I've been thinking about this a lot lately... Sure, we have a few amazing studios in this town. It used to be full of amazing studios, but even back in the day, it was hard to get time in these places. Now a days, it's hard to get these places booked up, I hear. So what if we could build the perfect recording studio, or even studio complex, and it was so amazing, that it'd bring us back to the days of old, where Nashville would once again become the mecca for recording it once was. I'm not saying the 80's or 90's, but even back to the 50's, 60's and 70's where records for artists from all over the US and even the world were recorded right here by our own musicians, because we had (and still do have, I believe) the best musicians, engineers, producers and facilities in the world.
But just isolating the facility it's self, and not arguing the "talent" issue, which we ALL KNOW is really what makes a great recording (including the talent of the songwriters, most fundamentally), I'd like to respectfully ask that on this discussion, WE LIMIT THE DISCUSSION TO THE STUDIO FACILITY, EQUIPMENT, LOCATION or OTHER FACTORS THAT GO INTO THE FACILITY IT'S SELF. Perhaps even talk about staffing as well. For example, one of the things that may have made Abby Road so great was the way they ran the facility, with dedicated engineers, or even the fact that the guys in there were in button down shirt and tie? Eh, You won't sell me on that concept, actually, but hey, we can argue that here. But let's keep away from the ones we all know, which is that the most important piece of gear are the ears and the rack between the ears. Duh, we all that that, ok?
So, my questions would be, where would it be located? How big of a room(s)? How many rooms? Who would design the room(s)? What console(s)? Microphones? Gear? Piano(s)? Treatments? Design styles? Machines? Decor? How simple or extravagant? What's your personal dream? Who would manage it? How would it be funded? How would it be kept alive? How would it be viable as a business it today's market where other fantastic studios struggle? What would set it apart? How would it attract out of towers? Major artists from around the world?
I'll be glad to share my thoughts, of which I have many on this concept, but I'd rather hear yours.
Thank you kindly!
Peter Kendall Warren
I'd like to see a studio that could record large groups that could stay setup all the time. So much time is wasted in setup and tear down, especially on large orchestra dates.
As in any other business, it's the small things that set them apart like:
- enough music stands
- stand lights
- chairs that are comfortable and don't make noise
- cue boxes that work all the time.
- headphones that actually sound good
- cabling that has no shorts and has been confirmed to be in phase
- sharpened pencils for everyone
I know these seem like small simple things but 9 out of 10 studios I work in struggle with these issues, even the most expensive ones.
Perfect. I agree 100%. The concept that cables aren't in phase DRIVES ME NUTS! How hard is it to get this right? These are all excellent points. They all "point" to a well managed & well maintained studio. This reminds me of a studio that, within the past few years, changed ownership. The first major change that took place was to "counsel out" the maintenance staff, as I recall. A MAJOR MISTAKE. Bookings went way downhill, as I understand. A well maintained set of equipment is a MUST. But you mention a few things that even my own studio often lacks on quick access. But I always have sharp pencils, pens & notepads at the ready, if for no other reason than for my own consumption because those are things that I myself value! Missing, however, are lighted stands! I'll be off to the store for that one...
Student pilots, from their first ride with an instructor, learn that there's such a thing as a "check-list." This check-list tells them 100% of the items they need to perform or have with them for their flight. There's nothing they need that will not be on this list, and they need to perform and have 100% of the items listed on the list! I believe that a well run commercial studio would include such a list. A check list would include the items you list here. Daily checked and maintained.