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Starting a studio

Discussion in 'Andy Sneap' started by ::XeS::, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. ::XeS::

    ::XeS:: Member

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    Hi Guys
    I would know something about you.. you that have a studio.
    When you have decided to "create" your own studio, did you have already bands or job to make?
    And when you invested a lot of $ or €, was there a sense of "fear" in your mind (if nobody come in your studio for record something or if you don't gain enough moneys)?
    I think this is a job with a lot of risk if you decide to do this for living...many investments (also for the beginning) and uncertainty of job..
    I ask these thing because I would go into this world...but I have a lot of perplexity.. :erk:
     
  2. John Haddad (Shiva Industries)

    John Haddad (Shiva Industries) Dump Truck Repairs

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    Good and normal questions?

    I started my studio on a personal project basis for myself and my own bands. Then before you know it you have your friends hitting you up for a recording. And next thing you know (I my case) your in business. I started with bare bones equipment and as I got more interest I spent more money. ( ie - Console, better a/d converters- mics - ETC.)

    Is there a demand that you know of in your country's location, city???

    I say start as small as you can then expand, you will always learn more and more as time goes on - mixing wise and finacial wise. Just my own 2 cents from my own expierience.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. zolhof

    zolhof Member

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    John said it all, or almost hehe imo the most important thing now is READ READ READ READ READ READ.. learn all u can! about the jobs, well, try producing a band here, a band there, then u'll feel more confident, gonna have some "mouth-to-mouth" advertisement as a result of a good job in the first bands.. new clients will come! then u'll naturally start investing some money in new rigs, will know what works better for you, etc good luck!!
     
  4. 006

    006 Member

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    Well, I don't own my own studio, yet, but I have been saving for the past year or so, and will have to save another year before I can have my own. I have about $30k saved at this point, and need a total of about $70k, that covers a down payment on a house, construction materials to convert rooms of the house, and equipment, as well as safety money until business picks up. This is not a cheap business to get into. Luckily, I have been working at studios for the past 5 or 6 years already so I have a lot of contacts and whatnot. I do 99% of the sessions here, which is all local bands, etc. And they come asking for me when they call to book, so I'm really confident about when I go to start my own studio.

    You can go the route that John did, which is what my boss did about 10 years ago, and thats start off just for yourself, and then like he said before you know it friends are hitting you up and bam, you've got yourself a business. Personally, I don't think it's safe to do it full-time until you have a full line-up of equipment to handle whatever comes in, as well as an advance booking schedule. Like this studio I work at, we're booked straight until February at the moment. At that point you can easily say to yourself "I can quit my job and do this", and you'll be safe. :lol:

    ~e.a
     
  5. cobhc

    cobhc Amiga Enthusiast

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    Yeah, if you already have the equipment, there's not so much overheads, and then you've got say 6 months of almost pure profit.
     
  6. 006

    006 Member

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    Exactly.

    The main thing you have to worry about is if you can afford to do it. Then you have to ask yourself if you can seriously dedicate the amount of effort and energy that this profession demands. Then worry about how to go about it. You can even start small, like in John's case. My boss started at his house with 4 SM57's and a little Tascam 4-track. Then he started getting "business" (i.e. friend's wanting demos, etc.), and then he started charging like $100 a day, and he would do it on the weekends when he was off from work or whatever. So he was making $200 a weekend, about $800 a month just from working on the weekends doing it. After a couple of months he invested in a live mixer that had outputs for every input, and at first he just mixed through the board into the stereo main outs and into his computer through the sound card. Then he saved money from that and got himself a pair of Delta 1010's, so he could get 16 of those channels into his PC. Meanwhile buying a mic here, a mic there, etc. Eventually he had 4 Delta 1010's, a nicer console, and a lot of outboard stuff. He was up to $20/hour and still doing it at his house, he quit his regular job at this point because he was booked a couple of months in advance all the time. He was making about $2.5k a month in profits. Then he got lucky and a friend of his that had a building already converted for a studio wanted out of his lease and dropped him a line, he took it over, and then 4 months later here I am running the show. He started with like, $600 in equipment...not bad. Now we have about $35k in equipment, are booked 6 months + in advance, and have sessions in 8 hour blocks at $40/hour and then we have blockouts that are a whole week @ $2.5k to start. Everything is paid for at this point, so the studio brings over $10k a month easy, all profits, including all of our other services (cd design, mix and master only, reamping, drum replacement, session music, cd duplication, and graphic design as well as website design.). A lot of the stuff we do now is due in large part to the fact that I'm here. He would've never offered reamping or drum replacement (Drumagog'ing), cd label design, website/graphic design, cd duplication, or just a mix/master only session unless it was for me. He's a very old-school engineer and very straightforward at that. He's very business oriented and that helps, because he set up goals and met every single one of them. That's a big part of jumping into this.

