Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The eyes of Texas are upon you, you cannot get away

Picture of the newly finished control room of my friend Michael's new recording studio:

Contrast it with this image from just a few weeks ago:

If anyone wants to see the whole construction process, here is a link to a photo album of the building process: http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=8ActWrhk2cNnFw

I had a great time with this studio. It has every convenience we could think of, to make the task of creating music easier, more fluid. Every type of signal can be routed anywhere. Any kind of tie line is available, at any time. When the lead singer says at 3:00 AM that he wants to take the lead vocal back out through a guitar amp to distort it, rerecord it while videotaping the whole process, my friend can now say "Gimme a second to patch it up" and literally that's how long it will take.

One thing I always stress to my clients when doing the technical design of modern studio is that creative decisions should never be constrained by technical limitations. One should never be forced to abandon an idea because the technical infrastructure won't allow it.

A process that has become commonplace is for the guitarist to sit in the control room during overdubs, for several reasons: better communication without headphones, abiliity to hear the actual sound that the engineer & producer are listening to, and collegiality. To this end, I installed 1/4" intrument and speaker tie lines between the control room and all other spaces: iso room 1, iso room 2, the lounge, and the apartment upstairs, all with extremely high quality low capacitance instrument cable, and heavy guage speaker cable.

We also installed video, Cat5, MIDI, and normal audio tie lines between everywhere. And all the audio wiring is Digital (AES/EBU) cable, so any tie line can be either analog or digital, no worries ever.

The room is 5.1 ready in all areas, merely add surround speakers. In other words, this is a world class small studio.

One way I analyze studios I build, when feeling a little "glass half empty" is how few screw-ups took place. The good news here is that there were none. That's not saying everything was perfect. But when it is all said and done, there will be no technical limitations to this room.

Everything is possible, including greatness. One simply needs to reach for it.