How do you pro MEs get the money to buy all that gear?

Discussion in 'Mastering' started by Ben Godin, Jul 18, 2004.

  1. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    I mean look at it this way, if a single item in your chain costs 5 thou, and you have a good 20 items laying around, where does this money come from, i mean the pro pro MEs who's only job is mastering.

    I'll take one person for ex. Joe L. , he went to full sail, (set him back 40 thou.), and then he has a HUGE variety of expensive equipment. Where does the money come from.
  2. Michael Fossenkemper

    Michael Fossenkemper Distinguished past mastering moderator Well-Known Member

    Depends on the individual. Some work for companies and the company took out a loan and bought the gear. Some like me worked their way up, piece by piece.
  3. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    I used to work for a place that got me "whatever I needed" until they sold.

    Now, it's piece by piece, always looking out for that hot deal.
  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    While I was working at another job I saved some money and when I started up my mastering studio I used that money to buy the necessary start up equipment and to build my room. After that I used a portion of my income to purchase additional equipment on an "as needed" basis.

    The place I interned at was owned by a bunch of investors and they had regular meetings to decide what equipment to purchase based on the recommendations of the staff. Sometimes they went for it some times they did not and sometimes they decided to adopt a "wait and see" approach. Basically they trusted my boss and as long as the money was coming in the front door they were happy.

    Some mastering studios are owned by large corporations. Some are owned by people who have family money. Some are mortgaged up to the hilt and are only making it because the person doing the mastering is bringing in the clients to pay down the dept. Some mastering operation are part of a recording studio and their joint incomes are used to purchase additional equipment.

    Pro mastering studios vary widely in incomes and expenses. Some top facilities and can charge $400 per hour and have three or more rooms all going at the same time which sounds like they are making a lot of money but these are also the places that have to have the latest equipment plus they are located in cities were the cost to rent or to purchase can be excessive. These are the places that Mix Magazine likes to "feature" on their covers or in the magazine. (I guess it is so the rest of us will have something to drool over) There are also places that are located off the beaten path and are not attracting the top clients and may charge $65 to $150 per hour. Their equipment choice maybe limited and they may not have the latest and the greatest but have really good equipment and very good rooms. Then there are the bottoms studios that are basically a computer and a couple of Mackie speakers in their basement or bedroom and may charge between $15.00 and $50.00 per hour and are worth every penny that their clients spend. <GRIN>

    Hope this helps....
  5. Don Grossinger

    Don Grossinger Distinguished past mastering moderator Active Member

    I am very lucky to work at a studio that has built 6 mastering rooms with really good acoustics & high quality equipment to go in those rooms.

    How do we pay for it? By employing quality engineers & staff who can be trusted to make good decisions and improve on the masters presented to us by our clients. On an everyday basis. We would not exist without that trust & confidence that our clients have in us.
  6. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    Classic Sound studio is the studio I work out of. They own the majority of the gear I use. Yes it's expensive to have a mastering room. That's why there are only a handful of quality places.
    If the cheap gear out there was worth it believe me the owners of these studios would not waste the money on more expensive gear. I never met a studio owner who doesn't seriously question every gear purchase.

    For the record Full Sail cost me less than 20Grand before the grants.
  7. Ben Godin

    Ben Godin Active Member

    Joe, i was wondering a thing or two, what did you major in in Full sail, also , what do you think of all the hype goning on about the quality of the school?
  8. joe lambert

    joe lambert Distinguished Member

    When I went there in "92 they had either a degree in recording-engineering or video engineering. I took recording. They have a lot of new things now that I'm not really familiar with.
    Maybe I can talk them into bringing me down to do a mastering seminar so I can see what's going on now.

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