A trip with John Vanderslice and Minna Choi into the land of Tiny Telephone
To encourage analog recording, Tiny Telephone provides free two-inch tape to clients. "Not that digital is terrible. But the technology has a ways to go," Pellicci says. "There's a greater dimension to the sound [of analog]."
Next we shuffle into the isolation room. "We're basically in an anechoic isolation room where people can do vocals, drums — " Vanderslice begins to explain. But with the room's door open, I can hear the raucous sounds of construction taking place down the hallway.
Next door, what once was an auto shop is being converted into a separate studio, a "B Room" Opening in June, the B Room will be set up as an arts nonprofit modeled after The Bay Bridged and 826 Valencia. Unlike Tiny Telephone, which costs $350 per day plus engineers, the B Room will cost $200 daily. "We wanted to give bands a low-cost option to record on a tape machine, on a real console with microphones, in a space where they can make as much noise as they want," says Vanderslice.
"With this other price point, [Vanderslice] is tapping into another group of bands and artists," Choi adds. "There are probably so many diamonds in the rough — crazy talent waiting to be discovered."
As the tour winds down, Vanderslice shares his vision of Tiny Telephone and the B Room: "We're going to put a picnic table outside, a basketball hoop — we're going to build community. And that's what it's all about."