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Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by salicious, Apr 5, 2002.

  1. salicious

    salicious Guest

    As I peruse this massive forum, I felt that this would be the place to ask that all important question stated in the subject line. first of all, i've been working on music production for about five years, but it's been a solo endeavor, with that said, and finding myself looking for a career, the question is, if I sink my soul into this business, can I realistically expect to support a family on the income? By income I mean say $40K is what I'm pulling in now. I'm talking about producing music for radio/TV ads from my project studio. As I look at the competition,(the rest of you out there) it's pretty unrealistic to say, "oh yeah, I'll be a top dog in five years and living high". Clearly, I need to be more specific to get an accurate picture , but so many of you are out there doing it already, what is a realistic expectation? Also, are we talking about outrageous hours and hairpulling deadline pressure? I'm going to produce music at any level I can just because i love it, but i gotta know. If i can get a few comments and opinions, that would be great.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Kathy

    Kathy Guest

    Hi Frank,

    You ask, "Can I realistically expect to support my family on the income"....

    Without knowing how your business has progressed during the last 5 years that you've been working on this venture, it's difficult to predict the future outcome.

    A few questions...

    1) Has your client base increased considerably since you've started, and does it continue to grow?

    2) Do you work with local clients or national? (or both?)

    3) How about voice-overs? Do you have voice talent to offer as well as music?

    4) How do you market/promote your business?

    If you have a high-profile client, you'll do very well simply by word-of-mouth. Others seeking similar results will find you, without you even having to do anything. Are you working with anyone now who could serve as that type of billboard/testimonial for your work?

    It's not easy. The competition increases every day, but if you do quality production, and your turn-around time is decent, you will always have work.... because there will always be a NEED for it.

    Good luck!

    Kathy
     
  3. salicious

    salicious Guest

    Kathy,

    Thanks for the reply, it's so great to have this resource!

    1)When I say I've been at it for five years that means learning in my free time. I'm definetely a newbie, but I'm just hooked on it! I've only hooked up with one player here in Atlanta and it never flew, so zippo, nadda.

    2)I want to work the local market

    3)I know some voice over talent in the area, he's done some national spots, but no personal experience.

    4)How do I market? I'm trying to figure out if this is feasible, then I can work on the how's and when's.

    Clearly I want to see the end before I begin, and I'm undecided on a lot of things, but this sort of response is how I plan to figure it all out.

    I have been a pianist since I was a child but my skills aren't professional grade so I came across digital editing and DAW's and the whole recording thing and now I'm just ravenous to learn and do more with it, upgrading as fast as I can and using as much time as I can to develop my skills and so I've done some decent, to my ears, recordings and felt like I should explore commercial music, given the type of stuff I'm hearing on radio and television ads I think that I could compete. I'm doing the whole gamut, from original scoring to post production. That's where I need input, I can't just chase my dreams and send my family into a tailspin.

    Again, thanks for the questions and info, it helps to get me thinking and focusing. If you have the time to expound a little more about what you know that would be great!

    :)
     
  4. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2001
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    Home Page:
    For advertising work, I'd want to be working either as an engineer or as "the talent" doing work at whatever local studios already cater successfully to advertising agencies.

    Nobody EVER wants to use the new guy OR the new studio because above all they want their asses covered. If you try to be both, you can probably forget finding any decent paying advertising clients. If you can find a way to collaborate at first with somebody having a good reputation, you can build a fine career.
     
  5. Kathy

    Kathy Guest

    Hi Frank,

    You wrote:

    "I've only hooked up with one player here in Atlanta and it never flew..." ... what happened? Knowing why it didn't succeed could really help you down the road.

    Bob makes some good points, too...

    You might want to look into working as a hired gun for someone who is ALREADY doing what you'd like to do. (Before you attempt to be both studio AND talent, at the same time, which is very difficult). Get in with someone who already has connections, and start networking. Ask questions. Absorb as much experience & information as you possibly can. Then you'll be more prepared to go it alone.

    I know a guy who is a very successful voice-over talent. Amazing story, really.... he started as the voice of this one radio station, and was lucky enough to hook up with a nationally syndicated program, which catapulted him right into the spotlight. Three years later, he opened his own studios and is now a millionare.

    Of course, this isn't the norm! But the point here is this: He got that break by working for someone else -- that one radio station that hired him to be their voice. THAT gig is what enabled him to move to the next level. Had he just decided to start his own business with no prior experience (or clients), he may never have gotten noticed and could very well still be struggling.

    Perhaps you should consider putting your own studio on hold for now, while you work with someone else who is involved with agencies?

    Then where you're ready to fly solo.... you'll be in a much better position to succeed, because agencies will ALREADY be familiar with your name & your work.

    Kathy
     
  6. salicious

    salicious Guest

    Thanks again Kathy, Bob,

    Great info and good advice. I have looked at the local production houses as a source of making a start and discovered that there are relatively few in Atlanta, of course I could be missing a lot of unadvertised ones, and I also talked with an ad agency marketing director who told me that I should prepare a demo of what I'm capable of, which is part of the hold up, in another part of this forum I'm trying to upgrade to a protools DAW to make my music more professional before I start passing out demo's.

    When I said that my one connection didn't fly it meant that I visited the guy and gave him a tape of what I was doing and he said " yeah, I could back you up and have someone work with you, just call me and we'll set it up." Well, I called, no answer, and I visited his website, no response. I tried this several times and finally figured he was blowing smoke or blowing me off.

    By the way, what format would I need to have to present to an agency or production house? Most of the literature I've read relates to writing for record companies, not commercial music, so I wonder if it's DAT, or red book CD's audio cassette, or some other format. And what to put on such a demo, small clips, full productions, sound FX?

    Again thanks for your input, and your time to compose it.

    :tu:
     
  7. Kathy

    Kathy Guest

    Hi Frank,

    Umm... yeah... sounds like they blew you off, I'm sorry to say. Oh well... there are others!

    Re: what format to present... it varies. Best to simply make a phone call & ask what type they prefer.

    Kathy
     
  8. Bob Olhsson

    Bob Olhsson Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2001
    Location:
    Nashville TN
    Home Page:
    Everything at this point is Red Book CD.
     
  9. salicious

    salicious Guest

    Thanks for the replies, Kathy, Bob. I'm playing the waiting game for new equipment to arrive, and so I'll be salivating for at least a week before I can dive into recording again.

    Fortunetely I will be able to do the red book CD's as well with the new gear.
     

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