Meeting Topic: Trends in Studio Equipment and Workflow
Moderator Name: Greg Riggs
Speaker Name: Brian Overton of GC Pro; Jim McGorman of Green Hill Recording; and Jeff Ehrenberg of Vintage King Audio
Other business or activities at the meeting: Los Angeles Section Elections took place at the May meeting, for Section officers and a new slate of Executive Committee members.
Meeting Location: Sportsmen's Lodge, Studio City, CA
The May meeting for the AES-LA featured a conversation on the state of music creation — where we stand today, where we're headed tomorrow (and why), as well as the tools that help to drive it all forward. The AES-LA convened a panel of three studio veterans: Brian Overton, Senior Technical Sales at GC Pro, Green Hill Recording founder Jim McGorman, and Jeff Ehrenberg, West Coast Sales Manager for Vintage King Audio. Each of the three panelists brought to the table years of experience garnered from a variety of perspectives in the recording world, from working as a recording artist to doing system design and performing project management. AES-LA's own Greg Riggs took on moderating duties for the evening.
The first major topic was the differences between home-based studios and larger, professional facilities (and the convergence happening between the two). Budget constraints are forcing a lot of recording into the small-studio, home environment, and there was great conversation about the tools and technologies that enable quality recording on a budget in a home studio. Related to this is the phenomenon of artists needing to tour, and thus needing the ability to record while on the road. The rise of ultra-portable recording facilities has helped facilitate this environment.
Apart from the need for faster, cheaper or more convenient modes of music creation there is of course always an interest in improving quality, in achieving a bigger or more accurate sound. Brian Overton cited 500-series hardware as being essential to today's artists and engineers, and we had a nice overview of the history and development of 500-series modules, and their pros and cons.
We then covered quality monitoring as being critical to completing a project, whether in a home studio, a pro studio, on the road, or mixing elements from all three. If the monitoring is solid, then the recording can be trusted. A final main workflow pointwas the acoustics, microphones and speakers are all paramount. And then of course the intangibles: a comfortable environment goes a long way into enticing an artist to record their best work, and the expertise of the recording engineer is paramount: knowing what gear is needed, ensuring it is working properly, and finding the right tool for the purpose.
Written By: Daniel Schulz