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Help John Vanderslice build a magnificient analog recording studio in Oakland, CA
Help John Vanderslice build a magnificient analog recording studio in Oakland, CA
429 backers pledged $115,771 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$115,771

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Stretch Goal #2

If we reach $110k, TTOakland will host an amazing party for all the backers this fall!!! We'll have music by Sonny and the Sunsets and the She's, and delicious catered food from Piccino. There will be adult beverages. The party will take place in the live room of the new studio, it'll start at a rational time and be very kid friendly. 

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New Reward!!! Private show with Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Geographer, and the Dodos.

I worked on this one for a while... It'll take place in the live room of TTOAKLAND. Single tickets are $65, but if you pledge $80, I'll give you a plus one. There will be beverages and really amazing people. The tickets are very limited. The show will start early-ish and be very kid friendly. And a post-show dance party is guaranteed. 

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Stretch Goal #1!!!!!

If we cross the $75k mark, we'll have money to rent an apartment in the SAME BUILDING as TTOakland and provide very cheap lodging to out-of-town bands!! ($50 a night for solo artist, $100 a night for bands) This place is going to be NICE. 

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YES!!! We crossed the goal line on DAY 2! DAMN!!

REMEMBER, we still need about 150k to finish TTOakland, so let's keep this going. We'll have stretch goals and some killer new rewards.

This campaign is here to sell you INSANELY cheap days at the new studio!! Take advantage of our need for construction $$:) You can buy as many days as you need (up to 20). Just buy one day, multiply numbers of days you want by $200, and write me a note. Easy as peach/blueberry pie.

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Hello, my name is John Vanderslice, and I'm the owner and proprietor of Tiny Telephone Recording in San Francisco. In 17 years, 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.

We are building a very affordable analog recording studio in Oakland, but we need your help to complete this project. Tiny Telephone Oakland is going to be priced way under market (just like our existing studios), but this Kickstarter will allow you to pre-buy studio days at an *even cheaper* price.

We are *not* closing our flagship San Francisco studios - they are not going anywhere!

  • The days you pre-buy are good forever!
  • We'll make it VERY easy to schedule. I'm happy to help you nail down dates and choose an engineer. 
  • It's a cinch to add additional days or combine rewards, just add up the total and write me a note. Please remember: you must hire an engineer for all the days you purchase. 
  • I am the only point of contact for this campaign. I'll be booking TTOakland and will always be available to help. I'm easy to reach if you have any questions: jv@tinytelephone.com
  • If you don’t make records, but still want to contribute to our campaign, we have plenty of other great prizes for you to buy!!
The Neve 8068 gets delivered to Tiny Telephone Oakland
The Neve 8068 gets delivered to Tiny Telephone Oakland

Why are we opening a brand new recording studio in Oakland?

While Tiny Telephone SF has recorded tons of bands you know and love (including Deerhoof, the Mountain Goats, Death Cab For Cutie, and Sleater-Kinney) we're so proud of the democratic and working-class vibe of this place, and the independent creative community to which this studio is deeply connected. We work hard to help bands make the masterpieces they've always dreamed of creating on a realistic budget.

However, our studios are constantly sold out. Which is great... but we want to help more bands make more great records. We are building TTOakland so more bands can work here. Also, we need to employ more awesome engineers. If we fund this Kickstarter, we will finish building the studio in Oakland and hire three more full-time engineers.

Why Oakland? Oakland is a major arts hub in the Bay Area: it has history, space, and an anything-is-possible energy that is so conducive to record-making. Not to mention, all of our house engineers live in Oakland! In TTOakland, we see an opportunity to build an affordable studio and fill it with musicians, engineers, and producers.

Joe Williams beautiful design for our t-shirt
Joe Williams beautiful design for our t-shirt

Why are we asking for money?

As San Francisco becomes more densely populated, it's more and more difficult to find a safe space for bands to make noise. Also, real estate in the beautiful city has become quite expensive! For the past 17 years, we've been improvising with limited space. We've accomplished some amazing things in San Francisco. But we want to do more. 

