How many of you earn a living from recording?

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Is recording music your primary source of income?

Total votes: 42

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pushin' record
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Post by xpulsar » Fri Nov 23, 2012 12:29 am

I fortunately have been for the past 2 years. I would say 5% of my income has been from tech work .
Hopefully this trend continues for me.

Shane Michael Rose
steve albini likes it
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Location: Brooklyn NY

Post by Shane Michael Rose » Sat Nov 24, 2012 8:41 pm

I make about 1/3 to 1/2 of my income from recording related services (mostly mixing).

I also mix live sound and do some corporate related audio tasks.

re-cappin' neve
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Joined: Sun Nov 23, 2003 5:07 pm
Location: Dead Center, Bible Belt, USA

Post by mrc » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:42 pm

I work as an engineer, but not recording. I'm lucky enough to be able to pick and choose who I work with on spec, and not sweat the outcome. I've survived on performance and studio work in the past, but this is more in line with what I want to do. Just to be able to help an artist I choose to overcome what were huge roadblocks in my young performing days, is a wonderful thing. I just love music, and decided to do both it, and the other career I love at the same time, as much as I can. If I ever make any more money with my gear, it will be money for nothing. I still haven't burned up what I made in the business.

zen recordist
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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:04 am

somehow i am making a living mastering records. thank you TOMB clients for enabling me to eat.

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gettin' sounds
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Post by megajoe » Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:54 am

I answered Yes. Recording music is my primary source of income. However, I am not making a living from it. Six years in and I made it work in my bachelor days of roommates and living off free day-old bread, but now I seem to be at the end of the rope. The rent is due in a few days and I just have enough money to feed my family. Utilities are getting close to shut off. The trash stopped getting picked up 6 weeks ago. Letters threatening collections are coming in.

When I have business, things are ok, but a few slow weeks (like these last two) can derail the whole train.

It's been like this for about a year now. I feel like I'm so close to making it all work, but at this point I'm think I'm left with no choice but to suck it up and find some full-time work somewhere so I can keep the walls and the roof. I can't stop making music, but it may have to be my 2nd job until I can really make it work.

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Marc Alan Goodman
george martin
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Location: NYC

Post by Marc Alan Goodman » Wed Jan 30, 2013 9:23 am

I can finally say that recording music is my primary form of income, but that's after years of either barely making or straight up losing money. Will I ever recoup the investment that got me here? Who the hell knows. But I get to make records all the time and can even occasionally buy my wife dinner.

Recording music isn't a big money-making prospect, even on the larger scale of a commercial studio, that's why so many busy studios close. It's not necessarily because there isn't any work, as I'm sure you can tell by the fact that two or three other studios usually pop up to take their place. The owners eventually decide that even though they're making money they could be making more elsewhere with less effort. Recording music or owning a music-centric studio is a labor of love, and far more so now than even fifteen years ago, which is far more than fifteen years before that, and so on. Profit margins have gone down, but there's a positive side to it as well as a negative one. It's far less alluring for a crook to open a studio and rip musicians off now than it's ever been before, there's just not enough money in it! The people who stick with it do it because they really love making records and are willing to give up their time and their own potential earnings to keep doing it.

That being said, there are still livings to be made, especially if you're willing to spread your time around to a bunch of different jobs and mediums. It's a hustle, but we do it because we can't bring ourselves to do anything else. There's absolutely nothing in the world like waking up and realizing that going to work means doing something you love. That's why they call us lifers.

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