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Where do you get most of your clients? I'm sinking!
Old 10th August 2004
  #31
Lives for gear
 
AlphaDingo's Avatar
 

half (or more) of the pages on your website return a "this page cannot be found" message. The biking stuff has to go. It looks really unprofessional. If you can, get a site professionally designed. It makes all the diference. Whenever I see beringer listed in the gear, I cringe. I look slike you have some solid mics and some not so solid. Overall, it looks like you have some nice pieces but not a cohesive whole. It also seems like you are charging too much for what you have. THIS IS NO COMMENT ON YOUR SKILLS!!! I understand that money and skills are different. However, if I were going to spend money on a studio that charged $50 an hour I want more than you have equipment wise. On a different note, have you ever owned a business before? What do the other studio owners in your area say? Have you considered finding a business consultant? Have you spoken with musicians to see what THEY want? I ask because I just always made the assumption that they wanted the same things I did. Not true! They don't care about that ****. They want cheap hourly rate, world class sound and free pot. Just some thoughts.
Old 10th August 2004
  #32
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The MPCist's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by jajjguy
You might take another crack at your website, especially if you have downtime. Your gear list is impressive, but if I didn't know enough to be impressed by the items on the list, i would come away with the impression that you were another two-guys-with-a-basement outfit.

I would suggest redesigning the website around some very nice, vibey photos, and a paragraph or two explaining your strengths (your approach to getting that great sound, etc). And maybe ditch the biking stuff - makes it look like the studio is kind of a hobby. If it has to stay, it can be off in its own corner, not mixed in.
And while you're at it, perhaps hire a carpenter to 'panel up' your walls so they 'look' studioized' instead of padding stuck on the walls... Just an observation from the pics on your website...
Old 10th August 2004
  #33
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Tibbon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally posted by The MPCist
And while you're at it, perhaps hire a carpenter to 'panel up' your walls so they 'look' studioized' instead of padding stuck on the walls... Just an observation from the pics on your website...
Good idea. We had to use the largest auralex package to get any coverage of the walls (trying not to overdo it, but just to control the room a bit, and I agree it would look better. I'm also thinking of getting wood floors put down soon.
Old 10th August 2004
  #34
Dot
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The website at http://www.taylorbarefoot.com is not very good. In fact it's quite bad, and it's bad for your business. You don't even have a studio name on your website. Why on the "pictures" section do you have biking pictures - and these are above the studio pics? Why all the biking links listed so prominently on the navigation section of the site?

Tibbon, your studio and the design do not really separate you from the $20/hr warehouse rooms. In fact, your studio looks like one of them. As someone who would be looking for a good room in Boston, you don't really have much in the way of mics, and your outboard is non-existent. You have a Behringer Ultragain mic pre listed.

You have some decent guitars listed, but most good guitarists who care about getting some good sound in a good studio are going to have - or have access to - a lot of guitars and amps, anyway. So, I find that a poor selling point considering the studio is lacking in so many other areas.

Here's some of your competition.
http://www.bristolstudios.com
http://billtmiller.com/headroom/
http://www.rearwindowstudio.com/
http://www.ultrasoundproductions.com/
http://iroquoismusic.com/home.html $40/hr

You create no excitement on your website and the information is poorly presented.
Your studio does not look well designed.
Your gear is not really that interesting.
What you have to offer won't attract serious engineers.

A recording studio is a service business - and services are intangible. The service is invisible to the prospective client, and the only way they can gauge the level of service is by what they can see. Your website tells me you do not provide a good service and you don't care about the client.

Unless you have deep pockets or you really want to get your ass in a sling, I'd recommend that you scale down rather than try to add on to your studio. A lot of very successful studios started out with very modest systems and built up slowly over time. Become a solid working $25/hr studio and build from there.

You don't need wood floors - you need clients.

All the marketing and advertising in the world is not going to do anything if you already don't have a solid base of word-of-mouth clients. Lack of activity kills studios. You need people/bands working in the studio - even if you have to give away or spec the time for awhile to make that happen.
Old 10th August 2004
  #35
Lives for gear
 
Tibbon's Avatar
No, i totally get it. I know that the website is basically terrible. I've been trying my hardest to get it into shape, and i've got a better version, that's quite done that I will be posting in a few days. I've gotten stuck with the job of doing the website, and it's just not my thing at all. Can anyone refer me to a decent webdesigner that you have used in the past? I know that the current site is probably detracting clients quite a bit, and don't claim that the site is decent. And I agree, the biking stuff has gotta go.
Old 10th August 2004
  #36
Gear Maniac
 

You've got a Private Message.
Old 11th August 2004
  #37
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djui5's Avatar
 

Tibbon,
I'll make you a new web-site.....and you can consider it a nice favor from one gearslut to another.

