Thread: The M word

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  1. #41
    Join Date Nov 2006
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    Default Re: The M word

    Basement, eh? That can work to your advantage.

    Firstly, it likely has exterior walls that are 1' thick, steel reinforced concrete, which alone would keep most of the loudess from getting complaints from people nearby. Basements also tend to be mostly/ entirely underground which really helps a lot in that regard.


    If the space can accomodate 3 or 4 musicians, start by soliciting acts that you like that don't have more than 4 members.

    There are advantages to soliciting your own work. You get to work with people whom you respect and/or who impress you. You get to chat with the band and sort of vet them, determine that they're safe to have in the same building as your family

    Which brings me to a stopping point and a couple of questions.

    Does the basement have a separate outside entrance?

    Can you give the approximate dimensions?

    I was thinking about that song that I wanted to not sound like a demo and it was recorded in a basement. This basement had two gold and one platinum records on the wall. I think that the house was originally intended to be sold to a Dentist or GP as it wasn't unusual for doctors and dentists to run their practices out of their homes when it was built.

    So there would be room for a waiting room and a few offices, or a drum room, control room and a live space in this case.

    But the separate entrance is important if you don't want musicians having to go through your kitchen
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
    CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle
  2. #42
    Join Date Jan 2015
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    Default Re: The M word

    It is completely underground. Save for the three windows, there's not much sound getting out. I've listened from the outside when a band is playing and the noise level is less than a normal volume conversation going on. Happy neighbors.

    It does not have it's own entrance. However that's been okay in the past. My kitchen/living room area is where friends and family hang out. It has been a nice area for taking a break, getting something to eat/drink. The bands don't bother the wife ... the kids love them. If the band is bothered by it, then we might not be the best fit to start with.
    Getting larger things down the stairs isn't that bad. Second entrance would be nice, but it's very doable as it is.

    Recently, I've been talking to folks that I see who are openers for the openers. They are solo guitar acts a lot of times. Sometimes not. But what I've noticed with these folks is they are usually the ones who have a buddy who's recording in his bedroom one tracks at a time. The irony of me shunning another home recordist is thick, I know.
    It's hard to break into their circle a lot of times. As much as i consider whether or not I'd want them in my house, around my family, they are considering ... do I want to be in that crazy guys basement?? But if it's someone I'm genuinely interested in I usually end up engaging with them on social media, going to shows ... actually befriending them if I can. That is an advantage of not relying on this to make rent. If it doesn't work out, then so be it. Still found some music I enjoyed.

    -r
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  3. #43
    Join Date Nov 2006
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    Default Re: The M word

    You seem to be on the right track. Obviously, your family comes first.
    Quitting the day job is not an option, as far as I can see.

    Some of the major music hubs aren't what they used to be. New York, San Francisco, L.A. have become gentrified. Don't know if you've heard Mixerman's Billionheir Apparent but he discusses the music biz at length. He moved from L.A. to NC (after having moved to L.A. from NJ) because L.A. has largely become unaffordable partly due to gentrification and partly because many in the music biz are doing "twice the work for half the pay" as during its heyday.

    So secondary and tertiary music hubs spring up. You and I are in sort of tertiary hubs, I think, and that isn't bad.

    The other thing now is networking. I recently heard one of my fb friends sing into her smart phone in her bedroom. She has sung on records but she definitely can't record herself.

    I think there are opportunities for someone with a modest studio who hangs out with musicians and who can record a track and upload it to dropbox. Not exactly a get rich scheme, but between forums like this one, skype, dropbox, affordable plugins and the like there are opportunities that didn't exist in the 20th century.

    Just because I'm not particularly young doesn't mean I'm a complete luddite

    I'm also in favor of a low barrier to entry (to differentiate from "gatekeeping") to let as many people as possible record themselves, and let the chips fall where they may
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
    CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle
  4. #44
    Plays in Winger cover band Born To Be Mild!
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    Default Re: The M word

    I too am a basement dweller, for the control/mixing room anyways. I track stuff upstairs in the bedroom when the fiancee is working, as to avoid the conversation lol. Freak accident that it sounded good up there. Just experimented recording a snare one day when she was out and that was it. Has vaulted ceilings in there and hardwood floors, the basement, not so much.

