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Old 13th September 2019
Lives for gear
Unfortunately, I am not going to layout whose studio that is or give out any further details. No, it was not an old manky VR and everything is spec'ed to be just the finest.

There is one major profitable studio in the UK - just one. It is in the heart of London and is only profitable because the owners were able to buy the building (long lease-hold) with contents for a song. 88R, pianos, Studers, large building, the lot for a few hundred thousand!

I am a businessman and it is my business to understand what is and is not profitable - and all other larger studios in the UK are not profitable. Some THINK that they are profitable, but then they come to someone like me and I show them that they must also place a value on the building and a value on their own time, i.e. take off a reasonable wage from what they are thinking of as profit. Then and only then can you get a proper P&L analysis laid out.

Most studios are today either running at a loss with or without their owners being aware of that - or they are tools being used for the generation of profit by other means. In that second category, I would place audio suites owned by film studios, large home studios owned by recording artists and all the smaller home studios being used for the generation of library music, samples, jingles and all that background commercial activity.

Studio owners are totally to blame here - we, as a breed, are remarkably good at spending money and pish-poor at earning money. And yes, I'm including myself here, but even we have had to change tack and diversify. Studio owners insist on having snob-value equipment, despite the fact that artists couldn't care less and the punters can't hear the difference between a Neumann and a Chinese knock-off and wouldn't know a Neve from a Behringer (apart from the smoke coming from the PSU, that is!)

Everything you need to record anything is either free or cheap - as in a few hundred dollars.

If you all want to earn money, you must concentrate on what goes on, on the OTHER side of the glass. This side has ceased to be! Recording music is today a consumer activity.

You must also realise that the punters want video with their audio and the sound in surround or 3D (Atmos, DTS-X, MPG-H, etc.)

I get a great deal of hate from my fellow audio people, but them's the market realities and you ignore them at your peril! Soon the only major reproduction device in the home will be the home cinema or large LED screen - Atmos-enabled and the punters will expect your product to appear on that screen and sound throughout the room.