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Best PLace to live to make it as a producer Modular Synthesizers
Old 17th August 2008
  #31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Docmattic View Post
did you mean $20 000? coz to be honest, that isnt a whole lot of money to have to work your ass off for. or have i misunderstood?
Nope, you didn't misunderstand.

Welcome to the wonderful (third-) world of recording engineers.heh

We're morons for what we do, financially-speaking. But I wouldn't trade it for anything.
Old 17th August 2008
  #32
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e-smile-z's Avatar
...and someday people gonna learn that money ain t everything....


why just do something 4 the luv of it...??



a few years ago i worked a year in a label & and hat beside a second job so i was working 6,5 days a week . cause most jobs in the musicindustry are very underpaid, there are just a few cats that get paid well...after getting a burnout after a years i realised that there a things that are more importing...

now i just enjoy making music just for the luv of it...
enjoy the time with my kids!!
i just got an average job !!!that pays my bills...

its incredible there is a lot of people they create a 5 min beat , on there laptop filled with cracked programms and wanna get paid for like a just blaze...
sounds bad or frustrating but if you wanna get a status like that its not enought to sit once a week down for afternoon to make a beat...you have to put your soul into it!!


be more a
money is not everything!!!
Old 17th August 2008
  #33
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Ken Lewis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Docmattic View Post
did you mean $20 000? coz to be honest, that isnt a whole lot of money to have to work your ass off for. or have i misunderstood?
thats exactly what i meant. Welcome to the wonderful world of studio life. Its so glamorous isnt it.

If you are an employee of a studio, for the first few years, if you can survive it, chances are you get paid very little and work quite alot. If you have your own studio, then you've got to figure in the cost of buying enough gear to call yourself a studio, and paying for the location, staff, electric bill, etc... So to clear $20K a year you probably have to have at least $50K a year in bookings, or about $1,000 a week in bookings. and if you are inexperienced and have no big credits, good luck to you.

Does anyone here have a different recent experience?
Old 17th August 2008
  #34
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E-Irizarry's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by e-smile-z View Post
...and someday people gonna learn that money ain t everything....


why just do something 4 the luv of it...??


......

be more a
money is not everything!!!

Well most Americans really don't get it. Money is their culture. Real talk.
Old 17th August 2008
  #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Irizarry View Post
Well most Americans really don't get it. Money is their culture. Real talk.
Real Talk. I'm sure the cost of living in Thailand is exactly the same as the cost of living here. And you are right, all of the guys here slaving away in studios for not enough money simply worship the almighty dollar.
Old 17th August 2008
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
thats exactly what i meant. Welcome to the wonderful world of studio life. Its so glamorous isnt it.

If you are an employee of a studio, for the first few years, if you can survive it, chances are you get paid very little and work quite alot. If you have your own studio, then you've got to figure in the cost of buying enough gear to call yourself a studio, and paying for the location, staff, electric bill, etc... So to clear $20K a year you probably have to have at least $50K a year in bookings, or about $1,000 a week in bookings. and if you are inexperienced and have no big credits, good luck to you.

Does anyone here have a different recent experience?
wow, thats not great ey. i never thought it would be a huge sallary, but 20 grand proffit for the big guns, how the hell do you live off that! i earn 36k a year just out of school, and thats hard enough to make last.
Old 17th August 2008
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Irizarry View Post
Well most Americans really don't get it. Money is their culture. Real talk.
Way to generalize all of America. Perhaps it is because a good % of the population can get a job...therefore, they do. I believe that any country that doesn't have a big middle class would act just like America if they started to have a middle class or started having better opportunities....just give them time. It is easy to **** on America and their apparent focus on cash when you can't focus on cash because there is none in your country. Also, there are many people in America that are poor and **** on every day...and many people, rich and poor, focus on more important things than money.

Now, being American and living next to NYC...reality is I would not like living off of $20,000...since everything costs so much here. It is not because I'm a money hungry idiot whose focus is making millions...it is because it just wouldn't be comfortable...and I have opportunities to make a lot more.
Old 17th August 2008
  #38
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idlabs's Avatar
 

Just to add my 2 cents.

