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Hey guys, i am about to spend $30 grand on a studio..help please.
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RARStudios
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#1
9th January 2009
Old 9th January 2009
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Delete. Note: ended up spending $15,000 over 2 years and started slow!
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9th January 2009
Old 9th January 2009
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hahaha...let the flaming begin!

I reckon for a top end studio $30k should make a good start towards the room design and build. better keep saving.
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9th January 2009
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ouch. yet so true.

Quickest way to lose 30 big ones I reckon... don't put it into studio, especially as you seem a newbie... bad move.
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9th January 2009
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hold on... lemme grab a seat
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9th January 2009
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What is your intended purpose? Recording bands with drums? Singer songwriters? Commercial facility, private purposes? Having kick ass digs with fancy chairs that producers and A&R guys can chill and listen to mixes? Or just a solid 2 room work space? Is this just equipment or the build-out to?

You need to give far more info to get quality responses. 30K and a bunch of hard labor on your part can get you in the neighborhood of a middling quality 1 or 2 room private studio in your house. Nothing fancy but some (but not too much) good gear & good monitors and a minimum build-out.

Of course no one is going to actually pay to come work in that studio unless your a known quantity. You can get outside work that you work on in your own digs but that's not exactly the same thing as actually making money with your new rig and digs.
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9th January 2009
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Sorry Couldn't Resist

Sorry everyone but couldn't resist. To OP how about you take that 30k and pay working pros to record and mix your albums. I guarantee the results will be much better and on an "indie" level you can put out a lot of reasonably sounding albums done by professionals for 30k. You've already committed one mistake, starting a label these days, why make it two.
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9th January 2009
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Well ... do you have anything at the moment or are you starting from scracth? If you are starting from scratch, then like the other guys said, 30k is really not enough. You're better off investing on your band's albums and make sure they generate money and build a solid label from there. Correct me if I'm wrong but... Young record labels never own their own high-end studio. To me, it would make sense to build a studio for label if I was generating good ammount of revenues with a solid base of bands ...

Just my two cents.

Where are you from Evan?
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9th January 2009
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Is this another FULL SAIL class project again?
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10th January 2009
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Slutz come on down he just asked!
I will try to give him an answer as good as I can.

So yes 30 K for High End is a bit difficult.
Have a look at places like this and you fast recognize that 30.000.000 $ is the right investment.


But donĀ“t worry I think you can have great sound with your 30K but may not as great as on those million dollar high end studios.

You should write a business plan before you blindly invest money.

As the others said the most money would go away for room treatment but I know many guys which have done a fair tracking room DIY with reading many books measuring and building the treatment by their self.
Investment was around 10 K and many weeks and months... hard work.

You may also can live with overdubbing and a little room for both mixing and tracking this would save you a lot of money.

But it must be said my small studio here what is mainly used for mixing is still around the 20K line.

You fast can spend 30 K and not getting what you expected.

Also do not underestimate the time to get know how.
If you cant afford an experienced engineer it would take 4-6 years to learn.
This is the time you need to get fair results in mixing and recording.

So here is my advise for you.
I first would think about the whole investment because many major labels closed their in-house-studios in the last 10-20 yrs.

The reason is clear such a Studio is not a money maker.

So I would calculate what is giving you more gain for your business.

Hiring a professional Studio or building your own one.

If you hire a studio it do not have to be High End to get professional records.
You also can live with smaller places which also have a good tracking room which sounds great.

Many studios have nice consoles and they cost you about 500$ a day with engineer!
This means 7 days tracking would be 3,5 K for you.

In the meantime the rest of your money can work on the bank at maybe 6% interest for you.

Mixing by a professional which may mixes ITB (which is may not a big time mixer) but someone who makes fair mixes for fair money would may cost you 150-400$ per Song. It depends on how you comunicate with the enginner and also how much work the diffrent songs will cause mixing them.

So in the meantime your band can sell albums for your label.
You make money and you can concentrate on the next album with a diffrent band.

Having your own studio would mean for you.


Paying insurances for the Equipment and the Studio-building.
Paying for heating and power.
Paying rent for the studio.
Paying money for maintenance.
Paying an engineer who may will cost you a regular wage.

Judge yourself by careful calculating.
I bet you can save a lot of money and a lot of stress by doing the tracking and mixing at existing professional places.

All the best...

A.O.
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10th January 2009
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To the original poster - I think you are the ideal owner of a studio because you have a purpose for it! These guys are talking about creating a studio as a business to sell studio time.

30 thousand can easily get you what you need. In fact you could do it for less and have release quality results, even top 40 chart results!

With the 30,000 would that all be going on equippment,ie do you have rooms at your disposal from your business already?

Lets say you have signed 3-4 acts from your locality to your label and they are touring succesfully on a national or international level. Your room tracking/ mixing rooms might be made availible for rehursals or pre-production on album/E.P releases etc. So you can keep your rooms working for you by supporting the artists on your label by aiding thier end of the business.

This is on top of generating product for your label by recording. You might also offer the rooms up for voice over work or work outside the recording of bands for a competative fee to keep overheads down etc.

If you tell us what kinds of acts you have on your label then I can suggest some ideas for tracking scenarios and cheap, efficient and flexible sollutions for your new studio.

Yes their are quite a few dicks on here at times ready to pounce and offer cynacism and no help what so ever. People want to answer questions and get things right so that they seem smart and can pat themselves on the back. They do know stuff but they need to be given very specific questions to suit their anal nature! LOL.

If you are out there wanting to work for the success of your acts and yourself then I am one hundres percent willing you to suceed.

If you no of a local handyman who you can commission to build things like gobos and bass traps or if you are up for some DIY yourself then you can get started.

Post here or PM me and I'll help ya all I can.

Peace,
cortisol
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10th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cortisol View Post
To the original poster - I think you are the ideal owner of a studio because you have a purpose for it! These guys are talking about creating a studio as a business to sell studio time.

30 thousand can easily get you what you need. In fact you could do it for less and have release quality results, even top 40 chart results!

With the 30,000 would that all be going on equippment,ie do you have rooms at your disposal from your business already?

Lets say you have signed 3-4 acts from your locality to your label and they are touring succesfully on a national or international level. Your room tracking/ mixing rooms might be made availible for rehursals or pre-production on album/E.P releases etc. So you can keep your rooms working for you by supporting the artists on your label by aiding thier end of the business.

This is on top of generating product for your label by recording. You might also offer the rooms up for voice over work or work outside the recording of bands for a competative fee to keep overheads down etc.

If you tell us what kinds of acts you have on your label then I can suggest some ideas for tracking scenarios and cheap, efficient and flexible sollutions for your new studio.

Yes their are quite a few dicks on here at times ready to pounce and offer cynacism and no help what so ever. People want to answer questions and get things right so that they seem smart and can pat themselves on the back. They do know stuff but they need to be given very specific questions to suit their anal nature! LOL.

If you are out there wanting to work for the success of your acts and yourself then I am one hundres percent willing you to suceed.

If you no of a local handyman who you can commission to build things like gobos and bass traps or if you are up for some DIY yourself then you can get started.

Post here or PM me and I'll help ya all I can.

Peace,
cortisol
I may is not as easy as it sounds in this post but he is right it can be done.
But is is a long hard route to go if he never heard anything about room acoustics and the cost of a great single mic pre.

May with clever investment and a lot of DIY it can be done.
But I also will let you know I have mixed great rehearsal room recordings.

It depends on which music we are talking about.

But I guess with tracking a whole band with 30 K he still will be far away from HIGH END.
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10th January 2009
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Well, I opened one last year and I'd say either increase your budget by a factor of 2, or tell yourself you're gonna do it for around $15-20k, then you'll for sure hit $30k.

stupid crap piles up, cables, wiring, maintenance, mic stands...

Keep your eye on the ball and good luck.
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10th January 2009
Old 10th January 2009
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$30k will barely scratch the surface. This belongs in the "low end theory" forum if you're serious.
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10th January 2009
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The question is your answer.

Not trying to be cheeky, but by virtue of the very question, I believe your answer is, wait, take the time to learn about what YOU want, need, can do, etc. Otherwise, I believe your $30k is a total waste.

If this person is not serious and this is actually another student fishing expedition... come on, I'm getting sick of these (every month we get a 1 post person asking us to spend our time doing the work for them... again, if you have to ask the question, you shouldn't be asking the question).

