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How did your studio STAY OPEN?
Old 17th May 2019
  #61
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
I've been following this thread out of interest and I was once a professional photographer so I thought that I would add my two bobs worth on video camera's for music video production.

A LOT of new video producers are using Digital SLR still camera's with video mode for their video's these days. Fixed focal length lenses are still the best quality of maybe some good quality zoom lenses of a limited range. Mega zoom range lenses always lose quality.

You definitely want manual controls even if you don't fully understand them at first. You want fixed exposure and fixed colour balance that doesn't vary if people move around in the view.

This is by no means a comprehensive run down on the subject but I suggest that you consider Digital SLR camera's and not just specific video camera's and you most definitely DO want manual exposure controls and manual colour balance.

Hey thx for your input. It’s valued. I have a few gopros but was just playing with my wife’s DSLR. It’s an earlier canon eos but only shoots video at 720p. Should I bite the bullet and get something that can shoot 1080p? Or do you think it might be ok for video snippets and outtakes? I do have a couple nice lenses for it. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
Old 17th May 2019
  #62
Gear Guru
720p is fine and more like film FWIW. Fox and other networks used it as their standard. There's a bunch of different frame rates etc, but off the shelf video in your camera should be fine. Do be aware in editing to set up your session properly......
Old 17th May 2019
  #63
Gear Maniac
One really, really minor argument for those just getting into video: Forget DSLR, go for mirrorless. For many professional scenarios, neither DSLR nor mirrorless will yet compete with a high-end pro video camera. But I switched over [almost completely] from pro video to mirrorless several months back and am thrilled to have done so.

And one audio comment: Audio on all DSLRs and mirrorless cameras that I've considered range from very bad to completely unacceptable. Timecode will be your very bestest friend to stitch externally recorded audio and video back together.


Ray H
Old 17th May 2019
  #64
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
[. . .] Should I bite the bullet and get something that can shoot 1080p?[. . .]
The question wasn't directed to me; but. . .go for the newer 4K mirrorless cameras if you can afford them. That seems to be the minimum ask from clients I'm serving now.


Best regards,

Ray H.
Old 17th May 2019
  #65
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
720p is fine and more like film FWIW. Fox and other networks used it as their standard. There's a bunch of different frame rates etc, but off the shelf video in your camera should be fine. Do be aware in editing to set up your session properly......

OK cool. The Eos can do 29.97fps, 30fps and 60fps if I'm not mistaken. I have a sports camera that can do up to 4k video as well as a GoPro that can shoot 1080p @ 60fps.

I do have some experience doing video editing but it's been a few years since I've done it so I'm quite rusty.

Tell you what though, I'm constantly surprised at how well iPhone videos come out when the lighting is good. It's impressive. Thanks!
Old 17th May 2019
  #66
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
The question wasn't directed to me; but. . .go for the newer 4K mirrorless cameras if you can afford them. That seems to be the minimum ask from clients I'm serving now.


Best regards,

Ray H.

OK right on. I'll do some research on those and see what the cost of entry is. Thanks!
Old 17th May 2019
  #67
Gear Guru
Clients may ask for 4K but unless you want to digitally zoom in on the image or do huge projections, that's huge file size. Complete waste of space and you better be set up seriously to tackle it. If you guys want to work easily Pro res compression is fine and broadcast standard......People who ask for 4K usually assume they need it because it's "bigger". Not really useful unless you're producing for large theater screens......a nightmare to edit......
Old 17th May 2019
  #68
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
Clients may ask for 4K but [. . .]
Hi ardis -

I don't disagree with you that people often ask for more than they need - 4K is overkill for clients targeting only mobile devices on limited networks. . .and still they demand it: No can do 4k = no sale [for the clients I'm serving]. I expect this varies by location and market.

I can't agree with the rest of your comments in the referenced post, though. But I'm only on the hook for running my business - and am not at all offended by the different view you bring. Didn't think you thought so, but I wanted to say so, clearly.

And I do not run a studio that is open to the general public. . .which is the central theme of this thread. Notions put forth by you and others that video can help these businesses continue to compete is highly respected.


Best regards,

Ray H.
Old 17th May 2019
  #69
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TexasCat's Avatar
 

My Studio stayed open because I never really sold studio time, I sold myself.

I built out a two room studio in the basement of my house and then stumbled on providing custom foley for a top animator in the area. That led to other post work and eventually I became a full time post facility. I guess you could say I just followed the money.

