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Starting a recording studio

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Anonymous
July 25, 2004 5:10:56 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I am researching starting a recording studio.I have no experience and would
hire all professional help.I Have a building picked out.My First (of
possibly many) question is this.Not including sound reinforcement, can a
semi-pro,money making studio be outfitted for $100,000-150,00?
Thanks
Mike
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 5:10:57 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <AMDMc.4247$Lb4.1767@trndny04>,
"Mike P" <ampeloso@ampsoft.nospam.com> wrote:

> I am researching starting a recording studio.I have no experience and would
> hire all professional help.I Have a building picked out.My First (of
> possibly many) question is this.Not including sound reinforcement, can a
> semi-pro,money making studio be outfitted for $100,000-150,00?
> Thanks
> Mike
>
>

money making ?

hahahahahahahahahahahaha...... coff, sputter, uh sorry

hmm, $125,000.00 + bldg + const. expenses + taxes + utilities
gonna pay anyone else to work there? better add that in....
semi pro rate of $50/hr if you are lucky, very lucky

let's say $200,000.00 (that's way low) divided by $50/hr = 4,000 hours
to break even

4000 divided by 8 hours a day (ha!) = 500 working days
500 work days divided by 5 day week (fully booked every day, of course,
no downtime ever) = 100 weeks

52 weeks in the year, gonna take any vacation time or holidays?
50 weeks a year, totally booked solid for two years to break even, ie
you haven't made any money after operating flawlessly for two years
straight.

perfect.

--
Iron Butt Assoc., WATR 4X, BL3 paparazzi, E.O.B.
R1100RT, R75/5
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 7:18:11 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike P" <ampeloso@ampsoft.nospam.com> wrote in message news:AMDMc.4247$Lb4.1767@trndny04...

> I am researching starting a recording studio.

How would you like to own 50% of the studio in my .sig file for a mere $50k ?

Unfortunately, it costs over $3k per month to keep the doors open, and no
salaries are being paid what so ever. (Engineers get a percentage of the
business they bring to the facility). There's a partner there that wants out
of the business waaay worse than you want in.

There is no question that you can build an 'acceptable' studio environment
and equip it for well under your budget. Then again, there are mixing consoles
that cost over $500k. This becomes a strong matter of interpretation...

> I have no experience

That's a sure fire road to disaster by most logical trains of thought in
*any* sort of business venture. I'd like the prestige of being a doctor...
need you appendix removed today? I'll promise, I'll hire someone who
claims to be a professional before I open you up. <g>

> and would hire all professional help.

And with what would you pay them?

I think the question is, how long are you willing to lose money for the sake
of your ego? Perhaps that's a bit harsh sounding, but you say you have no
experience and "professional" help may not only not be willing to work in a
sub-standard environment or for wages that won't consume the remainder
of your trust fund.

> I Have a building picked out.

Yes.... and?

> My First (of possibly many) question is this. Not including sound
> reinforcement,

There may be a terminology problem here.... what does 'sound re-inforcement'
have to do with a recording studio?

> can a semi-pro, money making studio be outfitted for $100,000-150,00?

Mike, you can build whatever you like, wherever you like, if you have the cash
to blow on the project. You can say that you'll hire "professionals" to take up
the slack which you cannot provide, but what of the ability to make money?

What do you plan to use this "studio" for, and where exactly will your potential
business be coming from? Have you surveyed the <cough-cough> 'market'
in your area and found that there is a maddening need for yet another "semi"
pro recording studio?

I'm quite sure I seem rude Mike, but you leave little room for anything but
scepticism and the urge to wave you off with a yellow caution flag.

C'mon... what's really got you thinking about losing a quarter of a million
dollars attempting to do something you know absolutely nothing at all about?

