Well, seeing that many folks have chosen to open profit based recording studios in their homes, ans some manage to make a living off of this, my first question to those individuals would have to be.... how do you do it? Also, a home recording studio, say a really good one, can charge a max (in my opinion) of 45/hr. (otherwise its a ripoff cause i know a few pro GREAT studios that charge less), how do you pay the bills, buy the gear, etc.
I myself owned a studio a home studio a few years ago, and although bands were coming in.... well everyone who payed well was going to the pro studios for recording, so i got a job at a pro studio and im very happy, but for those of us who manage to live off of their own home studio, please
1. Tell us how you do it
2. Tell us how much you charge
3. Give a basic to what sort of equipment you may have
Thanks to everyone who posts.
since nobody replied, I'm gonna give it a shot.
I don't exactly make a living out of it, but I would guess the following:
1. Tell us how you do it--
People in this situation are likely to provide an extra value to their clients. Really good music production skills they're willing to pay for, arranging, vintage instruments, orchestration, etc, that they can't find at a local studio.
2. Tell us how much you charge--
wouldn't know... besides I charge in a different currency, and I still struggle to make ends meet.
3. Give a basic to what sort of equipment you may have --
I would guess DAW with Pro Tools, a nice channel strip like the Avalon 737, compressor, etc. I use Apogee Mini-Me and still don't have a multi-channel audio interface...
I suppose it's possible to make a living out of it if you're good and maintain a healthy cost-value relationship. .and maybe these home studios offer different services like music teaching, ad production, independent music production, etc...
It's tough because bands, and atists believe they can record themselves.
I attempt to get one or two corporate clients a year, they have budget and are not as flakey as musicians.
I also partner with multimedia companies, to provide sound, music and voiceovers for CD-ROMS.
the corporate jobs usually have nice budgets, and provide enough cash flow for me to do my personal projects.
Here in the Seattle area Bad Animals studio( used to be co-owned by Heart) stopped doing bands, sold their big room. they mostly do post production and mastering. They have about ten employees, a local media trades magazine listed them as billing more than $5 million last year.
They started getting involved with local multimedia projects, got into a Pro Tools TDM system, and an AVvid system. Now they have 5 Avid/Pro Tools|HD rooms.
check out the studio history link on the site. If I get couple more coporate gigs, I'll be able to pay cash for a PT|HD system.
15 inch Quad i7 Macbook Pro, OSX 10.8.3, Logic 9.1.8, Apollo Duo
Approximately 5 to 15 new studios open up around here (Northern Ohio Area) every year. Most of them go away shortly afterwards. Most of the home based studios were originally setup for the musician to do his or her "thing" because the musician convinced him/her self that they were getting ripped off by the commercial studios and it would be better to have their OWN studio where they could " take all the time I need" and "be more productive since it is in my house" .
Most times these basement or bedroom setups were designed for the individual musician and were never designed to be "for hire" endeavors. The musician goes to Sam Ash or GC and spends $6,000 equipping his or her own studio. After a short amount of time has elapsed his or her significant other says "hey why don't you use all that stuff in the (insert location) and make some money instead of just spending money on it" so another home based studio opens its doors to the public. The person running it may not have the chops to compete or the significant other does not like his or her home to be a place for "noisy musician" to gather at all hours of the night and on weekends so the project studio comes to an untimely end. (I have seen this scenario more than I want to admit.)
Other "commercial" recording studios are opened in shopping malls or industrial parks by well meaning better funded individuals but they don't understand that you have to have continuous money coming in the front door (and that is a BIG problem in the music business today) in order to provide the rent and the money to afford all the equipment that is needed to keep themselves viable. They attempt to supplement the needs of the studio with money from their "day job" but find in the long run that they would have made more money investing in stocks or just putting the money in the bank. They grow frustrated at the lack of income or the constant need for updating and eventually close their doors and sell off the equipment or put it in their basement for their own use.
I don't know about other areas of the country but here most studio users are basically CHEAP and don't want to pay a lot for studio time BUT they want SSL quality on a Mackie budget. They complain that people are trying to RIP THEM OFF buy charging a rate that is commensurate with what they are getting. They don't see the need to pay more than $20.00 per hour (if that) and finally convince themselves that "I can do this better myself" and go to their local GC or Sam Ash and spend $6,000.00 equipping their home studio and the cycle starts all over again. (GO TO TOP OF THIS REPLY AND REPEAT ad nauseam)
IMHO - If you want to open a studio do your homework FIRST. Be realistic as to how much work you can generate and how many people will be using your facility before spending one penny on equipment. Everyone that I know that has made a livable income off their studios is a hard worker and can read trends in the music industry BEFORE they happen so they know where to put their efforts. They also have a business plan and are realistic about how much and where to spend their money. They are also good "people people" and can do a lot of smoozing with potential clients to get them to use their facilities. They keep their equipment up to date but try hard not to be at the "bleeding edge" of technology so they can recoup their investment before something new comes along.
Best of luck and I hope you make a go of it. You have to be in it for the love of music and not for the financial rewards because 9 times out of 10 your will not make anywhere near what you plan to make.
Again Best of Luck
The home studio is the model of the future. There will only be a few large rooms left open to service the movie, av and record business in LA, Nashville, Miami and New York ... and much of the record business will be going to smaller home based type studios when possible.
Only dates that need a large room for strings / orchestral things will be booking large rooms. People who are successful in the home studio business will be the same people who would be successful running a large studio. They will be hired for their musical abilities and what they can bring to a project ...
