Building a Studio Business
How about for you jamie different sort of different you know really in a studio you've done over five hundred records yeah that's a great that's a lot of work done over five hundred words yeah, he is going to do some math this's ninety six talking is a man that's a lot of a lot of project but yeah the as far as doing ah as far as building my business you know a lot of a lot of its look honestly starting out when I started out things were different just like tom was saying this scene was different my local scene there was a lot a lot of engineers that even understood or knew uh you know, the younger metal and rock production who even liked you know, most of people at that time was tv equipment was expensive they wanted to you know, all the guys they were doing beach music and country and things like that so you know, that's basically out of frustration I started recording and like ninety six you know started learned trying to learn to record myself because we had banded paid these you k...
now, this final studio like ninety dollars an hour it's still wasn't equality we needed it was spent thirteen grand on a record it was nowhere near you know, the tones the guys wouldn't do what we wanted to do and I was like I guess I just have to learn this myself so I just started buying stuff and just trying to stuff myself in the first working idea was for my beds swift at the time and that's what kind of started because it was actually listenable record in a time where you know there wasn't a lot of heavy, you know, metal or, you know, modern metal modern rock records were even listenable was like a few guys that yeah, I mean, there wasn't you know, so I had that benefit that it wasn't a lot of competition and you know, I think that's what drove my business early on is like word of mouth I was doing it really cheap, you know, I think that would translate to today and like, if you're going to start off you got understand there's not a lot of money people don't have a lot of money doesn't now you can't you know, I don't recommend going out and spending tens of thousands of dollars on equipment and in trying a charge you know, you know, a big sum of money or whatever like, you know, fifty bucks and how or something trying to record that's just not gonna work you know, you gotta you gotta be ableto provide a better quality product more now than ever is a lot of competition now what's driven my businesses, you know? I got lucky honestly in some aspects whatever like with my band, we were kind of popular at the time, which got the material well, bands like, you know, I guess you guys were maybe in prayer bt bam and heard that his record miami, went through the whole major label thing. Yeah, I don't think a lot of people knew that way. Negotiate with all the labels and stuff with the band swift. It was like a, I guess, a new metal type of thing whenever deftones give a style stuff back in today. But, uh, but like I said, we were active in our scene, and, you know, we were lucky in that we had a, you know, a lot of local popularity, and the other a lot of the local bands got to hear the product, whatever it. Then I got lucky again, recorded bands like between the barrier to me about local band called beloved that went on to get signed. He is, legend went on to get signed to sell a lot of records, and these bands had some success or whatever. I don't feel like I have honest, they had a lot to do with their success, but the fact that they were successful and they got the the product with my name, associated to the product out there that other people well, you know they're like hey, we like the way this sounds or hey, this guy was a part of this band maybe if we work with him will become successful and it's kind of silly or whatever because you know there's not a real tangible in that in my perspective because you know, I didn't do the traditional production like where I help people right hooks or you know I didn't help bt bam right anything you know in terms of like, you know, commercial producer but but you know, you know my name was still I tried to give him a decent sonic translation of what they did and you know, if the people like that sound and they you know they just assumed that I could help them which either success and that's honestly what drives the what you know is you know is price and then it's the name drop potential is what drives a producer engineer in reality it's not an education she's not a degree from a school you know, it's inequality also you know, you know, the third component yeah, I mean like said, I mean it's just like you, you gotta provide a quality product we start working I mean, obviously we need back in the day, but I can't I'm trying to think of someone called me and wanted to do the three song demo for okay for between the berry to mr brown will I don't know which one for some reason I remember well or paul or somebody but so what we just schedule we did the demo you guys got signed off the demo and then you call me back like, hey, we want to do the record now it's created when did the first record was like I had another life you know, it's such a bad thing we've got a question from nick and he tips on finding other musicians interested in doing, you know, oh, for music professionally, I mean, there's so many tools now, I mean, back when we started was just like a friend before yeah, you're hedging, you're small core of friends and luckily there were some do's in there that could play, you know? So now it's, you know, you have the internet, they don't really use chat rooms anymore, but you know that you have faced facebook all that I think I mean, I really don't know now I mean, I assume just getting in touch with people that have similar interests in the kind of music a like or a or b you want to create, but I know that's tough in some cities, I know a lot of people live in towns where they don't know they don't have a friend that I can shred on guitar and write music with him. It's, tough from the clients. You know, I do a lot of younger bands, a lot of start ups and it's, usually just a group of friends that kind of like, hey, let's, get together, play. But I've also noticed, I mean, I think, and this is probably a terrible, you know, moral thing to recommend. But, you know, in a lot of these startup bands, there's, usually like one or two people, maybe three people in the band who are