HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

general questions, comments and ideas about recording, audio, music, etc.
User avatar
fremitus
pushin' record
Posts: 290
Joined: Sun May 30, 2004 12:22 pm
Location: vermont!
Contact:

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by fremitus » Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:42 pm

i know i'm fairly new to the board and all, but i'm throwing some dung around. i agree that there is too much 'fuck you indie' sentiment floating around here, but i would hope that the 'big' engineers would be able to see beyond that to what this forum really is... A FORUM. and thus an exchange of ideas, opinions, help, dick and fart jokes, whatever... and while separating the wheat is not always easy in such a place, it is by far one of the better places to rant about this industry that we are all in. the hit factory closing is sad, primarily because of the working staff engineers, but there has never been stability in this field, it's reasonable to expect and i wish them all well. few careers have seen the plateau of income that recording has. it is not a job to do for the love of money, that's for sure. furthermore, i have to say that professional studios will always have a place as will the home recording set. that's the beauty of this all. the song is still more important than the acetate. i love this job and it barely pays my bills at all, that's what the internet is for. enough ranting. here's to the hit factory and the great many sounds that passed through...

dix

User avatar
Rodgre
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1685
Joined: Fri May 30, 2003 3:19 am
Location: Central MA
Contact:

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by Rodgre » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:08 pm

Image

Having spent a few months on a session in this room (studio 3), I'm very sad to see it go. Sad because I met some really great people who worked there (not assholes, by the way.) Maybe not the vibiest place on earth, and maybe it's very intimidating walking by walls of gold records every morning on your way to make your record...but it's still a great studio with a lot of history.

Ed Germano, the founder, had been ill for a while and passed away about two years ago, so it's possible that the Germano family just wanted to get out of the business, who knows.

I was sad and surprised to see Greene Street close back in 2001. For a lot of the obvious reasons (cheaper recording gear that you can use at home, record companies not having the budgets they once did, fewer mega-mega artists....) the "big" rooms of the golden age of recording studios are all struggling. It's a shame.

And to touch on the indie "haves vs. the have-nots" ideal, I think it's kind of sad. I'm a total "indie" guy, and to be honest, I would rather work in a modest but vibey project studio than the Hit Factory, but not for some punk rock elitist reasons. There's a world of difference between working in a room like that (which costs about as much a day as most of our cars) and working at home with a Distressor and Protools. Yes, at the end of the day, the record might actually be the same, or as good, but when you're working in a room like that, you're also paying for the reputation, the staff that is at your beck and call when the house sync goes awry, or when you need clean silverware because the whole A&R department is coming up for dinner. You're paying for security and discretion (if you're a famous artist who wants some privacy) You're paying for a 78 input SSL board that is maintained.

And yes, you are paying for the fancy leather couches.

Anyway, I am sorry to see if close. There are some nice rooms there. I hope someone buys them out.

I would really hate to see Avatar (Power Station) close.

Roger

Professor
ghost haunting audio students
Posts: 3307
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 2:11 pm
Location: I have arrived... but where the hell am I?

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by Professor » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:20 pm

Zeppelin4Life wrote:well..people have been able to buy affordable cameras since the late 19/early 20th century right? and there are still professional photographers today..I guess my point is people will still pay you to do it right, even if they have the tools themselves.
A valiant effort, but not a good comparison. Everybody who lives life, and isn't blind appreciates photographs, but only a small portion of our society are musicians. And only the smallest professional photography studios make their living off of school photos and weddings, the 'big commercial photographers' are working for magazines and catalog companies.
When was the last time you saw a supermodel setting the timer on her camera and diving back into the sand to land the sexy pose in time?
Now how often does a guitarist setup a microphone in his bedroom and try to record an album?
And how often do those musicians complain that they have no money, recording is too expensive, and they can do it better themselves?
For that matter, while many people recognize that they take poor quality photos and hire professionals for big events like weddings and such, how often do bands have a miserable time making a crappy homemade record but still refuse to hire a professional for their next one?
Our industry is significantly different from photography, because nobody is complaining about seeing too many beautiful young models and lamenting the fact that the 'truly talented' ugly people at the local supermarket check out line aren't in Sports Illustrated.

-J
Last edited by Professor on Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
nacho459
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 748
Joined: Wed Jun 30, 2004 10:53 pm
Location: Pasadena USA
Contact:

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by nacho459 » Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:21 pm

Since I'm a LA guy I'm more familiar with the LA studios, but wasn't the Hit Factory built in the 90's? I know it's a killer studio and is a shame when good rooms get turned into a Baby Gap or a Starbucks, but then again I would rather see a contemporary studio close it's doors then a classic room with a ton of history.

mertmo
buyin' gear
Posts: 595
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2004 7:15 pm
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by mertmo » Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:12 pm

It's definitely a shame that the Hit Factory is closing. Not five minutes ago I got an email from a friend who did mastering there. He did the last three records I made and wow, did he do a hell of a job!
I'm sure he will find work elsewhere, but still. I feel for him, and all the other staffers as well.
That's the way it goes in the world today, though. Bummer.
I personally liked getting to tell people that my record was mastered at the Hit Factory! (vanity... it's a bitch)

Anyone who is glad that a place like this is closing is just wacked. The world is a huge place, with room enough for me with my portable rig, the guys in their bedrooms and practice spaces and also giant posh places like the Hit Factory. The sheer diversity of options presented to those who want to make records is exciting and should be celebrated.

