Starting A Studio

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Jamesp65, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. Jamesp65

    Jamesp65 Guest

    So I'm looking into starting a professional home studio. I have some ideas of the equipment I'm looking into but there are a few odds and ends that there are a lot of choices for. Here's what I have so far.

    Changes in parenthesis


    Beta 52A Kick Drum Mic (Heil PR40)
    (5)Shure SM57
    (Heil PR20, PR30)
    AKG Perception 420 ( Rode NT1)
    (2)AKG C1000S (AKG C214)

    Logic Studio
    2.66ghz iMac with 2gb memory
    Analog Mixer around 5-800
    Sony MDR-7506 (2-3)

    Does anyone have any ideas on the mixer, affordable monitors, and maybe some affordable processors any help would be much appreciated.

    The new mic selection seems better over all. A little more costy, but a better sound if the acoustics in the room are set up right that is :).
  2. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    [Repeats previous advice from other threads]

    Do not underestimate the power of the force.
    Also, budget for mic stands, cables, a pop shield or two.

    Acoustic treatment, even to the smallest degree, will probably help a bit at improving your sound. Bass trapping should improve clarity a lot.

    If you're going the hardware route, you'll need a better mixer.
    If you're going the software route, to hell with processors: get plugins.
  3. Jamesp65

    Jamesp65 Guest

    I had looked into stands,cables, acoustics, and pop shields just didn't really include them here :).

    Do you have an recommendations for a mixer? I don't know a great deal about the differences in the brands.
  4. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    I only use a mixer for a live band. It's a cheapo Phonic.
    But I live by the way of the software.

    If you want to go for hardware, then I personally think $5-800 is a little low for a mixer, unless you're only after a few channels. In which case, an interface or even a control surface with integrated preamps, will do you.
  5. Jamesp65

    Jamesp65 Guest

    Ya I'm just really interested in mixers it just feels natural to me cause thats how i learned.

    Also i was curious what are the pros and cons of different software. I was looking into Logic and it seems good but I've heard its a hassle since its only one window. Of course there's Pro Tools but I've heard nothing good about LE on a personal level and dishing out the 8+grand for HD just isn't an option.
  6. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    What kind of audio interface did you say you have?
  7. Jamesp65

    Jamesp65 Guest

    As of right now nothing. Building from the ground up and doing a lot of research in the process. Trying to get some information from people who have been doing this for a while. I've messed with friends equipment and I have a general know how of the process and really wanna expand further. I have a buddy who has been going to school about 2 years for engineering and classical guitar who is gonna be starting it up with me.
  8. mwacoustic

    mwacoustic Guest

    When you say "professional home studio" do you mean that you intend to make a living at recording other people, or just that you want your projects to "sound professional"?
  9. Jamesp65

    Jamesp65 Guest

    I wish to eventually be able to live off of it yes. I know a lot of people in the area as far as the "scene" goes. I'd love to be able to set up a full Pro Tools HD rig with all the equipment to boot but sadly I gotta start somewhere. The house is just a start I guess you could say.
  10. Space

    Space Distinguished Member

    Jun 26, 2007
    Might want to scratch the mixer off the list no matter how natural it seems:). You are going to need a quality audio interface far more then any kind of board.
  11. Jamesp65

    Jamesp65 Guest

    Any suggestions? I don't know much about the other options, I scratched some surfaces in the area but nothing that really intrigued me. The only thing I found that was mildly intriguing was Digidesign's 003 Rack but that seems to limit me to Pro Tools LE.
  12. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:

    Do yourself a favor... take a $100 bill and burn it... seriously.

    If it makes you cringe, or you can't afford to burn it, you might be getting into something that is a bit more than you bargained for.

    A studio is NOT something that will ever be complete. Nor is it something that will likely EVER be profitable. As has been said MANY times...

    Q.) How do you make a million dollars with a recording studio?
    A.) Start with two million dollars!

    Start with your acoustics and your room. Get that squared away and it will make your gear selection a LOT easier, simplified and straight forward.

    To get to a point of running a home/project studio on a part-time basis is quite a bit less of a daunting task than taking a home/project studio up to the professional full-time status.

    Personally, your mic selection is not one I'd agree with. I own most of those mic's, and the only one's I'd keep on the list are the 57's.

    The Beta 52 makes for a nice basketball sound, and the C1000's are great ear daggers to make your ears bleed from harshness.

    I look at mic's as your primary investment... after your room. After that, gear is almost pretty much gear. (Almost) You should be able to find some pretty decent mic pre's in the $500-$800/channel range.

    Your mac is pretty light on RAM. I'd suggest 4Gb of RAM... minimum. Also, look at some external firewire 800 external drives. Personally, I like the Glyph drives.

    I/O is the real challenge. I'd look into Lynx Aurora-16's. A good bang for the bucks box... Their street price is just under $3k each. Then I'd look at something like the Lynx AES card to get all that I/O processing up and running...

