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We need to rebuild our roof!
We need to rebuild our roof!
187 backers pledged $70,132 to help bring this project to life.

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Kickstarter Gold: Tiny Telephone Oakland: Rai$e The Roof project video thumbnail
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$70,132

187

Our second stretch goal is here!

Hello everyone! If we cross $70k, I'll use some of the money to buy a Streetly Mellotron. They've been building these fantastic beasts in the same factory since 1963 and can only be purchased by custom order. The Mellotron is essentially a keyboard that replays prerecorded 8-second tapes. They are mostly orchestral sounds (cellos, violins, flutes, chorus) but can be combined and customized. We'd get the M4000, an update of the famed M400, as used by The Beatles, KIng Crimson, and Radiohead. 

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Okay, we crossed our funding goal, THANK YOU!!! Here's our first stretch goal:

Kickstarter Stretch Goal #1: If we cross $40k, I'll buy a vintage Roland TR-808 drum machine for Tiny Telephone.

The 808 is incredibly versatile and influential. I'll come up with something good for the next stretch goal. If you have any ideas, please send them!!

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A quick note about purchasing days: You can buy as many as you like, just pledge any factor of $200 and I'll know how many days you have. The days NEVER expire, they can be used in any of the three rooms, and they can be gifted to anyone. They are really easy to use: we don't prioritize non-KS folks, it's strictly first come, first served.

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Hello, everyone!

My name is John Vanderslice, and I'm the owner and proprietor of Tiny Telephone Recording in San Francisco. Since opening 20 years ago, we've become one of the busiest studios on the West Coast, and one of the last to be running analog multi-track tape machines full-time. I've always kept our rates low to attract independent bands of all levels and make creative studio recording a possibility for all musicians.

Over the years, we’ve recorded some bands you may have heard of (Deerhoof, Mountain Goats, Death Cab For Cutie, Sleater-Kinney) but the thing I am most proud of is the democratic, working-class ethos of Tiny Telephone, and the independent creative community to which this studio is deeply connected. We work very hard every day to help bands make the masterpieces they've always dreamed of creating on a realistic budget. Which is why I built ANOTHER studio….

TTOakland's Live Room
TTOakland's Live Room

Two years ago, with the unbelievable support of a community of 429 backers from 21 countries, we built Tiny Telephone Oakland.

Maryam Qudus and Beau Sorenson in the Control Room
Maryam Qudus and Beau Sorenson in the Control Room

It's been a year and a half since the Oakland studio opened and we've had a thrilling and nerve-wracking time. We've been sold out every day since January 21st of last year, and we've had a wonderful mix of local and national artists: Samantha Crain, Grandaddy, Tuneyards, Boz Scaggs, Dodos, Gay Men's Chorus of the East Bay, Nikki Bluhm and over 60 more. We fulfilled our promise to expand employment at the studio: our house staff is a thriving community of engineers diverse in gender identity, musical background, and expertise. The studio is working and sounding great, and we couldn’t have done it without your support.

Now, we want to make Tiny Telephone Oakland even better.

1961 long-body Neumann U47
1961 long-body Neumann U47

 

We have but one remaining problem... our roof leaks, both in the sense that when it rains outside it kind of rains inside, and we are not completely isolated sonically from the street. We were aware of this issue when we built the studio, but the size and scope of building a 3000 square foot studio meant we had to leave it off our list of improvements.

Brian Hood hanging the cloud in the control room
Brian Hood hanging the cloud in the control room

The only answer is to build a second roof over our existing one. We're going to do all the work outside so we retain the beautiful old-growth redwood ceiling we currently have. I love the sound of our live room and don't want to tamper with it.

Our old-growth redwood ceiling
Our old-growth redwood ceiling

We built a very affordable analog recording studio in Oakland, but our business isn’t big enough to do significant capital improvements. All of the money we make gets put right back into the studio: repairing outboard gear, buying better instruments for artists to use, and maintaining our vintage Neve console.

Neve 8068 featuring 31102 mic preamps, the best Neve preamp ever made
Neve 8068 featuring 31102 mic preamps, the best Neve preamp ever made

 

Tiny Telephone Oakland is already priced way under market (just like our SF studios have always been), but this Kickstarter will allow you to pre-buy studio days at an *even cheaper* price. We'll use that money to hire Brian Hood, our trusty contractor, to design and implement a second roof that will solve all of our leakage issues. Here’s Brian to talk about how he’ll do it:

Our hero Brian Hood!
Our hero Brian Hood!

