Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read.

Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/01/04 11:09 PM

WELCOME everyone - and thanks to Mitch, Dendy and Craig for giving me this opportunity. I'm really excited about it and am looking forward to some great discussions.

So, what IS a "project studio" anyway? Or a "home" studio? Or a "pro" or "commercial" studio? It's really difficult to say in an absolute way.... the lines are sometimes pretty grey.

But I think most of you get it pretty well... it's not so much about the gear as it is about the PEOPLE. Traditionally, a commercial studio is a "for hire facility", and while they provide a support staff, rooms and gear, most of the projects being done there come in with their own producer and first engineer... IOW, you're renting the "room" and the "gear" as well as support staff (second engineers, runners to go get your pizza and pornos, maintenance engineers to calibrate your 2 track analog deck how you want it, etc.), but the engineer and producer are usually "outside" cats.

Home studios are typically, well, at home. \:\) Back in the day before "project studio" was a common term, you either had a home studio or a commercial studio - with any setup - no matter how elaborate - located at a home being described as a "home studio". Problem was, as the gear started improving and becoming more readily available at more affordable prices, and as things started getting more sophisticated insofar as some of these "home" setups, calling them a "home studio" gave people the wrong impression. After all, the quality had reached the point where people could - and were - doing TV theme music, movie soundtracks, jingles, and even albums in these "home studios", but calling it that hardly generated a positive image in the mind of some of the "suits". Anyway, I THINK I first read the term in the pages of the early EQ magazines... I can't say who came up with it, but it might have been someone at EQ. In any case, they certainly helped popularize it.

A project studio, as Jeff the marketing weasel mentioned, can be as simple as a old Portastudio (TM) in a corner of a spare bedroom all the way up to SSL and Neve equipped rooms. They might be at home, or in someone's warehouse space or in a commercial building somewhere. The difference is, IMO, the people. Clients who hire a project studio are oftentimes less interested in the room or the gear... they're hiring YOU. Obviously the gear and the room are important, but assuming a certain level of quality that is appropriate for the job at hand, the important element is the people. They're usually not going to be bringing in an outside engineer, and many times not a producer either. That's where you come in. You're almost always involved, in one way or another, with all the projects coming out of your "project studio".

Project studios have been used for doing overdubs on major label records (costs less than renting the big rooms), jingles, TV theme music, soundtracks, the new CD project for the owner's band, etc. etc.

Is a project studio "pro"? You bet! Just because it's not in a big commercial building somewhere doesn't mean you can't get pro results from some of the gear out there these days. That's not to knock the big rooms - there's still a lot of advantages to major studios. But what you CAN do in a project studio nowadays - again, assuming a certain level of gear (and more importantly, skill on the part of the owner / operator) is pretty staggering.

There's a lot we can talk about, and obviously there's going to be some crossover - but that's always been the case around here - sometimes a question or comment could have been equally at home on say, Roger's old forum as it was on GM's. But while that's still going to happen, the idea behind this new forum is for a place specifically targeted towards the folks who are working in a project studio environment.

As far as what we discuss, it's pretty darn broad. If it happens in a "project studio" or if it pertains to that in any way, it's fair game. I've got several ideas I'll be sharing with all of you in the days, weeks and months to come, but to give you an idea of the direction I have in mind, here's a few things I'd like to discuss as we go along:

Gear - what works and what doesn't, with a big emphasis on "bang for the bucks".

People skills - How to interact with clients, musicians, outside producers, other engineers, etc. How to "sell yourself", where to locate clients and how to approach them. What to charge. How to insure you get paid (it's always nice to get paid ;\) ). How to increase your exposure, "name recoginition" and demand. Advertising and promotion for yourself, your studio and your services.

Techniques - how do you mic up a orchestral harp? Or a Brazillian Berimbau? How do you get that oh so important kick / bass guitar balance to lock in while mixing? Production techniques. All that good stuff. I'd like to see a lot of practical discussion on these sorts of topics.

Artsy / fartsy stuff - musical considerations. How does it "feel"? Arrangements and the mix - how they're important to each other. Promoting the vibe - getting people comfortable and relaxed and performing at their best. Setting the mood and knowing when to push and when to come back to it later.

Designing a "system" - Making everything "work together". Purchase decisions, connecting everything and troubleshooting problems. Workflow and ergonomics. How to get the best results from what you have. Determining where the weak links are in your setup. Prioritizing gear upgrades.

There - just scratching the surface - like I said, there's a lot we can discuss. And obviously, YOU are a big part of it. So think about the things you want to talk about. Post away, and feel free to ask questions, share opinions and techniques, etc.

WHAT WE WILL NOT BE DISCUSSING:

Politics. Religion. Your favorite porn stars (unless they're now recording an album in your studio or you're working on a soundtrack for one of their movies). Sports. There's other places here on Musicplayer, as well as other sites on the Internet that are more appropriate for those sorts of discussions, so please refrain from posting those things here.

The Rules:

There are a few basic rules around here.

Most of you who know me would probably say I'm a fairly tolerant and reasonable person. They say that leaders lead by example, and I've always tried to be that type of person in my online adventures. With that in mind, the one thing I will NOT tolerate is personal attacks on anyone. I expect some lively discussions, and differences of opinion are not only welcomed, they're encouraged - we can all learn from each other, and the quickest way to stifle that is to discourage diversity. But again, there is NEVER a reason to resort to personal attacks. You can disagree with someone's viewpoint without resulting to personal attacks on the person. If I see them, I'll yank 'em, and send the poster a private message explaining why. But I do not want to have to babysit this any more than required, so please post responsibly. I do not want to have to stick my boot up your butt, but I will if I have to. Please don't make me have to resort to that. \:\)

Spam. Well, we've always been pretty harsh on spamming around here, and the same netiquette rules apply here as in all of the other forums. No spam. Please feel free to good naturedly "let 'em have it" if we get spammed. But what about YOUR studio and your projects? Well, I plan on starting a few threads where I'd like everyone to feel free to post that sort of thing. The "Is Your Music Any Good" thread over on Craig's site has worked out really well insofar as allowing everyone to share their music without having the board "taken over" by those sorts of posts. I plan on doing similar threads on a few topics on this forum, and hopefully we'll be able to eventually "sticky" them so they stay on page one. Stay tuned for more on this...

An example: "For sale" posts will be allowed, but we're going to have a single thread for that, so that people can offer stuff for sale, post about something they're looking for, offer for trade / swap, etc. Please limit those sorts of posts to that one thread.

That's pretty much it (at least for now... ) on "the rules". Oh yeah, one more - Share the wealth. I was fortunate when I was first starting out in this business to have some pretty knowledgeable people who freely shared of their expertise and wisdom, and one particularly wise man once told me, as I was thanking him for sharing his knowledge, to "pass it on" when my turn came. While I would not consider myself to be a big time world class expert on much of anything, I have managed to learn a few things over the past quarter century I've been messing around with audio recording, and remembering that sage advice, I try to pass that along whenever I can. I encourage all of you to please do likewise - that's what this place is for.

Oh yeah, one last rule: Have fun!
Posted by: Mr.WOW

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/01/04 11:25 PM

This is gonna be great.
Posted by: videoeditor1

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/01/04 11:52 PM

Hi Phil,

Sorry I didn't drop by earlier! Believe me, Musicplayer.com could not have picked someone from the existing user pool better equipped to do this job. I won't be so silly as to say I could help in any way... ...but if I can help - outside of the scope of posting etc, my door's always open.

So, of course, you have my best wishes and support. If I'm less visible on the forums, it's not due to waning interest. I'm working on a couple of (positive) family things that may consume more of my time...
Posted by: Ren.

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 12:48 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:
Your favorite porn stars (unless they're now recording an album in your studio or you're working on a soundtrack for one of their movies).
:D That one cracked me up... that could happen, you know.

Anyhoo... Congrats, Phil. Your posts have been really helpful to me in the past and I'm glad you got this new space. I'm definetely gonna hang out 'round here.
Posted by: Geoff Grace

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 01:16 AM

Phil, I couldn't have summed up the whole project studio concept any better myself! In addition, you've set a great tone for not only the type of information to be shared here, but for the courtesy and respect with which it should be shared. Thank you!

Each year sees an increase in the amount of production that takes place outside of the commercial studio environment. One only need look at the photos and descriptions of project studios and their owners contained in each issue of EQ magazine to see that these places are indeed professional. In fact, it sometimes seems that most new audio gear releases, such as high-end channel strips, are aimed squarely at project studios and their more limited, but still pro, budgets. (For example many project studios can afford to spend $7,000 on a pair of SSL XLogic SuperAnalogue Channels , but few can afford the whole SSL XL9000K Console from which those channels are derived.)

While many of us project studio owners have our roots in the major studio scene, project studio owners come from a wide variety of backgrounds. We can all benefit from sharing our experiences, and I'm sure that this forum will be a valuable resource for many of us.