actually really talented, and the other guys are just friends, you know, and you know, they're all these bands. If you're if you're really good, you're going to be in some sort of project, almost all the time, doing something so so, like, if you're an individual, you're looking to get into a good quality ban, maybe go to some local. All shows and try to like, you know, kind of muscle your way in or whatever on the project or like I said, if you if you're in a band and you need like, hey, we don't we just lost our drummer we need a drummer instead of trying to you know, go to a show and try to say, hey, you want to jam in another band you know and you know we'll eventually maybe they will join you know, I know like, you know, with blake he was in glass casket, dusty was in glass casket, you guys ask him to do a tour next thing you know, they're in the band you actually can cherry pick whatever from you can go to the show as you can see it there good luck said the people who are serious and they are good performers there going to be active and they have I mean, youtube now I mean that's how people find you could find anything now you'd have learned if if you're it's a really good player is not in the band there's usually a reason for that it is usually because they're either not serious and dedicated to actually doing things you need to do or they're just difficult to get along with I mean that's a huge that's a huge thing I mean, being in a band you're you're really living you have four or five other roommates that's a number one consideration and beyond even the place like you have to find there's so many factors to a solid ban you have you all have to get along, you have to write well together, you have to be on tour and live well together and not fight, and then you're part of a business that you have to make business choices together that don't, you know, conflict with each other. So there's there's a lot of factors, and I think I mean from from the early days of rock n roll is, you know, that's always been that's how is it? Well, in that most bands or just friends, they, you know, are in a band together and kind of grow from there, so I don't I don't think there's a way to do that. A lot of that just hats happens there's just kind like how do you find a girlfriend boyfriend when you're not looking way should start like instead of a dating match dot com musicmatch because it's like I call it the way actually creative lives matt music playing so nobody else whenever a little it's funny any any other thoughts on that before we uh oh, man, I mean, things have been great yeah, I mean, I think how we doing on time? Way yeah, the only thing I didn't touch on the pseudo mastering stuff which is kind of jumping back to the to this stuff or whatever but you know there's a whole master class on mastering with the creative live that go in depth on that stuff so I don't even know if we need to go into it I'll just say quickly master bus make you multi band compression auto some limiter from sort of compressor um you know, that's literally all I'm doing in terms of mastering it was pseudo master and usually when I do really master used I've got an outboard mastering lot of avalon you know, two compressor que that makes things sound big and in your face on a personal note what I've mastering has always been kind of I don't know I don't quite understand it I think I think a lot of musicians would like that you like what the heck is that? You know what? What are the differences between say this guy who masters in this guy who masters there shouldn't be any difference may I run into modern lee said, you know historically mastering used to be I mean used to you know you had a studio, they had all the equipment stuff they needed to do the mix but then you know, you know, historically you needed tohave on actual master product made you know like that you know you take the two track or whatever and you had to actually put it on you know the vinyl or the cassette or the compact disc or whatever these to create glass masters and states that is actually a physical production thing that went along with it but it's actually you know all mastering is opposed to mixing mixing is working with the overall multitrack files mastering is it you generally speaking deals with the final mixed stereo files just basically the final polish the final yeah the left and right final you know basically the standardization of levels is the way I look at it not the maximization of levels but the standardization of levels the standardization of the queue so you have consistent playback from systems system so you have you know you know industry comparable volume you know mentioned earlier you know there's issues with loudness wars or whatever where you know there's people who want you know they just keep pushing the volumes up you know there's an industry standard of negative ten are in this for most rock and metal nowadays which is pretty there's not a lot of dynamics and then it's pretty loud but there's you know you know there's other producers and mastering guys who can get a pretty decently clean mix even into the negative eight r miss territory which is really loud and in my opinion fatiguing on the years you know I like to be negative ten or lower you know, like I like the nineties it was like negative fifties do you know as far as like this say elektronik music like german base is it is that like a similar volume or they only pushing me because because it is like a more dance where for music it's quite loud I mean there's a lot of stuff I mean, most modern stuff I mean it's ah, you know, the labels like that just the general public I mean, the notion is louder is better if you did a b comparison, they're always going to be like that one sounds better, but in reality it doesn't because all they got to do is take the same mixed at a lower level and turn it up and it sounds like that's the crazy thing I mean even like that part earlier like we didn't notice that snare that frequency with second pointed out it's like it's it's there but I mean like even like let's say I have my ipod on shuffle and something super modern comes on and then allison chain's facelift comes on it's like so quiet but you crank that thing it's perfect it's the most love that I love that you have dynamics you put your butt your brain plays that trick that's low claudia just because they were back to