Describe the Recording scene in your area

Welcome everyone to our community! Everyone has something to offer so tell us about your experiences recording in your area! Spill it!

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I’ll bite on this one! :smile:

  1. There’s SCADS of talent here – what makes New York great is that so many people still come here to create, and I have to confess that the competition (in all careers, actually, not just music or audio) makes one constantly question one’s abilities and strive to be better and better. That same competition can be debilitating, and make you feel completely inferior such that you want to give up! It’s hard to fully grasp the intensity unless you’ve lived here, although I’m sure it’s true of a lot of large metropolitan areas. That said, New York is the extreme.

  2. The flip of that is that large studios here are closing left and right. In spite of talented musicians and audio professionals still seeking out NYC as a place to network and make music, the fact is that cost of living here (which has always been high) has become truly extreme while at the same time the financial viability of music as a source of income has become less and less. This has spelled the demise of big, expensive rooms.

To me, point number #2 is very sad, but also it presents an opportunity here, largely because of #1. I have never worked in a large, commercial studio – I came to audio work starting out purely as a hobbyist and I have learned and I’m doing better work every passing year. A producer friend of mine has a small but reasonably well-equipped studio here in my neighborhood, and I host tracking sessions there and mix at my apartment. The spaces I work in are probably much smaller than even many beginning recorders may have available to them in most of the rest of the country because space is so expensive here! However, because there are still so many talented musicians here, I am blessed to work with really good players, and occasionally some really inspiring bands. Even not-so-great bands here usually still have some strong redeeming qualities. It takes a certain amount of talent just to continue to want to exist here! Plenty of people will say that a recording is only ever as good as the material and the performers, but I’ve been blessed to see firsthand just how true that really is.

That said, everyone in smaller cities and in the rest of the country and the world at large should realize that the old model of making music is all but gone, and that with the immense creative power of modern digital recording tools, there’s truly no limit to what you can create on a very limited budget if you hone your skill and partner with inspiring people. In fact, I’m envious of anyone who has found a good creative community in a smaller or more affordable place. New York, while still full of talent, is starting to lack creativity. It is now so expensive here that there is less and less time, space, and money for creative experimentation, and the only people who can afford to follow their creative dreams in NYC anymore come from affluent backgrounds, which really hinders inspiring work getting made, IMHO.

Nobody should feel insecure because they learned on a laptop with Garage Band or something like it – everyone is having to reinvent themselves and find ways to work in a rapidly changing landscape. Talent and dedication have always been and always will be the determining factor.


@samkshaw i hear ya! Personally i live in my parents’ house in Philly and yeah that post describes the reality on the music industry more or less perfectly. To say thank you for putting it in words, i posted last night the final mix of Why Wait’s song. I think you are going to like how the song feels!




My local music scene in general in my area makes you laugh or cry. There is talent but nobody really cares. There is only 1 or 2 actual studios in the local area (everyone with an interface has a studio, i don’t know if that how it is everywhere now) and most bands would rather travel, spend more, and have it sound not as good because that is the cool place right now. That pretty much sums up the entire scene in general. I do live sound in the area too and get see all the action first hand. If a band is doing good they get shunned or their ego shuns them, there are 45 different side projects going on that all sound the same, and everyone high fives each other after every show (“you guys killed it”) then talks smack behind their backs. But this town doesn’t have an actual venue or even bar with a stage or house sound, which is weird when there is literally live bands at almost any bar at any given night. The band I’m currently in refuses to play in our own town, which i am totally fine with… driving 30 minutes in any direction and its completely different and much better.

Sound like my experience in Nashville. [quote=“Thunderhouse, post:4, topic:333”]
But this town doesn’t have an actual venue or even bar with a stage or house sound, which is weird when there is literally live bands at almost any bar at any given night.

They have PAs in Nashville.

I’ll comment on a few of them.

