- The Working Environment:
Tambourine Studio is a one-room recording environment in Venice
Beach, California specifically set up for recording percussion.
Its a no-frills, bright, live-sounding space of about 1000 sq.
with average 15 ceilings. Set in an industrial loft-style room
with natural light, all the controls are on the floor with the
mikes and the instruments. All the computers and recording machines
are isolated- there's no machine racket or fan noise in the mike
- The Recording Gear:
The recording package includes 16 tracks of Tascam DA-88 with
1/2" Video Lock , Apogee D/A converters with resolutions up to
96K at 24bit, Millennia and Apogee Mic Pre-amps , Neumann TLM
170I's, AKG 414EB and Schure mics. Mac computers running MOTU
Digital Performer, Emagic Logic Audio interfaced with MOTU 2408
system, and basic Pro-Tools via Audiomedia III. Resident instruments
include Steve Formans Electronic Percussion System including
Kat MIDI controllers, Samplers from Emu, Roland, Akai and a complete
proprietary library of percussion and FX samples; signal processors
from Lexicon, Korg, and Roland, a Speck SSM Mixer, KRK and NS10
- The Resident Percussion Instruments:
The resident acoustic percussion collection encompasses all the
standard orchestral percussion instruments including four Walter
Light Dresden-style timpani, Musser vibes, glock, and marimba
plus a vast collection of ethnic drums, folk instruments, sound
sculptures and unique "found objects" including an awesome 6
X 10 suspended stainless steel sheet. All equipment in the Instrument List is included in the studio fee and always available. There's no
additional rental or cartage expense.
- The Resident Percussionist
Tambourine Studio provides the musical experience, equipment and
multiple production skills of LA studio veteran Steve Forman in the most comfortable and cost-effective process possible.
Composers can work one-on-one with a percussionist who understands
film scoring and the composer's creative agenda. But clients are
encouraged to hire any qualified percussionist they prefer and
still take full advantage of the resident instrument collection.
Click or scroll down to get a better idea how it works using Steve
Forman and Tambourine Percussion Studio.
- The Studio Fee
Tambourine Percussion Studio directly addresses the requirements
of composers packaging projects. We provide professional performances,
top quality instruments and clean recording quality at a manageable
cost. Tambourine Studio also allows a composer involved in a major
production to focus on special percussion concerns in a relaxed
low-profile environment, without an eighty piece orchestra standing
around on the clock. We offer an opportunity to experiment and
develop concepts, using real sounds and textures early in the
demo phase of a score. You can prepare crucial segments of the
project carefully for presentation.
The daily studio fee is less than a typical percussion cartage
bill in LA. This represents a significant value as compared to the costs
incurred recording a percussionist in a full-service audio facility.
Consider the minimum hourly rates for a high-overhead sound stage,
the video lock gear, an engineer, and a cartage bill for the instruments
plus rental fees for any electronic percussion. Factor in the
pressures of time constraints associated with traditional recording
sessions and it's easy to see why composers who package projects
often forsake live percussion performances.
At Tambourine Studio we understand how packagers really work;
we 're package projects ourselves. Contact us for specific rate
quotes and we'll help you put real performances on your project.
Musician's performances are not included in the studio fee.
- How it works:
Typically a composer (and an optional engineer or assistant) will
show up in the morning with a work in progress with a reference
mix of some kind on at least one track and SMPTE, video with timecode
when relevant, and bar charts with a few specific ideas or key
hits indicated-- or a floppy with standard Midi files so we can
print a quick parts as needed. Most clients bring their own hard
drive with a clone of whatever sofware file the've been working
on and simply add new tracks for percussion. This is an efficient
way to work on a low-budget film or TV movie when percussion is
a late or last layer in the tracking process.
In another common situation percussion is pre-recorded at Tambourine
with the idea of recording a live orchestra later. This is great
way to multi-track a deep groove or ethnic texture and integrate
it into the orchestration without getting that "Flintstones Bongo
Effect" resulting from forty open mikes on a big sound stage.
All the usual orchestral stuff like timps, gran casa, gongs, piatti
and mallets are still recorded with the orchestra; they sound
fabulous on a big live stage. But the driving rhythmic and third-world
sounds stay under control and equally important so do the ethnic
styles and concepts. On something like this Steve would probably
work on his own-- at least until the tracks are built up enough
to present. Obviously there are more complex sync issues and schedule
concerns, but this works well for the appropriate project.
Quite often, particularly for a score largely done on synths,
a writer just sends a video reel, a sketch, and a d-88 tape or
a file in his perfered format and Steve works alone applying a
combination of acoustic and "virtual" sounds while the composer
works elsewhere on another agenda. Then tapes are swapped messenger
and the next set of cues get percussion overdubs (or pre-records)
as the composer forges ahead. If your going to disc you can send
files over the internet. Call us and we'll help you set it up.
It's a good strategy for those projects with ridiculous deadlines.
Whatever your work style, the job gets done without a lot of extra
baggage encumbering the creative process. No cartage, no copyist,
no rentals , no need for a production assistant at every step
(althjough it sure helps).
The Musician's Fees
Musicians services are hired and billed consistent with standard
practice AFM contract guidelines*. The applicable scale depends on the project and the service;
there's actually a wide variety of AFofM agreements which might
be appropriate. Call us and we'll help you find a way to put real percussion on your
project, or better yet drop by and see how you can use Tambourine Studio
to your advantage.