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Who makes money from the HOME studio?

Member for

21 years 3 months
I'm planning to make my home studio soon, and I was wandering, if someone out there is making money from their home studio? How do you deal with the "strangers" in your home sweet home? Any other thoughts/insights about pros and cons to have your own home studio and bring outside people as "customers"? Thanx!

Comments

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Thu, 10/04/2001 - 20:52
I don't make money from my home studio - just
a hobby. But if I did have paying customers
I'd at minimum have a sectioned-off portion
of my home.

I don't mind recording with friends and people
I know, but strangers as paying customers would be a totally different deal, and I'd want to seperate my home from my work where possible. I think my wife would demand it also.

Shane

Member for

20 years 4 months

planet red Wed, 10/10/2001 - 08:28
I charge a pretty small fee to record people at my house. Luckily enough the room I record in used to be a garage so people can go in and out without going into the house. We pulled the garage door out so you cant tell it was a garage other than the cement floor. I normally charge around $75 a (long) day to record. Im recording thru a digi001 into a G4, with mackie pres and some decent mics. I plan on getting a cranesong spider by around christmas so that will cover my converters and good mic pres. After a couple distressors and royer ribbons by march (I have everything budgeted) I should be set.

The stuff I do now actually sounds suprisingly good. I get mostly punk, metal, hardcore stuff that normally gets pressed in small amounts. If you're trying to start a home studio I'd definetly recommend going after a specific "market". When punk rock bands come record at my place with my drums, amps, guitars, ect.... they get as good of a sound that they would at the local $300 a day studio with their own amps, drums, ect... So they tell all the other bands they play shows with "go record with this guy he really knows how to record punk rock". I also make deals with bands that I'll give them $50 off if they get another band to come in for atleast 2 days. So I've built up a pretty good rep with the local punk/hardcore "scene" and im the only guy those bands come record with now (mostly because of money). I normally record about 8 to 10 days a month and its basically just to build up custumers so one day i'll be able to take out a big loan and open a real studio. Good luck.

Member for

20 years 6 months

faganking Sun, 10/14/2001 - 11:14
Hey,
I make a *lot* of money from my home studio. It's in my Manhattan apartment. If it's an artist (male or female singer/songwriter) then it's quite intimate, which they all seem to LOVE! If I'm recording a BAND, I cut basic tracks at our *BIG* studio in the Pocono mountains (1 1/2 hrs from NYC) and overdub at home. Usually only principals (songwriter and or singer) come at the same time; with the BAND dropping by every once in a while. I find everyone to be quite respectful of the fact that we are in my home. It's never been a problem. I reiterate; people *always* comment on how comfortable they are and how *cool* my apartment is. My wife is an amazing artist and her paintings are everywhere. It's got sort of a museum vibe in here with all of the gear and artwork. I am blessed with some great mics and pres...and light gobos that enable me to build a little vocal or acoustic guitar booth. This is *preferred* over doing these things in BIG studio. Much better communication. I'm going on and on to try and stress the point that your 'home' studio can function as an ideal recording environement.

Sincerely,
Benjy

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Wed, 10/17/2001 - 17:07
I've been making decent money at home recording / producing others work ......... enough to keep me in constant upgrade mode with my gear. The folks that record here have sought me out, so they are respectful of the home environment, plus they usually get treated to the meal of the day by my wife ( who's an awesome cook! ). I've done a few demos & am working on my 2nd full length CD. I am also doing a spec deal with someone that I play with on a regular basis. He can easily sell about 2000 CD's through his site & at gigs ....... so we'll do the CD here at home then do a 50/50 with the sales - so @ $10 a CD X 2000 = $20,000, should work out pretty well. No outside studio expense other than duplication / packaging. Then I can seriously eye up that Spider!

Benjy, where are you in the Poconos and what's the studio name ( @ Dan Malsch's place??) I'm at the foot of the Poconos in Jim Thorpe. I'd love to come out & check out your space! How's the drum room?
Regards,
Tony

Member for

21 years 3 months

Guest Wed, 10/24/2001 - 09:39
I'll second the emotion that a lot of artists, especially neophytes, prefer the vibe of hanging in someone's living room to the pressure of working in a mix magazine cover photo feeling every tick of the clock. I ended up devoting the 1st floor of my house to studio stuff - although I still use the kitchen for personal use as well. Having a separate bathroom for clients vs. personal is huge. The other key factors: adequate parking, reasonably quiet neighborhood (not near an emergency room or under the main flight path), and most of all: good relations with your neighbors - especially if you are not zoned for business. If you can offer something that other small home studios can't, you should have no problem making money: i.e. - a really good piano, nice sounding drum space, etc. It may also pay in the long run to talk with an acoustic consultant. There are good guys out there who will draw you up some plans for DIY acoustic improvements. Good luck!

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Fri, 10/26/2001 - 03:02
But there are some consequences to crossing the invisible line between a personal studio and a business, no? Insurance, zoning laws, noise control, parking availability, etc. There is a little paperwork & a few checks to write when you cross that line.

When I called my homeowner's insurance agent about the cost of a home business policy a few months ago (I'm still thinking about it...(- :D

Member for

20 years 1 month

Mike Simmons Thu, 11/08/2001 - 11:40
I've been recording out of my home since 1989. When I moved, in 1993, I bought a house with a basement entrance which helped my wife deal with the "clients in my messy kitchen" syndrome. My wife and I have earned our full time living from the studio from the day we opened. Our area has progressive home business zoning laws, we go out of our way not to annoy the neighbors and yes business insurance is a necessity. My main "day" clients are corporate and ad agency voice over work. My "fun" clients are musicians and independent filmakers. I'll never be a rich man but I love what I do!