After finding the Neve 8068, we lucked out and found an amazing space with an incredibly understanding landlord in Oakland. We have all the elements of a world class recording facility: the space, the console, and the personnel. And we get to design a world-class, affordable recording studio from the ground up. This is a dream come true!! 

Construction on TTOakland is already underway, but we need your help to finish! There are currently five amazing people building the studio, and four super techs restoring the Neve 8068. Our goal is to keep them employed and happy so we can finish building a world-class analog recording studio.

Tell us about Tiny Telephone Oakland!

This studio is a partnership between:

  • ARUP, the architecture firm that’s doing all the acoustic design 
  • Garry Creiman, who’s lovingly restoring the Neve console 
  • Bob Hodas, who’s tuning and consulting on the control room

TT Oakland is going to kick ass. We're filling it with the best microphones, exceptional instruments, historically important synthesizers, and esoteric recording gear. Most exciting to me is the center-piece of TTOakland: a fully restored 64-channel Neve 8068 - arguably the greatest mixing console ever made (more on this fantastic console below).

Our 64-channel Neve 8068 in the Plant, Sausalito
Our 64-channel Neve 8068 in the Plant, Sausalito

THE SPACE

In recording studio construction, room volume is everything. We have a massive space, and with 23’ wood ceilings, and iron trusses, the natural room sound will be rich, deep, and resonant. Add 3000 sq ft of floor space and imagine the possibilities: a band can setup to track live as if they're onstage. Choirs and string players can assemble and use the natural acoustics of the space.

Top down view of the live room
Top down view of the live room

THE GEAR

I've tracked down the best restored Studer and Ampex tape machines. These old machines are rightfully legendary. I've never heard a better sounding tape deck than a 16-track Ampex MM1200, and I just acquired one that was fully rebuilt by Michael Spitz of ATR Services (it's one of only two he restored).

Bogen RP-2 and BG-1 Compressor
Bogen RP-2 and BG-1 Compressor

Yes, I'm a bit obsessed with these wonderfully intricate machines, but they are so incredible, and so transformative – the workflow is so organic and inspiring, and the sound is unreal. Many of the world’s favorite albums were made on these machines, and we're committed to keeping them in tip-top sonic shape. We also provide free 2” analog tape to bands so they can experience the unforgettable magic of analog recording.

We're trying to keep this accessible to artists of all types. Analog recording is my life and keeping these machines running and available to artists is sacred.

THE PEOPLE

I currently employ four people full-time. That is the thing I'm most proud of. Look at these beautiful creatures below! Opening TTOakland will allow us to hire three more full-time employees.

Our wonderful engineers
Our wonderful engineers

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

We own 17 multi-track tape machines. Here's a Gold Edition Studer 827 24-track from Switzerland
We own 17 multi-track tape machines. Here's a Gold Edition Studer 827 24-track from Switzerland

 Please tell us about your Neve console!

I lucked out and found the most classic Neve console ever made: a 64-channel Neve 8068. It's from the Plant in Sausalito and has an amazing pedigree.

Neve 31102 Modules, they best mic pre/EQs they ever made
Neve 31102 Modules, they best mic pre/EQs they ever made

The Plant was responsible for Fleetwood Mac's Rumors, all the Sly Stone records and tons of other classic records we all love. We're completely rebuilding it with the help of THE Neve specialist on the West Coast, Garry Creiman. He and his crew have been working full-time for the past year restoring this historically important console. We'll have one of the most amazing consoles operating on this coast, and it'll be in fantastic condition.

Thanks for taking a look at our Kickstarter. With your help we can finish building Tiny Telephone Oakland and keep making incredible records in the Bay Area for decades to come.

Thank you!!!!!!!

