Skip to main content

Advice on renting space for a recording studio

hey y'all, as one who really hates renting and credit etc, I'm usually opposed to this type of thing but it seems a good deal. I was looking at a 9x9 in the same facility for $150. The manager called yesterday with this opening up next month.

$200/mo. No lease, just security deposit.

15x20 space, 10' ceilings.

24/7

Fingerprint security

Heat/Ac/electricity/T1 internet

Here's the places website.

http://www.bandstandlive.com/

Long story abridged-

I've overstayed my welcome at my parents home... so.. at age 32.5...

Basically I'm in the market for a house and my 150k budget is a bit tight, so getting something that's a smart investment is evasive, but not unrealistic. My house is where I intend to make my post room, either inside the home or an outbuilding.

Renting an apartment or house around here, is more than buying. my 'would be' mortgage/insurance/taxes, (roughs in around 7-900/mo), so I'm trying to avoid renting, if possible. Fwiw rent around here is 900-1200 for a 1 bedroom in a reasonable area, 850 in the slums. I do qualify for (rent and mortgage) assistance due to my fractured vertebrae. It gets technical but, for the sake of argument that gets it down to around 500. This will be funneled into a buisness account for write off/tax purposes, and eventually I'll go INC.

Okay, so in the meantime, I've become ready to gradually ease off the hiatus, into my next focus which is the remote/online recording and mixing thing I talk about obnoxiously. As well as my studio design / consulting work.

So it's come down to me needing a place to setup my stuff, which is really just a couple computers and a NAS drive, for now, until I build the xeon pc, and get the mytek converters. Which should be abot a year. I've got all but the fab filter, and a couple office based programs, purchased and ready. So I'm actually ready to start working on the computer setups, and archiving of all my, and the (commercial studios) content, as well as design my websites, which I've already got several domains leased. Beyond that I wanna start trying my hand at the electronics side of things, so I want to set up a little bench as well.

Anyway I've rehearsed st the facility about 5 years back for a about 6 months with my old band. Overall it's not soundproof really, but not absurdly loud, but far from quiet when busy. Other than that it's reasonably clean and the bathrooms are decent. And it's close to my gym where I work out and can shower. It's miles ahead of the run down flop house nature of the studio I built for the owner, and used to work out of here in my home town. the other commercial studio in RI, where I prefer to do studio work, and still have access to it. This practice space has something like 50 rooms, but while it's a band space, didn't seem to exhibit the violence, drug production/sales, and lewd public conduct, that occurred commonly at the New Bedford mill. Although it would not surprise me if I saw some of the same characters since this band rehearsal is one of only a couple around here, and within 30mi of the flop house mill. The RI place is in its own building, standalone.

So no intentions of brining in bands to 'my room', I do that at Normandy. The goal of this rental room is to kinda test my remote system idea and develop it further here, as well as edit projects i do at the real studios, to keep client cost reasonable, and money in my pocket as opposed to the higher electricity, etc, at the studio. The owner and I are on good terms. I also want to finally start fleshing out my solo project, which is why i bought the pro tools rig in '05, and monitors and 414. LOL all of which have been or are for sale, and I've got lots of demos, but not one full song mixed and mastered.

So anyway I'm at a very stripped down, low commitment, low responsibility point in life, and got my Medical stuff being worked on, so it seems like a good time to kinda do this. It seems like a lot of room for the money, and I'm really just waiting around for the right real estate investament.

I'll likely do very little acoustic treatment, mostly moving blankets on mic stands and some sort of cloud. I'll also do bare minimum as far as furniture, and racks etc etc. Think bare bones here. With my expectations in proportion. I should have somewhat reasonable modal response in the 15x20, although the decay time is what it is, since bass trapping will probably be minimal. (Stacks of insulation rolls most likely in the corners, covered in plastic). I want to keep things easy to transport should I dislike this place or find a house.

So. Sorry it got a bit long winded. Does anyone have any thoughts, opinions, concerns, warnings? I've spent a lot of time talking people out of rentals etc over the years, so I want to make sure that my thinking that it's a decent deal and time based on my situation, is or isn't correct.

