On April 24, 2017, Let’s Talk GR Music hosted a conversation on “Recording Music” with two studio owners located in Grand Rapids, MI. Our guests were Peter Fox from Registration of the stone house and Roy Wallace of River City Studios.
Although there are many good producers and sound engineers in the city, Let’s Talk GR Music chose these two because of our connection. Both studios have actually hosted meetings for us in the past. They are both highly respected in the music community.
Roy Wallace has been active in the music community since the 90s while playing with the band Mission Orange. He actually recorded at River City Studios long before becoming its owner and moving it to its current location in 2012. Between the 90s and today, Roy has spent time playing with Sweet Japonic, interning at Station C and even give recording lessons as a teacher.
Peter moved to Michigan in 2007. After spending some time in Detroit, he made GR his home on the northwest side of town in one of the city’s oldest buildings. It is currently in its 8th year of ownership Registration of the stone house. It was a trip that included time at Full Sail University in Orlando, Florida, a stint at the Guitar Center, and even a flood that destroyed all of his recording gear.
After learning a bit more about Peter and Roy’s studios, the guys basically opened up for questions. A very large portion of the time was spent talking about some of the ways bands use studio time and how it has transformed over the years. We’ve covered information about home recording and how that has affected the process as well. It’s no secret that many musicians are able to record themselves. Some musicians use them as demos and will use them to work out many ideas before spending time and money in a studio. It has been mentioned that giving demos or home recordings to a studio before recording can help the studio get an idea of the project you want to create. Roy and Peter also talked about the role of a producer and the role of an engineer.
“In a smaller market like Grand Rapids, no one is just an engineer,” Roy explained. Producers impact your recordings and your overall experience. If someone is helping you find a specific sound or “feel”, it’s a producer. Engineers are primarily considered “knob turners”. Understanding these small roles can be very important. How you assign or pay producers, session musicians, or arrangers can have a monumental impact on royalties and copyrights. According to Roy, the minute an engineer opens his mouth, the law sees this as a producer and would deserve credit for any work in a recording project.
Overall the evening was very informative and actually touched on many other topics besides recording an album. I even asked the boys to talk about some of the biggest mistakes they notice with DIY recordings and the different ways bands save money when they don’t have the budget to record in a studio. high level. For more information about these recording studios, please click on the links in the article and check out some of their work.
I really appreciate that these two take the time to come and share with us. As I mentioned, it’s not Let’s Talk GR Music telling you that your music should be recorded at one of these studios. Grand Rapids has lots of great options and there are lots of great resources to learn more about home taping. I will say that if you are looking for two very knowledgeable and patient people, Peter and Roy are the two. They also released some pretty amazing recordings with some pretty amazing musicians.
Due to the holidays, Let’s Talk GR Music will meet on the penultimate Monday of this month. Our 19th meeting will be held on Monday, May 22, 2017 at The Wealthy Theater Annex located at 1110 Wealthy St. SE. For more, you can find him here at The Rapidian, by searching “Let’s Talk GR Music” on Facebook, or by following the handle on Twitter @Let’sTalkGRMusic.
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