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studio partners vs solo???
Old 3rd November 2002
Lives for gear
hollywood_steve's Avatar
🎧 15 years
studio partners vs solo???

This is for all of you lucky guys with your very own studios. Almost everyone these days starts out with a home studio and these can range from a notebook PC up to an 80 series Neve and a pair of Studer 827s. But the concept of the home studio is common to most of us. But that next step, lets call it a "project studio" gets tricky.

If unlimited funds are available, one could just ring up the local real estate agent and wait until they bring you the perfect location. But for most of us, moving the studio out of the home and into commercial rental space involves some serious compromises. The most serious being the taking on of partners to share the cost of leasing space. The great thing about the home studio scene is that by the time that you are dissatisfied with recording in a spare bedroom, you've got enough gear piled up that you probably don't need parnters to get it together on the gear end. But going from free space to rental space does require creative planning, at least until you get established.

My current problem is that reality is sinking in. After years of talking to various folks about sharing space, I finally found a couple of guys who seemed sane, competent and reasonably normal. But no two people view their "dream" studio the same way. And when you've sunk many tens of thousands of dollars into gear, and hundreds of hours of labor wiring things up, it can be incredibly frustrating when you have to compromise on any issues at all.

So, for those of you who successfully have made it into your own rooms (especially those in crazy urban real estate markets), how did you get to the point where you could throw thousands of dollars towards rent without having to rob banks between sessions?

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Old 3rd November 2002
Moderator emeritus
🎧 15 years
Well, I kind of cheated and build my own ground up facility on 10 acres I own.

But there are some fairly scary things about going partners with someone else - from simple things like how you schedule each of the partner's time in the studio to the way that money is divided. My old assistant was recently about to go into a studio partnership with a friend he was supplying the bulk of the gear and his friend was buying in with a cash invenstment - the building was chosen, the contractor for the build-out was hired, and then his friend got cold feet (and took his money with him).

If you have the cash flow to get into a building, make the payments on the gear and pay yourself enough of a slary to keep your head above water and have the gear to make it work, why not simply do the bare minimum of a build out to start working, and then do more as money is available? That's what I'm doing - this week, we're doing the back wall of the control room and beginning the treatment of the iso booth that's been used as dead storage for the last year. And if I get to Home Depot today, I'm going to go ahead and buy enough lumber to finish the treatments on the bottom half of the other control room walls next week. And I've been working in the room for a year...
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