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Old 17th September 2019
Lives for gear
There can be light at the end of the tunnel -

Originally Posted by neilvg View Post
This thread makes me sad and contemplative...

But tomorrow I'll go to work - work longer than most of my friends in tech jobs, juggle multiple things at once, and get paid less than I should. But, I'm still happier than when I worked for said tech companies.... but now I have a baby son... so more contemplation... some sadness.
Yes, and I'm sorry about that! So to hell with all that negativity - let's be positive here for a change!

If you want to build up a business that will actually create future equity and be a comfort to you and your family in years to come - diversify!

Those here with their own studios do not have to sit around and wait for Godot or the Money Fairy to alight on their shoulders, here are a couple of money-making ideas that I KNOW work and can be integrated into an existing studio environment -
Product manufacture.
  • Manufacture. Make something simple and straight forward that solves a problem that you and/or others have had for which there is no Gizmo available on the market. e.g. a passive volume control for 5.1 and 7.1 audio feeds. A different and better surround-sound single or double box speaker system. An HDMI or DMI to analogue surround converter with volume control. A ribbon mic with an extra-long ribbon for bass cabs and bass fiddles. These are real man-in-a-shed type of products that you could be making, just remember to get all that CE and FCC certification. Also remember that a funky little product enhances your studio's reputation!
  • Music School. For three years we ran a profitable music school. All those aspirant middle classes - you know the ones, they deliver their spoilt kids in Audi SUVs and need park-assist to do a U-turn in a football field - they want their sprogs to learn trumpet or violin, piano or saxophone, kazoo even! They are less keen on guitar as it encourages independent thoughts and dope use. Just make them pay a subscription, rather than by the lesson, otherwise, they haggle over every session they've missed and you still have to have the teacher there costing you money. Young qualified female teachers are the best and cause fewer problems. Retired male music teachers tend to try to steal the customers!
  • Film and video. The music school has now had to make way for a film studio. Have you ever seen some of the pish-poor videos that are being made for corporate customers? And the audio is invariably crap! Come on, we all could do better! You can pick up 4K cameras for a song and even real professional cameras with 6K sensors start at under $3,000. Remember to budget for a workstation, lights and grips (stands, dollies, jibs, etc.) and learn the basics of framing and lighting.
  • Live concert recording with video. You can now get AI-driven cameras that follow the action all by themselves and so all you need is a basic multitracker and a splitter box and some audience mics and a couple of guys helping with cameras. Most gigs of this sort can be covered with a 24-track recorder - so stick with that and keep yourself affordable! Modern video software auto-syncs using the audio as a guide so no need for word-clock or other complications from yesteryear!
There, that's my list of four things off the top of my head that you can be doing to not just keep the wolf from the studio door, but actually earn a real profit like a proper business!

So what are you waiting for? Come on! Let's go!