All Things Pro Recording Studio Business(Not Project Studios)
#31
21st March 2009
Old 21st March 2009
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by roadsweeper View Post
Secondly, I can't speak for any of the big, big studios but I don't know if you ever really recoup the money spent on investment in this day and age, Olympic Studio in London have closed (or are closing), Abbey Roads seems to be dying and many more seem to be following.
The olympic situation is very sad yes...but abbey road certainly isn't dying! the big orchestral rooms will always have something to offer that even olympic can't - the space to record a 100 piece orchestra. Abbey Road, Air (although there's lots of other stuff at air as well), Angel, CTs @ watford town hall...they're about the only places in the UK you can record an orchestra for film.

Ask narcoman, sometimes I think he keeps AR going with his NSO and other projects....!
#32
21st March 2009
Old 21st March 2009
  #32
Lives for gear
 
idylldon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 View Post
and the late Dave Carpenter on bass (6 string electric for this record, he played it like a piano). We lost Dave last year. Gary was his best friend, and I was very close to Dave. He had a key to Kronos, and would often be there when I showed up, playing his bass.
I had the pleasure of watching Dave in action during a session with Dick Halligan (piano, founding member of Blood, Sweat, and Tears), Peter Erskine (drums), and Dave on bass back in Nov. '07. He was not only on HELL of a bass player but also an extremely nice guy as well. I was truly saddened to hear of his passing, especially considering how young he was and how many years of great music he no doubt still had inside of him. I recently revisited those tracks to do some rough mixes without the vocal tracks and listening to Dave play brought chills down my spine.

RIP, Dave, you left a lot of great, positive energy behind through your music!

Cheers,
--
Don
#33
21st March 2009
Old 21st March 2009
  #33
Lives for gear
 

heart4us
i dont know if this helps.
but heres my thoughts.
i'm not a big studio bloke. just have recorded in em in the past on occasion.
n once owned a pretty decent rig years back myself also.
1..if your in a market or country where there is little local recording studio competition,
possibly you could make a go of it. assuming rates were reasonable
and affordeable to the population in your country.
sometimes aggressive marketing can help. but this can be tireing for a new entrant.
2. my own opinion is a great engineer with less gear will prolly produce better
output than one who isnt experienced with lots of gear.
3. one can save a lot of money buying used gear with hopefully a decent warranty.
or refurbed gear. but the other aspect is...to look into how easily it will be to maintain.
are there maintenance personnel available in your country ??
you dont want to get into a situation with many clients who have booked time that you cant
follow thru with cos say a key component in an audio mixer has gone down and you have to wait
a long time for it to be fixed.

in summary , in your situation i would do market reaearch carefully in your country
as to what a reasonable conservative revenue stream might be before buying gear.
haveing such a market research report in hand, this will be valuable input as to
what is a reasonable level of investment that might bring a return.
in addition you dont necessarily have to start big. you could start small, and add gear as and when the business grows.
just be aware, from my tech background spanning decades, i foresee more upheavals occurring
coming for the recording biz//studios due to tech changes . therefore i would suggest
being very carefull spending lots of money you might not get a return on.
50k these days buys a ton of gear if one shops carefully the used market in particular.
i wish you every success.
#34
22nd March 2009
Old 22nd March 2009
  #34
A few thoughts on various points in the thread so far:

The price of large format consoles has come down as one poster said, but what that poster wasn't able to take into account is that shipping it to the Phillipines will certainly add quite a bit. Also, commissioning, wiring the patch bay etc. adds more to the cost than many people realize as well.

Furthermore, an old E series SSL or Neve V3 can be found cheap, but they don't attract attention like a newer SSL (G+ at least, or 9000 series) or an old, classic 80XX Neve, and the price differs accordingly. Also, buying new (Duality, 88R) will be considerably more, and hard to justify from a business standpoint in the current climate.

Lastly, any large format console, especially an older one, will need regular maintenance. To be a pro level studio, everything has to be working, and that requires an on-call tech who knows the place inside and out. You need to factor this into your operating expenses. Many parts are also hard to find, and can be expensive, and you should invest in a stock of spares at the outset.

