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Partnership or 50 000 budget for studio Condenser Microphones
Old 6th December 2013
  #31
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ok so thank you to those who gave constructive answers based on the OP.

Most of the studios I have seen (and I have seen and recorded in many in 3 different countries) have engineers and have owners/partners.... owners don't have to be engineers so that so what I was looking at doing with a partner potentially. While I appreciate the advice, I don't appreciate that I only put out two options and most people trashed both and offered a third which was quite simply: "don't do it!"... It sounds like the aim here is to dishearten and discourage when it should be quite the opposite. c'mon guys, how bad can it be?? I think...no, I know people give advice based on their own experiences which is always biased and always contaminated. I see so many studios big and small doing alright... not making a killing but doing OK. So I don't see my ambitions as "preposterous" as some people put it
Old 6th December 2013
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
ok so thank you to those who gave constructive answers based on the OP.

Most of the studios I have seen (and I have seen and recorded in many in 3 different countries) have engineers and have owners/partners.... owners don't have to be engineers so that so what I was looking at doing with a partner potentially. While I appreciate the advice, I don't appreciate that I only put out two options and most people trashed both and offered a third which was quite simply: "don't do it!"... It sounds like the aim here is to dishearten and discourage when it should be quite the opposite. c'mon guys, how bad can it be?? I think...no, I know people give advice based on their own experiences which is always biased and always contaminated. I see so many studios big and small doing alright... not making a killing but doing OK. So I don't see my ambitions as "preposterous" as some people put it
I just don't see where you add any value. If you can't help out in the studio you're not a partner, you're an investor. And what are you going to get paid for? I don't see how you would ever get your $50k back, nor do I see any money left for you after paying your engineers salary.
Old 6th December 2013
  #33
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Quote:
I just don't see where you add any value.
$50 000 into a business is value my friend
Manage the business
Market it online and build and manage the website (I am a web developer)

like I said in my post above, most of the studios I have been to, and there are many, don't have the owner sitting behind a mixing desk.. how do you not know this??
Quote:
If you can't help out in the studio you're not a partner, you're an investor.
Well yes but they can be both things. An investor is someone who only contributes financially and that would not be my case as per above and also is not the case of most of the studios I have been to

maybe guys spend too long in their own studios which is why you get comments like these
Old 6th December 2013
  #34
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

$50K would buy a pretty nice House PA for an upscale recording club.

Partner with a successful restaurant/club/promoter & A/V Crew.

Find an old theater with a stage and do something like the State Theater in Falls Church. National Acts, Nice intimate setting, Great Room, PAYING customers.

Only offer tracking and Live video services so bands have promo material showing the audience reaction.

Guys, News, TV, Phones, Internet, everything is now HD Visual right there at your finger tips.

Audio Only is a specialty, but now its like being the radio station after people just watched The Wizard Of Oz in living color on their new color TV.

Look at PBS, like 4 shows showing live concerts on a regular basis.

Look at Austin City Limits, Live From The Troubador, Artist Den and The Bluegrass and Blues Venues all with live audiences, not liker the old days
with overdubs, but really live without a net.

There are guys with crazy tech skills who could be putting their heads together on something like this and done right you're all splitting the overhead
of the same commercial space, serving several merged small businesses.

You even might be able to get municipal tax breaks or grant help to restore something cool.

Theater seating or tables and chairs plus theater seating.

I see this and I can see is can be done.


Old 6th December 2013
  #35
Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
ok so thank you to those who gave constructive answers based on the OP.

Most of the studios I have seen (and I have seen and recorded in many in 3 different countries) have engineers and have owners/partners.... owners don't have to be engineers so that so what I was looking at doing with a partner potentially. While I appreciate the advice, I don't appreciate that I only put out two options and most people trashed both and offered a third which was quite simply: "don't do it!"... It sounds like the aim here is to dishearten and discourage when it should be quite the opposite. c'mon guys, how bad can it be?? I think...no, I know people give advice based on their own experiences which is always biased and always contaminated. I see so many studios big and small doing alright... not making a killing but doing OK. So I don't see my ambitions as "preposterous" as some people put it
I just don't get your point of view.

You've been a customer in several studios, but as evidenced by your other threads, you're very much a newbie when it comes to recording - so you will be reliant on others when it comes to speccing and building the space. You could spend 50k on consultants and build alone.

Why are you so resistant to the experience of others? You've asked for an either/or choice - but neither is a good idea.

I've just spent more than that on upgrades at our studio, and that's such a small percentage of the gear involved, with nothing to do with building, it's untrue.

Contributing with website setup - for a studio that has a website that doesn't change very much, it's really not a big contribution - a customized wordpress site could be built for a few grand, and then nothing needs spending there. It's not really an ongoing benefit.

Yes - there are plenty of studios where the owner doesn't operate - most commercial studios work this way. However - think of all the places you've been in of this size. How much do you think they invested? It's like any company - the bigger the business, the more staff it requires and can support. 50k isn't much investment for a studio - you really are looking at medium to low end starting out (ie your clients are going to be the flaky, self finding part timers, not even indie label bands).

