What to do when your business model changes under your feet?
No one can argue the record and recording industries have seen major upheaval in the past decade. The rise of the internet and iTunes closed record shops, record labels and recording studios around the country and the world. Hardly anyone inside the industry saw, or could predict, the new landscape of the music industry as it exists today, with artists going from obscurity to world-phenomenon within not just months, but days and hours.
Our Entrepreneur of the Week, Marc Moss, a talented recording engineer and and producer has moved out of a conventional brick and mortar studio into a world of large file transfers and Skype sessions made possible by the same broadband connections that meant the demise of the conventional music industry. Marc has built a successful recording and video production company – Target Studios, in Redhook, NY.
A New Era for Recording Studios
There is still a market and need for a large, acoustically-tuned room, and sound-proof booths where a 5 or 6 piece band or ensemble could spread out and record their music, and then lounge comfortably around a massive mixing console while overdubs and additional recording tracks are laid down. The location of these recording studios were often key to their success, and famous rock bands had to travel to experience the vibe of a hallowed space, where great artists had captured magic over the years.
However it is a sign of the times that many famed studios around the US and world cannot support themselves. Even Abbey Road Studios (the Beatles, Pink Floyd) at the end of 2009, came under threat of sale to property developers. The British Government stepped in to protected the site, granting it English Heritage Grade II listed status in 2010, thereby preventing the building from any major alterations.
Inexpensive recording studio software is making these large recording facilities obsolete, shifting music-recording to the home. In the Los Angeles metro area, industry experts estimate that up to half of the commercial studios have closed or been sold to artists for private use.
A key reason is that recording software emulates what old studio consoles and tape recorders used to do — at a fraction of the price. Among the most widely used programs are Avid Technology Inc.’s Pro Tools, Steinberg Media Technologies’ Cubase and Apple Inc.’s GarageBand.
Our Entrepreneur of the Week, Marc Moss, has helped IncPlan(USA) with various audio recording and video editing projects for our Start-up Video Library. The distance between Marc’s office, and Incplan(USA) corporate office may be 4 hours, but with large-bandwidth transfer services like DropBox, and YouSendIt, a engineer can work as efficiently as if he was a few blocks away.
Marc started out with a traditional record studio in a building in 1992, and ran a successful studio in Delaware until 2011 when he relocated to upstate New York, in the Catskill Mountain region. Marc’s new business model includes mixing and mastering and post-production services. Marc told us,”Now that artists are taking advantage of new technology and record their tracks at home, it’s easy to upload them to Target Studios to have them professionally mixed and mastered. In addition solo artists can send their basic demo to Target and have their songs fully-produced, adding additional tracks to the final production.”
The recording session can even occur with Marc traveling with equipment that fits easily in the trunk of a car, to record a band or event and then take the digital files back to his NY studio for final work. Many artists can now contribute to a recording or film and never stand in the same room together.
Video and Film Production
Target Studios has been editing video for individual filmmakers and advertising and production companies, finishing several DVDs, short films and commercials. Because of Target’s vast experience in audio and soundtrack production, clients can use Target as a one-stop shop, saving time and money for customers on a budget or tight deadline. Target Studios can turn raw video footage into a completed mastered project with original music score, voice over, and titles for a fraction of the cost of traditional production houses.
“In The Pines” – The Mosstins
About The Artist
Producer, engineer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, with over 150 CD projects to his credit, Marc Moss is one of the most respected producers in the US Mid-Atlantic region. Born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, Marc has always made music his livelihood, both as a performer and as owner and founder of Target Studios. From 1980 to 1986, Marc was a member of Bad Sneakers, a popular Mid-Atlantic band that regularly performed up and down the east coast and released three albums.
In 1992, Marc released his own critically acclaimed CD, Marc Moss and the Art Farm. Stereo Review called the CD “intelligent, extremely well-crafted, and addictively tuneful.” Marc spent the next several years performing solo at such venues as The Bitter End in New York City, The Tin Angel in Philadelphia and The Bluebird Café in Nashville. He has also performed at BMI’s Acoustic Round-up in New York City, the Philadelphia Music Conference and the SXSW Music Conference in Austin. Listen to Nothing’s Perfect by Marc Moss. After working together on various solo projects over the years, Silent Planet artists Steve Black and David Meredith began writing and recording songs with Marc in 2001. As a result of this collaboration the critically-acclaimed, Black/Moss/Meredith and their album World Of Wonder was released in 2002 and the band played collectively for approximately a year before moving on.
Moss is probably most well-known for bringing American folk legend David Bromberg out of retirement, engineering his Grammy nominated Try Me One More Time and Use Me, released in 2011. This follow-up record has Moss working at the studios of such American musical legends as the late Levon Helm, along with Linda Ronstadt, Keb’ Mo’, Vince Gill and many others.
Lately, Marc has begun a new musical venture with his beautiful and talented wife, Nancy Austin under the name The Mosstins.
Available on iTunes, a contemplative song, written by British folk singer, Sandy Denny, is sung by The Mosstins, for the winter/holiday season. Filmed in beautiful Wilcox Park, Milan, NY, The Mosstins rendition of “Who Knows Where the Times Goes” acknowledges true love amidst the passing of time. To hear more songs by The Mosstins, please subscribe to The Mosstins youtube channel – http://www.youtube.com/user/themosstins and visit The Mosstins on www.facebook.com/TheMosstins