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Do you allow people by themselves?
Old 5th November 2018
  #1
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sfilipee's Avatar
 

Do you allow people by themselves?

I was discussing this with a friend, do you allow an artist or even a band to go in your studio, or the studio you're running, by themselves?

Do you have special conditions if so?

I mean, it's kinda the same as them taking their own engineer or producer but still.
Old 6th November 2018
  #2
Gear Guru
 

I have come in as a freelancer into many studios, where they didn't know me at all, but as long as someone is paying the bill, they didn't mind. Sometimes a "house" assistant engineer is required and sometimes you have to pay extra. I am glad for the assistant as it's good to have someone who knows the patch bay, the idiosyncrasies of the board, and they know which beat up looking vintage mic is "the good one".

At my own place, it's never. And at the place where I work it is also never.
Old 6th November 2018
  #3
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
over the last 30 years the answer is no.

if you want the space, you need either the house engineer, or at least a tape OP to assist.

even very experienced engineers need an assistant who knows the layout, patching and other aspects specific to any particular studio.

its common for the house engineer to double as an assistant. i have done it hundreds of times.

also the studio owner needs to know that things are not being abused or destroyed.

peace of mind.

Buddha
Old 6th November 2018
  #4
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frans's Avatar
No. A client needs somebody else to look after things so they can concentrate on what the want to do. Call them babysitter, engineer, janitor or watchdog. The only person with the keys besides me is the assistant.
Old 7th November 2018
  #5
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Drumsound's Avatar
Rarely. One time, a guy I knew pretty well. For a short time, a former intern did a few projects with his own PT rig.
Old 7th November 2018
  #6
500 series nutjob
 
pan60's Avatar
 

no.
Old 7th November 2018
  #7
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
Never. There has to be an engineer present who is approved to run the session. Whatever money this artist think they will save by not having to pay for an engineer they will pay for in loss of productivity, quality of work resulting from them having to try and wear too many hats.
Old 7th November 2018
  #8
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thismercifulfate's Avatar
There is a studio in town where the owner lets a lot of non-engineers use the space. It's a disaster. I have stopped bringing sessions there because I never know in what state I will find the studio. As a steward of my clients' budgets, it would be reckless of me to risk booking such a place, and also for my own reputation. That is no way to run a studio!
Old 8th November 2018
  #9
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kennybro's Avatar
No. Things have a tendency to get broken or go missing. I've found that the vast majority of people are upright, honest and careful. But it takes just one to create havoc and cost you a lot of money. It's just the way it is. If it includes an engineer that I know and trust, and knows the studio, no problem.
Old 8th November 2018
  #10
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sfilipee's Avatar
 

But, specially in today's state of things where you have a lot of multi faceted musicians who also produce and engineer their stuff, you have people who might just want to use the studio to work in a closed and proper environment, connect their laptop to the room speakers, maybe a mic on or a midi keyboard to tweak his sessions. Maybe this guy just wants to go there and lay vocals without no one around.

Aren't studios losing money by not allowing that?

What if they didn't let Prince in the studio by himself?

I'm thinking about opening my own studio by next summer but I have to put these things into consideration, things are not the same so I shouldn't run a studio the same way they did 20 years ago. I probably won't have a 4 member band coming in as much as a bedroom producer or a one man band, or a singer with his songs on a laptop and an Apollo Twin, so I should be open to that.

On the other hand, the conditions would have to be strict and detailed before hand, I think.
Old 8th November 2018
  #11
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

The closest I (and my landlord in the studio across the hall) come to that is having junior-level freelancers open the place up and engineer VO workshops at night and on weekends. But even those call for a bit of janitorial followup on my part, especially if the workshoppers are kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kennybro View Post
Things have a tendency to get broken or go missing.
When we started doing the workshop thing, we found out right away that people will take anything that's not locked up or nailed down. I had someone go into a file cabinet and lift an unopened roll of postage stamps. This was a big deal back when I actually mailed things on a regular basis.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 8th November 2018 at 06:37 PM..
Old 8th November 2018
  #12
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfilipee View Post
But, specially in today's state of things where you have a lot of multi faceted musicians who also produce and engineer their stuff, you have people who might just want to use the studio to work in a closed and proper environment, connect their laptop to the room speakers, maybe a mic on or a midi keyboard to tweak his sessions. Maybe this guy just wants to go there and lay vocals without no one around.

Aren't studios losing money by not allowing that?

What if they didn't let Prince in the studio by himself?

I'm thinking about opening my own studio by next summer but I have to put these things into consideration, things are not the same so I shouldn't run a studio the same way they did 20 years ago. I probably won't have a 4 member band coming in as much as a bedroom producer or a one man band, or a singer with his songs on a laptop and an Apollo Twin, so I should be open to that.