    ~e.a
     
  7. Ben Johnson

    Ben Johnson SSSSSSSSSSSSSS

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    Damn, that's a dream come true if I've ever heard one, 006.
     
  8. zolhof

    zolhof Member

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    i almost pissed my pants here, i started with some deltas and i'm dreaming about my future after reading about 006's boss hahaha hard work!!
     
  9. John Haddad (Shiva Industries)

    John Haddad (Shiva Industries) Dump Truck Repairs

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    Just remember like 006 said it is a very demanding job. Sometimes your at work for 12-16 hours a day trying to finish something not to mention Losing friends and girlfriends (3 and Counting hahaha!) cause you have no time anymore, especially if your the studio owner. But hey if its what you love and it makes you happy, there's always the strip club!!!! ;)
     
  10. MKS

    MKS Member

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    My advice, do the exact opposite of me. I've invested about 45K+ and haven't made a cent. The only way I could get people in the studio was to give away studio time. At first I was like "fuck that" but I would rather do something in the studio rather than let the gear go to waste.

    I've taken some time to draft out a new business plan that will hopefully allow me to break even in the long run.

    Oh well, a bad day in the studio is better than a good day at work.
     
  11. Ben Johnson

    Ben Johnson SSSSSSSSSSSSSS

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    Aaaaaaaand how!:)
     
  12. 006

    006 Member

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    Tru dat man, it is a lot of hard work. I work four 16 hour days and three eight hour days a week. Sometimes 16 hour days the entire week. Lately it's been crazy busy around here, mostly because I want to save up as much as possible in as little amount of time so I can jet and start my own place. I've lost countless friends, still got the same girl, and engaged to be married, but she is extremely understanding of what my job demands, and besides that she knows where it will get me eventually and that's what she sees: the big picture. She knows eventually we'll have a paid off house, paid for cars, and a sucessful business by the time I'm 27 or so (if all goes to plan), so I am really lucky that she sees that. My boss' girl doesn't see that, and constantly has problems with his "schedule". She doesn't understand that he's doing what he loves for a living, and is paying for all her bills, lol. Dumb bitch...

    Anyway, it's a long road until you get to the end. The end being to where you can quit your normal job and do a studio full time and have it pay the bills, but even though it's tough, and sometimes you regret it, in the end it's one of the best feelings in the world to be doing something so cool as your job. :)

    ~e.a
     
  13. zolhof

    zolhof Member

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    same here! i'm blessed for being married to a woman that understand (not that much eheh) what i do and loves it just because she sees how much I love it!

    another thing that helps a lot is the fact that I live in the studio.. here is a two floor building, i live on the 1st with her and the studio is underground. about friends, well, i really don't care about being surrounded or not by 439058719 ppl.. i'm happy with the 4 or 5 true friends i've got (including my wife :kickass:)

    there isn't a single day since i've started in this business that i feel that i've gone in the wrong path.. i simply love it and hopefully willl stick with it until my last breath!! :headbang:
     
  14. Gnash

    Gnash Lefty

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    Yeah, I'm installing a stripper pole in the rec room tommorrow! Tracking, mixing, mastering, drinks and dames! Good thinging John! A strip joint studio it is!:Smokin:

    Naw, I'm located in the sticks, in the middle of the Ozarks. You gotta love this job, if you can stand producing a country band every now and again! It pays the light bill! Yeah, once you start spending $2,000 on a single channel preamp, and your still driving an '85 Camaro, you've gotta be runnin' a fuckin business!
     
  15. 006

    006 Member

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    Well I drive either the 2005 BMW Mini Cooper S or our 2006 Lexus IS300....but to each his own :p

    ~e.a
     
  16. ::XeS::

    ::XeS:: Member

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    Thank you so much for your answers!!
    You know, this is an hard "jump" and I ask to someone "arrived" which are the best things to do..
     
  17. LynchpiN

    LynchpiN Don't like presets.

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    CESINHA?!?! Será possível, olha só onde eu te achei :headbang:! Eu frequento esse fórum há alguns anos, é fantástico!

    It's great to see you 'round here! :wave:
     
  18. LynchpiN

    LynchpiN Don't like presets.

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    I'm kind as in the same quest as my friend here, but haven't been able to let go of my day job.. yet, I expect.

    I try to follow the baby steps path, and it's working so far.
     
  19. zolhof

    zolhof Member

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    hahaha Caio pode crer!! 100% natural e gritando meu nome.. eu pensei "eita porra!!"

    it's a kick ass forum indeed! :)
     
  20. theblackmoon

    theblackmoon Casa Negra

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    Vocês são de que cidade?

    3 seconds until someone complains about the language...

    BTW XeS be sure to invest in yourself... learn all you can, definetely learn music, at least a bit. I´ve seen great engineers that couldn´t read music and didn´t know what a "Asus" or a "D7" but from my experience, it HELPS A LOT!
     

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