Old 07-02-2017, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default Professional Studios

I'm wondering how many people on here are using reaper and making a living from using this software? Also are you a home studio use or are you in a "professional studio"? I only ask after watching this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiJ9xbBVXs4 from the recording revolution.

Funnily I've not mixed anything in so long mainly due to working shitty jobs, but when I do get the time to write music I've been using logic pro x mainly for its ease of use basically a fancy garage band but mixing in it just doesn't click with me. I've used pro tools for a number of years but Avid as company I think is dreadful I've not updated it in over 2 years i refuse to pay for a subscription. But i love Reaper and the attitude the company and how helpful this forum is.
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Old 07-02-2017, 01:32 PM   #2
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At the studio where my band recorded our last EP, I got to talking to the engineer about DAWs. He said he has to use Pro Tools for clients because of its industry-standard reputation. He said that running a studio without Pro Tools is like being a designer without using Adobe. If you tell the client you used MS Paint, they'll think your work is worth less, regardless of the actual quality.

Presentation is important. For instance, everything at Olive Garden is made in a factory, but they go to great lengths to conceal that fact.

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Old 07-02-2017, 02:13 PM   #3
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i use reaper in my studio & also have a good friend in the USA who does also in his studio Luxor Records yeah clients always ask so are you using Pro tools,for me it's the setup & experience of the engineer that counts <EARS>
I luv Reaper & never follow the crowd works for me
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Old 07-02-2017, 02:55 PM   #4
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I'm one of many post production users of Reaper. I also do game sound design.

I get a lot of Protools sessions that need to be converted, but that's where the problems end.

Nobody cares what I use. They do care that I deliver on time, solve problems and am easy to work with.

Reaper's a great tool.
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:30 PM   #5
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When you are dealing with pros you use whatever you want to use, when you are dealing with amateurs who's "education" consists of what the guitar magazines and MTV say, then you are judged by the type of receipts you have from guitar center rather than the sound coming out of your speakers.

Having something the amateurs are confident about can get you a lot of work, and it can keep you in business. At this point in my life I can be a lot more choosy about who I want to work with, but if you absolutely have to keep volume through the doors to stay afloat, a lot of crappy customers vs a few good ones may be an important factor

On the other hand, I have found that the crappier customers who care more about the colors on your computer screen than the sound coming out of your speakers, tend to pay a lot less and tend to hem and haw about paying in the first place
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:35 PM   #6
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When you are dealing with pros you use whatever you want to use, when you are dealing with amateurs who's "education" consists of what the guitar magazines and MTV say, then you are judged by the type of receipts you have from guitar center rather than the sound coming out of your speakers.

Having something the amateurs are confident about can get you a lot of work, and it can keep you in business. At this point in my life I can be a lot more choosy about who I want to work with, but if you absolutely have to keep volume through the doors to stay afloat, a lot of crappy customers vs a few good ones may be an important factor

On the other hand, I have found that the crappier customers who care more about the colors on your computer screen than the sound coming out of your speakers, tend to pay a lot less and tend to hem and haw about paying in the first place
As a hobbyist I'm kind of surprised and appalled to hear that. WTF is the point of hiring a professional if you're going to tell him or her how to do the job?!

"Hey Banksy, can you do our album cover? Cool, here's a sketch I did in pencil of a flaming sword skull girl, can you start with that? Oh, since I created this I'll give you $50 for it."
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:44 PM   #7
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As a hobbyist I'm kind of surprised and appalled to hear that. WTF is the point of hiring a professional if you're going to tell him or her how to do the job?!