Buy a nice boat and do some sailing. ;-)

--
David Morgan (MAMS)
http://www.m-a-m-s.com
Morgan Audio Media Service
Dallas, Texas (214) 662-9901
_______________________________________
http://www.artisan-recordingstudio.com
Related resources
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 9:52:07 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike:

I have a better idea. Instead of spending the money on a studio which will
almost certainly go bankrupt, for the reasons outlined by others in this
thread, try this: cut your daily living expenses to the bone, and go intern
for free or a pittance at some studio in your area that's making money. (Use
a bit of the cash you've saved up to eat. Or work a second, paying job.) Do
that for a year, so you begin to have some idea what's involved in (a)
recording; (b) keeping the equipment running; (c) attracting and keeping
clients; and (d) the business end of the business.

Then, if you're still interested, see if somebody wants to sell you a
quarter-share in their place. Do that for another couple of years. Deal with
clients. Watch the changes in the biz. Develop some customers. Learn.

Only then should you try setting up your own shop.

Peace,
Paul
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 6:58:55 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

On Sun, 25 Jul 2004 01:10:56 GMT, "Mike P"
<ampeloso@ampsoft.nospam.com> wrote:

>I am researching starting a recording studio.I have no experience and would
>hire all professional help.I Have a building picked out.My First (of
>possibly many) question is this.Not including sound reinforcement, can a
>semi-pro,money making studio be outfitted for $100,000-150,00?

I suspect you'd be better off opening a used bookstore. So far I've
made hundreds of dollars selling books on the Internet. Of course,
I've spent thousands on books...

>Thanks
>Mike

BTW, booksellers have the same joke as recording people about what
they would do if they won the lottery: "I'll just keep selling books
until the money runs out." From the figure you mentioned, it appears
you won the Friday Night Pick-Five. Congratulations.
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 7:44:57 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Paul Stamler wrote:

>Mike:
>
>I have a better idea. Instead of spending the money on a studio which will
>almost certainly go bankrupt, for the reasons outlined by others in this
>thread, try this: cut your daily living expenses to the bone, and go intern
>for free or a pittance at some studio in your area that's making money. (Use
>a bit of the cash you've saved up to eat. Or work a second, paying job.) Do
>that for a year, so you begin to have some idea what's involved in (a)
>recording; (b) keeping the equipment running; (c) attracting and keeping
>clients; and (d) the business end of the business.
>
>Then, if you're still interested, see if somebody wants to sell you a
>quarter-share in their place. Do that for another couple of years. Deal with
>clients. Watch the changes in the biz. Develop some customers. Learn.
>
>Only then should you try setting up your own shop.
>
>Peace,
>Paul
>
>
>
>
As a musician, I am not a studio owner and only a just-for-fun
"sound engineer". But anyhow I was about to give exactly the
same anser you gave.

One of my friends once quit his job and told me that he wanted
to open a small bookstore with a good atmosphere and coffee bar
and interesting new and old literature etc.. I told him to ask
an existing bookshop if he could work there. In case they did not
want to take him for money, I said he should tell he would do it
for free and pretend it was for preparing a study at a university
or so. Why?
If you want to know a business, you need to have been into the
business. Books, coffee, and nice people is one thing, but there
is also sources, purchase, marketing, staff, ...
I assume the situation is simillar in all kinds of business.

Talking to Mike, this would mean:
Take some money from your budget to pay your rent and food in the
next at least 6 months and work in a studio environment each day.
They might take you if you do it for free. Got some connections?
Try to find out if you have talent and if you think you could
become good. There is more than sound and music:
Check how the people in the studio acquire new customers, how they
keep customers. If they show you, learn about budgeting, purchase,
price politics, product marketing, taxes, ...
Ok, at the and of the day many of these tasks should be handed
over by professionals, but you will not have the budget for a tax
lawyer, a marketing pro, a technician, etc. in the first years.

Try to understand the market. Why do people come to this studio,
why do people go to others? Would the pricing be your one
and only weapon?

After 6 months to 1 year of first experience (perhaps without
getting paid) you can perhaps decide if you should become a
studio owner in the long run. It is not the right time to go for
it now. But with your experience you might find a job in a studio.
It is still a long way to be ready for running your own business.

However: I know poeple that think totally different, and one
I know has even suceeded in blindly jumping into a big business.
(He became a re-seller of technical products, and perhaps this
is different from offering studio services.)

