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Starting my own business with 20k Studio Monitors
Old 11th November 2009
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Starting my own business with 20k

Hello guys,

I have little over 10 years experience in producing music with logic and mastering my own music. Now i want to start my own business in mastering.

This what i thought.

2k for professional acoustic
1k for web site
3k for mac pro
4k for prismsound orpheus
1,5k for genelec sub with my 8040´s
4k for thermionic culture phoenix mastering
2-5k for some good eq??
maybe some good plugins like flux?

Also i need good mastering program/DAW for mac?

Does this sound realistic? ME´s please give me some advice?

Thanks!
Old 11th November 2009
  #2
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beanface's Avatar
 

I'd ditch the Phoenix and get better loudspeakers and soend a bit more on room treatment and an acoustician. thumbsup
Old 11th November 2009
  #3
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Never1's Avatar
 

12k on speakers and acoutician/treatment

3k for Mac Pro

3K for cheaper but still excellent I/O and conversion

2k on Some top notch ITB plugins.

This will go further, quicker.

When you pay off this, then you could slowly upgrade to outboard. If the room and speakers aren't up to spec, no amount of gear will help.
Old 11th November 2009
  #4
Here for the gear
 

Thanks for the replies. So can you guys recommend some good speakers for me? Something reasonable size? And something that you can buy here in europe too. Not too small company.

Is there any good daw for mac and Never1 can you recommend any plugins?

Im a little affraid to put so much money in acoustics, because if the business dies can you sell the acoustics?
Old 11th November 2009
  #5
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masterizer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arska View Post
Hello guys,

I have little over 10 years experience in producing music with logic and mastering my own music. Now i want to start my own business in mastering.

This what i thought.

2k for professional acoustic
1k for web site
3k for mac pro
4k for prismsound orpheus
1,5k for genelec sub with my 8040´s
4k for thermionic culture phoenix mastering
2-5k for some good eq??
maybe some good plugins like flux?

Also i need good mastering program/DAW for mac?

Does this sound realistic? ME´s please give me some advice?

Thanks!
I would suggest investing more in eq's since they are THE mastering tool for shaping a master (if it needs it).

Also, why not build a speedy PC, you could build a quad core PC for well under $1000. I just built a decent business PC for only $300! Mac's are great if you're using pro tools, but for mastering not as much.

Look around for some more options and also keep searching the forum, there are some great reviews and startup Q/A's
Old 11th November 2009
  #6
Here for the gear
 

I'm also in the starting field here, but with a lower budget than you.

Still want to share some thoughts on your setup.

First, why do you need a computer that powerful?
If you master you aren't going to have 50 tracks projects with 100 plugins... you will probably have a couple of stereo tracks and 5-10 plugs maximum on each project.

You could probably get away without any problem on an iMac or even a Mac Mini...

Also if you like working on mac and have logic why buy something else? Your mastering isn't going to sound better just because you use pyramix or something alike.

Logic will do everything you need to master, professionally as well. IRSC coding and compiling records possible with waveburner. If you enjoy mac and have 10 years experience on Logic... you'll work alot faster on that platform.

Plugin-wise Flux stuff is the best I've demoed so far... top notch! The mastering suit will give you precise eq, superb compression and a nice limiter. On top of that get another limiter for diversity... Elephant maybe?

If you want hardware, instead of Phoenix, from what I've read here on the forums the ultimate budget hardware setup would probably be the API 2500, 5500 combination. You could probably get both for almost the same price as the Phoenix if you look around some on the used market.

Speakers, well K+H O300 (+ O800 sub) seems to be a great start or maybe Barefoots... but barefoots are US stuff and will probably be that much more expensive here in Europe that you'd get better bang for the buck with K+H. OR maybe B&W 804S + Rotel amps or do some DIY Hypex amps... and be happy without sub?

Acoustic treatment... put your money here, simple as that. heh
Old 11th November 2009
  #7
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Ben F's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I'm just curious, but why would you set up a mastering studio if you are unsure of what gear to buy? You haven't heard the gear yet but want to master other peoples records?