Best,

Geoff
Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 04:22 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by Rensonic:
Quote:
Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:
Your favorite porn stars (unless they're now recording an album in your studio or you're working on a soundtrack for one of their movies).
:D That one cracked me up... that could happen, you know.


Yes, it can. I THINK Craig said he did the score for a prono once - under an assumed name. \:D And while I have never done that sort of work, it wouldn't surprise me to hear that some of you have. And that makes the topic "fair game" around here.

Anyhoo... Congrats, Phil. Your posts have been really helpful to me in the past and I'm glad you got this new space. I'm definetely gonna hang out 'round here.

Thanks Ren - I appreciate it, and I'm looking forward to reading your posts!

Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 04:28 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by NYC Drew:
Hi Phil,

Sorry I didn't drop by earlier! Believe me, Musicplayer.com could not have picked someone from the existing user pool better equipped to do this job.


\:o

I won't be so silly as to say I could help in any way... ...but if I can help - outside of the scope of posting etc, my door's always open.

Drew, as usual, your humility, while commendable, is misplaced. I KNOW better - for those who don't know Drew, there is NO ONE I'd rather have in my corner for running a tour. A very knowledgeable, and "first rate" person. But thank you for the offer to help - your presence here is going to be a huge help, and if I can think of anything else, I'll be sure to let you know.

So, of course, you have my best wishes and support. If I'm less visible on the forums, it's not due to waning interest. I'm working on a couple of (positive) family things that may consume more of my time...

Let us know about them when you have the time Drew. And thanks again for the best wishes and support!

Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 04:31 AM

Geoff, you brought up some very good points, and I'm sure we'll be discussing all of them in greater detail as time goes by. But I just wanted to say "thanks" for the kind words and for you taking the time to post - your presence here is a huge asset!
Posted by: Tedster

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 05:42 AM

So, who's better, Kerry or Bush?

(Sound of assorted junk flying toward Tedster and crashing into the wall...Tedster laughs and ducks just in time to avoid a mic stand) CRASHHH!!!

Excuse me, guys...(Sound of footsteps running down the hall).
Posted by: Curve Dominant

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 05:59 AM

Let the games begin...
Posted by: mike-x

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 06:03 AM

Hey Phil

I disappear from my connection for a few days and up pops a new forum \:\)

This is great. The focus of this forum is gonna be so useful to me. Look forward to doing my usual lurking with the occasional post. Maybe I'll get more opportunities to help people out.

They couldn't have chosen the Moderator more wisely.

All the best

See You In There
Posted by: Bubbajazz

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 12:42 PM

How about a round of applause for the MusicPlayer team - Dendy, Mitch and everyone - for both keeping the forums vital and fresh, and for choosing some terrific new moderators in both Phil and Ethan!

I'm looking forward to this, folks.

Best wishes. And yes, I will click on the ads.
Posted by: Ethan Winer

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 01:33 PM

Phil,

Excellent overview and rules. I was going to write something similar, but you said it so well I'll just refer folks to this thread!

--Ethan
Posted by: Grave BryceAdministrator

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 01:54 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:
I THINK Craig said he did the score for a porno once - under an assumed name. \:D And while I have never done that sort of work, it wouldn't surprise me to hear that some of you have.
I scored a porno film about ten years ago. Interesting work. ;\)

I actually did use my name, though - why not? Anybody who'd give me grief about it would have to admit that not only did they watch the film, they actually sat through the credits! \:D

dB
Posted by: philbo_Tangent

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 03:21 PM

Phil -

Congratulations on getting another forum going. I'll definitely be lurking & (sometimes) posting regularly.

Another Phil
Posted by: Guitar Geezer

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 04:01 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Bryce:
Quote:
Originally posted by Philip O'Keefe:
I THINK Craig said he did the score for a porno once - under an assumed name. \:D And while I have never done that sort of work, it wouldn't surprise me to hear that some of you have.
I scored a porno film about ten years ago. Interesting work. ;\)

I actually did use my name, though - why not? Anybody who'd give me grief about it would have to admit that not only did they watch the film, they actually sat through the credits! \:D

dB
Porno films have CREDITS???????


