Caught on Tape

Is home recording equipment killing the professional recording studio?

Like most studio owners, Larry Love of Mind's Eye is happiest when he is producing, working with a band in preproduction, and fine-tuning the songs. Case in point: He's just produced a local band called 32 Leaves for Double Blind, a large indie distributed by Caroline. "They're from here, and they're amazing," he says. "They managed to win an on-air contest at KUPD with unmixed Pro Tool files."

"Everyone can have a home studio in their bedroom and buy a couple of good mikes at Guitar Center and come up with a decent sound. What they can't do is get years of experience of a producer and a songwriter, trying to get the best snare drum sound you ever heard, if you don't know what you're doing." says Love, former guitarist for Bionic Jive, who started Mind's Eye when ADAT technology was in its infancy some 12 years ago. "People who bring in the last Perfect Circle record and want to sound like that aren't going to get that at home. It's too fidelic. But I know how to get it." And when bands bring in Bionic Jive recordings, he knows how to get that sound, too.

"While ADAT hurt the more professional recording studios for a while," says D'Agnolo, "everybody's been through that phase, and the town is big enough now and the market's big enough now to support the studios. While the industry shrunk, the town grew, so the size of the pie stayed the same." And as for our old friend Mr. Analog, don't despair. "I wouldn't be surprised if some company in another country will make an offer to buy the gear that's worth nothing to Quantegy now and start making reels of tape," D'Agnolo says. "It'll be enough business for a small business to make a living."

Pro Tools has its cons, according to local producer Bob Hoag.
Jon Jeffery
Pro Tools has its cons, according to local producer Bob Hoag.

How true -- Kodak went all digital last year, but you can still get Instamatic film in Mexico.

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