Considering Renting Out the Studio to Outside Musicians. Advise?


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02-14-2011, 01:11 AM
So I've got a pretty nice studio/practice space. I'm thinking about renting it out to outside bands (supervised of course and with taking inventory after every use). Just some questions.

- How much to charge per hour?
- Should it even be per hour, what about per day?
- Charge them extra for using the guitars/amps/piano?
- How about drums and P.A.? I'm thinking probably not, but who knows.
- Have them sign a contract?
- What rules should I establish?
- Why am I obsessive about peeling stickers off of things?

Help would be appreciated. I'm hurtin for cash, and this seems like a good idea until I find a job.

02-14-2011, 01:22 AM
well man that depends. are you gonna be acting as an engineer or a babysitter? are you going to be wanting a peice of whatever they make off of recordings made in your studio? id try and get in touch with a studio owner to find out all the stipulations.

as far as an extra equipment fee though: that depends on how nice your stuff is. some studios charge extra, and some would rather artists NOT bring their own stuff as they are already set up to record the in-house instruments.

if they only need the studio for a few days, charge them by the hour. if they need it for a week or more, then charge em for the day. i think thats how the pros do it.

02-14-2011, 01:27 AM
1) Charge by the hour. Not per Day. That's just crazy.

2) Also, make anyone using your studio pay a deposit of at least $100US (I'd aim for not less than $250), because if they break something, you don't want to be paying for it.
2a.) If you're leaving your amps/equipment there, take out insurance!
2b.) Yes! Make them sign a contract! Set something up where they own you if they cause damage to anything.

3) If I were you, I'd allow them to use Drums, Piano, and P.A. These are the things that would be hardest for them to move into the studio.

4) I have no idea why you're obsessing about peeling stickers off of things, but use some Mineral Spirits or Lighter Fluid to remove the sticky gunk thats left over underneath.

02-14-2011, 04:16 AM
You should register it as a business and get insurance to cover both the area, the equipment and the people who come in. You will also have to consider noise pollution policies in your area, and whether you'll have to invest in more soundproofing to protect your neighbours. Are you also willing to stay at home 24/7 to supervise the bands?

If you're strapped for cash, you mayn't have enough money to cover these start-up costs. Even after all that, owning a practice space has never struck me as a particularly profitable business, when compared to something like stacking shelves at a supermarket.

02-14-2011, 04:45 AM

Mayn't? :haha:

Good advice though.

02-14-2011, 05:34 AM
Mayn't? :haha:

It's lawyer speak...I don't expect you to understand ;)

02-14-2011, 05:48 AM
Here's some prices from a studio near where I live, they bring out some awesome sounding stuff.

Hourly Rate - $44 per hour (Charged in half hourly lots)
Weekday Rate - $300 per day (Up to 9 hours)
Half Day Rate - $180 per session (Approx 4.5 hours)
Weeknight Rate - $180 per session (Approx 4.5 hours)
Weekend Rate - $350 per day (Up to 9 hours)

I'm not sure what you're looking at it being but I think this is an actual full on record studio.

02-14-2011, 07:14 AM
Always charge by the hour...bands will tend to have more stamina than the supervisor person, so if you don't want them arguing 'well, it's still Monday in Japan, so we can keep playing', it's neater to charge by the hour. Plus, that way you may make a bit of extra cash.

Check in advance whether they're going to need to use any of your gear. I'd say it's almost obligatory to provide a piano and a drum kit (although drummers normally bring their own cymbals), as if a band's only practicing for a few hours, it'll take so long to move a drum kit and piano in, set them up, take them apart again, and get out that they'll not get much done.

If you're lending them equipment, think about how you're going to make sure that nobody damages it. A deposit is pretty much essential - I recommend either asking for someone's ID alongside a cash payment, or getting a debit card imprint, because we're not just talking 'oops, I dropped your amp and now it doesn't work', you've got to think 'what happens if someone steals that amp and manages to get away with it?' It will also deter them from writing graffiti on the walls, putting chewing gum in the piano, or whatever.

Definitely, definitely, definitely get them to sign a contract. And get it drawn up by someone who at least knows their way around contracts - they're not really something you can do at home if you want to be sure that it'll actually work.

Include everything that most bands will need you to provide in the hourly fee. Say 'you can use the drums, PA, piano all for $20/hour (or whatever)'. It's up to you whether you offer a discount if they bring all their own gear, but I wouldn't say so immediately, only if they ask for one.

As far as amps go, if you've got decent quality ones, you could add an extra $5 or $10 on to the overall bill for 'amp rental', but if you're only offering them a Cube 30 or something similar, you probably couldn't justify charging extra for it.

02-14-2011, 07:47 AM
It's lawyer speak...I don't expect you to understand ;)


I guess I'd best go and read up on it, bestn't I. :D

02-15-2011, 01:01 AM
Alright, I'm likin some of the ideas comin through here.

So, more thoughts/additions:

- Whoever brought up making it an established business..I kinda like that. That could work. What steps would I take to make that happen.

- Another note, the studio/practice space is in my Dad's basement, though my Dad is extremely cool. Thought I'd bring that up.

- Only about a third of the stuff is mine, another third is a friend of mine's (Friend 1), and the last third is a combination of two friends of mine (Friends 2 and 3). Friend 1 is on board, but Friend 2 is leaving the studio soon, and unfortunately taking a good portion of the PA system, alot of mics and cords, and Friend 3 will most likely be right behind on the way out, which will eliminate the rest of the PA system. Lameness. But, I've got some cash saved up and if I make this an established business, I can take out a small loan and rebuild another PA system, along with more mics and stuff. Now with this plan, I'd have to add things slower than I'd originally liked to, which means I'll only be able to provide it as a practice space before a legit studio. While I'm doing this, I'll have to go search even harder for other employment until I can start turning some sort of profit. Does sound advisable at all. It's sounding less and less awesome to me...but I still love the idea of it all.

- Today I cut out the eyes of every picture of every person in the newspaper during class out of boredom. Does that strike you as odd?

More thoughts?

02-15-2011, 02:23 AM
your behavior confuses me.

anyway, if I were you I wouldn't want to deal with this as a legit buisness. I would use it more for helping out friendly bands. yeah charge them but do like a case of beer kinda thing. this is all for a practice space though. not saying this is necesarilly what you should do, but its what I would do. :shrugs:

just make sure they know if they break it they bought it.

02-15-2011, 08:50 PM
Also, anybody wanna help out with the concept of unpowered mixers. I've been around powered mixers strictly for a while so I don't really get em. Pretty much unpowered mixer+power amp=awesome? Or am I missing something?