I'm off this week so I'm sure I could whip something together...


I'm no guru but it would be better than what you have now.

If you want of course..
Old 11th August 2004
  #38
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Kestral's Avatar
 

I think that GEAR is actualy a huge part of getting business. Here's a brief version of what the gear list for my space looks like:

Neve 1073 (x2)
Neumann U47 tube
Urei 1176 Blackface
Urei 1176 Silverface Blue Stripe
Pro Tools HD 2 Accel w/Apogee converters
Akai MPC-3000
Emu SP-1200
A few analog keyboards (Oberheim, Moog, etc)
A whole bunch of vintage pre-70's basses
A few really nice vintage acoustics
Mackie HR824's and Yamaha NS-10M's

The studio space I share with my partner is for us and we don't rent it out but whenever I tell people what we have, before I even finish the list they're asking when they could book some time before they've ever seen the space or have a price.
Old 11th August 2004
  #39
Although I talk them through it, my clients by and large dont know ANYTHING about gear ... at all.

The dont know a Prism from a Cranesong from a Neve from an API

I am serious - 99% haven't a clue...

They can see however that I foam at the mouth about it and I think they like that..
Old 11th August 2004
  #40
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C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
They can see however that I foam at the mouth about it and I think they like that..


do you do the : 'hey guys, I'm not boring you with all this gear talk' .... while you wipe the foam off your mouth ?

I tend to ask them .... but then again don't realy care if they are bothered with it .... it comes with rent ... you HAVE to listen to at least 30 minutes of gear talk a day ... quickest way is to sit through it ... knod your head and especially say 'yes, I can hear the difference' when I ask ....
Old 11th August 2004
  #41
TER
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TER's Avatar
Gotta love it. One of the five studios Dot listed is moving to Florida. Does that give you some idea about the studio climate up here? Here are just some of the closings in my immediate neighborhood in the last few years:

Fishtracks, Portsmouth, NH
Zigmo, Danvers, MA
Double Edge, Haverhill, MA
River's Edge, Haverhill, MA
Rocks Village, Haverhill, MA
Witch Doctor, Danvers, MA (moving to NYC)
Sunset Ridge, Hampton, NH

That doesn't count the Boston ones; Sound Techniques closed, Blue Jay got sold, the list goes on.

You probably get the point. It's hard to stay in business around here. The best way to get clients is for them to hear the work you do, see and like your space and feel comfortable with you at the helm.

In the ten years I've been doing this work this year has been the toughest, but the good clients keep making good records, and the work is its own advertising.

I would not suggest to anyone that they try to open a commercial recording studio in this environment unless they can offer something that looks better than the gear room in the local Guitar Center. People used to spend a few thousand on small records, now they go to the store and buy themselves a "studio." The major manufacturers are more than happy to sell them a "studio in a box," because there are more people to buy those than studio owners to buy the mid-high end gear. The audio press wants everyone to believe that the software will make the record for you, and you won't need an engineer, a real piano or Hammond, more than four mic preamps, or monitors. (I've yet to see a studio in a box that comes with microphones, cables, headphones, studio monitors, amplifiers, uh, walls, room treatment, a chair) It's hard to convince clients to purchase your services unless they can hear the benefit of YOU.

Sorry to be a downer, but the biz is hard. Rewarding, fun, creative, yes, but hard. Learn how to do your own web site...then you'll have a skill the world will pay real money for.

Check out my place...I've been $50/hour for the last three years.

Thomas Eaton Recording

Perspective.

-tom
Old 11th August 2004
  #42
Gear Maniac
 
RaGe's Avatar
 

Thomas, is $50/hr really all the market can bear in your neck of the woods? Your studio sure looks like $120/hr ...
Old 11th August 2004
  #43
TER
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TER's Avatar
Thanks, Rage. I'd like to think it's a pretty great deal, especially considering the ability to print automated mixes directly to a Sonic Solutions system. I don't do block rates, just $50/hour, including engineer (me). But, there are literally hundreds of studios in the greater Boston area, all of them trying to get work from the pool of studio using musicians, which is growing smaller as time goes by.

The trade off always is, do I bump my rate up and work (potentially a lot) less for more money, or do I make enough to have a decent living and try to help folks make good records.

