Studio Etiquette at West Track Studios
First and foremost, in any musician is the passion and creativity to play (even drummers!) so nobody associated with West Track Studios is here to spoil anyone’s fun or create a massive handbook of RULES AND REGULATIONS. With this in mind the following is a brief set of guidelines we believe to be mainly a matter of common sense and just clarifies our position in a number of everyday circumstances, that if adhered to, naturally can be forgotten as quickly as they are read!
Booking/Cancellation of Studio Time
At WTS we commit to answering queries and booking requests as expediently as possible and with the right level of detail to ensure the minimum of mistakes and the overall ease of everyone concerned. By the nature of the effort involved in organising recording sessions these can take longer to tie down and book, but as previously stated we always try our utmost to make the process as simple and as open as we can. All we ask in return is that when submitting an enquiry, you be as specific about dates, times and requirements as you can be – “What spaces you got in July?” is a lot harder to answer than, “I’m looking at the first Saturday in July, what’s your availability look like?”
As ridiculous as it may seem to any musician (even drummers!), occasionally cancellation of an arranged session may be necessary because of life getting in the way… Again at WTS we are sympathetic to these occurrences but ask that every effort is made by the artist or band to inform us as soon as is possible. We update the calendar on an almost hourly basis and would like the opportunity to rebook any cancelled appointment. This is even more important if you or your band are in the fortunate position of having a regular slot booked with us – in the same way that we are not the only studio in the area, you are also not the only band so some consideration is very much appreciated. If we end up in the awful position of having “serial cancellers” then we made need to look at the arrangement that you have in place with WTS – for the benefit of all parties, let’s not let it end up there!
We are available in almost all forms of modern day communication – except carrier pigeon – so let’s all agree to do exactly that, communicate!
Worth noting here too that your booking is for the time agreed and not for any longer just because you have ten million pedals or twenty-five cymbals this is not the fault of the band that maybe following you or the key holder who is there to open/close.
Skillnet Group CIC (the company to which WTS belongs) are a not for profit organisation do not have a limitless fund of money to invest in WTS so some understanding when it comes to how you treat the facility is asked for. Patrons of WTS may or may not know that during office hours the building and all the equipment within it are all used in the support of adults with learning difficulties. DO NOT be the person who punches a hole in the wall (it has happened!) whilst abusing our trust and our physical space. Vandalism is vandalism inside or out. Drugs are illegal inside or out. All alcohol left on site at the end of the night will be ‘disposed’ of by the manager.
Whilst on the subject of outside, the car park at the front of the studio is a shared space with the other businesses in Roper Yard and other WTS users. Please be considerate and park appropriately at all times. This car park is locked once the last band is out at night, EVERY night, so please do not consider us as free parking for your convenience. Treat the car park with the same respect you treat the premises (there is a cigarette bin, so use it!).
One of the biggest ‘selling points’ of our studio is its location in Canterbury. However, being in the heart of a city also means we have neighbours who may not be quite as “into” your new song as you are after the tenth run through… Keep the doors shut when you’re playing and remember it’s you who is now deaf through practice not the surrounding area! Due to previous noise complaints we no longer have access to the roof garden with Roper Yard, this is a truly sad turn of events but has been deemed essential to keep the studio open and free from trouble with the council. People who have this level of disrespect are plainly not welcome and happily it is the now sanctioned minority that cause the above mentioned upsets and by no means every artist we have through our open doors. Imagine it were you, your mother or grandmother living near us and act appropriately.
Equipment and Breakages
The equipment within WTS is paid for and maintained by the funds we generate “in house” and then any profit we make is ploughed back into Skillnet Group CIC – we have decided to be this open with you, the artist, to give you some sort of feeling of care towards what we have at WTS. We always strive to provide fully functioning instruments (where necessary) and sound equipment but if you have any concerns or ideas please feel free to communicate these to us.
Breakages happen, this is a fact. Common sense can usual tell how the damage came about too, whether it be accidental or malicious. Needless to say, in the case of the latter, you WILL be charged for misuse of our equipment resulting in damage that prevents us from the continued use of the item and means we have to use an independent contractor to fix the issue. You will be charged the invoice amount plus any loss of bookings incurred by your lack of care. Respect the space and we will respect you is a simplistic way of looking at this, also show respect to all other users of WTS and we can all live in harmony with one purpose – to create music!
Your health and safety is important to us, and so is your freedom to rehearse and have fun in a safe, clean environment. All those that work for and frequent WTS are passionate about their music and performances so keep the vibe friendly and the etiquette in mind, and we can all leave smiling every day.