T.
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 7:44:58 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Tony Muler <t_lawetta@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>However: I know poeple that think totally different, and one
>I know has even suceeded in blindly jumping into a big business.
>(He became a re-seller of technical products, and perhaps this
>is different from offering studio services.)

I wound up owning a movie theatre once because of a couple folks who
decided to jump into running a theatre without any real experience
and who wound up with a substantial debt on service calls because they
bought a facility that was falling apart, and hired people to operate
it who did more harm than good. They didn't know the customer base
and what they wanted and they didn't know how to advertise to them
or understand the culture they were dealing with in the art house crowd.

If you don't at least know the technology a little bit, you have no
way of telling whether a tech is a real expert or just bluffing, and
if you can't do that, you don't know who to trust and who to hire.

If you don't know the customer base inside and out, you have no way
of telling whether you're selling something people really want or not,
or how you could be doing better.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 8:31:09 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Definitely take some of the advice you've been given; intern for a year while
keeping a real job so you can see just what a headache this business is. The
other thing that hasn't even been mentioned here- on top of all the advice you
have been given, there is one most important factor: you have to attract
clients! Probably the hardest part of this biz. Keeping a steady flow going is
not easy, running more than one group at a time gets crazy, and you work
yourself to the bone.Then there are lulls, and no clients.All the while you
have to turn out first class work, as you are only as good as your last cd.
Also, since so many "studios" are out there ,that consist of a guy with a
computer, Sonar, a landful of Chinese mics, and some Alesis monitors, and he
charges $25 hr. You have to compete with that. And thats a ballbuster, because
in my experience, a lot of bands can't tell the difference, between you and
them, except you cost more, and he tells them he gets the same results as you
Of course, you could also become one of THOSE guys, with an investment of about
3K.
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 9:15:17 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>>I am researching starting a recording studio...

That's to bad...My condolences...

--
Steven Sena
XS Sound Recording
www.xssound.com

"Mike P" <ampeloso@ampsoft.nospam.com> wrote in message
news:AMDMc.4247$Lb4.1767@trndny04...
> I am researching starting a recording studio.I have no experience and
would
> hire all professional help.I Have a building picked out.My First (of
> possibly many) question is this.Not including sound reinforcement, can a
> semi-pro,money making studio be outfitted for $100,000-150,00?
> Thanks
> Mike
>
>
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 10:34:06 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Thanks Everyone.
"Steven Sena" <xssound@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:FURMc.28008$8_6.7910@attbi_s04...
> >>I am researching starting a recording studio...
>
> That's to bad...My condolences...
>
> --
> Steven Sena
> XS Sound Recording
> www.xssound.com
>
> "Mike P" <ampeloso@ampsoft.nospam.com> wrote in message
> news:AMDMc.4247$Lb4.1767@trndny04...
> > I am researching starting a recording studio.I have no experience and
> would
> > hire all professional help.I Have a building picked out.My First (of
> > possibly many) question is this.Not including sound reinforcement, can a
> > semi-pro,money making studio be outfitted for $100,000-150,00?
> > Thanks
> > Mike
> >
> >
>
>
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 10:34:07 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike,

You've been given some good advice. Certainly from people
who may be a little more familiar with the business than you
say you are.

Your question comes up with some frequency, and is answered
in the same way and by roughly the same people.

So, maybe you ought to ask a follow-up question. You're
probably a smart enough guy to figure out the financials (or
have someone else without the emotional involvement do it
for you). But you need to find out why, if it's as bad a
business as it has been pictured for you, why are the folks
painting that picture still in the business? Please don't
take this as any kind of ridicule, but factors other than
financial obviously play a major part in the decision to
keep doing something at which they can make no money and/or
can't compete with the Chinese mic/Alesis/Behringer guys.

The answers are out there.

To thine own self be true.