On the other hand, the conditions would have to be strict and detailed before hand, I think.
If it is your studio, you can do what you want. You don't have to convince others to change their advice, you can just ignore it.
Old 8th November 2018
  #13
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sfilipee's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
If it is your studio, you can do what you want. You don't have to convince others to change their advice, you can just ignore it.
If I wasn't interested in hearing everyone's opinions, I wouldn't have created this thread. After all this is a discussion forum, we mostly discuss points of view on it, politely.
Old 8th November 2018
  #14
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Sigma's Avatar
Pro studios always provide a second eng..I say that because the person assists but has fully capable equipment fluency as any eng ..not an " assistant" per say...lol in home settings I guess if you had an open credit card for any damage..but I don't know ,even with that, whoever would..
Old 8th November 2018
  #15
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mbvoxx's Avatar
not just no....hell no
Old 9th November 2018
  #16
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfilipee View Post
But, specially in today's state of things where you have a lot of multi faceted musicians who also produce and engineer their stuff, you have people who might just want to use the studio to work in a closed and proper environment, connect their laptop to the room speakers, maybe a mic on or a midi keyboard to tweak his sessions. Maybe this guy just wants to go there and lay vocals without no one around.

Aren't studios losing money by not allowing that?

What if they didn't let Prince in the studio by himself?

I'm thinking about opening my own studio by next summer but I have to put these things into consideration, things are not the same so I shouldn't run a studio the same way they did 20 years ago. I probably won't have a 4 member band coming in as much as a bedroom producer or a one man band, or a singer with his songs on a laptop and an Apollo Twin, so I should be open to that.

On the other hand, the conditions would have to be strict and detailed before hand, I think.
Just have your office in the building, preferably next to, and overlooking, the main entrance (if you're running a business, you'd need an office anyway).
Make your setup as foolproof as possible; monitor amps not accessible by unauthorised persons, and calibrated to a safe maximum SPL level, microphones, cables well organised, so anything missing would be notised at a glance, etc.

A small kitchen as designated eating/drinking area in combination with a strict no-food-and-beverages-inside-studio policy is another consideration, especially if the studio has a console and/or outboard gear.

I hope your plan succeeds.

Success.
Old 9th November 2018
  #17
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sfilipee View Post
If I wasn't interested in hearing everyone's opinions, I wouldn't have created this thread. After all this is a discussion forum, we mostly discuss points of view on it, politely.
sure, but you just presented five arguments against what nearly everyone is saying

1. multifaceted musicians need this
2. more money for the studio
3. what if it's the "next Prince"?
4. things aren't the same as 20 years ago
5. it won't be a 4-man band

That sounded to me like you want to allow people to work in your studio when you are not there. Which is totally your right. Or are you looking for counter-arguments for these points? If so, here are mine:

1. Unless you are running a charity, the skill or talent of the musician and their "needs" does not have to be your problem. Let them hire you to engineer them.

2. it's only "more" money if nobody breaks or steals anything. One abused microphone can wipe out quite a bit of 'extra profits'.

3. Not much danger of that, but if it is the next Prince, his reputation will precede him.

4. the people who are saying its a bad idea are talking about 2018. They are saying they do not do this today. Sure, we record on computers now, but there are just as many irresponsible jerks in the world as there always have been.

5. While more individuals do offer more 'opportunities' for mess ups, a single individual is just as capable of dropping a mic as a group of people. And if that person is there alone, you don't know if he brings his entourage along or not.

As I mentioned earlier, I have freelanced in one or two places that did not require you to have an assistant, even though I always took one. But those were multi-room facilities with some staff always present and I seem to recall security cameras in every room.
Old 9th November 2018
  #18
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfilipee View Post

What if they didn't let Prince in the studio by himself?
when Prince worked alone in other peoples studios, there were still engineers and assistants around.

i know because i was there.

i spent a few very late nights with Mark Forester (engineer) waiting outside the control room door.

Buddha
Old 9th November 2018
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfilipee View Post
But, specially in today's state of things where you have a lot of multi faceted musicians who also produce and engineer their stuff, you have people who might just want to use the studio to work in a closed and proper environment, connect their laptop to the room speakers, maybe a mic on or a midi keyboard to tweak his sessions. Maybe this guy just wants to go there and lay vocals without no one around.

Aren't studios losing money by not allowing that?

What if they didn't let Prince in the studio by himself?

I'm thinking about opening my own studio by next summer but I have to put these things into consideration, things are not the same so I shouldn't run a studio the same way they did 20 years ago. I probably won't have a 4 member band coming in as much as a bedroom producer or a one man band, or a singer with his songs on a laptop and an Apollo Twin, so I should be open to that.