To address another question, well-known studio designers charge tens of thousands, up to $100k for a large, multi-room space with complete architectural drawings. While some basic designs can be had for $10k or less, they won't include full construction plans, parts lists, a site visit, revisions, lots of "hand-holding" or any oversight during or after construction. Still, on a budget, the basic plan still helps a lot, though you need to figure out how to implement most of it yourself.

As for how long to recoup investment, studios have never been a fast recoupment, and now it's harder than ever. I would think you'd need a five year plan. With initial investment, operating expenses, and inevitable upgrades, it probably will take that long to break even. Of course, during that time, I'm assuming you'll have some salary out of the "operating expenses," so it can be a self sustaining labor of love, which is pretty much what most successful studios are.

The last thing is that you should plan on selling more than just studio time to make a profit. You need other creative ideas to help support the business. Diversify services, attract business more with talent than facility (perhaps by offering production etc.), and create content so that you have authorship and can build up a royalty base in addition to hourly rentals. The old "build it, they will come" model is dead.
#35
22nd March 2009
Old 22nd March 2009
  #35
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by shanabit View Post
Sounds like a Full Sail class project to me
Bingo! That's what I though the second I saw the title of the thread. Someone's getting some awfully good help with their homework.
#36
22nd March 2009
Old 22nd March 2009
  #36
Lives for gear
No need for anyone to be offended.

I think what the OP is interested in is the old school business of studios that essentially live by renting the facility. There is a level of pro studio that really didn't exist 20 years ago. that being a studio that revolves around an individual engineer in house rather than being set up to service top engineers from all over. In some cases its a fine libe, but I understand the difference well.

Places like Avatar, Village, Ocean Way earn their keep by essentially being able to service any client in any situation. Records go there for that service. If you are making 6 figures a year in your basement or some similar situation you are definitely pro, but you are largely selling yourself in your room. You know your room, and don't have to deal with pleasing anyone else, as long as the work translates.

When I moved to this location from the old Ace Frehley house in Wilton CT 20 years ago, I instantly recognized that I no longer had the pull of being in the old Kiss house. I also recognized that, as cool as the new location was, there were some flaws which might keep some of the top two guys from coming in. By the same token, it was great for what I was doing.

So I stopped worrying about whether anyone else cared about what the consiole was and started to orient the operation to what worked for me. And it was very different from what might work for say...Thrill.

As far as someone coming in the open a new full service studio, what would be the point? Every artist of substance has an accountant telling him the dissipate income by building a studio. And if its someone who isn't in the club....I've seen a half dozen ventures to build "World Class Studios" fail largely because they weren't people with a history in the biz.

Personally, I think anyone trying to "buy their way in" is nuts.
#37
22nd March 2009
Old 22nd March 2009
  #37
Lives for gear
 
Makinithappen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
No need for anyone to be offended.

I think what the OP is interested in is the old school business of studios that essentially live by renting the facility. There is a level of pro studio that really didn't exist 20 years ago. that being a studio that revolves around an individual engineer in house rather than being set up to service top engineers from all over. In some cases its a fine libe, but I understand the difference well.

Places like Avatar, Village, Ocean Way earn their keep by essentially being able to service any client in any situation. Record go there for that service. If you are making 6 figures a year in your basement or some similar situation you are definitely pro, but you are largely selling yourself in your room. You know your room, and don;t have to deal with pleasing anyone else, as long as the work translates.

When I moved to this location from the old Ace Frehley house in Wilton CT 20 years ago, I instantly recognized that I no longer had the pull of being in the old Kiss house. I also recognized that, as cool as the new location was, there were some flaws which might keep some of the top two guys from coming in. By the same token, it was great for what I was doing.

So I stopped worrying about whether anyone else cared about what the consiole was and started to orient the operation to what worked for me. And it was very different from what might work for say...Thrill.

As far as someone coming in the open a new full service studio, what would be the point? Every artist of substance has an accountant telling him the dissipate income by building a studio. And if its someone who isn't in the club....I've seen a half dozen ventures to build "World Class Studios" fail largely because they weren't people with a history in the biz.

