Free Rehearsal Time - Royal City Studios

Get a Free Hour of Rehearsal Time at Royal City Studios

As part of Royal City Studios’ ongoing efforts to support area musicians, foster community creativity with real people in a non-Zoom setting, and help bands rehearse and prepare for shows or recording without the neighbors hammering on the walls, Royal City Studios is now offering a free hour of rehearsal time in one of its many, fully equipped studios.

Royal City Studios acknowledges that, in a world where scams (and possibly scamolas) seem to lurk around every corner like “estate trustees” offering million-dollar paydays in exchange for personal banking details, free offers can understandably sound fishy to some people, but rest assured. There’s no catch. Here’s how it works:

This Saturday (Feb. 26), it’s Half Price Rental Day* at all Long & McQuade locations for guitars, basses, amps, pedals, mixers, sound systems, recorders, pianos, synthesizers, drumkits, and band instruments!

For Guelph-area musicians, Long & McQuade is located just down the road from Royal Studios at 30 Arrow Rd. (Here it is on Google Maps.)

Bring in your Long & McQuade rental receipt after you book a rehearsal studio at Royal City Studios and get an extra hour of rehearsal time for free.

>> Book your rehearsal studio online or call (226) 314-2177.

Walk-ins welcome but limited to studio availability.

If you don’t have time to head to Royal City Studios this weekend, you won’t miss out. Royal City Studios’ free hour of rehearsal time offer is good any time you bring in a Long & McQuade rental or product purchase receipt. We just felt this weekend was extra noteworthy, since you’re also saving at Long & McQuade.

*Long & McQuade half price rental offer is a one-month maximum term. Royal City Studios has no affiliation with Long & McQuade.

All for One Media - RCS Music News Weekly

New Legal Disputes… Er, Corporate Boy Band Coming Soon!

All for One Media Corp. (AFOM) recently finalized a Letter of Intent to cast, produce, and market a new boy band as a joint venture with Robin Antin’s RA Productions—the same corporate duo that created boy band Dream Street (now defunct because of legal disputes) and the Pussycat Dolls, whose legal disputes with band creator Robin Antin over money were so horrendously messy, Dream Street well may have said, “Whoa. Our disputes seem like nothing compared to that piping hot train wreck.”

None of that, however, has dissuaded the corporate duo from eyeballing a new payday (oh, and churning out some songs along the way). Evidencing their goal, a press release from AFOM said, “Over the last several years, successful boy bands starting with One Direction in 2013 have grossed over 1 billion dollars through numerous revenue streams, including streaming music and videos, live performances, movies, and merchandise.”

In seeming address to any AFOM shareholders wondering how soon they can expect bigger dividend cheques, AFOM CEO Brian Lukow said, “Robin and I have spent the last several months discussing timelines, budgets, and goals before entering into this agreement. Most importantly, we share a singular objective to build a worldwide sensation and the next big thing in pop music.”

No one currently knows what this “next big thing” will eventually look like. Yet if AFOM’s track record is any indicator of the future, the RCSMNW News Team is willing to bet a 20 pack of Timbits that some of it may involve lawsuits, countersuits, and plenty of happy lawyers.

More Musicians Now Releasing Their Own Music

If the previous story seems like a nightmare waiting to happen, you have a basic sense of why more musicians are choosing to release their own music.

A few examples, as recently reported by the BBC:

  • Singer Lauren-Spencer Smith (“Fingers Crossed”) stormed to the top of the UK singles chart with no record deal. She distributes her music through TuneCore, retains ownership of her master recordings, and gets 100% of royalties when her songs are streamed.
  • Singer Kylie Minogue released her latest album, Disco, on her own label, Darenote.
  • Indie-soul singer Arlo Parks, signed to the small indie label Transgressive, won the 2021 Mercury Prize for her debut album, Collapsed in Sunbeams.

Framing the major why behind why many artists are seeing success by not being signed to a major, music industry consultant Tatiana Cirisano says in the BBC article, “It’s not about fame and fortune and being a superstar. It’s about finding your core fanbase, who are going to be engaged and listen and buy your stuff, so that you can make a meaningful income from music.”

Analog Recording - Royal City Studios

The Most Important Thing About Recording, According to Mark Ashfield

Given the rise of analog music formats (from vinyl to cassettes), many musicians now wonder how yesterday’s audio engineers achieved that unique analog sound. UK mastering engineer Mark Ashfield of PresentDayProductions explains it in his YouTube video The Most Important Thing I Have Learned About Recording.

Drawing on 35 years of experience, Ashfield explains the obvious. Yesterday’s recordings didn’t involve DAWs, plugins, and folders chock-o-block with samples and loops. Those things hadn’t been invented. Yes, recording studios had FX boxes and tricks to process some sounds. Yet the focus was on getting the best possible sound right from the studio floor from how microphones were placed, how drums were tuned and dampened, how amplifiers were dialed and placed, etc.

Moreover, given the real-time nature of analog recording, bands generally played songs all the way through, whether laying down bed tracks or giving full performances, like Toronto band Rough Trade, the first rock band to record direct to disc with their exquisite 1976 album Rough Trade Live (which, despite its name, was recorded in a studio).

With the best possible source recording on tape, a final recording tended to involve more mixing as opposed to trying fix a poor source recording by changing instrument sounds and glopping on the FX.

In Ashfield’s experience, this same approach remains the most important thing about recording, whether you’re working with the most sophisticated DAW or recording to a four-track cassette. “Get it wrong,” writes Ashfield on his YouTube channel, “and you’re fighting a losing battle.”

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