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Need a Computer for startup Recording Studio

I have had a couple of posts on here about home recording, but as from January I am turning my rehearsal studio in a recording studio. Obviously we are not talking Abbey Road, I will be on a tight budget. I am looking to offer bands good quality recording for a low price. So I need to get a good setup. I already have most of the software so its mainly hardware to start with.

So I am after some computer advise and I doubt a mac will be in my budget, So with that in mind am looking for your advise. I obviously need to be able to record 16+ channels at once with no hiccups, it needs to be a stable machine.

So any advise, am I better to build the machine myself or are there some companies out there? What is crucial to a recording computer? Processor over Ram or vice versa?

I already have these pc's, the second one being the one I use for my own home recording. Would either of these be able to be updated so they are good enough to use in a studio or not?

INTEL CORE I7 920 @2.67GHz(8cpus)
Dell 0R849J x58
4GB DDR3 RAM (updateable to 24gb)
450gb HDD

Intel Core Duo E6300 2 cpu @186ghz
Dell 0wg864
Intel P965/G965
Nvidia GeForce 7300 LE
5gb ddr ram expand to 8gb


Profile picture for user TheJackAttack

TheJackAttack Sat, 12/01/2012 - 17:48

Forget about a Core Duo. Period. If you are starting a studio then do it. Either get a PC with an i7 3rd gen with 8 gigs of ram or go with a Mac Mini. Make sure you have a minimum of three internal hard drives and excellent firewire/usb3 external storage as well.

jeff2012 Tue, 12/04/2012 - 13:24

Thanks for the reply. A mac would be brilliant, but I would need to invest in screens as well, as I presume they dont run on the same connecters as PC's do.

How do I tell what generation my I7 is?

If anyone else has any suggestions please dont be shy.

RemyRAD Tue, 12/04/2012 - 14:55

Suffice it to say, I had no problems tracking 24 simultaneous tracks on a Pentium 3, over 10 years ago. It was also writing to a secondary hard drive and not to the system drive. So that's all that's really necessary to record 24 simultaneous tracks at 16 bit, 44.1 kHz. So when you need a higher resolution such as 24-bit, 88.2/96 kHz should be easily handled by anything built within the last few years. You already have one i-7 and so you probably should get another one of those. Does it have to be third-generation? I think not. So budget is an issue, look for a second-generation i-7. It's

The real difference will be realized during your mixing process as to how many plug-ins and/or real-time effects the CPU can handle. If you need compressor/limiter's, EQ, effects on every track, you're going to need the fastest machine with the most memory you can afford.

And no, any monitor will work with the Macintosh provided you have the right cord. Even back in the day in the 1980s, one simply needed a cable adapter to run your Macintosh on virtually any monitor. So maybe you want a desktop Macintosh? But then none of your software, which is intended for PC, will run. So you'll need all new software. And that starts to get a bit pricey. So there's nothing wrong with PC's. You're either technically competent enough to deal with them or you're not. And if college degrees were easy to get, we'd all have them. So when ya can't afford college, you just read everything you can get your hands on and ask as many questions of those who are willing to answer. Because anything worth doing is worth doing well and anything worth learning requires learning.

I'm getting a new i-7 laptop, not sure which one yet? Dell, HP, Toshiba? And I want a pair of internal hard drives and an NVIDIA graphics card and expandable to 16 GB of RAM. The chipsets on motherboards also play an important factor. I forget what the latest is, Sandy Bridge? Some kind of cockamamie name like that?

However you'll still run into plenty of 32-bit audio programs that will be running on your 64-bit computer and operating system. And that's OK. Especially since it will take everybody some time to rewrite all of their code and change the capabilities that their software can deliver. So while there is already software out there like that, it may not be the software you want to use just because its 64-bit? That's not going to change your recording technique any.

Selections can be daunting
Mx. Remy Ann David

jeff2012 Tue, 12/04/2012 - 15:14

Yeah that all makes sense.

