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So what makes a studio high end? DAW Software
Old 28th January 2003
  #31
Moderator emeritus
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jay Kahrs
Yes and no. A studio should have at least some of the standard stuff. I can't think of too many studios in NYC that don't have at least a dozen compresors in the rack and a few EQ's and preamps before you hit the rental list. Usually an 1176 or two, some dbx 160's, maybe some Summit stuff and the occasional Distressor. After that it's a rental.
Sure, but that's not a LOT of outboard gear - This week, I've got something over 40 channels of compressors in the racks. Only 14 channels of outboard EQ, though - some compressors and preamps are in the shop.

But that would tend to make my room less attractive to a mixer who makes a substabtial portion of his gross from equipment rentals. (So would the Cinemix, of course - it's not an SSL or a Neve...)
Old 28th January 2003
  #32
Gear Maniac
 
nemisis633's Avatar
 

One of the problems for me, as far as analyzing my current business is that I'm really still in the stages of starting up. It mainly consists of bands wanting to cut demo records etc and thus far everyone has been extemely pleased with my work. The situation is that I'm attempting to (as I previously stated) ever so gradually build into a studio that will attract clients from farther distances. (Frankly the music scene where I live isnt large enough to sustain my studio as is much less as a "higher end" shop.) So the question was mainly placed in the light of trying to generate more non local business. Specificaly what type of gear & room would I need to make people desire to come here.. engineers and artists alike.

cheers,
Jon
Old 28th January 2003
  #33
Lives for gear
 

Buying lots of equipment is fun, but you cant really do it unless your clients want it. At this point my clients would rather pay a lot less and get a slightly worse product. Either way I make the same in the end, since I dont have to pay for more gear.... even though its not as fun as having racks of amazing stuff .

For me, I have no competetion because to get an end product that sounds better then what you get from my place you have to spend 2 to 3 times as much. But, I feel if I started expanding my place and started charging higher rates, I'd get a bunch of competition and lose my niche as good recordings for cheap. So unless you have real confidence you can provide something better then most high end rooms, it wouldnt be something I'd jump into.

But once again I dont have the expierence the rest of these guys do, but it sounds like you and I are in the same boat equipment and business wise.
Old 28th January 2003
  #34
Gear Addict
 
mixer's Avatar
 

AS SOMEONE WHO HAS WORKED IN JUST ABOUT EVERY TYPE OF STUDIO..TO ME HIGH END JUST MEANS THE ABILITY TO PRODUCE TOP NOTCH AUDIO...SOME MARKETS JUST CAN'T SUPPORT A VERY EXPENSIVE STUDIO..SMALLER AREAS THAT HAVE MOSTLY LOCAL CLIENTS HAVE TO REMEMBER THAT EVEN THOUGH AT TIMES THEY ARE VERY BUSY SOONER OR LATER THEY WILL HAVE RUN THROUGH THEIR CLIENT BASE...THOSE ARE WHERE ALL THE USED GEAR ON THE MARKET COMES FROM.....IF YOU HAVE ENOUGH TO GET THE SOUND YOU NEED FOR THE MARKET YOU ARE IN ....BE HAPPY...IF YOU THINK THAT YOU CAN SUPPORT A LARGE AUDIOFILE STUDIO BECAUSE YOUR REPUTATION HAS A BROAD CLIENT APPEAL THATS WHEN THE MONEY IS WELL SPENT...BUT THATS JUST MY OPINION....MADE LOTS OF THOSE MISTAKES IN MY LIFE.........
Old 28th January 2003
  #35
Re: So what makes a studio high end?

Quote:
Originally posted by nemisis633
I pose another question for you deitys of the gearslutz.

What makes a studio high end?
Jon
If you really want to know, book some time at some of the best High End studios in your area(or in other cities The Hit Factory in Miami comes to mind).

Afterwards if you still believe its in your cards, than good luck!!!

If you don't than its understandable.

I think aspiring to build a High End place these days is equivalent to aspiring to build a Casino. It takes lots of planning,money and a little bit of "underground" muscle doesn't hurt either.
Old 29th January 2003
  #36
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by planet red
For me, I have no competetion because to get an end product that sounds better then what you get from my place you have to spend 2 to 3 times as much. But, I feel if I started expanding my place and started charging higher rates, I'd get a bunch of competition and lose my niche as good recordings for cheap.
Then you'll be stuck working at the level your at for a long time. Most places raise their rates slowly over a few years. No one goes from a $20/hour budget studio to a $120/hour SSL room overnight. Nothings wrong with competition. There are many studios and engineers that I'm friends with and many that I'm not friends with. The friendly guys help each other out.
Old 29th January 2003
  #37
Jax
Lives for gear
 

Re: So what makes a studio high end?

I'll reply before I read the other replies and say you're kind of going about it backwards, but you're not definitely not the first to do so, and it obvioulsy can done successfully. In theory, the first thing a studio needs to be considered "high end" ain't gear, it's the engineer being more than competent at using it. Great gear certainly helps a ton, though. Next up is having good or great rooms to work in, because you can be a great engineer and still never have your own studio space. Plenty of folks freelance at high end studios and having their own studios never crosses their mind.

