santa-clausTwas the night before Christmas…

Well… a few days before.  I’ll be way too busy on the night before to actually write this so I’m getting it out of the way early.  (unlike my Christmas shopping!!  Gulp!)

2013 was an odd year.  It seemed to be very long and yet be gone in the blink of an eye at the same time.  As many of you know, we were trying to sell the business but that ended up not happening and, after some genuine introspection, we had a change in heart and perspective and realised that this was where we are supposed to be and this is exactly what we are supposed to be doing.

So now we’re back baby!

Stronger, faster, harder…, a little bit cuddlier.…ch…changes…

2013 was the year that saw Owen, our beloved technician, retire and he is sorely missed by both us and the music community at large as the only guy who could fix people’s gear.   So no more major repairs at Conti I’m sorry to say.  We can still do some little stuff for you.  Replacing speakers, pots and jack sockets, servicing mixing consoles, things like that but anything major that Owen would have normally done is now no longer available through us.  We haven’t found anyone who could replace him.  Thus far I haven’t even found another company I can recommend anyone to.  Guys like Owen are a dying breed in our “throw away society”.  No-one wants to fix anything anymore because it seems cheaper and easier to buy a new one of whatever it is.  (Good luck finding a new mid 70’s Fender Twin!!  Lol.)

We also started this blog this year and it seems to be going well.  So far I’ve managed to come up with something to write every week since we started, which is a bit of a shock really.  I thought I’d be stumped after a few of them but it seems when I sit down at the computer, some new rant manages to come out.

The school next door finally finished doing building works that have been going on for several years and had created far too much noise for us to do any recording.  This year we’ve built a whole new mixing room which we have put in Owen’s old workshop.  We like the new space.  It’s a little small compared to the last room but it’s cosy and has a great vibe to it.  I really enjoy being in there.  Being on the ground floor has allowed us to be a little more connected with the rest of the studio.  Plus the window allows people in the hallway to peek in on what’s going on.  It’s also meant that we are now not only connected to all of the rooms inside the building but also to the stage in the backyard which has seen us  do our first “Live On Deck” show which featured four great bands performing on the stage in front of a live audience and multi-track recording their sets.  That was a lot of fun and we look forward to doing more of these in the new year.  If you’re interested in having your band record from the stage in our backyard, give us a yell and we’ll try to work something out.

We have some other great ideas for next year as well.  One of which is “The Original Band Project” which is basically an 8 week course we want to run where we put musos together into new, original bands, help them to write their own new, original songs, record them and then showcase the bands in their own Live On Deck show.  We also want to turn the whole thing into a reality series that will air on our website.  Stay tuned for more details on it.  We will be looking to kick it off in either late February or early March.

We also want to get more into film in the new year.  We’ve been toying with it off and on for a while and it’s definitely a big passion for us so we are looking at investing in some professional quality HD cameras so we can start doing all manner of filming services both at the studio and on location.  We’ve been offering film editing for a while but up until now we haven’t really ventured into the actual filming of things and we are keen to have a go at it.  So if you’re interested in having some footage of your band (or anything else for that matter) done, make sure you give us a call in the new year to discuss your ideas.

Of course all our usual services like PA and lighting hire, tuition, etc are business as usual.  Now that we have our remote monitoring and super-smart door lock, we will be open for rehearsals right through the Christmas and New Year’s period and you can book online on our website  So even if you want to rehearse on Christmas Day, you can!  (call in advance though as we might be asleep in front of the tele after over-indulging in pudding and egg nog!)

Finally, we want to thank our customers for seeing us through another year and we hope you will all be back to make some more music (or film!) with us in 2014.  We think it’s going to be a great year for us and we definitely want you all to be a part of it.

Wishing you a very happy, safe and musical Christmas.

Nikk & Paul


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