Taking the plunge to open a real studio

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by junebughunter, Mar 21, 2005.

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  1. I am young, I have a good job with good pay as a software engineer, I still live at home (I'm 18), I graduated high school 2.5 years early and got some college out of the way and I have a love for music...I'm sure this is the same story as a lot of folks around here but I need some advice and reccomendations from you guys...

    I want to open a real studio. It's not going to be any multi-million dollar studio but I am pretty sure I can put together something more capable than anything within 60 miles of here.

    My plan in a nutshell is find and rent a building in the downtown more industrial area (so volume isn't an issue) that I can live in and have enough room for a studio, I'd like to have a good sized control room, performance room and at least one or two areas of isolation. I know acoustics aren't going to be 100% but if I get some bass traps and other acoustic treatment products I can't get rid of most reflection issues. Maybe build an isolation booth for vocals and guitar cabs, I am fully capable of that.

    I own probably 10k worth of gear now, it's not much but it's good enough to either sell and replace with something better and keep and expand with. I could save up another 15k to put into this and ebay for most of the gear.

    I know some people spend more than this on a pair of Neumann's but give me a break :)

    With that money I'd like to ebay for v-drums, a korg triton le, a bass rig, a set of loud speakers and some more mics etc.

    From there I just need clients. I could rent some space for practice when I am lacking clients and I could spend the other time working on my own projects

    The only parts that are sketchy is that I need to network with some people in the industry, and getting enough clients

    I'm not trying to be profitable or support myself and I won't be in any debt since it's all gear I would like to own and if I don't need it I can sell it back on ebay with no loss.

    The only money I would lose if things went completely awry is the rent money...which I can afford anyway from my day job.

    Is this a good idea for trying to do so mething in the music industry and possibly going somewhere with it, if I break even on the costs I would consider it a success and just getting to do something so damn fun would make my life happy.


    oh and I made a bigger post about this with more details on my blogger http://junebughunter.net
  2. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    I too have a good day job and opened a studio- I figured to keep it busy all day and that I could get to use it when available for my own projects (Im a prolific songwriter)

    Well, the problem was that in the 4 yearsor so that i had the studio I did not find anyone dependable to run the studio when I was away at my day job- that meant that I had to track for clients most evenings so the rent could be met and had no time for my own projects. Needless to say it became very frustrating and I was very lucky to find a buyer to take over that headache. Since then i took some of the money and put together a very efficient home studio that I use for my own projects and a small group of clients I still have.

    I am not trying to say that this will be a problem for you, I just thought I'd share my experience. I did get invaluable recording experience doing all kinds of projects for all kinds of people that I would not have gotten any other way. Heck, if I had found a dependable engineer to run the studio I probably still have it. also your idea of buying the building and living there is also great. If i had done that am sure I still have the studio. Another problem was that the owner kept raising the rent every year. Actually, 2 more rent increases forced the person I sold the studio to move to another location- you know what a bummer that is, all the work and money that goes into getting a good recording space. Good luck to you and keep us posted!
    Hope all your plans work well.
  3. LittleDogAudio

    LittleDogAudio Active Member

    Sep 24, 2004
    Hey JBH. I've owned 4 studios over 22 years, so I know a few things about your situation.

    I would first see if there are any "B"-rooms available in a pro studio that could be rented for a low rate and only by the hour.
    You could go ahead and buy whatever gear you want and keep it portable for remotes or whatever.

    I guess if you are willing to eat the rent, you better be ready to eat the electric bill, security, cleaning, misc...
    It would be a better deal to have a nice room already properly constructed that you can use for your own projects as an independent engineer.

    If it's "pride-of-ownership" you're after, then I guess you should build it out yourself from scratch. It'll be a ton of work and will not be as useable as a well built B-room somewhere pro.

    Just a few thoughts from a guy who has done it 4 times over.

  4. Bridge

    Bridge Guest


    Sounds like a good project and some great advice has been given.

    Best of luck with it, and if you believe in it, that should carry you through the hard times.

    One thing I'd say is keep your market very open, and don't be too proud to go out and record some brass bands or choirs to pay the rent.
  5. soundfarm

    soundfarm Guest

    In starting my studio, I have found that Bridge is absolutely right. Unless you are in high demand as an engineer, never be too "proud" to take on a project. Heck, even if someone just wants to get a couple of songs they wrote on demo with an acoustic guitar and vocal. One way you can help supplement the rent if you have a large enough space, you can build and rent out a couple of practice rooms. That can help supplement revenue and provide some exposure for you as an engineer.
  6. maintiger

    maintiger Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2003
    Whittier, California, USA
    true, practice rooms can help with the rent. Another thing we used to do was to do shows on Saturday nights. Our studio had a small stage and we had bands come in and play- we'd charge a small fee at the door to cover someone watching that no one brought liquor or did drugs or tras the place. We recorded the bands as they played- we charged $25 for a CD of their performance and sometimes they would come back and record- it was a lotta work but it was fun and it did bring new business
  7. Timmetje

    Timmetje Guest

    Starting it will not be the problem. Keeping it up and running is though. I've had the same situation, except that i made a decent living as a live engineer. i started the studio with a friend who makes a living being a musician. Now adays we are both so busy engineering and playing that we have no time to run the studio ourselves. So we ended up with a private playroom with a 400kg mixingconsole :roll:

    So if you can afford to try it, make sure you have backup for earning the rent etc

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