The striving scene of Triangle recording studios | Music Feature | Indy Week
Pin It

The striving scene of Triangle recording studios 

Dick Hodgin, or “The Dream Assassin,” runs Osceola Music, one of many local studios withstanding changes in the music industry.

Photo by Jeremy M. Lange

Dick Hodgin, or “The Dream Assassin,” runs Osceola Music, one of many local studios withstanding changes in the music industry.

As black as the nearby parking lot asphalt, the skull doormat is a good sign you're standing in front of a recording studio.

Osceola Studios sits inside a rust-colored brick building, bound by railroad tracks and a concrete plant at the end of a strip mall on a service road near downtown Raleigh. Even with directions, it is not easy to find.

"We don't have a sign," offers co-owner Dick Hodgin, opening the door. "We don't want everybody to know we're here."

Dick is a compact and energetic man. For the past four decades, Hodgin has engineered and produced records for the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, Flat Duo Jets and Corrosion of Conformity. He speaks his mind without qualification or pause, a quality that makes him a valuable studio asset and has earned him the nickname "The Dream Assassin."

If middle age has tempered him, it's made him no less direct. That's why I know that, when I ask him how business is going, I'll get the truth.

"Excellent," he responds, drawing out his answer, as though enjoying a ripe peach.

There is a difference, of course, between the record industry and the recording industry. The record industry, long the domain of record labels and distributors, has changed irrevocably since the turn of the millennium. CD sales have flatlined, and royalty rates for music streaming offer a fraction of traditional revenues. Despite all the touring and ad placements and corporate sponsors, musicians are still struggling to find ways to make music a livelihood as their industry continues to wobble.

Nevertheless, most any survey of area recording studios reveals a landscape that's been altered but improved. The digital age—and the resulting ability to make high quality recordings relatively cheaply—has led to a new era of smaller, leaner and very versatile recording studios. From Nightsound in Carrboro, now celebrating its 15th year, and the long-running Overdub Lane in Durham to the aptly named Seriously Adequate and Hodgin's Osceola, local rooms have survived because the people behind them have learned to evolve with their industry, whether by becoming parts of their community or experimenting with novel funding methods.

None of them acts as if making music is a diminished or dead prospect.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Music Feature



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

I've had nothing but positive experiences working with Slums, his music always seemed to me more club ready where raund …

by Daniel Stark on Oak City Slums and ZenSoFly Are Twin Engines Ramping Up Raleigh’s Bass Music (Music Feature)

That entire conversation only circulated among the beat community and a few others who chimed in. Then, it was deleted. …

by Eric Tullis on Oak City Slums and ZenSoFly Are Twin Engines Ramping Up Raleigh’s Bass Music (Music Feature)

Slums' comments on sexism in the industry are something of a dead horse at this point, not sure what the …

by Daniel Stark on Oak City Slums and ZenSoFly Are Twin Engines Ramping Up Raleigh’s Bass Music (Music Feature)

JCD: Duke Performances dedicated a significant portion of our 2015 summer season to celebrating Music Maker's 20th anniversary. We featured …

by Aaron Greenwald on Rhapsody in Blues: Jazz Phenom Gerald Clayton Celebrates One of Durham’s Finest Musical Exports at Duke (Music Feature)

caab's suggestion sounds exciting. It's a shame that the original musicians didn't fit into this particular performance, but I'd pay …

by jcd on Rhapsody in Blues: Jazz Phenom Gerald Clayton Celebrates One of Durham’s Finest Musical Exports at Duke (Music Feature)

Comments

I've had nothing but positive experiences working with Slums, his music always seemed to me more club ready where raund …

by Daniel Stark on Oak City Slums and ZenSoFly Are Twin Engines Ramping Up Raleigh’s Bass Music (Music Feature)

That entire conversation only circulated among the beat community and a few others who chimed in. Then, it was deleted. …

by Eric Tullis on Oak City Slums and ZenSoFly Are Twin Engines Ramping Up Raleigh’s Bass Music (Music Feature)

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation