Early the other morning Emoto Music’s executive producer Paul Schultz got a harried call from Cramer/Krasselt clients. They needed to tweak a sound track Emoto had produced. Could the change be made, ah, in time for a 4 p.m. client meeting?
Sure, said Schultz, although the clients were in Chicago and the track would be revised in Emoto’s Santa Monica studios.
By 11 a.m., the clients were comfortably seated in Emoto’s one-of-a-kind studios in front of a giant, 5×7-ft. video conferencing screen, transported to Santa Monica as composer and engineer quickly accommodated the changes.
Within an hour the clients walked out with the revised datafile in hand.
“The bottom is, we’re finding ways to make our clients’ lives easier and saving them untold time and money,” said Emoto owner John Adair.
He, his partner Steve “Bone” Hampton and Schultz were in Chicago for the opening of Chicago’s first full-service-plus studio in at least a decade.
Emoto made “a substantial investment” in remodeling and equipping partner/manager Craig Snider’s existing 4,000-sq. ft. studio for original music production, sound design, remixes?Snyder is nationally famous for his remixed dance music?and audio post.
What sets Emoto apart is the sheer, life size drama of its video conferencing that links Chicago with Santa Monica studios. “It’s like sitting in the same studio,” noted Adair.
“It’s a real time experience. With cameras set up in both places, you can sit and watch the talent and producers in either location and interact with them throughout the session. There’s a certain amount of work that can be conducted over the phone, but it is no substitute for working face to face.
“It’s also a great tool for casting and recording voiceover sessions.”
The full blown 7,000-sq. ft. Santa Monica studio has four studios and two control rooms. “We do tracks from the ground up, in real time with ISDN and T-1 connections.”
Their first Chicago session in Chicago was for Michelob/DDB, where clients watched the Santa Monica studio while four tracks were simultaneously produced. Since then, Appleby’s/FCB, Career Builders, Popeyes and Cellular South/Cramer/Krasselt have recorded at the dual-city studio.
Emoto evolved from Adair and Hampton’s Admusic and the broadcast music company of Hampton Adair Music. Staff composers at Admusic, they bought the company in 1996 and immediately diversified into entertainment, said Adair, a Northwestern grad who spent 10 years in Chicago as a jingle session player (guitar, sax, woodwinds) before heading west in 1989.
They scored all seven seasons of “Just Shoot Me,” episodes of “Sex and the City,” “Last Comic Standing,” “Joan of Arcadia,” and “Eight Simple Rules,” along with films, games and client-direct projects, such as skateboard movies for Globe Shoes.
“What happened was, the Admusic game didn’t transfer into other industries because it’s so specific,” Adair explained. “For a while we’d wear a different hat depending on which phone line we answered.
“After a number of years, our business became a new entity and Admusic rolled into the umbrella of Emoto,” a globally-connected company servicing advertising, TV, features and recording industries, said Adair.
Comprising the Santa Monica core staff are award-winning composers Paul Bessenbacher and Ryan Elder, Adair and Hampton, and executive producer Paul Schultz. Two music supervisors have been brought on board to enlarge the company’s relationships with composers and artists all over the world.
To provide licensing options and music supervision for projects, Adair and Hampton formed a relationship with Howard Paar, Grammy-nominated music supervisor of such films as “Monster” and the upcoming “Herbie Fully Loaded” and “Daltry Calhoun.”
In Chicago, Jim Romano produces and is also A&R director for Uncommon Trax, a music licensing service of primarily DJ-based music owned by Snyder and Annie Rusk. Assistant producer Jason Bradley also operates the videoconferencing cameras and Jeremy Croutre is staff engineer.
Emoto provides access to high-end sound design services through 740 Sound Design, headed by Oscar-winning sound designer Dane Davis (“The Matrix”) and producer Scott Ganary, and located within Emoto’s Santa Monica facility.
Emoto/Chicago is located at 610 N. Fairbanks, phone, 312/640-1878. In Santa Monica at 1615 16th St. (in which Adair dubs the postproduction ghetto), phone, 310/ 399-6900. See www.emotomusic.com.
The O’Connor Group represents Emoto in the Midwest, phone, 312-527-0702.