Professional Sound - December 2017 - Page 29

STUDIO 6 LIVE ROOM STUDIO 6 CONTROL ROOM know everybody and have a relationship with them.” Again, that type of rapport is central to so many of Metalworks’ competitive differentiators. “We want to be driven by reason, logic, and team discussion, not by an autocratic approach,” he emphasizes. “For the most part, we’ve been able to shepherd the creative instincts people have to achieve an atmosphere that’s professional but also relaxed. We want to en- courage creativity and new ideas, not hold people down. We do a unique job here with our HR. I’m proud of it, and it’s important to the way we approach our respective roles.” It helps that the median age for employees at Metalworks is relatively young, and Moore says he has always invited people to use Metalworks as a “professional stepping stone” on their career path. “I just want those people to succeed,” he says. “Hopefully they’re succeeding at Metalworks, but I want them to succeed elsewhere, too, and to look back on their time here as having been enjoyable and educational. There are so many different jobs and opportunities and niches in the music business, and they’re all pretty cool. This is a great business to be in.” Over the past 40 years, Metalworks Studios has accrued accolades and achievements that are simply unequaled in the Canadian market. Nearly 200 platinum- or gold-certified projects have been cut there. They’ve been named Studio of the Year at Canadian Music Week’s Music and Broadcast Industry Awards 17 times. The Mississauga Board of Trade recently recognized Moore with its Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Mississauga Arts Council presented him with its Patron of the Arts award. And now, after the very recent closure of Phase One Studios on the other side of Toronto, Metalworks may very well be the oldest commercial recording studio in the country. But again, while Moore is of course very proud of these achieve- ments and quick to share the credit for them, his gaze is fixed on what lies ahead. “I look at the future now and say, ‘Okay, we’ve achieved some things in the domestic market that I’ll call historical, but what are we going to do to earn our stripes tomorrow?” Turns out he has a few answers. Metalworks is currently revisiting the curriculum at MWI, which was initially developed in the late ‘90s despite having been regularly updated to keep pace with industry advancement. Much of that work is focusing on the current digital and cloud-based paradigm, and includes potentially incorporating cloud-based learning management systems and online learning environments. The “zenith” of the plan, he reveals, is a hybrid of education and professional audio collaboration and recording coming together beneath the longstanding brand. A core piece of that is something Moore is perhaps most excited about: the development of a cloud-based studio and collaboration hub called AudioWorks. The origins of this leading-edge concept trace back about four or five years and, ironically, are partly based on the origins of Moore’s career with Triumph in the ‘70s. “When we were starting out, nothing creative would really gel unless we were jamming in our rehearsal space, which happened to be a bowling alley,” he chuckles. “With the increasing bandwidth and better internet connections around the world, the data you can move and speed you can move it at, there’s no reason why musicians and producers today can’t be collaborating remotely.” There are currently cloud-based platforms for recording, rehears- ing, teaching, and content distribution, but the idea of an entirely online studio that records high-resolution audio with a truly profes- sional workflow is a new one, and it’s attracted significant attention and investments from some major music industry players – including some MWI graduates. Interestingly, it’s a further democratization of the recording busi- ness, which Moore recognizes as a bit humourous considering Met- alworks is celebrating a significant milestone a s a brick-and-mortar recording destination. “I remember the old days when it seemed like there were iron bars and costs that kept musicians out of studios,” Moore reminisces. “Now, we have synthesizer apps on mobile devices and the band- width and internet connections we need to really usher in a whole new creative class.” A beta version of AudioWorks is expected to drop before the end of 2017, and Moore sees it fitting that it coincides so closely with Met- alworks formally starting its fifth decade of operations. “It’s a very exciting thing from the studio’s point of view,” he says, and while change isn’t always exciting to veterans of the audio recording business, for Moore and Metalworks Studios, it’s at the very core of their success. Andrew King is the Editor-in-Chief of Professional Sound. PROFESSIONAL SOUND • 29