Opening a Recording Studio Introduction

When asking how to start a recording studio, you need a wide range of skills, many of which are unrelated to recording music. Your clients will want to know that you have a comprehensive knowledge of recording equipment that will allow you to create a unique sound. While many people possess technical skill, few possess the budgeting and marketing abilities needed to successfully run a recording studio. 

Before you attempt to open a recording studio, you need to think long and hard about whether you have the ability to meet customer expectations and how much you are willing to spend to start your studio.

Recording studios can serve a variety of purposes, including recording:

  • Music.
  • Sound-effects.
  • Soundtrack dubs for films or television.
  • Voice-overs for animation and advertisement.

Recording studios can also be used to teach sound-engineering.

The recording business usually attracts people with a passion for music. In addition to musical ability, you will need computer skills and the ability to work with complex equipment and recording software. You should consider structuring your recording business as an LLC so that your personal assets will be secure if your business has been sued.

Starting a Recording Studio

The first step in starting your recording studio is making sure you're opening your business for a good reason. The recording industry is very competitive, and if you're not passionate about this field, it's likely that your business won't succeed.

Finding the right location is the second step of starting a recording studio. Recording studios make a great deal of noise throughout the day, so finding the right location is crucial. Ideally, your recording studio will be in a secluded area where you will not disturb your neighbors. If you start a studio in a residential area, you will need to add soundproofing, which can cost a great deal of money.

You will also need to plan the layout of your studio. Generally, a recording studio will have a control room, an area where your clients can relax, and the studio itself. 

Building your studio is the third and most expensive step of opening your recording studio. To help you save on cost, you can try and buy your gear and materials second-hand. You should make sure the building you're buying is worth your investment.

Step four of starting your recording studio is research your market. You need to identify your clients and then locate your business where it is most likely to succeed. Newer artists usually won't have the money for high recording fees, so you should keep this in mind when determining your pricing. You should think about using a bartering system for certain clients, exchanging time in the studio for help running your business. This is one of the best ways to spread word of mouth and grow your business.

Making sure that your studio has the best equipment, and that you know how to repair this equipment, is one of the most important steps in starting your studio. If you want your commercial studio to be successful, your equipment should always be in working order. It's also important that you have an experienced team on your side, which should make it much easier to run your business.

You need to find a way to distinguish yourself from the competition.  Try to provide something different to your customers than they'll find at other studios. For instance, you could give your studio a warm, personal atmosphere, which will make it more enjoyable than sterile recording environments.

Recording Studio Business From Home: PROS

One of the biggest benefits of running your studio from home is that you won't have to commute to work, saving you a great deal of money and time. Without a commute, you won't have to sacrifice your personal life to successfully run your business.

Another benefit of a home studio is that you will not need to spend money renting a space for your studio. You can spend this extra money however you wish, including investing in better equipment for your business.

Working from home can also help you fulfill your family commitments, such as spending time with your spouse or children.

When running your studio at home, you'll also be able to more easily and effectively respond to client emergencies.

If you want to start a recording studio with help, you can post your legal needs on UpCounsel's marketplace. UpCounsel accepts only the top 5 percent of lawyers to its site. Lawyers on UpCounsel come from law schools such as Harvard Law and Yale Law and average 14 years of legal experience, including work with or on behalf of companies like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.