Wednesday, July 19, 2006

all that was missing were the tumbleweeds

Had an interesting morning this morning. David and I went to The Plant in Sausalito for a mastering session of the original tunes we're doing for Thrillville.

For David, it was a return to the recording studio he worked at as a runner early in his career. The Plant is where Metallica set up camp in the 90s. It's also where Fleetwood Mac's "Rumors" and (the one that made me happiest) Huey Lewis and The News' "Sports" were recorded.

And I'll tell you hwhat ... that place was dead, dude. Deader than an all zombie version of Joe Millionaire 3. Apparently they once had the place buzzing with projects, engineers, assistant engineers, front desk staff, runners ... Not anymore. We saw three people there today: their secretary/office manager whose name I didn't get, a guy named Drew Youngs, and the engineer that did our mastering for us - John Cuniberti. John did a great job, but while he was mastering the tunes he was telling us about how the studio now goes for weeks at a time without anyone in there using it.

The cause? Why, Protools of course. Protools and the increased ability of desktop PCs. It's something that - as a musician - I've heard about for years, but I haven't seen it in action much. This place was in survival mode and running on as skeletal a crew as they could. Interesting to see.

I'm not going to say "sad to see" because I've always thought that record companies and recording studios were ridiculously bloated to begin with. I'm a big fan of the home studio revolution and it's definitely cool to see the power to create music go into the creators hands, as opposed to a label-fed studio system.

Um. [/soapbox] Anyway, the moral of the story is: mastering was neato.

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