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what's a project studio? Condenser Microphones
Old 14th July 2008
  #1
Gear maniac
 

what's a project studio?

Just wondering what the definition of a "project studio" is.... or what makes a project studio consider themselves to be "project" v.s. "pro"? what makes a project studio "project"

Limited amount of gear? cheap gear? Low number of inputs? cheap rates?

Personally I think I'm a pro, but still call my studio "project" because I have 1 room, I'm 100% in the box and do not have a big console. Plus I dont charge very much.
But I have a small collection of decent mics, pre's lots of inputs, and nice monitors.

Thoughts?

Sorry for all the "quotations" end quote......
Old 14th July 2008
  #2
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dan p's Avatar
 

You could say these days anybody with a cpu and a few pieces of gear is a project studio,but i think they run the gamut of setups.I mean the guy i worked for for fifteen years has what i consider a project studio,Trident 80b analog console with gobs of keyboard gear, recording grand piano,a few mics and mostly does private stuff.It is certaunly pro,and i consider myself a pro,with my project studio:toft 32 ch analog console,lots of keyboards and a few good mics and preamps myself but my stuff is in a bedroom.It's what i call a medium level project studio.Good Luck Ay!

Dan P
Old 14th July 2008
  #3
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cavern's Avatar
 

i think all studios are project studios..a musical compilation or recording is a project..some are pro projects and some are amature and your equipment and work ethics decide wich one you are..depends on your results..I.M.O.
Old 14th July 2008
  #4
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Unclenny's Avatar
THIS is a project studio.



Shared Soul
Old 14th July 2008
  #5
Being as I'm a partner in one, I feel somewhat familiar
with the topic ;-)

A "Project Studio" means just that ... that when somebody walks
through the door, they have a project in mind that they want to
get done (4 song demo, video, CD, Voice over, Karaoke stuff, whatever).
We do everything we can to take that project through to the best
result we can given their budget. We have to be very flexible on
the budget side because one size does not fit all .. so we'll trade
off recording time if we know we'll be doing the duplication, etc.

A guy in his garage with Protools and a bunch of plugs may not
have the tracking gear or space to pull it off. A large scale recording
complex will undoubtedly give you great results, but they really
don't care about your project's fruition .. they're there for billable
hours .. and pricey ones at that .. well, that's a little cruel .. they
wish all artists well... but it's not really their emphasis.

So, we're somewhere in the middle. The cost differential has blurred a little
bit in recent years as high-end studio rates have come down and as really
great gear has been made available to project studios, we've been
able to push up.

That we take responsibility for the project and don't
feel like we're done until the project is done is the salient difference..
at least to me.

jeff

Last edited by jmarkham; 14th July 2008 at 01:59 AM.. Reason: fruition type ;-)
Old 14th July 2008
  #6
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chrispick's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
THIS is a project studio.



Shared Soul
Whoa! That guitar! It's come to life!

Oh, there's a different pick guard.

In fact, it doesn't really resemble the picture at all, does it?

Carry on.
Old 14th July 2008
  #7
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vincentvangogo's Avatar
 

I always thought a project studio was one intended primarily for one's own or friends projects as opposed to a full-time commercial set-up.
Old 14th July 2008
  #8
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmarkham View Post
A "Project Studio" means just that ... that when somebody walks
through the door, they have a project in mind that they want to
get done (4 song demo, video, CD, Voice over, Karaoke stuff, whatever).
We do everything we can to take that project through to the best
result we can given their budget. We have to be very flexible on
the budget side because one size does not fit all .. so we'll trade
off recording time if we know we'll be doing the duplication, etc.
Sounds like the best description yet.

Shared Soul
Old 14th July 2008
  #9
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DeadPoet's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
THIS is a project studio.



Shared Soul
I don't want to step on anyones toes, but I would consider that a home studio, not a project studio.



I've always thought of project studios to be 1 control room and 1 live room or several smaller rooms. 'Pro' studios I consider to be those with multiple control rooms.

Though the term 'project studio' can sound a little negative. (weren't they the studio master/adats or tascams rooms in the 90ies?)


Herwig
Old 14th July 2008
  #10
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadPoet View Post
I don't want to step on anyones toes, but I would consider that a home studio, not a project studio.
I agree..........

Toes are fine.
Old 14th July 2008
  #11
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big country's Avatar
 

I like the art !
is it your work !
Old 15th July 2008
  #12
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Unclenny's Avatar
Nope.

Found the art in the same attic that I found the Stella........circa 1969.

That canvas makes for some great sound. I move it around....sing into it, stick it in front of acoustic guits.......it seems to suck up some of that 1.5K.


Shared Soul
Old 15th July 2008
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeadPoet View Post
I don't want to step on anyones toes, but I would consider that a home studio, not a project studio.
or is it a home project studio?

I think of project studios as places that can produce decent results but are not necessarily open to the public for booking and regular use. Meaning, you can record for yourself and your own projects, whether you are a professional or not. But your not getting calls from people trying to book time to record there.

