Day one of Octave Records

May 13, 2021
 by Paul McGowan

Octave Records is getting a new home.

For well over a year now we've been searching for the perfect building in which to house the new studios. And it has been a struggle. Landlords don't want a recording studio in their leased buildings and we didn't want to invest the half a million or more required to build the insides if we cannot keep the investment. Add to that the scarcity of available real estate and you'll understand why we've been struggling all this time.

But those struggles just ended.

And now the new struggles begin. (more on that later)

Join Terri McGowan as she walks us through day one of getting the new building—and it is a mess.

You can access the video by clicking here.

I think the video will give you a good laugh. The seller just kind of took what they wanted and left us to deal with the dregs of their 20-year-old business. Ugh.

Over the next few months, we'll document the building of Octave Record's new studios—state-of-the-art facilities that will be unlike anything ever built in the history of recording studios. (More on that as we progress).

Meantime, have fun as we share the beginnings of the new Octave Recording Studios (which we may likely wind up naming Kaulbach Studios—more on that if we do).

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22 comments on “Day one of Octave Records”

  1. You must've known that Terri was gonna slap you when you mentioned
    X-rated movies as a 'sideline'.
    I only have to ask my wife if I can check both of her for breasts for suspect lumps,
    because she's at that age now, & I always receive a barrage of fists to my torso.
    So much for caring...

    Seriously though, good for you & Terri for taking this most serious plunge.
    If I wasn't halfway across the world it would be fun to organize a non-vegetarian BBQ
    on a Saturday in the car park & pull some weeds...maybe smoke some as well 😉
    I'm sure that I speak for all contributors here when I say that we wish the two of you
    the very best of luck with whole 'Octave Records' project.
    I can wait to see your Steinway up & tinkling there.
    PS Audio...from strength to strength!

    ps. that roof looks like it's gonna make a helluva racket when it rains (or hails)

  2. Congratulations to the big step you made!

    For me, aside of all technical excellence, it will be most exciting to observe, if you try to separate from other audiophile labels as much in terms of artist and repertoire matters as you aim to do in terms of new technical advancements (which is great).

    If and how it will be possible to attract musically really interesting and challenging artists who stay and develop with the one or other larger group recording…or if Octave, as so many others, gets a label concentrating on local folk, blues, mostly solo/duo, test track and sampler releases.

    1. Yes, absolutely, that's the big challenge - plus building the world's highest resolution DSD studio and designing from scratch all the A/D, D/A, control boards, mixing boards, etc.

      We plan on musical diversity and we won't limit ourselves just to the local music scene though there will be plenty from that.

  3. Congratulations! I am glad to hear you are committed to diversity. I look forward to jazz and classical releases. I like that you have a lot of space. I wonder if you have considered a small theatre /performance space to tackle the challenge of presenting and recording a live performance. I am a firm believer that a live performance is a better, truer experience of music. Studios are okay but I don't like multiple takes and effects used to somehow get to the misleading idea of "perfection."

  4. So from the satellite photo it looks like your location is sandwiched between two others connected on either side of the wall. Hopefully they are quiet co-owners in the building and/or I am sure you are installing lots of sound deadening.

    I sell commercial real estate and this is pretty typical as to how a lot of people leave things. Every so often I will get an owner who will clean things up and make it totally move-in ready cleanliness wise but in this day and age that doesn’t happen too much.

    Congrats on the new endeavor.

    1. Thanks, Larry. There's one other on the other side of the wall - used to be a sports apparel shop where they silk screened shirt logos. It's currently unoccupied and for sale. Wish we could have afforded the whole building, but.....

    1. According to google maps between an 11 - 16 min drive, not counting stopping at one of the micro breweries along the way. Got the address off the front door 😀

  5. Pretty interesting to see who your studio neighbors will be. If I’m at ARO picking up some laser optics can I meet you at the corner for beer? 😀

    Best wishes for it all. Looks like a big project.

    1. Hah! And yes, with the brewery just down the street....

      Just got the first of what I am guessing are many endless calls from the contractor. Seems their first stab at the budget just blew up and the framing and isolation alone have already exceeded the entire proposed budget.

      Sigh.

      Maybe should have bought a boat instead.

      1. Maybe a horse ranch instead? Could shovel that sh*t 😀

        The best laid plans…. I hope the contractor gets more accurate with the stabs….

        I’m sure there will be plenty of ups and downs. But it’s a tuff start when the budget is already blown.

        Maybe some creative fundraising? Hand signed PSA gear that can be raffled off? Names wood burned into studs and rafters for a nominal charge? Patron donors who believe? Or time to purchase the winning powerball ticket?

        Hang tough, and all the best.

        1. Mike,
          Budgets always get blown.
          Once the contractors know that you're locked-in & there's no going back, BANG, up go the costs...it's the way of business, unfortunately.
          You always have to factor that in to your financial operations.

      2. “Maybe should have bought a boat instead.”

        Ha, I doubt it. You know what they say about boats.
        The best times are the day you buy it and the day you sell it.

        I’m sure the recording studio will be a lot more fun and you don’t need to wait for a break in the weather.

        1. Richtea,
          I thinking along the line of a ‘money pit’
          But then thought about a barge…. Hire a tug and change venues when ever you want. 😀

  6. This reminds me of a joke someone in Paso Robles told me:
    “How do you get a small fortune with vineyards and a winery?”
    “You start with a big fortune…”

    1. CtA,
      See the comment at 3:12am (May 13th) by 'Michael' on the PS Audio 'Ask Paul' site, 'Octave Records New Studio' (May 12th)...looks like he beat you to it.

  7. In 1968 I helped a brand new FM station in St. Louis set up their new studio in an old house. They had managed to secure access to an old Western Electric transmitter that was housed a few blocks away atop a building on the St. Louis University campus. I remember that it was serial number 3. The studio was built into an old house in an area called Gaslight Square. I wired the studio for stereo, but the transmission was in mono. All of this was done with cobbled-together equipment. In their case, they couldn't gut the building and start over because rented it and they didn't have the money anyway.

    Later, when I was in the private sector, between the university and government research careers, I designed the recording/broadcast studios for XM radio - essentially a modified music practice room.

    I wish you luck with Octave Records. The studio will be a great asset for all of us when you've finished it. No matter how frustrating it becomes when one thing or another isn't coming together the way you had planned, keep up the positive attitude that you show us in your YouTube bits (that goes for Terry as well) because the goal is worth more than the trip.

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