The Pro Studio Model
So what separates the pro studio from the home studio? In my article The Music Production Studio, I divided studios into two main categories, commercial and home studios.
Home studios are designed and built for the use of a specific person or group of people. Each detail is specifically crafted for the way that artist, producer or engineer works. Some commercial studios are designed for private use with staff engineers, producers and songwriters. Studios that specialize in TV and radio ads can fall into this category.
The commercial studio, by comparison, is designed for artists, producers and engineers who have very different ways of working. In order to draw clients, a commercial studio design must offer some flexibility in the way the studio can be used. This way clients with differing music production methods can all be accommodated.
The Pro Studio, Designed With a Purpose.
Most pro studios are designed to accommodate a particular style or styles of music. For example, a jazz studio would invest more money into creating a natural sounding acoustic recording space. The reason is that a majority of recorded performances are live acoustic recordings with a minimum of overdubs. Depending on the size of the space, classical recordings may also be served well in this studio.
By contrast a hip hop studio would typically have a smaller live recording space because most of the music is programmed and sequenced in a computer. The control room will be designed to accommodate more people and the equipment necessary to handle that type of work. The live room, by comparison, would be smaller, and primarily used for recording vocals and instrument overdubs.
A commercial studio can also specialize in certain types of work and draw clients in by providing quality for that specific task. For example, a studio may focus all of their efforts into building great control rooms for mixing. By supplying a good selection of pro audio gear, well designed and acoustically treated control rooms and good quality monitoring systems. Producers and engineers will be drawn to rooms that give them the resources they need to make great mixes.
Another common business model for commercial studios is to offer all the facilities needed for an entire music production project. A large recording room, small overdub room, a programming and editing suite and a mix room. The idea of this model is to accommodate a client through all of the phases of a project. See my article on the Production Process to learn more about how projects are organized.
Commercial studio facilities can be further broken down into 3 additional categories.
- State of the Art Studios
- Mid level studios
- Small studios
Each one accommodates a particular client base regardless of the style of music. Let's take a look at each, starting with the State of the Art studio.
State of the Art Studio
The state of the art studio is built with two basic concepts in mind. Comfort and quality. A pro studio of this design will accommodate high quality clients that are looking for a recording space that befits their stature in the music industry. State of the art studios do not skimp on details. The quality of every aspect of the studio design is considered. Here are a few of those qualities
- Highest quality Acoustic design
- Great microphone selection
- Extensive array of pro audio gear
- High end monitoring systems
- Large private lounge area
- Attractive aesthetic
State of the art recording facilities offer the best of the best to their clients. Having had the luxury of spending many years recording, mixing and building these facilities, it is easy to get spoiled when you are stuck in a lessor studio. While many of these facilities have closed with the decline of the major record label budgets, the ones that remain are a testament to how pro studios should be built.
Please click on the link below to continue reading the rest of this article.
The Pro Studio Part I
The Pro Studio Part II
Return to Home from The Pro Studio