John Vanderslice

Rob Shelton in Tiny Telephone SF
Rob Shelton in Tiny Telephone SF

Risks and challenges

I've owned/managed Tiny Telephone San Francisco for 17 years. I am very confident the studio will be pretty damn amazing when it's completed. It's ahead of schedule and I'm building in a 2 month buffer to make sure we don't disappoint anyone who wants to book right when we open. Thank you!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    I will lovingly whisper your name in the live room.

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    Pledge $7 or more About $7

    You get my amazing "Underneath The Leaves" ringtone.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    I will lovingly whisper your name in the live room and email you the audio.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    I'll mail you a killer comp CDr of some of my favorite recordings from Tiny Telephone.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

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

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    Reward no longer available 12 backers
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    LIMITED EDITION T-Shirt!! Now with ACCURATE SHIPPING!!! An amazing Joe Williams designed "I helped build Tiny Telephone Oakland" t-shirt. S, M, or L.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

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

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    A NIGHT AT TINY TELEPHONE OAKLAND!! A ticket to a very special private show on January 8th at the new studio, featuring Thao and the Get Down Stay Down, Geographer, and the Dodos. If you pledge $80 on this one you can bring a friend!

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    PRE-BUY DAYS AT TTOAKLAND!!! One full day of recording time at Tiny Telephone Oakland. You can buy as many days as you like, just write a note and add them up. Excellent engineers are $150-$250 additional pre day. You are saving $100 a day! LIMITED.

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    Pledge $275 or more About $275

    Private Tour of Tiny Telephone Oakland.
    You and a guest will get a grand tour of the new studio. Includes delicious Ritual Coffee or Five Mountains organic tea. Plus lots of gear talk.

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    Pledge $329 or more About $329

    BUY A BAND SOME TAPE! You are purchasing one reel of ATR Magnetics 2" for our extensive free library of analog tape. Most bands simply can't afford this additional cost. The reel will be labeled with your name!

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    Reward no longer available 6 backers
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    Pledge $400 or more About $400

    A WEEKEND AT TINY TELEPHONE!!!!
    Two days of recording time at Tiny Telephone Oakland. Includes free analog recording tape, AND all instruments. Excellent engineers are $150-250 extra a day.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $800 or more About $800

    RECORD AN EP!!!!
    Four days of recording time at Tiny Telephone Oakland. Includes free analog recording tape, AND all instruments. Excellent engineers are $150-250 extra a day.

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    Reward no longer available 25 backers
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Your Name On A Redwood Plaque!
    Yes, your name will be engraved on a beautiful redwood plaque and prominently placed in the live room FOREVER.

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    Pledge $1,200 or more About $1,200

    LET'S MAKE ART MUSIC

    >>>>>>>
    SIX days of recording time at Tiny Telephone Oakland. Includes free analog recording tape and instruments. Excellent engineers are $150-250 extra a day.

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    Pledge $1,400 or more About $1,400

    A ROOM NAMED IN YOUR HONOR. We'll name the control room or live room (your pick) after you. We'll emblazon your name on a beautiful custom steel/redwood panel for all to envy.

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    Reward no longer available 2 backers
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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    RECORD A FULL-LENGTH ALBUM!!
    Ten days of recording time at Tiny Telephone Oakland. Includes free analog recording tape and instruments. Excellent engineers are $150-250 extra a day.

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    Limited 10 backers
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    Pledge $7,500 or more About $7,500

    RECORD A FULL-LENGTH ALBUM PRODUCED BY JOHN VANDERSLICE!!!
    Ten days of recording time at Tiny Telephone Oakland. Includes free analog recording tape and instruments. I will produce and engineer your masterpiece.

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    Pledge $9,999 or more About $9,999

    COLLABORATE ON AN EP WITH JOHN VANDERSLICE!!!
    Two days of co-writing preproduction and four days of recording time at Tiny Telephone Oakland. Includes session musicians, free analog recording tape and instruments. I will co-write, produce, and engineer your masterpiece.

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    You tell us. I officiate your wedding, I thrash your kid's bully, I wax your car. It's your call.

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Funding period

- (29 days)