Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Tone Shoppe in 614

More awesome news. The Tone Shoppe was featured in the April issue of 614 Magazine. Here is the article:

Behind the Music
Three innovative studios go beyond the board
By Erin Norris

I moved to Columbus five years ago, and if there is anything I regret, it was spending the first two years in an underage vacuum of local music awareness. It wasn’t until I received that coveted piece of plastic that declared I could legally experience local nightlife that I began to scratch the surface of the incredibly active and diverse music scene that has long been a cultural staple of the city.

The sheer amount of local talent warrants an equally passionate community of recording studios, sound mixers, and mastering engineers to immortalize this music in permanent form, and they work hard to keep up with Columbus’ growing soundscape. Central City Recording has made their mark on the city this past year, and Musicol’s reputation among local and regional bands is stellar – but several other studios around town are garnering a name for themselves and the C-bus scene.

The Up-and-Comer
Eric Cronstein lives where he works, a convenience he generously extends to all of the artists he records with.

“Anything that is here is usable by anyone who is here,” he says with a sweeping gesture from the studio to the domestic space. “When you are recording here, everything is available 24 hours a day. This is your home, there are no boundaries.”

Cronstein’s studio residence, the Tone Shoppe, is a humble monument to the artistic process. Nestled in the outskirts of the city, it serves as a retreat for artists who want to record in a professional but comfortable environment. “Most people say that when they’re here, they forget that they’re at a studio, because we’re really away from everything,” he said.

As a staff engineer in Cleveland, Cronstein began to feel disenchanted with the industry’s focus on finances and competition. “In Cleveland the studios would advertise ‘We are the premiere studio!’ or ‘We have the biggest console!’ but no one ever just said ‘We make really good recordings’ – which is what it is really about.” Interested in starting his own project, Cronstein decided to relocate to Columbus, an opportune area due to its thriving music scene. He and his business partner, George Chase, opened the studio in May 2010.

Since then, Cronstein and sound engineer Mark Parsons have recorded with local bands such as Tin Armor and Churches Burn, as well as out-of-town guests like The Sidekicks and Reverse the Curse. Cronstein says albums have taken anywhere from several days to several months to record. “We like to talk to people about their project before we do it, and we don’t like to work on an hourly basis. I feel like the focus on time stifles creativity,” he explained. “I know that musicians are not the wealthiest of folks, and I want to be able to give them something regardless of what they have.”

If anything, the Tone Shoppe team has a genuine respect for music, and a dedication to making the recording process a creative endeavor, rather than a business transaction. Whether clients want to come in for a few hours per day, or spend the summer playing baseball in the backyard, the satisfaction with their time spent and their final product is all that matters.

“Essentially, an artist is coming to a place to have somebody help them make their art, and they should have an environment that is conducive to that.”


Read the entire article HERE
(photo credit: Chris Casella)

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