If I follow thru, I'll be asking you guys how I can maximize my internet there, i.e. Do I need a modem or booster, and anynther technical things I can do without hacking or pissing off the managers. If I end up renting an apartment money and isolation will determine if I keep renting both, which I probably won't. Rent hurts my finance ego, and long term mentality.

Thanks to anyone for their thoughts.

Comments

kmetal Fri, 09/08/2017 - 17:00

P.s

The I only current alternative work space would be the 10x12 (7' high) steel garden shed I bought last fall and haven't assembled yet. This has the benfit of me owning it. The drawback of having to insulate, and construct it, low ceiling (although its angled). I could easily enough run an extension cord, even a seperate circuit, out to it, as well as an Ethernet wire. It would land in the backyard at my parents at this point, which may or may not be a great idea. I was also planning on using it for actual storage, but realistically don't have a whole lot. I purposely rid myself of most things that aren't completely necessary.

Just figured I'd mention that.

paulears Sat, 09/09/2017 - 10:36

The price, comparing it to here seems damn good for the size. Is that the total you pay? No extra taxes or extras? I assume you pay for electricity via a meter? How about toilet facilities, any extra charges for cleaning and stuff?

With 10ft clearance, can you build a room within the room to keep noise under control? For that money and size here, I'd be seriously considering it.

kmetal Sat, 09/09/2017 - 11:17

paulears, post: 452640, member: 47782 wrote: The price, comparing it to here seems damn good for the size. Is that the total you pay? No extra taxes or extras? I assume you pay for electricity via a meter? How about toilet facilities, any extra charges for cleaning and stuff?

With 10ft clearance, can you build a room within the room to keep noise under control? For that money and size here, I'd be seriously considering it.

Thanks for the reply Paul, much appreciated.

That is the the total price, per month, and that includes the toilet, and maintenance, as well as electricity. It's only got a 15A, maybe even 10A circuit to the room, so I believe that's how they regulate costs into a flat rate. The manager said he thought it was a 15A, but I'll have to check. Nonetheless, the room is on its own breaker. I'll probably put a plug in on the light switch, one of those combo switch/plug single things, so I can keep the lighting and gear separated a little, although I'm unclear on the power scheme. Either way I'm budgeting for an isolation transformer for the gear.

As far as construction goes, my limiting factor would be the floor, and I'm not sure if I could even do that at this facility. It's certainly something I'd consider if this ends up longer term than a year or two.

Since most of the bands are working men/women, I'm hoping that I'll find optional quiet times for my horrendous vocals, and more delicate mix stuff. I'm somewhat nocturnal, and very free from everyday commitments so, I'm hoping to dodge the cost of isolation construction.

Since this does seem really really cheap, I'm somewhat thinking it's too good to be true. But I have rented from the facility previously like I said, and I'll have to take the managers word that he keeps this room at the price so individual persons can afford larger than their 9x9, which is their usual 'single guy' room rental. I think the larger rooms are harder to rent since bands can fit in the medium rooms for $100 less. My guess is he can't get the full 375$ for this one and would rather have it occupied for $200, than vacant.

Lol guess I'll find out what skeletons, or smells, or sounds are in this closet...

paulears Sat, 09/09/2017 - 11:34

I think the ony thing that would worry me with no proper lease or contract would be termination. If they get somebody with deeper pockets, can they just give you a months notice to quit? That would make any money you put into the interior wasted - so for me, I'd absolutely build in a room within a room for the ability to use it at any time - it would be worth it. Mind you, at the price, sinking a bit into this could be just written off.

One of my studio builds was quite big, but it had a limited power supply - 16A/240V, and I discovered lighting was a real problem - bright lighting (50W downlighters) was too much. However, now we have LED lighting so that goes away to a degree. With sound insulation, I rarely needed heating as the spaces were always ok, even in winter with the computers left on 24/7 - only a couple of hundred Watts, but in our UK winter, this was enough.

