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shut down for recording out of your house? Desktop Synthesizers
Old 24th August 2007
  #1
Gear Nut
 
Grasshopper's Avatar
 

shut down for recording out of your house?

Who has this happened to? thinking about moving my studio into my house...

Old 24th August 2007
  #2
Explain a bit more please..
Old 24th August 2007
  #3
Jai guru deva om
 
warhead's Avatar
 

Zoning issues could present themselves if you're looking to operate a business from home.

Acoustic treatment can effectively stop noise from reaching the neighbors if you budget for it and apply it correctly.

Having grungy bands hang around your house can suck, if that's what you're going for.

War
Old 24th August 2007
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Grasshopper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Zoning issues could present themselves if you're looking to operate a business from home.
mostly this
Old 24th August 2007
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
ScottyD's Avatar
 

I haven't had this happen, but I know that in my area you can not operate a business out of your house. Zoning restriction.
Old 24th August 2007
  #6
Lives for gear
 

I suppose it's a matter of local tolerance regarding zoning....here in the Nashville area, it's technically not allowed, yet there are about 1,500 home studios in the county, and I've never heard of one being shut down. If you decide to incorporate or get any sort of business license from the state, call yourself a "music production company", not a recording studio. That way you can claim that you're working as a consultant, using outside facilities.
Old 24th August 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
sonicdefault's Avatar
Insurance is also an issue.
Old 24th August 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Infernal Device's Avatar
 

Ya' know what IS great about a studio at your home??

People's nasty cars leaving oil stains in your driveway.

Cigarette butts everywhere.

Ding-Dong...(11pm)
"Hey man, I know it's late but I need to pick up the amp I left here."

People going up and down your street asking neighbors where the recording studio is.

People pacing in your front yard and street all day talking on their cell phones.

Finding people in random parts of your home doing god knows what.

Did the last club the band played in have roaches? Now you do too.

Vans unloading craploads of PA gear in your neighbors yard to get the guitar out.

Really shady "friends" of the bands coming along and looking at your door locks.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>THAT<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<

is why I am VERY particular about who comes to my house. About 99% of bands treat the studio like the all-age show at the fire hall. Seek out the other 1% and you will have a great time.

One thing is certain...it may take years, but your neighbors WILL find out what you are doing. Be nice to them. Luckily my neighbors are super cool about it.

Think long and hard.

My place has it's own entrance, own parking, the rest of the house is blocked off, etc etc. I had to make some massive renovations to make it work.

For example...
Have a separate bathroom for everyone? If not, get used to people pissing all over YOUR bathroom floor and snooping through YOUR medicine cabinet.

If you plan on doing this to reduce rates, then that is EXACTLY the clients you will attract, the garage bands that want the cheapest thing possible and bang their amp against your wall on the way out.

Luckily in my town there is a commercial place that has all the local "engineers" and local bands go there, so I can scoop up all the serious talent that understands boundaries.
Old 24th August 2007
  #9
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infernal Device View Post
Ya' know what IS great about a studio at your home??

People's nasty cars leaving oil stains in your driveway.

Cigarette butts everywhere.

Ding-Dong...(11pm)
"Hey man, I know it's late but I need to pick up the amp I left here."

People going up and down your street asking neighbors where the recording studio is.

People pacing in your front yard and street all day talking on their cell phones.

Finding people in random parts of your home doing god knows what.

Did the last club the band played in have roaches? Now you do too.

Vans unloading craploads of PA gear in your neighbors yard to get the guitar out.

Really shady "friends" of the bands coming along and looking at your door locks.

How long have you been spying on my sessions.heh I finally had to start setting rules about smoking, wandering around and having friends over. I had a band recently bring 12 people with them. They were all 16 and 17 and I finally stood up after 30 minutes, asked everyone who isn't in the band to leave then asked the band to leave after that. Told them they could come back next week without their friends. I constantly have to pick up cig butts and beer bottles and the neighbors hate me. But I'd have to say my life would be boring if I couldn't do this. BTW I cook my neighbors dinner on a semi regular basis to keep emotions in check. The bottles of wine are always a hit.