When I think of home studios I think of either, but its definitely at your home. You could have a project studio at a lockout, or some random place, or at your home as a home studio. Or you could have a fully professional studio at your home that you book out regularly.

obviously its pretty much a loose interpretation and depends on whoever you talk too.

if your booking your studio out regularly and getting good results, who cares what gear you have. I wouldn't call a studio project just cause it has a behringer desk instead of an ssl. I don't think price of gear should dictate that. But I do think you need a certain amount of gear to get out of the "project" studio realm.
Old 15th July 2008
  #14
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yumdrum's Avatar
 

I've got a home project mid-upper level semi-pro commercial bedroom garage studio myself. Figure that covers all the bases.heh
Old 15th July 2008
  #15
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big country's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
Nope.

Found the art in the same attic that I found the Stella........circa 1969.

That canvas makes for some great sound. I move it around....sing into it, stick it in front of acoustic guits.......it seems to suck up some of that 1.5K.


Shared Soul

If you ever need a frame for it let me know!
part diffuser , part broadband freq. trap, part bass trap ( 4 inches of 703 )

I can also make one without the slats
Old 15th July 2008
  #16
Gear Guru
 
kafka's Avatar
I'm going to throw out a broad, fairly inflammatory definition (but I think it's good one), and see if anyone steps on it:

I'd say a project studio is any studio whose primary users don't seriously expect to make any money directly off their recording.

Notice that it's a question of averages. There are always individuals who will be an exception to the rule. Certainly any studio that meets the above definition is a project studio. I'd say even most do. The question here is how many of them meet it.
Old 15th July 2008
  #17
Gear addict
 
BlueSprocket's Avatar
 

I belive the original context of the "project studio" was a makeshift, temporary setup, put together to accomplish a "project". Was made popular by bands who would get a label advance and choose to "do it themselves" and buy a bunch of gear and stow away in some old house or a practice space, etc. When they were done, the studio went away. Some stuck around and became "Real studios"!

These days it seems that anyone who wants to not call themselves a commercial facility is a "project studio". So I think the line has blurred, and like most things these days, we've adapted a catch phrase for a new context.

I like the idea of a studio where "projects" are worked on start to finish being considered a "project studio". Thats what I consider my place. But I mosty tell people its a funky ass Mix room with a slightly bigger than normal OD space.
Old 15th July 2008
  #18
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Kronos147's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
I always thought a project studio was one intended primarily for one's own or friends projects as opposed to a full-time commercial set-up.
I feel that my room is a project room because I say no to people on occasion ('I wouldn't be the right studio for you' and 'I think you should look for a place that wants you to leave your double bass drum drum kit there for a few weeks'), where a commercial studio would book them no matter what.
Old 15th July 2008
  #19
Gear maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronos147 View Post
I feel that my room is a project room because I say no to people on occasion ('I wouldn't be the right studio for you' and 'I think you should look for a place that wants you to leave your double bass drum drum kit there for a few weeks'), where a commercial studio would book them no matter what.
WOW tons of interpretations on the Project Studio definition. But many similarities!
Old 15th July 2008
  #20
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Project Studio....... you might get paid...
Pro studio............. you BETTER get paid...
Home Studio......... What time is it?........heh

Just kidding........................
Old 15th July 2008
  #21
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Tapeworm's Avatar
 

I think of a bedroom studio is where your primarily record yourself. Maybe with your band or some friends.

A project studio - you may record yourself, your band and, regularly or semi-regularly, other artists or bands.

A professional studio - If you are spending too much time recording yourself, you go under.

-EDIT: Damn! Snatchman beat me to it and said it better
Old 15th July 2008
  #22
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Newcleardaze's Avatar
 

As a lowend guy who always will be, I wouldn't think of myself as having moved from a project studio to a pro studio until i've met the following basic criteria:

1. Moved the studio from my house to a commercial building
2. Multiple professionally tuned rooms for recording and mixing
3. Making enough money to support the studio and pay the staff
4. If needed I could sell the studio as just that -- a pro studio

At least that's my defintion... I think the other amenities (gear, advertising and such) are a given with such a setup. Or at least they should be, afterall I've seen a few doozies (A "Pro studio" in Colo. Springs in a commercial space with a large format board: 32 ch. Behringer. Multiple mics, including their "highly sought after premier piece" a GT55. Plywood walls. Behringer Truth monitors. They disappeared after 4 months.)
Old 15th July 2008
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snatchman View Post
Project Studio....... you might get paid...
Pro studio............. you BETTER get paid...
Home Studio......... What time is it?........heh

Just kidding........................
Kidding? Sounds about right to me!
Old 15th July 2008
  #24
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Unclenny's Avatar
What time IS it?


Shared Soul
Old 15th July 2008
  #25
Gear nut
 

I have a go at this.

