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Opening a Studio - my dream
Old 12th July 2006
  #1
Lives for gear
 
dobz's Avatar
 

Opening a Studio - my dream

Hey guys this is my first post even though i've been on this forum reading up on things for ages now.

I have just left uni as i fell there is nothing in my life i would want to do more than own my own recording studio. So at the end of this year i plan to open my own one here is melbourne,
australia.

As well has the recording studio in the same building. i plan to have 8 rehearsal studios so i'm currently searching for a build that can forfill my needs without leakage.

i would just like to put a list up of the gear i plan to start with and see what you all think. Please keep in mind i'm on a tight budget.

Consule - GS-3000 32 inputs and 2 tube pre amps
AD/DA converter - Motu 24i/o
Computer - intel dual core 2x500G harddrives and 2g ram
sequencer - samplitude pro
midi interface - unsure at this point
mics- 4 x sm57
3 x e604
1 x audix D6
1 x Atm25
2 x e609
1 x SM7
2 x sm81
1 x shure ksm 44
1 x rode K2
1 more good vocal mics
mointors - undecided.

this will be all i start with but i plan to upgrade by adding some nice pre-amp and outboard gear very soon down the track.

any advice what else i need to get started or what mics you would change.

Cheers
Old 12th July 2006
  #2
Gear Head
 

It is very difficult to judge what you need without a given budget. As of right now, what you listed is typical of many home recording artists (including myself). To compete with the big boys, you are going to need high end mics, pre's, monitors...a great sounding room (where you should invest most of your money).

Ryan
Old 12th July 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobz
Hey guys this is my first post even though i've been on this forum reading up on things for ages now.

I have just left uni as i fell there is nothing in my life i would want to do more than own my own recording studio. So at the end of this year i plan to open my own one here is melbourne,
australia.

As well has the recording studio in the same building. i plan to have 8 rehearsal studios so i'm currently searching for a build that can forfill my needs without leakage.

i would just like to put a list up of the gear i plan to start with and see what you all think. Please keep in mind i'm on a tight budget.

Consule - GS-3000 32 inputs and 2 tube pre amps
AD/DA coverter - Motu 24i/o
Computer - intel dual core 2x500G harddrives and 2g ram
sequencer - samplitude pro
midi interface - unsure at this point
mics- 4 x sm57
3 x e604
1 x audix D6
1 x Atm25
2 x e609
1 x SM7
2 x sm81
1 x shure ksm 44
1 x rode K2
1 more good vocal mics
mointors - undecided.

this will be all i start with but i plan to upgrade by adding some nice pre-amp and outboard gear very soon down the track.

any advice what else i need to get started or what mics you would change.

Cheers
What experience do you have.. have you done any project recordings for people before? A "demo reel" perhaps? Do people in the music scene know who you are? freinds in bands, etc?

If you don't have much experience, You may want to set up your gear as soon as you can in a cursory location, and just "practice" with freinds' bands. It will get you used to the "quirks" of recording on a computer- the drivers, the bugs, the crashes, and how to get things running smoothly. The BIGEEST and most important part of any studio is your ears. Especially if it is a budget studio.

It certianlly is a jungle, and every studio sort of has it's niche, per se. The biggest fact to consider these days, is that inexperienced, or semi-experienced bands and musicians can get gear for cheap and record themselves. They have to beleive and be comfortable that your recording will help them be more successful before they will even approach you to spend $. Most people who start studios as their full-time job have already got gigs lined up and people that already trust them to make them sound great. Also, if they see gear they can find at the local gear store, they may want to see some high-dollar "magic" items as well. It helps.

That's a great idea to find a place where you can build practice rooms for bands, and generate income that way while you build the studio and it's reputation. It also gives you access to people who might need your services. There is a spectacular thread somewhere on here where a fellow who did just that, if anyone can find it and post it. He turned a big old building in England into a beautiful studio with spaces for people to also practice. His process is well-chronicled here. He did spend mega bucks though, and his studio is a dream come true.. looks and sounds gorgeous.

But I say- congratulations- and good luck! (: You'll find plenty of friendly advice here.
Old 12th July 2006
  #4
Gear Addict
 

As a self recording musician I have some very nice gear. I can't record a full band but what I have I can do very good recordings on a small scale. If you want to open a pro studio I would think you would need to have a "draw". Something that makes your place unique and a reason for someone to want to record there. Today, I use a full feature studio to record the drums and do the rest at home.

If you have never done this before, there is one steep learning curve. For starters, you need great mics and mic pres and great A/D converters. The converters should be at least Apogee level if not better.

Good luck...

-Gary
Old 12th July 2006
  #5
Lives for gear
 
dobz's Avatar
 

a fair portion of my money will be spent on acoustically treating the rooms. As gear i can upgrade but it will be very hard to upgrade the room. i currently play in a giggin band and have plenty of contacts in the music world. I also have do some courses and have a good knowleadge of music recording (not the greatesr with midi stuff though). I am thinking of getting a better converter and one very nice vocal mic aswell lynx looks god for the converter but it will push the budget.