I'm in a pretty small market and have no big credits (maybe some medium size ones, but only a couple). I probably avg. $500 to $1000 a week in bookings which is supplemented by a fair amount of mix work and selling some tracks here and there. I own my studio (not the building, but the rent is dumb cheap currently) so my costs end up being a little over half what I make. At the end of the year it usually comes out to maybe 25k to 30k. Cost of living is relatively cheap here so that helps. I work basically 10-8p, 6 days a week. My studio is pretty small time by most standards but I have just enough gear to get most jobs done well (along with severe determination to do them well regardless of my limitations).

The only reason I'm even doing this well, is because I spent most of my late teens, early twenties doing live sound, working at a popular local music store (gear, not CDs), DJing, and being in a locally known hip-hop group. Because of all that, I knew alot of cats when I opened my studio and was able to get business fairly quick and stay steady. I'm def not in it for the money (much to my wifes dismay I'm sure), and if I was, I would be doing something entirely different (and prob be rich from it if I invested the same amount of persistent hustle that I have music).

To keep it on topic: I don't know if it matters where you are if your just trying to make a living (as long as you have a ton of passion and a great work ethic). If your trying to be a presence in the industry, you def have to move to where the industry is and have as much or more passion/work ethic. Either way, you better love what you do.
Old 17th August 2008
  #39
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Hey Ken,
How much is the typical star engineer making?
Old 17th August 2008
  #40
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ryst's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
I ask because rock happens to be one of the most difficult and challenging fields for engineers to get good at and be successful at. Engineering R&B and Hip Hop is easy in comparison (not that its easy), but with rock you are dealing with live instruments, live players, full drum kits, guitar amps, a ton of stuff that the typical R&B or hip hop engineer might see once a year. And if you dont know how to record a drum kit, on the job learning is not the way.

Let me use Avatar Studios for an example. (Used to be called Power Station and is one of the legendary rock rooms in the world, located in New York City). There are guys who are staff ASSISTANTS who have been there for YEARS, who are not yet engineers. Now they would probably engineer circles around most of us, because they've learned every day from the best engineers and producers, but they are still mostly assisting. that should give you an idea of how hard it is to become a successful full time rock engineer.

you approach it like its something easy, like one day your just gonna wake up, and people are gonna start paying you to record rock bands. Not gonna happen. Plus the investment in gear to record rock bands is typically much steeper than to record R&B and Hip Hop. trust me, I've made both investments, and i work heavily in both genre's.

Honestly, if you expect to make $20K a year doing this, just expect it to take a long time before you start making that kind of money, and also expect to live a life consumed by work, so you can kiss all that extra family time goodbye. that is, if you want to be successful. Success in this field RARELY comes with a 40 hour work week. just some food for thought.
Amen, Brother Ken!!!!
Old 17th August 2008
  #41
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Storyville's Avatar
The original point

So where to go? Well, in a way that depends on where you've been. Anywhere you go that you haven't already been, you will be the new guy. In this school, nobody respects the new kid. Is ATL a hot box for production? Sure. Guess what, so is Minnesota. I have a friend who's pulling serious bread in.......Arizona. You know where the big shots go? New York and LA. You know where I get my highest paying gigs? Florida (and I live in Philly). Rather than think about location, think about your goals and use some logic:

1. You want to make production for Hip Hop artists, and/or record rock bands.

2. Established Hip Hop artists and rock bands already have producers that they tend to stick with.

3. You want to get paid. Unestablished acts tend to have little money. Therefore:

4. You either want to do whatever you can to assist a producer from an established act, or find an unestablished act that you feel is so great and dedicated that your pro-bono work with them will eventually pay off.

BUT DO NOT FRET! Life is not so bleak. There is a "formula" for success, kind of. Find yourself wherever you find yourself. Find the band or rapper or whatever you believe in. Spread the word about your work and charge a little bit of money to do freelance recording, or even teaching - and I'm talking like 20 an hour for your time. Get a part time job, the one where you can get paid the most, not necessarily the one that gives you the best hours. Flexibility is important here too.

Just know, that: A) Finding a flexible, well paying, part time job; B) Establishing yourself as "best bang for your buck" resource in the underground music scene; and C) matching up with those special extra mile underground acts or finding a producer who will take you on as an assistant all take:::::::: TIME! Lot's of TIME! But if you keep at it, and you grow a good taste for sardine sandwiches and peanut butter, your success is a matter of time and persistence.