"Hey Banksy, can you do our album cover? Cool, here's a sketch I did in pencil of a flaming sword skull girl, can you start with that? Oh, since I created this I'll give you $50 for it."
Yup, you'd likely be amazed at how much of that crap you have to put up with, particularly from your er... umm... "lower echelon clients" as pipeline points out.
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:58 PM   #8
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A lot of early reaper history was around the philosophy of the absolutely suicidal attitude of going to your heart surgeon and telling him which scalpel to use

Sean Dowdell, owner of Club Tattoo (who many don't realize spent most of his life as an audio engineer, and was Chester Bennington's original drummer) had a mid level studio, which was putting out more quality work and taking home more money than my fully pro studio that from time to time put out gold and platinum records

I asked him about it and he said "one day I just doubled my rates. It got rid of almost all the troublemakers and I made more money, slept better and had happier clients"

If I jumped back into the revolving door studio game, I think I would surely take up that advice.
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:58 PM   #9
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I use Reaper exclusively at the studio where I work. In the last three years, I've only had to fire up Pro Tools (HD8 on an old Powermac) twice.
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Old 07-02-2017, 07:39 PM   #10
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I guess it depends on how Industrial you want your music to be...
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Old 07-03-2017, 05:07 AM   #11
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I use Reaper exclusively. Clients don't care.

Some weeks ago I went to another studio (with relatively bigger clients) where they use to rent my services as recordist. This time I tried to build what's usually in my Reaper template (gate+eq+comp on every track, reverb and echo sends, parallel busses, etc.): no way their HD system could handle, no mather what RTAS/AAX plugin format combination I tried.

We would need 3 HD racks to accomplish what Reaper could do in just a 300€ pc laptop. That was shocking.

Reaper is Pro, Protools felt like a toy.

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Old 07-03-2017, 05:42 AM   #12
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On the other hand, I have found that the crappier customers who care more about the colors on your computer screen than the sound coming out of your speakers, tend to pay a lot less and tend to hem and haw about paying in the first place
True in every trade, every industry. Bottom feeders always want to pay less and they'll make you do the most revisions too Best to price yourself out of that silty, murky water - ride out the dry months until you get the clients that respect your skill and worth.
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Old 07-03-2017, 06:50 AM   #13
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I'll be 'rebooting' my own activities in a new improved space in some weeks, a chance to do the non-musical aspects (which like many I have always been allergic to ) more properly, applying what have learnt through experience etc, and *not* charging peanuts or accepting freebies to just get folk in will be at the front of my mind, for sure, as people do take advantage given the opportunity.

Goes without saying that reaper will be the doing the daw work, but I want the technology to be invisible as much as possible and focus on capturing performances as those are the recordings that stand the test of time.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:21 AM   #14
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It's good to know that people do use this professionally. If i could go back i would've chosen reaper over pro tools simply due to the cost. I hate the idea of subscription fees to software i've noticed plugin manufactures are doing this now and i'm not interested.

I've heard great quality recording mixes from people using free software if anything those people are winning.
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Old 07-03-2017, 08:37 AM   #15
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Stock answer:
Protools? Yeah, used PT HD for about 15 years back in the day. Upgraded to Reaper some years ago. Got to stay on the cutting edge and professional right?


I try to scare away anyone more looking to win a popularity contest than create music. Want to record an album? Let's chat and talk about scope and budget and I'll come up with a plan and a project rate. This assumes you like my work enough to trust me. If during the process you want to add something to that that was not in the plan, we'll pause and I'll give you a quote for the addition (which I disclose up front as well).

If you want to pay by the hour and use me as purely an assistant, OK. Just understand everything is on you. I'll do what I'm asked and no more and I have no interest if the project ever turns out or is finished. I strongly advise not to go for that option at my studio. That usually weeds out the posers. (I'll put it that way if someone starts the nickle and dime business like "How much can I shoot myself in the foot to save some money and still have this turn out?")

What I specifically wish to avoid is the client that makes a few poor decisions, runs out of money and releases an unfinished scratch mix (because there was no time left budgeted for the mix). Let me make a plan for biggest bang for the buck for the project. My goal is that you agree 100% at the end. I prefer to put in a few extra hours in the mix at the end if I don't hit my time table exactly as opposed to turning in an unfinished mix because the budget ran out. This is supposed to be art! (And I treat that as motivation for myself to not screw up in planning!)
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:14 PM   #16
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I do not run a professional recording studio; in terms of money, music is really more a hobby (or night job if you will). But I do occasionally get gigs where I work with professionals, as orchestrator or assistant (last year at Skywalker). I use Reaper every day, it's fantastic, in addition to Pro Tools (10/11), Sibelius, now Dorico, and other programs as well. Professionals don't give a hoot what programs you use, although you do need PT if you collaborate with PT users (which is pretty much still the standard in high end studios). It's so much easier to be able to deliver something they are familiar with. The pricing of Reaper is completely irrelevant to pros, whatever works.

