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> And Another One Gone
tonymiro
post Jun 26 2012, 05:43 PM
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http://www.prosoundnewseurope.com/main-con...pers-says-owner

Air was a great UK multi-room facility. Sad news for me as I know the mastering engineers and did some work there some years back.

And another:

http://www.prosoundnewseurope.com/studione...-still-for-sale

This post has been edited by tonymiro: Jun 26 2012, 05:46 PM


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ItSME3
post Jun 27 2012, 02:32 PM
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sad times
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Gabriel Leopardi
post Jul 1 2012, 10:08 PM
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That's sad! It seems that studios will have to review their way of working. There are a lot of recording possibilities nowadays and I think that big studios are paying for that. sad.gif


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tonymiro
post Jul 2 2012, 01:02 PM
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I actually stopped reading PSN for a long time because I found all the news about studios closing too depressing.

QUOTE (Gabriel Leopardi @ Jul 1 2012, 10:08 PM) *
... It seems that studios will have to review their way of working...


Very true Gab and I think the majority of us have. Prices have come down considerably and many now offer unattended sessions, after hours sessions, 'no engineer' sessions and so on. Whilst all of those increase their portfolio what generally kills a studio tends to be poor cashflow and inability to cover fixed overheads. What we see more and more though are profitiable studios that are closing, just like the two in the links above.

The industry has moved from almost having little awareness of finance/economics to now being very focused on it. I certainly am very aware of what our breakeven point is, my accountant reminds me of it constantly, and I'm sure that it's the same for the majority of studio managersl.

Many mid sized and large pro studios are now managed and owned by people who are largely divorced from the day to day recording/mixing/mastering. Some of these owners see the studio only in terms of the balance sheet. One of the sad truths is that professional recording/mixing/mastering studios generally do not actually provide particularly good ROI and ROCE when compared with other similar capital investments. Management accountants look at those ratios and so advice the owner/s that selling up will yield more profit. So a studio can be profitable but be closed by the accountants because it is not profitable enough.


QUOTE
There are a lot of recording possibilities nowadays and I think that big studios are paying for that. sad.gif


And also the medium and small studios. Just to go back to the idea of overheads and the economics for a bit...

For us our monthly fixed overheads are @ 3000 Euros every month before we do anything. Factoring in variable costs on our present rate card we actually have to be booked for around 80% of our 38 hour standard week to break even. I work considerably longer hours in the studio all the time both to keep us in profit and also so that we can return completed projects and respond to clients quickly.

We're in competion with other professional mastering studios and also home/project studios. The former tend to have similar cost structures to us and our rate card is positioned competively against them. For all of us professional engineers this is our only source of income and we have to pay salaries, buy equpiment and pay taxes etc from it. What we can't compete with financially are the home/project studios as they have minimal or no fixed overheads. They have little, if any equipment, no salaries to pay and most pay no taxes. It's a hobby for them and most have a day job that pays them their proper wage.

Prices/rate cards for mastering have fallen considerably over the last few years but fixed costs have gone up. I frequently receive enquiries that ask us to master an album at the same price as some home/project studio. You know the usual, 'My mate can master my 10 track CD for $50 will you give us the same deal?' The guy charging $50 propbaly will not listen to all ten tracks and will almost certainly just run it through a preset on a vst to 'make it louder' and probably won't even stop to wonder if the preset is ok for your music. To do that will take maybe 1/2 an hour at most. 10 well recorded and mixed tracks takes us 1 - 11/2 day to master. (More for those that are not well recorded/mixed.) That doesn't include time that we don't charge for spent critically listening to and commenting on mixes, providing different versions and so on.

For a 20 working day month it's obvious that I can not charge $50 just from my fixed costs. To do so would require us to work @ 20 hours/day, seven days a week or for me to drastically reduce our fixed costs. So quite simply I can't compete on price with a home/project studio at all. All I can do is try and offer a better service and better 'product' based on experience and equipment and hope that people will pay the premium. Some will but more and more are only interested in price and indifferent to quality of product/service. We have enough work from the former for now but the balance is shifting towards the latter.

I'm sure that some will see this as a 'survival of the fitest' issue and will think that all of us who go out of business/bankrupt deserved it as we couldn't keep up. They won't care about the loss of experience, people losing their jobs and so on. They see the cost of everything but the value of nothing. What they may want to consider however is what we will be replaced by: someone in a home studio with little, if any, experience using a preset on a vst. They won't spend much, if any time, actually listening to your music before 'processing' it, they won't care if you don't like it and won't correct it if it doesn't meet technical critieria/standards.





--------------------
Get your music professionally mastered by anl AES registered Mastering Engineer. Contact me for Audio Mastering Services and Advice and visit our website www.miromastering.com

Be friends on facebook with us here.

We use professional, mastering grade hardware in our mastering studo. Our hardware includes:
Cranesong Avocet II Monitor Controller, Dangerous Music Liasion Insert Hardware Router, ATC SCM Pro Monitors, Lavry Black DA11, Prism Orpheus ADC/DAC, Gyratec Gyraf XIV Parallel Passive Mastering EQ, Great River MAQ 2NV Mastering EQ, Kush Clariphonic Parallel EQ Shelf, Maselec MLA-2 Mastering Compressor, API 2500 Mastering Compressor, Eventide Eclipse Reverb/Echo.
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