I only ever recorded a few bands even though that is what drove me to build the studio to begin with. It just couldn't pay the bills.

Later on the family grew and I needed a bigger house. I decided that since I wasn't recording bands and most VO talent had their own space I could make the same money with one room and since I was working by myself 90% of the time it basically just needed to be a mix room.

I've moved several times over the years and still just selling myself. The internet has made that pretty easy and the "Studio" has become pretty unimportant for what I do...
Old 17th May 2019
  #70
Gear Guru
Quote:
Originally Posted by RayHeath View Post
Hi ardis -

I don't disagree with you that people often ask for more than they need - 4K is overkill for clients targeting only mobile devices on limited networks. . .and still they demand it: No can do 4k = no sale [for the clients I'm serving]. I expect this varies by location and market.

I can't agree with the rest of your comments in the referenced post, though. But I'm only on the hook for running my business - and am not at all offended by the different view you bring. Didn't think you thought so, but I wanted to say so, clearly.

And I do not run a studio that is open to the general public. . .which is the central theme of this thread. Notions put forth by you and others that video can help these businesses continue to compete is highly respected.


Best regards,

Ray H.
I'm assuming that music studio guys want to make low level videos as a service to their clients in-studio. 4K is way overkill, especially if you don't normally do video. HD resolution like 1920x1080 should be fine......

We have clients requesting 4K also and honestly is not needed unless you want to do large projections, or want to zoom in to an image w/o pixelation. I do think is a buzz word that clients pick up, and gives you ginormous files that are hard to work with and take a lot of time to render.......You will not see an appreciable increase of quality on a standard televison monitor.
Old 18th May 2019
  #71
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
Hey thx for your input. It’s valued. I have a few gopros but was just playing with my wife’s DSLR. It’s an earlier canon eos but only shoots video at 720p. Should I bite the bullet and get something that can shoot 1080p? Or do you think it might be ok for video snippets and outtakes? I do have a couple nice lenses for it. Let me know your thoughts. Thanks!
I think everyone else has answered this now but I will add. Yes I think that 720p with a good camera and lens is fine yet its about what the market want's.

An important point that I should have stated before.
YES, you record SOUND separately with your professional sound gear and then stitch it back together later in post production. Professional video camera's all have poor sound because video and sound has ALWAYS been recorded separately if your even being half serious.

The clapper board famously at the start of each video/film take is all about creating a sound/video reference for syncing later on.

Lip syncing YouTube video's is pretty common for anyone decent even if they aren't a big thing yet or it could be a combination of one view shot live while sound recording from not too close stitched together with various camera angles shot later.
Old 18th May 2019
  #72
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Funny Cat's Avatar
@ AnthonyG


Thx for the reply. Yes. Absolutely on the audio aspect. I think I may be understating my experience with the video side. I dabbled in corporate A/V for a few years. I’ve just been out of the game for some time and am finding it challenging trying to run quality audio as an AE while incorporating video at the same time. It’s like I’m not as focused on the video side as the audio but I guess I’ll figure out a good workflow with time and the right video gear. Thanks again and hopefully this aspect of the discussion helps someone keep their studio going.
Old 18th May 2019
  #73
Quote:
How did your studio STAY OPEN?
  • Keeping very low income to dept ratio - All gear is paid off, except for the new drum set i bought.
  • Keeping overhead as low as possible Low overhead (make my own cables)
  • Expanding to mixing and mastering TV commercials, Recording and doing Audio consulting
  • Keeping my current and past clients happy so they return. Repeat business is a must, if you are to survive and make a living
  • Last but not least, a very supportive wife who loves me and supports every business decision i make (or should i say we)
Old 18th May 2019
  #74
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Awesome CJ!

And thanks for all the contributions that you, and those others on this thread,
continue to do...
Chris
Old 19th May 2019
  #75
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by ardis View Post
I'm assuming that music studio guys want to make low level videos as a service to their clients in-studio. 4K is way overkill, especially if you don't normally do video. HD resolution like 1920x1080 should be fine......

We have clients requesting 4K also and honestly is not needed unless you want to do large projections, or want to zoom in to an image w/o pixelation. I do think is a buzz word that clients pick up, and gives you ginormous files that are hard to work with and take a lot of time to render.......You will not see an appreciable increase of quality on a standard televison monitor.
You could always shoot 4k and then edit offline (this is when you create proxy video files at lower quality, and edit using those. Then when you need to render out a final video, you can have the software refer to the 4k footage. Most of the bigger editing apps have this workflow built in.) The good thing about this is your projects will be somewhat future proof, in case 5 years down the line 4k is really widely adopted. The downside is you still need lots of disk space.
Old 19th May 2019
  #76
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I find the fact that this thread has morphed from keeping an audio studio open into a detailed novice video capture discussion very predictable.

