Nothing beats a productive day in the studio. When the musicians come prepared, they record every track in just a few takes, they pay you on time, and they don’t ask for endless revisions, it inspires a feeling of bliss only a seasoned recording engineer could understand.
Ok — that’s a fantasy. Nine times out of ten, it won’t work out that way. But even if the musicians can be hard to deal with, you still need their business. With the rising popularity of digital audio workstations and the diminishing costs of entry-level microphones, mixers, and other vital pieces of recording equipment, recording engineers are facing stiff competition from the artists themselves.
While you know that you can provide a higher quality product than some amateurs at a patchwork home studio, you still need to convince the artists that your studio is worth the price. One of the most significant ways to impress potential clients is to make sure that your studio is presentable, so check out these five major ways to make your recording studio appear more professional.
Watch Those Cables
Not only are messy cables ugly to look at, but they’re a real hazard too. If someone trips over your cables, then you may be liable for damages. Even if they aren’t injured, there’s a solid chance that your equipment will be knocked over and damaged. By tying your cables and keeping them out of the way, you’re showing artists that you take pride in your studio’s appearance, and it will make you look much more professional than the plethora of studios that don’t take cable management seriously.
Snacks and Beverages
The artists you record aren’t just customers; they’re guests too. You want them to feel welcome in your establishment, and a simple way to do that is to provide tea, coffee, cold water, and maybe some light snacks. After all, recording sessions can take all day, so the artists could use a little pick-me-up to put some pep in their step. Go the extra mile and provide them with an assortment of exotic food and beverages. For instance, a monthly coffee subscription provides the studio with flavorful beans from around the world. The wider your selection, the better your business looks (and the better your coffee tastes!)
It may seem obvious, but since you spend more time than anyone at the studio, it’s easy to become blind to certain messes. Dust can accumulate in every nook and cranny. While you’re so used to the scuffs and tears on the floor that you hardly notice them, prospective clients will see it the moment they walk through the door. All gear should be wiped down, and your windows should sparkle. Before they even consider walking through the door, they’re going to see the exterior of your studio, so it’d better look nice. You should regularly scan the parking lot and sidewalk for gum, cigarette butts, and other nasty debris. If you don’t already have one in place, consider implementing a no vaping policy. Not only are the stale scents of burnt vape juice off-putting, but vapor can also damage your expensive equipment, and you certainly don’t want that.
What is your studio’s style? Does your studio’s look relate to the modern trends of the genres you typically record, or does it look more like a 90s fast food joint? Your design choices should appeal to your target demographic. If you often record country artists, then maybe they’ll respond better to a more rustic, rural vibe. If you’re mostly dealing with indie surf rock artists, then perhaps you should choose a color palette that evokes images of the beach. You don’t necessarily have to hone in on a narrow theme, but you should at least understand your client base well enough to avoid putting them off with your design choices.
Make It Comfortable
Artists can record better takes when they’re relaxed, so you want to make sure that your studio is a relaxing place to be. Chairs and couches should be comfortable enough to be sat on for a long time. If you’re bringing in a band, then they’ll each have to sit and wait around for long periods while the other bandmates record their parts.