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Recording Studio Operations Research

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by GregHansonMusic, Dec 8, 2013.

  1. GregHansonMusic

    GregHansonMusic Active Member

    Hey All,
    Brand new to posting on these forums! I'm currently in my senior year at Cal State University, Monterey Bay graduating with a degree in recording technology. I'm diving into studio operations for my senior research paper and am looking collect some empirical research on the topic! If you guys could take a few seconds to take my 9 question survey at this that would be totally awesome. I'm more than willing to share any information that I collect during through out my research.

    Additionally, if anyone operates a commercial studio (project, or professional) and would like to share some insight via e-mail or personal message interview it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks so much!
  2. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    i recently recorded a legally deaf bassist in a death metal band. the weird part was, he performed better than alot of bassists i've recorded. just cuz he talks different doesn't mean he can't play.

    this has little to do w/ acoustic construction.

    i didn't take your survey sir. i left clicked the link, and it was a generic question.

    imo- the proper 1st question in your vain, would be " do you care about recording more than most things?", or Does recording professionally involve much more than gear?"
  3. GregHansonMusic

    GregHansonMusic Active Member

    I'm interested in finding out how that recording turned out and some of the methods you went about to getting it done, i.e. does legally deaf mean completely deaf? How was the tracking orchestrated? Bass first and then the rest of the instruments match the timing of that instrument?

    I'm aware it has little do with acoustics, but I could not find a better place on the forum as this subcategory also classified the general "Recording" subject.

    Thanks for the insight. I'm not sure what you mean by generic question.
    The goal of the study is to research some of the methods that commercial studios have to employ when considering the competition with the affordability of the project studio. Thus, a portion of the survey is dedicated to researching some factors associated with finance. Had you taken the rest of the survey, you would been have asked some more questions pertaining to studio aspects, i.e. gear, staff experience, live rooms and acoustics, etc. The survey is only nine questions and takes about two minutes to complete. If you could take the time to answer it, it would be helpful.
  4. moonbaby

    moonbaby Mmmmmm Well-Known Member

    No matter how you want to spin it, this is not the appropriate place to post a survey, check with the admin on where it should go..we have seen so many of these in the past few years, he may have a specific place to put it... :)
    This is a survey to help YOU get through a college course...it is what it is.
  5. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Looks like I missed the party, its gone.

    regardless, I'll move this to the business forum .
  6. Rod Gervais

    Rod Gervais Active Member

    Completely deaf would always mean legally deaf - however legally deaf would not necessarily always mean completely deaf.... thumb

    I filled out your questionnaire Greg,
  7. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    he's legally deaf, w/ 10% total hearing. we'll we tried various approaches, in the room w/ amp, amp in other room w/ phones, and in the control room thru the speakers. that was the keeper. i turned the speakers up loud as they would go w/ out triggering their limiters very often, and i made a monitor mix for him, based on how he could hear what.

    the trickiest part of it all, was him getting used to not being able to hear the symbols very well (used to drummer 3 ft away), and timing the count ins, and pauses. they didn't use a click so the pauses were done by according to the feel of the drummer, and scratch guitarist.

    this is where the visual aspect of a DAW cam in. he was able to judge the pauses, and count ins, much much better, than me trying to mouth them to him, or look like some terrible excuse for a conductor by waving my arms. Surprisingly, the recording came out pretty well once we found the proper approach, and i'd tracked bassists who had full hearing that couldn't play as well as him!

    the biggest selling points at the places i work at are giving the clients 'a rockstar experience', and 'live loud and late' our rates are about double that of the project studios. We have a full staff w/ the seniors engineers the staff guys (i'm one of those) and interns. so, the band members get full service, the interns go get food and whatever they need, we all set their stuff up and help them carry it, they are in a studio w/ at least 5 rooms, very expensive speakers, and as of recently, a bunch of high end gear. we sell the feeling of being in a place that is completely dedicated for music making, and isolated from the outside world (except internet). Many Many times i've gone in when it was light, worked, and came out when the sun was out, and had no idea.

    Also, as far as zoning, in commercial buildings, we don't have to conform to the same noise restrictions as residential areas. we can record any instrument at any time of the day, and not have to consider volume. I'm not savvy about the particular of the two laws and how they differ, but in the past 3 or four years, i've never, not once, gotten a noise complaint.

    The place isn't necessarily more expensive than the project based studio even if the first two points didn't come into play. With the ability to track like w/ good isolation, or all in the main room (if that's what they want) you could actually save money. say it takes a band 1hr to track basics, an hour for overdubs, 2 hours for vocals. that 4 hour block was $200. now if you were doing that in a typical residential studio, you'd likely have to do drums/scratch gtr/vox, then dub the basic elements, then everything else, not counting setup time, your probably looking at about an hour for basic elements (gtr drms bass keys) then the same amount of time for the other things. so a five piece rock band would spend at least 5 hours, and 150 bucks on basics, and $75 for the rest, which means, an 8 hour day (again not even counting setup time). This is obviously just an example designed to show how it can be more affordable to record commercially, but is obviously not always the case. The most productive 5 hour block i've personally done, was a 3 piece cover band, who got 5 songs (w/ backup vox), and 2 mixes, in a 5-hour block ($275). this included setup time, and loading in their backing tracks (keys/click). does it sound like epic records maybe not, but it sounds good is sure to get them gigs, and it was fast and affordable. they came on sat afternoon w/ nada, left sat evening w/ a nice demo. one of the members actually had a home studio, and after a couple failed attempts, they decided to go to the studio, and very very happy w/ the results, they even called my boss to tell them that they enjoyed it, and are happy w/ the results.

    the down side to the facility is how expensive everything while gear is the same for everyone, our monthly expenses include a lease/rent payment, and an electric/heating/ac system, which hovers roughly around $1500 a month (at one of the locations, they other is a flat rate). add to this eating utensils, the costs of water/electricity, cable, internet. it's not that the project studio owner doesn't incur some of these operating costs, but often they incorporated w/ the households costs, so it's usually an expansion of the households, heat cable internet ect. and also the cost of this stuff for a 3,200 sqf facility is much greater than a basic two/three room project studio.

    there is no way i personally could afford it, nor do i have the clientele to support the facilities i work at, and if i were gonna have something of my own, it'd likely just be in a rehearsal facility, or a garage, a project studio.

    when you add taxes, advertising costs, web maintenance, to this, the commercial facility its very expensive, and that doesn't even figure in the initial construction/remodel costs, which is unlikely to ever be re-couped. even stupid things like cleaning supplies, and soap, stuff a typical household would have anyway, are all part of the cost structure of a commercial place.

    hope this helps man

    sorry bro the survey didn't work first time, that's all i meant, it was just some question about like an appliance or something. i'll try again

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