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New York's Legendary Magic Shop Studio to Close

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First of all, you can belay the mickey mouse - my name's Phil. No need to call me "sir." :)


I don't know about giving you a link, but I think I can probably explain why so many studios are closing.



1. The rent is too damn high - Property values go up, rents go up, and it's either too expensive to buy property for a studio in a urban neighborhood, or to find a suitable location with affordable rent / lease terms. If you already have a lease, when it expires the building owners will probably increase your rent, or may decide to sell or re-purpose the property, in which case you're looking at having to move - which means major construction at your new location - unless you take over an existing studio that's closing due to other reasons...


2. The home recording revolution - Practically every part of the production process used to require the services of a commercial studio. That's simply not the case today. While they're still wonderful working environments for many types of recording tasks, not everything needs to be done in a Big Boy Studio these days - in fact, it's possible to do most things at home. Let's assume you go to the big studio, lay down drums and basic tracks in their cool sounding large room... from there you can go home and do all of the guitar, keyboard and vocal overdubs. Then you can also do all of the comping and editing at home, and possibly even the mix, or a good part of it. That's a huge amount of formerly billable hours that the commercial studios have lost. The same basic scenario also applies to things like film soundtrack work in the era of mega-sampler software programs - folks can score a movie on a laptop and sometimes don't even need to track a real orchestra - again, that's fewer billable hours for the studios.


3. The rise of MP3s, piracy and the effects on the music industry - It gutted the industry, and the labels had no clue as to how to respond to changing customer preferences. Sales plummeted, as did album recording budgets. No one's making money on the vast majority of major label releases, and the ones that are making money aren't making enough to keep the labels flush enough that they're willing to put development time / money into new artists, or to play the same inflated recording budgets per album that they once did.



Off the top of my head I'd say those are the main contributing factors. Of course others are free to pitch in and offer their own thoughts on this subject too... :snax:

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Off the top of my head I'd say those are the main contributing factors. Of course others are free to pitch in and offer their own thoughts on this subject too... :snax:


From my perspective, the issue is much larger than music itself. It is a societal issue. In a nutshell: human greed, convenience, and lack of ethics.


As a society, we have lost touch with our creative/spiritual selves and the new motto is "Get as much as I can get while screwing over the less fortunate!" Human greed… no other species hoards and takes advantage of others like we do. I see it everyday in the NYC real estate market where this attitude runs rampant but we call it "profit" or "return on investment". Its such a part of the culture that we no longer see anything wrong with continuous rising prices in rents that often "relocate" a family to another area or state. Phil is partly correct in that real estate is causing studios to close but why is real estate so absurdly expensive now? The real answer is Greed.


The affordability of recording equipment/software has made it ultra convenient to do everything yourself…. at the cost of quality and at the cost of "it takes a village" mindset. Convenience is king. The majority want what they want and they want it yesterday and they want it dirt cheap or even better, they want it for free…. Society will give up an awful lot of quality for convenience. Just look at the obesity rate, the popularity of fast food, the amount of discontent, the rise of social media, etc… all leave the individual living in their own isolation/bubble for the sake of convenience.


Lastly, and perhaps the most important is lack of ethics. We have become a society that no longer values human endeavors. And how can we when we no longer value human life? Abortion, homelessness, warfare, mass shootings, etc… all are the remnants of a broken human psych. We have failed to see how we`re all connected. And we let it all happen everyday because it does not directly affect us.


Divisive politicians and divisive foreign policy all breed the scars we experience in daily life and we continually point fingers at the symptoms, not the actual source.


I know many will argue with this but when you dig deep, it really does come down to ethics. When we hold ourselves accountable and responsible for the world we see, we begin to behave differently. Every day we testify to what we believe. Everyday we testify for what we stand for.


And right now, society does not stand for respecting human life or its endeavors. When it does, we will honor each other, we will honor each others work and pay accordingly but we will also make our art and services affordable so that the whole can afford/enjoy the fruits of our labor.


Edited by Ernest Buckley
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