A commercial studio…

a) has been designed by a recognized studio designer
b) doesn’t let the noise you’re making out nor the outside noise in
c) you can record and mix with the air conditioning running and not hear it or record it
d) contains more gear than you need, all working and accessible
e) All gear is properly installed, grounded and balanced
f) Usually has a large format console and extensive monitoring capability
g) Monitoring system costs way more than the DAW system
h) A legal, licensed, tax paying business entity.
i) knowledgeable staff in all areas

A project studio is…

a) a studio where the gear set-up is not flexible and usually permanently patched to accommodate one person's style
b) the only acoustic treatment is surface mounted, off-the-shelf solutions, usually devised and implemented by the owner
c) no expense has been made to quiet the HVAC system, sometimes requiring a shut-down when recording live mics
d) never quite has the gear you need
e) the owner or staff is usually knowledgeable in one musical genre
f) “We don’t need no stinkin’ console”
g) The DAW is the most expensive system in the place
h) A mix of pro and semi-pro gear and usually a mix pro and semi-pro levels
i) Usually a sole proprietorship flying under the legal radar.

There, I said it. Please don't hurt me.

David Brown
Old 16th July 2008
  #26
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Newcleardaze's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Brown View Post
I have a go at this.


A project studio is…

a) a studio where the gear set-up is not flexible and usually permanently patched to accommodate one person's style
b) the only acoustic treatment is surface mounted, off-the-shelf solutions, usually devised and implemented by the owner
c) no expense has been made to quiet the HVAC system, sometimes requiring a shut-down when recording live mics
d) never quite has the gear you need
e) the owner or staff is usually knowledgeable in one musical genre
f) “We don’t need no stinkin’ console”
g) The DAW is the most expensive system in the place
h) A mix of pro and semi-pro gear and usually a mix pro and semi-pro levels
i) Usually a sole proprietorship flying under the legal radar.

There, I said it. Please don't hurt me.

David Brown
HOLY CRAP, have you been spying on me??heh Sounds 'bout right.
Old 16th July 2008
  #27
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DeadPoet's Avatar
Well, according to David's description I'll be having a commercial project studio heh

high-end acoustics with a project studio's gear in it.



Herwig
Old 16th July 2008
  #28
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Brown View Post
I have a go at this.

A commercial studio…

a) has been designed by a recognized studio designer
b) doesn’t let the noise you’re making out nor the outside noise in
c) you can record and mix with the air conditioning running and not hear it or record it
d) contains more gear than you need, all working and accessible
e) All gear is properly installed, grounded and balanced
f) Usually has a large format console and extensive monitoring capability
g) Monitoring system costs way more than the DAW system
h) A legal, licensed, tax paying business entity.
i) knowledgeable staff in all areas
While i believe these are indeed great assets they are just your opinion of what should be in a "pro" studio, and i agree with you for a $1000 a day joint where the engineer is paid seperately. Is that the only kind of commercial studio though? Let's just talk numbers for a second, let's say I have 30k in gear and get $450 a day avg. how much more gear does it take to get $1000 a day? I'd say at least $300k more. So how long does it take to profit before your lexicon 480L and 64 input Pro tools TDM generation 1 goes obsolete? My point is there's a whole range of people that are not recording U2 or Beyonce yet they are making a living and turning out decent stuff while having to turn the AC off in the vocal booth during takes. Interestingly enough since we're talkin about labels here the U2 album "the unforgettable fire" was recorded in a "project studio" that was temporarily setup in a castle somewhere, but wait technically a king lived in that castle at some point making Slane castle a "home" studio.... lol

Knowlegable staff a must, of course. Quiet, definitely. Don't have an acoustically perfect mix room? As long as you know your room you'll be fine. $4000 dollar monitors? um well... and do customers care if you pay taxes? Most people here know these things are not all required to produce high quality recordings and consumers don't seem to mind not having the u87, vintage C12 and SSl in return for a decent hourly rate. The above assets all met are in the highest end of the working studio, but many people are working for a living as engineers in much less. Any real pro can work with what they have available and sound great. What do you think Bob Clearmountain could do with just a roland VS1680 and a Rode NT1? (that's not what I use BTW

What i believe makes a "commercial" studio is that it is used for commercial purposes, the recording day in and day out of people for money. A "project studio" is generally for one specific artists various projects but by this definition doesn't have to indicate being less professional. There all different levels of gear and environment in commercial studios but how can you argue that anyone who records for money consistently doesn't have a commercial studio regardless of what you think of their setup?
Old 16th July 2008
  #29
R3k
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R3k's Avatar
 

Isn't 'Project Studio' a marketing term coined by those companies selling low end to semi pro gear, in order to, you know, name their market?

Aka, those great marketing department guys
Old 16th July 2008
  #30
Gear nut
 

My definition works for me and is easy to define what is in my area. Clients understand the difference and their budgets and needs will dictate where they will work. Budgets these days lean heavily toward the project studio.

If you are a project studio, be proud!

When I started out my goal was never to be a project studio.

David Brown
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