Toivo Maki
Intermedia
Riverside, CA


Mike P wrote:
>
> Thanks Everyone.
> "Steven Sena" <xssound@comcast.net> wrote in message
> news:FURMc.28008$8_6.7910@attbi_s04...
> > >>I am researching starting a recording studio...
> >
> > That's to bad...My condolences...
Anonymous
July 25, 2004 11:28:00 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

In article <AMDMc.4247$Lb4.1767@trndny04> ampeloso@ampsoft.nospam.com writes:

> I am researching starting a recording studio.I have no experience and would
> hire all professional help.I Have a building picked out.My First (of
> possibly many) question is this.Not including sound reinforcement, can a
> semi-pro,money making studio be outfitted for $100,000-150,00?

By "sound reinforcement" do you mean that you'll be doing PA rental
too, or is that your term for acoustic treatment and isolation?

As far as what you can do for $100-150K as far as equipment goes,
there are many kinds of work for which that will get you a well
equipped studio, and other kinds of work for which you'll be far short
of being well equipped. First you need to decide what kind of studio
you're going to be, and to do that, given that you expect it to make
money, you need to find out what kind of work is needed where your
studio will be located. No point in fitting out a great studio for
surround mixing of classical music when all of your potential clients
want to make hip-hop videos.

But first you have to figure out how, if at all possible, you can make
money. What will your monthly costs be, including hired professional
help, rent or mortage payments, lease or loan payments on equipment,
advertising, utilities. What hourly rate will your area support? Are
there enough hours in a day to make "the nut" each and every day?

Having a studio is a fun hobby, but is almost always a lousy business
investment unless you can come up with some very clever niche and fill
a need that nobody else has covered. And that only last so long until
the need goes away or the competition catches on. The fact that you
have no experience is a big plus on the fun side, but a big minus on
the business side.



--
I'm really Mike Rivers (mrivers@d-and-d.com)
However, until the spam goes away or Hell freezes over,
lots of IP addresses are blocked from this system. If
you e-mail me and it bounces, use your secret decoder ring
and reach me here: double-m-eleven-double-zero at yahoo
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 2:12:36 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Mike P" <ampeloso@ampsoft.nospam.com> wrote in message news:<AMDMc.4247$Lb4.1767@trndny04>...
> I am researching starting a recording studio.I have no experience and would
> hire all professional help.I Have a building picked out.My First (of
> possibly many) question is this.Not including sound reinforcement, can a
> semi-pro,money making studio be outfitted for $100,000-150,00?
> Thanks
> Mike


Would you consider an alternative that might eventually lead to your
goal?

Instead of diving into the studio startup, buy some access to the
process by sponsoring recording sessions for some bands you admire.
Think about the kind of music you'ld like to record, identify 5 groups
that have something worth recording, then offer to finance their
sessions and cd pressings in exchange for being allowed to sit in on
every step of the process as a silent observer / executive producer.
You'll learn much in the first few outings that you can use to decide
if this studio idea is something you'll be willing and able to do.

And you'll meet plenty of folks who may be future employees or
customers. And you'll even end up with some cds to enjoy - or sell
for a dollar on Ebay. An expensive lesson, but it could also save you
from wasting MUCH more.

-dougwood
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 3:54:17 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Mike P wrote:

> Thanks Everyone.


Not so fast. This thread is likely to go on through 2007.
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 5:03:14 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>Not including sound reinforcement, can a
>semi-pro,money making studio be outfitted for $100,000-150,00?

Yes. A talented producer with good engineering skills, a solid client base,
real business acumen and a lot of determination can outfit and operate a
profitable studio for that kind of money.


Joe Egan
EMP
Colchester, VT
www.eganmedia.com
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 8:34:22 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"T Maki" <tmaki@pe.net> wrote in message news:4104074E.9BE1E321@pe.net...

> So, maybe you ought to ask a follow-up question. You're
> probably a smart enough guy to figure out the financials (or
> have someone else without the emotional involvement do it
> for you). But you need to find out why, if it's as bad a
> business as it has been pictured for you, why are the folks
> painting that picture still in the business?

