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As a current studio owner this business faces one more extraordinary challenge that it didn't face in the past which is the fact that the recording studio as laptop and m-box era has eliminated an entire segment of people who were once at least potentially clients. This is not just garage bands and weekend warriors but also little post houses and VO talent who can know build an excellent closet sized space to do their daily gig and not hire an outside facility that specializes in this work.
At least Steve has proximity to labels that need restoration/transfer services. Contrast this with people in smaller markets who don't even have that narrow tributary to rely upon with any regularity. As always owning a pro level recording studio remains a labor of love first and foremost..

AA

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> On Oct 13, 2015, at 1:37 PM, Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> I hope Steve is able to continue with his transfer and remastering business at a Brooklyn location. He does good work. I've been enjoying the Errol Garner set just today, it sounds fantastic.
> 
> The trajectory of Steve's Manhattan studio is, unfortunately, long the story of recording studios in Manhattan. You set up shop in a dangerous hellhole neighborhood because the rent is cheap there and musicians tend not to mind doing business there.  Once the neighborhood gets gentrified so it's safe and desireable, the gross revenue and profit margins of the recording studio business are far too low to afford prime-space rent rates. Think about how much more revenue per square foot a Starbucks or trendy boutique or luxury condo generates vs. a recording studio. This happened to almost all of the large-space recording studios in the 80s, during the Reagan-era Wall Street boom. Then another round of it happened during the Giuliani era, particularly in and around Times Square, when a former crime-ridden hellhole neighborhood got Disney-fied. Yet another round happened more recently, leaving Magic Shop as one of a handful of full-function studios left in Manhattan.
> 
> The way rents are going in Brooklyn, there won't be much of a recording/music business there in a few years.
> 
> By the way, if you go back and study the history of the long-term studios, there's almost always some unknown backstory where something more lucrative than the music business is subsidizing the studio. Look at a "golden age" studio empire like Bill Putnam's and you see a diversified business with many locations, an equipment-manufacturing business and, probably most importantly, a large and varied client list from the sound-for-picture world. Until very recently, the margins on doing movie and TV sound work were much, much better than doing music albums. Just think about what backgrounds you know about your favorite albums, especially if they are jazz or pop/rock. Many of them are legendary for being recorded "on a shoestring." Well, that shows you how thin the margins are for the studios. That kind of a business simply can't pay premium rent, it needs to exist in a low-rent area.
> 
> -- Tom Fine
> 
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Barton, Matthew" <[log in to unmask]>
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 1:11 PM
> Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] From yesterday's NY Times
> 
> 
>> The owner of the studio, Steve Rosenthal, presented at ARSC in Pittsburgh on his work on the expanded reissue of Errol Garner's "Concert by the Sea" that is now #1 on Billboard's Jazz chart.
>> 
>> 
>> Matthew Barton
>> Library of Congress
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Peter Hirsch
>> Sent: Sunday, October 11, 2015 12:06 PM
>> To: [log in to unmask]
>> Subject: [ARSCLIST] From yesterday's NY Times
>> 
>> As a librarian/archivist and collector, I am not directly involved with this end of the recording process, so I was not aware of this studio's existence before reading this article. Still, it touches on the "sic transit gloria mundi" aspect of our collective interests on this list. In some ways, it is more a comment on the current state of affairs regarding real estate in NYC and how these forces are transforming the city into a tourist trap/theme park and investment haven for non-resident billionaires, than on the state of the recording business. Hyper-gentrification is thriving and driving away so much that makes the city a place to be and make a living in. "A Beloved Recording Studio May Be Priced Out of SoHo":
>> http://tinyurl.com/po8cmvf
>> 
>> Peter Hirsch