101 ways your studio (home or professional) can generate income besides recording bands

Recording (types of music recording clients)
-record music for bands to sell
-record music for solo artists to sell.

-record music for publishing companies to license
-record bands for booking agencies (who need promotional clips of their artists to pitch at talent buyers)
-artist/music pre production services
-reference monitoring (Patchwerk in Atlanta offers a 15 block for people to bring in mixed tracks and check them on their Augspurgers.)
-music for vocal talent competitions
-audio for college audition demos
-edit audio to be used in dance studios stage performances/recitals
-audio books
-TV advertisements
-Radio advertisements
-producing, mixing, and formatting karaoke tracks

Archive and Restoration
-media transfer - CD, Vinyl, tape, 8 track to mp3 etc…
-forensic audio for court system

-live to air site operator (thats like a mix engineer who’s on the field)
-control room operator
-audio to post mastering
-remote broadcast mixing ISDN/Source Connect/Live Stream

Midi production
-midi/virtual instrument mockups
-drum programming
-orchestral sequencing (using a orchestral software to create a finished track)
-programming touring rigs. I’ve used my extensive collection of multiple DAWs, midi controllers, and midi sync tools to set up rigs for keyboardists preparing to go on tour with their bands
-transcribing (where someone hands you handwritten music and digitize it in Finale or Sibelius)

Music Theater
-underscores and scene change music
-accompaniment tracks
-sound effects cues

Types of visual media projects
-feature films
-short films
-movie trailers
-elearning and training modules
-the little inspirational testimony whatever videos they show at churches before the sermon
-audio for viral marketing (youtube, Facebook) advertising

Cinematic (this is all junk you’ll see on movie credits)
-animatic design - simply selecting place holder tracks that help director communicate vibe with composer
-music supervison - a studio can oversee the process of licensing and implementing scene cues for video
-sound editing
-sound capturing
-Character/voice acting for animation and CGI
-SFX mixing
-foley recording
-re-reording mixer
-dialogue mixer
-boom operator
-surround mastering

-offer private lessons to aspiring engineers on workflow, DAW, signal flow, micing etc…
-offer private lessons on instruments
-lease to certification training groups - (example) Soundpure in NC leases their facility to Avid for weekend long PT certification courses.

-lease gear to other studios and professional backline companies
-lease the space as a rehearsal venue
-lease the space for video shoots

-offering to go to someones house and help them set up their gear
-career coaching
-EPK (helping artists assemble their promo packages)
-written mix critiques (pretty much a bash this recording but for money)
-systems management (designing workflow and datamanagment process for smaller studios)
-acoustics and Install

Retail Sales
And you can also sell gear right out of your control room if you need to.


sweet. This is a great list. Here’s a couple that I didn’t see.

voice acting.

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Thanks that wasn’t clear. I think of that as ADR, but added it anyway. Hmm…wonder if its possible to actually hit 101? lol. ps…you must have been writing yours at the same time I was doing this.

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I’ll remove my post. It has like 3 things.

Great list!

Bumped to add a few more since I’ve been neck deep in video game audio for the last few months.

…wait a sec…why can’t I add to that OP?


Cool list Jonathan, I’d missed that. I guess I need to dive into the categories a little more rather than just looking at the ‘latest’… :slight_smile:

Great list! I too had missed this initially.

Bump again. Gonna tidy up and improve this list :slight_smile:

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I think you mentioned before about the Six Figure Home Studio system, has that brought up any insights along these lines? The Imposter Syndrome thread was a good discussion. Marketing seems to be the key to most of it, and you have talked about networking a lot. While the list contains a lot of great ideas, I think at some point you have to pick one and do some market research in order to target your efforts, and then expand out from there. Does that make sense? As you have mentioned, you’re going for some specific genres like the VR and sound design for video games etc, while doing some other things as well.

I was tidying up this list because I was gonna show it to the SFHS group then invite them to come over and have a look at it.

I’m certainly not doing all of these things! It was just ideas on other side stuff people could use their skillsets and gear for other than recording bands :wink:

I gotta re-organize it though!

I’ve been spending a lot of time over there, but its been productive and healthy. Its been a great chance to chit chat with other audio engineers where the focus purely on building their businesses and accelerating their incomes from recording. Anyone here is welcome to join it, but a lot of the people in this group would be bored there. They pretty much ban talk about music, mixing, gear and production. And they pull down posts that get too off topic. Its all focused on the marketing, finance, client management and workflow side of the trade. So its a perfect place for an aspiring entrepreneur like myself (and 5000 other people) to nerd out and talk all day long about money with others that are genuinely interested and want to talk about it.

Its only on facebook though which makes it difficult to write little mini-articles or in-depth responses to people. As long as Bryan Holster doesn’t mind me chewing up his server (and in exchange getting some foot traffic across here), I’ll park little tidbits on here from time to time.

I recently saw Brian Hood was doing a Profitable Producer’s course, and it did look interesting. Like you say, there’s kind of this chasm to bridge in terms of taking audio/music to the business side. Once you have the (technical/creative) skills, it then becomes almost totally about translating that into the business side. So it’s like having a business, and your business is audio … as opposed to you’re an “audio guy” and you’d like to have a business. :slightly_smiling_face: It seems like that left/right brain difference between engineering and producing.

I really enjoyed following Warren Huart and Graham Cochrane for awhile, but they tend to be more focused on the music aspect than the business, though I think Graham does talk about networking and relationships a bit more. Everything else I see talks about “niche-ing” and “micro-niche-ing”, so it seems like you have to get hyper focused, which goes against what we have learned most of our lives.

What you’re doing seems to be strongly in that direction, but is there a “how to solve somebody’s problem” focus? That’s what people do business for. If they have a problem you can solve, they’ll hire you, if it’s a good fit. That’s maybe 90% of the deal? Planning the finances and managing a business is only one aspect - like the audio skills part. Getting the clients is the big bottleneck to the whole equation, and keeping the clients or building a pipeline of opportunities. Does that make sense?