Studio owners—who are frequently former recording engineers and musicians—are the professionals responsible for establishing, constructing, and running the recording studio as a business. While the studio owner has chief creative control of the studio and final say in all decisions concerning it, that doesn't mean he or she runs it alone. Studio owners often hire studio designers to assist with design and construction, recording and maintenance engineers to select and purchase equipment, and studio managers to hire the remaining staff and run the studio's day-to-day operations.
While small studio owners may stay closely involved with the studio after setup, even working as recording engineers or managers, owners of large studios typically assume a more hands-off role: networking in the record industry and utilizing those connections to attract new clients, as well as approving all the studio's major financial decisions. They also oversee the studio's continuing growth, which means finding investors, planning the construction or purchase of new spaces, and potentially developing the studio's marketing and branding strategies.
At a Glance
There are no educational requirements to open or own a studio, although knowledge of recording, studio design, and the record industry goes a long way. In fact, most studio owners are former recording engineers, recording artists, producers, and A&R representatives who—after spending their whole lives in studios run by others—wish to create studios that reflect their own values.
Finding work as a studio owner means acquiring the funds and technical knowledge to purchase or construct a studio. It also means knowing people in the music industry who can serve as the studio's early clients.
- Audio engineering and recording
- Music business
- Critical thinking
- Decision making
Being a good studio owner doesn't have anything to do with being a good recording engineer; it has to do with understanding how to hire a good team, delegate responsibilities effectively, and use networking and marketing to grow a business. Additionally, long-term planning and critical thinking skills are essential.
Studio owners may work at the studio as an engineer or manager, work regular business hours from a separate office, or provide leadership remotely while touring as a musician or running a nationwide chain of studios.