Recording Gear means nothing if we can't stay in business.

Discussion in 'Music Business' started by kef, Dec 6, 2001.

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  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Hold on... Let me get this straight...

    You mean we're actually SUPPOSED to make more money than we spend on gear??? :confused:
     
  2. Davedog

    Davedog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2001
    Location:
    Pacific NW
    As an independant producer/engineer at a studio from the early 80's (with a GREAT mike locker BTW)and dealing with a tremendous amount of rock wannabees I have found a certain nirvana in just doing my own projects at home with only my friends and my own band....I used to think that owning and operating my own studio was the end to all but now I know that without a big budget and an endless financial safety net theres no point...I applaud all the independant studios out there making it on their own ...you are the reason we all strap up and make our dreams reality :w:
     
  3. Jay Hudson

    Jay Hudson Guest

    I 'm still paying off stuff I bought 5 years ago.
     
  4. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Originally posted by Austin Hudley:
    I 'm still paying off stuff I bought 5 years ago.

    I intimately feel your pain, brother Austin!
     
  5. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    You're able to pay for it? :eek:

    Bear
     
  6. davemc

    davemc Guest

    I thought that was what day jobs were for
     
  7. Ang1970

    Ang1970 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    What is this "day job"? Is that the place girlfriends with good credit go 9am-5pm monday thru friday?
     
  8. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    I just started reading this thread, it's pretty interesting. Around here, I've been finding it pretty difficult to book time in a proper studio. So many have gone under, that the ones that are left are booked to the gills. The "newer" studios in town are pretty much unsuitable for the way I like to work.

    Little things like not having lounges for the musicians to hang when they're not needed in the studio, low ceilings, a control room that is a room with a bunch of gear thrown in it, without thought to reflection patterns, reverb times, nor accuracy of sound. I'm not all that worried about 'hardware', though there are some places I like to work where the consoles mic-pre's are more than adequate.

    The project I'm about to start will be done in RADAR, the neat thing being that it has 48 tracks, so at least for the first couple of songs, I plan on going to 2" as well as straight into the RADAR unit...I just want to hear the difference.

    We're only booking 5 days for basics. Normally, this would be about a 6-8 week project. From the "studio" we're moving back to the 'songwriters' house and working in his living room for overdubs. The thought of the moment is to move the data to his 'Digital Performer' rig and try to mix there, but I know we have at least a few days booked in a real studio for mixing (at least what the label thinks are going to be 'the singles').

    The budget for this record is the smallest I've seen in ages. It's just about enough to cover the studio bills, my bill, the musicians' fees, but not enough to cover 'airfare and hotels' for the few people that are being brought in from around the country (the drummer for the record will be living in our guest room for a week).

    As budgets get smaller, and more people think they can do this on their own (at least this act knows enough to bring in an engineer...I've seen more and more that think they can do the whole thing at home on their own), I think you're going to see more 'proper studios' closing...more shitty rooms with a pile of equipment and nothing else opening up at ridiculous rates, and more and more people trying to work in their homes with or without good tools or an experienced craftsman building the product.

    Business model? Well it seems that if you're on "the top" (or at least 'upper echelon') or on the absolute "lowest rung of the ladder" you can survive. Anything in the middle...you're totally screwed as someone will come along and offer almost what you can offer for less money...and the clients will go with what's most "affordable"...

    YMMV.
     
  9. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    Fletcher, are you thinking this shift in recording budgets is a temporary bump or part of a continuing slope? Others have pointed out that, since pop music is by nature ephemeral and youth is a marketable commodity, there's a defenite downside for a pop artist becoming an engineer in addition to musician and songwriter. So, with the classic choice: "Fast, good, cheap; pick any two", by the time the label has a master tape, it could be dated material. Or are they just going to say to hell with good and push fast and cheap?

    And is it really that bleak in the middle? In most cases, I wouldn't want to be in that position, but I'd figure focusing on a niche or underserved market could keep a studio running if you do it right. I'm not rushing to hang my shingle, though, 'cause I'm not sure I'd rather do voice over work than another day job.

