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Recording Studio Owners:
Surviving & Succeeding in the 21st Century

By Professor Pooch
© David J. Spangenberg

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What has become quite obvious, with the insane advancements in technology, including the marketing, distribution and promotion abilities of the Internet and social networking, more and more people are becoming interested into getting into the music industry.

Of course, this technology also makes it more and more probable that the musician has recording tools right in his or her own house...

Now what can You offer them that they can't do on their own?

1. Obviously, quality, which they don't realize – until they come into a real Studio and see, listen – and experience, the difference.

2. The total experience – or as much as You can provide, whether it's at Your Studio or elsewhere...

So the answer is to get Musicians and Producers, etc. into Your Studio, and to also offer services that they need – possibly all in one place. Audio Engineers & Studio Owners need to expand into, and take advantage of, more ways to make money, with their studios, their recordings, and their services.

Let's delve into the obvious and non-obvious. And remember, just as importantly as giving You more options, the idea is to get Your mind “thinking outside the box” [I hate that cliché – There Is No Box - unless You build one around You!]

Also, keep in mind, even if You don't make money directly on some of the below mentioned items, immediately, good PR is a very valuable asset. That is, getting Your Studio and Name out into the public, and in a good light...

[Btw, please keep in mind, I can guide You, and help simplify for You, including any necessary contracts and negotiations, ALL of the below. Simply put, this includes any Creative, Business, Legal & Contractual situations You run into, which I will most probably be able to guide You and answer any of Your questions! More on this as we go on...]


Obviously, some of the following depend on the size and layout of Your facility, but there also many where size doesn't matter:

1. Offer different types of Audio Engineering, and/or Producing classes, with You and/or an Associate.

2. Offer other types of Musical or Music Business classes or seminars...

3. Using extra room[s] with maybe a back-line for renting rehearsal space...

4. Using extra room[s] with pre-recording equipment charging hourly or package rate...

5. Having Music Business Professional Speakers appear... For present & potential clients to see and hear Your place, & getting the Studio name - and Your name, out there, which brings in even more possible clients.

For example, if in the general Philly area, I could come in and address any requested or desired Creative, Business, or Legal topics, and answer any of their questions on the Music Industry.

6. Intimate concerts and events

And now, shifting gears a little:

7. 1st facetious question: How many Studio Owners/Engineers, end up Producing or Co-Producing some of Your client's recordings?

Producers normally get paid either:

a. “Up-front” - Cash per hour, per song, per project, etc., or...

b. On “The Back-end” - Usually, starting out, 3% of the retail selling price, or...

c. A combination of a & b.

8. 2nd facetious question: How many of you end up helping write song[s] on some of Your client's recordings? [I don't mean just a couple of notes or words] You may have earned and can receive...

a. A piece of the Writing

b. A piece of the Publishing

c. A combination of both, or whatever is agreed to

Keep in mind, the possible cash and royalties from these contributions, may be worth a lot! And, You can receive dividends over many years...

Note re: 7 [Producing] & 8 [Songwriting] - even besides money, but also important, is having Your name on the products – that is, the ones You're willing to put Your name behind, of course].

And, don't forget to offer these services, in your promotion and word of mouth...

9. During times a Studio isn't in use, perhaps there's an Artist[s] You really believe in, that You'd like to back, by giving them “free” Studio time... If so,

a. Start a Production Company &/or Indie Label [Unless they pay for Studio time, You Own the Recordings!]

b. Start a Music Publishing Company [You can write, and/or own or co-own the songs]

Note: Please keep in mind that Recordings, and Songs, are 2 different copyrights - and 2 separate sources of income!

Important Note: Get an Agreement[s] on paper before You start recording them! Suffice it to say, I could fill a small book on just stories I've run into where there were no contracts, and there were started or finished products, that resulted in messes, including losses of substantial income...

I recommend at least a well-written Production Agreement with the client on paper. I usually recommend a combination Production Company/Indie Label Agreement in one contract. This gives the Production Company the right to “place” their Artist with a Label, or distribute and sell product themselves, instead, if they so wish... Perhaps You may want to become a “slash label” with another label.

The whole Recording Company game has changed.

10. If You write songs - you do have a Studio at your disposal - so get some good recordings out there. Placing songs in TV & Film is a hot thing right now!

11. Other services [depending on expertise – and/or associates] at Your Studio or elsewhere...

Note: By sitting down with a Studio owner, I will be able to come up with other ideas that fit that person and Studio, let alone, coming up with a combination of any or all of the above.


Okay, so how can I personally help You? In brief, I can meet privately with You/the Studio; and/or Your Clients, whether they be Singers, Songwriters, Musicians or Producers, on the Creative side, or Managers, Publishers, Production Companies and Indie Labels, on the Business Side, and offer You both, complete, personalized guidance re: Your and/or their careers and Music-related businesses, including handling any desired or necessary contracts and negotiations.

And I can do this all for a very reasonable per hour rate. And, NO, I don't charge for every phone call or email. I can meet with You, or your clients, in person, by Skype video/audio, by phone, whatever. I work nationally...

Let's face it, You DO want to have ways to make money and stay involved in Your client's careers even AFTER they finish their initial recordings, and that's where I can come in to help You, and them - and therefore You!

As a Music Business Educator & Consultant with 40 years of Studio experience, and 30 years of guiding others, I know there needs to be added sources of income for Studios to survive and succeed in the 21st Century...

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"Our aim is to help guide you, protect you, and to answer any and all of your questions regarding the Creative, Business and Legal sides of the Music Business, in plain, easy-to-understand "People-Talk". No matter what style of Music, no matter what you do, no matter what stage of your career - we're here for you! Let us help you save wasted time and money..."

David J. Spangenberg
["Professor Pooch"]

Music Business Career Guidance,
Entertainment Contract Specialist

E-mail David at: Pooch@professorpooch.com

2001 - David J. Spangenberg
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Professor Pooch LLC

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