Billing no longer billing

UK: After 24 years as one of London’s leading post-production and commercial music facilities, The Tape Gallery closed for business and went into voluntary liquidation on 28th November. However, the web site associated with the company for several years – www.sound-effects-library.com – continues as an ongoing concern.
Author:
Publish date:
Updated on

UK: After 24 years as one of London’s leading post-production and commercial music facilities, The Tape Gallery closed for business and went into voluntary liquidation on 28th November. However, the web site associated with the company for several years – www.sound-effects-library.com – continues as an ongoing concern.

The business had been up for sale along with the Cinesound library acquired by The Tape Gallery in 2001, with staff continuing to work on a freelance basis while looking for full employment. The equipment from The Tape Gallery’s Soho studios is to be auctioned by Henry Butcher late in December.

“The reasons for closing the doors are numerous,” comments Lloyd Billing, founder and managing director. “Anyone who works in post-production is having to become a jack of all trades, from cameramen being asked to shoot the audio as well, to editors mixing the final on-air tracks.

“Musicians are doing ‘sound design’ and the bloke with a good voice in the office is now the agency’s voice-over. Couple this with clients wanting even larger discounts than the ones currently in place, and who in turn are being pressurised by their clients wanting to cut production budgets dramatically, and I feel it has now turned into a very amateur arena – it’s time to get out and concentrate on the future.”

Commenting on the continuation of Sound Effects Library Ltd (SEL) and its website, Billing reveals that the resource is still trading successfully online but will have to be relocated over Christmas. “SEL has a lot of growth potential, and we will expand this into other countries over the next few years with native language versions seeking professional partners in each territory.

“We also have our AudioClas project to implement in the search engine, offering a means of finding sounds based on what they sound like – a sort of acoustic map.”

The Tape Gallery was founded in 1981 and won over a 1,000 industry awards for television, cinema and radio advertising. Signature sounds have included Direct Line’s red telephone, the pouring of Guinness into a glass and campaigns for British Airways, Dunlop and Levi’s.

The SEL web site now incorporates the Cinesound library in digital form, which contains over a million sound effects from classic film productions at Pinewood, Elstree, Ealing and elsewhere – including all the James Bond films up to 1999 – as well as the Pathé news sound archive.

Related

SNP MP's bill helps to reignite UK copyright term debate

UK: The second reading of Scottish National Party MP Peter Wishart's bill to extend the duration of copyright in sound recordings and of performers' rights took place recently amidst increasing signs that the government is now willing to look again at some key aspects of copyright law. The call to extend protection beyond 50 years was previously rejected by Andrew Gowers in his highly controversial report of December 2006, writes David Davies.

28947.jpg

Live Music Bill to become law

The Live Music Bill received Royal Assent on 8 March, becoming the Live Music Act. Once in effect, small venues wanting to host live music will no longer need a local authority entertainment licence between the hours of 8am and 11pm.

Rupert Neve joins APRS' 60th year celebrations

UK: Rupert Neve was the guest of honour at the latest event to mark the 60th anniversary of the Association of Professional Recording Services (APRS). The next instalment in this ongoing series will see a panel drawn from the manufacturing, recording studio and media publishing sectors discussing the role of effective marketing in building sustainable businesses, reports David Davies.

Ofcom spectrum plans: now 30 MPs and Lloyd Webber join the fray

UK: Pressure on Ofcom to accommodate the requirements of entertainment professionals within its proposals to auction off over 30% of terrestrial TV's UHF allocation continues to grow following publication of the agency's consultation document, the Digital Dividend Review (DDR). Theatre composer/impressario Lord Andrew Lloyd-Webber and several prominent MPs are among those now publicising their concerns, writes David Davies.

Martin Audio for historic all-digital cinema

UK: Vue's Princes Quay Hull site is described as Europe's first new-build, all-digital multiplex cinema, writes David Davies. Systems from Martin Audio - Vue Cinemas' long-term sound equipment manufacturer of choice - have been installed in each of the Hull complex's ten screening rooms. Depending on room size, Martin Audio Screen 5 or Screen 4 systems were fitted, accompanied by Screen Sub 1A and Effect 5 surround speakers.

Conventional recording sector reeling from fresh body-blows

WORLD: Radiohead and The Charlatans have become the latest artists to circumvent traditional methods of music delivery by announcing the online launch of respective new albums. In Rainbows – Radiohead's first album for four years – is presently available only through a dedicated site that invites prospective listeners to pay the fee of their choice, while The Charlatans' as-yet untitled long-player is to be issued for free via the website of commercial radio network Xfm early next year, writes David Davies.

MPG Awards: 3 days left to vote!

UK: The nomination process for the inaugural MPG Awards closes this Friday (November 28th), writes David Davies. Intended to highlight and reward the creative talent and technical ability of the UK's music producers, engineers, remixers and programmers, the 2009 Music Producers Guild Awards will feature a grand total of 13 categories, including Producer of the Year, Recording Engineer of the Year, Best Mixer, Best Mastering Engineer and the Joe Meek Award for Innovation in Production.