    I think I probably posted pics of the basement at some point, but its kind of octogon shaped, so I thought " perfect! No parallel walls!". Works decently, far better than what I had before. Also a seperate entrance by the side of the house, but rarely use it. Can't drive on the septic bed from what I'm told, but would be a lot easier loading stuff in for sure.

    Basement is all block wall, and when I have it cranked, I can barely hear it outside, and I only have one neighbor to the side of me. No complaints yet. But EVERYTHING goes straight up to the kitchen, so as long as she isn't cooking, I'm good.

    Hardly a get rich quick deal over here, but anyone who does track or mix seems pleased so far. Just a matter of getting more in I suppose. I'm probably a good hour and change from the city, so I guess that might be an issue for a lot of people without a car. I think one guy I talked to mentioned it was a 4 hr trip by buss. Needless to say that one hasn't been heard from since lol
  5. #45
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    Default Re: The M word

    But the separate entrance is important if you don't want musicians having to go through your kitchen
    At least if you want there to be any food left....
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

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  6. #46
    Comfortably dumb Commissioner of Rock and Roll!
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    Default Re: The M word


    I ask because I've had to do some reflection lately. What is it I think I'm accomplishing every time I expand my gear list.
    I know this conversation is heading in a different direction right now, but this point here struck me.
    If you want to be a business, you should treat gear as an investment, so, buy what is needed and what pays for itself.
    20 inputs is plenty, especially when you have a facility that is more or less an overdub studio.

    From what I read between your lines you struggle to define your niche.
    Perhaps it would be a good idea to make your mind up about what you can offer that is worth spending money for.
    And build/remodel your gear into supporting that.

    So, what is it that you can reasonably offer reasonably well?
    Beating the singer/songwriter's home recordist acquaintance?
    That needs one or two quality channels and one important looking mic.

    Overdub studio?
    One or two quality channels, a 57 and perhaps a small selection of nice amps.

    Of course I'm facetious here, you might need a Royer as well, as everybody is a producer, these days.
    ;-)

    I could as well be wrong, but delivering a big facility service seems out of limits for you, in your rooms, in your time frame.
    So, you might be better of not aiming for big and broad, but for specialised and fast.
    You might take inspiration from the 'Otek and Malice get the GAS' thread in the Womb University.

    Get a minimal amount of great gear.
    Know how to use it.
    Know, what to use it for.
    Bam, there is a business.

    And for fuck sake don't buy new stuff unless you can afford it with audio money!

    All the best,
    the keks
    Cape 8: Team Millionaires, Team Relentless



    The accordion - sometimes an instrument .... often just a bag pipe gone wrong.
    (Immanuel)
  7. #47
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    Default Re: The M word

    Hey keks, I don't disagree with what you're saying.

    The other night I got sucked into black hole of youtube and watched a bunch of woodworking videos. It gave me a clearer picture of where I'm at. I'm like a guy with a hobby wood shop. That idea made a lot of sense to me. I'm learning what kinds of things I can build with my shop and my skills.

    There is an important difference in that the wood doesn't have free will. I just buy it and make something. For music I can't quite afford to outright buy musicians, so I need to appeal to their will to work with me to some degree.

    And because it's a "hobby" doesn't mean I can't take the same pride in my work as if it were a professional shop. I've seen some pretty cool things built by hobbyist wood workers.
    I don't know if it's a realizable thing, but that's where my head is at these days.

    -r
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  8. #48
    Plays in Winger cover band Born To Be Mild!
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    Default Re: The M word

    Very true. Who says you can't build cabinets in your tiny garage with what you've got. Appealing to the outside world to do business sometimes means you need to have an actual wood shop to get their attention. At the very least, look like one.