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Tue, 11/20/2001 - 12:03
http://fp2k.redshift.com/cjogo/crystalrecording.htm

Just teach your ear--master your craft---make sure of your clients expectations (i.e. they expect a radio-ready,,, Label supported $$$ "Master" on a cheap budget) rent equipment when necessary {until you can afford }and you should be able to charge $100 per hour--we have a three song min-@ $1000 per tune

good luck --any help we can offer ??

thanks kindly cjogo

Member for

21 years 3 months

Ang1970 Fri, 11/23/2001 - 01:42
People think nothing of paying their plumber or auto-mechanic $100's for quality service. Why should music be any different? If a person takes their music seriously, they shouldn't want just any hack working on it. A studio with engineer included charging less than $100/hr would seem suspect.
Keep rockin homies! :)

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Sun, 11/25/2001 - 13:08
jeronimo $100 per hour?---You could charge less..just offer a four track cassette and two mics for $25 per hour--BUT,,,if they want maybe a tube mic, or a quality micpre, -a full MIDI system---a little editing....mastering???>>>well now you are $100 per ---On the weekends I am a photographer @ $600 per hour-----this quote always sets the precedent "purchase only what you can afford"

thanks cjogo http://fp2k.redshift.com/cjogo/crystalrecording.htm

Member for

20 years 11 months

hollywood_steve Sun, 11/25/2001 - 19:43
I'm glad that this subject has finally come up. I am absolutely amazed at all the guys who are offering their studio AND their time for $20, $25,or $30/hr. Don't these people have rent or mortgages to pay? How about a car or food bills? Here in the LA market, there are so many struggling studios that a band can find 24 track Studer/Amek studios for $35/hr ( including a nice big live room). Which makes it really difficult for the home studio guys to charge $100/hr, even if they are very talented and have a nice little collection of outboard gear. So, you end up with the home studio guys advertising $10 and $15/hr rates!!! Until the market changes dramatically, I have chosen to give away my time for $0 - anything under $50/hr isn't worth the hassle of keeping tax records. I'd rather work a day job with a sensible salary and record nights and weekends. Not charging also means that I choose who I record - no pathetic gigs just to earn a buck.

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Mon, 11/26/2001 - 04:04
Well, the only thing I could say is... while I was in L.A., I found a whole bunch of home studios for a lot under $100/h. Maybe where you are, things are different and you don't have a lot of competition. If we put my currency in Brazil as 1 to 1 with the dollar, $100/h will pay for a very good studio in my hometown. If you convert $100 to my currency, it'll pay for the best studios around... so, with my home studio, I'll charge something around $20/25/h so later when I upgrade some of the gear, I can charge $30/35. I rather charge less and have work everyday than, charge more... and find some few customers that want to pay for my work :/

Member for

20 years 1 month

Mike Simmons Mon, 11/26/2001 - 06:06
Money... always a revelation! That's why I keep my room as a corporate/ad agency room during the day. My music recording is for fun/creativity and keeps me sane. The bottom line is that musicians expect to pay very little, take up a lot of time and I'm not even going to get into issues of talent (or the lack of it!) and ego. Corporate clients pay me the going rate and treat me like a business (read "with respect"). Keeping your rate competitive is great, but I've seen small studios try and buy market share and I think it's a bad strategy.

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Tue, 11/27/2001 - 13:56
I don't know about where you guys live... or how, you live... but even in L.A. (when I was insane enought to live there :) ) you can live charging $20/h. Ok, will take longer to buy your gear and stuff. But if you have a good service, and a good price, you'll probably work full time on your studio and when you upgrade your gear, of course you can raise your price...
Just to make sure: I'm talking about HOME STUDIOS/SMALL STUDIOS ok?
That's my .02

Member for

20 years 1 month

Mike Simmons Wed, 11/28/2001 - 05:06
J, don't be afraid to make a profit. If you are good, you deserve to be paid. If you are working too many hours... raise your rates. Check out what comparable studios with similar gear/facilities and talent charge and stay close to that rate. You can always cut block deals if you're feeling generous.

How much do you really spend on your studio? Come on, be honest, I won't tell your wife! If you look at the real costs and your cost of living and add in future improvements/upgrades it should be fairly clear if you can make a go of it at your current rate.

If you want to grow you've got to have good profitability, otherwise you'll always be stuck as a low-rate studio. You always need to be planning to get to the next level.

I do a lot of voice recording, fairly simple set-up. The going rate in town is $125/hr. Believe it or not, clients are suspicious of ultra low rate cards. Do good work, build trust and you'll have long term clients.

What I'm about to say is the kind of thing my dad harped on endlessly about when I was too young to care...but here it goes: Earn enough to have good insurance, save for retirement, have a family, have some nice things in life and treat yourself and spouse to a nice vacation once in a while.

By the way, I can really relate to the plummer analogy. Had one in for eight hours roughing in the studio's new bathroom. Cost me $700 for labor and was worth every penny!

Got to get back to work, good luck.

Member for

21 years 3 months

archived member Wed, 11/28/2001 - 15:25
Hi Curious,
I am trying to get into the ad biz, looking for different ways to generate some income, and maybe you could shed some light on some questions I have. Please bare with me, here we go:

1. Do ad agencies usually look for one-stop studios (music, talent) or do they already have voice talents they like to use?

2. Could you describe a regular voice recording session (if such thing exists :cool: !)?

3. Would you recommend preparing a demo reel with fake ads?

Any other thought or advice will be very welcome. I don't expect to make big bucks on my side of the country but I think it's worth a try.
Thank you!
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