Firstly, Mberry I wont be using Pro Tools unfortunatley, it will probably be Cubase 5, which was my last upgrade from Nunendo 3.

Thanks for the detailed post Remy. I actually have qualifications in It and computing but they were a good few years ago and a lot has changed then. But I am leaning towards building a PC. A mac would be nice. But as you say software plays a key factor. I also have never had a mac before, so on one hand its exciting to try one but on the other I know PC's far better.

Yeah its the vsts, that will be the problem as you say, but Im hoping an I7, 8gb ram and a couple of ssd drives should be able to handle it ok. It will be mainly band setups, so averaging 12-16 tracks at variable resolutions.

I'm not sure how to check what generation my I7 chip is, If I could check I may get away with just updating this machine.

IF not I think an 17, 8gb - expandable to at least sixteen, with ssd's...........Will have to look in to the motherboard, I have heard of Sandybridge but dont know any details.

Cooling fans probably will be a help too.

Anyone know a uk equivilent to new egg?

I am hoping I can get all the parts for around £600, I already have the screens.

Profile picture for user BobRogers

BobRogers Wed, 12/05/2012 - 07:25

I don't have much to say about the computer plan, which seems quite reasonable if you need a desktop computer. But the overall "business plan" seems to be a bit of a pipe dream. You have chosen to get into the most capital-hungry end of the recording business, and you are fretting over a couple of hundred pounds for your computer. Not that you shouldn't watch every penny, but if these kind of numbers are deal breakers, what is going to happen when you go to buy an interface? preamps? microphones? Are you going to be forced to buy the lowest quality product for all of these? If so, you won't be able to "offer bands good quality recordings."

There are segments of the recording business where it is possible to start on a very small budget - electronic dance music production, voiceover recording, small-scale mobile recording (think Zoom-4N). Recording 16 channels simultaneously is expensive, even for the crappiest gear. Have you looked at the rest of the budget?

jeff2012 Wed, 12/05/2012 - 08:56

Thanks for the reply Bob

I can assure you my buisness plan is not a pipe dream. I already run a rehearsal studio and am just budgeting to upgrade this with basic recording facilities. A couple of hundred pound is always worth considering unless you are one of the privileged few in this life.

Anyway before my main band became reasonably sucessful and were fortunate enough to be able to record in 'good' studios, we used to struggle to find places we could afford to record in, as I am sure a lot of other young bands did. Eventually we did find a youth project where it was possible.

I am now in a position where I would like to be able to offer this same sort of service to the young bands of today. So would like to offer them a decent standard of recording for a reasonable price.

Thanks again for your message, but I would like to get his back on topic of the computer. No doubt I will need advise on other topics like preamps/interfaces from the good people of this forum in the near future.
Thanks again.

Profile picture for user TheJackAttack

TheJackAttack Wed, 12/05/2012 - 09:11

If you already own an i7 desktop you should be able to update the ram, cooling et alia. At most then you might need a bigger case. If you are building from scratch then server class motherboards are the most stable and will allow the most vst and fx.

Sent from my DROIDX using Tapatalk 2

bishopdante Fri, 12/07/2012 - 17:42

jeff2012, post: 397383 wrote: I presume [macs] don't run on the same [display] connecters as PC's do.

That hasn't been true since around 1996. Even then it took a $15 adapter.

These days it's either DVI (standard PC connector) or Thunderbolt. To get thunderbolt to convert to DVI is a $25 adapter.

Macs will also run Windows or Linux these days, either as dual-boot or via VMWare. Apple have been running the same CPUs as Windows since around 2005, the hardware is basically the same.


You could do a lot worse than a second hand Mac Pro. Can get an 8-core 2.8GHz machine for around $1000 these days.

jeff2012 Sun, 12/09/2012 - 10:40

Oh right, I just presumed Apple would have their own connectors as I know they like to try and monopolise the peripheral market for their products. Though as I said I have never been lucky enough to have owned anything apple other than an Ipod, So I dont know that much about them.

