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Studios offering lodging
Old 11th July 2005
Studios offering lodging

This is a topic directed to all studios who offer lodging (free or for a fee...).
Is this practice worth the effort and time? Have you had more clients as a direct result of offering this service?
I'm asking this question for a couple of reasons. I will be building a studio from the ground up in a few months. I have the option of acquiring a house adjoining the property to offer as lodging. This is actually my current home which I already own a share of (inheritance) but could now buy out entirely. I'm a little torn about the decision for a couple of reasons. First off, I will be running a true vintage style studio, with vintage consoles (a 70's Calrec and possibly a tube Langevin), mics (old tube Neumanns and RCA ribbons), all analog (Studer 8 trk and maybe a few tube Ampex decks), a large room (by today's standards), an echo chamber etc. This type of studio will clearly put me in a niche market where I will expect to rely on out of town business in order to be successful. Part of me thinks that because this a niche that so few studios focus on (Toerag for example), the business will live or die based on how well I execute the concept and not by saving a band $50 a night. On the other hand, I could see how saving a band that is on a tight budget a few hundred dollars (over a week of recording) may make a difference. FWIW I estimate that it will cost me around $800 a month to keep the house (counting the lost rent opportunities) and I plan on charging around $5-600 a day for the studio.

thanks in advance for any advice,
Old 11th July 2005
I have done a LOT of residential recording...

I enjoyed it. I don't really do it anymore because I have my own place, but this thread is exciting because I daydream of a move out of town one day... and wonder...

Funnily enough, because I am in a capital city (London) I could be 'residential' here... (if I had the room) as we get quite a few out of towners recording here)

Great thread

HA! - You could have 'vintage accomodation' - Bamboo 'tahiti look' bar anyone? Bed pans, (NURSE!) Butlers & maids... Horse hair beds... WHAT A VIBE!
Old 11th July 2005
Lives for gear
nobtwiddler's Avatar
I needed the lodging!

Hey Bill;
I think you have a good question, and I have a little in sight in to this.
My studio is in a small town 90 miles north of Manhattan.
This is the 5th studio (location) I've had in 30 years. Kept moving for different reasons, mostly due to rent/realestate prices and expansion.
Anyhow, all 4 previous locations were in busy boroughs of New York, with the 4th one actually being on 31st street in Manhattan.
I left the city for the country because of the overhead.
But my point to all this is, that being located in a town/city that has mass transportation, lodging, etc....A residential set up is nice, but not needed!
Before moving to the country I never needed to offer lodging. Never!
But being in the middle of no where (as some of my clients put it) I would have been out of business in a year without it! In my town, there is only one small motel, and depending on the time of year, you probably won't get a room.
Not only that, but where my facility is it is a very $$$ neighborhood, so even the little Motel is expensive, and the 4 or 5 Bed and Breakfasts are really rediculous.
So I built a small house attached to the studio in 1990. After moving here in 1986 and not being able to get the serious clients, it was my only option.
Original cost then $70,000.
Nothing fancy, just good simple clean accomodations.
In the mornings when I arrive at the studio, I unlock the sliding glass doors that is the
access to the studio and let the clients in! This is especially nice during the cold NY winters. Since the clients need not even venture outside to get to the studio.
Made it back within the first two years of offering the house to clients.

And I can say for sure, without it, I wouldn't be here today.

Good luck
Old 9th August 2005
We record quite a few out of towners...

Shame to shunt them into local hotels...

Who else has folks working at their studio that need accomodation?

I dont really like em sleeping at the studio - fire risk / unsupervised mayhem etc..

Old 10th August 2005
member no 666
Fletcher's Avatar
I generally prefer to be as close to the gig as possible... "residential" facilities provide that amenity. More often than less often it's the deciding factor on where I choose to book a gig rather than the gear [but not before the vibe/acoustics of the recording facility].
Old 10th August 2005
Gear Addict

I used to work with Sylvia Massy who has a studio in a little town in the mountains of Northern California (very far from everything). She has very nice apartment connected to the studio. I believe almost 100% of her clients use the living facilities. I belief the living arangements she provides contributed quite a bit to the success of her facility.
check it out
Old 10th August 2005
Lives for gear

The artist I am producing is at my house right now where my project studio is....He flew out from California....(We are tracking vocals for 7 days)

When My wife and I bought this house one of our criteria was a room and bathroom for a studio guest.

It would be tough without this. Hotels are expensive and we are on a tight budget. Besides I like being able to chill, stop for a walk or work late if we need to.

It isn't posh...but the bed is clean, and the shower is clean.

Not exactly 'typical' studio and lodging but it serves the same goal. This is ONE person not a band. With a band, I wouldn't be able to do it.

Old 10th August 2005
Thanks for all the input so far. I guess with my decision it's a tough choice because I'm located just outside of Pittsburgh and not in a deep rural setting. There are cheap places to stay, & there may even be a hotel within walking distance, as the property next door is under development. I may just have to wait until things underway and see if I end up losing potential clients solely because they can't afford a hotel on top of the studio fees. I'd still love to hear more opinions on this topic, so keep them coming.

