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 Income From Home Studio ???
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thenymph Offline
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Joined: 07 Dec 2003
Posts: 471
Location: Virginia
Age: 41


PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 2:10 pm    Post subject: Oh yeah!!! Reply with quote

There are so many things involved in building a home studio and actually running it to actually start building income.

There is a great little video tutorial on the IRS website that I strongly recommend that will go over the in and outs with regard to:

Income Tax (if you intend to generate more than 600.00 a year)
Tax deductions (see Schedule C) The cool thing about this is that on top of your mortgage interest being tax deductible, that the square footage used EXCLUSIVELY for business is also tax deductible (take percentage of square footage to get the dollar amount). The only downside is that you also have to have an entirely separate balance sheet and you will have to capitalize and depreciate all equipment used to generate income (which is not too bad if you record as you acquire it).

and of course there is the Federal Tax ID set up if you would like to keep your social security numbers not so social when doing business as Producer at Large.

Also, the state will also want a piece of you. Go to your state website to see if an occupancy permit is required to operate a home business (most likely, you will need one). You will also have to acquire a business license (the fee is usually based in the first year on your estimated income and any subsequent annual fees are based on actual income.)

My suggestion would also be if that you intend to generate more than 600.00 per year that you open an entirely different bank account (for which I would suggest a FEIN set-up and a seperate entity name) with a reserve cushion for any associated Federal/State tax/licensure fees you might stumble upon.

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RedStone Offline
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Joined: 27 Nov 2004
Posts: 1431
Location: British Columbia, Canada


PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it's about how you use what you have ... we all want more and better and faster and ... blah. People were making records that sounded better with worse equipment than what the average home studio has now days. be a master of your studio - know EVERYTHING .. woa hah ha (easier said than done)
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BMW Offline
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Joined: 03 Apr 2005
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Location: Deerfield, FL
Age: 68

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 22, 2006 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
People were making records that sounded better with worse equipment than what the average home studio has now days.


This is very true. They were making HITS with old technology by today's standards. What's that tell you? It tells me, it's who you know in the business. Not what you know.

The music business is like an iceburg. The music represents the visable 5% but the remaining 95% of the "business" is under the serface of the water.

The question is, has it always been that way? Or, did the music ever really sell it's self?

My guess is, it has always been that way. And, not only in the music industry either.
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peritus Offline
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Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 5:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

BMW wrote:
Quote:
People were making records that sounded better with worse equipment than what the average home studio has now days.


This is very true. They were making HITS with old technology by today's standards. What's that tell you? It tells me, it's who you know in the business. Not what you know.

The music business is like an iceburg. The music represents the visable 5% but the remaining 95% of the "business" is under the serface of the water.

The question is, has it always been that way? Or, did the music ever really sell it's self?

My guess is, it has always been that way. And, not only in the music industry either.


I'm the assistant engineer at the hidden gem studio in my town (where the guy can support himself with this as his main gig, working out of his house)... (I volunteer)..

It's been our experience that the quality of the band itself determines a good percentage of "perceived fidelity"... AKA: if the band isn't capable of performing very well, then the RECORDING suffers.

I know it sounds obvious.. but really think about it. Here you are trying to produce a song that was just written a couple days ago.. Nobody in the band seems to know their part and everything is overdub.. Drums aren't so tight and guitar parts must be tracked innumerable times to get something workable...

Where in past decades, in what was perhaps the "golden age" of recording, things were either recorded simultaneously (as a band) and left that way OR overdubs were limited to addition to the original "take"...(Rather than building a track from absolute scratch)..

With the advent of pro tools style editing, additional time must be invested to make up for the fact that musicians GENERALLY lack the technical skill and artistry of their predecessors.

and they say James Brown was a musical tyrant at leading his band... I wonder why...

Even though I can only do it in the evenings, I (like the studio owner) get frustrated when bands don't give their all at what they do... I think one of the major factors causing bands to act that way is that we used to charge by the song, rather than by the hour or day... It seemed to invite way too much lallygagging.... Not that it's too much better now... but some....

Ultimately, I feel that people overlook the almost spiritual factor of recording at a commercial studio over a home studio.. I mean, it's the difference between being on stage at a real venue and standing in someone's backyard playing a a party... Being in awe of, having fear, and giving it your all ...

Moreover, I feel that having an engineer/producer that's "on the map" helps get the musician in a "I need to do this and do it right" kind of mode...

Just some random thoughts...

Don't get me wrong.. I'm mediocre at most everything I do.. and I'm 23.. So, it's nothing personal to the young people around here..
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skod Offline
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2007 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I make a reasonable shred of income with my home studio, and with doing the occasional live/recording date. This works for me because I have a business structure for it to work under (I have my real-living business organized as an LLC, so the studio activity is simply a DBA subbusiness under that overall umbrella). So taxes and the like are a lot easier to handle, as all the business activity is handled and managed right up front.

Now, I can't say that I make a profit: pretty much all that income is absorbed in depreciation and expenses, except on a really good year. But I do get paid for it, I can justify keeping good gear around, and I get to scratch my recording itch. And I work with some really good artists.

Once upon a time back in the early 80s, I ran a small commerical studio in Boston (at the same time as I was trying to front a working band, and work by day for a musical instrument company). This experience taught me two things: 1. burnout sucks, and 2. the best way to make a small fortune in recording is to start with a large fortune. I sold off everything (and believe me when I say that I'm still kicking myself for selling off what is now an irreplaceable mic locker!), closed the doors, walked away, laid down my sticks, and didn't do a damned thing musically for 10 years.

Getting back into my own music in the late 90s, I built up just what I wanted and needed to record my own material. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunatley), that didn't last long- through my wife, I developed a number of connections into the a capella vocal music crowd. And through those folks, into the acoustic/folk/bluegrass crowd. These folks were looking for a knobtwister who would take the time to understand their music and maybe record them. So, strictly through word of mouth, I ended up with a little niche business: what is for all intents and purposes an acoustic music bed-and-breakfast. Come out, hang out, watch the sun set over the mountains, drink wine, ride horses, track a CD. All done by word of mouth...

The niche market thing is the key, IMNSHO. In particular, the a capella folks are not inclined to deal with the normal run of $25/hour bong-water-soaked project rooms with smoke-stained posters of Megadeth on the walls. This wierd setup of mine works because I understand the style, can work quickly and efficiently in the background as they do their thing, can acommodate what they are looking for, and above all don't try to intimidate them. The Hippocratic oath of recording applies here: "first, do no harm". This is about as different from running a rock shop as it is possible to be, where baseball bats and Waved limiters are the order of the day.

So, I can justify keeping stuff around to do my own thing. I only do a few projects a year, but I enjoy them in their own right- even if the music is not what I would choose to do personally.

If you want to do recording as a business, finding a niche for your effort is key, so that you can differntiate yourslef from everybody else with a PC and Cubase. As is running it like a business. And as is realizing that the music that is going to happen is not your music. Whatever your niche ends up being, you need to learn it inside and out, so that you can support the client's needs as second nature. It's their music, and you are there as a facilitator. This can take some time and pain to really internalize...

There's realistically no way to make a living at recording, unless you have the capital to make some serious investments in the room and gear, the chutzpah and contacts to attract some really good engineers and producers, and the cast-iron disposition needed to smile sweetly when acts that suck rocks through a straw are burning your time, trashing your mics, and throwing up in your bathroom. However, it absolutely *is* possible to make a little money at it, and even make some Art, if you pick your niche wisely.

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