Studio news archive 2002

Abbey Road Studios new management team

7th March 2002 -  Following Chris Buchanan's retirement, Tony Wadsworth, EMI CEO, has appointed Ian Davidson as Operations Director of the Studios Group.  Ian's position has responsibility for all technical and operations functions across
all sites including Townhouse and Olympic Studios and is to be based at Abbey Road Studios.  Ian has worked at the EMI/Virgin Studios since 1984.

David Holley has been appointed as Managing Director of the Studio Group.  David joined
EMI in 1995 having worked for Touche Ross and Twentieth Century Fox Films.

Grammy winners announced

Click here to visit the Grammy's site to view this Year's nominees!

Performers & PPL agree to MPG Producer Payments

UK ? January 16 2002: After 10 years of negotiations with trade associations representing the interests of studio producers, performer groups PAMRA, AURA, the Musician?s Union and Equity and recordings collection society PPL have agreed arrangements that will allow studio producers to be paid performance income for the first time.

The agreement to pay producers comes as recognition of their role as ?performing producers? ? a new category of contributor under the PPL distribution rules.

Although the details have yet to be finalised, there is now agreement amongst the performers to establish a mechanism allowing them to acknowledge a ?Performing Producer?s? contribution, opening the door to regular payments.

?We still need to clarify some simple and fair rules that treat new recordings and back catalogue the same, but we are hoping the first payments can be made soon,? says Andy East, chairman of the MPG. ?This agreement will at long last give our members the recognition and royalties they rightly deserve for the invaluable contribution they make to every recording ? a matter that has been overlooked for far too long.?

The payment of producers will encourage greater collaboration on many of the music industry?s thorniest problems such as developing technical solutions against copyright piracy, establishing efficient digital rights management systems, and authenticating performer claims to their statutory rights.



London ? 15th January 2002 - Despite concerns about the level of participation at MIDEM following recent world events, over 100 music managers will be attending this year?s convention under the banner of the Music Managers Forum.

The struggle for live music will be one of a number of issues raised by the MMF at this year?s convention. The association will be co-hosting a seminar on this subject, which takes place on January 22, from 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM.


FX Expands

Flying in the face of recessionary horror stories, the FX Group has started 2002 on a buoyant note by announcing the appointment of four key new members of staff.

The new faces have joined FX from Dreamhire and include business development manager Martin Anscombe; Martin 'Budgie' Burden, who joins the rental bookings department and Copyroom engineers Richard Whittaker and Brian Cunningham.

This brings the total number of recent appointments to 10 and the total number of staff across the burgeoning group to 45.

FX has also marked the New Year by opening a dedicated Pro Tools transfer suite as part of an overall expansion of its Copyroom division. The Copyroom now has a second, larger oven, which is used to bake tapes that are shedding oxide. This has doubled its previous baking capacity.


Phoenix Sound Makes Its Debut At Wembley

The Wembley studio building that used to house CTS Studios is back in business as a recording facility after industry veteran Pete Fielder secured a lease on the premises, which he has re-opened under the name of Phoenix Sound.

The substantial studio building is located close to Wembley Stadium and was due to be re-developed as part of the overall scheme to re-build Wembley Stadium. However, when plans for a new stadium fell through, Fielder approached Wembley plc, which owns the studio building, with a view to acquiring the lease and securing the site?s future as a recording studio for years to come.

Fielder, a respected engineer and APRS board member who has extensive knowledge and experience of the studio industry, says: "This is a large site that is already very popular with musicians and has plenty of potential as a studio complex. Although we are re-equipping from scratch, the actual studios and control rooms are already in place and will simply be re-decorated and acoustically treated. We have now opened Studio One and by the end of 2002 we aim to have the rest of the complex in use as a recording, rehearsal and post production facility."

Phoenix Sound is already generating interest within the recording world. The BBC Concert Orchestra is currently using Studio One as a temporary home following the collapse of a ceiling at the Hippodrome, which left the orchestra without a base. The size of the studio makes it an ideal venue to record the popular radio programme Friday Night Is Music Night, which features the orchestra. The programme is recorded and broadcast live from Phoenix Sound and appears on Radio Two.

Other clients have included Rick Wakeman, who was the first to book Phoenix Sound. He recorded various tracks for a DVD and a forthcoming album project.

Fielder says: "I knew once I'd got the building that something would happen but even I have been amazed by the response. Everyone loves this building ? it's got great acoustics, a good restaurant, which we?ve re-opened, and more than ample parking, which is always popular. I'm very excited by the project. Phoenix Sound is going to be a challenge, but the advantage is that I know every inch of the building. I've always loved studios; I've always wanted to have my own, and now I've achieved it."