Old 10th August 2005
Bands.... / accomodation
Attached Thumbnails
Studios offering lodging-koko-nomatches.jpg  
Old 11th August 2005
Lives for gear
djui5's Avatar

Ryan Green just built a studio out here. He installed a room with bunk beds and a nice shower/bathroom. He's also got a fridge and microwave, tv, etc etc. Out of town bands can come and stay at the studio while working. He says it's working out really really well as a lot of his work is from out of town.
Old 11th August 2005
Lives for gear
cajonezzz's Avatar

yep, it makes a difference, to us, a HUGE difference.
We have an apartment over the studio that can sleep 4, and pull out's in the lounge for 2 more.
the last two records I did were "live in" . that really did seal the deal. Of course, we're a stones throw from some of the most beautiful beach in sunny so. cal so that dosen't hurt.

i think that it's a great thing to be able to include in a "package". Just have to figure out the logistics as far as cleaning, lock up etc.
If the studio is sharing the space and the talent has 24 hr access, that means you either trust em, or have some one there 24/7 to baby sit. Food for thought.
Old 11th August 2005
Here for the gear

For what seems like ages, I have been spending most of my evenings and spare minutes building a studio in a commercial space in Boston. The area contains "live-work" zoning possibilites.

This week I talked to three "out-of-staters" who all wanted to know where to stay if they recorded at the studio.

The concept of staying near the studio, or in the same bulding, sounded great to all of them. The traffic jams, unfamiliar one way streets, etc. would be optional when venturing out for adventure.

For perspective,beating the high cost of Boston short-term lodging was the MAIN concern for each of these particular people's budgets, so service on the level of the Four Seasons was out.

For two of these people, a stay in a nearby empty apartment would cover the neighborhood's going rate for long term rental and allow the session to happen here.
This helps the "price" problem and provides a value added service as long as I can find empty apartments, or bite the bullet and rent one full-time if enough out-of-staters wanna visit.

Some sort of "scaleable" support staff is probably not a bad idea if you provide housing and aren't sure yet how often it will be used ........or if you aren't sure you're ready to commit fully to running room and board along with the studio business. They are not entirely different skills, but it is at least a greater volume of work and becoming an expert at anything usually takes a bit of practice.

For the third out-of-stater who called, his budget will only support crashing in my apartment for a month. He'd like for me to cook for him as well as be his full-time minder. Oh, drinks on me as well. I've decided the old friend can visit for a weekend, but recording would be futile with or without accomodations.
Old 11th August 2005
Out giging last night.. to see a potential client play.
They have manager & lable (US one actually)
From Scotland..

I handed a custom made show-reel to the manager (2nd I have had to make this week) and he asked me - what do you do with out of town acts? Have you got a deal with a local hotel?

I need to work on this...

Old 11th August 2005
Well it looks like I'm moving towards the lodging thing. There will actually be two empty houses on my property after the new studio/home is built. One of the houses is the original farmhouse, built in 1797, in need of work and relatively small and cramped -sounds like a good place for bands to me My current house although very modest, is much more "rentable" and honestly a little too nice to just have bands crash there every so often.

Old 11th August 2005
Lives for gear
doorknocker's Avatar
Interesting thread as I was just thinking about exactly this while cleaning my bathroom!

Question: How many beds/rooms do you offer? With my current plans, I could turn on room or better said leave one room as a bedroom and also could offer a kitchen but IF you offer accomodations isn't 2 seperate rooms, no matter how small, a minimum?

Old 13th August 2005
Originally Posted by djui5
Ryan Green just built a studio out here. He installed a room with bunk beds and a nice shower/bathroom. He's also got a fridge and microwave, tv, etc etc. Out of town bands can come and stay at the studio while working. He says it's working out really really well as a lot of his work is from out of town.
I helped him build that place actually. I wonder if I have run into you out and about. Where do you work out of?

BTW... I was looking just a few hours ago at land and houses that could be converted up in the mountains in Sedona for a studio with lodging. I think the idea of being able to get away to a beautiful place and record in a place that is inspiring would attract people quite a bit. The problem is that it is actually cheaper to buy a large house then to buy the land alone and build up there so I'm not sure how big the place would need to be. I found a couple that were 6,000 square feet but I'm not sure how it would be divided. How big are your studios or how big of a place would you look for to do both??? I was hoping for at least 3,000 for the studio portion.
Old 13th August 2005
Lives for gear
bongo's Avatar
We have been toying with the idea for a while now.

My wife's parents are getting up in age. We are thinking of putting up this on our property. In the years to come it could serve as client accomodations. We are also in a resort area (Skiing, golf, etc.). It could serve as a weekly rental. The four bedroom would work, I think.
Old 13th August 2005
The Glidehouse system looks really cool. It looks very similar to how our new home/studio complex will look (at least the home part). A very strong Frank Lloyd Wright Usonian influence. How much per sq. ft. do those homes cost? We're planning on around $120/ sq. ft for our house/studio.

Old 13th August 2005
Lives for gear
bongo's Avatar
Unfortunately, I just found out that they aren't available in PA. They say $132 per SF. You should be able to build for less than that. The intriguing part about them is that they can be assembled in a little over a week!
I don't know how it is on the west coast of PA, but on the east coast, in the fastest growing county, it's almost impossible to get something built in a timely fashion.
I love the floor plan, four bedrooms in the corners of the house. Lots of privacy.
Old 13th August 2005
Lives for gear
I was a partner and chief operations person at a redidential studio in Western Connecticut for three years before a divorce...not mine...forced me to move to another location.

We ran it more like a hotel than just a residence, if the client wanted. We would provide a cook and housekeeping at the upper end, and simple accomodations at the low end.

The upside..booked constantly with great major label clients (this was late 80's), always had great producers and engineers around. Great for establishing a high level of achievement in the room, with lots of echanging of tricks and phone numbers.

Downside...totally involving, heavy service orientation. As my goals have always been in production and artist developement, I found it totally draining. So, as much as I loved doing it, all the great things I learned and people I met, I was happy to move to a new place which allowed me more freedom to do those things.
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