How Feasible is owning a Mobile Recording Studio?
The desire for an acoustically treated room
Most musicians/bands which take their music and recordings very seriously, will want and expect a recording environment that is professionally designed, and that is acoustically treated. While the advantages of acoustic treatment are obvious, (Less room noise, controlled frequency response and reverb etc.) there are many reasons why the acoustic treatment is not necessary. For example: sometimes capturing a natural reverberant sound is better than adding processing the audio later. Processing a dry recording cannot always deliver the same qualities of something that can be done naturally, such as the attack of an instruments sound, which cannot always be artificially produced properly.
A better product
There is a common misconception that hiring a professional studio is the only way to do it right. However, as an artist, one should have the freedom to express themselves in any way, where it is the musical content and not the recording quality that determines the overall musicality and success of a musical recording.
Reasons why mobile recording has a market
- Some bands/musicians want to record in the comfort of their own home, or at a place of their choosing. This allows the performer(s) to be a lot more relaxed, and can in the end give a better performance. Also, church bands and other bands which are often large, find it much easier to record at a place where they already regularly meet or rehearse, such as a church, or someone's home.
- When a band is being recorded live, often a space with a natural sound creates a much better live feel as opposed to a dry room, and can make the whole recording feel a lot more realistic, as if the listener is in the presence of the musician/band performing, in the same place that it was recorded. In some kinds of music, such as spiritual/religious music, live recordings can create the sensation that you are truly involved in the music with the ones in the recording.
- It also depends on the target market and the goal of the musician/band. Many believe that when recording a simple demo, the recording quality should be of high quality in order to even gain the interest of a recording company. This is not true as a recording company who is truly seeking talent will listen to any audible, well performed, but not necessarily well recorded demo and discover possible talent.
- There is also the very possible opportunity for amateurs to gain experience and build a portfolio of works when they are still students, or if they are hobbyists hoping to develop an extra skill along the sideline of normal work. Because of this, mobile recording studios can charge quite a lot less for their services, because of less overhead costs, no renting and maintaining an actual studio building, and the ability to work solo (no employee salaries.)
- There are various ways that one can transport small scale acoustic treatments with them, which can be enough for many recording applications. For example, there are vocal shields on the market, which act as a portable vocal booth, due to the fact that all standing waves and unwanted reflections are diffused and absorbed in it. And its convenience is in its ease to setup and small size that can easily be mounted on stands or against a wall. This makes vocal recordings of any kind indistinguishable from one done at an acoustically treated studio.
While it may be so that the majority of the recording market belongs to professional recording studios, as discussed above in this article, there is also a niche market which can be accessed by those who are willing to try, and are willing to work hard to make a success. Mobile recording is therefore a feasible business opportunity.
Author: Duran (Port Elizabeth, South Africa)
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Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )