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AIR Studio up for sale

jamwerks

Senior Member
I didn't follow SF's latest news, but they have apparently said they'll be recording some new major libraries in other drier halls. SF has probably been Air's biggest client (by far) in the last 5 or 6 years.

Part of the reason why it's for sale might be that SF doesn't plan to be in there that much in the future. All speculation on my part...
 

Geoff Grace

Senior Member
The impression I have is that Air Lyndhurst is primarily used as a scoring facility and a major label recording studio. Certainly Spitfire is a prominent and regular client, but I don't believe their bookings—or lack thereof—would make or break Air's business.

Best,

Geoff
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
What's the real estate like in the neighborhood? Is it booming? Lots of venerable, historic studios have closed are in jeopardy because the land they're on is too valuable. Also, I wonder what kind of condition that old church is in. The costs of maintaining an old church (especially if there are serious problems that need attention, like the roof or foundation) can be astronomical. Even if bookings are decent, the financial picture might not be so great.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
BTW, just the thought of a huge, automated Neve/Focusrite console from 1980 (in Studio 1) makes my skin crawl. Fabulous in its day, but now, 40 years later, loaded with obsolete technology that will be a continuing nightmare to keep repaired (and even find parts). No thanks.
 

procreative

Senior Member
Large orchestral scoring sessions aside I doubt they get as much revenue these days from "major label" clients.

And what are "major label" clients these days anyway? Winners of X Factor mostly...

How many cribs and studio tours show huge centrepiece consoles that are mostly window dressing as they are only much use for tracking as most of the Pro Tools sessions are best served on controllers.
 

Lee Blaske

Senior Member
Large orchestral scoring sessions aside I doubt they get as much revenue these days from "major label" clients.

And what are "major label" clients these days anyway? Winners of X Factor mostly...

How many cribs and studio tours show huge centrepiece consoles that are mostly window dressing as they are only much use for tracking as most of the Pro Tools sessions are best served on controllers.
Exactly, on all counts. And even if it looks nice as a centerpiece, you just can't have it sitting there if it's not functional. Those big old consoles are huge liabilities these days. Repair costs are astronomical. Something's always going wrong. They throw off a HUGE amount of heat (which needs to be compensated by a huge amount of HVAC), and they need racks of antique computers churning away in machine rooms. And these days, most engineers would want to be selecting specific boutique pre-amps, rather than using the built-in preamps. So, how much of the console are you really using, anyway?

So, for the owners of that facility, if they're looking at the need for major console changes and room re-configuration, and then throw in some other items that might need work (HVAC, new roof, foundation work, windows, electrical, decor, etc.) you've got a massive money pit, and there's always a big expense looming on the horizon. Meanwhile, decently equipped project studios are gobbling up most of the bread and butter work.

In the future, I think the only way to have a facility to record large orchestral sessions is going to be a multi-use concert hall. The same hall, with excellent acoustics, will be used for recording purposes and for concerts (with creative scheduling, and people that can rapidly change the stage over). The facility will have a well-equipped control room. That way, the recording side of things doesn't have to completely pay for the building and maintenance costs. There are already facilities like this (there's a nice one in Olomouc, Czech Republic) that does tons of orchestral recording in the same space used for concerts. Lots of revenue streams coming in to keep that facility in good condition.
 
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Geoff Grace

Senior Member
Speaking as someone who spent years of my life working in major recording studios—including Air Lyndhurst—during the 1990s, I can tell you that such studios have dedicated staff to maintain and service the gear there. Therefore, while any piece of equipment could potentially need service at any given time, all of it has been maintained to such a high standard that none of it should be about ready to die.

Most large consoles are built in a modular fashion so that if a channel has problems, it can simply be removed for servicing while the rest of the desk remains in use. A well-serviced 40-year-old console is probably filled with parts from a wide vintage of more recent years, and has almost certainly received more care than a typical five-year-old project studio board. As a result, I would worry more about the stability of a recent Behringer/Presonus/you-name-it small studio board than an older major studio, large format Neve or SSL.

Lastly, if you're recording an orchestra then you're likely using a lot of microphones, which need a lot of inputs, which in turn requires a large format mixing board. It's true that most of today's recording artists don't require many inputs during the tracking stage, but the mixes are still often done using Neves and SSLs as many current pop track counts are still very high and not mixed in the box.

There's a reason that many major recording studios disappeared during that last couple of decades, but a big enough demand still exists that many others have continued to thrive. From all accounts, Air Lyndhurst seems like a profitable venture.

Of course, if real estate in that neighborhood turns out to be an even more profitable investment—as happened with Hit Factory in Manhattan—then it's possible that we'll end up mourning the loss of yet another wonderful facility.

Best,

Geoff
 

Dietz

Space Explorer
Lastly, if you're recording an orchestra then you're likely using a lot of microphones, which need a lot of inputs, which in turn requires a large format mixing board. It's true that most of today's recording artists don't require many inputs during the tracking stage, but the mixes are still often done using Neves and SSLs as many current pop track counts are still very high and not mixed in the box.
This. ^^^^^

It's also worth mentioning that the power consumption of modern consoles is down to a fraction of "classic" ones, thus emanated heat isn't a problem any more.
 
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