Is this a viable business model?

Discussion in 'Music Business' started by Hardtailed, Jul 18, 2005.

  1. Hardtailed

    Hardtailed Guest

    I'm currently only using my studio for songwriting and recording the occasionnal demo for my own band. I'm having this plan to offset the cost of gear (and justify buying some more!).

    I'd like basically to set myself up as a "mobile demo maker". A simple setup based around a portable computer with firewire interface, a board and a couple mics. Since I don't have a proper room at home (and don't feel like receiving complete bands at home), I thought it would be nice to record bands at their rehearsal space!

    I'm thinking something really affordable (like I say, it's really to help pay for my gear, have fun recording and help new bands get a record out for cheap), like 200-300$ total. This would include a complete weekend tracking at their rehearsal space, probably doing the whole rhythm section at once and then overdubbing as required. Hopefully doing vocals in the same weekend if possible, or that could be done in a vocal booth at my home. Mixing would be included in the package, which I would do by myself during weeknights, probably submitting 3-4 different versions for them to choose. Perhaps do some basic mastering if they choose not to go to a professionnal mastering facility (just a basic L2 limiting with some EQing).

    I would need to get additionnal gear (a few drum mics and an interface with more inputs, ideally a Mackie Onyx 1640 with fireward card so I could give them proper monitor mixes while recording dry) and that would imply a small loan which would require at least 10-15 contracts to pay off.

    Is there a market for that? Or do most musicians think they can get the same result with a Behringer mixer and their soundblaster card? I can't really blame them since that's why I started buying recording gear in the first place... But I'd be bringing a minimum of 5-6K$ of gear to their rehearsal space, that doesn't really compare.
  2. imagineaudio

    imagineaudio Active Member

    Nov 24, 2004
    I am really hoping you get some good reply's to this post, as I am interested in the same. My purpose would be to put all profits towards gear mainly for my own projects. I've been interested, also, in recording open mic's, lectures, demonstrations, speeches, really anything.....solo songwriters, kareoke singers, etc, etc, etc
  3. Hardtailed

    Hardtailed Guest

    Well I guess I'll have to find out by myself :wink:

    I've decided to start on the "low-scale". I'm about to buy an old Soundcraft board as a front end to my Delta 44. I'll just have to use minimal micing on the drum and track one instrument at a time. I'll be ordering a second Kel HM-1 for use as OHs, on acoustic guitars, percussion and vocal. All that will be missing is a kick drum mic (I'm "kick"ing myself in the nuts for selling my ATM25 2 years ago) and a better vocal mic (already have the SM57/SM58 needs covered).

    That should be fun, I can always rent higher end stuff according to the needs of the customer.
  4. s2n

    s2n Guest

    yeah, its totally viable. its a weekend side biz and it doesn't seem like you would have any employees. you just have to decide who your market demographic is. what i mean is that a lot of unsigned bands operate on a lot of different levels. i've seen some bands who really get into the recording process and love doing it by themselves (and sometimes quite well). while on the other hand, there are bands that just want to write and play, and end up recording themselves on a cassette deck. anyway, blah blah, this is all pretty obvious.

    for what you are looking to get out of it? yes, it will work. just make sure you charge by the hour and not by the weekend. some people can take up a lot of your time by being too picky.

    good luck!!
  5. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    yep, go to band rehearsal halls and offer your services there- careful about expectations, though. If you take your tracks back to mix at home oftentimes the bands will be expecting miracles, a full production instead of a demo. most time is just better to offer to record their rehearsal for a flat fee and at the end mix it in your laptop right on the spot and burn and give them a CD.

    you also said something doing different mix versions and letting the bands choose. bad idea- you're opening pandora's box. you are giving yourself a lotta extra work that nobody will appreciate - too many choices and if you give choices they will want something else anyway. (since you did three already, why not one more) I've been there, dude, if you do that you will be working for peanuts, a lot of extra remixes for nothing.
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