    In my case, ive managed to get session in when the fiancee is working, so its a house to myself situation. They feel comfortable being able to make some noise, whereas if I had any kids, I doubt I'd be able to.

    I have enough inputs for a whole band, bought over time. The one subsection of people I can't seem to accomodate are people who want 'beat makerz', which I usually reply saying I have a solid drummer I can use instead, but no takers.

    I think its a good idea for people to grow into something bigger than they need rather than update/buy new shit every few months, personally. That way, youre not having to jump ship a few years down the road when you find out that your tiny setup is holding you back. Just my 2 cents.
  9. #49
    Comfortably dumb Commissioner of Rock and Roll!
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    Default Re: The M word


    There is an important difference in that the wood doesn't have free will. I just buy it and make something. For music I can't quite afford to outright buy musicians, so I need to appeal to their will to work with me to some degree.
    Prezactly.
    Look, I don't want to belittle your endeavour in any way.
    But I really do believe that you either have to approach your studio with a minimum of entrepeneurial earnestness, or you are a self-contented gear collector. NTTAWWT.

    If you want to lure people into your studio you got to have something to offer.
    You need to be clear about what you actually can offer.
    And if you have something attractive to offer you should put a price tag on it.


    You know this clip?


    If you are fine to indulge yourself in gear, great. Expensive but otherwise utterly doable.
    If you want to actually do stuff, you need to find a need and fill it.

    All the best,
    the keks
    Cape 8: Team Millionaires, Team Relentless



    The accordion - sometimes an instrument .... often just a bag pipe gone wrong.
    (Immanuel)
  10. #50
    Plays in Winger cover band Born To Be Mild!
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    Default Re: The M word

    I fuckin love portlandia! Dont think ive seen that one tho, ive got some catching up to do.

    Either way, weather its motorcycles, boats, or fuckin ride on lawn mowers, if you work hard for it and you enjoy it, what's the difference? The only difference here is you can get better while enjoying yourself, and hell, maybe even make a bit of coin on the side. I dont see anything wrong with that.
  11. #51
    Join Date Nov 2006
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    Default Re: The M word


    In my case, ive managed to get session in when the fiancee is working, so its a house to myself situation. They feel comfortable being able to make some noise, whereas if I had any kids, I doubt I'd be able to.
    If you have kids (I don't, but I was one) I think usually noise is part of the deal. I know that I, for one, was not a quiet child
    On the one hand, you don't want the musos waking up the jids, on the other, you don't want the kids to suddenly start making noise 3/4 through that otherwise perfect acoustic guitar take.

    I have enough inputs for a whole band, bought over time. The one subsection of people I can't seem to accomodate are people who want 'beat makerz', which I usually reply saying I have a solid drummer I can use instead, but no takers.
    They don't want a drummer. For a short time in the early '80s, rappers rapped to a drumbeat. So the backing instrumental track was an actual drumbeat.

    People quickly got tired of that, so they introduced hiphop in which the backing instrumental track would be loops of say, a bar of piano, acoustic guitar, or a synthesizer playing a vaguely Middle Eastern sounding riff. Then add another loop with someone singing a word or shouting, to be repeated a couple of times during the "song".

    But they kept calling the backing instumental track a "beat".

    Tell them the beets are in the produce(r) aisle and that you're into music, not agriculture.

    Or tell them there are smartphone apps for that.
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
    CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle
  12. #52
    Join Date Nov 2006
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    Default Re: The M word

    I know this conversation is heading in a different direction right now, but this point here struck me.
    If you want to be a business, you should treat gear as an investment, so, buy what is needed and what pays for itself.
    20 inputs is plenty, especially when you have a facility that is more or less an overdub studio.

    From what I read between your lines you struggle to define your niche.
    Perhaps it would be a good idea to make your mind up about what you can offer that is worth spending money for.
    And build/remodel your gear into supporting that.