    But above all else, get your room happening first. Unless you have a good sounding room, you'll spend more time, money and energy trying to get decent sounding drums, than you would on getting your tracking room straight.
  13. Jamesp65

    Jamesp65 Guest

    It's not that I don't mind spending the money, it's just I don't have it at the moment. I have a real passion for recording it's something I enjoy that's why I'm looking into this.

    Thanks for the suggestions though I honestly looked more into equipment than acoustics though I didn't forget all together.

    The mic choices were mostly comprised from other places on the web I guess it's true what they say about not everything being reliable.

    I was looking into getting a small personal lone to help alleviate the issue of starting funds but I wasn't sure if it was worth the hassle.
  14. Greener

    Greener Guest

    "I was looking into getting a small personal lone to help alleviate the issue of starting funds but I wasn't sure if it was worth the hassle."

    Here's a tip, it's spelled "loan".

    Not that I think you should go and get one unless you know you can repay it without having to resort to getting a job in the mines.

    Otherwise it's better to go work in the hole now and save. Whilst saving you can do some research into what you want to spend your money on. That way hopefully you make better decisions.

    But then again, depression looming. Who am I to hand out financial advice? No one, literally. I don't think it's allowed by law. So do not listen to me, or anyone else not qualified.

    Edit to add: And with the state of the Banks, I wouldn't listen to anyone qualified either.
  15. Jamesp65

    Jamesp65 Guest

    The time of day is really reflecting on my spelling haha

    Well I see that a studio is never really "finished" but for a good start with all the necessary and some not so necessary odds and ends, what would be a good start up price. 20k....60k? I know there are a lot of different factors but a ballpark estimate what could I be looking at.
  16. Greener

    Greener Guest

    Zimbabwean dollars? 40k ohm Resistors?

  17. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    I have some suggestions for you.

    1. Do as much as you can to find out who you can record and what they are willing to pay you for the recording before you decide to open a studio for hire. Don't just ask friends. Ask musicians at club dates and other live gigs. Many times people will say "sure I will use your studio" but in reality they will not or think that since they are your buds they can use if for free.

    2. Do a business plan and ask all the hard questions of yourself.

    3. Try and get together with other studio owners in your area and find out how they are doing. Find out where their clients are coming from.

    4. Do a search here on for similar questions that have been answered.

    5. After you have all the information about who, what, where, when and how figure out if opening a studio in your area is possible and profitable. Going out and buying equipment before you have some type of plan and have answered all the hard questions is really putting the cart before the horse.

    This is not to discourage you but simply to have you face the ultimate possibility that what you want to do may not be fiscally profitable in your area. Today many studios, big and small, are closing down due to loss of income since everyone seems to have their own in house studio and don't really need "professional" studios to do their recording for them. If you are going to go ahead with this idea then at least you have thought it through before spending a lot of money and having things not as you imagined them.

    I commend your desire to open a studio but do your homework first. And if is what you want to do then GO FOR IT but be prepared for the reality check at the end of the day.
  18. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2001
    Sunny & warm NC
    Home Page:
    Ditto what Thomas said!!

    PLUS, I would sincerely encourage you to learn a lot more about business finance... A LOT more!

    IMHO, going into debt in this economy is not exactly the smart way to play your cards for a SOHO operation... IF you could even get the money.

    Better to develop a plan of slow, steady build/growth and survive the economic downturn, than go into just enough debt to send you over the edge of loosing your home.
  19. Jamesp65

    Jamesp65 Guest

    Greener: Not really sure what your getting at there but k is another way to say thousand sorry.

    Thomas: I have looked into some of that, there are quite a few profitable studios in my "area". Some not so close compared to others but still not far. I know a lot of bands in the area (I live in St. Pete, FL) who end up driving up to ocala and orlando because there isn't really anything right here in town.

    I have a good source of income I just wasn't sure if it would be wise to go ahead and set it all up at once or take it piece by piece. Get that basic set up then just upgrade as I go and see fit.

    Thank you guys for your words though I am somewhat getting caught up in the idea of this and it helps to have someone show you something you skipped over or looked at but just not deeply looked at.
  20. Codemonkey

    Codemonkey Well-Known Member

    Dec 11, 2007
    Scotland, UK
    I get what I call "passable" recordings using £40 of equipment to record what comes out of around £2k of PA gear.

    I want to spend maybe £200 on real equipment. Then organise furniture and treatment as best I can. Or learn to mix on headphones, which is completely out of the question but will happen anyway.

    I don't make money off this, and the only real critique I get is from people who wouldn't know preamp distortion from highpass filtering.

    For you, I'd recommend a decent interface, some reliable monitors, then acoustic treatment is your biggest concern.

    What sort of space have you got to work with?

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