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Just follow the rules, fellas?

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posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 05:55 AM
I am a new(ish) member and this is my first thread. A rant, naturally.

My days are spent as a stay-at-home dad, and my nights are spent as a musician. I've been working on a recording project for about 4 years (which is also how old my kiddo is). It's a neat project: it's a "story album" where each song basically represents a chapter in a story. The music draws heavily from American "roots" styles and classical music. It's all acoustic.

I'm recording on my own gear, in a room I rent at a rehearsal studio complex. There might be 30 or so separate rooms rented by bands (some of them you've probably heard of), and though the rooms are separate, there is absolutely no acoustic treatment to prevent bleed of sound. If one band is rehearsing, everyone hears it, and recording is out of the question.

The sole reason I rent at this particular studio is, as I read on the website before renting, there are quiet hours daily from 10p to 7a. The only studio in town to offer such an accommodation (although it's because of the city noise ordinance, not by choice). It's great, because I MUST finish this project before the end of the year, but my house is small and I can't work here at night, which is of course the only time I can work at all. Anyways, during the quiet hours, amplifiers, PA systems, and drums are forbidden, but acoustic instruments and unamplified voice are allowed. Perfect for my situation, right?

After I get my family in bed, I show up to work at 10 sharp every night. I am fortunate to have the luxury of working on music, but it is hard work. All the tasks involved - as player of multiple instruments and voice, writing, engineering, and producing - are typically handled by different people and for good reason. I chose to do everything myself for several reasons, understanding the limitations I was giving myself as a project-aesthetic, self-recording singer-songwriter type of thing. I do the best I can.

Most nights when I arrive, there are three bands that are still playing. One is a cover band, and not particularly good. Think frat boys karaoking "Johnny B. Goode" backed by out-of-time drums and "Top Gun" guitar. One is an industrial band whose singer sounds like Danzig, and the other is a indie rock band that's actually pretty darn good. It varies, but they play until midnight, 1, 2am... A lot of the time it's more party than rehearsal. There bottles clinking (even though alcohol is not supposed to be brought on-premises) and loud, laughing women.

It sucks. I sit there in my studio waiting for hours for these guys to shut it down. Sure, I can practice, I can touch up my lyrics...there's any number of small tasks I can do while I'm waiting for my chance to hit the red button. But I'm there to GET SH!T DONE, not pussyfoot around while my best hours are drowned out by the cacophonous wash of three drunk bands rocking out for whatever vapid, vacant, scene-clinging, junkie sluts they lured back to the studio. By the time it's finally quiet enough to record, I'm so pissed, tired, and tense that I barely get out a few phoned-in takes, go to bed by 4am, and wake up bleary eyed when I hear my daughter's voice saying "Daddy I'm hungry". Rinse and repeat. It's been weeks (maybe months) of the same. It's hard to keep this sort of thing up when you don't get paid to do it. Hell, I PAY to do it.

I have mentioned this to the building manager. I told him that the quiet hours were a primary selling point for me, and he knows that I'm trying to record at night. Either no action or no response, every time.
I am not good at confrontations. I am terrible at asserting myself. These traits are amplified by the fact that there is one of me, at least 15 of them (all bands combined), and a spineless absentee building manager. It feels hopeless, and I haven't found another space to rent. Even if I did, I've got a lot of gear in my studio, and it's all set up how I like it. I don't WANT to move.

I pay my rent on time. I'm courteous to others. I follow the rules. I've worked so hard to get where I am with this project and at this point it is barely crawling along. In a very real way, I will measure myself as a man by my ability to finish this project, and by the results I get. The worst part of it is I think the basic reason I am so frustrated is that I am confronted by my own cowardice, for not being able to assert myself. I have no idea why I am saying this to the internet, when I come to think of it. I don't know - maybe some of you all can relate.
edit on 1-10-2016 by MiddleInitial because: Grammar

edit on 1-10-2016 by MiddleInitial because: Spelling

edit on 1-10-2016 by MiddleInitial because: Spelling

edit on 1-10-2016 by MiddleInitial because: Spelling

edit on 1-10-2016 by MiddleInitial because: Screwed by autocorrect

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:00 AM
what you allow will continue.
say something or quit whining

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:03 AM
a reply to: alsee

Yeah, basically.