I know everyone has to start somewhere but your gear and technique is your 'sound'. Same with monitoring- is it so much about personal taste. I could understand if you were already working in a mastering studio and want to set up a studio yourself, but I just don't quite get how you could possibly set up a mastering studio based on other peoples opinions (and especially gear slutz).

So, I'm not trying to be rude, but why not visit some mastering studios and hear the gear for yourself?
Old 11th November 2009
  #8
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macc's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arska View Post
Im a little affraid to put so much money in acoustics, because if the business dies can you sell the acoustics?
Hmmm.

If you’re investing 20 grand, is there a business in place for you to invest it into? That is, do you have the legalities in place (government stuff etc), a place to operate from, and above all a client base and regular income that justifies that investment? Or do you just expect to buy a load of fancy stuff and then wait for the money to start rolling in?

Don’t get me wrong – it’s a good thing to invest. But you’re already talking about the business dying. Isn’t it already well established enough to be worth putting 20 grand into?

FWIW I’ve invested about £15-20k GBP already over the last two years, but only when I had saved the money as a result of the business generating it. ‘Speculate to accumulate’ is a valid concept, and I am not afraid to spend if I really need something. But if you don’t even have enough conviction to invest in acoustics – arguably the most important bit – without worrying about the business failing, then it’s more like pissing in the wind.

If any of the above is even vaguely accurate, I’d put at least half that money in the bank, get speakers and acoustics (perhaps DAC) sorted, then learn your trade and build a viable business with whatever processing you have already. The rest can come later.

And if it’s not accurate, I apologise heh
Old 11th November 2009
  #9
Here for the gear
 

Ok, thank you for the reality check. Maybe my plans were too big too soon. Im too eager with this idea. I just love mastering (and mixing) more than producing music. I always go back to my mixes and masters for perfect sound. I know its my thing.
So where should i start as a "newbie" getting in to business?

My plan was actually getting in to mastering studio as an trainee for no pay.
And after if they dont hire me, then getting acoustics in my house or rent some cheap place.

Back to the gear. What do you think of b&w 804s for speakers? How much do i need to spend for the amp? How do i connect it to computer?

Thanks for the pc tip ,maybe pc is better after all and much cheaper as well with better programs (samplitude, wavelabs). I dont think logic is suitable for mastering lots of tracks. I dont know. I have to find out more.

Summary:

pc 1k
b&w 804s 4k
amp ??k
daw 0,5k
acoustics 2-??k
good coversion 2-4k (any recommends?)
plugins 2k
Old 11th November 2009
  #10
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Verified Member
Sorry if I was harsh man... But seriously, take it from me; it's F#CKING HARD WORK. And putting your life's savings into something is not something to take lightly


What do you have already, DAW/plugin wise?
Old 11th November 2009
  #11
mastering console???
Old 11th November 2009
  #12
Here for the gear
 

No problems, I didnt mean to write like i was taking things lightly. I bet it is hard work for sure. Maybe i have to take baby steps and take peoples mixes and master them for free first.

Im currently using logic studio, Ik multimedia t-racks 3 plugins, sonalksis sv517,sv315, Cytomic the glue, psp vintage warmer2. (+other synth, filter plugs) And I have genelec 8040 for monitoring.

btw macc i have your website on my bookmarks . I bookmarked it some years ago with plans sending tracks on mastering. I guess that idea died.

Can i ask how many tracks you master daily? Does it keep you busy 8 hours a day?
Old 11th November 2009
  #13
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Nordenstam's Avatar
 

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Hello!

Have been at it for a few years now, slowly building business. Still a part timer and will probably be for a good while. Am in no rush so that's fine as long as it keeps growing!

Just wanted to note that I was in a similar situation a few years ago. Followed the general recommendation of putting most of the cash into acoustics and monitoring, with processing being a small part of the budget. Am ever more grateful for that advice as time passes! The tools are just tools. Could master using just about anything and still get pretty much the same results. The extremely detailed monitoring, on the other hand, is crucial! Can't imagine how it can be possible to produce a good master in a lesser listening environment.

The tools you list in the post above should be good enough for a couple of years of learning! Just about any comp/eq/limiter combination will get you 90% there. If you can get 90% there you're good. It will take years. Spending the money on acoustics and monitoring will make it easier and faster to get there. When you're there, and the customer base is there and it's financially worth the effort, THEN, think about processing upgrades. I've only lost a few potential customers due to the lack of fancy processing gear. Most don't care and those who do care have little problem understanding that the driver is much more important than the car.

IMHO, YMMV, etc.


Best regards,

Andreas Nordenstam
Old 11th November 2009
  #14
Here for the gear
 

Thank you Andreas for your comment. It was very helpfull to hear that from someone who is not fully professional ME yet.

So you are working as a part time master engineer, how did you deal with acoustics?
Do you have room in your house which you threated with acoustics? Did you do it by yourself or help with some professional company?

Can i ask how much was your budget? Im trying to get the picture, how good acoustics you really need? What speakers you end up getting?
Old 11th November 2009
  #15
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macc's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arska View Post
No problems, I didnt mean to write like i was taking things lightly. I bet it is hard work for sure. Maybe i have to take baby steps and take peoples mixes and master them for free first.

Im currently using logic studio, Ik multimedia t-racks 3 plugins, sonalksis sv517,sv315, Cytomic the glue, psp vintage warmer2. (+other synth, filter plugs) And I have genelec 8040 for monitoring.
I'd be inclined to upgrade the monitors and get the room as good as you can. The rest of it, peerrrrrrrsonally I'd wait and see what your workflow dictates that you need, rather than what you think you need. I went about it backwards really, to some extent, but that helped in its own way - average bedroom punters like sexy gear over sexy monitors, let's be honest. Better monitoring (speakers and room) make things easier for you though, no question...

Definitely do things free to get experience, reputation etc etc I mean, we're pretty much all on that all the time anyway. I think most people except (possibly) the very-high-end people never stop working on that.

Quote:
btw macc i have your website on my bookmarks . I bookmarked it some years ago with plans sending tracks on mastering. I guess that idea died.
Yeah, it's gone up a bit.... 20k per track to you mate heh

Quote:
Can i ask how many tracks you master daily? Does it keep you busy 8 hours a day?
Number of tracks a day varies from 0 to 2-3 to 12-15, who knows? heh

Obviously things are variable for a small-time company like ours. One has to be ready to work like a psycho when necessary, and be glad of the rest when it gets quiet

Either way, if I am not working directly on a track itself, I’m doing something for the business – either pushing files about, emails, filing (yay!), organising paperwork/taxman/receipts, chasing payments, researching gear, re-learning all my acoustic theory etc etc, or maybe just chatting to people on IMs to help out where I can and all that sort of thing. So I spend 6-8 hours on ‘business stuff’ even if I’m not actually eqing or whatever.

FWIW (sorry to those that have heard this already) I’ve been working two full-time jobs for two years, 19-20 hours practically every day. I dunno if that makes me semi-pro or part-time-pro or pro-but-works-two-jobs or what. I’m not really bothered, though I know that’s important to some people. I’m about 4 months from going totally full-time mastering, with all required gear and a year’s mortgage + bills saved up. I'll probably still look for a part-time local job. No regrets about how I have gone about it, although I could probably do with some sleep

It seemed the safest way from a financial point of view, bit by bit by bit, let the business pay for the gear until I don’t need any more gear. That’s how I see it anyway, and why I said what I said up there ^ But then, I didn’t have 20 grand to throw about. I didn’t even have 20 quid heh
Old 11th November 2009
  #16
Gear Addict
 
beanface's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by masterizer View Post
I would suggest investing more in eq's since they are THE mastering tool for shaping a master (if it needs it).

Also, why not build a speedy PC, you could build a quad core PC for well under $1000. I just built a decent business PC for only $300! Mac's are great if you're using pro tools, but for mastering not as much.

