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About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby Christophe H on Wed Jan 02, 2019 5:18 am

Hi
I 'm interested to know how you defined where the control room should be in studio B. Why upstairs? How height is the ceiling of he control room? What was the main question before making works for studio B in the building?
Thanks
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby spacebar on Sun Jan 06, 2019 11:07 am

Hi,

The ceiling is 30' tall.

The control room in studio B is basically stacked on top of the dead room. I think they decided to put it there simply because that's the only place it would fit without eating up cubic footage in the live room.

As far as the main question in design, while I think it had to do with how to get the most bang-for-buck, we'll have to see if anyone from the construction phase will chime in...
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby Christophe H on Mon Jan 07, 2019 9:27 am

The ceiling of the live room is 30' tall. Not the control room... And I'm interested to know how tall is the ceiling of the control room, mostly in the case where they had to deal with the most bang for buck before works.
I guess the priority was the view between the live and the dead rooms, the cubic footage, so they made the control room upstairs. But a control room upstairs, doesnt it make loose precious time during the recording sessions ?

If I ask those questions it's because I have the idea of getting a building that looks like studio B. And I want to find the perfect location for the control room function of all the aspects of a recording studio: the views between the rooms, the time management while recording, the view from the control room on the other rooms, the eight of the ceiling of the control room/
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby tmoneygetpaid on Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:27 am

We often point out that Studio A is ergonomically superior to Studio B largely because of some of the things you are pointing to- the lack of great sight lines between the audio people and the musicians, the stairs, the extra time it takes to setup and go back and forth to hear playback.

I don't speak for Steve and the folks who designed and built the studio, but I would actually encourage you to try to avoid some of those pitfalls, while retaining some of the great things about Studio B- the high ceilings and reflective walls in the dead room; the great sight lines between the live and dead rooms, the natural lighting. But most people who build studios don't have the luxury of getting to build in everything they want, so it's a matter of compromising sound, ergonomics, cost, etc. etc.
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby steve on Sun Jan 13, 2019 5:18 pm

The control room on the second floor was a way to maximize usable studio space in the building. If the control room of studio B were on the ground floor, it would eat into the performing space of both studio A and studio B, and the additional space made available on the second floor would have no appreciable value, in that we already had adequate space for the tech shop, lounge, client rooms, kitchen, laundry and offices. I have worked in other studios with a similar staircase situation, like Abbey Road studio 2 and Zero Return in Atlanta, and I have never felt like the stairs were an obstacle. My regret is that the stairs make studio B handicapped-unfriendly, and when we've had clients in wheelchairs it's involved otherwise unnecessary hassle.

If we were building a single studio rather than two, I'd have tried to keep everything on one level, but Electrical audio wouldn't have been viable as a single studio.
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby mineville on Tue Jan 22, 2019 9:26 am

steve wrote:If we were building a single studio rather than two, I'd have tried to keep everything on one level, but Electrical audio wouldn't have been viable as a single studio.


I'm a sucker for a good studio business case study. Would you care to elaborate on the factors that led you to build 2 studios, and how it's played out in practice over the years?

Best,

- J.
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby steve on Sat Feb 02, 2019 3:35 pm

The monthly overhead for a studio business is considerable. If you have two rooms, you can potentially make more in a given month, and having two rates means that some clients who would be priced out of an expensive room can still use the less-expensive room. Thatalso builds a relationship that might mean, when the band has more money to burn, they would opt to book the more expensive room.

Our monthly overhead is north of $30,000, and it's inconceivable we could count on enough business from a single room to cover that. Granted we might be able to get by on a slightly smaller scale with less staff, less equipment etc. but the equipment is a sunk cost that doubles as an asset, and having enough staff to accommodate big sessions means we won't ever have to hire temporary help.

It's extremely difficult to cover the operating costs of a single studio. With two studios, the operating costs go up, but do not double, so it's a little bit easier than one if the work is there to sustain it. Conceivably, we could scale up and add a third studio with even less marginal cost than the second studio, but there probably isn't enough business in the area to make that worth doing, so that studio would need to specialize into another area -- transfers, mixing, editing, film sound etc -- and I don't think there's enough of any of those sidelines to support a whole additional room.
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby Christophe H on Sun Feb 03, 2019 3:19 pm

The pragmatic point of vue about this particular configuration at elecricalaudio, with 2 studios, whose one is cheaper than the other is very understandable. But, I was wondering: do some bands, and not necessarily the poorest, ask for recording in studio B? A so high ceiling, such a live room, may seduce some bands who has the budget to record in studio A, but finally choose the 16 tracks studio because of this crazy live room. In videos on internet, we mostly see parts of sessions, interviews etc in studio B. Finally, what studio is more asked for recordings in a year at electricalaudio? Is the choice essentially a question of money?
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby mineville on Fri Feb 08, 2019 3:40 pm

Thanks Steve, I appreciate your candour.

steve wrote:The monthly overhead for a studio business is considerable...
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby greg on Fri Feb 08, 2019 6:15 pm

Christophe H wrote:The pragmatic point of vue about this particular configuration at elecricalaudio, with 2 studios, whose one is cheaper than the other is very understandable. But, I was wondering: do some bands, and not necessarily the poorest, ask for recording in studio B? A so high ceiling, such a live room, may seduce some bands who has the budget to record in studio A, but finally choose the 16 tracks studio because of this crazy live room. In videos on internet, we mostly see parts of sessions, interviews etc in studio B. Finally, what studio is more asked for recordings in a year at electricalaudio? Is the choice essentially a question of money?

