starting a studio for local bands...newbie

Discussion in 'Microphones (live or studio)' started by ksullivan, Aug 16, 2006.

  • AT5047

    The New AT5047 Premier Studio Microphone Purity Transformed

  1. ksullivan

    ksullivan Guest

    hi, im very new to the world of recording. and as a summer hobby i have decided i want to set up a small studio for local bands to come cut there CD's.
    im totally new to the recording buisness. I know my way around computers well and have a basic knowledge of how to use audio editing programs. i already have office space that i can make a studio in. i am interested in recording digitally, using a mac and protools.

    I found this article, and found out some of the basic things i need.

    i need to know, would that setup be aceptable for a small studio for local bands? What would they expect of the setup? What would they expect me to know about. Thanks
  2. alimoniack

    alimoniack Guest

    Hmmm, it all depends what sort of service you intend to provide.

    Is it just for creative fun or would it be a commercial enterprise? You need a bit more gear and experience than that to charge anything. You'll definitely need loads of mic cables, possibly a stage-box, loads of mic stands, a variety of mics, enough for a full band tracking live ideally, decent monitors and a reasonable space, a desk and some pre's if the console's ain't up to scratch. Lots of cabling, headphones and amps, some outboard compression and effects. A bedroom setup (coupla mics and a Mac) will not suffice for tracking full bands. Tape machines are handy, too. The list goes on!

    Are you a musician? Have you recorded your own music? Ever made a demo? Ever been part of a recording as a player, or helped out? Are you "technically-minded"? Do you have a clear, logical thinking process, good interpersonal skills, a discerning ear, & loads of patience etc? There are many more criteria, it all helps. I think you should enroll in a course of study & read some books. Some courses will be fun & teach you the basics. It's a long curve though, it never ends.

    It might also be an idea to go in with a band to record in an established local studio and watch the engineer at work, better yet, get some mentoring from someone who's doing it regularly.

    Bands will expect good gear, and will expect you to display some knowledge and experience as well as being able to accommodate their requests (like all playing live and requiring many microphone signals). You may end up hiring equipment for some things. They will also expect results if they are paying you anything, I suggest you do some free recording first before experimenting with other peoples music at their expense. They will ultimately expect the setup & your skills to produce better results than they could achieve themselves.

    Go for it, but get some real experience behind you before you start charging otherwise you may be selling everyone short.

    Good luck & have fun with it dude.
  3. ksullivan

    ksullivan Guest

    im looking for a small commercial setup. I am technically minded and i play guitar, but never have i recorded or made a demo. I understand that
    they would expect knowledge. and taking a class would probaly be good. Now as for gear, you said the Mac setup wouldnt work. where would you find this other gear your talking about? what are some names of products?
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Try doing a search. Look at mics...cables...computers(Macs work well)....interfaces....monitors....preamps...consoles/mixers....sound construction......techniques....

    In short, if you're gonna charge someone to come into your room and spend their money for a product, its best if you have a least a basic knowledge of what all these things do and how to tie it all together to achieve a sembalance of someone elses art. i read that article and they are far far off base as far as doing something commercially. If you happen to have a bunch of cash and a building and you're looking for a tax write-off, you'd be better served to employ someone as a minor partner who has the knowledge and a fair amount of gear and most likely a client base. Preferably someone who knows what they're doing.

    For the life of me, after 30+ years of doing this , I still cant understand why ANYONE would want to start a studio for commercial use without an iota of knowledge of this business. Someone putting together a system in their home for personal use and an occasional paying gig I can get behind, but stuff like this still floors me!

    You either have an itch you cant scratch, too much cash, or you really like mental torture.

    Just my 2 cents worth....not todays rate I might add.
  5. alimoniack

    alimoniack Guest

    Hehe don't we all!

    ksullivan, I'm not knocking Macs, just saying it takes a lot more than a computer and a coupla mics to charge bands money - a lot of musicians have a small recording setup themselves already and they shouldn't be paying someone else for something they can do themselves.

    Get the mac, sure, and start making demos of your own guitar playing on it. Get a friend to play some drums for you. Get some basic recording "chops" & you'll know if you're cut out for it or not. Then splash the cash on a full recording setup once you're sure it's for you. But heed Dave's warning, you're entering a whole new world of pain! I agree that going into partnership with an experienced engineer would help, or at least have someone come in and do some work while you're there.

    Gear-wise, it depends where you live. E-bay rocks, you can get some nice vintage equipment there, you'll just have to search around the net and your area. Brands? Depends on the budget. There are no rules, everyone uses different tools for different jobs.


Share This Page