I am looking at recording alot of emo/screamo/hardcore bands as it is a large niche in the melbourne market and i know many bands already interested in my studio for the end or the year as well as the rehearsal rooms.

So what at the moment would be the biggest weakness in my chain if i'm shoting for radio quality.
Old 12th July 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Biggest limitation is your knowledge (which you will spend the rest of your life building on) and the acoustic space (which can cost a friggen fortune).

My serious advice? Think mobile. The market for big studio's is going down the gurgler. The rehearsal space is probably a feasible way to pay the rent - or do you own the land/buildings already?

Try to structure your businesses so if one goes bust you don't lose all your personal assets, or your assets from another business - i.e. try not to lose all your recording gear if the rehearsal space rental business bites the big one.

If your gear is capable of going mobile, you will have more flexibility. And you might sleep at night better, knowing the Goth band practicing in studio 7 isn't going to steal your gear.

Also - until you can afford to get your acoustics sorted, you could take your band out into the country and set up in a woolshed and track the rythmn section without the neighbours going ballistic. Bales of hay make for great absorbtion.

Just kidding - but the basic principles apply. You might take your recorder to a church for an amazing organ or piano, or to a university to record strings. Lots of options if you can go mobile.
Old 12th July 2006
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobz
a fair portion of my money will be spent on acoustically treating the rooms. As gear i can upgrade but it will be very hard to upgrade the room. i currently play in a giggin band and have plenty of contacts in the music world. I also have do some courses and have a good knowleadge of music recording (not the greatesr with midi stuff though). I am thinking of getting a better converter and one very nice vocal mic aswell lynx looks god for the converter but it will push the budget.

I am looking at recording alot of emo/screamo/hardcore bands as it is a large niche in the melbourne market and i know many bands already interested in my studio for the end or the year as well as the rehearsal rooms.

So what at the moment would be the biggest weakness in my chain if i'm shoting for radio quality.
Good deal. In that case in terms of treatment, be sure not to "over-treat" your drum room. High ceilings are preferred.

Lynxx are superb cards for the PC. I use them a lot in PC studio builds.

In regards to your question, I will be vague here..... that all depends on you and your abilities and ears. a good producer can make a band sound great with plenty of "weak links" in the chain. Mastering will be important too, if the bands want to be on the radio. Encourage the band to set aside a budget to have their stuff mastered somewhere else. Professional Mastering is why the store-bought stuff is louder, and why the program directors "might" pay more attention to it. It will make your mix sound more consistent on different systems the fished cd will be played on. That's a whole other ball of wax.

After the space/ room, spend that $ on good monitors, mics, and good pres, and spend your time on practicing, listening, referencing, listening again. You mentioned you are unsure about your monitors. You need to decide on what your budget is for those speakers very soon. They are the "living" part of your studio that will have their own character, and your ears need to get used to what you hear on them if you want to make great mixes.

BTW: just a tip: when you are at the mixing stage, you will achive much better mixes if you mix at low volumes. If you ar emixing inside your computer, as you probably will, good plugins are important in my opinion. Check out the TC powercore or the Universlal Audio UAD-1. Most commercial studios have one or the other for good reason.

Subscribe to something like tape-op. It's a US publication but they will probably deliver down under...

I am rambling.
Old 12th July 2006
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
knightsy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobz
So what at the moment would be the biggest weakness in my chain if i'm shoting for radio quality.
Depends. Is this going to be an exclusive studio for you to use, or for other people to come in end engineer stuff. I'm guessing it's the former, that you'd be the proprietor/engineer. In which case, the weakest link will be you and your musical ability as an engineer.

This is something that might take you a few years to learn, which is why astronmr20 said something about "practicing with friends bands". If you can do this without incurring a large overhead in terms of rent and rates, you can learn the techniques required, minus the stress incurred in running a professional studio. Then, when you're ready, you can go out and open a shop safe in the knowlege that you can cut it in the real world.

And always listen to guys like Slipperman and Micheal Wagener! (and others)
Old 12th July 2006
  #9
More cowbell!
 
natpub's Avatar
Hi Dobz, and welcome.

Let me save you some time. Stay up late and call Danny Cabela at MusicLab in Austin.


http://www.musiclab.net/



Yes, he and his brother are that Cabela brothers, lol:


http://www.cabelas.com/

I've known the Cabela bros since 1992, went to a big family wedding once, and rented their practice rooms and studios since they were holes in the wall. These guys rock, and know how to do exactly what you are dreaming.

They are the perfect example of what can be done with determination and a true love of music. Tell em you were referred by "Language House," and Im sure they will get a laugh if they remember me at all :-)


peace,

KT
Old 12th July 2006
  #10
Gear Maniac
 

Hi Dobz

Goodluck with it, your equipment list is fine imo its all a matter of preference but assuming you have a nice space to record in you shouldnt have a problem pulling off a nice recording.

