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Ideas for recording space?

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by mhutch, May 17, 2008.

  1. mhutch

    mhutch Guest

    So I live in this really noisy apartment building. I moved to this new city (Yellowknife, NT) of about 20,000 that is quite isolated from anywhere else. As far as I can tell, there aren't a lot of recording services up here. There is one studio, but he has a reputation for not calling people back!

    I would like to start offering to record other people (which I've done a bit in the past), but I have no place to do it.

    I have called local commercial property people, all of whom have told me nothing is available for that purpose. It looks like you have to own your own house for this sort of thing.

    My question is does anyone have any creative ideas for where I could find a space to record in? I would love to find somewhere that I could keep my stuff, treat acoustically a bit, and lock it all up. But I would deal with moving everything in and out if the situation required it.

  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    "But I would deal with moving everything in and out if the situation required it."

    Every Tuesday we have to drag a drumkit+mics etc from a cupboard to the Church hall and set it up for practices. At the end of the night, we do the opposite. Believe me, you will want to reconsider what you said unless you happen to be using it for days at a time. 2 hours is a soul destroying usage when it takes you 20 mins to setup and packup.

    I would suggest spare garages, bedrooms, basements, attics, anywhere that isn't a cupboard, greenhouse or garden shed.
  3. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Putting a studio in a home is a two way street. It is easy to setup and you can have the freedom to get to the studio without going far BUT it is also a road strewn with pot holes.

    1. Many communities have very strict guidelines as to what "businesses" you can have in your home.

    2. There are noise control ordnances that have to be obeyed.

    3. Your neighbors can throw lots of road blocks into your plans and be big PITA when you don't expect it.

    4. You cannot easily get away from your work and you will find yourself working on weekends and at night and early morning. There is always "one more thing to do".

    5. Many home owners insurance plans will NOT cover a home that is also used as a business so you will have to have a separate policy to cover your business.

    6. Besides making noise there are also neighborhood noises to content with such as people cutting their lawns, driving by in their boom cars or getting a new roof put on while you are trying to lay down an acoustic guitar track.

    I can tell you all of this because my two mastering studios are in my house. It has some really good advantages but some BIG disadvantages and we don't do any live in house recording which would add a whole other layer of problems.

    Best of luck but do think a lot about ALL the problems and there solutions BEFORE you make a decision what to do.
  4. mhutch

    mhutch Guest

    Thanks guys. Codemonkey, ya, I have done the whole setting up and taking down in a church basement as well, for a few years. It sucks, but hey man, I want to record.

    Tom, I'm not really looking to set up a "home" studio per say. The point is that I can't record at home, it's just too loud. That's why I'm looking for a space away from home. But all very good tips, and I will keep them in mind.

    I was thinking about putting an ad in the local classifieds and maybe someone would have a place for me.

    As an aside, I met the coordinator for our big music festival last night, and she wants to make a "best of" compilation CD. So, I might have a gig. But that's for another post.
  5. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Lots of times in small towns there are not a lot of options. Some time the local GRANGE hall or church basement is about all you are going to find. There are also REHEARSAL spaces sometimes for rent sometimes for free in larger towns but these are usually untreated rooms with lots of acoustical problems.

    Best of luck and let us know how it all comes out.
  6. bent

    bent No Bad Vibes! Well-Known Member


    Thomas is right, don't follow my example.

    Be upfront, honesty is the best policy.
  7. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    You are the moderator but I don't agree about telling little lies. It may get you into trouble down the road.

    Before we started in business I went to the Code Administration person in town and told him exactly what I would be doing in my house. I also contacted all of my neighbors (all five of them) and told them what I would be doing and asked for comments or problems. Hearing no complaints or comments except "good luck" I went ahead with my business plans. We have been in business for 14 years with no problems.

    Recently my next door neighbor told the city I was running an illegal business in my house but since I had been up front with everyone from the start he did not have a leg to stand on. Since the code administration person had approved my business plan and my neighbor had not raised a concern it was a short dispute. I believe in full disclosure as the way to go.

    Your mileage may vary.
  8. mhutch

    mhutch Guest

    I totally agree. I'd never be able to get away with little lies anyway, my girlfriend is the permit officer for the City! She's the one that signs off on any home-based business or development, so at least I have a really good resource there!

    A friend of mine said I should go a bit bigger and set up a rehearsal studio with a recording room. She works for the government and figured there might be grants for that sort of thing, promoting Arts and Culture and whatnot. There is nothing like that in town, and I think there's enough musicians to support something small. It's actually a big complaint up here that there is just no where to play, let alone record.

    This is all getting to be a bigger venture than I envisioned. I guess sometimes you just have to take the bull by the horns and run with whatever comes up.

    Thanks again for all the help everyone! I love this board.
  9. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Recording studio or AV production? There is no lie in either.

    I agree with both sides of this one. Being up front and everything that it entails.

    I also know that a "unobstructed view" and a "panoramic view" can make or break a sale.
  10. mhutch

    mhutch Guest

    How about a storage space? You know, like they have those units you can rent out monthly that people keep their furniture and stuff in?

    If I could find one that was at least 10x15 that might be enough to cram some equipment in for the time being. Anyone ever done that? I guess it would have to be temperature controlled, which might be hard to find.

    Thanks again for all the help! I'm going to keep talking to people in town and I'll let you know how it turns out. Apparently a small business license is only $200 here, so that's definitely the way to go. I'm pretty sure I'd be able to write off equipment purchases if I was a legal business too. Sweet tax returns!
  11. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Depreciate not write off.
    Kiss a tax return goodbye and say hello to quarterly estimated tax payments. ;)
  12. mhutch

    mhutch Guest

    Maybe, but up here in the north of the north, we hardly pay any tax at all! If you don't get $5000 back at tax time, then the accountants think they did something wrong.

    But hey, there's gotta be something good about living in a place where there's only 2 months of summer and 10 months of -40 degrees!
  13. monetmelly

    monetmelly Guest

    most people cant afford a specifically designed studio or rehersal room. But if you can, a room inside a room would be great. And a NOT square room would be incredible as well. Depending on how big the room is you might want to make it as dead as possible, foam, heavy carpets.
  14. mhutch

    mhutch Guest

    Monetmelly: The problem is that I don't even have a room to put another inside of! My apartment won't work because I have to live there.

    Update: I am still hounding commercial property people. The business application is being dropped off tomorrow. Business cards are made. Hideout Recording is the name.

    There are a couple other recording guys in town, and I've spoken with both of them. One has offered to send me business if he's busy or they can't pay his rate ($65/hour). The other is rebuilding right now and seems like a very decent person. One operates out of a shack in the industrial part of town and the other out of his garage.

    I'm still open to ideas if there are any more out there. Thanks either way!

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