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Can You Make Money with A Home Studio (Are They Profitable?)

Owning a home recording business can seem like a lot of fun. But are home recording studios worth it? Are they even profitable?

When my friends and I built our home studio, we knew we wanted to eventually turn it into a business. But here’s the thing about businesses, if they are not profitable, they fail. This put us on edge, so I looked all over to answer the question: Is a home recording studio profitable?

If you want to learn more about studio profitability, this post is for you. In just a few minutes, you will learn how to make your studio profitable, how much you can expect to make, and how to advertise your home studio. I will also give you a few tips to make your studio stand out. By the end of this article, you will know how to make more money and take your home recording business to the next level.

Man working on a home recording studio. Source: techivation, unsplash
Man working on a home recording studio. Source: Techivation, Unsplash

Can you make money with a home recording studio? Yes. You can earn money from a home studio by providing recording, producing, mixing, and mastering services. You may earn additional money in your spare time by giving your home studio services to the public. A home recording studio can be very profitable if you manage your time and budget well.

What is a home studio?

A home recording studio is used to create audio productions. Simply having a laptop, an audio interface, and headphones will do. But you will need a lot more gear if you want to be competitive and professional. Home recording studios typically feature acoustic treatment panels to keep echoes out of the recordings.

Are home studios popular?

Let me assure you there has never been a better time to make music. Some experts say that recording studios are dead, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The audio recording technology we have today is inexpensive and, in some cases, a lot better than some of the more expensive stuff we had 15 years ago.

This screenshot illustrates the popularity of the keyword home recording studio as of January 27, 2020. 

Google trends for the term "home recording studio" from 2015 to 2020.
Google trends for “home recording studio” from 2015 to 2020.

You will notice that the graph barely moves. This is because the keyword has dropped in popularity over the last 14 years, but the last five have been very stable.

Are home studios profitable?

Home recording studios can be profitable because local audio professionals are needed everywhere. And a client’s distance may be ideal for your home recording studio. You do, however, have to manage your budget carefully. 

How much can you make with a home recording studio?

You can make anywhere from $30 to $300 an hour. It depends on your gear, what you charge, and how you promote it. We are now charging $50 an hour and are happy with that. Some of my friends are charging $100 an hour. The bottom line is that you could make bank with a home recording studio. 

If you want to look at what studios are charging in your local area, check out studiotime.com. It’s like Airbnb for recording studios. Also, check out Thesixfigurehomestudio.com, a website dedicated to taking your home studio and turning it into a six-figure business. 

Startup costs for a home recording studios

As with any business, you need to think about your startup costs. You might end up spending anywhere from $400 to $50,000. Of course, it all depends on how professional you want to be. What brand name equipment you buy, how soundproof you want your studio to be, what kind of acoustic treatment you’ll have done—the list goes on and on. 

Rent should not be a factor since you will be recording and mixing at home. But if you are considering taking your setup elsewhere, you will also need to consider the rent price.

If you are in a pinch and are looking to record on a budget, here is a list of the minimum gear you need to get started in order of priority.

  1. Purchase a computer (if you don’t already have one)
  2. Digital audio workstation (software)
  3. Audio Interface
  4. Microphones
  5. Studio headphones
  6. Microphone Cables
  7. Microphone stands
  8. Acoustic treatment like dampers and panels
  9. Pop filters for microphones

You can have countless other things in your recording studio, but these are the essentials. You can’t have a (good) studio without them. Fortunately, you can get just about everything on this list for under 400 bucks.

How much should you charge clients?

Always charge what you think you’re worth, but don’t overcharge if you’re a young, struggling artist. You might have to make do with less-than-ideal conditions while you learn the ropes and build awareness for yourself in the music industry as a producer.

Home recording studios start at $30 per hour on the low end. On the very high end, you could be looking at $300. But how much should you charge? Charging can be tricky. There are a lot of factors involved. You must consider the following:

  • Education
  • Equipment
  • Distance
  • Reputation
  • Music style specialization 
  • Resources

Whatever you do, don’t underprice yourself. For example, if you are underskilled but have made a significant investment in gear, price it according to the equipment to recoup your costs.