RemyRAD Sun, 12/09/2012 - 21:51

The Macintosh line of computers, I think, has always been designed more towards the user? Whereas most PCs were geared more toward the geeks? And so if you're a technical dweeb geek like me, ya might prefer a PC? If you want something that's no mess no fuss, you go with Macintosh. Of course the Macintosh also came with a higher price tag. Which may have forced some freaks into geeks instead, due to their lower prices?

I just want my operating system to look a little more businesslike and not so cartoonish. Plus all of those stupid visual enhancements like icons bubbling up, squeezing off, flying off, flying into the screen, takes up resources of the computer. It's a veneer of BS that serves no useful purpose. So not impressed by cartoonlike operating systems. I mean would you ever consider running any professional software on an operating system called ice cream sandwich? Lion, panther, cougar, Tiger how about calico? That's a children's zoo operating system. At least Microsoft calls an operating system with at least something that sounds technical, a number.

In the US, we used to be able to buy cigarettes in the United States that were full-bodied, full flavored or, light & ultra light. Oh but the government said you can't market it that way anymore. So now we have regular color, gold and silver. WTF's that supposed to mean? Nothing like the government contradicting itself on truth in advertising? And audio Equipment isn't much different today. It's all new and improved and better but I just want, what works.

It's in the works.
Mx. Remy Ann David

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Wed, 12/12/2012 - 22:34

500 bucks will get you a computer that can easily handle 16 tracks. i use a mac g5 all the time for 24trk live recordings, it costs like 200 bucks now. jumping between different OS's isn't that bad.

Computers from '98 can record a lot of tracks. On a tight budget i dunno if i'd put all the money into the cpu. i'd just look at the computer as a muti track, and employ a decent interface, and outboard/dsp effects. You can get a focusrite liquid mix cheaper than most individual plugins. it's not a bad deal. motu has an interface w/ built in cue efx. Your gonna need the "saved" money for taming your room, and some sm57's, and speakers.

RemyRAD Thu, 12/13/2012 - 00:53

kmetal presented an interesting observation. Yeah, that's basically the way I look at my computer. It's just another one of my many multi-track recorders I've owned since the 1970s. Because I specialize in live recordings and broadcasts of musical events, being an old-school engineer, I really much prefer, dedicated, stand-alone, multi-track recorders. The fact that I can record to the recorders internal hard drive while also having it stream its optical digital outputs to yet another specialized computer audio interface, allows me to make simultaneous safety backups directly through the computer, to an external USB hard drive, in the proper format to immediately use. So I'm recording a 24 track job I'm really recording 48. If the machine blows up while running, I'm screwed. That's why you have a second 24 track machine. On the bigger jobs, you get a pair of 48 track recorders. And then the computer can sit there and rest quietly while it does nothing. In that case, you generally know you're going to be running some audio into that computer such as your live stereo mix and another stereo mix minus the lead vocal and/or perhaps an additional soloed isolated track for whatever reasons you might want? And that's not unlike some of the live recording and mixing I do. Actually not much in the past few years since my businesses virtually collapsed like so many other major studios out there. This was a significant investment and I don't think I've ever fully made back by over $150,000 investment? Not in 21 years! I mean you get no royalties generally speaking, from any live broadcasts or smaller record labels. Even when you've had some reasonable success. I mean even George Massenburg's studios (and he's had a few of them through the years) have all gone bust in spite of the fact that he's built his own equipment and has gold and platinum records all over the place. So now he's just a professor at McGill University in Montréal. And of course, he made some of the worlds greatest equipment. So your chances of becoming successful or wealthy in this business are about as good as they were for you to win that + $500 million lottery. We've just bought a whole lot more lottery tickets to hopefully lower our odds. And where the tickets are our equipment and our talent and technique. Which of course doesn't mean you'll win? But ya might? And this is a hell of a lot more fun than just letting a computer picks some numbers for you.

