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Toronto Sights

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LiveWire

I had a chance to look through LiveWire’s studio. LiveWire is a Toronto-based recording facility. Here are a couple of shots of the control room which features a 50-input Neotek Elite console feeding a Protools HD rig.

LiveWire 1

LiveWire 2

Oh, I should also mention that the control room is housed in a 32 foot long trailer. More details about LiveWire can be found here.

LiveWire 3

Update Feb 2, 2011: lots of changes with LiveWire. You can see a new post about LiveWire here.

Fresh Baked Woods

I had posted a few days back about the private studio used by Barenaked Ladies to record their latest CD. And I have some background as well as a few pictures of the studio.

The studio is located in Blackstock, Ontario in the Oak Ridges Morraine. Steven Page, one of the band members, built the studio. It looks like a refurbished barn however the construction techniques used to build the studio are state of the art.

I cannot see the console from Le Studio in the photos. I do see a Digidesign Control 24 desk so I assume the studio contains a Pro Tools HD system.

A lovely recording space. And a great looking control room.

Fresh Baked Goods

Fresh Baked Goods

Fresh Baked Goods

Cherry Beach Crash

Cherry Beach Sound is one of Canada’s top recording studios. I have written about the studio before here. They had recently refurbished the studio and you can see the stunning result.

Cherry Beach Sound

That is what the studio looked like before a bus crashed into it earlier today.

The Gray Line bus impacted one of the studio’s support beams. As a result, engineers and members of a hazardous materials team were trying to prevent the studio from collapsing.

Cherry Beach Bus Crash

Voice Over

Most of the production work that I do in the studio is music. However, from time to time, I have done voiceover projects. And I have another one happening next week.

Obviously, voiceover work is pretty straightforward. One mic. One preamp. And a bunch of talking.

On a more serious note, capturing a voiceover can be potentially more challenging than multitrack recording. Since there are fewer sound events, any flaw in the recording can really stand out.

I like the voiceover facilities at Deschamps Studios in Toronto. What a nice setup for voiceover work. And the control room looks great.

Deschamps VO

Deschamps Control Room

Fill It Up

I often highlight examples of “money no object” recording studios. Perhaps a link to a smaller facility is in order.

Gas Station Recording Studios is a small facility located on Toronto Island. The studio certainly has an atmosphere.

Barenaked Ladies and Bruce Cockburn are rumored to have recorded at this studio.

Gas Station

Canadian Sound Recording Industry

Statistics Canada does a periodic survey of the Canadian Sound Recording Industry. You can see part of their survey results here.

Some interesting data. In 1992/93 there were 187 companies that responded to the survey. During that year there were 6,271 new releases and roughly 10% of those releases had Canadian content or were recorded by Canadian artists. The industry realized about 828 million dollars of revenue with a profit margin of 16.5%.

The most recent survey in 2000 reported on 331 companies. Number of new releases stayed pretty much the same. Canadian content had increased significantly to 15.5% and total industry revenue was up to 1.4 billion dollars. Profit margins declined to 11.9%.

Those of us who track this industry are quite aware of the significant decline in CD sales over the past four years. There are still some healthy businesses out there but it remains a highly competitive market with very thin margins.

As a footnote to my previous post I have included a shot of Lydian Sound. This is another high quality studio in the Toronto area. Some of you were surprised that Canada had so many high-end studios. Alas, I have merely scratched the surface for you. Although CDs are a tough business, someone has to record all those DVDs Canadian consumers are buying in record numbers.

Lydian Sound, Toronto