The AA Translator program is excellent bridging any gaps between Reaper and PT (and other programs).
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:24 PM   #17
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I think professional is subjective but I do use REAPER to run my mastering studio which is all I do to make a living. I bought the business license from Cockos.

Unfortunately I can't use REAPER for 100% of my workflow because there are other apps that are better at certain sub-tasks of the mastering process (WaveLab, RX6, Saracon) but for the simple task of playing audio to my analog gear and capturing back, REAPER is by far the best. The integration with RX6 as primary editor is also amazing.

The custom actions and scripts, as well as other great features make REAPER a huge time saver for this task over Pro Tools which is what I was using before REAPER.

I still keep Pro Tools around but it's nice to go days without ever launching it. I could probably get away with never using Pro Tools but for the few things I use it for now and then, I haven't had time to learn how to do it in REAPER so I stick with what works.

REAPER is definitely a serious piece of software. One advantage I have over recording and mixing engineers is that with mastering, I don't have to worry about session compatibility. My clients don't care what software I use and I am typically just working with stereo WAV files, no sessions.
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:49 PM   #18
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Only Reaper here, recording, mixing, mastering 110% full time, my clients couldn't care less what I use.
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Old 07-03-2017, 03:01 PM   #19
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Only Reaper here too pretty much. Just so much quicker to work in than anything else I've used in the past. I've had a few clients not get back to me when I drop the bombshell that I don't have PT, but they were all hip hop guys so... (I have the most 'trouble' with those pesky rappers ).
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Old 07-03-2017, 03:04 PM   #20
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My clients don't usually care what I use either. Occasionally i'll get someone that has a project they want to work on that they did in pro tools and in those situations i'll usually just use pro tools if it's just for tracking (I still have a perpetual license of 12.4 from before they started the subscriptions nonsense.). If it's for mixing than i'll usually just create stems from the PT sessions and import them.

I seem to be coming across more people that use Cubase and Logic these days than PT.
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Old 07-04-2017, 12:27 AM   #21
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I run a professional recording studio which does quite well and yes I too get all the food groups in here ;-)
What I have found is that the ones with the talent have no money and the ones without have plenty.
No I don't use Reaper or PT for recording but that's just me.
What I do use Reaper for is throwing pretty much anything I can (or have to) for testing all sorts of conversions. Sure, I've crashed Reaper but let me tell you I have to work at it LOL.
PT has a few things I like (mainly interface wise) but other than that I really love that it is the main reason people purchase AAT.
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Old 07-10-2017, 08:15 AM   #22
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I run a professional recording studio which does quite well and yes I too get all the food groups in here ;-)
What I have found is that the ones with the talent have no money and the ones without have plenty.
No I don't use Reaper or PT for recording but that's just me.
What I do use Reaper for is throwing pretty much anything I can (or have to) for testing all sorts of conversions. Sure, I've crashed Reaper but let me tell you I have to work at it LOL.
PT has a few things I like (mainly interface wise) but other than that I really love that it is the main reason people purchase AAT.
Your tool is quite simply a more reliable way to open older PT sessions than newer versions of PT. That includes running it in Wine in OSX. (Yes, yes, PT is backwards compatible... until the day it isn't!)