That said, everyone has to start somewhere, but I suggest paying some dues (and I don't mean in cash).

Use the money to work at various other studios. Learn what works and doesn't about those places (for you).

AND TO EVERYONE ELSE: Do you really ever need to wonder why the music industry is in the state it is... this question is OUR answer.

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10th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
AND TO EVERYONE ELSE: Do you really ever need to wonder why the music industry is in the state it is... this question is OUR answer.
Exactly.

"What do I need in order to make great recordings?"
Well......

Even if someone here gave a perfect answer as far as gear is concerned, and spending money wisely, there is still a difference between knowing the path, and walking it.

To the OP: if you're starting from scratch, buy yourself a small DAW, a nice stereo pre, some decent monitors, acoustic treatment for your bedroom and a couple of mics, then PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!!!

This is just like anything else dude, it takes practice. Buying a Bogner and a Les Paul isn't going to guarantee you're going to melt someone's face off with your licks.

Spend 10k on the above mentioned necessities, for OVERDUBS. Book some time at an established studio for a couple of your "label's" bands to do basic tracks and record everything else at your place. Spend the rest on getting that stuff mixed and mastered by a pro and try to save a little for pizza and dope, or marketing.
IF YOU'RE SERIOUS.

With the economy in the crapper and the music business the way it is, I'm surprised someone would be this daft regarding money right now. I mean that in the nicest way possible.
If I had an extra 30k, I would invest it in a coffee can under my mattress.

cheers,
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10th January 2009
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$30k you say?
well you'll need a 2 channel mic pre/eq/comp:

for example

Great River MP-2NV 2 channel mic pre - $2275.00
Great river EQ-2NV 2 channel EQ - $2900.00
Stereo Distressor with "British Mode" OptionEL-8X's - $2850.00

total $8025.00


that'll leave you with roughly $21,975.00 for everything else!
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10th January 2009
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you can get some nice stuff and do some nice things with 30k but that won't get you a high end studio setup. not even close.
i have about 60k in my basement and i can do some nice stuff and yeah it's possible to make a pro recording here and even sell it, but not a hi end one. those guys spend 30k on preamps and comps.
perspective, that's the ticket..
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10th January 2009
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Not sure why people are taking shots at the OP. (I hope its not just a recording school kid trying to get us to do his home work.)

$30,000 is a boat load of money and if you already have some kind of building to put the stuff into its completely possible to set up a studio to make great records in for $30,000. (Of course you need to make smart choices, and purchase mostly on the used market)

It does not mean that the operator will have the skills to make great records, but at $30,000 if you can not make some damn good records its not the budgets fault.
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#19
10th January 2009
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First of all, you need a very good vocal chain, without any weak links. Then build on that. It's very simple, and your money will get you where you want to be. Good luck! thumbsup
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10th January 2009
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Hi,
I'm actually going through a similar project with a similar budget. In my case, I'm building a main mixing room and a few writing rooms. All rooms are based on Macs with Logic Studio. The writing rooms range from 4K to 7K, the main room will contain some components that are definitely "High End". However, I'm talking "in the box"-mixing and no live/multichannel-recording is required in my case. I'm happy to give you a list of equipment that I think would be great for you, but I have a few questions first.

1. Do you have your rooms and is your rent paid?

2. What is your goal?

3. In what timeframe do you have to earn money with your setup?

4. When you talk about bands you want/need to record drums, right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by etcd32 View Post
There are about 2-7 bands here that any one has even heard of, and even those bands have barely hit the tip of the iceberg.
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10th January 2009
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Hey, if one can buy happiness for 30K then it's the best investment that can be done. No matter does it pay back or would it be the best studio around. These moments with the activities one likes the most mean much more than the business oriented people can understand. Every second dealing with the beloved hobby is pure pleasure.
Building a studio is not only a business. For most of us it's the "dream comes true". Let people enjoy these moments. Let's share each other's experiences to make them feel even more happy. Unless you are not green with envy of course!