Personally, I think anyone trying to "buy their way in" is nuts.
thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup Great post. Listen to him!
#38
22nd March 2009
Old 22nd March 2009
  #38
Lives for gear
 
johnnyjellybean's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Olhsson View Post

If I were building a studio today, I'd be thinking mostly about what people might want to do that they couldn't possibly do in a home studio. Recording ensembles of musicians at the same time would be top of my list. An extraordinary collection of musical instruments would be right up there too.

The studio business is a service business.
Very welll put!
heart4us
Thread Starter
#39
22nd March 2009
Old 22nd March 2009
  #39
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
Bingo! That's what I though the second I saw the title of the thread. Someone's getting some awfully good help with their homework.
You could consider it a homework, but it really isn't for FullSail. It's for my boss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by manning1 View Post
just be aware, from my tech background spanning decades, i foresee more upheavals occurring
coming for the recording biz//studios due to tech changes
That also came to mind. That waiting to see the direction of audio technology might be good just to ensure that today's equipment won't be tomorrows antique.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
Personally, I think anyone trying to "buy their way in" is nuts.
I'm beginning to think the same way too. But I guess when you reach a certain age, wisdom turns to passion again....maybe i'll find out when my time comes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayfrigo View Post
As for how long to recoup investment, studios have never been a fast recoupment, and now it's harder than ever.
The old "build it, they will come" model is dead.
Sounds scary, and impractical..But what you said sir, about it being a labor love, i believe that really the driving force. Because even I who had no interest in the recording business just a year ago started to get interested because of the passion of some individuals i've met.

And the people here, even those who are negative about the idea of starting a studio, has gotten me interested about the recording studio industry.
#40
22nd March 2009
Old 22nd March 2009
  #40
Lives for gear
My condolences, tou have The Disease. Of course...I'll like you more if you do the stupidly passionate thing.

The crux of the issue is how your investment is monetized. Generally the studios you reference make their living renting time. Very iffy these days, I would have thought that a great tracking space with a nice 80 Series Neve in a great locale with great creature comforts would work.

Bearsville....gone. Allaire...gone. Although rhe Clubhouse....sort of a stripped down version is doing well I think.

Or a great space for orchestral, film post oriented. Should work right....there are so few. Legacy big room.....gone.

Here's a free idea. Build one central tracking room with three or four control rooms, three modest writer rooms, one a bit more. One good tracking desk for bands....Trident at least, maybe more, but don't go nuts.

Sign some writers with the rest of the money and install them in the writer room. Sell music not time.

Or any variation that suits you. The simple point is....sell music, not time. If someone rents it, thats gravy.

One hit song or big jingle contract will make you way more money than selling time. And you won't be jumping through hoops to keep pain in the ass people happy.

Trust me....I did that. Not what its cracked up to be.




Quote:
Originally Posted by heart4us View Post
You could consider it a homework, but it really isn't for FullSail. It's for my boss.


That also came to mind. That waiting to see the direction of audio technology might be good just to ensure that today's equipment won't be tomorrows antique.

I'm beginning to think the same way too. But I guess when you reach a certain age, wisdom turns to passion again....maybe i'll find out when my time comes.


Sounds scary, and impractical..But what you said sir, about it being a labor love, i believe that really the driving force. Because even I who had no interest in the recording business just a year ago started to get interested because of the passion of some individuals i've met.

And the people here, even those who are negative about the idea of starting a studio, has gotten me interested about the recording studio industry.
#41
22nd March 2009
Old 22nd March 2009
  #41
Motown legend
 
Bob Olhsson's Avatar
As for where music is going, I seriously doubt that the future is in imitating '80s overdub party records.

Folks who can pull great music off live will be back and they are probably going to want to record mostly live. Studios and big consoles will probably have a great future in a few years.
#42
22nd March 2009
Old 22nd March 2009
  #42
Lives for gear
I agree about the music, and the room.

In fact my place does a very respectable business doing seventy percent live rock and gospel, jazz and folk.. Lots of excellent musicians find their way here.