And I know someone will come on here and say time and persistence isn't enough, but don't let them fool you. If you love what you do and you are truly passionate, you will gain the necessary skills and contacts through persistence and time.

As for location, it's more about what you do when you get there.
Old 17th August 2008
  #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
thats exactly what i meant. Welcome to the wonderful world of studio life. Its so glamorous isnt it.

If you are an employee of a studio, for the first few years, if you can survive it, chances are you get paid very little and work quite alot. If you have your own studio, then you've got to figure in the cost of buying enough gear to call yourself a studio, and paying for the location, staff, electric bill, etc... So to clear $20K a year you probably have to have at least $50K a year in bookings, or about $1,000 a week in bookings. and if you are inexperienced and have no big credits, good luck to you.

Does anyone here have a different recent experience?

That sounds like my first yearin the bizz. Its a labor of love. I worked 7days a week for about a year before I made a dime and I was one of the lucky ones. And the dime I earned I had to fight tooth and nail to get my boss to finally pay me. If you are sitting at home thinking this is the way to get rich quick you are sadly mistaken. Like Ken said this bizz aint glamorous. Hard work is a must, and 80hr work weeks are common. I put everything in my life second including my family at times in order to get to the place I am now and I still have miles to go before I sleep. I don't have enough fingers and toes to count all the people I have met from Full Sail, CRAS,SAE and AI ATL who don't make it. Nothing can prepare you for what this bizz is. It almost has to be your destiny. Its hardley about what you know, its about how hard you grind day in day out. If you got that grind someone will notice and teach you everything you need to know on the job.
Old 17th August 2008
  #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYAMS View Post
Hey Ken,
How much is the typical star engineer making?

Don't know what a "star" engineer is, but if you're a major lable, industry know engineer who works everyday you can clear north of six figures a year easily.
Old 17th August 2008
  #44
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Ken Lewis's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by MYAMS View Post
Hey Ken,
How much is the typical star engineer making?
I could tell you, but then i'd have to kill you.heh

Lets just say its a bit better than $20K a year, but then if you've read some of my other posts, you also know how hard i work for the money i do earn, and how hard i've worked in my career to get to this point. I prolly dont make as much as you might think, but i do ok.
Old 17th August 2008
  #45
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tonymission's Avatar
 

ok so going back to BEING A PRODUCER AND WHAT CITY ...

I have a hard time thinking the answer is anything but Atlanta ... to answer the dude specifically. best chance to make it, etc ... you get a window of about 2 months in NYC before all your money runs out. better make it!

too much irrelevant banter in this thread ... too much "well in my city this and that" ...

let's get real folks instead of going back to the same "its so hard to make it" conversation.

listen - it's hard if you're average. just like anything.

if your talent, work ethic and people skills is better than average and you're willing to improve it then you can make money in this industry.

average quarterbacks get cut and average burger flippers get fired if there is someone better for the job.

problem is, everyone with a computer thinks that's all they need. they dont understand this business is just like any other. you have to separate yourself somehow.

if you cant do that, it doesnt matter where you live.

if you can do that, it doesnt matter where you live.

either way, the most opportunities -- or i should say, the place with the most of amount of people willing to give you an opportunity -- from my experience, is atlanta.

period.

... from LA to NYC to Miami ... if you got it, you can get it in Atlanta.
Old 17th August 2008
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonymission View Post
ok so going back to BEING A PRODUCER AND WHAT CITY ...

I have a hard time thinking the answer is anything but Atlanta ... to answer the dude specifically. best chance to make it, etc ... you get a window of about 2 months in NYC before all your money runs out. better make it!

too much irrelevant banter in this thread ... too much "well in my city this and that" ...

let's get real folks instead of going back to the same "its so hard to make it" conversation.

listen - it's hard if you're average. just like anything.

if your talent, work ethic and people skills is better than average and you're willing to improve it then you can make money in this industry.

average quarterbacks get cut and average burger flippers get fired if there is someone better for the job.

problem is, everyone with a computer thinks that's all they need. they dont understand this business is just like any other. you have to separate yourself somehow.

if you cant do that, it doesnt matter where you live.

if you can do that, it doesnt matter where you live.

either way, the most opportunities -- or i should say, the place with the most of amount of people willing to give you an opportunity -- from my experience, is atlanta.

period.