The market is saturated here, no doubt. There's a new basement/bedroom studio every week trying to justify its gear expenditures by opening up to the public and going "commercial." It's pretty depressing, made worse by reading some of the posts on these forums from "engineers" who don't know how to solder. Or folks who ask Massenburg which cheap mic to use.

Now every Mac comes with a "recording studio"complete with backing tracks and a cd burner (that's all that's in a studio, right?)...how secure do we feel when pretty much every gear manufacturer wants to convince the public that a pro behind the wheel is an outdated model, all while trying to sell us a "pro" version of the gear they're flipping to the masses.

Makes me a little bitter, I guess. I guess I don't want to become just a mouse pusher, too. Give me some faders (real ones), some decent mics and a tracking session...I'll be a happy camper.

I get no joy from surviving while other studios around me close...it's like a history of cancer in the family.

-tom
Old 11th August 2004
  #44
Gear Head
 

Tom,

I'd also like to compliment you on your website. I can also comiserate with you about the Boston area studio market. As I mentioned earlier in this thread, I got out of the commercial studio biz in '99. There were just too many people trying to do the same thing, at rates which would hardly cover the engineer's (which was me for the most part) time, much less cover studio expenses. I think if you do good work and record some artists who have at least some success, then the word of mouth aspect can work. But I think Tibbon really needs to establish himself in a certain niche market. Tom, you seem to specialize in mainly acoustic recording, and I gather you've built a reputation around that. Tibbon could perhaps do the same and specialize in one or two paricular genres. It seems that this path might help him to focus on the marketing of the studio. Granted, the website needs a overhaul and the gear list could use some additions, but as Jules stated, the majority of clients really have no clue about real studio gear. They may like that you have Pro Tools, but that could be the extent of it. The one exception (and I know not everyone agrees with me) is the fact that Tibbon has that 2". There's still a retro craze going on, and I think it could be a selling point in the Boston area.
Old 12th August 2004
  #45
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sdelsolray's Avatar
 

How 'bout selling time to your "basement studio" competitors, with an educational spin. Educate them for $$. You'll have the upper hand becuase of superior equipment, and they will get the GAS bug, and run themselves out of business (since they spend themselves into trouble). You'll recover in the meantime. All's right with the world.
Old 6th September 2004
  #46
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jpaudio's Avatar
 

Great thread... number one is the website... sorry but that's not gonna attract anyone IMHO. And it's the easiest way to advertise.

Aside from that, i've found the best form of advertisement to be word of mouth from clients whom i've worked with, and of course the recordings. Very few of my clients know anything at all about gear, I don't think that's influenced one single decision. However, seeing a nice big list of gear is definitely an influence. It's a case of quantity over content in the eyes of many. I bet none of my clients could tell you the brand or model of my console, but the first thing they'll say is how cool it looks when the faders move by themselves. Giving people a good overall experience is key also. Word spreads fast, a good rep can be turned into a bad one overnight.

best of luck, i've heard the beantown scene is rough... and i don't just mean for baseball... heh
Old 6th September 2004
  #47
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largeunit's Avatar
 

Agreed. You've got to get the website together. Try these guys: http://www.systemscowboy.com
Old 6th September 2004
  #48
urumita
 
7rojo7's Avatar
 

There is nothing that's as good as Word OF Mouth. Do a good demo (make sure it's really f...ing good) for a local kid band, a local singer/songwriter (of the older and younger variety), a local cover band, maybe someone semi-famous etc... if you charge them a good price, make them promise not to tell anyone how low it was or you'll never record them again. Once you have some good material and some happening vibe find a local entertainment magazine and promise to buy 6 months of larger than usual space in return that they do an article on your place and that you have endorsements from locals and a demo reel that reflects these endorsements.
People will save money to record with you if you are really good at it.
Old 6th September 2004
  #49
Gear Nut
 
gear chick's Avatar
 

If you don't know anything about web design www.bandzoogle.com is excellent. I know nothing about web design and did mine in an afternoon. Those photos are huge man. Reduce them for the web. That load time is way unacceptable.
Old 6th September 2004
  #50
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drundall's Avatar
 

I agree with Adler.
I've had 2 sessions in a row that specified 2". Keep that machine dusted...

Also, I have lots of kids come in and say "Is that a Neve?"
I dunno, maybe it's different here in terms of what kids know about gear.

As far as advice on what to do, try going to a lot of local gigs and selling yourself like a cheap hooker. Soon you'll get to know the regular bands. You might speck out a prominent band to bring others into the fray.