The rehearsal & recording studio studio combo should work great assuming that there is no leakage between the recording studio and rehearsal rooms. That can be very very expensive to achieve. For my small studio I just built a room with a room type construction for my live room and that cost me well over $AU10000 (including air conditioning unit, lighting etc).

I would concentrate on ensuring the rehearsal studio is up and running first because this is going to provide you with a regular stream of income and allow you to slowly work on the studio and your engineering skills.

Since your dream is to own a recording studio id sit down and work out a business plan & asset management plan. Asset management plan is pretty important imo as it will give you a indicator on your short term & long term upgrade and maintance costs.

all the best and let us know how its al coming along
Old 12th July 2006
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
knightsy's Avatar
 

Whoops, I missed the "opening 8 rehearsal studios" part. Sounds like a good idea (not that I've done that, so I wouldn't really know)!
Old 13th July 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 
dobz's Avatar
 

At the moment i'm in the midst of writing up a business plan and sorting averything out my budget is pretty tight. In the next few weeks i will have everything worked out and i'll post a msg of what i'm spending and where. I was wondering if anyone could recommend some good monitors and if it's worth cutting some mics to start with and getting a better converter. Or something along that line.
Cheers
Old 13th July 2006
  #13
Here for the gear
 

Dobz, check your private messages.
Old 13th July 2006
  #14
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dobz
I have just left uni as i fell there is nothing in my life i would want to do more than own my own recording studio.
Don't worry... that will pass with time.

Dreams are good... but some dreams turn into nightmares.

You might be one of the ones who is able to break out of the "I bought myself a job" models... or you'll just be another putz who bought himself a job for a couple of years while he figures out that there is some other way in life to make money and this recording thing would have been a good hobby if you didn't hate it so much.

I hope it all works out for you... but will add that the harder you work, the more you learn, the more you are able to network with your community the luckier you're going to get.

Peace.
Old 13th July 2006
  #15
Lives for gear
 
macr0w's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher
Don't worry... that will pass with time.

Dreams are good... but some dreams turn into nightmares.

You might be one of the ones who is able to break out of the "I bought myself a job" models... or you'll just be another putz who bought himself a job for a couple of years while he figures out that there is some other way in life to make money and this recording thing would have been a good hobby if you didn't hate it so much.

I hope it all works out for you... but will add that the harder you work, the more you learn, the more you are able to network with your community the luckier you're going to get.

Peace.
Man, you should forget all this crazy talk about something as silly as dreams.
Save your money and your life and open a coffee shack and make millions. heh
You know how to make a small fortune in recording right?
Old 16th July 2006
  #16
Lives for gear
 
davemc's Avatar
 

Hey Man,

Yeah give me a call when your ready, we can see what is around. Couple of Dynaudio speakers on local ebay at the moment. A nice set of Questeds as well for $5k
I would just keep to basic gear to you get the rehersal rooms going. Where the money comes from. Most of your work will come through bands who are too lazy to go somewhere else to record. he he Like most of the other studios in melbourne with rehersal spaces.

Just try to set it up so the studio is not next door to a room where rehersals are going. Bleed will kill you.

Ok gear.
SM7's are not cheap here. I would go for something else then SM81, ksm and K2 personally. Maybe a pair of shinybox ribbons, a couple of Studio projects B1's and get a Neumann U87. Bands like seeing a Neumann badge. If you look around should get one around $2k. Not my fav mic, although saying you have a Neumann helps with getting work. You probably best to get one nice dual pre.
With monitors it will depend on your room and your ears.
Old 16th July 2006
  #17
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dobz
Hey guys this is my first post even though i've been on this forum reading up on things for ages now.

I have just left uni as i fell there is nothing in my life i would want to do more than own my own recording studio. So at the end of this year i plan to open my own one here is melbourne,
australia.

As well has the recording studio in the same building. i plan to have 8 rehearsal studios so i'm currently searching for a build that can forfill my needs without leakage.

i would just like to put a list up of the gear i plan to start with and see what you all think. Please keep in mind i'm on a tight budget.

Consule - GS-3000 32 inputs and 2 tube pre amps
AD/DA converter - Motu 24i/o
Computer - intel dual core 2x500G harddrives and 2g ram
sequencer - samplitude pro
midi interface - unsure at this point
mics- 4 x sm57
3 x e604
1 x audix D6
1 x Atm25
2 x e609
1 x SM7
2 x sm81
1 x shure ksm 44
1 x rode K2
1 more good vocal mics
mointors - undecided.

this will be all i start with but i plan to upgrade by adding some nice pre-amp and outboard gear very soon down the track.

any advice what else i need to get started or what mics you would change.

Cheers
My advice is that you hire a team of consultants that will:

- Create a sound source selection strategy for your needs
- Performance tune the instruments in your recording room
- Optimize the acoustics of the recording room
- Establish a good monitoring environment

Money well spent. Skip doing it the hard way.
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