I just don't see the return of the big console. Because I don't see budgets going to a point that wants to support a big console.

Yes, there will be some. But I think in general they will be in Post houses or a very few choice spots. I think a big console in a music studio will be a 32 o6 in API or similar. And I totally know that you can build a studio that can track bands happily without the big desk.
#43
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
  #43
Gear maniac
 
Farm sounds's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
No need for anyone to be offended.

I think what the OP is interested in is the old school business of studios that essentially live by renting the facility. There is a level of pro studio that really didn't exist 20 years ago. that being a studio that revolves around an individual engineer in house rather than being set up to service top engineers from all over. In some cases its a fine libe, but I understand the difference well.

Places like Avatar, Village, Ocean Way earn their keep by essentially being able to service any client in any situation. Records go there for that service. If you are making 6 figures a year in your basement or some similar situation you are definitely pro, but you are largely selling yourself in your room. You know your room, and don't have to deal with pleasing anyone else, as long as the work translates.

When I moved to this location from the old Ace Frehley house in Wilton CT 20 years ago, I instantly recognized that I no longer had the pull of being in the old Kiss house. I also recognized that, as cool as the new location was, there were some flaws which might keep some of the top two guys from coming in. By the same token, it was great for what I was doing.

So I stopped worrying about whether anyone else cared about what the consiole was and started to orient the operation to what worked for me. And it was very different from what might work for say...Thrill.

As far as someone coming in the open a new full service studio, what would be the point? Every artist of substance has an accountant telling him the dissipate income by building a studio. And if its someone who isn't in the club....I've seen a half dozen ventures to build "World Class Studios" fail largely because they weren't people with a history in the biz.

Personally, I think anyone trying to "buy their way in" is nuts.

Wow Steffmo, You owned/worked at Ace in the Hole? I knew Ace sold it in the 80's sometime. I always wondered what became of that space. There was an elevator going 14 or 20 feet underground to the studio right? Did you buy the house too? I had heard Ace did minimal recording there, and usually used it as a place to bang groupies and not have his wife find out.

Rob Freeman told a friend of mine they used to have a tech come in every couple days or so to clean the board cause there would be a mixture of cocaine and chinese food clogging up the faders/channels. I guess Ace would do lines off the board. Not sure if it was at Ace's or the record plant in NYC. Probably both...

Any good stories/pics?
#44
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
  #44
Lives for gear
Ace disn't really adapt to country life well...so he sold the place to a guy names Carl Gjerpen, a Norwegian shipping exec. Gjerpen was going to move into the house with his family, but they found another house they likes better,,,,so they bought that as well, and moved in. He thought he would have no trouble selling the house.

Wrong. Right at that time the Eastern US had a huge collapse of real estate values. Sort of like what happened last year in banking. He was stuck with a house with a big mortgage now worth half as much.

Now...for some weird reason, this guy who has zero music experience starts writing country songs with his business partner, a lovely Norwegian woman, who he was having an affair with. They start recording at my studio, and end up asking if want to be part of a venture to open the studio.

The short story is that we rehab the studio and equip it, and run it for two years as a residential place with Mike Chapman, who lives down the street, as the anchor client.

Mike does Lita Ford and The Tami show CDs there. And work for 6 months with Sly Stone, a session that ends unceremoniuosly when the FBI surrounds the house and arrests Sly.

A few months later Gjerpen looses the house to his now Ex wife in the divorce, who can't pay the 5K a month mortgage and looses it to forclosure. An exec couple buys it and walls off the studio, having no interest in music.

FYI, the studio was "bermed" into a ill the house sat on. There was grass on the roof. A very iffy CR desigh by John Storyk, who fixed it with RPG diffusors, which I still have in this place.

It was two floors under the house, but no elevator. the gear was gone when it was sold, so we redid it all. Also we put a B room on the floor in the middle, which became the home of Willie Wilcox, Todd Rundgren's drummer, now head of music for Sci Fi Channel.

