Studio Crossroads

When my band Restraining Order recorded our first CD Last Time You Took Me Back, we chose a local studio called Studio Crossroads. The home studio (though that term does it a disservice) was owned by the father of a friend of my niece, and I didn't have high expectations when I originally checked it out, but it was an amazing studio, home-based or not.

The studio consisted of one large recording room where you could easily fit an eight-piece band and all their gear. Off of that main room was a control room (with a hallway that lead to a waiting area and bathroom), and four smaller recording rooms of various sizes - one big enough for a large drum set, a couple good for guitarists and amps, and one small enough for a single vocalist.

All of the rooms were guarded against electro-magnetic interference, and none of the walls were parallel - a difficult engineering feat in a home studio, but an ideal way to avoid harsh sound reflections. All of the walls were wood paneled, and the lighting was offset - it was a very relaxing environment in which to record.

And not only that, but the owner/engineer Mike was a great guy to record a CD with - we should know, as we were in there for six months, recording and/or mixing once or twice a week over that period. He was technically proficient, but more important for us, Mike was an excellent sounding board for us band members, helping us come together when the road got rough.

I took my Canon AE-1 into Studio Crossroads several times, for what was perhaps the last serious photo series I ever took before going digital. I find it much easier to get shallow depth of field with an analog camera than with a digital camera - in fact, I usual cheat digitally and just blur part of the image in Photoshop. It's never the same, though.

Here are a few of those photos - unfortunately, they don't show the studio itself as much as some of the house instruments and gear in closeup. But music gear is still cool, right? I thought so. Originally these photos were just for me - then Mike asked me if I could develop some marketing material (brochure, website, logo, business cards) for the studio to help promote it, so I thought I could use these images. Then he thought about it more and realized he already had all of his available time booked with bands waiting for availability, so it didn't make sense to promote the studio - so the marketing material never materialized. Don't be too sad - just a little.

Click for larger versions of each photo.

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