Composer/Music Producer Creates Virtual Studio

Sep 3, 2003 12:00 PM, Editors


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Joe Carroll’s Manhattan Producers Alliance, a virtual hub for composers, producers and sound designers, may become a new business model, where members and their clients can enter the shared studio facilities as needed via 24-hour video and audio access, from anywhere in the world that offers a connection to the Web.

According to Carroll, "The Manhattan Producers Alliance is a collective of high-end TV and film composers and producers employing a business model that's part Park Avenue co-op and part Using a system of Webcams, networking equipment and FTP sites, we share the entire resources of our facility both onsite and remotely with state-of-the-art, 24/7 remote access. Recent changes in audio and video technologies have made it possible for us to use the studios as a base station for each of our businesses, from wherever we may be. We're all principals in our own production companies, as well as members of the Alliance. We share and maintain the space together, and we book time as needed."

Alliance member Wade Tonkin said, "The Alliance studios serve as both clubhouse and ideological home for a group of like-minded creative people. It's also the technological hub for each of our Web-enabled production activities. On day one, I'm here reviewing picture at the Alliance with the producers, on day two, I'm composing in my home studio and maybe supervising an overdub remotely via the Web, and on day three, I'm mixing back at the Alliance with the producers checking in via the Web. It's a very flexible way to work."

In describing the origins of the idea for the alliance, Carroll recalled, "While working on the score for Kermit's Swamp Years, the director and I began fooling around with Webcams and messaging software. I set up my room so that the console was constantly feeding the audio card on a PC with this software running. The director could see and hear the scene I was working on all of the time, as well as the studio and control room activity via the Webcam. It was pretty close to having him sitting there. We later refined it a bit and found we could provide passwords to other production staff and clients who could then 'peak in the door' remotely as needed, from 3,000 miles away. We also began to do sessions where the band was at the New York studio but I directed the session remotely via the Web. It worked both ways."

For more, contact Carroll at

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