back one was quieter that's problem that noise it's it's confusing that's what started the war? You know I'm saying it's just you know it's there's a perception is a b comparison like when you compare this record to this record everybody wants their record to be more brutal or more in this particular rocket middle going to be loud or more brutal and it's by media abie comparison it is that this louder he seems more punchy sizemore you know but in reality like said I mean if you listen to you know for me especially being older if I listen to maurine ten fifteen minutes of this negative eight r miss records toe it's just like it just grinds on the high end frequency of my ears and this is like I'm even listen to it anymore you know and you know it's sze definitely not a pleasant thing but having said that as a master engineer I have to adhere to the standards and I get requests for those loud records all the time so I do what about when a band requests the opposite? I do it like said I'm you know whatever the artist wants whatever usually I try to recommend you know I'm a big fan I'm trying to push I always start with overall the majority of records is negative tim are a mess or whatever and there's like you curve that's pretty consistent standard that translates well from system system be your car systems your boom box your you know the earbuds things like that like you want a good good sound on all that not just a hi fi system you wanted to sound good on lo fi system it sounded good on where people average person's not listeningto yeah absolutely I mean like when I get in your studio like the morning you're not around just listen to my music I'm just like these sounds so good yeah I mean I had people don't have yeah I mean it needs to sound good on those systems the same time it needs to sound good on the lo fi steve kerr serious and that's the job of the master and you use master you know multiple and compression to kind of tighten up the low mids making it smaller you know minute adjustments that it would actually make sure that it hey this sound this sounds awesome this foreign system is going to sound comparable in the boombox there boom boxes all the consumer boom boxes have and the beats head phones they have this crazy amount of low in booze to high end boost you've got to compensate for that and honestly sometimes it makes we're gonna have to like tone it down a little bit for these high five systems so the transfer because you have loads of base and loads of trouble in the high fi systems and it sounds great because it's hi fi system him and then you play that same recording on some beets or some a boom cheap sony boom box with max base or whatever it is it's going to sound purely muddy so sometimes like man I like to have this low in his crazy sam for high side but most people going to listen on beats on the air but on the sony thing and the car let me turn the lows and highs down and sacrifice this this hi fi sound so that it's actually sounds good where most people going to listen and I think you know for the mastering engineer that's usually what you're thinking about a lot of people conduce um pseudo mastering to be sufficient or whatever but like I said it's it's always a good idea to get another professional too kind of you know check it out get there you know opinion or whatever and their expertise you know it takes I think you know with me it's like the whole type anything like that I could hear free was that some people consume anything I didn't noticing that stuff you said at first yeah I mean there's something we could soon be a record too master whatever and it's like you know it's very close but it's like managers got too much sizzle and you know I just know instinctively from experience you know that you know it's going to have too much sizzle that's going to sound harsh and in some system so you know and it's something that they could have just gotten you know, it is same thing with me you know, when I'm master I tend to I want to take a couple of weeks off while we're tweaking the record out and stuff take a break from it so I can come back with more objectivity and listen to and you know, and I didn't think of it from a mastering perspective not a mixing perspective, you know it's just basically it's just listen to the overall q overall ah, you know level and in the technical aspect of actually creating, you know, trimming up the files in the track flow you guys record all in one session but a lot of bands track and separate you know, separate songs and then decide tow follow things later so they would deal with that, you know, and then burning the master cdr including the cd takes with the src codes that kind of thing you know, it's some technical, some small technical things but a lot of that's just not nowadays you don't even need it a production master, you just upload files and then they can upload to they're just, you know, through the online distributor or a cd manufacturer two thousand any closing thoughts has been insane tio has been a whirlwind yeah, I mean I'm hoping you've been talking yeah literally shared five hundred records worth of experience and doing stuff wrong and figured out how to write doing some for all these key everybody yeah that's on your level and musicians little you have you have to mess up then that's that's what's awesome about creative alive like you could take you know, I've learned from trial and error you know that this service didn't exist when I was coming up you know, when I was learning and then and development this craft or whatever and you take it in just in a matter of a couple of hours or a couple daysworth of ours or whatever you're going to take all this and learn you can start like where I'm leaving off now and start building you know you can know what gear that's apple especially if you wanted to do records that sound like what I do or be tvm does you know tommy, you know you can actually start there and build off that instead of start where I started, which is the ground ground you know where I was using absolutely wrong gear and wrongs you know, settings for you you know, like e q settings and develop bad habits for e kun compression and all this other stuff you know and uh um is that I really feel like these, you know. Hopefully, we got conveyed some information and will help people get, you know, get in the right. You know? Yeah, I think he definitely did.