It was a wild two years, way too much for here.
#45
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
  #45
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by heart4us View Post

1) How much was your/(other studios) initial investment?
(Hypothetical investments would be welcome but im really curious about those that are already around)

2) How long did it take for you/others to recover that investment?
(if an SSL Console costs around $100,000-300,000...construction costs this much, other gear this much, electric charge, and you/others charge this much for fees, how long does it really take to recover or break even and start becoming profitable?)

3) How much do some professional acoustic guys charge for their studio design/plans?

4) How much do professional studios charge for recording and other services?

5) . How long do these consoles and microphones and other expensive gear lasts before they break or become obsolete?
(I would guess that the one most expensive gear a studio would have is a console such as a neve or ssl or other brands that costs around from $100,000-$+300,000 if they only have a life expectancy of less than 10 years, it would seem like a very very expensive and at least in my mind quite impractical purchase, considering my estimate of how long it would take to recover initial investment).
I have better things to do today, but I just cannot resist this one!

1. About £750,000 including studio. Even more if you include the ground the studio is sitting on.

2. I'll let you know, in the unlikely event that it ever happens!!!

3. So little that question 2 is superfluous in today's market. You have to use the studio as a figurehead for other activities, to make the turkey fly!

4. Analogue - for ever, if you look after it.

Digital - it is completely worthless as soon as you have bought it. (The exception here is a handful of marques like Radar, ProTools HD3 and Lexicon 960L, all of which are pretty much designed to last about 10 to 15 years, before total obsolescence sets in.)
heart4us
Thread Starter
#46
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
  #46
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Sir, that was amazing. You should write a book. I hope someday that you recover your investment. Thank you sir, very very informative.
#47
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
  #47
Lives for gear
 
Makinithappen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by heart4us View Post
Sir, that was amazing. You should write a book. I hope someday that you recover your investment. Thank you sir, very very informative.
A book? Really? You needed someone to tell you that digital stuff doesn't hold it's value as long as real analogue gear? ...And that starting a studio may be very expensive and not very profitable?
#48
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
  #48
having been around the block a few times here's my $.02

1. you need a great staff, or even 1 engineer that attracts the payed gigs. i know of a studio that invested almost a million building out, but didn't have anyone great in the room to get the word of mouth thing going. there was never a buzz out on the street.

2. who and what type of client are you shooting for, and build out accordingly.

3. you may never repay your investment, because you will be constantly putting money back into your business to keep up with the demand for newer and better. many types of business survive this way, until a perspective buyer offers you a worthwhile price for your business.

this business has become an engineer / producer driven business more than ever. just having a fab room will only get you some front pages on a few dwindling gear mags, and bragging rights. but if you don't have the talent in your room, you could find yourself in a bad situation.
#49
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
  #49
Gear maniac
 
Farm sounds's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steffmo View Post
Ace disn't really adapt to country life well...so he sold the place to a guy names Carl Gjerpen, a Norwegian shipping exec. Gjerpen was going to move into the house with his family, but they found another house they likes better,,,,so they bought that as well, and moved in. He thought he would have no trouble selling the house.

Wrong. Right at that time the Eastern US had a huge collapse of real estate values. Sort of like what happened last year in banking. He was stuck with a house with a big mortgage now worth half as much.

Now...for some weird reason, this guy who has zero music experience starts writing country songs with his business partner, a lovely Norwegian woman, who he was having an affair with. They start recording at my studio, and end up asking if want to be part of a venture to open the studio.

The short story is that we rehab the studio and equip it, and run it for two years as a residential place with Mike Chapman, who lives down the street, as the anchor client.

Mike does Lita Ford and The Tami show CDs there. And work for 6 months with Sly Stone, a session that ends unceremoniuosly when the FBI surrounds the house and arrests Sly.

A few months later Gjerpen looses the house to his now Ex wife in the divorce, who can't pay the 5K a month mortgage and looses it to forclosure. An exec couple buys it and walls off the studio, having no interest in music.

FYI, the studio was "bermed" into a ill the house sat on. There was grass on the roof. A very iffy CR desigh by John Storyk, who fixed it with RPG diffusors, which I still have in this place.

