Pt 12 – September 6th

There comes a point when it’s important to stand back, think and refocus.

Snap is beginning to meander. Despite the huge amount of work that has already been done, the list of things to do seems to be growing rather than diminishing.

As the structure advances, the shape of the build determines subtle changes in direction. For example, I’m increasingly of the opinion that the private lounge adjoining studio one control room will be used a great deal for overdubs. Indeed, I have a hunch that it might well be used most of the time – tracking guide vocals while the rhythm section tracks in the live room, overdubbing vocals, guitars or brass or as a second, smaller, live room where the acoustics dictate. And there may be another reason why this space might be used.

Snap is designed as much for first time recordists as for experienced musicians. I want to encourage new bands and artists, and want the studio to project a friendly, hands-on, creative vibe. So a comfortable lounge with rugs, sofas and a homely vibe may well be less intimidating than the (inevitably) more mainstream live room for certain musicians.

I may be wrong, but in case this proves to be the case I decided to have a second large, floor-to-ceiling, window looking out from the control room to the lounge. Of course, this will have a blind to shutter it off when not needed but one immediate by product of the decision has been to open up the control room and remove and vestiges of claustrophobia. Indeed, the feeling is amazing – open and light rather than closed and gloomy like so many studios.

A lot needs to happen over the next two weeks. Tom at Floorsmiths is preparing the reclaimed oak floor ready to go down in around a week. Robert Stanley has turned up a triple glazed set of smoked glass patio doors and these will arrive midweek, ready for fitting between the machine room and studio one lounge/overdub room. I haven’t seen them yet, but once more have crossed fingers. The developing vibe dictates that soundproofing between machine room and lounge be absolute.

One setback was to discover that the soundproofing for studio two control room was woefully inadequate. Strange though it may seem for such an essential factor, it had been overlooked in our focus on the massive soundproofing work required for studio one and the main live room. So once more I’m looking at additional time and costs. Added to which, we’ve hit a hitch with the lease on the important storage rooms at the back of the garage. This is essential to house plate reverbs, backline, spare outboard, drums, flightcases and the assorted flotsam and jetsam accumulated by a professional studio. Sure, I’ll resolve outstanding issues – sorting out problems is a large part of what I do – but once more I’m looking at additional costs and further delays.

So in order to reclaim slipping time, I need to throw more people at the job. It’s that same old compromise again – time and money. More people means more dosh, but lost time is also costly. But it’s more than that. As the project grinds forwards, spirits begin to flag. There is a general buzz of excitement surrounding Snap and already so extremely interesting artists are queuing up to try the place out. But as the timescale slips spirits flag. However, with extra hands on board, the next two weeks will see the studio leap forwards and the vision we all have will finally start to take real shape.

I’ve arranged a site meeting for early next week, at which stage I’ll hammer down a detailed schedule to push the building through in readiness for the equipment install.

And that, dear reader, is where my mind is now turning.