I just wanted to add that the worst thing though is kids(and adults) that think because they have a 12 hour block that they can come in whenever they want and then stay extra until things get done. I recently had a band show up at 6pm for a noon start time and then wanted to go ahead and record until 6am. Some people have no respect, maybe more so because I'm in a home and not a "real" business.
Old 24th August 2007
  #10
Gear Addict
 
CoteRotie's Avatar
 

My town allows a business to be run out of the home as long as there is no inventory kept there, no customers that visit, and no noise produced.

That pretty much eliminates anything that you'd want to do.

In the neighborhood I'm in now, the neighbors are very cool, but most places I've lived there would be at least one neighbor complaining to the town 14 seconds after they figured out I was doing something against code.

John
Old 24th August 2007
  #11
Lives for gear
 
8th_note's Avatar
 

Wow. I guess I must have done something right or maybe I've just been very lucky. Out of 30 or so projects I've recorded in my home over the last few years I've only had one bad experience. The bands who have come here are very respectful and I've never had a serious problem. Heck, I haven't even had to pick up cigarette butts (there's an ashtray and a few chairs on the porch outside and they use it).

There might be a few qualifying factors however. 1) All my work comes word of mouth and I nearly always go out to a show and meet the band before they record 2) If I haven't worked with the band before I have a pre-session meeting to talk about how things work in the studio and I go over the rules such as no friends or girlfriends, 3) I charge by the song which gives me control over the session lengths. I tell the band that if we're scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. and they show up at 2:00 p.m. I'm going to kick them out at 8:00 p.m. regardless, and I won't feel obligated to open up additional time soon to finish what we should have gotten done.

As for getting shut down, I just have to reinforce what's been said above about being respectful of your neighbors. Don't record loud stuff late at night, control the parking and traffic, tell the band they can't sit in their car and smoke a joint between takes, have a no-drinking policy or severely control the drinking, and let the neighbors know what you're doing. Tell them that if they have any issues to bring them up to you immediately. If your neighbors are OK with what you're doing you won't have a problem.
Old 24th August 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 

What 8th note said......word of mouth and prospecting acts. I'm fortunate to be able tp pick and choose, also have no neighbors close by to bitch. Life is good.
Old 24th August 2007
  #13
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

aside from zoning and insurance, you should also ( as mentioned ) be careful who you bring home.
Old 24th August 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by pan60 View Post
you should also ( as mentioned ) be careful who you bring home.
TOTALLY. i had one acoustic duo come over who brought a friend (the guy who had the van). this dude proceeded to wander about the rest of the house while we were recording, just checking things out. my wife kept tabs on him the whole time and later dubbed him "Shifty" b/c of how he seemed to be assessing the property value of all of our stuff. Shifty soon thereafter went to jail on a "drug manufacturing" charge. needless to say, he has not (and will not) be allowed back in my studio......and the acoustic duo has long since split up. i haven't heard from any of them in 5 years.

one way of making sure that you don't record the sketchy people is to simply price yourself out of their bracket. that way they'll find someone else to rob.

i live on 2 acres out in the country, so other than disturbing the wife and son from that cranked AC30 or Twin, i have no problems with the neighbors.


cheers,
wade
Old 24th August 2007
  #15
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

We started in the studio many many years ago, it keeps cost down and its right downstairs. Not much overhead.... thats the way to go at least it works for me.
Old 24th August 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
the band they can't sit in their car and smoke a joint between takes
no ****...if they're going to do that, they need to do it on the back porch

preferably while i'm there too
Old 24th August 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Tone Laborer's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
.

Having grungy bands hang around your house can suck, if that's what you're going for.

War
True. And also true about the friends of the musicians. I've had a few "Shifty" types that come in as part of the entourage. The worthless hanger-on, get in the way mf'ers.