I hope it goes well.
Paul

kmetal Sat, 09/09/2017 - 15:26

paulears, post: 452642, member: 47782 wrote: I think the ony thing that would worry me with no proper lease or contract would be termination. If they get somebody with deeper pockets, can they just give you a months notice to quit? That would make any money you put into the interior wasted - so for me, I'd absolutely build in a room within a room for the ability to use it at any time - it would be worth it. Mind you, at the price, sinking a bit into this could be just written off.

One of my studio builds was quite big, but it had a limited power supply - 16A/240V, and I discovered lighting was a real problem - bright lighting (50W downlighters) was too much. However, now we have LED lighting so that goes away to a degree. With sound insulation, I rarely needed heating as the spaces were always ok, even in winter with the computers left on 24/7 - only a couple of hundred Watts, but in our UK winter, this was enough.

I hope it goes well.
Paul

Ya know man you bring up some good points. I hadn't really thought about being 'downsized' against my will. Gonna have to ask the manager about that scenerio.

Excellent point about writing off any construction costs. Gonna save my receipts for all my stuff, as I'm branded an Entertainment Company.

I'm not sure about the lights, if my foggy memory is correct it was those florecent light ballasts which are awful for many reasons. I like it dim anyway so I'll probably just do a floor lamp, and the led screens or projector will Be plenty.

Lol as far as heat goes I think there's a saying, "a really good control room never needs heat". I've had to run ACs in the winter myself. I think the Massachusetts weather patterns are similar to U.K. as far as temperatures go.

Excellent points man, cheers!

audiokid Sat, 09/09/2017 - 15:50

paulears, post: 452640, member: 47782 wrote: The price, comparing it to here seems damn good for the size. Is that the total you pay? No extra taxes or extras? I assume you pay for electricity via a meter? How about toilet facilities, any extra charges for cleaning and stuff?

With 10ft clearance, can you build a room within the room to keep noise under control? For that money and size here, I'd be seriously considering it.

same. I just leased a space as well. Sounds like a great deal.

DonnyThompson Sun, 09/10/2017 - 05:03

While on the surface this sounds like good deal...There are two things that stick out that would concern me.
The first is, are you signing a lease? Because as Paul mentioned above, if you're renting on a month by month basis, the owner can ask you to leave at anytime, with a minimum notice (usually 30 days). You could get all settled in, unpack and set up your gear, and the owner could rent that space to someone else next month who may be willing to pay more for it. $200 is dirt cheap - hell, pal..,these days that's cheap anywhere - for a working space of that size. Here in the western burbs of Cleveland, you'd be lucky to get a dog house for 2 beans a month.
But, the rate doesn't really matter if you're not protected by a lease, snd you're chancing being evicted, with little warning, and through no fault of your own, and for no other reason than someone else comes along and offers the guy $300 per month.
Is the owner asking for a security deposit? Are there any other deposits required, for things like utilities? Is there internet access? If so, is ot included in your rent?
(And speaking of utilities...I wouldn't be comfortable with the notion that your gear will keep you warm, either... Fitst of all, gear doesnt run as hot as it used to...So unless you've got an old LFC analog desk with a nuclear power submarine power supply and a rack of tube gear, well, Boston isn't exactly known for its balmy tropical winters...
The other big thing, is that you will be at the mercy of tracking your projects based on whether or not Wayne and Garth in the suite next to yours decide to rehearse theit local death core band...Unless you plan on a workflow that includes mostly VSTi's and other ITB instruments, you might not be able to do vocals, acoustic guitars, or even guitar amp miking at your convenience, if you're surrounded by bands that are rehearsing... and let's face it, it's a rehearsal rental facility, so the above scenario isn't exactly a stretch. In fact, its not just possible that this will happen, it's probable that stuff like that will happen.
I get that you want to get out of your parents house, Kyle. But just make sure you're not walking into a situation that will result in you having to go back and knock on their door again a couple months from now, asking if you can have your old room back. ;)
FWIW ;)

audiokid Sun, 09/10/2017 - 12:35

kmetal, post: 452658, member: 37533 wrote: Congrats Chris! I'm guessing/hoping yours is a little more private and fit for longer term? What are you gonna use it for?

