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Discussion in 'Recording' started by lejovit, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. lejovit

    lejovit Guest

    Hello everyone. I'm a musician, but I've never recorded anyone before. I've been thinking about getting into the recording business for a while now, but never really bought any equipment. So I'm just wondering, how much would it cost to start my own recording studio, just the equipment, I'm not talking about marketing or anything. Obviously I need mics, stands, mixer, compresor? Honestly I don't know much (I'm going to study this and do more research though).

    EDIT: I'm not in a huge hurry. I'm still in high school and I'm about to move out of my house next month, which means I will live in a studio, and all the noise wouldn't be allowed.
  2. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    It depends on what kind of music you want to make, and how you want to do it.
    I can tell you it's probably going to cost more than you will have if you are jumping right from high school into the world of "independance from the folks". Rent, utilities, perhaps car payments and insurance, food, and other living expenses are likely to take up most of your paycheck, unless you're going to be landing a job right out of high school for $20/hr+.
    Unless your situation is intolerable at home, or the folks are pushing you out of the nest, you would probably be better off staying there, getting a job, saving up money, and possibly just allocating 10-20% for equipment as you can afford it. That way, when you DO move out, you'll have mics, stands, cables (possibly hundreds and hundreds of dollars worth), and most of the stuff you'll need.
    You'll also have money for utility deposits and payments, possibly rent deposit, "stuff I need for the apartment" money, "darn, I need new bass guitar strings" money, etc.
    You'll want a good computer, with a good interface, with good software...figure a few thousand dollars just for that. And then add to that for things like possibly back-up removebale drives, upgrade parts if you find out you're RAM is lacking, etc.
    Or, you could just buy a stand-alone recorder like a Roland VS series, or AKAI, TASCAM...whatever. It's still handy to have a computer to transfer stuff back and forth from in those. Research how that is done, if youyu paln to go that way. Some things will cost you extra to easily get it into and out of a computer.
    If you're just doing RAP, Hip-hop, or any of that stuff that doesn't involve live musicians, just samples and loops, you could probably get away with a computer, some software, and some mics and possibly preamps.

    Nobody can tell anybody how much it will cost for them to set up a "studio". It depends on what you want to do. You can get things cheaper buying used, but there are things that I would never touch used. Guitars and amps, some outboard gear...that stuff is usually OK. It works, or it doesn't. If it doesn't, I can decide to leave it, or fix it, if I get it cheap enough.
    You have to be very careful with mixers and stuff. I wouldn't touch a used digital tape deck or portable DAW. Who knows what kind of horrors have been inflicted on them?
    I prefer not to buy used mics, unless someone has a vintage classic Neumann or something for some ridiculously low price. (Which...I haven't run across).

    It's good to want to get into this stuff, but you may want to look past those stars in your eyes, and look further on down the road. You want to move out, and you want to have a studio. And you want it soon. Sit down and figure out some stuff.
    How much money am I making? When I move out, how much will be my rent, utilities, food, beer, car payments-insurance-gas-repair, and other living expenses? How much does that leave each month? Hmmmm......

    If I stay home for a couple more years, how much will be my living expenses? How much will I have at the end of the month?

    Living ain't cheap. Neither is buying equipment. May take you awhile, even living with the folks. Probably take you a lot longer on your own.
    "Oh...I'll have a roommate or two", you may say. Don't rely on that for long.

    I don't know your situation. It may be entirely not possible to stay at home, and if that's the case, I'm sorry to hear that's the situation.
    You just really need to look at this realistically, and make decisions that are based on that.
    That's the best I can think of right now. Not trying to bum you out, but I used to be just like you, and made wrong decisions that set me back several years at a time. Moved out the month after graduation. I was going to make it big if I could just get in a band, record some stuff, and become rich and famous. The only problem with that was I didn't consider the effects that life and other people would have on my dreams. Finally, I decided college wasn't such a bad idea, after all...and I'm glad I did. I'm not rich or famous, but I'm paying my bills and am able to afford the occasional upgrade or new toy.

    Good luck with whatever you do.

  3. lejovit

    lejovit Guest

    I didn't expect such a great reply, and that was a great reply. :wink:

    I'm a big believer of investment and saving. So basically what I'm doing right now is saving money, and when I get a job, I will save a certain percentage of it. I will also take my online earnings and save 50% of that (I make sites, etc).