I only purchase lottery tickets when I know I'm going to win. Don't know what I was thinking on that last one?
Mx. Remy Ann David

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Fri, 12/14/2012 - 05:32

it's the truth i work w/ a dude who has over 80 million in commercial record sales. after coming out of retirement found ourselves under the same boss. i get 15 an hour like the rest of the staff guys and he gets 20 an hr as senior engineer, cheif gets more. the reason is that due to the financial structure of the studio we'd have to charge more than the 55 per hour we charge. asking any more than that for musicians who usually have day jobs, playing for 450 every weekend at bars, is not gonna happen very often.

this isn't necessarily a reflection of our talents, or our equipment/studio room. we haven't gotten a ton of label work lately, and it's not like the stories i heard of the early 90's where as a producer/mixer, ya call and say well looks like i'm gonna need another 5k to finish up this mix. at that point your could easily see studios charging 100 to 250 an hour. but the companies were seeing huge returns on projects. ya know the heyday of cd's 15 bucks a pop, and 5 million in sales, who would care about spending 250k on a recording when your seeing returns like 50-75 million. there selling a few million copies of one song on i tunes. so it's a huge reduction in the returns. this is not going away. Yes there are always going to be fans of music who will by full length, but the rabid 15 year olds of today do not have to by full albums like i used to, the option wasn't there for me to just preview every song and pick and choose.
luckily i didn't get 'had' most of the time i liked most of the album. but i did, by some that the only song i liked was the one i could tape off the radio, and from that point of view, i think the current state is a good thing. I had hoped that it would also make mucisians work harder on each song, cuz it's up for sale on it's own. this would re-instill some more money for producers/engineers, but it has not happend yet, i i really don't think it will. i have seen the word e.p mentioned alot more in mags, so thats good news.
Major labels are obviously a bizness, which will sell anything anyone will by, artistic integrity is not important. studios need to charge to create art. artist are rarely rich. so thats the catch.
As a professional i've made less money recording than live engineering, system installs, and studio construction.
Ya know alot of people can be discouraging about starting in this feild, but if your willing to work long hours for short money, it's very rewarding. i can make more money delivering pizzas. So i know the OP had mentioned a "giving back" to young bands is important to invest accordingly.
i majored in finance in college before i quit in the middle of the third year to live broke in my parents house, scrape together gas money, and enjoy almost every minute i am working, the exception being times like when my UPS for the computer started melting in front of a cleint, those are the times when it's "work". i've seen sparks come out of a mac g5 when the power supply failed. random errors, data loss. being creative sometimes involves on the spot work arounds, not just extra air boost on the vocal. that's why remy refered to a redundent recording system (i think). it's a basic consideration of any mobile type setup.

this is the stuff the home cats aren't dealing w/ as often. they don't have ten cables conecting to ten pres, another wired 15 eqs, and a patchbay. neither do i (@home), but problem solving such a system isn't out of my realm, maybe it's just a bad patch cable? who knows, and at some point that comes into play for a sound person.

just out of curiosity/fun (yup i geek out) i'm gonna a quickly outline a budget for mid level professional gear for a basic 24trk setup, which is likeley the most you'd need for tracking a basic 5pc rock band, live.

Not knowing wheter or not you'd have to pay rent. lets say 500 a month for a decent sized rehearsal space.

Room- 6k per yr.
Power conditioner- 200 (furman or monster)
Cpu- 1k (thinking most mixing is the box, would require at least a dual core, but lets just say a used quad mac a turnkey tried and true system)
2 redundent drives -200
interface- 1k (motu 896mk3 couldn't find one used so that's the new price) has dsp efx built in for the cue mix, and decent conversion, 8 pre's
DAW - 500
external ADAT pre's to get up to 24ch's- 1k (focusrite saffire mk2)
24ch 50ft snake- $500 ( don't wanna skimp on cables but this will get you a decent snake, alowing you to buy shorter individual cables)
24 20ft. xlr cables- 250-1200 (10 bucks a pop for generic, 50, for monster/mogami, 75 for canare) figure mogami, and generic for backups, at least 6
1/4" insrument/speaker cables -250 (figure 5 minimum)
24 mic stands -500

figure your somewhat crafty and have a couple willing friends time to treat the room (at the latest) it should be the first step but, lets just say your covering the basics all at the same time.