Then you have to consider how you will charge. There are two ways you can charge for your time:

  • Hourly
  • Fixed

Fixed pricing is usually done if you charge by track or song. This is an easy way to charge and can put you and your clients at ease. But be careful; you might spend several hours on a track and lose more time. Like Warren Buffett said

Rule No 1: never lose money. Rule No 2: never forget rule No 1.

—Warren Buffett

How to advertise your home recording studio

Now that you have this great studio, it’s time to start turning a profit. But trust me, if you build it, they will not come. So you need to market your studio somehow. How else will people know you’re open for business? Here are some tips you can use to advertise your studio.

  • Set up a website for your studio. Otherwise, no one will find you.
  • Make sure you create a GMB (Google My Business account)
  • Use Craigslist to advertise your studio and service.
  • Promote your studio on social media. It’s not enough to have a YouTube channel; you can also use Facebook pages, Instagram, Twitter, and even Pinterest.
  • Use word of mouth to help your business grow (tell all your friends).
  • Go to local concerts and network to get your name out there.
  • Meet with any local drama and acting clubs. They could need the space to record voiceovers.
  • Connect with local music programs like churches or schools. You never know when they or a member will need the space.

How to make your studio stand out

Depending on where you live, studios may be quite common. You need to make yourself stand out from the competition. One of the biggest ways you can do that is to make sure you offer things in your studio that your competitors don’t have. Consider adding these services to your listings. 

  • Higher quality gear
  • Unique and obscure instruments 
  • superior customer service 
  • Provide snacks or free drinks
  • Free sessions

Think of anything that your competitors might be lacking and fill that void. Don’t be afraid to get creative.

It should go without saying, but don’t promise something you know you can’t provide. You can’t promise a drum kit or free drinks if you don’t have these things. Your word is one of the biggest keys to business success. You don’t want to get a reputation as someone who doesn’t fulfill their promises. That will ruin your reputation… quickly!

If you want even more tips and insights, watch this video called “10 Ways to Make Money in Your Home Recording Studio” from the Jamie Durrant Musician – Talking Sonics YouTube channel.

A video called “10 Ways to Make Money in Your Home Recording Studio” from the Jamie Durrant Musician – Talking Sonics YouTube channel.
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Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

Do you still have questions? Below are some of the most commonly asked questions about a home studio.

How much would it cost to set up a home studio?

How much does it typically cost to construct a home recording studio? Depending on the state of your studio’s technology, the cost might range from $400 to $50,000. Your recording studio could be as simple as a new laptop and a few microphones or as complicated as a bunch of soundboards and synths.

How much should I charge to record in my home studio?

Studios with top-of-the-line technology may start at approximately $200 per hour, while smaller (professional) home-based studios may start at around $30 per hour. Generally speaking, a singer-songwriter will need less gear than a full band.

Is it better to make music at home or a pro studio?

It all comes down to the resources you have at your disposal. The DIY home studio approach is ideal if you’re strapped for cash but have a lot of spare time. On the other hand, studio time can be a good investment if you’re short on time but flush with cash.

Is a home studio worth it?

In a nutshell, yes. The ability to work on music whenever it’s most convenient for you is a major benefit of having a professional or project studio in your home.

Conclusion

The bottom line is that home studios can be a reality for people with passion and determination. Remember to keep it simple, organize your songs well, and invest in the right equipment. Hopefully, these tips and advice have helped you see that a home recording studio can be a profitable business venture. The startup costs are substantial for a studio, but the long-term reward can be a moneymaker. 

This article covered what a home studio is, the pros and cons of a home studio, and whether you can make money with a home studio. Here are some key takeaways:

Key takeaways

  • A home recording studio is used to create audio productions.
  • You don’t need to spend more than $400.
  • Home recording studios are profitable because local audio professionals are always needed.
  • It’s a great time to start a home recording studio.
  • You need to advertise your studio.
  • You can return your investment by charging the clients or renting your space.
  • There is a wide range in price for constructing a home studio, from a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars.

So, do you believe home recordings are bad investments or a safe bet? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below (I read and reply to every comment). If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on music production. Thanks for reading, and never stop making music.

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Audio Apartment Author
Written By Andrew Ash
Hey there! My name is Andrew, and I've been making music since I was a kid. I now run this blog all about home studios and music production. If you want to improve your home studio setup, this is the place for you!

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