User avatar
Rodgre
carpal tunnel
Posts: 1685
Joined: Fri May 30, 2003 3:19 am
Location: Central MA
Contact:

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by Rodgre » Thu Feb 03, 2005 3:37 pm

nacho459 wrote:Since I'm a LA guy I'm more familiar with the LA studios, but wasn't the Hit Factory built in the 90's? I know it's a killer studio and is a shame when good rooms get turned into a Baby Gap or a Starbucks, but then again I would rather see a contemporary studio close it's doors then a classic room with a ton of history.
Yeah, I think the Hit Factory as it stands now, was built in 1993 or thereabouts.

Roger

hogfish
steve albini likes it
Posts: 301
Joined: Mon Dec 15, 2003 9:26 am

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by hogfish » Thu Feb 03, 2005 4:51 pm

here is the link to todays announcement http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtm ... ID=7533417[/code]

User avatar
jmiller
steve albini likes it
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:53 am
Location: North Hollywood, on Radford near the In-N-Out

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by jmiller » Thu Feb 03, 2005 6:23 pm

I have to agree it's hard not to take personally certain people's glee at good professional studios shutting down. Blaming a recording studio for shitty music? I don't fucking get it. I understand it seems bloated and expensive, and out of reach to some folks but that is simply the cost of running that kind of business. These studios operate on very narrow profit margins. They're not raking in huge profits by "ripping off" working musicians and artists.

I work in a professional studio facility and you would not believe the amount of work it takes to keep this place running. The list of expenses and such is endless. No one is sitting atop piles of money and laughing about the indie artsists they ripped off. If the owners of studios like these weren't independently wealthy these places wouldn't be here.

People sit on here and piss and shit all over Behringer and how gear like that is so cheap and shitty, and drool all over API and Neve and shit, then when the only places that can afford to house this kind of gear shut down we dance around and cheer about how our cheap ass piece of shit home studios have somehow democratized music. I must have mistakenly thought that the record labels were responsible for the shitty music being released, and the stupid amounts of money they throw around on talentless hacks and giving them huge advances to sit in a recording studio and not make music, but instead sit around and smoke weed and act like rich rock stars on loaned money.

These things are putting a lot of people out of work. Do we think it's great when Ford shuts down a factory and puts people out of work? I can't imagine that anyone on this board wouldn't quit their dayjob in a second if they had a chance to make a living in music and/or recording, yet there are fewer and fewer of these careers to go around. It's cool to be poor and indie and record in your basement for peanuts until you have a family to support. I'm not trying to be a dick but i've been chasing this dream for a long time now, and because of the current job market in this industry, if things don't start looking up soon I may have no other choice than to give up my dream as a professional AE. So if i seem sensitive, I'm sorry, but i take great offense.

spankenstein
re-cappin' neve
Posts: 639
Joined: Sat Apr 17, 2004 8:58 pm

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by spankenstein » Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:16 pm

Who has thought this is a positive thing? No way is it positive but it's indicative of a shift that does also contain positives.

kellyd
pluggin' in mics
Posts: 30
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2003 9:48 pm

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by kellyd » Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:22 pm

The art of recording has been going down the tubes for quite some time now. The tradition of coming up thru the system and learning from the resident masters are soon coming to an end. For everyone else I guess that's good since the bar has been lowered and now home recording artists stand a chance. There was a time when you could tell when a record was made in a home studio and one does was made in a real studio. Don't get me wrong. The lower price in gear and the advances in recording technology are all great things. We all benefit from it but you can't make the same quality record in a make shift room that you can in a well designed room with proper monitoring and really great gear. The upside is artists can get records made that they can afford. The downside is most records won't sound as good as they used to. Guess it doesn't matter anymore since shit gets ruined by even the great mastering engs thanks to everyone wanting stuff smastered beyond the point of it sounding good even if it was recorded or mixed well to begin with. I've stopped buying current releases. You win , you lose.

Fieryjack
steve albini likes it
Posts: 385
Joined: Wed Jun 16, 2004 9:25 am
Location: New York, USA

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by Fieryjack » Thu Feb 03, 2005 7:25 pm

I would have to think that record company economics have something to do with this as well....places like Cello and HF obviously feed directly off of them and we all know that they've been sucking wind for some time.