Also curious what made you opt for a lease over purchase?

Thanks Kyle.
Its 1000 sq ft. and I'll be using this as a front end for my painting business.
Reason for leasing:
I can right off 100% of it as a lease and it would likely cost around $400,000 to buy it.

It has 20ft ceilings :)
I'll only be using it for personal collaboration and mixing services during the evenings hours (not intended as a commercial recording studio).

I"ll sign a long term next month if it looks to be idea for me. The total cost including utilities is $1300 a month. Sounds like you have a killer deal but it might not stay that way.

Kurt Foster Sun, 09/10/2017 - 12:55

go for it dude. he's not going to kick you out. this is his business. he does it this way to limit his liability. all rehearsal studios do that way. your exposure is limited too, so i don't see any reason not to do it. rehearsal facilities are a great place to meet prospective clients. the free internet and heat is worth the $200 a month alone and you will learn who makes what noise when and where and you can work around that. if it turns out you can't, you can always quit. i think it's a great opportunity. what kind of gear would you want to set up there? tracking? only mix? what's the plan? (stan) :LOL:

kmetal Sun, 09/10/2017 - 16:02

Thanks everyone for your input, I find it extremely valuable. From what the manager said this is a room he reserves for single people who want something larger than a 9x9. My best guess is it's an odd size room from their standard sizes, probably just what was left over when all the other rooms were built.

I am a little weary of signing a lease since I'm not sure exactly what my housing situation would be 6mo from now. Or if this will meet my needs.

I will ask him about the scenerio where I get booted short notice. I'll be packing light for that reason. Think gig style cases/setup for this.

DonnyThompson, post: 452660, member: 46114 wrote: The first is, are you signing a lease?

No lease, month by month. My check comes direct deposit on the 1st, rent due by the 7th, I so going to set up auto pay, as cash burns in my hand.

DonnyThompson, post: 452660, member: 46114 wrote: Here in the western burbs of Cleveland, you'd be lucky to get a dog house for 2 beans a month.

Lol. Some of the places I've been looking into, your dog wouldn't even feel comfortable.

DonnyThompson, post: 452660, member: 46114 wrote: Is the owner asking for a security deposit? Are there any other deposits required, for things like utilities? Is there internet access?

$100 security deposit, due with first months rent. So 300$ oct first, $200 thereafter. The $200/mo covers T1 internet, which is shared among the rooms, but does have a harwire jack in the room. And there's wifi (I believe). Rent includes heat and ac, which is via their built HVAC ducting. AC adequate, but not super cool, which is what I experienced when I rented there. Heat, I'll have to find out eh? It's gonna get fridged cold around Jan if this year is like the past few. Electricity is included, so I can always run a space heater, but portable AC would likely require a vent/hole, so may not be applicable. I also have to be careful with the amount of watts/amps I'm pulling, as to not pop breakers constantly.

Bathroom is shared amongst the building and there's no option to install my own. This is an important area to me, lol, really, and I remember the bathrooms being decently clean and stocked. Not great, not horrendous.

DonnyThompson, post: 452660, member: 46114 wrote: Unless you plan on a workflow that includes mostly VSTi's and other ITB instruments, you might not be able to do vocals, acoustic guitars, or even guitar amp miking at your convenience, if you're surrounded by bands that are rehearsing... and let's face it, it's a rehearsal rental facility, so the above scenario isn't exactly a stretch.

Much of my workflow is centered around ITB. I don't have an acoustic guitar anymore, and my vocals, may actually clear the building ;). Eventually I'd like to have a guitar amp again, but will have to close mic only I guess. Really my focus is getting my computers networked to the WWW, and in Master/Slaves, where the xeon is the daw, the Lenovo is the drum/vsti, the laptop is the guitar amp sim computer. Eventually moving to a mixdown computer and monitor controller, as well as dedicated Vsti pc for my strings and fairly extensive virtual synth and drum machine collection. I own about 1/2 or more of the UV synths products, and most of the BFD expansions.

