Take Your Mixes To The Next Level

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Iconic Ocean Way Studios Sold

Ocean Way Studios studio B image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture blog
The Famous Oceanway Studio B
One of the most iconic studios of Hollywood, Ocean Way Recording, has been sold to the holding company that owns the Sunset Gower and Sunset Bronson Studios, large independent film studios located next door to the famed studio. What that means for the long-term future of the studio is unknown, although the studio will remain in operation at least in the short term.

Ocean Way has a long history in the music world. Starting as one of the first independent recording studios in 1957, the studio was called United (then later United Western) and was originally owned by audio pioneer Bill Putnam (inventor of the UREI line of audio gear) with the backing of superstars of the day Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby.

United/Ocean Way has always been noted for the major artists that recorded there, starting with Sinatra, Nat King Cole and Ray Charles in the beginning, to some of the biggest rock stars like The Rolling Stones, Green Day, Dr. Dre, U2 and The Red Hot Chili Peppers that came later.

Until the acquisition, the studio had been owned by Allen Sides, who built the Ocean Way brand far beyond the Hollywood studio, which included Record One Studios, Ocean Way St. Barth's, Ocean Way Nashville, Ocean Way Audio and Ocean Way Drums. None of those additional entities are included in the sale however.

Ocean Way has been one of the best recording facilities in the world for more than 50 years. It's acoustics (thanks to the brilliance of Bill Putnam) are top-notch as are it's equipment and staff. Let's hope that the new owners aren't looking at the purchase from a real estate standpoint (which is particularly valuable on Sunset Blvd in the middle of Hollywood) and keep this temple of sound in operation.

That said, Hudson Pacific Properties (the new owners), has 12 sound stages on the Sunset Gower lot and another 11 on Sunset Bronson, along with production companies for ABC, NBC, HBO, Showtime and even the local KTLA station. I wouldn't be surprised if Ocean Way was quietly turned into another stage or production offices sometime in the future. Here's hoping that won't happen.

----------------------------------

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Day Before The Session Checklist

Recording session image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog
One of the keys to a successful basic tracking session is the preparation made beforehand, but before you can prepare for the recording you need some essential information first. Here’s an excerpt from The Recording Engineer's Handbook that shows the minimum that you must determine in advance of the session. This will usually be provided by the producer, artist or band leader, and assumes that you’re unfamiliar with the act.
  • What type of music will be recorded?
  • How many songs do you expect to record?
  • Who are the musicians (If you know some of them it might affect your setup)?
  • Who’s the producer (if you’re not talking to him already)?
  • What time does the session begin? Does that mean the downbeat of recording or when the musicians are expected at the studio to load in?
  • How long do you expect the session to go?
  • How many musicians will be playing at once?
  • What’s the instrumentation?
  • How large is the drummer’s kit? How many toms will he be using?
  • Will the guitarist(s) be using an acoustic or electric? 
  • What kind of amps will the guitar player(s) and bass player be using?
  • Do any of the players expect to use house gear like drums, guitar amps, or keyboards?
  • How many cue mixes will be required?
  • Will there be a scratch vocal tracked at the same time?
  • Will they bring any special outboard gear or mics that they’d like to use?
  • Will they be tracking to loops?
  • Do they require any particular instruments, amps or effects?
Determining the above before the musicians hit the studio can go a long way to a quick and easy setup and an efficient session. 

TIP: Don’t ask for the setup information too far in advance since much can change by the day of the session. Getting the info the day before the session is usually sufficient.

----------------------------------

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

12 iPhone Apps For Recording And Editing Audio

iPhone Audio App image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture production blog
It's amazing what you can do with iOS devices these days. It's really true that the applications we take for granted every day would have been declared miracles a mere 20 years ago. Take audio recording and editing for example. Who would have ever thought that you could not only record high-quality audio on your phone, let alone edit it as well?

Kenny Myers recently had a pretty good overview of 10 iPhone apps for recording and editing. While you can read exactly what he had to say about each, here's his list, which I think is a good one (I've added a couple of additional ones that Kenny is looking over as well):

1. VC Audio Pro

2. Recorder & Editor ~ ISAIDWHAT?! (this one I didn't know about)

3. Voxie Pro Recorder

4. Multitrack DAW

5. Garageband

6. Hindenburg Field Recorder

7. Pocket Wavepad

8. Hokusai Audio Editor

9. Twisted Wave Audio Editor

10. Studio.HD

11. FiRe 2 Field Recorder

12. Four Track

Clearly, we've come a long way in a very short time when it comes to iOS audio apps. I can't wait to see what the future brings!
----------------------------------

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Muzak Changes It's Name

The Muzak Switch image from Bobby Owsinski's Big Picture Blog
Although Muzak has been a company since 1934, it's also become one of those words like "Kleenex" that's become so widespread that the name identifies the product. In the case of Muzak, that means elevator music or the music we hear in grocery stores and shopping malls. It's the dumbed down hits of the yesterday and today.

You may be surprised to know that Muzak the company is no more after being purchased by its new owner Mood Music from Concord, Ontario. The type of background music will remain, but today there's a lot more science behind the product that you ever thought was possible. In fact, what we used to term "elevator music" now also has a new name - "sensory marketing."

It seems that Mood Music is not only into the background music business, but also signs, interactive displays and scents that reach over 150 million people a day at more than 500,000 locations around the world. Essentially they're in the game of being the unconsciously connector between their clients and their customers in such a way that it enhances the buying experience, which hopefully causes the customer to buy more.

The company painstakingly matches the music to the environment to get the desired result, which in essence means "spend more money." The interesting thing is that the music is no longer easy-listening versions of new and old hits. In fact, since 1984 Muzak had been hiring composers to design music specifically for certain environments.

Music is such a powerful device and anyone who loves it knows how much your emotions can be evoked when listening. Is it any surprise that a company has been so successful in manipulating our buying habits as a result?

As far as the Muzak name, it's probably a good thing it's been retired as it's become a bad cliche over the years. Mood Music almost identifies what the music is really all about. The name is missing one word however - how about "Marketing" in the middle?

----------------------------------

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Music Gear Monday: Moog Sub Phatty

As I mentioned in my NAMM overview, the Moog Sub Phatty was one of the most talked about musical pieces at the show. Not a pared down MiniMoog, the Sub Phatty features the best from the Moog family of synths (like the patented basic Moog filter design so it maintains the famous sound), along with new filter overload and multidrive sections to grit the sounds up when needed.

Moog has also disposed of the LCD screen and made everything easily accessible from front panel, with 4 banks of 4 presets. The unit will ship in March and retail at $999US. Check out the video below.



----------------------------------

You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.

Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating social media and the new music business.

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...