Now the gear comes into play.

You've done at least a little homework to know that what quality gear is and collected it accordingly. I'd say a killer monitoring system and exceptional sounding tracking and control rooms are two requirements for high end work. Still, high end is the clientele your studio attracts more than the studio itself. More importantly, your ability to do first class work makes the studio high end vs. some bozo with lots of money and a good gear collection. Experience and all of the above = high end.

Also, part of it is you have to get lucky before you can attract high end clients. Do one or two projects that see some commerical success and a new level of clientele will seek you out.

I'll check out the other replies now because I'm sure much of this (and more) has been mentioned.
Old 29th January 2003
  #38
Gear Nut
 
verbular's Avatar
 

Quote:
The situation is that I'm attempting to (as I previously stated) ever so gradually build into a studio that will attract clients from farther distances. (Frankly the music scene where I live isnt large enough to sustain my studio as is much less as a "higher end" shop.) So the question was mainly placed in the light of trying to generate more non local business. Specificaly what type of gear & room would I need to make people desire to come here.. engineers and artists alike.
Hi, I'm often in the position of choosing which studio to book/recommend, especially abroad (I'm in Japan). In such cases, the biggest consideration is location. Next would be finding a room that balances the budget and technical requirements.

A lot fo the projects I work with tend to do the tracking in "high end" places, and maybe some overdubs. These sessions can be anything from 10 days to 3 months. But, most of the overdubbing is done at private facilties (PT with silly amount of outboard) or local high end studios that the engineer/producer/artist and comfortable with (when a large console is required). The reality is, a lot of work can be achieved within a high end private room, and there are plenty of them.

So, rather than concentrating on the gear or the room, at this point, it may be better for you to consider location and what kind of clients you want to bring in (ie, how much they're willing to pay).
Old 29th January 2003
  #39
Gear Addict
 
mixer's Avatar
 

attracting clients from other areas is not an easy task these years....you may have to hire an engineer mixer with a great track record to bring in clients....or move to paradise or somewhere where an artist might go on vacation...equipment alone is not going to make someone get on an airplane...grammys platinum records might.....
Old 29th January 2003
  #40
Re: Re: So what makes a studio high end?

Quote:
Originally posted by Jax
In theory, the first thing a studio needs to be considered "high end" ain't gear, it's the engineer being more than competent at using it.
Totally disagree - most of the great 'high-end' rooms of the world aren't staffed by in-house engineers, they're rooms for hire...
Old 29th January 2003
  #41
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

Classically it goes like this
There are 3 prerequisites for success
LOCATION; LOCATION; LOCATION!!!
even though Gateway is a great place, it took more than 20 years for Bob Ludwig to get out of New York!
If you want to work in this field, just start and approach it with passion. In the end it's really the performance that counts and the gear is just cherry. You can make astounding recordings with "mediocre" gear. If you get to the point where you can choose your work you're alreaady in a place where many in this biz want to be.
In the end you have to work hard and enjoy the music, if this isn't happening go do something else. Don't get me wrong, gear is good but music is great.
Old 29th January 2003
  #42
Moderator emeritus
 

Re: Re: Re: So what makes a studio high end?

Quote:
Originally posted by Brad Blackwood
Totally disagree - most of the great 'high-end' rooms of the world aren't staffed by in-house engineers, they're rooms for hire...
Well, I think that we're all moving slowly towards the conclusion that there is more than one kind of 'high end studio'. At minimum, there's the kind of rooms that we've been talking about - Longview Farms, the Tracking Room, Ardent, Right Track, etc., and then there are high end private rooms, where the whole point of the room's existence is to support and engineer/producer. These could include Bob Clearmountain's room, Mutt Lange's room, and any number of other high profile engineers.

Which one you're trying to build depends in large part on what YOU want to do - make records or rent real estate.
Old 29th January 2003
  #43
jon
Capitol Studios Paris
 
jon's Avatar
 

A third way would be to own a sound hotel and make the records you want to make too.

Renting out the rooms helps the studio afford stuff (gear, comfort, service, real estate) that might not be economically viable if no one else works there.

Also, it's nice to be able to go away for a month or two without the business stopping because you're not there. Being able to take vacations or go on tour or do other stuff without the studio closing down or the revenues stopping...I think that's a key thing for some folks.
Old 29th January 2003
  #44
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

im actually entertaining the idea of a sound hotel right now... literally. sticking it in a luxury hotel here in town. its right downtown. a small town kinda oblivious to the outside world, and this areas tourism is secondary only to health care [and home to the largest house in america]
Old 29th January 2003
  #45
Gear Addict
 
mixer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by alphajerk
im actually entertaining the idea of a sound hotel right now... literally. sticking it in a luxury hotel here in town. its right downtown. a small town kinda oblivious to the outside world, and this areas tourism is secondary only to health care [and home to the largest house in america]

HOW ABOUT A DRUG REHAB STUDIO COMBINATION....
Old 29th January 2003
  #46
There is only one
 
alphajerk's Avatar
 

this isnt the right town to get OFF of drugs...
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