The recording studio business has the most bizzare economics in the world....SSL/Neve boards going for hundreds of thousands, yet BIG studios renting at $45+/hour???. Someone has huge debt and is in a lousy investment. Maybe it's not so cool to own a studio after all....

BTW, ALAN PARSONS recorded his most recent, just released LP in HIS bedroom. Maybe the playing field really is becoming level after all.....

hulahalau
gettin' sounds
Posts: 121
Joined: Wed May 07, 2003 7:41 pm

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by hulahalau » Thu Feb 03, 2005 8:55 pm

Studios - even famous ones - hcome and go, and have come and gone over the last 40 years. The closing of The Hit Factory is no different. Moreover, it is a family business, so when the guy who ran it died, well, the history of family-owned businesses in general would be sufficient to tell you that the likelihood of the studio continuing was less than 50/50.

The best of the old studios were a combination of engineering talent, production talent, and large rooms with good room sound (w/exception of Motown, I guess). No living room or small studio is going to give you that sound, no matter what convolution verb you apply.

But, that is not to say that the only place to make good sounding recordings is in a large studio. The small studio, the home studio, this is largely what the Tape Op vibe is about. It's just different. We all should be trying to make the "best" recordings in whatever space and with whatever equipment we have at our disposal.

Sometimes, we seem to be confusing the recording equipment with the talent (or lack thereof) behind the mike, as the driver of good music. You know what, when I listen to old Chess Records of Bo Diddley or Chuck Berry, I cringe because I really don't like that "lo-fi" approach. But I never mistake the lack of fidelity as a lack of talent. If there is any problem with modern music, it's not because of the technical qualities of the rcording - although for the most part I do not like modern sounds put out by large/famous, small and home studios. My main gripe with today's music is the poor musicmanship and the genrally low-state of composition and arranging.

So can we instead try to act like a functional community, by sharining information, and yes, sharing valid, non-personal criticisms that are intended to educate or at least present a personal point of view without so much ad hominen ventings?

User avatar
Slider
george martin
Posts: 1486
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2003 2:00 pm

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by Slider » Thu Feb 03, 2005 9:24 pm

Things have changed.
My first band got $250.000 to record our first record.
We still went over budget!!!

The industry has changed, budgets are small.
Basics are now often tracked at a nice big studio, then the overdubs are being done in a home studio or a cheaper smaller studio.
Producers are even mixing in their own small facility, because they can spend more time, and not worry about the budget.
Not to mention they can get paid close to what they did 10 years ago.

Even big name producers are doing this, because the studio's rate is drowning out the part of the budget that used to go to the producer.

Sign of the times I guess.
But the money spent on record making is tight these days.
Not to mention it's very hard to get a deal without proving you can sell to the masses.

The market seems flooded with bands, and yet all the studio's are going out of business.
Strange turn of events.

User avatar
jmiller
steve albini likes it
Posts: 396
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2003 12:53 am
Location: North Hollywood, on Radford near the In-N-Out

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by jmiller » Fri Feb 04, 2005 2:15 am

Erm, sorry if i got overdramatic back there. This is a sore subject around these parts (this shit don't play in la:P ). It's just that, sometimes, some people seem to have the attitude that high end commercial studios are somehow the enemy of "indie" recordists because they're "elitist" or "expensive", or somehow part of the mainstream music establishment that perpetuates bad music. I started noticing this sometime around the whole Walter Sear episode, particularly with a letter that appeared a couple issues back.

I suppose i could go on to support my POV, but am not feeling particularly ambitious. Suffice to say it would be nice if both the High End commercial recording studio and the personal home studio paradigms could co-exist peacefully. Then maybe those of us who want to have a sustainable career in this industry can, and those who want to do it on the side for extra cash, some cash, or as a hobby can have their thing too. I love that i can make a descent sounding recording in my apartment but would hate to have to get a job at sweetwater because there was no work left in the business (except perhaps post work).
Fieryjack wrote: The recording studio business has the most bizzare economics in the world....SSL/Neve boards going for hundreds of thousands, yet BIG studios renting at $45+/hour???. Someone has huge debt and is in a lousy investment. Maybe it's not so cool to own a studio after all....


Reminds me of a joke i heard the other day. How do you make a million dollars in the recording business? Well, first you start with two million...
Slider wrote:The market seems flooded with bands, and yet all the studio's are going out of business.
Strange turn of events.
Even stranger to me is recording schools opening new facilities left and right while the studios that are going to give their suckers, er, students jobs when they graduate are shutting down just as fast.

bigtoe
deaf.
Posts: 1776
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 5:13 am

Re: HIT FACTORY NYC CALLS IT AN ERA......

Post by bigtoe » Fri Feb 04, 2005 5:05 am

'Even stranger to me is recording schools opening new facilities left and right while the studios that are going to give their suckers, er, students jobs when they graduate are shutting down just as fast.'

hey - you gotta make a buck...education is where it's at...

Mike

Locked

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 24 guests