Thinking About Setting Up a Recording Studio in Your Dorm?

Photo Courtesy Dave Cintron
Photo Courtesy Dave Cintron

Recroding music in a tiny space has never been easier.

You know what beats out a great-sounding A/D converter? A great-sounding vocalist, musician, or song.

You know what’s beter than going into a bunch of debt buying a bunch of hardware and software for your recording? Buying the minimal amount of gear and learning how to stretch that gear ot the limits, using every single feature/knob/contol/button on the gear/software.

A small space != small creativity.

Thinking About Setting Up a Recording Studio in Your Dorm?

Read more:  Thinking About Setting Up a Recording Studio in Your Dorm? · NYU Local http://nyulocal.com/on-campus/2013/09/13/thinking-about-setting-up-a-recording-studio-in-your-dorm/#ixzz2eoDHlJOD
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What are you doing to stay afloat in the studio business?

There are a lot if indicators that point to the fact that the studio business is a tough place to stay alive.

If you read Billboard, Mix, or some of the other professional trades that deal with the studio business, they’ll tell you that studios are closing up shop left and right and those spaces are being turned into condos. Yeowch! Priorities, eh?

Anyway, the recording studio business has never been easy, and it’s being made a lot tougher on studio owners that aren’t very business savvy and those that try to cling on to the way they did business ten or fifteen years ago.

My research shows that at least SOME studio owners are charging less for their services as a way to stay competitive in the marketplace. How bad of an idea is that? With the increased cost of doing business (employee salary/wages, rent) there’s no way you’re going to stay in business if you continually charge LESS money over time. May work in the short term, but that’s not an effective long-term strategy for success. And, once you DO start to charge less money, when you try to increase your rates, all your clients are gonna grumble and complain about how much it costs to record at your facility.

So, my challenge to you is this:

What can we do as an industry to keep ourselves alive (a la Queen)? I think it’s going to take some pretty innovative thinking. It looks like the people that are out there making a real go of it are doing something creative and unique. I’m not sure of the right answer(s), but I have my thoughts… How about you?

J

2008 Recording Studio Survey Quick Facts

Highlights from the 2007 Nashville Recording Studio Survey
Most studios are commercial and for-profit. Most studio owners and managers stated that their studio was commercially available to the public (89%) rather than a private facility or one that was closed to the general public.
Studios are used primarily for tracking. Almost half of the studio owners and managers surveyed said that their studio was primarily used for tracking (46%), with mixing being the most popular secondary purpose of the facility owned/managed (40%). Editing (21%) was also a popular secondary function of the studios owned and managed by respondents.
Out of those studios that owned at least one tracking room, most owned more than one (average of 1.92 per facility that owned at least one). Less frequently, respondents owned rooms for editing (average of 1.69 editing rooms for studios that owned at least one), and mixing (average of 1.63 mixing rooms per facility that owned at least one).
The average age of the facilities owned or managed by the respondents is 17.33 years. Additionally, the reported average gross revenue for the previous tax year was $161,772.73.
Country music is still the primary style of music produced at Nashville facilities. Contemporary Christian, Rock, and Gospel music were also popular styles produced at the respondents’ facilities.
Most respondents operate their business as Sole Proprietorships (36%). Respondents also reported operating their businesses as Corporations (25%), Limited Liability Companies (18%), and General Partnerships (14%) as well.
Studios that use interns on a full-time basis use more interns (an average of 2 interns per studio that used full-time interns) than studios that use full-time engineers (average of 1.5 engineers per studio that hired full-time engineers at all).
The primary use of studios in the Nashville area is for music production. Mastering and Sound for Picture work followed in popularity.
Most studio owners and managers (89%) say they offer DAW mutitrack formats at their facility. 57% of studio owners and managers that responded say they offer digital muitltracking, while only a little more than one-third (36%) say they offer 24-track analog multitracking at their facilities.
Overall, most studio owners/managers say that worldwide, conditions for being successful in the recording studio business are getting worse (67%) and not better (11%) this year compared to last year. 18% of owners and managers feel conditions for being successful in Nashville getting better.
The PDF with all of these results can also be found here. More information regarding the Nashville Recording Studio Survey can be found here.

2007 Nashville Recording Studio Survey Quick Facts

Highlights from the 2007 Nashville Recording Studio Survey

Most studios are commercial and for profit. Most owners and managers said their studios were
commercial and open to the public (87%) rather than project studios closed to the public (7%) or
private and not-for-profit (7%).

The recent increase in independent record labels in Nashville is seen in clientele. Independent
record labels were the primary client for studio owners and managers in the past year (29%), while
business that aren’t record labels as well as independent artists with no manager account for 21%
each of studios’ primary clients.

Nashville is still home to country music. The most common style of music produced in studios by
owners and managers that responded is country (16%), with rock (13%), contemporary Christian
( 12%), gospel music (11%), and demos (11%) all following close behind.

Studio owners and managers that responded said their studios grossed an average of $125,205 last
tax year.
Additionally, most studio owners and managers either saw an increase in gross revenue or
stayed the same (73%) compared to the previous tax year. 91% of studio owners and managers say
they are experiencing growth or the same amount of gross revenue this tax year compared to last
year. Also, the average length of time studios have been in business in Nashville is 15.55 years.

Engineers are the most common type of employee in a Nashville Studio. Every studio owner and
manager (100%) that responded to the survey that have any full-time employees have at least one
Engineer on their full-time staff. More than half (55%) of studios also hire a full-time Studio
Manager as well.

Studio owners and managers are looking for help from interns more and more. While there were
increases in the number of Engineers (9%) and Studio Managers (11%) hired, Interns saw the
biggest hiring increase (27%). Assistant Engineers and Engineers saw the greatest increases in
independent contractor work (30% and 18% respectively).

Primary use of studios is to track audio. Almost half (47%) of studio owners and managers
surveyed say they use their studio primarily for tracking, while only 13% use their studio primarily
for mixing. Mixing, however, is the largest (57%) secondary use for studios.

6 out of every 7 studios have at least one mixing room. 86% of studios have at least one room
used for mixing, while less (71%) studios have at least one room for tracking.

While 70% of studio owners and managers feel the studio business is getting worse in the
Nashville area
compared to last year, 45% say that their own business is performing better than the
rest of the Nashville
recording studio businesses. Also, while 18% of studio owners and managers
feel optimistic about the future of the studio business in Nashville, over three times as many
(64%) feel optimistic about their own studio’s performance.

The PDF with all of these results can also be found here. More information regarding the Nashville Recording Studio Survey can be found here.