IF you partnered with someone, it would need to be the guy with all the knowledge - at which point you'd become the silent partner in mZny respects. IMO the only way it would be worth risking your money is if you partnered with a talented guy, who is in the position I suggested earlier (needs a studio for his own work, losing money by not having one). Effectively you're investing in his career. But he's not likely to want to be working with just any old band, just to keep the studio busy - so in a way you're back to square one.

IF, by some chance you're in a market that isn't already saturated, IF you're lucky enough to find a prebuilt room you can lease cheaply, IF you can find a talented engineer needing the work and willing to work with whoever just to pay the bills, and IF you can buy smartly enough that if you had to sell up, you wouldn't lose too much... You might stand half a chance of surviving long enough to learn the business.

I just don't know why anyone sane would want to take those risks. Why do you want a studio so badly? What's wrong with hiring one when you need one? With 50k invested safely, you could make enough on the interest for a full week's recording in a half decent studio every few months if you wanted. Couple that with a decent home setup, and it's a no-brainer for me.

I'm sorry you feel that's off putting - but it really is the best advice to give. As I've said, on the one hand you claim naivity, on the other you seem to know better. If you know better, why are you asking?

Offhand I can think of 5-10 great studios in London that closed due to lack of financial viability in the last 5 years or so. Those are the ones with decent clients, who paid reasonable rates.

I should also mention it's a fairly miserable engineering life trying to make a living recording broke bands - you're forced to choose between working unpaid for a better product, or doing the hours paid and knowing with more investment the end result could be so much more worthwhile.
Old 6th December 2013
  #36
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
$50 000 into a business is value my friend
peanuts!

You can not attract clients with your engineering skill and $50,000 is simply not even close to the amount of money required to build a viable commercial studio that can attract clients on the room alone. The dry cleaners mentioned earlier as a jocular alternative business would cost three times that as a ground-up investment. For $50,000 you are in the neighborhood of a 'nice' personal studio or project studio. Not a commercial studio.

Quote:
like I said in my post above, most of the studios I have been to, and there are many, don't have the owner sitting behind a mixing desk.
Mixing desk? You think your $50,000 budget is going to include a mixing desk?

Quote:
Manage the business
Market it online and build and manage the website (I am a web developer)
Proof of the old saying: "when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail".

Studios do not get "marketed" from their websites. If managing the website is your contribution as owner, it is comical. What else are you going to do? Set up a Facebook page?

Quote:
maybe guys spend too long in their own studios which is why you get comments like these


Even though you are not getting the answers you HOPED for, people are giving you REAL advice - and you turn around and insult them. And you wonder why the 'tone' of responses to you has taken a turn for the worse? People who tell you what you want to hear are not necessarily your "friends". People who deliver the unpleasant truth are not necessarily your "enemies".

yes you are such an expert that you can lecture those who are actually working in the industry on what is a reasonable business model. I am now wondering why you even bother to post a thread and ask your question? You are a business genius in the music industry because you can build a website. Go ahead with your plans. Go ahead and spend your $50,000.

But mind your manners, because you still have to come back to Gearslutz one more time to ask us what you should buy!
Old 6th December 2013
  #37
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His contribution to the studio is no different then a Vintage King credit card.

It's like buying a computer and the Adobe Suite but still having to pay a web designer to come and do all the work!
Old 6th December 2013
  #38
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FFTT's Avatar
 

That's $4166. per month over 12 months.

Think of spending $50,000 on a studio buildout and all that went into leased space.

That's a lot of money to put into a commercial space you don't own.

Build a 12 bay / store front light commercial building,
10 bays rented out and all your expenses are covered in a double space.

The horse stable method.
Old 6th December 2013
  #39
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lowland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoman View Post
In europe and the USA the studio business is all but dead.

There may be parts of the world that this isn't the case - but a studio as a business without a biz model to support it? I'd run a mile from that!! heh
Narcoman is spot on in all his posts IMO, not a prophet of doom but a realist. I haven't read the whole thread, but three thoughts occur to me:

1. I know of no successful studio that runs purely as an all-comers commercial recording facility. All those still afloat after a reasonable period have some other angle, such as the owner is a happening producer, or there are sister businesses like gear buy/sell, record and publishing companies etc.

2. Business model: as a real-life analogy, in the world of UK library and production music there are many companies, but one has a business model which has swept pretty much all before it resulting in worldwide expansion, multiple Queen's Awards and a bounding financial pulse. The music they produce is of a high standard, but no better or worse than the capability of similar organisations; the difference is the business model.

3. 'Vanity' studios with no real business reason for their existence IME often have a two- to three-year existence if they're lucky, and are then sold off for peanuts.
Old 6th December 2013
  #40
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ok so I have more than enough feedback on this and there are too many things I could argue in too many of these posts but I am not going to. Thank you for all who have spent time writing, even the most miserable negative posters... I love you all

Best
Old 6th December 2013
  #41
I'll leave this here even though you're done - someone else said something once on another thread that is absolutely true and references a popular film to boot - the studio business is not an "if you build it, they will come" business. You cannot do it without an existing client base/business model.