That would hold true even if you still use PT.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:00 AM   #23
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I will never understand the fascination with protools. It seems like an out dated, antiquated option, and I will never touch anything involving Ilok for any reason what so ever. and yes, AVID hates you. It's obvious. If you must have it for all the neighborhood jam bands that don't know any better then just use the protools skin for reaper and they won't know the diff.
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Old 07-10-2017, 09:47 PM   #24
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I'm wondering how many people on here are using reaper and making a living from using this software? Also are you a home studio use or are you in a "professional studio"? I only ask after watching this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eiJ9xbBVXs4 from the recording revolution.

Funnily I've not mixed anything in so long mainly due to working shitty jobs, but when I do get the time to write music I've been using logic pro x mainly for its ease of use basically a fancy garage band but mixing in it just doesn't click with me. I've used pro tools for a number of years but Avid as company I think is dreadful I've not updated it in over 2 years i refuse to pay for a subscription. But i love Reaper and the attitude the company and how helpful this forum is.
I have recorded at many studios over the past 40 years, every one of them used ProTools. But its 2017 now, I know studios use Logic, Cubase and Reaper etc
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Old 07-10-2017, 10:44 PM   #25
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I have recorded at many studios over the past 40 years, every one of them used ProTools. But its 2017 now, I know studios use Logic, Cubase and Reaper etc
I assume you meant "as well as PT".

I've always wondered why they wouldn't just sink their teeth into the pro studios and not try to please everyone.
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Old 07-12-2017, 04:12 PM   #26
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You know, I have to ask, what do you all consider is a professional studio? I mean, what makes a professional studio different than any other studio?

I know this thread is almost dead, but I got to thinking about this, and I'd like to know what you all think.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:14 PM   #27
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There are two sorts of professional studios. One is the kind that rents facility time by the hour or day etc. The other is the personal work room of a producer, engineer or musician. The sort of facility that is likely to be ProTools centric is the room-for-hire type, since there is an expectation that such a room will have that DAW. They might have other ones too, but they'll all have PT. The 2nd kind of studio, more common everywhere really but certainly outside of NY, LA, London is more likely to use other DAWs in addition to PT, with PT being kept as a translation device and a lot of the real work being done on other systems. This is where Reaper shines.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:25 PM   #28
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You know, I have to ask, what do you all consider is a professional studio? I mean, what makes a professional studio different than any other studio?

I know this thread is almost dead, but I got to thinking about this, and I'd like to know what you all think.
My personal definition is when you should be paying taxes from doing it, whether you are paying them or not. Until then both I (and the government) consider it just a hobby. The other point there is that pro doesn't always mean good so we can't really use "sounds pro" as a proper definition.
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:05 PM   #29
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Old 07-12-2017, 06:48 PM   #30
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You know, I have to ask, what do you all consider is a professional studio? I mean, what makes a professional studio different than any other studio?

I know this thread is almost dead, but I got to thinking about this, and I'd like to know what you all think.
Like Karbo said, technically speaking if it's a real business that has income and pays taxes and exists as it's own business entity, it's a professional studio. The two words "pro" and "great skill" as relates to engineering and all that have nothing at all to do with each other. Like with every other profession, it's not necessary to be great, it's only necessary to be competent.

The (not all) great studios of the past were there as tools, not to promote the owner, but to exist for rent. People often hired and brought their own engineer and music producer with them. They rented them for the great gear and the spaces, the rooms, not the owner's plugin mix tricks.
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:34 PM   #31
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Some of these places had a wisdom to them as well. Snobs would treat the techs and janitors as peons, far beneath them and not fit to breath the same air, but if you were smart, you would walk away with so many new perspectives.

I don't think we ever directly paid them money for being them, just rented their space, but the wisdom and accumulated experience of say, the Robb Brothers at Cherokee was mind blowing. Dee would often walk into control rooms just to make sure everything was going ok, and he'd casually drop a knowledge bomb, in passing and walk to check on the next room. I remember more than a few times letting it sink in and everyone in the room was like "whoa!!!! Stop the tape!!! And we'd approach the project anew on those few words

The kind of shit Bill Metoyer would mutter in a long chain of random cuss words could have profound impact on the next album you were making

If you've never had a chance to experience the treasure of one of these places, and any are still around, go have a look, and more important, a listen. If you see a guy with a soldering iron, turn your iphone recorder on, bring him a coffee and just shoot the breeze
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:41 AM   #32
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I'm not a pro studio, but I have trained as a recording engineer, and have been recording for many years. I own Pro Tools but about a year ago switched to Reaper. Now I find it hard to imagine that I ever used PT. It seems incredibly archaic, light years behind.

