Spring is in the air, and that means that in addition to flowers, love is in the air. Here at ACX, there are a few specific things we love most, and one of them is the home studio.
Here are some great reasons to love home studios.
1. You’re the boss.
Taking greater control of your career can be an opportunity to learn new skills and uncover some you didn’t even know you had. And learning more about your industry is a process that exposes you to more people in the business and gives you a greater understanding of all aspects of production. Plus, the more skills you have, the more money you can make.
So how do you go about learning what it really takes to run your own home studio? Ask around! Talk to friends in the industry, studios and engineers you’ve worked with in the past and colleagues who have made the leap to home recording. They can tell you if you’re experienced enough to embark on this endeavor, and you can also learn from the mistakes they made. And don’t forget audio message boards, online tutorials (right here on ACX and on YouTube), and helpful blogs (ahem). Of course, you’re always free to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org – we’re always happy to help.
If you’ve worked with some great engineers over the years, pick their brains for insight. Most passionate professionals love to pontificate on the positive points of their profession. Once you gather some initial ideas, put them into use yourself. Practice practice practice! And remember, as far as recording goes, you’ll only need to learn the best settings for your voice once. When you work them out, you can use the same settings time and again from project to project.
2. More jobs.
A home studio allows you to work as you want to. And you won’t have to turn down jobs because of scheduling conflicts. So you can always go into a big pro studio when you get called by Joe Bigshot Producer, but you can also chase ACX gigs. And when you do have a home studio and at least a few audiobooks under your belt, it’s well worth contacting every audio publisher out there—they’ll want to hear from you.
3. Creative control.
There are many positive aspects to running the show yourself and being your own boss. The biggest is that you can really make the project your own, as you have more creative control without too many cooks spoiling the broth. You’ll still receive feedback from the person who hired you, and you may even want to ask your engineer friends to listen to your samples and give you some more tips.
Who hasn’t fantasized about rolling out of bed and into “the office” while still in pajamas? If you’re in the VO business know that a day’s work can often entail running uptown for an audition, downtown for a pickup session, and crosstown to deliver a batch of files. Having a few projects lined up for your home studio affords you greater control of your schedule, cuts down on commuting costs, and lets you work in a comfortable environment.
It’s true, not everyone lives in a quiet shack in the middle of nowhere. Construction, barking dogs, and your neighbor’s kids can create distractions and impart unwanted sound effects on your recording. But the longer you do it, the more you’ll learn the rhythm of your living environment and the times of day (or night) that provide a quiet window for recording. For those with flexible schedules, slotting in a few hours to record at the right time can be a productive use of what may otherwise be down time.
5. It doesn’t have to break the bank.
A mid-level setup (like the one highlighted on ACX’s Video Lessons and Resources page) can deliver great-sounding productions without breaking the bank. And while top-notch gear can often carry with it a top-notch price tag, it doesn’t have to. Want even better equipment without all the cost? Buy used. Scour eBay, Craigslist and music and equipment stores with pre-owned inventory. Already know people in the industry? Ask around and find out if anyone is looking to part with some gently used gear. Get creative and you’ll be impressed with the results.
As with any home business, you must be able to set boundaries, and that may take some getting used to. But setting up and running a home studio can be educational, rewarding and liberating. It can provide you with more options for work and greater control over your own destiny. And best of all, if done right, it can be an additional revenue stream to compliment the money you make recording for traditional studios. Are you ready to fall in love?