    Bear
     
  10. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2001
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Originally posted by Bear's Gone Fission:
    So, with the classic choice: "Fast, good, cheap; pick any two", by the time the label has a master tape, it could be dated material

    I keep hearing about how masters (and the music on them) will be "dated material". The only reason I can see this phenomenon happening is if the band in question is themselves chasing a trend. Good music is timeless and can be released at just about any time. If Jewel came out with her debut album now, it would still be a success...same with many other bands and artists. I think in 2001 it's anything goes and there is no "time stamp" on music anymore that I can hear. YOMV.
     
  11. droog

    droog Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2001
    fletcher,

    i've been following reports of this project with interest, because i feel i'm in a similar position to your friend, ie trying to produce a lo-budget/hi-fidelity record

    like him, i am hiring an engineer, to help me with this task

    am i to understand that you decided home was unsuitable for the basic tracks? if so, why?
    i would really hate to waste this engineer's time, if the setup ain't working (he has to come up from sydney)

    hope you had a happy silly season
     
  12. Hippo

    Hippo Guest

    I do not believe this thread!!

    The world has moved on!!

    I've done the rounds since I went pro in 1972

    The Otari 2" is in the attic for 6 years now!!

    I still have the drum room tied in, on the odd occasion I need it I can clear the junk out!!

    Totally Cubase
    and booked to 17th March 2003 (With a few gaps)

    Its never been more easy to make a profitable living out of this stuff!!

    Capital outlay compared with years ago is almost zero and results obtainable are unbelievable.

    There was a time when you could make a studio living simply by having the equipment!!

    That has gone now to a large extent!! (They have it all at home)

    Back to talent I guess!!

    A very happy
    Hippo
     
  13. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2001
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Originally posted by Fletcher:

    I think you're going to see more 'proper studios' closing...it seems that if you're on "the top" (or at least 'upper echelon') or on the absolute "lowest rung of the ladder" you can survive. Anything in the middle...you're totally screwed


    It completely blows that this is happening. Our immediate area doesn't have enough big rooms to even tell what is really going on in the top. The biggest place in the area in about a 80 mile radius is doing really poorly from what I hear through various associates.

    I think what we will see, at least from the smart studio owners, is scaled back but efficient methods of getting great sounds. Does a studio need floating floors and sand filled solid concrete walls if it isn't effected by traffic? Rectangular rooms can be made to be accurate...maybe not complete perfection for the purpose of professional mastering, but definitely for tracking and mixing.

    We @ Atlas started from complete crap as a studio, and build ever so slowly. This is my second place and it's 100% better than the last, as will the next place be 100% better than this one. The gear continues to get better piece by piece and the skills never stop growing for me personally. Every day is something new, even if it may seem insignificant, it is one step closer to bettering my studio and myself.

    The places that Fletcher are talking about will come and go. The people running them will come and go and they will eventually be doing something else after they learn it doesn't make them rich and famous. The guys at home with no skills and crap for gear and Digi 001 will eventually be unhappy with the results. They will realize that they need to do something about it. Whether that entails buying high quality gear or hiring an experienced engineer or going to an established large studio to see a master at work, these are all positive things for the industry.

    So as far as mid rooms surviving, we are a mid room and we get by. We do this by trimming the fat and putting out kick ass product that even the best room in the area has trouble keeping up with. It's not in huge quantity because I really don't want to have my name on something that sounds like the band didn't even practice. I don't have it in me to "DAW" and drum replace the band to perfection. I do this though because I care first and foremost about the quality (and sleeping at night). The customers who only care about saving a buck would never be going to the big places in the first place, and these aren't the kind of customers we need.

