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Old 09-18-2003, 01:42 PM
storm-01 storm-01 is offline
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Default To build or not to build? Money is the question...

This is for all of those that have built or are currently building a semi-pro to professional recording studio. I'm not talking about having just a 001 or 002 rig in your basement or spare bedroom with a few other toys, but instead to have a semi/pro recording studio in or away from your home... I'm talking about having gear out the wazzoo with seperate/isolated recording rooms/booths. A studio with a seperate, no-makeshift control room. I'm talking about a studio that you could easily charge $40 + per hour.
I ask because a friend once told me that having your own professional studio is like having a Ferrari that you have to rent your entire life. Basically, it's cool and a lot of fun, but you have to constantly upgrade and pay for the studio. A seeming daunting, neverending task.
My question to the bigger cats out there is, is opening your own "professional" recording studio, whether it be in your basement or elsewhere a good idea? Would it be better to pound out a scratch session on your 001 rig and then rent a studio for each project? Is my friend right in that you feel like your always behind the times and your bank account never really grows? I would assume that it would be like most free enterprise... you won't see any real gain for several years. I ask because I am seriously thinking of opening a small studio, but I wanted to hear from the guys that have been there and done that. Or those of you that know someone in that position and have heard good and bad things about owning a studio.
What are some pros and cons? What should I look out for? How do you figure out how much to charge each client? Is is per hour, session, number of songs? How much time do you devote to each song? These questions are just the tip of the iceberg, so ANY input from you would be great (especially from those that have delt with owning a large studio.

Thank you,
Stormy
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Old 09-18-2003, 03:28 PM
storm-01 storm-01 is offline
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Default Re: To build or not to build? Money is the question...

Just to clearify, I'm not saying that a big studio will bring clients rushing through the door or that it makes you a better engineer. I think we all do our best with what we have. I am not trying to bash anyone that uses the lower end digi gear such as the 001. I use the 001 myself as well as the 888 i/o systems.
I just wanted to know if anyone has personally tried to build or has built their own studio and what were some of the pros and cons? Is it a real headache? Would you do it again if you could, or would you go with a smaller setup, maybe around $10K, or less even? A kick ass studio does not have to cost upwards or $100K in my opinion. So when I say have built your own studio, I mean a studio that has some really nice toys to play with. Something that is a little more hi-tech than my 001 rig running through a Mackie 1402 and a couple of keyboards.
Anyway, I just wanted to clearify.

Stormy
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Old 09-19-2003, 03:36 AM
ixnys ixnys is offline
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Default Re: To build or not to build? Money is the question...

I have my own home studio...It totals over 100k with all my recording gear, instruments, and amps. I bought it for myself and not for buissiness reasons. With the price of good recording gear...you will never earn back all your money just charging $40 an hour. So my advice would be build the studio for your own creativity. At one point I was trying to make money off of my studio but I realized that in the beginning, I got this studio for myself...and by recording other people, I didn't have time to record my OWN stuff.
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Old 09-20-2003, 11:22 AM
JoeQ JoeQ is offline
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Default Re: To build or not to build? Money is the questio

If money is the question open up a Dry Cleaning establishment. On the middle level most of your studio customer base will be limited to just musicians who WANT to record, but rarely will they be people who NEED to record i.e. actually ready to pay for it.

On the other hand there are a lot more people from every walk of life who _need a clean suit and are willing to pay for it. If you open a studio as a business, keep in mind you are basing your business one of the poorest and most fiscally irresponsible segments of society: musicians.

I have built my own studio - done the construction, made a control room, put in a window, ran the wiring- 3 times. All that work, all that dust, (all those bartered hours!) Each time I swear I will never do it again. And yet I probably will and quite soon (I'm moving) . I just can't imagine not having my own studio.

Business wise I would have to say I am most like the junkie that deals a little on the side to feed his own habit. Maybe your local market is crying out for a new studio, maybe you have a flair for promotion and attracting business, maybe you have the best pair of ears in the midwest, but you should go into this with your eyes open- yes entry level recording gear gets cheaper all the time. But not just for you- for everybody else as well.

ps- I think you are crazy if you do anything other than charge by the hour.

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Old 09-22-2003, 06:53 PM
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Will Russell Will Russell is offline
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Default Re: To build or not to build? Money is the questio

I would not open a studio right now. The business is changing fast and dramatically and lots of studios are struggling or going out of business. Even in the best of times, there is very little money to be made in the recording business. Just because you build a studio doesn't mean people will come. If you REALLY want to open a studio, my suggestion is to start small, get your reputation out there and see what happens.

That said, it sure beats getting a job!
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Old 09-23-2003, 01:08 PM
mike connelly mike connelly is offline
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Default Re: To build or not to build? Money is the question...

If you want to build a studio, do it for yourself, not for the money. Just not a good business to be in right now, owning a studio has devolved into glorified gear rental.
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