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:22 AM
a reply to: MiddleInitial

This may seem very simple but do you have some sort of rental agreement?
I'm not sure how studios work or if they are different than renting a residential property.

Anyway, perhaps you could set up a meeting with the property manager and just go over the rules together (tell him/her you would like some clarification) and then point out the rules that are not being followed. Some folks, if presented with the written agreement may see that you have read it as well as opposed to someone who just signs things.

Have you considered talking with the other musicians that you share the space with? I suppose I am a little confused that if you are to have a 'block' of time and they are exceeding their time and using up yours then maybe if you say something it will stop them.

It sounds as if they are taking advantage and being disrespectful because you are allowing it. Your money and time is just as valuable as theirs and if they are just using the studio as a party spot then they can do 'that' part elsewhere, when they are finished with making their music.

It also sounds as if another studio may be in order if the rooms are not sound proof. How could anyone focus or concentrate in that environment even without the partying, etc?

Good luck on your project and I hope all works out for you!

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:38 AM
a reply to: MiddleInitial It's hard to do anything alone, especially when there is other people looking for their fun around you. I understand why you don't make a stand. It's not natural when you come to your workplace to do something creative, to start with scandal. It will cost you the good mood at least, the one you need first and most for a masterful music. Thus it's a hard advice to be given here.., maybe you should go above the problems and just do your best, luckily if will turn out, that exactly this fact will make your music genius. Watch "the last samurai" film again.

edit on 1-10-2016 by Argentbenign because: cats

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:40 AM
a reply to: MiddleInitial

I don't WANT to move.

Unfortunately you may not have a choice , it seems to me you are pouring money down the drain renting a studio you can't really use , perhaps you could put the money to better use and build your own , perhaps rent it out to actual musicians who want to create first , party later.

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:46 AM
a reply to: MiddleInitial

I like TNMockingbird's advice. Wise words.

Also, while you are working on figuring things out, could you sleep for a few hours then go in later? Think about working after they generally stop for a few nights? It sounds like you must get barely any sleep.

If this is a rehearsal studio, not a recording studio, then you are at the mercy of whomever else is rehearsing. The walls are generally only moderately soundproofed, certainly not to recording standards.

Did you put up any sound proofing yourself? Not that it would cancel out a band. I'm just not sure I understand the space. Is it billed as a recording venue? If so, you have reason to complain. If it's just for rehearsal, you don't have too much leverage.

Good luck!


posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:57 AM
a reply to: MiddleInitial

I used to rent in a very similar spot. It was in an industrial part of town. It was considered a practice studio and was impossible to do any serious recording there. I ended up renting a storage unit with a roll up door. 15ft x 20ft for half the price. I padded the walls, built a wall in the front and installed a door and an air conditioner. It had power outlets from two breakers.

It is not worth the trouble to try to convince everyone around you to comply to your needs. Especially if this is your "work". You need to set yourself up for success and pull yourself out of a situation that is not working out. If you don't change on your end, you will end up blaming others for your lack of success.

Many years after i left the old practice building, it ended up burning down due to an electric fire on a stack of carpets in one of the units. Nobody was surprised. It was always joked aboutbefore the incident because every space had multiple surge protectors full of fans, lava lamps, lights, amps, fridges, and anything else a band full of young idiots might leave on for days at a time.
edit on 1-10-2016 by Woodcarver because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 07:49 AM
a reply to: MiddleInitial
Like someone else said.... its a REHEARSAL studio not a RECORDING studio.
To even be thinking of recording in a rehearsal space (i.e. setup for noise attenuation not isolation, no doubt- crap acoustics etc etc.) makes me cringe.
Take your gear and move on elsewhere mate, you are paying for it, you have the power to do so if you cant confront the situation.
Have you thought of doing a deal with a church/hall/hotel/warehouse etc? you could take the opportunity to incorporate the unique sounds and reverbs of these places into your project. (acoustic guitar in a tall stairwell, or vox in a toilet....), experiment with location, mic type and placement, and effects/processing.
Think outside of your current performance box?
Good luck.

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 09:53 AM
a reply to: MiddleInitial

50+ years a professional musician, recording session player, copyrighted songwriter, electric, acoustic, guitars, pianos, keys, vocals....I can tell you...find another place. If there isnt one? Say something. Then say it again.