    So, what is it that you can reasonably offer reasonably well?
    Beating the singer/songwriter's home recordist acquaintance?
    That needs one or two quality channels and one important looking mic.

    Overdub studio?
    One or two quality channels, a 57 and perhaps a small selection of nice amps.

    Of course I'm facetious here, you might need a Royer as well, as everybody is a producer, these days.
    ;-)
    Indeed. But if he wants a ribbon mic he could get a Shiny Box instead and have enough left over for most of his other mics.
    I could as well be wrong, but delivering a big facility service seems out of limits for you, in your rooms, in your time frame.
    So, you might be better of not aiming for big and broad, but for specialised and fast.
    His ability to set up drums and amps gives him an advantage over a strictly overdub facility.

    Especially drums. That is the thing that most people can't do at home, unless it's something that can be done with samples and loops.

    Having a decent drumset, cymbals and a handful of decent mikes could make that happen. If you know any good, versatile drummers in your area, now you're net-twerking. A lot of drummers use pads and e-drums at home because they can't go acoustic/loud.

    And give me a chance to do some spring cleaning, and I can probably sell ya a couple of rather shopworn looking but still working 57s for about half the price of new ones.
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
    CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle
  13. #53
    Join Date Jan 2015
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    Default Re: The M word

    That Portlandia bit was brilliant!! You don't know how many times I've likened my basement to the "field of dreams" with the guys at work. I need to drop references to Pet Sounds a little more though.

    You're not wrong Keks and what you're saying is in the forefront of my mind these days. I don't have a magic plan written out yet ... but I'm not ignoring the fact that having a plan that makes sense is key.

    -r
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  14. #54
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    Default Re: The M word

    Either way, weather its motorcycles, boats, or fuckin ride on lawn mowers ...
    I've got those money pits too. haha. I'm down to one motorcycle (from 3) though.

    -r
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  15. #55
    Plays in Winger cover band Born To Be Mild!
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    Default Re: The M word

    Definitely agree with the comment about live drums. Not a whole lot of people I have come across know how to do it. I was at a session a long time ago where this idiot was telling me what I was doing didnt matter "because everyone just uses triggers anyways".

    But relating that to the " beat makers" types, I mentioned that we could always enhance the drums with samples (to make it sound like an mpc kinda thing underneath. Maybe that was beyond their reasoning.

    I'll be sure to mention the produce isle next time lol. Sure to go right over their heads

    And reno, did you sell the other 2 for funding gear, or just find that youre only really using one mainly these days? Hats off to ya man, I'm fucking terrified of those things lol
  16. #56
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    Default Re: The M word

    And reno, did you sell the other 2 for funding gear, or just find that youre only really using one mainly these days? Hats off to ya man, I'm fucking terrified of those things lol
    Gave my father-in-law my old cruiser and sold my CRF-450F when I realized the "or die trying" part of racing and jumping that thing around was what I'd end up achieving. I did use that money towards my Gibson Firebird.

    I can't seem to attach Facebook pics via URL... but my bike is on there if you care to see it. She's pretty.


    -r
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  17. #57
    Plays in Winger cover band Born To Be Mild!
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    Default Re: The M word

    I bet! Love to have a look but I haven't had facebook for ...probably 10 years at least.

    What do you have for mics these days? I know you've mentioned the Aston ones (curious about those) but what else do you find yourself using? Cheers!
  18. #58
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    Default Re: The M word

    I range from cheap, to sort of cheap to decent. Nothing that would impress anyone on paper.

    I've got an SM57 and an SM 58 ... but to be honest I found some cheap (like embarrassingly cheap) EV mics. EV Cobalt CO4's. They are 57 knockoffs and I like them better than my 57. I have 5 of them at just under $150. Two of them were literally $17 a piece. I'm sure they will show their downside at some point, but I'm happy with them so far. Guitar cab, snare, and toms generally.

    I picked up a couple of Audix F6 kick mics a bit back because I thought I was going to be recording some double kick. They actually do okay on floor tom and kick. I'd like to compare the D6 to it sometime.