    It was the same 15 years ago as it is now, only the people 15 years ago would be on 1/2" 8 tracks bouncing away instead of Protools LE or Digital Performer. Sure, the track count and automation ability has opened up where it once was far out of the reach for many. But remember that there is a whole generation of up and coming engineers who learned on complete $*^t (including myself) and are clawing their way up and out in a correct manner...learning from mistakes instead of denying shortcomings (as I unfortunately see so many small studio owners doing these days).
     
  14. Bear's Gone Fission

    Bear's Gone Fission Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2001
    It was the same 15 years ago as it is now, only the people 15 years ago would be on 1/2" 8 tracks bouncing away instead of Protools LE or Digital Performer

    And I've been thinking I'm only 10 years behind the curve with my Otari deck. The thing with the 8 tracks is it becomes obvious quickly if you don't know what you're doing, what with the need to plan your tracks and your bounces. With the current crop of idiot-with-a-bankroll DAW studios (not in anyway a slam at competant DAW studios), the "engineer" can draw at the torment by convincing a naive young band that he can fix it in the mix. Well, I suppose like my dog was fixed, maybe . . .

    Bear
     
  15. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2001
    Whats needed I belive are "Track 'n Go" rooms

    Wheel inwhat ever $*^t you want to record with, use the great room(s) & mic / pre collection (or rented) then get the hell out of there and back home with the files to overdub & mix.

    I would build one in a heartbeat. They are sorely needed here in London.

    A great room with ancilery booths / Neve BCM10 / "playback consol" (DDA? Trident B?) few more pres / cool mic locker. Good wireing, treated control room, fun (but cheap - big JBL?) main monitors - clients to bring in their prefered mid/nearfield monitors.

    Hands on rockers like Fletcher could mix simple projects at such a place. (rent in a 1/2 inch) - as having recorded it well, WHAT'S LEFT TO DO? (right?) Most folks would want to tweak / program, take time, in a home or high quality project studio...(like my present facility The Library)

    :)
     
  16. Hippo

    Hippo Guest

    Track and Go

    What a brilliant idea!!

    Rent your existing good recording spaces

    Tie them to a new control room with nothing more in it than a power amp, monitors and head phone amp with all necessary tie lines.

    Keep the existing control room for regular sessions and for regular commercial work.

    People bring whatever they have,(Pc system ect) rent the rest from you if required, buy tea and coffee and snacks from the vending machines, this is sellable to the actual market that exists now!!

    You could even automate payment on a meter system.

    Thanks for the idea!!

    Hippo
     
  17. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2001
    Location:
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    Originally posted by Julian Standen:
    Whats needed I belive are "Track 'n Go" rooms


    That's basically what we are. From the perspective of the gear, we can overdub or do a small ensemble on a "major" label level, and mix & master on a quality indie level. The Tascam MX2424 that we use can hot swap drives for Protools, and can write WAV or SDII files so were pretty much compatible with any digital format. It's working out really well because even as the gear list grows (and subsequently the eventual size of the rooms as more capital is reinvested) the rates will stay pretty much the same.
     
  18. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2001
    Originally posted by Julian Standen:
    Whats needed I belive are "Track 'n Go" rooms


    Have you looked into that market? I think the biggest problem with them would be finding the space and paying for it. Most people want a huge tracking room which over here costs lots of money per month. Add in the cost of gear and maintence and what's left?
     
  19. Uncle E

    Uncle E Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2001
    It depends, how much gear would a place like this really have to hold? I'd think that the better engineers would be bringing in their own pre's & compressors & the home studio guys would appreciate not having to pay for all the high-end stuff. Also, if this really is just for track 'n go, an 80B would be better than what most guys would end up mixing on & something quieter/more dependable could be had for a fraction of the cost.

    How about this: 3 rooms + a vocal booth, a rack of Vintech pre's, Ramsa DA-7 for playback &, possibly, for its basic compressors & better-than-most converters, & an MX2424. Then open a gear-for-hire shop next door.
     
  20. sign

    sign Guest

    Great ideas here! You can rent my place (+200m2) with all gear for $200 per day of 16 hrs :)

    Happy New Year!
     
  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

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