Greetings Morrisound family, we hope this finds you safe and happy, despite the challenging times our music industry- and the world as a whole- has been facing. Throughout the mayhem, Morrisound has been brewing up some exciting changes to our recording facility, technology initiatives, staffing, and service offerings while our engineers have been working tirelessly to keep our recording, mixing, and mastering sessions running as smoothly and safely as possible.
We are very happy to announce that Taylor Ramone has officially joined Morrisound as our new Studio Manager. Many of you are already familiar with Taylor as she has filled in for many years as an assistant engineer and a part of our technical staff; “I’m so excited to add my skill sets in videography, electrical engineering, session vocals, and entrepreneurship into the company’s repertoire full time. I am beyond pumped for what is coming next for the whole Morrisound community!”
Be sure to keep tuned to our blog and social media as we roll out a series of updates over the next few weeks; there are a lot of exciting new offerings that the Morrisound staff can’t wait to work with you on!
I want to reach out to the artists and musicians that I’ve had the honor and pleasure of working with over the 40 years since Jim and I started Morrisound Recording. Those of you who have been working with me in the last few years are aware that I’ve been struggling with an inner ear condition called Meniere’s Disease. I have 2 different doctors that have been working to save my hearing in what’s becoming a losing battle, including the use of an experimental drug (that actually worked great for a while!). My hearing has degraded to the point that I can no longer predictably work for artists that depend on me to make the decisions that help to bring their creations to life. As a result, I will be changing my role at Morrisound. My passion for being a part of this process has not diminished in the least. Should some breakthrough occur that helps recover my hearing I will be back in the studio in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, that’s a very unlikely event at this point. As a result, I will be stepping away from the recording side of the studio effective immediately. One of my roles at Morrisound has always been managing the business. I’ll be spending more time behind an office desk now that I’ll be moving away from the recording desk.
There have been so many amazing people and projects I’ve had the joy to work with that I cannot list them here. The Gold and Platinum awards and Grammy nominations for some of the projects I’ve worked on have been causes for celebration along the way, but the real fuel for my passion has the been the trust so many artists have placed in me to join them in their musical journey and allow me to be an intimate part of that creation. For those that I’ve worked with, my hope is that I was able to contribute to that journey to make it not just a successful realization of your vision, but an experience that you have treasured the way I have.
I’ve been culling through photos that some of you have sent me over the years, like the ones here. I’d love to have more of them (and not just Facebook copies). I’d like to be able to put them all together somehow. If you have some that you don’t mind sending me I’d love to see them – firstname.lastname@example.org.
How many of you have held a reel of 2” tape in your hands (or had one dropped on your toes)? They were heavy (about 11 ½ lbs), and expensive. They used to cost about $200 for enough 24 track tape to record about 16 ½ minutes of audio at 30 inches per second (ips). 33 minutes if you recorded at the noisier 15 ips. It wasn’t unusual for an album-length project to use thousands of dollars worth of 2” tape.
Storing them took a lot of space and care to prevent them from becoming unplayable after a few years. If you wanted to make copies of the tapes for safekeeping it was expensive. Making safety copies added thousands to the budget. The right time to make safety copies was at the end of the recording – when the budget had already been spent. In most cases that meant that the multi-track tapes were never copied. Instead, you hoped that nothing went wrong with the tapes and that the record label knew how to take care of them. It turns out that isn’t always the case, as this article highlights:
When Jim and I were playing in a band together during our college years, we had the chance to take our band into a recording studio to record some cover songs for our club demo, as well as take a stab at a couple of original songs. We fell in love with the creative process. Neither of us could think of much else for a long time after that experience. We both decided that if we ever got the chance to somehow have our own recording studio we had to do it.
At the time (late 1970’s early 1980’s) there was no way put together a decent recording studio for less than a few hundred thousand dollars. 24 track reel-to-reel analog recorders were the state of the art – and cost in the neighborhood of $50k. A recording console was a necessity – and cheap ones were close to $100,000. Then you add the mics, cables, sound treatment, headphones, etc. It was a big buy-in. (more…)
“River Runs” was recorded and co-produced at Morrisound Recording by Tom Morris. Here is the most recent article featured on usf.edu about this exciting and innovative project:
Call it the journey of a lifetime. When USF Distinguished Professor Chuck Owen wrote his new CD, River Runs, he was inspired by his own personal journeys down America’s most iconic rivers. Now, he has been nominated for one of the nation’s most iconic and prestigious music industry awards.
At the 2014 GRAMMY Award nomination announcement on December 6, Chuck Owen was among the nominees in two separate categories: Best Instrumental Composition for Bound Away, and Best Instrumental Arrangement for Side Hikes: A Ridge Away. Both tracks are part of Owen’s newest CD, River Runs: A Concerto for Jazz Guitar, Saxophone & Orchestra(MAMA Records) – a five-movement concerto, more than an hour in length, combining a full symphony orchestra with a jazz ensemble (The Jazz Surge) and jazz soloists on guitar and saxophone. (more…)