Jump to content

I want to start a sound design and music service


Recommended Posts

So I had an idea.

 

Me and some of my friends really like music and stuff. One of them will study music, but that's something else. The point of this thread is to seek suggestions and opinions about starting a sound design and composition service for (for now) amateur films, animations, publicity (we might add animation production too, and maybe video). The interesting thing here is that the 3 of us have 19 years old, and we're about to start university, but we need money and this idea sounds cool.

 

We have the tools (computers, daws, vsts, piano and guitar), and the hability (in guitar, piano, creativity). What do you think? We might post some flyers around. We already have some music created (from our hobby) like a "look, here it is what we can do". Obviously we will create better stuff, but one thing I've learned is that people would pay lots for whoever makes the work they don't want to do.

 

So, what do you think?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest RadarJammer

sounds like a lemonade stand approach, i don't think starting an amateur audio business is gonna reflect well on you in the future when you have a decade+ experience under the belt and are ready to do something legit with all the i's dotted

 

edit: but it would be an interesting experiment to try and grind out some generic r&b/hip hop instrumentals and see if you can't pull in some dough through one of those beat licensing websites

Edited by RadarJammer
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest RadarJammer

why? I thought it could give us "experience"

no offense but young eager hobbyists tend to think they are better and more impressive than they really are. sounds like you aren't serious about building something up from scratch but instead wanna cut corners from hobby to pro. i would spend a few years doing free soundtrack work for small film school projects and such for "experience" before putting your name out there as a professional.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There are plenty of people who have no qualms about "hiring" people that seem talented and enthousiastic about what they do but have no work experience. This can often be done off the books and you don't have any organizational overhead so you can do it cheap and still make enough money to make it worth your while. This is a key selling point, you are (comparably) very cheap but because you're young and passionate you might deliver great work. I don't work on music or sound, but I got payed a lot for various freelance jobs as a student I wasn't really qualified for and learned doing those things on the go.

 

Go for it!

Edited by Ego
Link to post
Share on other sites

I say go for it, if it works, it works. If i doesn't, well you still got your whole life ahead of you. I think this is the perfect time to start a project like this

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can get some clients and make them happy, you've got a business! I think you should go for it.

 

I make money doing location sound for films. I think it was important for my career that I never worked for free (except for friends or whatever). Try to get something for your efforts, if you feel like you're good enough, which you should.

 

Be prepared to spend a lot of effort getting your first few clients.

 

Also, make sure you have a system for dividing up your income, so you don't lose your friends over something stupid.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I' m not saying you can't do it. If you do it, you need to make some serious investments if you want to be taken seriously.

My first job out of college was as a VoiceOver engineer in NYC.

The company I worked for was basically started by 3 friends, but they all basically had degrees in audio engineering. They did a ton of bigtime commercial work and had some very big clients.

 

If you want to do sound design professionally, you should definitely look into acquiring a legit/licensed SFX library, as many professional microphones as you can get should of, a solid mixing console to use as a pro-tools interface, an iso/VoiceOver booth, a wide array of foley effect surfaces and props, and some decent video setup furor live mixing and playback.

Oh yeah, and some actual training.

If you end up with some sync issue or format problem that costs you a paying client, it won't be to pretty.

 

Doing audio on films for money isn't something you can just waltz into for a good time. People spend tons of money to make films, even shitty, low-budget shorts. They want that shit to be done right with no fuck ups.

 

Also, you'll definitely need to get a lawyer.

Usage is a tricky matter. I licensed a song of mine once and it required a legit contract by someone who knew what the deal was.

You could easily get fucked out of usage for something you made, if you're not careful.

Also, if you go into business with friends, shit needs to be squared away. It could turn ugly.

 

Just be smart about it if you are going to put a lot of time and effort into it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally, I'd start with something like running a tape label or recording local underground or indie artists who only need, at most, a format to release on and maybe some basic mastering. Try to make reasonable goals you can do confidently and successfully to build a good reputation and name. I mention tapes because you can research how to record and duplicate them easily online, do runs of like 25, 50, 100, 200 for an artist and also play a part in the artwork and they are cheap as fuck. You could then sell the same release on bandcamp. Tape communities are close-knit and friendly and people buy and collect them all the time.

 

Jefferoo is right - there's a demand for these services but there's also expectations and standards that need to be met professionally. I would start small (working for others, doing very small projects for clients) before you figure out if this is a career or at the very least your main hobby or passion. I have a friend you took classes and became certified in audio recording/sound design and he appreciated and now does mastering for local bands and artists. My best friend uses a local studio in Austin that's very DIY, very friendly and completely independent, but the guy who runs it also invests heavily in his equipment: full-fledged DAW, rack of gear, in house piano, drums and other instruments, and a 24 track analog master reel-to-reel.

 

Also, this is a really random story, but I've chatted with a studio engineer in his early 20s in the U.S. who literally have to record and work with aspiring rappers and hip-hop "musicians" who want to become famous and rap about gangster shit and use stereotypical club beats. He said they are steady clients because they make money selling drugs and they never cease at being delusional (if I recall correctly he lived in Buffalo, NY). So his passion of making electronic music and/or working with talented and sincere musicians took up a much smaller part of his time. That's why I'd above all recommend getting to know peers in your community with a similar artistic ethos. You have the enthusiasm, I think you just need to make some clear goals and a reasonable plan though. Good luck!