Quote:
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I use Reaper exclusively. Clients don't care.

Some weeks ago I went to another studio (with relatively bigger clients) where they use to rent my services as recording eng. This time I tried to build what's usually in my Reaper template (gate+eq+comp on every track, reverb and echo sends, paralell compressor, etc.): no way their HD system could hang it no mather what RTAS/AAX plugin format combination I tried.

We would need 3 HD racks to accomplish what Reaper could do in just a 300€ pc laptop. That was shocking.

Reaper is Pro, Protools felt like a toy.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:42 PM   #33
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Heh heh, yeah, there is the technical legalistic side I guess, but I think in the real world there's a lot more to it.

I did a little search for the word professional, and came up with more than a few thoughts and concepts. In all the definitions I saw, the legalisms were not mentioned. Most contained words like "ability", "skill", and "quality". Some included the ability to easily connect and carry on with others. It was also clear that there were professional standards, but I think what they actually are, would depend on the profession.

Here are a couple of the definitions:
> pro·fes·sion·al·ism: The competence or skill expected of a professional.
"the key to quality and efficiency is professionalism"

>"The conduct, aims, or qualities that characterize or mark a profession or a professional person."

Other words associated with professionalism were Reliability, Competence, Ethics, Poise, Etiquette, and even Morality to list just a few.

Of course we're talking about "Professional Studios" here, not "Professionalism", but I find it difficult to separate one from the other, at least in my old head. When I think of a "professional studio", I don't think of some big building with a million(s) dollars worth of equipment down on Wilshire Blvrd, I think about people first. Of course a good building and good equipment will have significance, but they are only an added bonus to the people. Without the people, there is nothing, but then that's only my old way of thinking.

there are actually more than a few folks with "Bedroom Studios", kind of proving my point.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:49 PM   #34
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Of course we're talking about "Professional Studios" here, not "Professionalism", but I find it difficult to separate one from the other, at least in my old head.
That's correct but the reason it might be hard to separate is because there is some hand in hand because a pro studio would have a hard time keeping customers if they didn't exhibit professionalism. Most aren't willing to have and pay someone who seems "really professional" do brain surgery but isn't actually a doctor - suddenly professional has stricter guidelines doesn't it?

If one accepts money for the service, it is then then by law a business and odds are very high someone who can operate a business off of a skill is better than most who cannot, no? The entymology is probably important...

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1200, "vows taken upon entering a religious order," from Old French profession (12c.), from Latin professionem (nominative professio) "public declaration," from past participle stem of profiteri "declare openly" (see profess). Meaning "any solemn declaration" is from mid-14c. Meaning "occupation one professes to be skilled in" is from early 15c.; meaning "body of persons engaged in some occupation" is from 1610; as a euphemism for "prostitution" (compare oldest profession) it is recorded from 1888.
So one could always find away to avoid the business piece of it, but I don't really think that matters if we apply our thoughts about it to all the skills that aren't music, like having your AC replaced or your car fixed the right way or whatever.

That doesn't mean you cannot say "Wow that is a very pro sounding result" and that be true, you certainly can, but that doesn't also make it true that a professional created it. The best we can do is as you did, keep profession and professional as in high skill separate.
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Old 07-13-2017, 04:31 PM   #35
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:18 PM   #36
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Karbo is right, as usual.

People often confuse the word "pro" with a certain subjective level of quality or end result when the reality is... markets and clients vary. For example, there's a reason some guys make steady money mixing for $50-75 a song and it is typically - not - because they're really great at it, it's because the people paying them can't afford the best.

It's the same reason WalMart and KMart sell $125 suits.