1k would buy about 6-8 cases of 703 and some 1x's, and fabric.

this should be about enough to cover the primary reflection points, and work towards a couple superchunk bass traps.

whew, so were all routed, now mics (assuming we're from scratch)

4sm 57s- 250 used. (gtrs snare top/bottom
beta 52 -125 used (kick drum
2 shure sm81's -300 (over heads or hi hat/ride)
2 AT3035 -200 used (overheads or hi hat ride)
3 sm57 - 150 used (toms)
2 cascade ribbon -200 (oh hat ride, room)

lets take the bass di, off the amp, save cash, and increase iso in the room.

3 58's -150(vocals backups)
okay we're plugged in miced up sounding killer, we all need to hear ourselves?

6pr senn hd 202's -150 (for the band, 1 backup)
1 pr akg 240's -100 (for the engineer to make more accurate mix decisions during tracking in one room studio)

Monitors 300-1200 (lets say alesis monitor 1 mk2's, yamaha hsm 8's, mackie hdr.) 300, 700, 1200)
+ 50 for the cables
+ 50 for mopad montor decouplers
it's time to mix the killer recording. Since i like mixing on a control surface, i'm including a mixer/control surface.

i like a hands on multitrack mix approach.
1k. mackie unversal control, 8 ch comtroller, mackie D8b, 24ch digital mixer/8ch control surface (cool mixer, zero latency dsp otions, 12 mic pres)

waves gold bundle -400 (well rounded basic bundle of native effects)
focusrite liquid mix -150 (dsp mixing plug-inseq's/compressors)

cool, just about done,

figure 150 for roxio toast, some cds and sleeves

add 250 for adapters, headphone extensions

drum roll please.......17,725 including first years rent. so that's not realy that bad consdering it's a pretty tried and true, albeit streamlined mid level profesional setup. i used the midle ground price for monitors (700) keep in mind the montors at the studio were 5k.

The focusrite pre's aren't mind blowing, but have good headroom, and before the price quadruples, your not gonna find a better bang for your buck 8ch pre, w/ adat outs. the interface sounds good, the next step up is double w/ a prism, UA, RME, apogee. and if your get the D8b mixer, you can get the apogge conversion card. Considering anything i've ever experienced in audio, it ends up more than even the most defined budgets, could be longer power cable, whatever, so on a plan like this i'd expect 20k, hope for 18.5k. for construction it's 3x, the budget. people forget nails, caulking, the unforseen, which is inevitable.

so how many studio hours till your back in the black. min/max an average recordist doing local stuff is 15-25 an hour. at 15 it's 1,181.6 hours, 25 its 709 hours.
so an average client say coming in to rec 3 songs live, gets 20 hours(setup/rec/mix0, it'll take 59 bookings cheap, 35.45 bookings premuim.
these time scales relate to 29.54- 17.715 weeks of 40hr week bookings.

double those # weeks if you already work full time, and are a magnificeint promotional machine.