Look around for some more options and also keep searching the forum, there are some great reviews and startup Q/A's

Yeah definitely! You dont need a mac, get a sh*t hot pc instead. Get your self Samplitude (maybe even a second hand v 9 license or something..) Plugs from companies like Brainworx , Flux & Refined Audiometrics are incredible ITB tools. Voxengo, Izotope and DDMF make great plugins too that dont cost the earth either. Maybe look at something like a Lynx Two for your conversion needs. Its more than up to the job quality wise and you can expand it as and when, its PCI (as opposed to firewire) and tis' under a grand.
Old 11th November 2009
  #17
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beanface's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by klaper View Post
mastering console???
You've got to be kidding.
Old 11th November 2009
  #18
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Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
.I’m about 4 months from going totally full-time mastering, with all required gear and a year’s mortgage + bills saved up. I'll probably still look for a part-time local job. No regrets about how I have gone about it, although I could probably do with some sleep
Hi Macc .. digging your way out like The Count of Monte Cristo ... remember that digging is the fun part ... there's a glimps off light in the future ...
Old 11th November 2009
  #19
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MAzevedo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by beanface View Post
Yeah definitely! You dont need a mac, get a sh*t hot pc instead. Get your self Samplitude (maybe even a second hand v 9 license or something..) Plugs from companies like Brainworx , Flux & Refined Audiometrics are incredible ITB tools. Voxengo, Izotope and DDMF make great plugins too that dont cost the earth either. Maybe look at something like a Lynx Two for your conversion needs. Its more than up to the job quality wise and you can expand it as and when, its PCI (as opposed to firewire) and tis' under a grand.
What do you need a "sh*t hot pc" for to do stereo work? Even running CPU pigs like the Algorithmix eq's, you still won't scratch the top end of even a several-year-old computer. You could easily buy a $500 computer and stick a good CD burner in it and cover all your needs for 2-channel processing.

Buy an OK PC.
Buy the DAW of your choice.
Get 2 EQ plugs, both good but different sounding.
Get 2 Compressor plugs, both good but different sounding.
Get 2 Limiter plugs, both good but different sounding.
All the rest of the money goes into monitoring and acoustics.
Old 11th November 2009
  #20
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Starting
I would buy some old B&W matrix S3 incl some amp
get some decent analoge EQ - milllennia or API
get some analoge vari-mu compressor'ish
get the prismsound - not only for mastering - but also for routing and more fun
cheap PC and good audiocard
get samplitude 9.0 for free ...
get a cleaner like Izotope RX

You will need some slutty analog gear .. no one's gonna book a plug-in only guy .. they will do it themselves .. ( IMHO - now don't kill me all )


don't spend more then 1000 on accoustics, just do it all yourself.
buy a book on accoustics .. and/or just LEARN the build/accoustics forum on THIS forum.
buy the bob katz book ...
get a decent website up & running
visit some classical concerts in great halls ...

and have fun ...
after all is up & running ..
book some sessions at a few different pro-houses and WATCH ...

work for free
ask € 15,- per/track and see what happens ...
Old 11th November 2009
  #21
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macc's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by inlinenl View Post
Hi Macc .. digging your way out like The Count of Monte Cristo ... remember that digging is the fun part ... there's a glimps off light in the future ...
I don't mind admitting, your recent jump has been an inspiration How's it going?

Wise words on the digging. something to bear in mind. I think I'll be digging even after I escape though

(sorry for the OT)
Old 11th November 2009
  #22
jdg
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are you in the US?

some really amazing deals on used loudspeakers can be found here:
AudiogoN audiophile classifieds, high-end audio auctions, hifi chat
Old 11th November 2009
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanface View Post
You've got to be kidding.
Sry,you do not misinterpret, he asked how connect pc,amps,speakers...
I believe that it is the simplest and comfortable route
Old 11th November 2009
  #24
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UnderTow's Avatar
 

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Never mind.
Old 11th November 2009
  #25
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Never1's Avatar
 

Plugins that I use with great success in mastering:

ApEQ - Cheap and excellent surgical EQ. It's my go-to plugin, at the start of every mastering chain.

Nebula (With the good libraries like DocFear, AlexB stuff and CD Soundmaster)

Ozone 4 - The best digital limiter I've heard, but I'm now waiting on the Slate Digital one that's coming in January.

UAD-2 has some really great plugins. I use the Pultec Pro, Precision series and the Fatso Sr regularly.

Duende - X-EQ is basically Algorithmix with new clothes.