It was two floors under the house, but no elevator. the gear was gone when it was sold, so we redid it all. Also we put a B room on the floor in the middle, which became the home of Willie Wilcox, Todd Rundgren's drummer, now head of music for Sci Fi Channel.

It was a wild two years, way too much for here.
Thanks for sharing Steffmo! Great stories.

I never knew Sly Stone and Lita ford worked there.
heart4us
Thread Starter
#50
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
  #50
Gear interested
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Makinithappen View Post
A book? Really? You needed someone to tell you that digital stuff doesn't hold it's value as long as real analogue gear? ...And that starting a studio may be very expensive and not very profitable?
Nope, I wasn't referring to that but to the website he has that has a lot of articles that i assume were written by him. They were very informative, and a fun read even for someone who is not interested in the recording industry. A good business read overall.
#51
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
  #51
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by heart4us View Post
Nope, I wasn't referring to that but to the website he has that has a lot of articles that i assume were written by him. They were very informative, and a fun read even for someone who is not interested in the recording industry. A good business read overall.
Thanks for the kind words!

Just to clarify - that website started out life as a book, but then I found that I did not have the time to complete it and the amount of money involved was just not worth the effort, so I thought rather than let it sit in a drawer, well, in a hard disk, I should turn what I had done so far into a website. The business pages were taken from a series of articles which I sold to Audio Media.

I am glad it is of use to somebody!

I am at present writing a book on 'How to Fail in Business without Really Trying.'

As you may imagine, firstly it pays far better than writing about recording studios but there is still a great deal about the music business in that one!
#52
23rd March 2009
Old 23rd March 2009
  #52
Lives for gear
 
Makinithappen's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by heart4us View Post
Nope, I wasn't referring to that but to the website he has that has a lot of articles that i assume were written by him. They were very informative, and a fun read even for someone who is not interested in the recording industry. A good business read overall.
Oh... I see.

I'll have to check it out.
Me2
#53
2nd September 2009
Old 2nd September 2009
  #53
Me2
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by heart4us View Post
Ah yes sir, I live in a province called Cebu in the Philippines.

Dunno if this thread is still alive. Anyway I couldn't resist replying.

I live in Europe but I've been to Cebu a couple of times. I have no reason to doubt the OP's credentials unlike some others who think him suspect. He writes like a polite Filipino would talk. FYI There is a lot of poverty in the Philippines, but also a few ultra rich families who are quite altruistic for the local community. So the story adds up for me.

Also one of the main exports it seems to me from the Philippines are bands working throughout Asia on cruise ships and in hotel resorts.

So what could your employer do for the local music scene?

I heard some great cover bands in the PI whilst traveling there.

But it would seem to me the thing that they need more help with rather than a recording studio is
1) access to high quality instruments to practice /play on. They make do with really cheap second hand and 'fake' stuff but still get decent tones.
2) some mentoring from other people who have made it in the cruise ship type business
3) a live venue to practice in and grow (including access for foreign tourists like divers in Moalboal or Cebu City)
4) a trusted booking agency who can get them contracts and who doesn't rip them off

To be honest, one of the best places I visited in the PI for music was Bedrock Bar in Malate, Manilla. If you could copy something like that in Cebu I think you'd be contributing greatly to the local music scene. So it would be more of a music school with a live performance area and auxiliary production facility attached, rather than a pure mega studio.

But of course with so many ex-pat Filipino's I guess there's some export market for recorded music in Tagalog there too. I mean just look at Bollywood in India. They don't produce Spielberg classics, but they do produce lots of desirable product and they certainly make money (unlike a lot of Western film studios).

That decent sized bar / live venue / music school, together with a basic medium sized project studio and practice room attached so that they can make demo's, and more to the point some well-connected international distribution / management / exposure (e.g. via Internet / iTunes / mySpace / YouTube) may get the ball rolling and help local musicians make money. I don't see how transplanting an up market studio like a copy of Abbey road and with a lot of fancy electronics churning out CD's would make more impact on the local music scene than that simple people-based set up.