Detroit was a really cool place to train. It was easy to network with other pros, and all the clubs/venues were very accessible. The casinos provided a pretty stead stream of income and so did downtown entertainment. It was dirty, but friendly and full of talent. Remnants of motown scene played occasionally, and people drew together behind that. It was also cheap to get it and out of venues. Usually no admission charges. Bars were busy enough to make bank on the alcohol alone. Until the recession hit.

Orlando was its own little microcosm that for me revolved around whatever happened to be happening at Disney at the time. It was an entertainment world in a bubble and felt like exactly that. You have some of the best musicians money could buy hanging around there, but when everyone has to dress the same way, cut their hair the same way, wear shoes that are a solid color and do not have a logo unless it is blacked out or removed from your shoes, and all the other bullshit, it got old real fast. The musicians were strait shooters for some reason. If they didn’t like you, they said it to your face, which was actually pretty nice. The princes, princesses, and drama whatever…that was a whole different story. Lot of egos, but also a lot of talent.

Chicago was by far the most musically diverse place I’ve ever lived and worked. Like Houston, it has a highly developed professional religious music community. Enough for someone to stay working full time. Gigs were still competitive, but not as bad as Nashville, but that makes sense as its 12 times the size. Good education community tends to heighten the artistic scene. And it was economically healthy when I was there. Sometimes New York comes across as being vainly artsy because being artsy (like the superficial pseudo intellectualism) is cool. That may or may not be true of NY. I thought it was stupid when I was in NY. Chicago wasn’t as bad in most areas. Like NY it had a well rounded classical, jazz, and theater community. No more humble or personable than NY, but equally legitimate (at least in the classical end). I felt you could learn to read people and stay working without becoming as cynical as NY will make you if you let it.

Raleigh - Not worth really talking about.

Vancouver - Not a lot of musicians. Not a lot of art. Lot of tourism, but the two seemed dis-proportionate. That may have been because I was too young to really know what was going on. I got to meet some good players, but I really wasn’t one yet, so I guess I can’t say much other than ‘I had a job’.

Myrtle Beach - Wanna be Branson/Vegas. Ran a stage show down there, and quit to do my own studio. It sucked. Its a fun place to vacation but a shitty place work. Money was easy, but the lack of talent in the region made you want to jump off a fucking bridge. It was BAD. That had to be the suckiest shithole of amateur talent I’ve ever tried to tolerate. And they were too stupid to know it.

Houston - was one tough nut to crack. Everything I thought I knew about procuring work and networking my way into the scene fell through for about 2 years strait. The job placement agencies and management teams I’d worked with in the past had NOTHING in the area. I tried going in the backdoor and using the churches, but its nearly impossible unless you’re already living there, and I never move without a job already in place. And a lot of guys didn’t really know what to tell me when I asked them where the work was. The full time professional cover groups were pretty elusive, and there weren’t very many compared to Detroit. It also didn’t help that the friends that I had in the Houston area on the pro music scene, didn’t have the clout I thought they did. One in particular had gotten lazy and just quit caring about anything except his own gig. And when that happens, your name falls out of the pro circles pretty quick. I hope that gig lasts a long time for him, because he’s gonna need it.

Minneapolis - Seemed to have a lot of technology going on. But the studios around there had trouble keeping afloat. I was only there briefly to rehearse for a tour, but the gigs seemed awful slim.

Atlanta - lot of unemployed Nashville musicians seem to have leaked down into Atlanta. Lived there for a little while doing an artist gig. Its a pretty vibrant scene. Good studios, good music schools, and some exceptional independent artists. Also has some big names living just outside the city. Not a good scene for cover musicians. You don’t wanna be there for that. But its eclectic enough to find stuff that interests you. Lot of rock, fair amount of jazz, ton of RnB/HipHip. Tons of Christian music (which is easy cash).

And for the hell of it… Sioux Falls South Dakota. “Woah! They have computers that can record music now!? How amazing!” I believe it had one pro recording studio when I was there. I believe that studio is still there (or at least the guys webpage is).

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