On the other hand, the conditions would have to be strict and detailed before hand, I think.
You have house assistants. That’s their job. It’s hard to understand in the era of owner operators, but that’s what makes the difference between a commercial room and an owner operator space - this is what a commercial studio is designed for.
Old 9th November 2018
  #20
At the same time - it is also the era of one man bands, producers with laptops and so on! If you trust the person, let them in, set them up, lock up when they’re done. Be careful.
Old 9th November 2018
  #21
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JayTee4303's Avatar
With 12 PCs and a 240 channel digital over fiber optic backbone, yielding more than 5.5 billion routing permutations, I doubt they could get one monitor to hiss in less than a year, un-aided.

I've let guests overnight in tthe iso-room, which has a standalone DAW and several nice pres. To the best of my knowlege, they've never even booted it up.
Old 9th November 2018
  #22
Gear Addict
My 2c, if you are determined to do this i would recommend a great camera setup and getting a lawyer to set you up with a non negotiable contract spelling out liabilities etc for both parties.
Old 9th November 2018
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by 64gtoboy View Post
My 2c, if you are determined to do this i would recommend a great camera setup and getting a lawyer to set you up with a non negotiable contract spelling out liabilities etc for both parties.
And to add, you will also need liability insurance and insurance on your equipment/studio as well.

You need this, if you are a business or someone else will be owning your business in the future..
Old 9th November 2018
  #24
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by sfilipee View Post
If I wasn't interested in hearing everyone's opinions, I wouldn't have created this thread. After all this is a discussion forum, we mostly discuss points of view on it, politely.
It seems that there is a trend where artists are moving in the direction of using their own engineer(s). So your model may be a good one.

My concern would be damage to the gear and the facility. I guess it would be a matter of having a contract along with a returnable deposit in the event that there is damage? Kind of like how car or vacation rentals are done. Of course this might scare people away, I don't know.

This is just me thinking out loud. I don't have a huge studio, its mainly a singer/songwriter setup in my home. For obvious reasons I would not allow people run of my house without being there myself. For a "Pro" facility on the other hand, I can certainly see the value of renting it out. Especially if you are a one man shop, have another job, don't have the budget for an assistant, or don't like the idea of being in the studio 24/7. Please keep us posted.
Old 9th November 2018
  #25
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bowzin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ Mastering View Post
And to add, you will also need liability insurance and insurance on your equipment/studio as well.

You need this, if you are a business or someone else will be owning your business in the future..
And maybe also add Professional Liability aka Errors & Omissions.

-General Liability policy is for slips and falls. Can also include someone plugging something into your room and it fries their gear, so they sue you for the damage to their property.

-Professional Insurance or Errors & Omissions is for issues related to your professional services. For example if an assistant accidentally deletes a session, you might get sued for the full cost of replicating the session. No was injured and nothing was damaged, but the band has a loss due to the negligence of your company. General Liability wouldn't necessarily cover that.

-Then there's a Property Insurance policy for the gear. If you have a Commercial Building Insurance policy, then MAYBE the gear is covered under that (and only in the building itself... so not if it's rented out, or on location, or being repaired, etc.). If you're in a house with a Residential Home Insurance policy, and you're running a music business, the gear is typically NOT covered if the home burns down, or is robbed, for example. Yikes.

So you may very well want to have a separate policy for the gear, and they make you fill out sheets of all your gear you want covered, and serial numbers, etc. Very time consuming and intentionally discouraging but power through, and tell them about any new gear.
Old 9th November 2018
  #26
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octatonic's Avatar
Not in this life or the next.
Old 9th November 2018
  #27
The closest is letting a soloist or singer, after I'm tired of searching for the "perfect" take. Everything's already set-up, I just give them the iPad to hit record.

It's never resulted in a better take then me in the room producing, coaching, whatever you want to call it.

It would take a day to train somebody the routing and there's very few I'd trust.
Old 9th November 2018
  #28
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This may be the next hit Reality Show!

Next episode... The local motorcycle gang-ahem-club are all revvvved up, and ready to record!

Parking their bikes inside the studio (for further inspiration), these rebel recorders are gonna be make'n some Heavy Metal Thunder!

But drama ensues, when the neighboring Active Adult Community (next door) is alerted regarding these rowdy recording renegades. Holy Rat Fink!
Chris
Old 9th November 2018
  #29
Gear Maniac
 

The price would be the same whether I'm there, or not.

Steve
Old 9th November 2018
  #30
Lives for gear
 

I would suggest finding a producer / engineer that needs a regular place to work and do a monthly rental arrangement.

Having random people in for a day here and there is not worth it imo.
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