RO news feed linked a brand new Simmons electronic drum kit with mesh heads, which smokes the alsesis I was looking at in the $500 range. That will be my kit of choice, and I'll likely start collecting and building snare drums for samples and overdubs. My drumming is nearly as bad as my singing.

DonnyThompson, post: 452660, member: 46114 wrote: I get that you want to get out of your parents house, Kyle.

lol let's just say it's not a choice. I got the boot last month, and I'll skip some of the parts here, but long story short I'm not welcome here. I basically have access to the showers, and am allowed to sleep on a cot in the house, which is an upgrade from the tent. I've got no car since I was using their spare truck, I sold mine (totaled 3 years back) for $250 a week before I got booted. So between the gym and the studio there's access to basic amenities should it come down to that.

audiokid, post: 452662, member: 1 wrote: Thanks Kyle.
Its 1000 sq ft. and I'll be using this as a front end for my painting business.
Reason for leasing:
I can right off 100% of it as a lease and it would likely cost around $400,000 to buy it.

It has 20ft ceilings :)
I'll only be using it for personal collaboration and mixing services during the evenings hours (not intended as a commercial recording studio).

I"ll sign a long term next month if it looks to be idea for me. The total cost including utilities is $1300 a month. Sounds like you have a killer deal but it might not stay that way.

Sweet! That's about what Normandy is on the lease but tje studio is responsible for the utilities which is easy 5-700$ each month.

Drooling at 20ft ceilings.

Kurt Foster, post: 452663, member: 7836 wrote: what kind of gear would you want to set up there? tracking? only mix? what's the plan? (stan)

Basically I'm selling off the rest of my gear, (guitar and bass amp, 414, mackie HRS) and my carpentry tools as well. That along with my monthly disability, and my last 2k, lump payment (due Nov) is the money I'm working with. I may or may not get help from family so I'm not counting that.

I have two boxes computers still, and two opensed NAS drives.

My plan was to grab a couple tables cheap at Wally World or another discount store, and a simple projector, and flat screen. And a futon.

I'll set the computers up in master/slave (Lenovo i5, acer i5 laptop) configuration to begin. I have a focusrite scarlett solo interface, but will likely leave that with my other laptop elshewhere, and grab a Scarlett 2i4, or RME card initially, as I wait for the Mytek 8ch unit to drop at the end of the year, and access my finances in the meantime.

I will be getting the Alesis monitor 1 mk3 which just came out, and I had ordered, but was "away" when they were delivered so they were sent back. They are bi amped 5" speakers, for $200 per pair. This will get me started.

Beyond that I have many plugggims, some for mix some for the vsti rig, and Samplitude daw, and avid media composer, and magix video pro, and I'll be getting regular PT12, since my old sessions are in PT. Beyond that I've got BFD nearly complete, and UV soft-synths, and Vienna strings, which are all very nice sounding in my opinion. I've got office software and web design software as well as several web Domains. There's other stuff too but that's the core of my rig.

So that's the rig, to start with. What am I gonna do with it?

First I want to archive all my old projects from home and studio. About 1.5 TB of mine. 8-10TB studio. Then once organized, and acessable via the remote drives, I'll put them all in my daw(s) Samplitude and/or PT. Work the bugs out and call them archived.

Once my old material is handled, I intend on writing my album, which is solely for my soul, and have no intention of making it anywhere with. I wanna do something that's my songs with my friends being partly involved in, like a Kyle and friends type thing. Guest drummers, my cousin solo guitar, real singers (male and female). Then I'm gonna hopefully press some vinyl at jack whites place, and or/some retail style CDs, and High sample rate downloads via my website.

I want to write and edit at this practice studio, and track either on location, like the old field recordings for a blues tune, or at Normandy, which is a classic 80's studio. I have open access to Normandy when it's not open, becuase i built it for short cash, nearly free. If that has changed (which I don't think) the owner still needs some carpentry done, so that's my ace up the sleeve.

