment". I think this forum could give this potentially worthwhile idea a bit of a reality check!
    Volunteers have a way of getting out of hand and being unaccountable compared to paid folks, even if the folks are paid token amounts.
    The kind of gear and skill needed to run a recording studio that is working with low budget relatively inexperienced acts is very very expensive. Without the skill, the gear isn't worth much. Add to that- the people who pay for the gear always seem to take better care of it than the people who are renting it cheap or using it for free!
    I have had similar utopian ideas, which hopefully will come together some time in this lifetime, but I had envisioned more of a "meritocracy", where very skilled dedicated bands had an opportunity to do a "artist in residence" type of thing in an austere but class setting with good instruments where it was all basically on the musicians to sound great- real old school, not like the "we'll make you sound like a pro" type of approach usually necessary with less experienced and capable players. The engineers and everyone would definitely get paid! :w: But the studio could be owned by some nonprofit or something, who knows. It's a pipe dream for now.
    If you are intent on making firstclass recordings, this may entail more than you realize, and if you are OK with making "decent" ones, or just OK ones, you are not adding much to the musician's options.
    If you want to archive narratives, a worthy project, you can get by with a volunteer archivist with a little room somewhere, as acoustics and multitrack are unnecessary. A portable DAT and mono mike are all that are necessary for that venture.
  7. tompoe

    tompoe Guest

    Hi, Ted: Well, looks like you've put a lot more thought and experience to work on this than I, that's for sure. If you want, we'll include your model as one level of the Open Source Project, and work with you to get the funding you need, if you want. Your call on that, and you lead the Node, how's that? Question, though, is whether we can focus on where the bottleneck might be, costwise, between "decent" and "top quality" CD recordings. If it's in the facility itself, or in the equipment, or a combination? It looks to me like it must be in the equipment. On the other hand, the technology industry seems to consistently report that it has advanced to the point, that even when the RIAA inserts garbage into the source code, players are able to "skip" and "ignore" such "noise". That leads me to believe, that where it was a concern only a couple years ago, that, today, it's quite low-cost to put up a "high Quality" facility. What do you think?
    Thanks, Tom
  8. Ted Nightshade

    Ted Nightshade Active Member

    Dec 9, 2001
    Well, most of it is the skill of the engineer. Without a talented, knowledgable, experienced engineer, who can hear what he's doing (room acoustics, another major expense), all the gear in the world won't get you good results.
    My project studio is very bare bones and very much dependent on the ability of the musicians, and it's way way more expensive than I ever anticipated. To build a decent control room where I can hear what the hell I'm doing would be comparable in expense to building a small house, only the people building and designing it would need to be much more skilled and experienced in the specific field of building critical acoustical spaces than the skilled folks who could build you a nice house.
    I suggest that you read most of what is currently posted here on the forum, back as far as it goes. It will take a while but you will probably begin to appreciate the complexity and expense of the enterprise, and how critical the human factor can be.
    Good luck!
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Wow! This is so cool! I finally made it to "establishment!" Never thought I had a chance... my parents will be so proud! :D
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