The name Phoenix Sound was originally tongue in cheek but Fielder has decided to keep it because it sums up his ambitions for the future ? to rise from the ashes stronger than ever.

TC buys Tannoy

Tannoy have been acquired by Danish compant TC Electronics. Further news will follow shortly.

Studio Sound closes

The veteran recording industry magazine has closed following its last issue, this December 2001. It will be sadly missed.

Metropolis to include Pro Tools in room rate

In a move to remain at the forefront of recording and mastering in Europe, Metropolis is going to bundle 24 I/O Pro Tools Mix Plus systems on all future 24-track studio bookings. All of the rigs have been custom-built for Metropolis and include Prism I/Os or Digidesign 888 I/Os.

Metropolis also plans to offer an innovative Tape-to-Tools service that will enable client-supplied tapes to be loaded into Pro Tools, or similar equipment, in advance of a session.

Mike Gillespie, Group Business Development Manager for the Metropolis Group, says: "We fully appreciate that the way artists and producers make their records is changing dramatically. The addition of Pro Tools and Tape-to-Tools recognises the crucial importance of transforming our range of services in order to accommodate this shift in production requirements."

Lord of the Rentals

FX Rentals recently converted a two-room suite at the Landmark Hotel, London into a fully-fledged production studio. The request from Air Edel was made on behalf of the top film composer Howard Shore, who was in London to compose and record the Lord of the Rings film score.
Shore, whose credits include the Silence of the Lambs, Seven and Philadelphia, asked for the hotel suite to be transformed into an environment
that was similar to his New York-based studio, Tuxedo.

The film score was composed, recorded and
produced in locations spanning the globe, including the UK, New Zealand and the USA.  The entire process took over a 9 months, of which 6 weeks were based in London.  The project involved 60 recording sessions, several copyists, technical directors and Shore's assistant, Michael Tremanti.

Air Edel's Karen Elliott says: "Howard decided to set up a temporary studio in his hotel suite because he needed to deal with picture changes and recording sessions during the day, which meant he would write at the end of each session, usually 10pm until the early hours of the morning." 

Sphere Studios - Another First Class Engineer Joins

Sphere Studios has announced the appointment of Ricky Graham, who joins the South London facility as an engineer.

Graham moves to Sphere from Air Studios where he spent six and a half years working alongside industry luminaries such as Sir George Martin, George Massenburg, Al Schmitt, Glynn Johns, Guy Chambers & Steve Power, Kevin Bacon & Jonathan Quarmby, Andy Bradfield, David Arnold, Dave Eringa, Gregg Alexander and Howie B.

His engineering credits are equally extensive and include Queen/Robbie Williams, The Alice Band, Des'ree, Monaco, The Honeyz, Craig Armstrong, Secret Garden and The Inish Bofin Caeili Band.

Malcolm Aitkin, managing director of Sphere Studios, says: "We are delighted to have an engineer of Ricky's calibre on our team. Not only does he bring a wealth of hands-on experience but he also brings an impressive range of contacts who recognise his formidable reputation as a first class engineer."

This site has been awarded 'most popular' music recording site by Yahoo!

Dimes & Sillitoe have moved

Media Communications company Dimes & Sillitoe has moved to Kingston-upon-Thames after announcing a joint venture with Surrey-based design agency, DCGMedia Communications company Dimes & Sillitoe has moved to Kingston-upon-Thames after announcing a joint venture with Surrey-based design agency, DCG.

Dimes & Sillitoe, headed by Nick Dimes and Sue Sillitoe, handles press and public relations for a number of clients within the music, pro audio and broadcast industries. These include Audio Processing Technology, Sphere Studios, Munro Associates, the FX Group, Curious Software and the Music Managers Forum.  

DCG offers traditional print and graphic design services, but has recently expanded its operation to include a communications and marketing strategy department and a technology division handling new media and internet-based projects. Working in partnership will enable both companies increase the range of services they offer.

Nick Dimes, managing director of Dimes & Sillitoe, says: "We are very excited about the future and feel that this partnership will bring real benefits to our clients because it enables us to offer a one-stop, integrated solution to all their marketing, design, new media and public relations needs."

New APRS handbook

Click here to visit the APRS handbook page!

The APRS have just launched their new handbook covering pretty much everything you need, from project studios right up to 5.1 and has lots of useful information that you didn't know that you needed, until now!  Priced at only ?5.00.