    I've also got an SM7b that I use on kick (and snare, bass cab, guitar cab, tried on vocals a couple of times but something else won out). It's usually the thing I keep the closest. Something seems easy about it.

    The other dynamic I have is a Audio Technica Pro63. Heard really good things about it on snare and so far it's okay. Still messing with it.

    I've got that Aston Origin. I've only done one vocal track on it and it was nice. I've heard some mics give a kind of unreal sound to a vocal (in a good way) and this didn't quite do that. Could have been other things though... the singer was from out of state and enamored by our pot laws, might have played a role. I do like it on acoustic guitar. It has replaced my sE T2's for that role. I'd buy it again if I had to do it over.

    I've got a set of sE T2 LDC. They are my most expensive mics and generally my best. Freaking great for drums. Depending on the drummers set up, I try to use them wherever they make the biggest impact. They are great for close micing toms and the snare... so good on snare. It does make me antsy having that mic close to the toms or snares. But generally they do the most for me as full kit mics in some fashion.
    I've used it on a vocal and they had that sparkle that the Aston misses. jackbuttler put them up against his 414 on piano and said the T2 was hands down better.

    I picked up a set of Line Audio C3's before Christmas. I don't remember exactly what they cost, the dollar was favorable when I ordered them so it was close to $350 I think. I have limited time with them, but so far I like them. Not quite as nice as the T2's, but they will definitely have a place here.
    It is really nice on acoustic guitar. A single one or paired up with the Aston has gotten me the best sounds I've ever gotten from an acoustic. They got put up against the a set of Gefell MT 70 or 71's on the piano as well. I haven't gotten to hear the results, but I don't think they quite kept up with the Gefell. At least not like the T2 did with the 414.
    The Lewett 340's were on my list, but I needed something for live shows as well ... I didn't want to risk a thousand bucks on the Lewitts. I'd still like to compare the two.

    Best bang for the buck mics I have ... sE XR1. Partly because it spells sex and I have the mind of an adolescent. But even though they are the low end ribbon of sE's collection, they have been extremely useful for me. Guitar cabs, overheads, they work great if I put it in front of the kit about 4-5 feet and angle it down towards the kick. The best part... they were free. Sweetwater was doing a deal where they gave you an XR1 when you bought a T2. My original intention was to look at the sE VR1 Voodoo, but I can't justify even the small cost it would be to sell them and "upgrade" to the VR1's.

    Honorable mention is my MXL 990. Not because it's any good, but because it has survived nearly 10 years of abuse and it keeps on ticking. It's my go to mic when the kids come down and decided to sing. They think it looks cool and I don't mind when they inevitably swing their guitar headstock into it.

    I'd like to get a semi badass vocal mic. Partly because I think it would be nice, but there's also that wow factor. Sucks, but it makes a difference when someone see you throw up the SM7 or the Origin. It's not what they saw on TV so they don't trust it. We'll see though.
    All in all, it's what you might expect to find in a basement. Enough that I can cover a decent sized drum kit and some players.

    -r
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  19. #59
    Plays in Winger cover band Born To Be Mild!
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    Default Re: The M word

    Basically sounds like the same over here, with the exception of a pair of shinybox ribbons and a charter oak e700.

    Its funny you mentioned the point of 'nobody has heard of x mic, so they probably dont wanna use it'. Ive found myself just using the charter oak for vocals on sessions (mainly by default) and nobody knew what it was or heard of it before. By the end, I find that they're asking about it. I guess you just gotta try stuff out. In the end, the badge really doesnt matter.

    For instance, this pos apex LDC landed in my lap and had absolutely no use for it. Then a drum session came up and I was short on mics. Threw that up on snare and honest to god, best snare mic ive used in a while!
  20. #60
    Plays in Winger cover band Born To Be Mild!
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    Default Re: The M word

    So back on track a bit, does anyone do introductory offers for new clients? Or is your rate your rate, and thats it?

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