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Walk through security?
Old 11th October 2002
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Walk through security?

Part of getting people to book time in a studio certainly includes having potential clients do the "walk through". For small as well as larger places this can be risky affair as far as theivery goes.

Several years ago there was a rash of studios in the N.Y. metro area getting "hit" (for mic's mainly) by a group of individuals while taking a tour of the studio. Some of you may remember this as Mix did an article on these capers. One of the studios on Long Island to fall prey to this was one I happen to be working for at the time... my boss was quoted in the Mix article. For the initial walk through both my boss and I were present. They (3 perp's) seemed nice enough...thanked us for the tour and said they'd be in touch. Two day's later they called the studio and said they wanted to show the place to the one remaining member of "the group" who couldn't make the previous tour. There was no session that day so my boss was there alone and I wouldn't be there for another few hours. They show up, say the place is just what they need, and offer to put a deposit down. My boss stepped into the office to write up a receipt with the guy who was digging into his pocket when he (the Perp) says he thought he had more than he actually did and asked where the local ATM was. My boss told him and said he'd write up the receipt while he and his buddies took a walk. In the few moments my boss was in the office with perp-1 the other perp's had slipped into the live room and lifted a TLM-170, 414 TLII, an RE20, and I think a pair of 421's as well, right off the stands. Needless to say... they never came back.

Being a small "home studio" with no staff other than youself to keep an eye on things, what kind of precautions would you take to keep "the studio walk" from becoming "the Perp walk" and cover your ass while taking strangers through your studio and possibly your home.
Old 11th October 2002
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Fibes's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
That's what a mic locker is for...


Usually people want to work with me and explain why on their first call. If they ask: "Where are you at, what stuff do You have?" and refuse to answer: "What's your name? What's your home number so we can get right back to you? and How'd you hear about us?" A walkthrough becomes a non-issue. My rates are 3 times normal when I am not given an answer on the name question. Life is too short.
Old 11th October 2002
  #3
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
My rule is:

Leave nothing out in the open that a junkie that kicked down the door could find of value to run off with.

Anything 'pocketable' is stashed.

I once suggested that a studio owner who was opening his house for commercial sessions make it so that it could withstand a delinquent teenager offspring of a client say, if a short trip down to the store was required. That concentrated the studio owners mind somewhat.

Security of pocketable items is not so much the clients perhaps..... but the folks that may come with or to visit them.

A studio I worked at was ripped off for a few mic's by a pro team that were working in London a few years back.

I am REALLY fussy who gets into my joint.

Old 11th October 2002
  #4
Lives for gear
 
C.Lambrechts's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Clients are NEVER left alone and all portable items used during sessions are ranged and checked BEFORE they leave the studio. Like mentionede above ... mic LOCKers are a must.

I had one surprise a couple of years ago .... a briefcase with 6 schoeps mics disappeared one time and although I have a fairly good idea of who took it and when ... there were several days between me using them last and noticing them gone. THere had been several other clients in there in between. Some stuff you learn the hard way .... but it hurts.
Old 12th October 2002
  #5
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
My mics are put away when not in use. I generally won't give a tour when I'm in the middle of a project. The mics are in a cabinet in a closet that you have to walk next to the console to get to. It would be obvious if someone was to go for it. I don't usually pull out mic unless asked. I just give model numbers.
Old 12th October 2002
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Midlandmorgan's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I lock everything up as well...plus I have a couple of other measures:

1. There are a couple of signs strategically posted which used to read, "Shoplifters will be prosecuted." They now read "Shoplifters will be shot on sight." I make sure to point this out, all tongue in cheek, of course, to people I have that 'feeling' about.

2. To get to the actual studio area, people must walk through 2 strong gates...each gate is remotely securable, and has a sign addressing #3 below...

3. Along with a pretty good alarm system, I have 2 serious-looking partners...one pit bull and one coon hound...both of which could shred an intruder/violent interloper in less than 5 seconds...

I also trust their instincts...if either of them 'alerts' on a client/prospect, the deal is off...

Paranoid? Nah...just well prepared
Old 13th October 2002
  #7
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Just like Tony, I almost never leave mics out between sessions. I might do it if I only have a day or two between sessions and even then anything nice or expensive goes away in a cabinet (non-locking) in the control room. So, if anyone tried to grab a mic it would be pretty obvious. I'm more worried about losing guitar pedals, cymbals and stuff like that. Even the small stuff like in-line pads and whatever adds up after a while. I also have a dog in the house which seems to be pretty vicious. She's never bitten anyone but she has snapped at a few people and I wouldn't put it past her to actually take a chunk out of someone.
heh
Old 13th October 2002
  #8
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Being a smart studio owner and/or studio manager must also include proper handling of all questions and answers. It's not just about the security of your gear and lives, it's also about your future by way of outside intelligence gathering.

We get a fair amount of calls that just sound too nosey to be a real client. They seem to ask the most interesting questions. One question that comes to mind is, "I need to book a truck for (let's say) October or November, and we were wondering which days you got free within those months?" Huh, which days are free? Instead of asking, "I need the mobile unit for 10/10 & 11/02, etc." And when you have a question or two for them, they never seem to have the information available for you...

If we cannot get the four "W's" answered; Who, What, Where & How, we don't take the caller very seriously and Handle it accordingly.

The "where are you located?" stuff really scares me when they don't want to give you any important information back. To me, it smells like trouble everytime.
Old 13th October 2002
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Fibes
If they ask: "Where are you at, what stuff do You have?" and refuse to answer: "What's your name? What's your home number so we can get right back to you? and How'd you hear about us?" A walkthrough becomes a non-issue.
This is pretty much what I do also.


If they do get as far as a tour I batten down anything that's laying around especially pocket size stuff. No mic's are ever left out. I certainly learned that through my boss's experience... and so did he!

I also have a 'no visitors' policy. If they're not directly involved in the creative part of the project then they don't belong, period. I also do an inventory before anybody leaves. If stuff is getting left up overnight I'll do a visual, otherwise everything gets wrapped up and counted before a single piece of the bands stuff leaves. If something's missing nobody leaves until it's found. I've rescued a few guitar cables and such from "accidentally" migrating to a new home this way. Sometimes people get a little insulted about having to wait while I do my thing but hey, you gotta do what you gotta do. These are also the very people most likely to have an "accidental migration" in their bag. tut
Old 13th October 2002
  #10
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
The call from a stranger that starts with 'what is the address of the studio' is always the WRONG call IMHO.
Old 13th October 2002
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Tim L's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Agreed... it's pretty much 'red light' territory. It's name, rank, and what town I'm in until I get (and verify) their name and phone#.
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