8 years now and we are surviving doing what we love to do. We built the studio for a few artist friends to record in, all talented undiscovered for the most part and ten years into a career. Our first reel analog record won the 2004 new mexico music industry awards best rock album award and we have been working ever since with a sliding scale and helping the local scene grow, now most artists who know, know they want to come to our studio to record.
We are booked 4-5 days a week with local talent. We have not done a major label act/record, but lots of little indie labels are starting to send projects our way because of the quality of the experience and product and the price we are willing to do it for.
I 2nd the deposits! nothing worse than someone deciding that they ain't coming in and now there is no time to re-book those dates.
we are lucky on several respects. the incredible talent pool we have for such a small sized town. The gear is all paid for, we save our dough to buy what we need, and it has taken us 8 years to build up a mean collection of toys to play with. We sold some land in Texas my family owned last year and we were able to do a major upgrade, power mac pro 8 core, PTHD2, aurora 16 ch adda, uad2 quad omni, and some actual geAR upgrades, more pre's, comps, eq's.... has been huge for us. Also the property and the studio building are owned and payed for... low overhead.
If I was in this to make a ton of dough I would NOT do this again even with the benefits of owning it all because a great recording studio IS A FINANCIAL BLACK HOLE WITH GREAT ACOUSTICS and this one TO START A STUDIO OR RECORD LABEL, TAKE 250,000 DOLLARS TO THE 55 GALLON DRUM OUT BACK AND POUR SOME GAS ON IT AND LIGHT A MATCH..same thing.... it is not cheap to do this right, and to survive in this climate you must offer more for less, or at least be able to offer more than home recording... something special... we built a huge tracking room - bigger than any home studio - hell, bigger than the big rooms at all the other studios we compete with... it is a great room, artists love the room, they want to keep coming back, if we had a hot tub some would never leave...
anywho you must be willing to put out far more than you might ever get back... at least in the first few years... must be there for the love!
I cannot recommend this for the faint of heart or the financially challenged. After 8 years we are still learning and struggling but we are having fun and we are getting paid, although what we are happy to get paid in New Mexico might be a laughing price to someone in LA.
I know we only get 300/hour for hollywood voice over work, that in LA costs 500-1000/hour, but there are like 23 movies being filmed in New Mexico and if you do that kind of work, it is available.
our studio gets 60/ hour for studio + engineer, the engineer and I split it 50/50, so if working a lot for 30/hour is your kinda fun......., we are contemplating going to 75/hour but we really can't because of the economy and fear of loosing the client base we have built over the years
but as soon as we are fully booked, or have a hit record come out of here, or win a grammy we can't raise our price unless its for a major who needs to block out the whole place for a month.... and they get a deeeeaaal compared to LA or NYC!
sorry what was the point? I start to ramble ..... carry on