“The idea is to build another entire roof above the existing roof of the building. This will absorb the noise of rain hitting the roof and completely seal any water leaks. We’ll leave a five inch gap between original roof and the new one, and we'll foam this gap with insulation to completely isolate the outside world from the live room.”

 

Insulating our roof will allow much more flexibility for recording in our live room - right now, things that are loud sound great (like drums!), but very soft, detailed instruments need to be isolated from the noisy world outside. With a new roof, we’ll be able to record strings, choirs, solo vocalists and so much more, all without the sounds of the outside world bleeding in. 

The reverb decay in our live room is .9 seconds
The reverb decay in our live room is .9 seconds

In turn, this will provide an affordable option for artists to add a variety of orchestral instruments to their recordings - if an artist wants to record a string quintet, we’ll have an excellent-sounding, completely isolated studio space that rents for only $300/day. If a folk band wants to record live around a single mic, we can do it without the sound of trucks rolling by or jets overhead.

 

I currently employ ten very creative people. That's the thing I'm most proud of. Look at these beautiful creatures below!

On top of that, a recording studio puts a lot of money back in the local arts community: session musicians, instrument and amplifier builders, string and horn and woodwind arrangers, studio techs, piano tuners, music teachers, mastering engineers, photographers, graphic artists, videographers, and many more creative individuals benefit from recording studios. The creative ecosystem of every project touches many lives and many different fields. You're helping to sustain a valuable and crucial arts organization in Oakland.

We own 17 multi-track tape machines that are in use every day. Here's a Gold Edition Studer 827 24-track from Switzerland
We own 17 multi-track tape machines that are in use every day. Here's a Gold Edition Studer 827 24-track from Switzerland

 

Fairly-priced commercial recording studios are a crucial part of a healthy music community. Large-format consoles, analog tape machines, great sounding live acoustic spaces and collections of instruments are inspiring to work with but out of reach of most artists without affordable access, and we plan on providing that for years to come.

Fully-restored vintage Minimoog
Fully-restored vintage Minimoog

Thanks for taking a look at our Kickstarter. With your help, we can rebuild our roof and fulfill our potential as a vital and fully functioning creative space for decades to come.

Thank you!!!!!!!

John Vanderslice

Risks and challenges

I've owned/managed Tiny Telephone San Francisco for 20 years. I am very confident our roof will be pretty damn amazing when it's completed. We want to make the studio better every year. Thank you!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Hello, it's me

    I will lovingly whisper your name in the live room.

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    Distressed Wood

    A sliver of old Finnish barn wood that lines the control room.

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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Signed Copy of Dagger Beach

    I will personalize a 200g QRP pressing of my last record, Dagger Beach. I'll throw in a few goodies as well (i.e. signed 7", handwritten lyrics, etc).

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    A Very Cool T-Shirt

    An amazing Joe Williams designed "I helped build Tiny Telephone Oakland" t-shirt. XS, S, M, L, XL, or XXL LIMITED

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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Joe Williams Screen Print

    LIMITED EDITION Screen Print!! An amazing Joe Williams designed Neve-themed masterpiece, signed by Joe and me.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    PRE-BUY DAYS AT TTOAKLAND

    PRE-BUY DAYS AT Tiny Telephone!!! One full day of recording time, for use at any of the three rooms. You can buy as many days as you like, just write a note and add them up. Excellent engineers are $200-$300 additional pre day. You are saving $100 a day! LIMITED.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    PREPAID DAYS AT TINY TELEPHONE

    PREPAID DAYS AT Tiny Telephone!!! One full day of recording time, for use at any of the three rooms. You can buy as many days as you like, just write a note and add them up. Excellent engineers are $200-$300 additional per day. You are saving $100 a day! LIMITED.

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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    Let's Make ART: RECORD AN EP

    RECORD AN EP!!!!
    Four days of recording time at Tiny Telephone, for use at any of the three rooms. Includes free analog recording tape, AND all instruments. Excellent engineers are $200-$300 extra a day.

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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    RECORD A FULL-LENGTH ALBUM

    RECORD A FULL-LENGTH ALBUM!!
    Ten days of recording time at Tiny Telephone, for use at any of the three rooms. Includes free analog recording tape and instruments. Excellent engineers are $200-$300 extra a day. You are saving $100 a day! LIMITED.

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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    RECORD AN LP PRODUCED BY J VANDERSLICE

    RECORD A FULL-LENGTH ALBUM PRODUCED BY JOHN VANDERSLICE!!!
    We'll make a record together at Tiny Telephone Oakland. Includes free analog recording tape and instruments. I will produce and engineer your masterpiece.

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Funding period

- (30 days)