1) There is a rapidly diminishing demand for the tape, ribbon, SSL analog world of yesterdays vintage audio recording gear.
2) High end affordable digital processing along with the excellent sonic quality that is now available with the better vintage tube mic clones has put world class audio recording gear within the financial reach of project studios.
3) Video is the mandatory element of todays media based race for commercial recognition factor.

There is a very important opportunity for accomplished audio recordists in video today: however it is imperative to make well researched investments in video gear that meet or exceed todays media bar of acceptance and your skill level to operate within that world effectively. To this end I deploy two panasonic GH5 cameras with a 12/35 2.8 & a 35/100 2.8 lens. I use Atomos Ninja V recorders and capture a stereo scratch track direct line feed to the recorders that is embedded with the video capture. I use Digigrid/Waves LV1 audio processing with a studio one 3.5 DAW that captures simultaneously a FP32/96K multi track version of the event. After post production to a two mix my Davinci Resolve NLE will sync and replace the original audio scratch tracks. My gear is all 4K capable however I choose to shoot 1080P @ 23.98 Frame rate. Given the fact that todays media video delivery is always compressed way below this quality I see no reason to work in a 4K or a Raw format.

25 years ago, when designing my home here in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I was committed to a large (40x24x20ft high A line ceiling) great room that has proven to be a tremendous audio tracking room and the south window wall provides spectacular, cloudy day, natural ambient lighting for in house video capture. In all honesty, I am a 50 year veteran of audio recording and was well aware 25 years ago of the audio recording possibilities of my great room. Four years ago, after I hired a very expensive ($4,000.) video crew with high end video & lighting gear: their finished product looked real good but their audio SUCKED. After examining a lot of you-tube media video to my surprise most of the videos had sub-par audio so I decided to invest the time and money in establishing a video/audio ready studio. (The fact is my video gear investment is no where close to the amount spent for my current audio gear.)
It is very easy for me, at 78 years of age, to work in an invitation only protocol. I am always looking for gifted song writers and talented singers and pickers. The ability to only engage interesting projects is a real treat that has completely eliminated the agenda driven wanna-be pain in the ass jerks some folks have to deal with. Just about all of the talent I have worked with over the past 40 years are home grown musical savants that do music avocationally.
Hugh

Last edited by hughshouse; 19th May 2019 at 02:31 PM..
Old 19th May 2019
  #77
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Bstapper's Avatar
 

For those considering adding video to their services - consider overhead and the option to offer basic static 720p service and subcontract video services when manned cams at 4k or similar requirements are requested. Tack on 30% to the subcontracted video service and avoid investing until you see what kind of demand might exist and whether you will recoup your investment or not.

One reason I suggest this is obvious - less of a financial risk with an optimal return on investment.

The other reason might not be so obvious - video is constantly changing. If you decide you are going 4k you very well might end up endlessly upgrading to keep up with changing video standards; potentially creating a money pit that would never pay for itself.

Subcontracting when it makes sense can be a huge money saver (and profitable) as well as offering a higher level of service to the client.
Old 19th May 2019
  #78
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The SSd 1 TB HDs I use with the Atomos recorders cost apx. $600. each and will accommodate a bit more than 1 hour of 4K capture. I always dump the SSD capture down to a less expensive external 3TB, or more, HD for NLE editing and storage. The Atomos SSDs are always re-formatted and cleaned for the next shoot. I can get way more than a full two set gig evening with the same SSD HDs at 1080P HD and there is a significant resolution improvement over 720P with my video gear. My first camera was a GH3 and the footage I shot @ 720P with it was pretty good but not nearly as good as the 1080P work I do now. Given the fact that I am merging clips from two different camera rigs the most expedient method for me to achieve seamless matching audio is to maintain a constant 23.98 frame rate in both rigs when capturing. Dropping in a final two mix from my multi-track recording always will match up and sync with the audio on the scratch track clips.
Hugh
Old 19th May 2019
  #79
Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
I find the fact that this thread has morphed from keeping an audio studio open into a detailed novice video capture discussion very predictable.
Agreed.