Plenty of people book B for its character as opposed to the price. I don't know what the percentage is over all, but for the bands I've recorded in studio B, I'd say about half of them specifically want studio B, the rest, it fits their budget a little better, or don't necessarily care.
I should note that both studio's are virtually identical as far as what you record with (microphones, tape machines, and computers). I only say that because of your comment that studio B was the "16 track studio".
As far as which studio gets booked more, it's kind of a crap-shoot. Historically, the bookings are pretty much evenly distributed between the two, with maybe more freelance sessions in studio B.
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby tmidgett on Tue May 21, 2019 2:04 pm

greg wrote:
Christophe H wrote:The pragmatic point of vue about this particular configuration at elecricalaudio, with 2 studios, whose one is cheaper than the other is very understandable. But, I was wondering: do some bands, and not necessarily the poorest, ask for recording in studio B? A so high ceiling, such a live room, may seduce some bands who has the budget to record in studio A, but finally choose the 16 tracks studio because of this crazy live room. In videos on internet, we mostly see parts of sessions, interviews etc in studio B. Finally, what studio is more asked for recordings in a year at electricalaudio? Is the choice essentially a question of money?

Plenty of people book B for its character as opposed to the price. I don't know what the percentage is over all, but for the bands I've recorded in studio B, I'd say about half of them specifically want studio B, the rest, it fits their budget a little better, or don't necessarily care.
I should note that both studio's are virtually identical as far as what you record with (microphones, tape machines, and computers). I only say that because of your comment that studio B was the "16 track studio".
As far as which studio gets booked more, it's kind of a crap-shoot. Historically, the bookings are pretty much evenly distributed between the two, with maybe more freelance sessions in studio B.


FWIW, having done a bunch of stuff in both studios:

I slightly prefer Studio A. It behaves predictably and evenly, and it's definitely more flexible in terms of viable recording setups. Easier to mix in there, especially if you have a peanut gallery.

But there's something about B. Great and distinctive-if-set room sound. Even just mixing in there, something about the mixes out of that room sounds slightly deeper and thicker, in a good way.

I'd say A is better for clarity, evenness of sound, and convenience, but B has a unique character that can be used to excellent effect--one that is honestly not achievable in too many other studios I've been in.
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby 154 on Tue May 21, 2019 3:12 pm

scattered thoughts:

-I've never recorded at EA with anything more than a trio, and booking massive studio A felt 'indulgent' for our needs (especially on solo records), so I/we opted for B most of the time.

-studio B console seems to have a bit more bass 'character' to it. Not like a Neve or anything, but a sound. The one attempt at mixing in studio A I thought had an extremely clean, to the point of being brittle high end to it. I'm not sure I dig it for rock music, or, I would go back and request more outboard pres (Neves or clones, APIs, Greg's pre) if I could redo that session.

(I heard second hand that Bill Skibbe said both EA consoles were 'too clean', but dude is mixing on fuckin' Sly Stone's old board..)

-if recording analog and you have the choice between the 16 or 24 track block, absolutely go with the 16. Unless you think you're really gonna be desperate for tracks. (most projects probably wouldn't be)

-Studio B is cool! Sure it's $200/day cheaper but you will feel like a fuggin' king recording there.
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby tmidgett on Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:35 am

Just saw this.

154 wrote:studio B console seems to have a bit more bass 'character' to it. Not like a Neve or anything, but a sound.


Yes. I agree.

The one attempt at mixing in studio A I thought had an extremely clean, to the point of being brittle high end to it. I'm not sure I dig it for rock music, or, I would go back and request more outboard pres (Neves or clones, APIs, Greg's pre) if I could redo that session.


I know exactly what you mean. It's clean as hell and can border on clinical for some recordings.

I like it for rock, but I'm very used to it. We know not to push the highs in there, for instance, and which outboard limiters/compressors/pres etc. are useful to add a little girth or muck where needed.

For recordings with a lot of detail, I think A is better. SUNN O))) and Neurosis records are great examples. The SUNN O))) stuff could only have been done in A to turn out the way it did.

For recordings of small groups (trio or less) or things that are very sparse in other ways, B has a lot to offer and can be better in some ways. Particularly, say, a trio with bright electric guitar--I'd prefer to do that in B, with a random engineer.

With Steve or Greg, I think either studio is fine for anything, since they know the rooms and gear so well.

(I heard second hand that Bill Skibbe said both EA consoles were 'too clean', but dude is mixing on fuckin' Sly Stone's old board..)


Ha!

Electrical is extremely accurate among recording studios, as a baseline. Particularly A.

The degrees of freedom are many, however, in terms of being able to achieve a variety of dirty, messed-up, sloppy, crazy-sounding recordings.

You just have either to set up the actual recording environment (insts, amps, mics) to get there or add that stuff in consciously after the fact--nothing about the gear imposes anything on you, in particular.

-if recording analog and you have the choice between the 16 or 24 track block, absolutely go with the 16. Unless you think you're really gonna be desperate for tracks. (most projects probably wouldn't be)


For sure. 16tk sounds better than 24tk.
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Re: About Studio B at electrical audio

Postby 154 on Sat Dec 21, 2019 11:17 am

tmidgett wrote:For recordings with a lot of detail, I think A is better. SUNN O))) and Neurosis records are great examples.


I actually think Times of Grace is the best Neurosis album on all fronts. Maybe it's not as clear or sophisticated as the later records but they never sounded more massive. High on Fire's Blessed Black Wings has a similar quality at its best moments.

I don't know if Sunn o))) ever recorded in the B room but I bet that would sound awesome.
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