Octave Records artist types

May 19, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

14 comments on “Octave Records artist types”

  1. Great aspirations Paul. I think the world makes for a better place suffused with music so I think musicians, aspiring and experienced alike, should be encouraged to practise their art and be able to earn a comfortable living from it. Those of us not inclined to or incapable of composing and performing music can merely experience the performance either live or via the recorded medium. I think aiming to improve the musician’s lot and the quality of the recording process at the same time is a very worthy goal. So I certainly support what you’re trying to achieve with Octave Records and wish you every success in the endeavour.

  2. Maybe, Paul, you could explain more in detail how you define a “high-end” Stereo recording. Until now you simply stated that it is based on DSD having the quality of an analog recording without noise. But isn’t the goal of most sound engineers to create a piece of art of its own using all kind of artificial sound effects offered by the digital mixing console? Effects which are never present during a live performance. Will you go the purest way of one-point recording or dummy head recording as seen at Chesky Records? Or even better: ambiophonic recordings? Which sound effects are allowed and which are banned? It would be interesting to hear some ideas and sound-goals. Regards

    1. Thanks, Paul and you are correct. It’s a real challenge and each recording we make will likely employ different techniques and means to achieve the final sound. That is because each recording is so different. For example, we just finished work on a pretty wild rock band, Augustus. These guys are great.

      There was a constant battle between their producer and our recording people. The producer’s vision for the piece was based on his years of experience in traditional recording venues and his goals were one thing while ours was from another vantage point, that of high-end audio. I have always wished for a hard rock album that was perfectly recorded and mixed (because the vast majority aren’t).

      We will use whatever tools and tricks get us where we want to go. In the end, that’ll mean purity for some groups, while for others it might mean a lot of help trying to get it to sound right. There’s no one formula.

      1. I guess, although the audiophile approach wants the best, also for the artist, it can be a millstone round the neck of musicians/producers with their own ideas of their form of art.

        Imagine you’d try to convince a painter to use a certain high end color he doesn’t want to use for other reasons 😉

      2. May I add? I as I know the music biz, the producer molds or ‘arranges’ the music written by the band into hits with hooks etc. The ENGINEER whom works with the producer creates the sound ! I don’t think this formula has changed. Been through all this in my 80ies career band days.

  3. Hey Paul!
    You said that, “musicians can’t make a good living from hardly any of the streaming platforms.”
    I told a friend of mine, the other day when he brought the streaming thing up.
    That streaming is not the way I wish to go with my music.
    When I get ready to do an album on myself, I want to get it all the way out there, in front of people.
    But also, giving the fact that SACD’s and DSD audio files aren’t well known about except a very few people, I also want to change that.
    Because after all, why couldn’t DSD files and SACD’s be as common place as both PCM and mp3?
    And also, why couldn’t the SACD playback equipment be more affordable for the masses?
    Also something I want to change.
    If it’s done right, then everybody wens!

  4. YES! Toto! Some of my favorite musicians, my favorite (rock) group, (and THE nicest guys) – an audiophile release from them via you would be heavenly! I am a huge fan of their proggier stuff & instrumentals – insane talent. Dave’s Gone Skiing – especially the lightning fast live versions, Jake to The Bone, Party In Simon’s Pants… Awesome. Toto side step – Try this for fun – listen to ‘She’ – from ‘James Newton Howard & Friends’ (guess who the friends are…?) and then Michael Jackson’s ‘Human Nature’. Hear it? Toto. On thousands of albums. They’re everywhere! OmnipotenToto. There, there’s the next Toto album title.
    “Check out the new release – OmnipotenToto. Recorded at Octave studios. In DSD.”
    Dang Straight Dude! Giddyup.

    1. A friend visited HDMUSIC.ME.
      Checking the 3000+ 24-bit CD FLAC also DSD downloads he searched “Gus skinas”

      OMG that guy is a god among recording engineers. WE are SO fortunate to have him.

  5. I get Paul’s desire to promote DSD, but I cannot see how established artists would oblige their listeners to pay $29 or how an independent studio can operate without pay-and-play for people to make music they can distribute in formats their fans can listen to. Surely pay-and-play could finance DSD productions? Or is Octave going to be exclusively DSD?

    1. Yup. Thanks, Steven. We’re exclusively DSD in the recording chain throughout the entire process. We are also incorporating a new type of DSD to PCM conversion technique developed by our friends at Bity Perfect called Zephir. This is a phase perfect process that really sounds nearly identical (as long as you start with DSD).

      We are committed to the format, the quality and the advantage of it for those who care. We realize our audience for DSD is limited.

      However, lastly, mainstream artists don’t care about DSD do but some will care about recording quality and for that there will be few studios able to compete even in PCM.

  6. I understand what Paul is doing and commend him for it but all of my favorite bands have already recorded their music and I bought it. While this endeavor will be great for showing off my systems potential I’m not going to be listening to a superior recording on a regular basis just because the recording is superior. I’m going to listen to my favorite rock bands. Do you think some of the great older rock bands out there who are still recording new music will choose octave records for it’s superior recording capabilities? Is that the goal? Or is it the goal to make test CD’s or test DSD recordings?

    1. Hey Joe, it’s complicated. On the one hand we very much believe there’s tons of great music out there from artists you don’t know about and we’d like to bring that to the foreffornt. Case in point I am going to PS this morning to approve the final masters of a group called Foxfeather that is nothing short of spectacular. The lead singer is a knockout on anyone’s level. So, that’s one goal.

      Another goal is to help musicians and to try and set a new standard of business that works for musicians as well as the consuming public. One could argue that tiny little Octave Records is but a blip on the radar. And that is true, but someone has to take the first step.

      And another goal is to show the world how great recordings sound and can be made. Too many audiophile labels seem to fall into the trap of recording the same sorts of music because those sorts of music more easily lend themselves to making great recordings. We want to stretch our wings and bring the art of great recordings to a wider variety than has been done before.

      I could go on. At the core is a burning desire my wife Terri and I have had for 50 years to build and run a world-class studio. That desire began a half-century ago in Munich Germany with Giorgio Moroder and was never fulfilled. Here we are doing it with the mantra better late than never.

  7. I appreciate what Paul is doing. There are so many talented musicians that will never get heard, other than locally if the play live in some clubs, but most never get a recording deal and will never have anything but a local following. They may record some CDs or have a BandCamp account, but most artists are just lost in the shuffle of streaming, or possibly selling something on CDBaby.

    The fact that with the vinyl resurgence and folks willing to spend $20 to $30 for LPs today is eye-opening to me. The fact that affordable DSD DACs are available and folks can buy music, superbly recorded by artists that are as talented as any on a major label, is a great opportunity for the artists.

    There are always folks where CD quality is enough, but since CD sales are way down and streaming has taken over, the artists will have a very hard time making a living out of that. Those who are extremely talented now have a possible new opportunity, how ever small, to have their music superbly recorded and distributed by a label that is “artist driven” and will not be lost in the music industry maze.

    If one has not heard the Octave releases I would urge you to do so. The cost of a ticket to Octave is way less than the cost of a concert ticket.

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