Edited by joshuatx
Link to post
Share on other sites

If you want to do sound design professionally, you should definitely look into acquiring a legit/licensed SFX library, as many professional microphones as you can get should of, a solid mixing console to use as a pro-tools interface, an iso/VoiceOver booth, a wide array of foley effect surfaces and props, and some decent video setup furor live mixing and playback.

 

Yea this is the most important thing. You need them all, especially that solid mixing console because you can't use anything else than pro-tools.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's not scare the guy off! You guys (Jeff & Josh) are describing the working environments of successful people in the field. Yes, it's important to give those examples, but also to remember that in most cases you start out small and work your way up to that.

 

If you're going to just score films, for example, all you need is a DAW that can play a clip along with the music you're making. And if you're doing voiceover work for indie films, they'll appreciate it if you have a closet that sounds good and a decent microphone. You're not going to attract big projects with these setups, but you're not looking for them yet; you're looking for smaller gigs where you can be honest about your limitations and people can pay you less because of that. (In fact, I'd say the hardest part of all this will be finding clients, dealing with them, and getting them to pay you, not amassing your tools.) If you have the time, totally do some free gigs, or build a portfolio of the stuff you want to be doing.

 

I got scared off from scoring films professionally when I read a very helpful magazine article that said most of the time you get two weeks with a feature film to crate 30-45 minutes of music. I can't write stuff I like that fast. Just not my thing.

Link to post
Share on other sites

So I had an idea.

 

Me and some of my friends really like music and stuff. One of them will study music, but that's something else. The point of this thread is to seek suggestions and opinions about starting a sound design and composition service for (for now) amateur films, animations, publicity (we might add animation production too, and maybe video). The interesting thing here is that the 3 of us have 19 years old, and we're about to start university, but we need money and this idea sounds cool.

 

We have the tools (computers, daws, vsts, piano and guitar), and the hability (in guitar, piano, creativity). What do you think? We might post some flyers around. We already have some music created (from our hobby) like a "look, here it is what we can do". Obviously we will create better stuff, but one thing I've learned is that people would pay lots for whoever makes the work they don't want to do.

 

So, what do you think?

If you need money don't think this will provide you with much, especially if you are dealing with amateur stuff. Mostly it's "expenses given" or "will credit you" or "would be great experience". Basically anything that doesn't involve you earning money. I'm not sure people only "pay lots for whoever makes the work they don't want to do.". People doing shit for free is a big part of why it's hard to make money in this industry.

 

I would also differentiate between the composing and sound design aspect. They are two different entities so I'd treat them as such, although perhaps less so for amateur stuff. But still, I'd make sure you have tailor made in depth "pitches" for each service you want to offer rather than a catch all "yeah we can do anything you need" deal.

 

And as mentioned, if you want to do sound design, you absolutely positively need a decent sound effects library. I wouldn't know exactly how to go about getting one since I 'acquired' mine in the redundancy from my last job.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are a student and have some spare time, try getting some work experience at an (audio) post production company. It might not necessarily teach you how to specifically do sound design (though it will help), but you'll an idea of the processes involved and all the shit that no one thinks about; like how to lay out an effective efficient sound design tracklay, dealing with sync issues and various tech stuff. Stuff which, when you're dealing with people doing low budget stuff, probably don't have a fucking clue how to deal with and you'll need to be able to problem solve quickly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are a student and have some spare time, try getting some work experience at an (audio) post production company. It might not necessarily teach you how to specifically do sound design (though it will help), but you'll an idea of the processes involved and all the shit that no one thinks about; like how to lay out an effective efficient sound design tracklay, dealing with sync issues and various tech stuff. Stuff which, when you're dealing with people doing low budget stuff, probably don't have a fucking clue how to deal with and you'll need to be able to problem solve quickly.

:cisfor: this.

 

Plus, as a student/intern/apprentice/whatever, you'll have access to sweet gear you normally wouldn't afford. Just sayin.

Edited by J3FF3R00
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Joyrex
      Medium has an article on a Tokyo subway worker who creates amazing signs with duct tape: https://medium.com/@chrisgaul/tokyo-subways-humble-duct-tape-typographer-a8c84bb6b99b
       
    • By Draft78
      I believe there is already a topic dedicated to graphics: now I haven't found it, so I write this: eventually deleted and incorporated it into the already existing one.   Among other things, In this interview Ian Anderson talks about his relationship with S&R and the philosophical stimulus specifically related to ae, and the love for oversteps:   https://warp.net/editorial/reasonable-person-an-interview-with-ian-anderson?fbclid=IwAR1sKpJx1eULMucWR_HwklBLSi0yCtnMei2-iRFuYoX9fUfd6hYMnxY0QvQ
    • By scott
      A short clip from some field recording i was doing today- 
       
      cool sound, so i filmed it. 
       
       

       
       
       
    • By CausticEphex
      Hello,
       
      I have a little something to share.
       
      http://www.causticephex.bandcamp.com/album/displaced
       
      https://soundcloud.com/causticephex/sets/displaced
       
      I appreciate the listen and I hope you enjoy.
       
      Caustic_Ephex
×
×
  • Create New...