well it's an hour or 2 later and i enjoyed this. it's definately a component setup, you could get by w/ a 24 ch harddisk recorder and vlz 24 ch mixer, but then the effects come into play, and a mixer. so i think i offered a pretty fair entry pro sugestion, obviosly you can balance different components but, i just pick middle road stuff, that i think eceeds it's monitary cost. and more importantly, it's the inevitable replacement stuf to not waste moeny, ecessive computer, keep the rock solid mics/stands cables, state of the fart pulggins. i know a dude who's parents funded a protools hd-3 accel system, and 75k to go to a tech school w/ a recording program. his 25k setup is 'passe'. it was state of the art, it was, but like most people who bought that late, expensivliey, it' was already around for ten years. ya gotta know what your hearing, i still am learning, but that's what it is, and mostly, cutting edge computer stuff, takes years to become reliable like a porta studio. i got a 414 and i sucked at recording w/ it for 5 months. built recorded at a decent studio, sucked at mixing in it for a while. it's like eventually you get the rough tracks as good as old mixes, and it snoballs there. since george massendberg is relavent to the convo, he said "mixing is easy, can you say steep learing curve?" i liked that, and it seems to true to my path. tech wise, your on the cutting edge w/ big money or your tried and true, if you ask me. by the time they really figured out tape machines they were starting to harvest the current digital format. there is no choice but to be considerate of digital, you just need to be smart, if your not gonna be on the brink. i don't have the money, neither do my clients, and new doesn't always sound better. Reliable, that is where it's at on the mid-level.

also, add/write off transportaion, meals, drinks. working is going to cost like at least $15 per session. water for the band, 5 bucks a session. they will have the uncanny ability to afford beer and smokes, while trying to rush the process. lol fortunately i don't take forever on mitua, for for low funded projects, but believe me personal habits don't get complained about, they are accepted, i don't bring it up, ya just gotta go outside to smoke butts, and don't get inebriated enough to ruin your ability. haven't had a prob yet w/ the process. i also will not let anything go that i am not happy w/, so if i need to spend my free time mixing extra, or have someone come back and re-do a solo that hurt the song, i will. people respect this, and it's my way of giving people the best i can do, w/ out them feeling like they're paying more than they feel comfortable.

anyway this was intersting to me at least. i didn't include studio furnature, cuz anybody can find a craigslist add and a buddies truck to get a random desk, seats, and a couch. speaker stands, i would by or make tho.

this is the longest post i've ever made, but you have to consider the non-istant-gratification. the studio i built is modest, but adheres to some fundemetal rules, it's mid level professional, nowher near as intense as Madmaxs, but it was about 30k(mine not maxs,which i think was alot,alot more in materials), and works as expected. build it, and they won't know until you tell them about it. build a nice studio in an area w/ a good music scene, nobody new will go until they've been thorughly marketed. the tour, the hey everythings set up, why don't you guys jam? templates so the vox have verb, the hi hat is cut. it's all this. in school its direct marketing. a website, is the best tool you could have. simple, a few samples, pics, and a phone number. then youe need a 'special' for new customers. it is not easy to get money out of people.

the way we're able to compete w/ the 25 per hour project/home cats is the fact that it's, a decent multi-room studio where bands can record live w/ no bleed (audible on the recording) eliminating (mandatory) over dubbs of each instrument, it can actually work out cheaper. but w/ the iso to do punches/on the odubs, it's the best compromise of live/clinical we could achieve. also recording at any volume at any time, its not in a residential area. add to that reasonable acoustics, and a couple of high end treats, it keeps us relavant, but is not easy. if the owner didn't have 20 years worth of clients, the studio would barely be booked.(he owns another fully booked, but the new one is a better design and the main tracking studio) so get that marketing hat on sir, i have, it's the only way. eventually reputation will preceed itself as the studio makes consistently good recordings w/ a pleasent working vibe, but man, i was not expecting it to be tis hard to get people to what i consider a modest "real" studio. best of luck, hope this sheds some light on the relavant magnitube of a computers role. go reliable, if your gonna build, just copy a sweetwater, or rain, if your turnkey, mac pro used. they all have been tested. i've had nasty isuues w/ my toshiba core 2 duo and audio compatility, mainly pro tools native incarbations.


p.s not a retailer or rep, i got my prices thru google/eaby searches. my opinions thru trial and error.

DonnyAir Fri, 12/14/2012 - 06:12

Not knowing wheter or not you'd have to pay rent. lets say 500 a month for a decent sized space.

To record in? To have clients come in to work?

I think you're waayyyy low on that figure, my friend.