I've stayed away from commenting on this thread as I'm a hobbyist- my career as an accountant pays me well. But in the past- the 1960s to be exact- everyone said that computers would eliminate the need for accountants. So what did they do? They changed what they did and focused more on analytical stuff. Now they say that AI will wipe out all our jobs. I'm sure we'll find another way to stay relevant and thrive. AI may also impact on the recording arts some day.

I think one of the keys to continued success in the recording business is to stay relevant. And that often means expanding your range of services, and yes, that means video. Bear in mind that shooting video is whole different gear/skillset thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
Four years ago, after I hired a very expensive ($4,000.) video crew with high end video & lighting gear: their finished product looked real good but their audio SUCKED. After examining a lot of you-tube media video to my surprise most of the videos had sub-par audio so I decided to invest the time and money in establishing a video/audio ready studio.
One thing that a studio owner can offer that is far better than video people is superb audio, which is really important for a quality final product. You can also incorporate music/foley/etc way better than others. This competitive edge is something that should be exploited.

I also think that other skills that studio owners have- business knowledge, professionalism, people skills, marketing skills, a network of contacts in other fields, knowing good studio musicians, and so on, can be of great value to many artists, who often just don't have those skills.

Great, encouraging thread BTW.
Old 19th May 2019
  #80
Quote:
Originally Posted by hughshouse View Post
1) There is a rapidly diminishing demand for the tape, ribbon, SSL analog world of yesterdays vintage audio recording gear.
I can assure you that is not the case here in the Bay Area. Studios like Tiny Telephone, 25th Street Recording and several others have been thriving here for a very long time and are heavily booked up.

Not to negate the points you make about video being a good area to diversify into, just saying that there is still big demand for analog style and aesthetic in music production.

Cheers,
Old 19th May 2019
  #81
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andersmv's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
I can assure you that is not the case here in the Bay Area. Studios like Tiny Telephone, 25th Street Recording and several others have been thriving here for a very long time and are heavily booked up.

Not to negate the points you make about video being a good area to diversify into, just saying that there is still big demand for analog style and aesthetic in music production.

Cheers,
Having worked in the Bay Area for 5 years, my experience was that it was a bit of an anomaly sometimes. That's the only time I've gotten paid good money to do big projects for "fun". Half the music I recorded there was for bands that had great full time jobs and just did it for fun. They were willing to pay a lot more to record on the SSL to tape because it was an experience. There's a lot of money for that kind of thing around San Francisco.

25th street is great, probably my favorite studio in the area. They've got plenty of big name people coming in from out of state, so there's definitely a "pull" to go out there and record for a lot of reasons. They're also doing a ton of video work. I just didn't get a whole lot of "struggling" musicians coming in to use the big rooms. Again, most of them were tech guys that finally had money and wanted to record to tape with a lot of cool stuff. That's definitely not the case in other areas of the country. And again, it was costing around $1200 a month to keep an SSL 9k powered out there. It's a beautiful, silly place.
Old 19th May 2019
  #82
Gear Guru
 
monkeyxx's Avatar
Wow @ hughshouse I am jealous of your two GH5s, haha!

I have also noticed a trend of bad audio and good video on several youtube sources.
Old 19th May 2019
  #83
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There is very little if anything relevant to the balance of the U.S. within the confines of the bay area. When I was in college I spent a year (1971) on the west coast and at that point I was convinced San Francisco was the most cosmopolitan city in the U.S., if not the world as I knew it. I was there for a conference 18 months ago and to my old eyes it has become the "Ding Dong" capitol of the world. It boasts the largest number of billion-air residents per square mile in the entire world while hundreds, if not thousands, of homeless live in makeshift tents and defecate on the street. The reality of the living condition of many of their residents speaks much louder than their official political rhetoric.
Perhaps there will be vestiges of the old tubes tape and ribbon demand in NY city, Chicago, Atlanta, Nashville or LA however not enough to feel good about the recurring cost of staying open.
Hugh
Old 19th May 2019
  #84
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Funny Cat's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
Having worked in the Bay Area for 5 years, my experience was that it was a bit of an anomaly sometimes. That's the only time I've gotten paid good money to do big projects for "fun". Half the music I recorded there was for bands that had great full time jobs and just did it for fun. They were willing to pay a lot more to record on the SSL to tape because it was an experience. There's a lot of money for that kind of thing around San Francisco.