    But yeah, I just noticed it will be harder than I thought. I probably won't be able to do it until a few years. Cause after I move out from the studio, I will move to San Diego into an apartment, and start/finish college there. And it will most likely take a very long time until I can buy/rent a house and be able to make noise there.
  4. casper

    casper Guest

    I agree with Kapt.Krunch. There was another post recently from a newbie and he wanted to go head first into this. I am a musician first and have really only gotten into recording in order to get my ideas down. Even the basic equipment available now is way better then it was ten years ago. I would recomend to take baby steps. Best to get the PC or laptop and a firewire interface such as a presonus Inspire and connect it up. also some "tracking" headphones. You can get some descent free audio recording software such as "reaper" or the interface may already come with some and try recording stuff. See how you like it. Most people that get into the recording side learn as they go along and peice there system together over time. Definitly get started by making a budget/goal and go from there.

    Best Wishes
  5. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    DON'T DO IT!!!!!!

    Give up on music! Give up on the entertainment world! Save yourself the heartache and crushed dreams!

    This is from a guy who's been in the biz professionaly for over 35 years.

    If you absolutely must do this, here's some advice:

    Save every penny, you're gonna need it!

    Stay away from the booze and the drugs. (This has killed more careers than anything else) Money spent on partying is not furthering your career.

    Always have a contract. (Avoid like the plague anyone who won't sign a contract)

    Never work with friends, at least until you can keep business and friendship separate. (Contracts)

    Take on "real world" jobs that will get you money/personel/business management experience. Remember, it's the music (entertainment) BUSINESS.

    In your personal (romantic) relationships make sure you say "THIS IS WHAT I AM AND THIS IS WHAT I DO. IF YOU CAN'T HANDLE IT, GO AWAY!" It will save you a lot of heartache later on.

    Use connections and contacts wisely, most of the time you only get one shot.

    It's very hard to make friends and build professional relationships; it's very easy to make enemies.

    Stay positive and professional, nobody likes doom&gloomers.

    Good luck!
  6. Kapt.Krunch

    Kapt.Krunch Well-Known Member

    Nov 21, 2005
    Casper mentioned another post recently. I believe he may be referring to the guy that wanted to take out a loan to start his studio. If this is even a fleeting thought, you might be wise to review that thread. I'm wondering if the fellow didn't really understand the concept of compound interest, and thought that the most he was going to pay over the price was 10% total, no matter how long a loan? Read here, if it's even an inkling, and keep yourself out of a possibly regrettable situation:

    Uncle Bob has some good advice. He did crack me up with his dire end-of-the-world warnings, and then his statement at the end :lol:

    I'm sure it was mostly in jest. Some of the stuff I was advising is just in the hopes that it will give people pause to think before they jump. What may sound like "you ain't got a chance...give it up" is really just "uhhh....you might want to consider this before you make that decision". (Oh NO!...I've turned into my Dad! :shock: ) Bob's right about staying positive and professional. Keep your humanity and your humility, trudge on wisely, and never let anyone tell you it CAN'T be done. I've had bad financial decisions, and learned from them. I've been an arsehole, and been around arseholes...and learned people don't like arseholes....(unless they think they can make money off them).

    Keep rockin'

  7. UncleBob58

    UncleBob58 Active Member

    Apr 9, 2003
    Fairfield County, CT
    Home Page:
    So many people get into the entertainment industry expecting it to be all glamour and easy money.

    It's very, very hard work. I'm in the process of building my audio post production business and every minute I'm not doing work for a client I'm cleaning/maintaining/upgrading my studio, checking out new gear/software and trying to drum up more business by going to screenings, going to meet&greets and attending conferences. I also have to spend time watching films, listening to music, etc.

    When I was a performing musician there was daily personal practice, running/stretching, doing arrangements and group rehearsals prior to hours of travel, insufficient sound checks, bad stage crews, surly promotors, lousy sound systems, drunk/drugged out band mates, filthy dressing rooms and fourth rate motels (if you didn't have to sleep in the van/bus/plane).

    My whole point is that the entertainment business is not for everyone, and not for anyone with unrealistic expectations. Sure, I've played Carnagie Hall, the Apollo, TV and huge outdoor festivals to tens of thousands, and met, played in front of and played with huge stars. But I had to work really hard to get there, sometimes to the detriment of my personal life. And guess what, when I had finally "made it" everything disappeared when the onset of arthritis made it impossible for me to perform any more. So just before my fortieth birthday it was start all over again as a recording engineer. Fortunately I had payed attention when in the studio and had built a small place of my own for doing arrangements and demos. I also had some real world business experience, had saved my money and invested wisely.

    So lejovit, think about it carefully and take my advice to heart. It is a wonderful, fulfilling life if you can put up with all of the BS that goes along with it.

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