Sounds like the sort of project I could get enthusiastic about although I there's no way I have the proper experience for the job.
#54
3rd September 2009
Old 3rd September 2009
  #54
Lives for gear
 
harry_seldon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by abtech View Post
4: I see $500 per day rates all the time for "Pro" studios. Doesn't even pay the rent.
.
That is the crux of everyone's problem. I co-owned a fairly nice "project studio" in 1988. We rented a nice piece of warehouse space, and paid friends to do a lot of the construction work while my business partner had designed many other studios. We had 2" tape MCI, and 24x8x2 Neve board, and Studer 1/2". No automation. By the time you added up soup to nuts, we had well over a $500,000 (1988 dollars) involved with what was essentially a "project studio."

It was the biggest money pit, ever. What killed us was the rapid rate of technology churn in the next 5 years with the ADAT pretty much nailing the coffin closed. We had to deal with amortizing gear over very short time periods while hourly rates declined rapidly.

What a nightmare. The harsh part was actually have plenty of clients and losing money. Successful studios are mostly about ambience, and psychological manipulation that something special "could" happen here.

I hate the music business. I hate music. Self loathing...blah...blah...blah.
#55
3rd September 2009
Old 3rd September 2009
  #55
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by heart4us View Post
2) How long did it take for you/others to recover that investment?
I have SOOO much to say, but because I'm trying to be on my best behavior today, I'm going to bite my tongue and let you find out the hard way. Good luck....
#56
3rd September 2009
Old 3rd September 2009
  #56
I worked on an album w/ gerard salonga at his facility in manilla last summer.

top of the line for the country. we used his FILharmoniKA on the album. he has lots of great grear including a rack of neve pre's, great mics, and mixes on a protools Icon. it's a stunning place to work - they also do a ton of tv scoring and post production in the country from what I understand.

gerard is a great guy with an awesome staff.

good luck with your efforts.

b

Quote:
Originally Posted by heart4us View Post
Ah yes sir, I live in a province called Cebu in the Philippines. The music is thriving here, but those are more the independents, and the quality is still quite far from what I would listen to from US, japan, and Uk.

The plan was to bring something to new, not really a revolution in quality (but i guess that's the plan), but at the very least, a plan to start a new standard for audio quality in the music in this country. Actually the entire country is in a state of slow development, but with corruption around, things seem to be too slow. Anyway, back to the topic..

One producer here told me that as far he knows, that in the entire country, there is only one SSL Board in use. I've never heard of Neve board in any studio here.
Just one example of the quality here...
Hit Productions
You'll see in this link quoted

"On the equipment side, the studio will have the largest Pro Tools HD workstation in the country and include a 24-fader ICON D-Command mixing surface. Technically, this room will be at par with any top ad music house in the US or Europe, and exceed many in Asia."
Me2
#57
3rd September 2009
Old 3rd September 2009
  #57
Me2
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry_seldon View Post
That is the crux of everyone's problem. I co-owned a fairly nice "project studio" in 1988. We rented a nice piece of warehouse space, and paid friends to do a lot of the construction work while my business partner had designed many other studios. We had 2" tape MCI, and 24x8x2 Neve board, and Studer 1/2". No automation. By the time you added up soup to nuts, we had well over a $500,000 (1988 dollars) involved with what was essentially a "project studio."
No offence meant but isn't that exactly the point. Times have changed.

I bought a CD player for ten thousand dollars for my hi fi, which I think starts putting me in Gearslutz territory. I don't know anyone else who has spent as much money on hi fi or kit as me. SACD is dead. Just like DVD-A. Many people nowadays would not even spend two hundred dollars (on an iPod). Many more would spend zero dollars and just listen to music on their phone. So raising technical recording quality anything beyond CD quality isn't the answer. Chasing technology to be able to deliver 192 KHz 24 bit sampling 7.1 surround: it's all heading the wrong way unless you basically get it for free. Because the product life cycle is more like 3-5 years and not the 10-20 years it used to be.

The industry still hasn't got to grips with the change of how customers are buying and consuming their product. Maybe it never will.