My guess is they do it because they love it, and because it's where their
skill set lies.
--


Neil Henderson
Saqqara Records
http://www.saqqararecords.com
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 10:57:06 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Others have answered quite correctly, but to give it just a little depth,
let's take a look at the same question only relating to opening a custom
kitchen cabinet shop. First you have to have an appropriate space for the
function, so as cabinet shops go, that means outfitting it with enough
widely disperse power so that you're always near a source. Then there's a
vacuum system that's an absolute must, but where to put it. That does, as
you say, require professionals to come in and do both the electrical and the
vacuum system. But we've only got the basics of a room now somewhat ready
to become a cabinet shop.

Now we need to look at and develop a work flow for an operation that you
know nothing about, so we have to decide where the planer goes, where the
router station goes, the radial arm saw, the big sanding machine, where to
store the 10,000 clamps you'll need, the building tables, the table saw, the
lathe, hand tool (power and non-powered) storage, materials storage, and we
haven't touched the paint room yet.

BUT, we haven't even learned how to assemble the table saw and build it's
out and side tables, nor how to make certain everything is square or how to
maintain the steel surfaces, much less what a crosscut saw blade is and how
it's different from a rip saw blade, nor when to use a stacked dado head and
what the hell is a dado anyway. And that's just one piece of equipment.

And still we haven't built one cabinet yet, much less have anything to show
anyone in order to entice them through the door.

The point being is, in business, you want to know somewhat of what you want
to do and either whom to hire to help you get there, or you know the hows
and whys and wherefores so that you may accomplish them yourself.
Particularly in a capital intensive business. Remember, in our hypothetical
cabinet shop we still don't have a paint room nor have we ordered wood, nor
a location nor racks to store wood. We also don't have a selection of
cabinet hardware, like full lenth drawer rails, nor even the drawer and door
pulls nor hinges, or nails, screws, or bolts and nuts. We don't have
someone who knows mechanical drawing so that we have blueprints for creating
the cut sheets to even begin to figure out the costs necessary to build the
cabinets, thereby knowing just how much to charge in order to pay the rent
and utilities and buy more materials.

And, in relation to this, why take shop classes from a man with missing
fingers?

--


Roger W. Norman
SirMusic Studio

"Mike P" <ampeloso@ampsoft.nospam.com> wrote in message
news:AMDMc.4247$Lb4.1767@trndny04...
> I am researching starting a recording studio.I have no experience and
would
> hire all professional help.I Have a building picked out.My First (of
> possibly many) question is this.Not including sound reinforcement, can a
> semi-pro,money making studio be outfitted for $100,000-150,00?
> Thanks
> Mike
>
>
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 12:03:27 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

>Yes. A talented producer with good engineering skills, a solid client base,
>real business acumen and a lot of determination can outfit and operate a
>profitable studio for that kind of money.
>
>
>Joe Egan
>EMP
>Colchester, VT
>www.eganmedia.com
>

Exactly.


Ted Spencer, NYC

"No amount of classical training will ever teach you what's so cool about
"Tighten Up" by Archie Bell And The Drells" -author unknown
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 12:28:10 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

A good friend and the guy that taught me audio, Richard Salter, is the
technical director of Focusrite. Well anyway, he said the best way to
make a small fortune in audio is to start with a large one.


"Mike P" <ampeloso@ampsoft.nospam.com> wrote in message news:<AMDMc.4247$Lb4.1767@trndny04>...
> I am researching starting a recording studio.I have no experience and would
> hire all professional help.I Have a building picked out.My First (of
> possibly many) question is this.Not including sound reinforcement, can a
> semi-pro,money making studio be outfitted for $100,000-150,00?
> Thanks
> Mike
Anonymous
July 26, 2004 3:15:35 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

"Roger W. Norman" <rnorman@starpower.net> wrote in message news:<4104e27f$0$5642$61fed72c@news.rcn.com>...
> Others have answered quite correctly, but to give it just a little depth,
> let's take a look at the same question only relating to opening a custom
> kitchen cabinet shop.

snip

Roger, did you cross-post by any chance? ;-)

As for the 10,000 clamps, I don't think even Norm meant that many when
he said "you can never have too many clamps". :) 

Oh yes, in your cabinet shop, who makes coffee?
!