Just to give you a real-world first hand example - in a former life I was often tasked with sourcing studios for voiceover recording and the odd dubbing session. Never once did I hit up Google to do this. I always used facilities that I already knew, and if I didn't, I would always pick something based on a personal recommendation from someone I trusted. In both scenarios, you need existing clients to get that additional/new business. People don't just ring out of the blue because your website is nice!

Sorry for more negativity, but think of us as your grumpy parents who don't want you to do anything but a proper college education in a professional field. If you can prove us wrong, detail the experience and it will make for a great read and an inspiring story.
Old 6th December 2013
  #42
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narcoman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
I see so many studios big and small doing alright... not making a killing but doing OK.
I'm sure many appear to be doing fine - but the big three studios in London make very little (if any) profit. Now - I know that profit is not the only goal - if you can sustain a business with wages and make no profit (as long as its not a loss) then its workable but not investable.

A small studio , like the one you are proposing, in the right area with the right connections may do well if you have the right biz model to go with it. There ARE many options but there are NO successful studios in the large end that are making a good go of it by being just that - studios. Abbey road has other business ventures (mastering, DVD authoring, TV shows, events ). Air has Cutting Edge etc

All anyone is saying g- just have a few plans up your sleeve and do not rely on bands - that income is long long gone. My personal point- I've turned over about £millions over the last 15 years in this biz. Thing is its very much on a leaner cycle at the moment and loaded at the end of the 90s - hence USING a studio and not OPERATING one. The distinction is subtle but clear.... good luck!
Old 6th December 2013
  #43
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lowland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by attaboy_jhb View Post
ok so I have more than enough feedback on this and there are too many things I could argue in too many of these posts but I am not going to. Thank you for all who have spent time writing, even the most miserable negative posters... I love you all

Best
Your difficulty, although you don't know it, is that you may want to argue with what's been said (I've now read the whole thing) but have little basis on which to do same.

This is not a dig at you, simply a fact: I don't know everyone in this discussion, but I'll wager there are a number of 20+ year people, like myself, taking part; if they, to a man or woman, are saying 'don't do it' in spite of a love of all things audio sufficient to want to work with it for that long, then there has to be good reason.

All the best with whatever path you take.
Old 6th December 2013
  #44
eb7
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
Go ahead with your plans. Go ahead and spend your $50,000.
See, finally someone has come around to your way of thinking and has begun to provide the encouragement you desire instead of wasting your time with the sound advice you need. So get out there and spend that money. And by all means come back sometime and let us know how it's working out for you.
Old 6th December 2013
  #45
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lowland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by eb7 View Post
See, finally someone has come around to your way of thinking and has begun to provide the encouragement you desire instead of wasting your time with the sound advice you need. So get out there and spend that money. And by all means come back sometime and let us know how it's working out for you.
'Like'.
Old 6th December 2013
  #46
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Bruno B's Avatar
 

Im afraid $50,000 won't build the recording studio you want. Many million-dollar studios have lowered their rates so disgustingly low, and their coffee room alone costs more than your entire budget.

Most pros here are giving solid advice, not as constructive as it could be because most engineers are grumpy creatures , but I read it as a realist's perspective, not negative. However, they're giving advice on big-budget facilities which does not apply to you.

Consultation at that budget level is not even necessary. Everything you need to build a $50,000 recording studio is readily available online and probably right here on this site! That's what I did and got exactly what you want… I did "OK" for a few years with local musicians, then decided recording myself was the way to go for many reasons (creative, family, etc). The main positive was it gave me real-world business and engineering experience that can't be learned from GS.

I think the real question should be, "What kind of CREATIVE/DIFFERENT 'recording studio' business should I dream up for $50,000 that can be fun, and might even make me some $$$?"

In that case, there might some interesting ideas… I have none at the moment but they exist definitely.

Best of luck.
Old 6th December 2013
  #47
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

With $50K I'd buy a little POS Bulldozer Bait House right on the edge of commercial zoning, get it rezoned commercial, flip it or build to suite.

$50K just isn't enough to put a dent in a serious commercial studio budget.

It's a budget for a nice home rig with some vintage analog hardware.
Old 7th December 2013
  #48
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So I have decided not to go for the studio option and build myself a small tracking studio (which was the other option because I need to start working on my songs).

I am going to spend $10 000 on some gear (no eq or compression as I will send songs to get mixed professionally and dont want to fiddle with stuff I don't know too much about)and $5 000 on a small room revamp (is this enough for a 2.5m X 2.5m room)and invest the rest in a dry cleaners or some of the other genius ideas some people gave (thank you for those)

So my gear list will be:

2 X API 512 (lunchbox)
1 X Neve 1073 (lunchbox)
Aurora 8 channel converters
3 X mics (1 vocal mic and 2 X stereo mics for guitars - I want a tube mic like a neumann u47 clone for vocals and maybe was thinking of getting AKG C451B stereo pair mics)

this will allow me to record my music and still invest some money into a business albeit a smallish one because YES I am very tired of web design and although the money is good, it just sucks your creative energy when it should be used in what you really love to do
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