I've also had many more good experiences but I am much more selective about who I record now.

My place is small. 1 to 4 people works so much better than large bands.
Old 25th August 2007
  #18
Lives for gear
 
DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Infernal Device View Post
Did the last club the band played in have roaches? Now you do too.
Eeeeeewww! Never thought of that one. That one is the scariest. Luckiliy I have not had many problems recording out of my home (knock on wood). I've been doing this for just about 3 years now and have never been "shut down". One time during a drum session, my neighbor asked me, [with irritated look on face] "Um... are you guys almost done?!?!" That has been the worst of it. A couple things that have helped me:

-Kissing the neighbors' ass-- "Wow, those are some lovely roses you've got there Mr. Smith". Making small talk with them to be nice, even though I'm not very interested in their lives...

-Recording direct, then reamping when the neighbors are at work

-Having a meeting with the band and attending one of their shows before agreeing to record. If I show up and see a band of questionable dudes, I'll either double my price or just say I'm not interested.

By now I've kinda learned my neighbors' schedules, but when I was first starting out, I would always let them know ahead of time that I was going to be making some noise from 11-8 or whatever. They have always been understanding and sometimes they would say, "Hmm, maybe I'll go catch a movie or something." Luckily all of my neighbors are very cool people.
Old 25th August 2007
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
contempo's Avatar
 

i've never had a problem but my "home studio" is more for pre-pro work, doing some overdubs & mixing. it's really rare that i have a band tracking here, we get a budget together & go to a real studio or some other location for drums and the loud bits.

anyway, beware not just of your neighbours but of other "real" studios. when i lived in ny state several years ago one of the big home/project studio rooms back in the days of adats & mackies was super busy, always booked solid weeks & months in advance... he was shut down by the feds after a competitor called the township & state.

they came in, locked him out of the house, yanked all the gear and was audited for backtaxes, undeclared income & all kinds of other bad things. not only did he lose his "business" but his house was foreclosed & he went to jail for a few years. maybe an extreme example, but its not something i'd want to mess around with myself!
Old 25th August 2007
  #20
Gear Head
 

this is my favorite

i like it when the band's personal buddy (aka drug dealer) keeps calling people on his cell phone during the session, and then the next moment some shady character is showing up with a bunch of something that you know is a controlled substance. Then the shady character takes pictures of your gear with his cell phone. Then you find the band's buddy too stoned or pilled out to function on his own will and passed out in your bathroom floor or better yet, your neighbors (who hates rock music) flower beds. Or how about when the band's buddy has been telling everybody that your studio and equipment is his and that you work for him or he taught you everything you know. My favorite is when you hear how much money the band has made him for "producing" there latest suck-ass cd. AWESOME!!!

NO FRIENDS #1 rule for sure.

Man i had a singer bite my arm one time during a mixing session. Any strange stuff ever happen to you guys like that? What a weirdo that guy was...sheesh
Old 25th August 2007
  #21
Gear Maniac
 
contempo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grammo76 View Post
i like it when the band's personal buddy (aka drug dealer) keeps calling people on his cell phone during the session, and then the next moment some shady character is showing up with a bunch of something that you know is a controlled substance. Then the shady character takes pictures of your gear with his cell phone. Then you find the band's buddy too stoned or pilled out to function on his own will and passed out in your bathroom floor or better yet, your neighbors (who hates rock music) flower beds.
stories like that & others in this thread are why i don't take on "local" work. usually it's some lo-fi situation. i charge a good rate. i don't work all the time but it's enough to eat & pay the mortage. it's too much for most of the locals here which doesn't bother me in the least. better people, better musicians tend to respect not just a studio space but peoples homes.
Old 25th August 2007
  #22
Gear Guru
 
AllAboutTone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by warhead View Post
Having grungy bands hang around your house can suck, if that's what you're going for.