It's possible to find a lot of great used gear for a really small amount of money. And it's obvious that if you start with 30K today you will be spending much more in the future. It's a disease. That you must take as a fact. But if it makes you happy then just go for it!
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10th January 2009
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maby you could put that money into making a small demo studio with mid level gear so that the bands can spend time developing their tunes and sound before going into a real studio to record. A good space that can inspire the musicians to work and create would be much more important than expensive equipment so a nice vibe and good acoustics would be the priority.
A well rehersed band can save lots of money by not wasting time in a professional studio. With the rest of the money you can invest into the labels image and promotion and still be able to fund a few albums the first year.
bigos
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10th January 2009
Old 10th January 2009
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hey

although im not even close to calling myself a recording engineer id like to say keep going with what your trying to do. I am 18 as well and have been recording for a few years now. Up until now iv collected about 20 000$ worth of equipm,ent instruments...etc..
So a 30 000$ starting point is amazing ( by my standards). For me the most importnant think so far has been knowing what each peice of gear can do for you. Even though im very limited due to funds over the years i know exactly what sound ican get out of a certain peice of equipment and im finally slowly starting to reach a point where im becoming familiar with procedures and how to get a certain sound even with limited gear.

Just do TONS of reading and enjoy it and the rest will come.
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10th January 2009
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you're young. i hope you aren't borrowing this money but if you are, or heck even if you aren't.... buy used, so that you can sell for the same price you paid for if a piece of gear doesn't totally rock you. use this money as a chance to discover it all.
This $30g's should be cycled at least twice in a quest to find what you truley like and more importantly what you truley need. Treat your gear well, use no-scratch washers for rackmounting, keep original boxes and documentation.

I spent nearly this much some years back, and kept about half of what i bought after finding what could stay and what could go through working in a studio day in and day out. I'm now down to what i need and its a very "zen" place to be. There are a couple things i'd "like" to have, but don't need. In the end, i didn't lose any money, and i got to discover alot about equipment in general. But buying all that gear didn't teach me anything about recording, it only taught me about gear, that specific gear.
The real investment you'll be making is time.

But from my experience, you should spend at least twice as much on building construction than on gear (check John L Sayers' forum) doing it the right way first is the only way. If you can't afford to spend that much on the location in which you'll be working and recording, then there really is no use in buying $30g's in gear. Gear comes and goes, but the 3 room studio i built 50 feet behind my house will be there for generations. And on top of that it has way more of an impact on the sound of my recordings than if i choose to use an SM57 or a u47.
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10th January 2009
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still dont know what you really want to do ? multitrackrecording ?


for 30k you can buy a lot nowadays, and if you have a nice room, everything else will be fine.

in the end it just depends on whos using it anyway, no amount of money is gonna change that !

young slutz is what we need stike go for it & good luck !
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10th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etcd32 View Post
Okay guys, i read all of your messages...laughed a few times because all of you think im joking...

First of all, Im Not.

I am 18 years old, looking for a basis to start my label, and most studios around here are way overpriced.

Secondly, this investment would not just be for my label, but for me as well, with a business major on the horizon and some training in the recording field, i want to help out St. Louis, along with giving me some experience in the producing field.

I love recording.


And I want to give back to the community and start something that will help bands, and help me at the same time. The scene here blows.
There are about 2-7 bands here that any one has even heard of, and even those bands have barely hit the tip of the iceberg.

Why?

Bad recordings=bad listening for the most part.

All i want out of this, is something that i can get pristine clarity in my work, and others.

I want something to work with, and it seems like although you guys laugh, you give me no help what so ever except "not possible", which, whether you say it or not, is irrelevant and i find it amusing that you waste your time even typing.


Does that help at all?

Thanks
Evan
The thing is Evan, throwing money at something won't actually get you what you want.

A few issues here for me.

Firstly, you don't seem to have ide of how much a high-end facility actually costs. Yes, for 30k you could get a lot of great equipment. It won't get you a "high end studio" but it would get you a very good DAW, monitoring, some semi-pro room treatment (by which I mean functional if not as pretty as a high end room) and probably a couple of decent recording chains, with maybe enough cash left over for some utility preamps and mics, and of course the wiring to tie it all together.

Now for a high-end facility, the Pro-tools rig alone is going to cost more than 30k (my little LE rig has probably cost close to 15k over the years). The wiring (do you have any idea how long it takes to wire a patchbay?) will cost close to that sort of amount. A proper "high-end" acoustically designed and built room will cost well in excess of this. So even with a large amount of DIY (which won't give you a "high-end" room), you're talking 10 times what you say you're looking to spend.