Unless you're gonna pick up a crack / meth house in an area that you wouldn't want to leave your gear in anyway... and if you do end up setting up in an area like that, you're going to want a direct contact-to-law enforcement alarm system of some kind.

Important additions to consider:

1. Making sure that your area is zoned for commercial business, so that the cops don't come knocking at 9pm to shut you down because a neighbor complains of the noise..

2. utilities... keeping the lights burning, having a high speed internet connection, making sure that clients ( or your gear) won't roast in the summer or freeze in the winter....

3. Having a place for your clients to park...

4. Other must-haves, like insurance for example - not only for the gear, but also for the guy who slips on the ice at your door and then decides to sue...

Please understand I am not trying to throw a wet blanket over anyone's plan to get into the business. I did it myself for almost 25 years. Your post provided great insight to those who need suggestions as to the gear they should look at for starting a project level recording business... from an equipment POV, you have some very well thought-out suggestions, and people should be grateful that you took the time to list the suggestions... it should absolutely be a sticky for anyone who is entertaining the idea of getting into entry level commercial audio recording..

Unfortunately - and I can tell you this from personal experience - that as a business, the equipment is probably gonna be the least of your costs in the long run. ;)

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Fri, 12/14/2012 - 11:41

well we def see eye to eye on most d. i based 500 per month on the average price of an average size rehearsal around Massachusetts. if your lucky you'll find a largish shell on the first floor of a very thick concrete foundation, in an old mill, w/ nothing happening in the upper floors, that would get thru an average inspection. lucky i said, so i figured the OP to have a smaller 2nd floor digs, w/ bands on all four sides.

since most rehearsal areas are converted, they are likely to be in comercial zones, hence me saying 'not residential'. we all know musicians don't all have bed times. old mills are the popular conversion around mass. in fact i haven't been to one here or in Rhode Island, that wasn't.

alot of the things mentioned are standard issue in typical practice space areas like the op is talking about.

noise is expected, as well as parking. (valid points). since most rehearsal spaces have little in terms of acoustics, and isolation, noise issues have already been dealt w/ as far as neighbors. utilities are often included in band space rents, cuz they include a general bathroom, and mainly electricity. most bands have a basic setup a pa, and an ac. other installations have hvac, and internet.

They aren't really expecting people to come in and alter a room, that is made for working musicians to jam at. so people who do, can reap the benefits of the overall business plan/rate structure. what if you gave guitar lessons? it got nothing to do a/ landlord agreement what legitiment transactions are taking place, unless it's in the agreement. this is not to say you should not be legit. you should.

if you look into liability, you'll find that the proprietor is largely responsible. if walk past walmart, never purchase anything, but fall on their property who can i sue, walmart. it's actually pretty difficult for the 'victim', which is why if you are the owner of the facility as well, better get some insurance, and a lawyer.

depending on your lease/rental agreement, your not likely liable as a simple sole proprietorship. as you get incorporated things can change. but if i fell in a friends apartment, i'm not suing the friend, i'm suing the proprieter. that is why you pay so much money for rent. while upfront cost of a studio shell could be 50 years rent, another 20 yrs in premiums, eventually it pays off for the great grand kids. Rent conforms you to the public facilities's own policies, unless stated in the lease.

are you liable for a black eye at a gig? just because money is exchanged for services in an area doesn't mean your instantly liable. it could, but that's up to someone to read the paperwork. i'm not a lawyer. i have one if i need it, which so far so good lol.

a sole proprietorship is basically just a 'bank account' and a place for people to send checks to. i had no additional insurance paperwork to fill out in my city. the requirements of permits for certian work/lecnsed insured workers, are clearly part of the building code. liability insurance was not adressed in my personal application/approval. i mean is the engineer responsible just because he got paid for sound, to pay for a crowd surfers busted wrist? no. but for instance if i painted a house under a dba, and fell i'm pretty sure i could sue the home owner. this is why people have sole proprietorships. as soon as you have anyone under your hiring you need insurance for them. so if i put someone on the books after going inc, and they get shocked, i'm responsible. as an independent contractor, instead of employee, the shocked person would sue the establishment, and not even need to have insurance themselves. i'm not saying it;s fair, but in my state, it's easy to be the victim. you could pay more for insurance than 20k a year, but it's unlikely in the scope a project studio, in a rehearsal area. especially when no structural modifications have been made. and you get that fire retardent fabric/foam/spray. you can get in trouble w/ violations.