1. Tell us how you do it?
I am retired ,,, not old, just done with working for a living. I don't record customers very often. Most of my gear is from when I ran a commercial room in the 90's .... some is new acquisitions (I don't ever seem to learn). I have a large place (3 br's, office, family room, living room) and I have all my recording stuff set up at one end of it, and the rest of home life goes on at the other end of the house.
My CR. is in the family room and I have the office converted to a booth that is large enough to do drums or whatever else I need to isolate when I record.
2. Tell us how much you charge?
$20 to $25 per hour, depending on who and what it is I am recording. If I really dislike what I am doing, I charge more (up to $60 per hr.).
3. Give a basic to what sort of equipment you may have.
Mostly pro gear ...
front end:(currently) 2 Amek/Neve 9098, Sebatron vmp 4000e, GR MP2NV, PreSonus M80 (wheel chock, soon to be replaced with a JLM TMP8), Yamaha MLA7 (not in use), Mackie SR24 pres,
compsDrawmer 404 gates, Manley ELOP, Urei 1178, LA4's, Valley Dynamite, dbx 263X.
reverbsLexicon PCM 60-70&80 SPX 90 ... Eventide HD3000/SE effects processor (and more).
mics U87ai, 4033, SP C3, SP C4, AKG 460's, 451's, atm pro 35x . 421's, 57's, Beyer 201's ... (and more).
it's my opinion, i'll play with it if i want to. kf
A Dodge is a fine car. I ran over my wife with a Dodge .... Young Zeke .... RT 666
Hi, I'm a newbe... Thoughts on the topic from my perspective...
One of the largest studio groups in Nashville recently filed bankruptcy for the second time. One of the reasons they sited for the decline in business was home studios and the fact that technology has made it possible for artists to do a professional job on a limited budget and no time constraints.
Why pay someone else to do something you can do yourself? Because of their experience and reputation? yeah... but you would only buy time at an established studio if it was a desirable producer/engineer's preference. I am thinking that, these days, people make money, not studios. Home or not, if they make it on room rental alone, they are very lucky.
I have a home studio and do all my work from it, because my work requires a studio and I'd rather pay me. That's a decent chunk of money that some joint downtown isn't getting. The studio is not my income. The product it produces is... My product. I can't imagine trying to make ends meet with a home based studio, simply by charging an hourly rate. The Event of the home studio is driving rates down. Folks can barely pay the utilities these days. I think most successful home studios exist because of another product that they facilitate. I would think that justification for a home studio as a business is hard to come by.
In my world louder is always better. :-)
You are taking one SERIOUS thing out of the discussion and that is the experience of the engineer doing the recording. Yes you can record at home, yes you can go a decent job of it, yes it is less costly in terms of money to record at home but your time is also worth something and if you have to spend hours trying to get "the sound" you want or you spend a ton of money for equipment only to not know how to use it then you are kidding yourself that going to a pro studio is not worth the price.Originally Posted by oakman
As a mastering engineer I am at the end of the recording chain so I get to see and hear the material after it has been recorded and mixed. Some of the stuff done at home studios sounds GREAT some of it sounds CRAPPY and some of it is GARBAGE. The musicians on some of the stuff I hear have a bad enough time just playing their instruments let alone recording themselves.
I just did a local band that I think did one of the most incredible recording jobs I have ever heard pro or semi pro and they did it all in their basement around the pool table. The songs are GREAT the recording is GREAT and the whole album sounds pro.
On the other hand I also just did a client that was so badly recorded I could not do ANYTHING with the music. It was recorded on a 4 track cassette deck (using the wrong type of cassette tape) , mixed to another cassette deck (also using the wrong kind of cassette tape) and the mixdown was brought to me on a cassette. The person thought that I could make up for all the problems he had from day one in a one hour mastering session.
These are two extremes but they are consistent with what I get from home studios. It is literally the good the bad and the ugly on a daily basis around here.
If someone is going to record themselves they should at least take some time and maybe some classes to learn how to do it correctly. They money they spend (average $6000.00) on their basement studio could possibly be better spent going into a pro studio and getting their stuff professionally recorded and at the same time learn how to record themselves by watching what the engineer is doing.
Then if they want to open their own studio for their own uses they should GO FOR IT. Too many people do not take the time and do the reading they should BEFORE setting up a studio and after investing a couple of thousands of dollars are faced with a daunting task of learning how to be a recording engineer at the same time they are worrying about writing and playing their music.
Most pro producers and recording engineers are musicians and they can relate to the problems facing the band and offer multiple suggestions to speed the recording process along. They also have ears which are trained so they can make VALUE JUDGMENTS which is something a lot of people cannot do in regards to their own music.
Collaboration is what made a lot of the musical material we treasure today and if it was not for the collaboration between the producer the engineer and the band the project would not sound like it does and who knows may never have been recorded the way it was.
This lack of collaboration seems to be one big problem today for many of the projects I hear. They have never been listened to by an outside party before they are brought in for mastering. The projects are so inbred, with only the artists listening and passing judgment on material and their playing, that the current project has become the defacto standard for quality instead the other way around.
All great points Tom.
What I really was trying to say is that the Producers and Engineers make the money dispite the home studio trend, but the studios make little on hourly rates. How much less of a chance of success would a home studio have... unless there was some real talent in it.
Collaboration... I like that word and agree it is very important. A lack of it is what is hindering me in my own music.