A Little Bit 'O History... and 'State of the Studio' from the Glenn-meister himself!

A Little Bit 'O History... and 'State of the  Studio' from the Glenn-meister himself!
Taylor-Made Productions started out as a small, 4-track TEAC demo room in the basement of a house nestled in the bosom of idyllic suburbia… That is; Passaic, New Jersey. Back in those days we were known as “If Walls Could Talk” Studios… The year was 1977… and even though we were short on tracks then, we were always long on keyboards and FX. The clients started to roll in to take advantage of instruments that they normally wouldn't have access to in their respective "live" situations. Although it's 'standard practice' for studios to offer-up veritable 'batteries' of keyboard and MIDI gear these days… there were very few independent studios then, whose promos boasted "Free use of Hammond / Leslie, Rhodes, ARP, Moog, String ensemble… Echoplex", etc..

We continued our growth at an amazing rate; A 2-inch format 16-track in 1979(AutoTech)… then, a 2-inch 24-track (3M M79) by 1980. Moving from songwriter & cover-banddemos, we started to do small independent label work (Lots of R & B, dancere-mixes, & early metal bands).

As a composer/producer myself, I felt that I was getting 'stale' applying allof my energies to other artists' work exclusively. About 1985, I started to 'widenthe palette' of the type of clientele we were seeking… and began to workwith corporate and ad-agency departments, offering original-music-scoring, jingles,audio-for-video 'sweetening' and sound design (did they call it by THAT namein '85 ??).

By mid-1987, we'd moved to our present location, here in Caldwell, New Jersey...and taken on our “Taylor-Made Productions” moniker to indicate themore diverse array of project-types that could now be accomodated. We totally "re-tooled" inthis spacious, new facility and designed it 'from the ground up' to accommodatesync-to-picture, audio-layback to 3/4" U-matic, then 1-inch; and later… BetaSP video… (Our current video 'main-squeeze' is the new DoReMi Labs 'V-1'non-linear edit system, along with a Canopus 'Quicktime-to-NTSC converter). Backthen, we were growing at an amazing rate! In came digital audio; Pro-Tools recording & editing,Performer MIDI-workstation-composing & sequencing… and of course, thetraditional 'multi-track analog' artist & ensemble music "project" recordingwe had done all along.

The first piece of gear I saw (and purchased) with a disk drive was in 1982....a'good old reliable' EMU Emulator-One (MIDI'd and still in use !!). It turnedthe tide forever. The current state of Taylor-Made is a far cry from the Emu-1days, but it still respects its technologically "clunky" ancestry… oras the 'chic-elite' say these days.. errr, uh... 'vintage'.... Today, the devicewith the most over-riding influence on what we do and how we do it... is, infact... the computer! (duh!)...... We're strictly Mac-oids here! I initiallyliked the Mac concept so much... I bought two; No kidding. A BIG step then...Now we're up to six of them!

Having crossed into the "21st-century", we've recently installed anew, gleamin', screamin'-fast dual-2-Ghz processor Mac G-5 in the studio forour 'Pro Tools-HD w/ surround' (plus a ton o' plug-ins to boot!), along w/ ourrecently beefed-up (and aforementioned) DoReMi Labs V-1 'non-linear' video capturesystem for audio-post. For our MIDI-rig, we've hot-rodded our existing Mac G4and are doing our original scoring and composing now w/ MOTU's (latest editionof) Digital Performer.  With the brand spankin' new iMac G-5 in the office,handling the internet, word-processing, billing, finance and database chores… andALL the Macs updated to system X (.current version)… TMP is most definitely'cutting-edge'... well... perhaps for at least a few weeks, anyway! 

A special thanks here to our 'in-house-but-freelance' 'Digital-I.T.-guy' JoelKrantz for his patience, guidance, expertise and general 'cool-guy'-ness, inoverseeing and implementing the MASSIVE install we recently 'survived';  Imean... he DID come 3000 miles from sunny California to do it!  As for theother various Macs..... well, they're rumored to be networked and / or strewnabout the premisies… in the tech-shop, lounge, latrine... and parts otherwiseunknown ...

Back in 1991, Macs were a HUGE step for us. We'd previously used a Roland MC-500dedicated hardware-sequencer with an SBX-80-box to chase SMPTE. Initially tentativeabout Performer & the Mac (i.e. learning how to use a new system, down timeetc.), I discovered that within a week of setting it up, I wouldn't have beenable to take on a project without it!... (Special thanx to Herb Pabst of NextEarth our 'web-meister' for cheering me on to 'Mac-dom')! Digital Performer (simplycalled 'Performer' back then) was (and still is) easy, fast as heck and reallyflexible; We found it to be a 'breeze' for setting up cues-to-pix when comparedto our previous system. With the addition of Pro Tools digital audio (which camealong a little later)... we discovered that between these two programs, you couldconfigure your audio-path in a host of different ways to perform ALL of the differentaudio-tasks at hand... in a manner suitable to both you… AND the project!  Youget to wondering just how we EVER worked, utilizing the dinosaurs that precededthe 'current-state' ("when mylar-backed oxide ruled… and roamed thestudios of the 'Messozoic' audio-era"!)... And this is from ME, the 'ReluctantTechnician'!

With Taylor-Made's vast collection of library music and SFX on CD and CD ROM,the Gefen Systems "Music and Effects Organizer System" is a life-saverfor searching FX and library music categorically (once again on the Mac!). Itoperates essentially like a word-finder style program; Type in the cue and you'represented with a list of possibilities, including description / variation, CD#, location, index and length. Our input session with Gefen Systems was a challenge(for them...Thanks Hagai!), as we only wanted our database to include the librariesand segments thereof that WE owned (so someone couldn't look up a cue we didn'thave, although there are (ahem), few that we don't!). When we were done theytold us that they had never customized an M & E package to the extent theyhad to for us.... We're such P.I.T.A.'s!

Today, the centerpieces of the studio are our recently-installed 88-input AMEK "Media51" console and our Pro Tools "high-definition"  or 'HD'tapeless audio workstation; The new AMEK features Rupert Neve-designed equalizersand mic-preamps. As it's name implies, the board is "surround-mix-ready" forboth the 5.1 and 7.1 formats. The "desk" utilizies the "Supertrue" mix-automationsystem via a dedicated PC (OK, OK, so we let ONE IBM box get in here!). Thissystem is SMPTE driven and sports complete cut, paste and mix-merging capability,as well as clean graphics and simple operation. Combined with the flexibilityof the plug-ins and automation available in Pro Tools, "Supertrue" isthe perfect 'finishing touch' mix-companion to the Digidesign program. It's sucha pleasure to be able to consistently answer clients with the phrase, "noproblem", when they want several variations of a mix, to recall an old mix,or to change a move at the last minute.

In this new millennium, Taylor-Made hopes to continue as a 'mainstay' for ALLtypes of artistic / creative and technical audio needs in the performance, advertisingand corporate communities... There are constantly 'new toys', most promisingto 'make our busy lives a little bit easier'... and we are commited to ALWAYShaving what is hot, new or cool in our 'studio-stable'... Whatever will giveOUR clients the 'advantage'... (Although it sometimes gives the accountant conniptions!....sorry Jim M!). We are truly dedicated to the maintenance of the 'cutting edge'of technology here, but we never forget what has brought us this far “downthe 'pike”, after all these years... Good, solid business-relationships...and the way in which we respond to our clients' needs. Its the cornerstone ofANY ongoing affiliation… (not to mention a successful organization); And… it'salso the predication upon which we're building our future here at Taylor-MadeProductions!

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