War
No problem for us, our clients have been using us a long time, they are welcome even in out home upstairs anytime, we have cameras everywhere so its never a peoblem even is it was...
Old 25th August 2007
  #23
Lives for Jesus
 
stevep's Avatar
Ive seen them be shut down

Just make sure your zoned for a recording studio, and then get the business license, building permits, Insurance ect.......

If you do it illegally its your call, but beware

I know of a couple home studios that the city shut down because they were operating without a business license and they were breaking the zoning laws, fire codes, and building codes

One phone call to the city from an angry neighbor or studio your in competition with might shut you down

The studios that are legal and pay all the associated fees might be the first to call, and they will be there checking you out if your open to the public


'
Old 25th August 2007
  #24
Lives for gear
 
Infernal Device's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevep View Post
if your open to the public

'
That is the key phrase. Don't be. Listen to everyone on here about meeting with the bands. I hangout for a full evening with every artist. Let them know you are a step up from the studios, not down.

Just letting random people in your home is a terrifying idea. I would NEVER do that.

Besides, it is just better overall to get to know the artist first and have a bond and work with respectful people who appreciate what you are doing. Great times.
Old 25th August 2007
  #25
Lives for Jesus
 
stevep's Avatar
Thumbs up

Even if you are doing select projects and it is a business you need to have the insurance, business license, permits, ect.... to be legal



Old 25th August 2007
  #26
Gear Addict
 

Mushroom pizza all over your floor after the band leaves. that sucks.... but i mean, it really hasn't gotten worse than that. everyone that smokes weed does it in their cars, not my place. i've been lucky... also, i've got a spot in an industrial park... so no noise, or zoning issues... plus, the livesound company i work for is who i rent space from... so i've got a warehouse full of crap i could use anytime. sorry, had to gloat.
Old 25th August 2007
  #27
Gear Head
 

How about when some scumbag craps out a three foot log in your toilet, clogs it, then leaves it overflowing without saying anything to anyone because hes too embarrassed. Then the ceiling in your control room comes crashing down on your 100k dollar console and everyones head, along with 80 gallons of water, **** and piss. Talk about ruining the vibe...

Happened at a studio my band recorded at.
Old 25th August 2007
  #28
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by t56tr View Post
How about when some scumbag craps out a three foot log in your toilet, clogs it, then leaves it overflowing without saying anything to anyone because hes too embarrassed. Then the ceiling in your control room comes crashing down on your 100k dollar console and everyones head, along with 80 gallons of water, **** and piss. Talk about ruining the vibe...

Happened at a studio my band recorded at.

sounds like a really ****ty situation.
Old 25th August 2007
  #29
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by t56tr View Post
How about when some scumbag craps out a three foot log in your toilet, clogs it, then leaves it overflowing without saying anything to anyone because hes too embarrassed. Then the ceiling in your control room comes crashing down on your 100k dollar console and everyones head, along with 80 gallons of water, **** and piss. Talk about ruining the vibe...

Happened at a studio my band recorded at.
Sounds like the music video for a German scat film soundtrack.
Old 25th August 2007
  #30
Lives for gear
 
PhilR's Avatar
 

We've been pretty lucky in that we've run our studio from a house since the beginning. Nearly all the bands have been cool and I can only think of a couple of negative situations.

We had the "band brings their mates" situation once and they were pretty annoying. Always following the band about and getting underfoot and in the way. My reservoir of politeness is only so deep though, and it only took the second time I caught them creeping up the stairs to the live room when we were trying to set up before I told them that if they're not in the band then they stay the hell out of the way.

The only other thing was one band member bringing his girlfriend along, she didn't do anything herself, but she had his attention throughout the entire session when he should have been concentrating on music. The band wern't happy about it either, their other guitarists comment was something along the lines of: "Oh why, oh why did he have to bring his latest bit of stuff along? And why did it have to be my ex?"heh

We're moving the studio to dedicated premises by November anyway. We've only ever had one noise complaint but we're not gonna push it.
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