25th street is great, probably my favorite studio in the area. They've got plenty of big name people coming in from out of state, so there's definitely a "pull" to go out there and record for a lot of reasons. They're also doing a ton of video work. I just didn't get a whole lot of "struggling" musicians coming in to use the big rooms. Again, most of them were tech guys that finally had money and wanted to record to tape with a lot of cool stuff. That's definitely not the case in other areas of the country. And again, it was costing around $1200 a month to keep an SSL 9k powered out there. It's a beautiful, silly place.

I had the same exact experience when I lived in the Bay Area and worked in San Francisco. Almost six years out there, I didn’t feel like artists were struggling as much as many other places I did stints in. It’s important to note that salaries are much higher in the Bay Area for skilled workers than most other places which lends credence to your point above.

I also felt like the music was more eclectic and less homogenous. It just felt like people in general were much more excited about music out there, live music in particular. I’m in Colorado now and I feel it’s much harder to get deeply engaged in the music scene unless you’re doing Bluegrass or Americana.
Old 19th May 2019
  #85
Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
Having worked in the Bay Area for 5 years, my experience was that it was a bit of an anomaly sometimes. That's the only time I've gotten paid good money to do big projects for "fun". Half the music I recorded there was for bands that had great full time jobs and just did it for fun. They were willing to pay a lot more to record on the SSL to tape because it was an experience. There's a lot of money for that kind of thing around San Francisco.

25th street is great, probably my favorite studio in the area. They've got plenty of big name people coming in from out of state, so there's definitely a "pull" to go out there and record for a lot of reasons. They're also doing a ton of video work. I just didn't get a whole lot of "struggling" musicians coming in to use the big rooms. Again, most of them were tech guys that finally had money and wanted to record to tape with a lot of cool stuff. That's definitely not the case in other areas of the country. And again, it was costing around $1200 a month to keep an SSL 9k powered out there. It's a beautiful, silly place.
It's true, there's a ton of money in the Bay Area to support those studios. Places like LA and New York also can support such things. So it's definitely geographically dependent.

The struggling musicians and regular middle class people have a lot of options around here as well though, like Tiny Telephone, Suspect Studios, Hyde Street Studios, Get Reel Productions, yours truly - Trakworx to name just a few. Not strictly SSL/tape, but still with lots of old school analog vibe to our approach. That's my point - there are a lot of musicians of all stripes who appreciate that aesthetic. Having 2" 24 track and 1/2" 2 track tape and a wall of vintage tube gear is a maaaaaajor selling point for me and I'm priced for the regular joe...
Old 19th May 2019
  #86
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andersmv's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx View Post
Having 2" 24 track and 1/2" 2 track tape and a wall of vintage tube gear is a maaaaaajor selling point for me and I'm priced for the regular joe...
I'm glad it's working out for you. I had fun in the Bay, but I got out as quick as I could. I just didn't see anything sustainable happening for me there unless I wanted to be single, poor and in an apartment the rest of my life. I still love going back there though!
Old 20th May 2019
  #87
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andersmv View Post
I'm glad it's working out for you. I had fun in the Bay, but I got out as quick as I could. I just didn't see anything sustainable happening for me there unless I wanted to be single, poor and in an apartment the rest of my life. I still love going back there though!
I been around for 40 years... actually still making profit.. If I didn't spend so much money on esoteric audio gear, I would actually have a better life.. www.MPSRecording.com There is a lot of business out there.. You be surprised, the indie market has exploded !!
Old 20th May 2019
  #88
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Michael, if you don't mind...

Feel free to expand on your "indie exploding" comment. I like hearing good news!
Thanks, Chris
Old 20th May 2019
  #89
Lives for gear
Just for fun and education here are some of my favourite indie artists, YouTube video's. Audio and video recorded in studio's and something like the work that we are discussing as a future direction of small studio's.

Marie Digby, Kings and Queens,



This is somewhat complicated with many camera angles and I don't believe that its all "live". Some views have to be lip syncing.

This is the "live" recording of the song which in my view was better than the "studio" recording of the song which removed the breathiness along with her vocal character.

I'd be interested if anyone here worked on it yet I would understand if they couldn't discuss it publicly.
Old 20th May 2019
  #90
Lives for gear
Daniella Andrade, Don't Care,



One video take. This could have been done one take live although I don't know for certain.

It looks for all money like an iSK tube mic. A TRM 11 or 2B Beauty but I can't quite make it out. Fabulous voice and a great recording.
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