The consensus on the thread seems to be that spending $500K on equipment and facilities seems to be a way of guaranteeing failure.

Maybe the way to at least have a chance of success is to scale back production costs by the same factor as CD and music sales have reduced and produce content for sample loops, games, ring tones, voice overs, adverts, and iTunes. Distribution costs (via download) are also proportionally lower.

Live music (tours) is also where many artists are making their living nowadays.

Maybe this low-tech bedroom-based industry isn't for the average reader of Gearslutz. But at least places like the Philippines then have a distinct advantage over the US rather than a disadvantage. The average daily wage is 382 pesos (around 8 dollars a day) or 2000 dollars per year, compared to 58000 per year in the US. GDP per capita is also about 13 times lower.

You could employ 10-20 guys working on producing and distributing content via 10 computer based recording set ups costing an average of 50K each all-in, for the same price as having 1 guy working the console on a 500K Neve set up.

That basic difference is why I would suggest investing more in people and not in technology.
#58
3rd September 2009
Old 3rd September 2009
  #58
Lives for gear
 
harry_seldon's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Me2 View Post
No offence meant but isn't that exactly the point. Times have changed.

The industry still hasn't got to grips with the change of how customers are buying and consuming their product. Maybe it never will.

That basic difference is why I would suggest investing more in people and not in technology.

Sometimes, I step my foot in the mud, and should never take that step. All I really meant to communicate was making assumptions on a certain cost structure can be a deadly mistake, and that really hasn't changed.
Note in my posting that my production facility at a 500,000 dollars was a "project studio" in 1988, and the shift was swift, dramatic, and continuing.

In the early 90's, there was a huge decentralization of production. Today, there is a democratization of production and distribution. All this is largely "good."

Obviously, music is about people and talent, and there really is no point in this endeavor without investment in human capital, a priori.

However, a funny thing about the music business is the difficulty relying on your human capital, and I say this wryly, they have a nasty habit of dying or destroying themselves. That, more than anything else drove me out of the business, and took a buyout in 1993 from Sony, and is somewhat the root of my bitterness. People dying on you has a nasty bitterness that seldom fades.
Me2
#59
3rd September 2009
Old 3rd September 2009
  #59
Me2
Gear Head
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry_seldon View Post
Note in my posting that my production facility at a 500,000 dollars was a "project studio" in 1988, and the shift was swift, dramatic, and continuing.
Sure. I understand. My post wasn't meant in any way as any comment on your decision to invest 500K in 1988. The comment on consensus was aimed at anyone suggesting that the OP should still make a 500K investment in kit in 2009, not at you.

Hats off to anyone who has enough bottle to invest so much in any company whether in the music business or elsewhere. [I run my own company on pure cash with just around 2-5K of assets on the books. If the customer doesn't pay the bill, I don't take a salary. The next step is probably going to be towards "no cure no pay", followed by off-the-shelf ready-made products that the customer wants to use before they decide whether to buy "pay as you go"]. Don't think anyone saw this trend coming in 1988. Maybe it was visible in the 90's. And certainly the trend is now reaching its logical conclusion with the price of Logic / Pro tools etc firmly in consumer territory. The barrier to entry is so low now that a studio has to offer something much more than access to expensive recording kit and specialist engineers.
#60
3rd September 2009
Old 3rd September 2009
  #60
Lives for gear
 
dan p's Avatar
 

Great thread here!
The best idea I've heard here that makes sense is partnering your studio with writers and creating content/ownership of the product created.If you have a breakout act you have recorded like someone else stated, one act can pay more money from their success than an hourly rate can
Studio biz overall has taken an incredible beating unfortunately.


Dan P
New Reply Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook  Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter  Submit Thread to LinkedIn LinkedIn  Submit Thread to Google+ Google+ 
 
Topic:
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
HudHudson / So much gear, so little time!
5
masterblaster / So much gear, so little time!
8
jimmyz / So much gear, so little time!
9
rmproduction / So much gear, so little time!
10
starseed / Mastering forum
7

Forum Jump
 
Register FAQ Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.