but this is why i wouldn't build a powerstation level studio in a rented place. what you put into it you don't own. so that's where practicality comes in. i know of two studios built out to the hilt, that are turnkey + equip. empty. one had real hits made in, and real top end acoustisticians. again i'm a humble nobody. but if you can generate 1800 a month for rent, you can have a legit studio in rhode island. covered under all the same lease/rental laws that apply, none of which i have seen, i am not in that price bracket.

security is a huge thing w/ me. my old practice spot had fingerprint security. bravo. i like that. other spots have the card swipe systems, or the plain old lock and key. any musician w/ more than 10k worth of crap i mean gear, should insure it. or just hope.

yeah business is right friend. you can spend more on a website and cards than a few57's, the 57 will still be there in 20 yrs. that's why i wanted to put in a simple cost of entry. that's what you'd likely need before ya even get 'open'. no small feat. somehow the money always flows out too....

cheers!- kyle

jeff2012 Sat, 12/15/2012 - 11:23

Some great posts their thanks. Especially from 'Kmetal'. I am quite lucky I already have the room pretty much set and ready to go. My rent is low. Insurance already covered including liabilty. I am considering lots of different options at the moment.

Theres definitley a lot of things to consider before rushing in. I am lucky that I dont really have a time frame to do this in. So I can build it all up at my own pace.

Profile picture for user kmetal

kmetal Sun, 12/16/2012 - 02:44

jack knows waayyy more about computers than i do, he's a computer pro, he knows. alot. don't underestimate you monitors and room treatment and it'll have good potential. don't take tasty expensive mics, over ballpark room. how good is a nice mic, when ya can't hear it? anyway good luck, interesting stuff.

i never really thanked him, but w/in 24hrs over this site, jack told me my stuff was incompatible, he asked some specific questions, gave excellent answers. the mods around here are excellent. all my best. rock on! -kyle

Nutti Mon, 03/18/2013 - 06:14

This is kinda cool...I'm almost doing the same thing as you are planning to do, but in Finland :)

In my oppinion the time for small studios like this is over long ago, but I understad how you think when you want to offer "budget" bands to get the oppertunity to make a record. This is exactly as I thought a year ago...the problem is all the cheap equipment out there. One member in a "budget" band can simply get some recordingstuff and make their record at home and get somewhat decent demorecords made. Atleast here in Finland there just isn't the need for small studios anymore.

Anyways, this weekend I actually bought a "new" computor to my studio and it has the same processor as yours, i7 920. I overclocked it last night to 3GHz and it runs stable under stresstest, so I think it would be good enough for this kind of projects. I bought this cheap from a gamerguy who had put alot of effort into the computer when he got it, so it has a huge cooler with doubble 120mm fans so it stays very cool (max peak at 60'C under stresstest). It also had a 1000w powersupply (overkill for me) and a radeon 5870 graphic card. Now to my point: the thing he didn't care for was computer noise, and it almost sounded like a old fridge when he started it up. So when I got the computer I also stopped by another guy who had a different case fo sale. This was a Fractal design define r3 and my GOD what a difference! It's a case that has been built for silence, and when I installed everything I went with 2x120mm intake fans and one 120mm exhaust fan all connected to the fancontroller witch is intergrated with the case. I can't measure the db:s but it's nothing to talk about. The loudest noise from it is from the graphic card and the powersupply. I searched the net and found a review sayin 15db noise at 1m from the case...

The case might not have been something you've thought about so I just thought I'll write it here and recommend the fractal design case and to remember that graphic cards are loud and some power supplys.

Regards from Finland!