I just tried the new Wavearts Tube Saturator and it is excellent for mastering. On my to buy list.

But these tools in a great sounding room, that you know well, will go a long way.

I'm gonna eventually make the leap to some hardware (A good solid comp and probably the Clariphonic by UBK) but the Tube Saturator and the Nebula stuff makes it pretty easy to stay ITB, these days.
Old 11th November 2009
  #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAzevedo View Post
What do you need a "sh*t hot pc" for to do stereo work? Even running CPU pigs like the Algorithmix eq's, you still won't scratch the top end of even a several-year-old computer. You could easily buy a $500 computer and stick a good CD burner in it and cover all your needs for 2-channel processing.

Buy an OK PC.
Buy the DAW of your choice.
Get 2 EQ plugs, both good but different sounding.
Get 2 Compressor plugs, both good but different sounding.
Get 2 Limiter plugs, both good but different sounding.
All the rest of the money goes into monitoring and acoustics.
I dunno mate, my core 2 duo 2.8 was sweating a bit running plpareq at quality 7, psp mastercomp & voxengo elephant 3 (4xos) @ 96k. No probs on the quad core though.
Old 12th November 2009
  #27
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ok, you opened my eyes, im not going to spend 20k right away . I think i keep my genelecs as my speakers. I hear they are close to k&h o300? (not really) And i know my speakers, so i dont think theres point getting new ones right now. Maybe the sub ..

Im getting the mac pro or new imac 27 quad core if its any good. The reason im buying mac over pc because i like to keep producing music with logic. I do have VMware fusion in my current mac so i can run windows programs also.

Im considering getting apogee duet. I read it has very good converters and its very cheap.

Last but not least im getting the acoustics. + some plugs like flux mastering suite.

Right now that feels good starting point.
Old 12th November 2009
  #28
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I think that's a pretty smart decision to be honest thumbsup

Congratulations on defeating gearlust! Although gearslutz security will be here to show you to the door shortly heh

Seriously, that will get you going but the speakers should probably be next. I haven't heard Genelecs in some time but by memory they are a long way from my O300.

Good luck!
Old 12th November 2009
  #29
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Hehe, thanks mate, i appreciate all your help c ya later!
Old 12th November 2009
  #30
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silverking's Avatar
 

Keep the Genelec's, there's absolutely nothing wrong with them for mastering purposes.
You're not competing with Bob Ludwig or Bernie Grundman.......(not with 20K you're not) so a reality check and common sense must enter into the picture.

The Genelec's are fine.

Some folks feel that Genelec's are hyped on the top end, but there's a dip switch that will remove that (if you feel you must).
These are the same folks that will tell you that KRK's are crappy for both mixing and mastering (even though tens of thousands of folks mix on them with great success, and although far fewer master on them.....they certainly could if they knew them well enough and actually wanted to).

The thing about Genelec's (and every speaker for that matter) is that it really only matters that it's as close to full range as you can afford, accurate from a frequency point of view, dynamically capable, and most important of all, that you yourself understand it and what it sounds like in a well treated room that ensures you've got nothing but but accurate acoustic information (as translated through your speaker of choice) entering your precious ears.
(BTW, Genelec's properly set up are all of the above).

The reality is that your plan is an excellent one, and some regular GS forum participants have given you some brilliant advice aimed at focusing on your room acoustics, and even suggested some workable procurement paths for more software and hardware.

A good Mac, some quality plugs, careful room treatment, your existing Genelec's, and most of all your ears...........and you're on your way.

It warrants saying that this set up will not put you in competition, or the same league as any of the big mastering houses, and won't put you in competition with many of the posters on this forum.......but it will certainly begin your journey to becoming a working Mastering Engineer.

I'm no longer negative about anything that gets posted to this forum. From now on it's all positive.........realistic, but all positive.
I've discovered that "negative" is a complete and total waste of energy.

Oh, and I also swear to never answer a newbies questions about how to do their own mastering with a suggestion that they go get it done by a professional, followed by a snide comment about newbies doing their own mastering (I'll answer their question as asked!)..........for me, it's a new dawn!
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