... from LA to NYC to Miami ... if you got it, you can get it in Atlanta.
Thanks for letting the cat out of the bag Tony!.... lol Na but tonys right. ATL is on fire right now. If you got skillz and are a hard worker the options are endless and the industry folks here are open to new tallent.
Old 17th August 2008
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EKG Productions View Post
Thanks for letting the cat out of the bag Tony!.... lol Na but tonys right. ATL is on fire right now. If you got skillz and are a hard worker the options are endless and the industry folks here are open to new tallent.
hahah they gonna come anyway. like i said, if someone better than ya, they gonna get the gig anyway (9 times outta 10) ... we gotta just make sure our game stays tight to keep the gigs.

aint hard if this is all you wanna do ... natural progression from passion is impossible not to happen. i dont even try to get better it seems sometimes but bein such a beat geek, i dunno... **** just happens. i cant wait to hear the beats next year!
Old 17th August 2008
  #48
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Its funny how people think ATL is a second or third tier music market but it seems to me as the only market that is still expanding. New studios are opening and staying booked. Older rooms are still booked daily and everyone worth a damn is working and getting paid.
Old 17th August 2008
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonymission View Post
hahah they gonna come anyway. like i said, if someone better than ya, they gonna get the gig anyway (9 times outta 10) ... we gotta just make sure our game stays tight to keep the gigs.

aint hard if this is all you wanna do ... natural progression from passion is impossible not to happen. i dont even try to get better it seems sometimes but bein such a beat geek, i dunno... **** just happens. i cant wait to hear the beats next year!

The next three years down here is gonna be crazy. The industry is so wide open and ripe for change I am excited to see whats the next thing to pop off. Sometimes I wonder how I landed in the middle of all this. Its like the wild west man no rules and anytrhing goes. As long as its hot of course. lol!
Old 17th August 2008
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EKG Productions View Post
Its funny how people think ATL is a second or third tier music market but it seems to me as the only market that is still expanding. New studios are opening and staying booked. Older rooms are still booked daily and everyone worth a damn is working and getting paid.
I have a studio call list of about 12-15 rooms and typically "same day calls" leave me one or two options to get a client in last minute. Everything else is BOOKED!

This whole "omg the industry is dying, ken lewis is going to be homeless tomorrow" bull**** rhetoric is spewed by old timers, relying on old things and treating people the "old way". it might not be the same as it ever was before, but really, it's now not just about "who has the equipment" ... it's "who has it and who do i like and how good is their work" ... if you cant keep ya game up in those areas, no wonder you're fukkin up.

this **** is poppin and if it aint where you at, then hey, get moving ...

My partner and I from The Royalty have huge plans and got the ball moving on our own FULL LOCATION with more than just pre-production facilities like we have now down in the west end. We don't even view it as a risk ... to cover our expenses (incl. a young tracking engineer we can train), we need to be booked roughly 15% of the time.

not to mention anything over that, our own artists and money we're making on beats!
Old 17th August 2008
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EKG Productions View Post
The next three years down here is gonna be crazy. The industry is so wide open and ripe for change I am excited to see whats the next thing to pop off. Sometimes I wonder how I landed in the middle of all this. Its like the wild west man no rules and anytrhing goes. As long as its hot of course. lol!
Bruh seriously. Wild west lol... really

i was posted up the other day talkin outside, smoking a blunt (i love freedom) and givin some beat CDs to some "clients" ... Toomp drives by in his truck, yells "Get to work mission", chris flame (hood figga) drives by to get a cd and take some pulls on teh blunt and my pit bull almost gets hit by the nigerians flying through in their weed vans. not that any of that is special or anything, but if that **** happens just bein outside of your spot then damn, if you ACTUALLY HAVE DECENT MUSIC, i dunno... i live in LA (6 years) and NYC (a summer) and while ive ran into plenty of folks, it aint on the daily/all day like it is down here.

Atlanta while gettin kinda boujee and cosmo, is still a real down to earth kinda city for the most part.
Old 17th August 2008
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gdeusthewhizkid View Post
what was wrong with the corporate world.... Im working at a non proft now. I need more skrilla I may go for that corporate money for the long haul..

