Thursday, March 22, 2012
Another Piece of My Childhood Gone Forever
Taking the long way back to work just now, I've learned that Studio 16 Productions has been torn down. Not a trace of it remains, just a big empty hole where it used to sit. The building has been sitting vacant for years, but it's still depressing. Studio 16 Productions was the first real studio I recorded in and it's where I took bass lessons as a teenager. It's owner and proprietor, Chris Hunter, was an complete professional through and through. My friends and I recorded some of the goofiest, noisiest music he's ever heard, I'm sure, but he treated us with complete professionalism. Once, when we recorded the first C3L demo there, I caught him covering his face during a take so we wouldn't see him laughing at us. When the song was over, it was business as usual and nobody brought it up. It was as if it never happened. As a kid, I dreamed of writing and recording my own music, Studio 16 was the only place to do it around here. He had this great, giant mixing board and recorded on the same 2" tape probably since it was built in the 70s. The studio was everything I imagined it to be, both in its set-up (vocal booths, green room and a light-up "In Session" sign) and atmosphere. The place was totally legit. At some point in the late 90s he sold all of his gear off for a small hard drive based digital studio and moved into the basement of a building downtown. I went there once to transfer Sockeye's master tapes to DAT for the "Barf on a Globe" CD and it just wasn't the same. Chris said he preferred it this way and there was no looking back, but it saddened me then as it saddens me today to see the old location gone forever. I doubt I'll step foot in a "real" studio again, but there's a heavy feeling you get recording in a proper studio like that. It goes against everything D.I.Y. I believe in, but it's a cool experience most kids today will never experience. I prefer doing my own recordings, but I'm happy I had a chance to experience the other side of things when I did. I had three such experiences there and I'll cherish those memories forever.