Successful Open Day And New Vice Chairman for the MMF

Music Managers Forum open_day_pictureAt the council meeting following its recent AGM, the Music Managers Forum announced a major change in direction, which will see much greater significance given to the public face of the MMF and to its income stream.

The changes are personified by the appointment of James Fisher to the newly created post of executive director. This new role will enable Fisher to concentrate on developing the MMF's corporate sponsor network, the annual Roll of Honour awards and the on-going programme of Open Days. The day to day running of the MMF will now be handled by James Sellar, who has the title of general manager.

It was also announced that Phil Nelson, manager of The Levellers, has been elected vice chairman, replacing John Glover who is standing down to pursue his own business interests. The appointment of two new full council members ? John Arnison and Tim Prior ? was also announced, along with the retirement of Chris Parry, who is stepping down from the council.

The AGM, which took place at the Landmark Hotel, London, was preceded by a hugely successful Open Day that attracted nearly 100 people and featured four panels dealing with a variety of industry issues.

The first panel, entitled What An A&R Man Wants From a Manager, was hosted by Stephen King, from Ricochet; Sam Winwood, from Sony S2; John Walsh, ex Arist and Mercury; Miles Leonard, head of A&R at Parlophone and Jack Steven, ex RCA, CBS and Famous Music. The consensus was that managers have to be the organisational power behind the band, leaving the artist free to pursue his or her creative agenda.

"What A&R men want from a manager is a creative, efficient, political and a logistical genius," said Steven King. John Walsh added that managers and A&R men need to develop a good working relationship that enables them to support each other when dealing with various departments and agencies, be they internal or external.

Management Agreements for the Present Age was the title of the second panel, which was hosted by Nigel Parker, David Stopps, Patrick Rackow, of Edmonds Bowen, and MMF chairman, Keith Harris.

The panel highlighted a growing trend amongst managers to establish their own production companies and enter into joint ventures with their artists. This is done to safeguard the role of the manager in the future and to prevent them from being edged out of the equation.

After a break for lunch, the third panel entitled Releasing Your Own Record got underway, hosted by retiring MMF vice-chairman John Glover. Jazz Summers, of Big Life; Mark Krais, of Bray and Krais, and Dave Trafford, of leading distributor 3MV, were the panellists.

The panel pointed out that this requires a great deal of care and a significant financial investment, but that releasing a record independently can offer huge benefits in terms of securing a deal. Jazz Summers added that this was the approach he took with Yazz and Cold Cut and that it proved very effective. Dave Trafford said that having a record on sale was likely to get an artist noticed by a record label and might even result in the label approaching the management direct.

The final panel, entitled Recording and Publishing Contracts, was hosted by Dej Mahoney, formerly head of business affairs at Sony; top manager Peter Jenner and Chris Morrison, who manages Blur, Gorillaz and many other top acts. The big subjects up for debate included new media, new product, globalisation and copyright. The general consensus was that managers needed to push for bigger and beefier contracts to cover these areas and to protect their acts as we move forward into the future.

Graham Carpenter takes over at SARM

Early October 2001 saw producer manager Graham Carpenter take control of the management of West London's SARM Studios following the recent departure of Lola Marlin.  Graham continues to head up the producer management.

Sanctuary buys Westside

Sanctuary have purchased Westside Studios from top production team, Clive Lange and Alan Winstanley, October 2001. 

MPG Elects New Chairman And Board Members

Producer Andy

East is the new chairman of the Music Producers Guild, replacing Phil Harding who has now completed his one-year tenure as chairman but remains on the MPG board.

The appointment was announced at the MPG's recent AGM, which took place at PRS headquarters in Berner Street, London. Steve Parr also joins the board as Vice-Chairman and, as part of the MPG's rotational chairman and directorship, a number of other board changes were announced.

The new board members include Jim Barrett, who will continue to drive the MPG?s commitment to education; Meg Nicholl, whose vast experience with PRS and BACS will prove to be invaluable to the MPG board and membership and Roger Askew who will continue his work on the Newsletter and the continued growth of the MPG.

As the new Chairman, Andy East praised Phil Harding for his efforts as chairman on behalf of MPG and added: "I feel extremely honoured to be voted in as the MPG's new chairman. I look forward to playing an instrumental role in the growth of the MPG".

On his election to Vice Chairmanship of the MPG Steve Parr said: "The MPG is a forum for all people involved in music production. Chairman Andy East and myself are determined to continue elevating the status of the Guild so that we may truly be a voice for music producers and are better able to represent the interests of our members across all sectors of the music industry."


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