Im in IT.
my lil brother plays 3 instruments but is anamored with IT. He's in NJ as well. Where did u go to get ur certifications?

back to original topic- do what u love as long as u have a backup plan. U can choose to be a big fish in a lil pond or a lil fish in a big pond. As far as cities- Phoenix and Denver r gettin it poppin right about now.
Old 17th August 2008
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EKG Productions View Post
Don't know what a "star" engineer is, but if you're a major lable, industry know engineer who works everyday you can clear north of six figures a year easily.
thumbsupthumbsup
Old 17th August 2008
  #54
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phillysoulman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonymission View Post
Bruh seriously. Wild west lol... really

i was posted up the other day talkin outside, smoking a blunt (i love freedom) and givin some beat CDs to some "clients" ... Toomp drives by in his truck, yells "Get to work mission", chris flame (hood figga) drives by to get a cd and take some pulls on teh blunt and my pit bull almost gets hit by the nigerians flying through in their weed vans. not that any of that is special or anything, but if that **** happens just bein outside of your spot then damn, if you ACTUALLY HAVE DECENT MUSIC, i dunno... i live in LA (6 years) and NYC (a summer) and while ive ran into plenty of folks, it aint on the daily/all day like it is down here.

Atlanta while gettin kinda boujee and cosmo, is still a real down to earth kinda city for the most part.
Nigerian weed vans???
Old 17th August 2008
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
Nigerian weed vans???
yup.

no further comment. heh
Old 17th August 2008
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonymission View Post
yup.

no further comment. heh
All righty then..
Man, theyve got dope boys here in illadelph who actually have had little tents set up at the end of a street ..they got one dude with an alligator, another dude with two medium sized lions up in his crib..
The guy who owned a former studio gear distrib had a pet ocelot under his desk in a cage.
he was a cute fella though..the ocelot..
Old 17th August 2008
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phillysoulman View Post
All righty then..
Man, theyve got dope boys here in illadelph who actually have had little tents set up at the end of a street ..they got one dude with an alligator, another dude with two medium sized lions up in his crib..
The guy who owned a former studio gear distrib had a pet ocelot under his desk in a cage.
he was a cute fella though..the ocelot..
damn that's way cooler than nigerians with mossbergs!!



i want one so bad!! how much them things cost? you gotta have a zoo license or somethin? lol
Old 17th August 2008
  #58
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E-Irizarry's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Lewis View Post
Real Talk. I'm sure the cost of living in Thailand is exactly the same as the cost of living here. And you are right, all of the guys here slaving away in studios for not enough money simply worship the almighty dollar.
Thailand is mad cheaper than NYC, baby. I don't eat imported food so that cuts down 30-40 percent of unnecessary expenses. Once in awhile I will eat out in KFC or Burger King (I'm not a Mickey D's type of cat unless there's nothing else to scarf down) and KFC here blows KFC America out of the water, but the local/street food is only 85 cents U.S. A PLATE: two servings of rice with spicy curry chicken and/or squash and/or veggies out the ass and/or boneless spicy fish AND depending on which street vendor, there are over 50 cuisines to choose from. Hmmm mmmm it can rival and even surpass some NYC street food; all jokes aside.
7 Eleven bottled waters are literally 21-26 cents US for a LITER OF IT!. Food is mad cheap here, and healthy to boot.

The rent is only 400-800 US for a one-two bedroom newly renovated or spankin brand new - especially outside of Bangkok (surburbs and in the northern part of the country).

Transportation is 30 US dollars one way from Bangkok to southern Thailand on the train and it takes 12 hours one way. Local transportation on the bus, is only 33 cents one way all over Bangkok and they drive like maniacs with precision. I love that type of ****.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Way to generalize all of America. Perhaps it is because a good % of the population can get a job...therefore, they do. I believe that any country that doesn't have a big middle class would act just like America if they started to have a middle class or started having better opportunities....just give them time. It is easy to **** on America and their apparent focus on cash when you can't focus on cash because there is none in your country. Also, there are many people in America that are poor and **** on every day...and many people, rich and poor, focus on more important things than money.

Now, being American and living next to NYC...reality is I would not like living off of $20,000...since everything costs so much here. It is not because I'm a money hungry idiot whose focus is making millions...it is because it just wouldn't be comfortable...and I have opportunities to make a lot more.
They don't pay a lot in Thailand, so that's why I get my grind on online.
Old 17th August 2008
  #59
definitely NOT germany ;-)
Old 17th August 2008
  #60
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I am going to have to agree and say ATL also. I see everyone around here.
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