Due to Normandys good translation as far as mixing goes, I'll do final mixes at Normandy, and sent the album out to somewhere awsome for mastering. Ideally sterling sound or gateway.

So that's the album, plan, which is the original reason I bought PT and the toshiba in '06. lol I've got a lot of demos and riffs, and a lot of new ideas to develop.

That is the main reason I want this space, for writing and editing, and hanging out. The other main reason is to put my idea of a remotely acessable recording / mixing rig to the test, since my place, and the studio has internet. And having a place to put my stuff is the third reason.4th, is I want to start building gear and prototyping, and modifying things, as a hobby, and some for market if it works. I'm going to have professionals like Boswell, and Danny assist and refine if they are willing to work for hire on them. 5th is a warm place should I find myself still a transient of sorts come winter.

So that's my plan. I know I've cited both poverty and expensive conversion and mastering, but I expect this to be about a 3 year process, and I have several financial angles which should generate plenty of income and/or barter services, which aren't really relevant to get into here. No guarantees, but I paid attetnion in finance school, and studied the mistakes and success of many people, including my former employers. There's also extensive assistance programs availble when an apartment and mortgage arise, due to my fractured vertebrae. And I can work part time within a certain earnings limit.

Beyond that I'm single, and have 0 debt, and very little financial responsibility, and really just need a vehicle and that's all. I've got no long or short term commitments.

I will use Normandy for any real studio work as I come off hiatus, and my place to give a location to my name as a freelance engineer and studio design consultant. I've done several of these consultations during my hiatus, and feel the demand for personal studios is still there. I felt limited by my iPad and and cell phone, and need to expand into deeper graphics design.

So anyway the short version is to just give me something to do and a place to do it. Lol.

I've never wanted to have a studio in my parents spot due to low ceilings, and my adventures with Normandy showed me the ups and downs of a full commercial situation. This seems like a good in-between, as the eventual plan is a post room (full size, atmos) within my own property, standalone, or in the home if that makes or sense.

I've finally got the burn back to step into music again after burning out by 2015, with mixing, live gigs, designs, and building, all simultaneously consuming my life. No regrets, I wanted all in, but started to hate it, and stopped before I really hated it for good.

Anyway, that's the story.

kmetal Wed, 09/13/2017 - 14:39

Lol tentitive name for space is "The Flavour Room". Letting things rattle around still. I want to focus on being a Producer, primarily working with solo artist and singers. That's what I'm looking for, people with spark or flavor. And to Really dig into pre production. Before it was anyone willing to hire me, and "can't say no" mentaility, but I've cut my teeth and really want to move beyond cover band demos, and 2hr hip hop sessions. I feel at this window of time I have an opportunity to be an artist and chase the art, rather than being concerned about gas money of free beer. Since the pay (studio wise, not live gigs) is fairly meager anyway, id at least rather be emotionally invested in the project, beyond just wanting to sound technically good.

I have a decent amount of resources as far as studios, and engineers, and mucisians, so making myself the Producer, really keeps the necessity for a lot of overhead, and high quality gear, to a minimum. Adele and Taylor swift tracked at little places when they where fleshing things out, and rolling in the deep demo guitar and vocals made the album, done in the prodrucer/songwriters living room. I'm not trying to excuse my poor Acoustics and crappy gear, rather to shift the focus from straight up engineering to producer. I always did both anyway. But at 55-95$ per hour we had limited time for mix and arrangement tweaking, or I did it on my own time.

My umbrella name for my general business is Boundless Entertainment, with the publishing sector of it branded Shamman Multimedia. Then the branches Boundless Recording and Boundless Acoustics. This allows me to balance the profits and losses of each branch, and keep this sorta separated and organized/concise, as far as the web sites go. I want to build a brand, but not pile too much of a jerk of all trades master of none vibe. Hopefully the different divisions accomplish that, but still stay relative to the main umbrella name/brand.

The ultimate goal is non-profit status and philanthropic motives of supplying mentally ill, and poverty stricken people with decent gear and or facility. That's long term. I'll likely go on profit sooner than later and probably start with little things like guitars and amps to kids.

x

Register