You sound like youre in the Metro Detroit area...describing a place here with 30 some rooms which I wont name....

Financially speaking. If there ARE 2-3 bands paying $$$...even breaking the rules...they pay more than you in total.

Say something to the manager of the facility, and the groups.....I wish you good luck as well.*
*PS Ive done it all solo myself...take a break once in awhile
edit on 1-10-2016 by mysterioustranger because: oops

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 12:12 PM
You say you pay rent, so I would assume that you signed some sort of agreement with the owner about uses of time etc...

Further more, it sounds as if you are only able to utilize less than a third of your allotted time. My suggestion would be to show up at your normal time and take a cat nap until the other bands leave, and then next time rent comes due, adjust how much you pay accordingly to how much real use you get for the service. It is the owner's responsibility to provide the service they offer, not yours. When the owner asks why you are shorting him money, mention breach of contract. Then, and only then depending upon how that meeting goes. List all of this on local social media, via networking sites and review sites. Owners tend to respond to their business being hit monetarily.

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 12:15 PM
Get your sh*t out then trash the place.

You don't need their poxy room.

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:27 PM
Holy smokes, I got responses!? I don't have time to respond to everyone right now, but I will.

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:31 PM
a reply to: Argentbenign

You've touched on the real pulse of the issue. If I make a fuss about the situation, I will certainly be "marked" as the uncool guy who wants other people to follow the rules, which isn't exactly conducive to a relaxed atmosphere, which is completely mandatory for doing creative stuff. Do you do something similar? Sounds like you have firsthand experience in a similar situation. Thanks for your kind response.

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:46 PM
a reply to: TNMockingbird

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful response. I should have prefaced my rant by disclosing that I am currently 4 days into a quit-smoking attempt, so everything that I find irritating now seems 100% worse.

I signed an agreement when I moved in. There's a little bit of gray area, as the quiet hours are listed on the website only and absent on the agreement. I've been inclined to chalk that up to administrative oversight, as the city noise ordinance trumps (it's supposed to, anyways) whatever rules may or may not be in place from management.

I'm very hesitant to approach the other musicians. It's mainly because I know once I do, I will be branded as a "square". Rightly or wrongly, it would create an even more uncomfortable situation with everyone else.

I think the best bet, like you indicated, is to have a sit-down with the building manager. I get the sense that he doesn't enforce anything because he wants to be "cool" with everybody. When I had my initial conversation with him when I became interested in renting, he said something to the effect of "I don't wanna be like a cop". So...people walk all over him.

The very cool news is that just an hour ago, my buddy (mostly an engineer but also a player) asked me if I'd be interested in renting a place with him. The place he's looking into is a standalone property of which we would be the only tenants. It's not even slightly ironed out, but it's an iron in the fire no less. Something will work.

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:48 PM
a reply to: gortex

It's funny you mention this, because just today a friend asked if I'd be interested in setting up a studio in a standalone property that he's looking into. If the price is right, it just might be the ticket! Thank you for your kind response.

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:53 PM
Laxatives in all their water bottles fountains or tea or beer.

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:54 PM
a reply to: AboveBoard

I put up my own sound treatment to address issues within the room (standing wave peaks and nulls, flutter echo, bass smearing, first reflection points for mixing, etc.) but it doesn't come close to being able to deal with outside sound. Sound proofing is a different beast altogether - and extremely expensive. Some argue that you cannot truly soundproof a room, but only drastically reduce bleed.

Technically it is billed as a rehearsal studio, but several well-known bands and artists have recorded albums there. I'd say conservatively there is a 50/50 chance that you've heard albums that have come out of this studio.

Thanks for your kind response!

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 06:54 PM
a reply to: TheKnightofDoom

No way man, I need my laxatives!

posted on Oct, 1 2016 @ 07:00 PM
a reply to: Woodcarver

I checked into the storage spaces in town - for a usable space, they were all too expensive. I think I shopped around for a storage unit before checking out proper studios, iirc.

These places can be pretty foul. There's a film documentary wherein a semi-well-known songwriter from the 90s was shooting up in his room that is in the same building I'm in. I haven't seen it for myself, and honestly I don't care to seek it out.

My luck might be changing: just today a buddy told me he's looking into a standalone property to build out a studio. If the price is right, my chips are in! Wish me luck. Thanks for your kind response.

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