April 2003

Posting and Beaming Into the Future

Grumpmeier Builds His Dream Studio

by Paul D. Lehrman

“Welcome to the GSPoT!” the kid grinned at me. “Mr. Grumpmeier told us you were coming. We're really happy you're going to write about us in Mix magazine. Around here, you know, we don't only look at the pictures, we sometimes even read it!”

Well that's nice, I thought, and smiled back at the young assistant. His purple hair matched the plush, yet hideous, heavy-duty indoor/outdoor carpeting that ran on for what seemed like miles, under which you could still smell the glue drying. I was amazed by how fast this place had gone up. Four recording rooms, three control rooms, a post suite, a screening room, a CD/DVD duping operation, a tape-baking kitchen, a sushi bar and a Starbucks were now occupying what had just a few months ago been the tire and automotive section of a busy department store.

“There you are.” Grumpmeier came out of a doorway, giving me a hale-fellow-well-met grimace that was the closest he could ever come to a smile. “You found us!” “It wasn't hard,” I replied. “The Big Red K in the parking lot helped a lot. But tell me again what you call this place.”

“The GSPoT!” he said triumphantly. “Stands for ‘Grumpmeier Studios Post and Transformation.’ I figured that would get people in here faster than if I named it after some drink or the godforsaken part of town we're in. But you can't beat the rent. That discount chain's stuck with a 30-year-lease that they can't get out of, and with the commercial real estate market in the dumper, they were desperate.”

“So you got a good deal on the rent?”

“No, we got no rent. All we gotta do is pay the utility bills so the pipes don't freeze and the landlord doesn't sue them. 'Course, I'm working on getting out of that, too.” It's comforting to know that no matter how successful my friend Grumpmeier gets, he'll always be the same cheap S.O.B. who once tried to sell me a Mac SE for Pro Tools, saying it was better than a new one because of its “vintage sound.”

The rest of this column, along with 56 more, is now available in The Insider Audio Bathroom Reader, published by Thomson Course Technology PTR.

Copyright ©2006 by Paul D. Lehrman