It's all about networking!

PS it's pretty cool for a slut to offer a free website to another...
Old 6th September 2004
  #51
Lives for gear
 
jpaudio's Avatar
 

If you like the looks of my website, you could get in touch with Chris Castiglione at [email protected], he's a musician himself and designed my site with the idea of promotion and advertisement towards musicians in mind.
Old 7th September 2004
  #52
Gear Addict
 
Hiwatt's Avatar
 

Things to do...


#1 Sell the MCI to me

#2 Beef up your front end

#3 Get a new website



heh
Old 7th September 2004
  #53
TER
Gear Maniac
 
TER's Avatar
#4: Move to a new city.

A google search for "boston recording studio" returns 212,000 results.

"iowa recording studio" only returns 51,000 results.

go figure.



Seriously, though...word of mouth is king. Some folks know gear, many think they know gear (but only know enough to cause trouble), but good work brings in good work. Honesty is rewarded as well.

-tom
http://www.thomaseaton.com
acoustic music guy
Old 7th September 2004
  #54
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chap's Avatar
 

you've got a pile of very useful information from some nice, good hearted people.
They all seem to be saying the same thing. Go pro. Ditch the bikes. Don't draw attention to the foam (it looks cheesy).
It looks like you're trying to be all things to all people. Can't be done.

Make a list of wants vs. needs and sort that out.
You don't need 2" and PT. Most people can't hear the difference. Pick one. Then, sell off what you don't need and become something. Pick a vibe and go with it. Later on, you can get your 2" or PT back.

I've done this for years and people are (like it or not) going to label you. Every client will think of you as someone you are not. That's ok.
I'm not a mastering house but I've worked with huge names because they think I am ( I actually do a ggod job but I ain't Sterling Sound). Let them. Who cares? It's an interesting day's work.

Don't do spec. I've never got work from spec but I always sell the spec work down the line by customizing it. Spec implies no work.
Don't be afraid to say no. If a client doesn't
match up with you, send them to a better match and the goodwill circulates.
Say yes to a client who is nice and can pay even though you know you won't be making the new Pet Sounds.

Lastly, take a paper and pencil and draw a triangle. At each corner write a word.

Time, price and quality.

The client gets to pick any 2.
If the client picks all 3, you go out of business.
If they need something fast and cheap, it's not going to be the greatest. Tell them and they'll respect your honesty. If they want great music right now, tell them to write you a large check.
You get the picture. Unfortunately, it's music business and the business aspect is uncomfortable.
Take responsibility for any mistakes you make and fix them for free. If a client changes horses mid stream, charge them and explain that it was their decision.

This is a hard way to make a living but we get to do what we love. Learn to form relationships
instead of advertising. I've never advertised
and I'm always booked.
Oh yeah, unless you're getting calls for 5.1, ditch it. Set it up if you get the call but it's too distracting.
We've all been there and we're all here somehow. You'll get through it and you've asked great questions that kind people with a memory will be happy to help you with.

I went to Berklee in the 1800's so I'm familiar with the notion that if you throw a rock, you'll hit someone with a studio. Define yourself and let the others label you.
Sorry for the rant but I hope you find something useful in it.
Best,
chap
Old 7th September 2004
  #55
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chap's Avatar
 

ps - I've always founf it curious that when musicans have a business problem, we buy gear.
My wife thinks I'm crazy for this..........oh, yeah, my wife! gotta hop.
chap
Old 7th September 2004
  #56
TER
Gear Maniac
 
TER's Avatar
Oh, man...you must have it easy.

Google only gets 141,000 results for "connecticut recording studio"

That's the whole state!

Must be nice with no competiton...

Kidding....kidding...

-t
Old 7th September 2004
  #57
Gear Addict
 
largeunit's Avatar
 

From Google:

Your search - "newburyport recording studio" - did not match any documents.

Old 7th September 2004
  #58
TER
Gear Maniac
 
TER's Avatar
My google just returned 796 results for "newburyport recording studio"

Not sure where your google is looking!

-t
Old 7th September 2004
  #59
TER
Gear Maniac
 
TER's Avatar
Oh--you must have put it in quotes...google will look for those words in that sequence when you put the search item in quotes...I had used the quotes in my posts only to indicate the words I used in the search, I did not use quotes in the google entries.

-t
Old 7th September 2004
  #60
Gear Addict
 
largeunit's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by TER
I had used the quotes in my posts only to indicate the words I used in the search, I did not use quotes in the google entries.
Ah, that explains it..
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