So ok - we're not talking high-end really. What you want (and to be honest what you need) is a good quality project studio to start with - that'll still knock spots off the competition if it's well built from scratch.

Secondly - what professional experience in other people's studios do you have? What sort of business plan? Because most studios set up by those who've never worked for someone else (and thus learnt how some things work, and how to avoid simple mistakes) are almost always flawed. A simple example - I once worked at a room built by someone with a lot of inherited money. Was quite a nice space actually (he'd had it built properly), but as well as lots of niggly omissions (eg no guitar tie lines through the walls) he'd spent a lot of money on a desk that no-one knew how to work. Consequently the studio failed as a commercial venture - no-one wanted to go there.

Simple thing is - if YOU don't know how to spend the 30k you've budgeted for this, you're not in a position to build it. I wouldn't spend 30k on a car without doing all the research for myself, and that's just one single item that everybody knows the basics of. I wouldn't try starting my own retail business without having worked in a shop for someone else.

Thirdly - how are you as an engineer? You're 18...fair enough, I've met some very good 20 year old engineers, and you may well have had a couple of years experience already. But it's not the gear, it's the ears, and when there's all the talk on this board about this pre-amp versus that pre-amp, microphones, EQ etc it's kind of taken as a given that those discussing have at least some skill in actually setting them up.

Recording a drumkit isn't easy. Hell, you'd have thought recording a vocal would be relatively simple, but it's been proved time and again that many people are able to f**k that up quite beautifully too. So you could have this great little studio but still not get the "pristine clarity" you're looking for, due to inexperience.

So you want to run a label, you want to be an engineer at a studio, and more besides...probably all of these are full time jobs in themselves - at least if you want to have any success.

My suggestion if you ARE serious, is to make some contacts with the better people in your area and build on that. Do some sessions in local studios, even if you perceive them to be crap. If you can identify WHY they're crap, then you've got something to build on and avoid for your own project. If you can't...well the chances are it's because of your abilities, rather than the studios themselves. I bet if you put rcm, drBill, Mr Holmes or even (cough) me in the same studios that you're seeing the crap work come out of, we'd come out with something better. It's generally the operator, not the tools - all the arguments about good/crap gear on here is generally the last 20% - the first 80% is in the material, the players, the instruments and the rooms.

Lastly - you have to understand the cynicism here, you're not the first and certainly won't be the last person to come on with a first post like this, and most ARE trying to get a hand with their fullsail homework!
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10th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by margusalviste View Post
Hey, if one can buy happiness for 30K then it's the best investment that can be done. No matter does it pay back or would it be the best studio around. These moments with the activities one likes the most mean much more than the business oriented people can understand. Every second dealing with the beloved hobby is pure pleasure.
Building a studio is not only a business. For most of us it's the "dream comes true". Let people enjoy these moments. Let's share each other's experiences to make them feel even more happy. Unless you are not green with envy of course!

It's possible to find a lot of great used gear for a really small amount of money. And it's obvious that if you start with 30K today you will be spending much more in the future. It's a disease. That you must take as a fact. But if it makes you happy then just go for it!
The one problem with this is that you CAN'T buy happiness for 30k - you need to learn how to use it first. There's no instant gratification here.
#28
10th January 2009
Old 10th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5down1up View Post

young slutz is what we need stike
#29
10th January 2009
Old 10th January 2009
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OP, you have to provide more info, this is kinda like saying; Hey guys, I am about to spend $30 grand on food and clothes, what should I buy?
#30
10th January 2009
Old 10th January 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
The one problem with this is that you CAN'T buy happiness for 30k - you need to learn how to use it first. There's no instant gratification here.
Well, in that case you can get happiness at least twice - at the moment you have bought all this gear and the second time when you understand how it works. Although for some people it doesn't count whether they know how to use it or not. The fact that you have bought some nice stuff is enough for happiness.
OK, to be serious - that kind of happiness doesn't last long. Of course you have to learn how to work with the gear. But from my own experience - you cannot do it without gear. And it's so much more fun to learn with quality stuff, believe me!
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