Seriously Phil, just wanted to drop by and check out the new digs....Congrats and best wishes...and dont forget us over at the Guit place

LynnG
Posted by: Geoff Grace

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/02/04 08:33 PM

Quote:
Originally posted by Dave Bryce:
I scored a porno film about ten years ago. Interesting work. ;\)

I actually did use my name, though - why not? Anybody who'd give me grief about it would have to admit that not only did they watch the film, they actually sat through the credits! \:D
Or worse - admit that they read our forum posts! ;\)

LOL Dave. \:D

Best,

Geoff
Posted by: Kendrix

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/03/04 01:07 AM

What no tee shirts or mugs? ;\)

FWIW Id like to see a sticky thread on workflow/work methods. The HOW of what folks do what they do. There are many hidden secrets to be uncovered in this thread.

For instance, what mics to use on an orgasmic porn star - do you use a bleumin pair or what?.

(Im actually serious about the workflow)
Posted by: fantasticsound

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/03/04 01:47 AM

Phil, I didn't realize you were up and running! \:o

That was some vision statement heading up this thread. Kind and courteous you certainly are, however, this ain't no Anderton-type moderator! You miscreants will be on a v-e-r-y s-h-o-r-t l-e-a-s-h.

(What? Me, Phil?? No... that was Tedster! He's an instigator. You better watch that one with an eagle-eye! ;\) )

On to the... ?!? Did you say, "homework"?!?!?
Posted by: not coaster MODERATOR

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/03/04 03:02 AM

they say tedster does the work of 3 men.....
Posted by: not coaster MODERATOR

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/03/04 03:03 AM

Posted by: not coaster MODERATOR

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/03/04 03:06 AM



larry moe and curlee!!!

(nyuk nyuk nyuk... \:D )
Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 12/29/04 08:02 AM

We've got some new members, so I just thought I'd bump this. \:\)
Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 12/30/04 07:05 PM

Bump!
Posted by: DJDM

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 02/10/05 12:36 PM

Congrats on the forum Phil! Oh. Wait. Am I a little late?
Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 02/10/05 04:57 PM

Just a wee bit DJDM... but that's okay. \:\) I appreciate the kind words.
Posted by: Steve Force

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 02/13/05 08:32 AM

Phil, I really like your forum and your moderation style.

I have been doing project studio stuff in my home studio for a few years now, so I have a good, albeit basic knowledge of how this stuff works.

Really happy to have a place where I can read well-reasoned opinions and solid advice presented in such a civilized way.

And when I can, I will certainly throw my "2 cents" in to the mix!
Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 02/13/05 03:27 PM

Glad to have you aboard Steve.
Posted by: Funnelhead

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 02/14/05 02:50 PM

Hello to all!

I just crashlanded into this forum and it looks like it will be a soft landing. Phil's "welcome" post was right on as far as I'm concerned. As you might guess from my user name, I'm here to learn. I hope to get some sound advice from the many members of this forum.

Thanks in advance!
Posted by: TBush

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 02/14/05 08:32 PM

It's been a GREAT forum- so much to learn and it's very helpful.
Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 02/14/05 09:42 PM

Welcome Funnelhead!

Thanks for the kind words. You too TBush. \:o
Posted by: Mr.WOW

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/03/05 09:18 PM

Hello Yoda, I am TONY.
Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/04/05 01:55 AM

Hi WOW. ;\)

Why the switch to Tony?
Posted by: jbr

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/12/05 10:24 AM

Hi Phil,

Been a member for a while and have gleaned on numerous occasions helpful information & tips...as I am doing now.

I frequent the DUC as well, but find it's more tuned to computer issues and not as much to pro audio.

Just wanted to say I like the way this forum is setup & the amount of input from other members is much more than adequate, but only wish I was more experienced so I could actually participate in answering others posts instead of just asking my own...in time I guess.

Jim
Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/12/05 03:24 PM

That's okay Jim - your day will come. \:\) Sooner or later, someone will ask a question that you know the answer to, and you'll be able to share. Until that time comes, don't feel bad about hanging out, asking questions and having a good time. That's what this forum is for! \:\)
Posted by: Myshell

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/21/05 07:22 PM

Hi Phil...

Lookin' good!!!

Myshell
Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 03/22/05 06:27 PM

Hi Myshell. \:\) Thanks! \:o
Posted by: Chris Cavell

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 04/08/05 08:12 PM

Howdy Phil! Looks like you've put together a great place here. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance again. (It's been a while...)

Cheers,
Chris
Posted by: Philip O'Keefe

Re: Welcome to the Project Studio forum - please read. - 04/10/05 12:27 PM

Hi Chris! How have you been doing? I have not been spending as much time on the DUC lately (busy busy!), but I do think of everyone from time to time, and drop in occasionally. It's great having you join us over here!