Everything has a context. You don't have to be Bob Clearmountain to make money engineering or runnning a small pro studio. You only have to be competent, dependable, and not be an asshole.

In other words, that guy in your neighborhood running the tiny hardware store is just as "pro" as the CEO of Home Depot, he's just not nearly as well stocked and has a shorter list of available contractor talent.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:47 PM   #37
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Here are a couple of the definitions:
> pro·fes·sion·al·ism: The competence or skill expected of a professional.
Right. But it's still contextual. If you're only sequencing and recording samplers and recording a couple of vocal tracks you get by with a lesser degree of overall engineering competence and the clients won't care or even know. On the other hand, if a 10 piece string group shows up and you have no clue how to mic them (or have enough decent mics and preamps to do it well) to make them sound good, that's not very professional.

The key word in your quote is "expected". Who sets and determines if you meet the expectations? The clients. The band from the other side of town spending $500 total to record their set will typically have lower expectations than Michael Jackson.
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Old 07-13-2017, 08:26 PM   #38
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If you're only sequencing and recording samplers and recording a couple of vocal tracks you get by with a lesser degree of overall engineering competence and the clients won't care or even know. On the other hand, if a 10 piece string group shows up and you have no clue how to mic them (or have enough decent mics and preamps to do it well) to make them sound good, that's not very professional.
Aah Lawrence, but you're assuming the person that's only sequencing and recording samplers, and recording a couple of vocal tracks has a lesser degree of overall engineering competence, while at the same time assuming, that a person has lots of competence if they can throw up a couple of well placed microphones and record a 10 piece string group.

That could easily be turned around to ask, how much experience does it take to record a 10 piece string group, even if it has a couple of soloists, 2 violas, and 3 cellos, compared to that person who can completely write & arrange a full compliment of instruments, including drums and bass, and produce an artist that simply sings and plays acoustic guitar?

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The key word in your quote is "expected". Who sets and determines if you meet the expectations? The clients. The band from the other side of town spending $500 total to record their set will typically have lower expectations than Michael Jackson.
Yeah, maybe. Heh heh, you're actually raising all kinds of scenarios, so many that it kind of becomes a little overwhelming.

I guess for myself, based on the many posts I've seen in the last few years around the net, that somehow the concept of the professional studio is some kind of a thilla in manila magical type thing. When in reality, and based on the many years since the 1960s, the main studios that had a hand in the whole thing, were many hundreds, maybe thousands, and many if not most, were far from being all that well built or equipped. There were people with ingenuity and talent, many of whom were just getting by.

That's okay Lawrence, you usually win, and I love you for it.
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:08 AM   #39
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You know, I have to ask, what do you all consider is a professional studio? I mean, what makes a professional studio different than any other studio?

I know this thread is almost dead, but I got to thinking about this, and I'd like to know what you all think.
One that you make a living from My pro studio is a laptop in a well treated room. But then I only do mixing and mastering - no recording.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:18 AM   #40
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Aah Lawrence, but you're assuming the person that's only sequencing and recording samplers, and recording a couple of vocal tracks has a lesser degree of overall engineering competence, while at the same time assuming, that a person has lots of competence if they can throw up a couple of well placed microphones and record a 10 piece string group.
No, you're reading things in my comments that aren't there. What I was saying is that a guy can run a hip-hop studio or something and get by fine with much less actual engineering skill. I never said all of those guys have no skill. But you don't need to understand impedance, or know how to solder a patch bay, or necessarily even need to understand the 3-to1-rule for micing to run a daw and record vocals over rap beats (as an example).

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That could easily be turned around to ask, how much experience does it take to record a 10 piece string group, even if it has a couple of soloists, 2 violas, and 3 cellos, compared to that person who can completely write & arrange a full compliment of instruments, including drums and bass, and produce an artist that simply sings and plays acoustic guitar?
It takes a certain level of skill if you objectively compare it to (and expect) something really good like that done exceptionally well. If the expectations are lower, not so much. Honestly, I've been to small personal professional project studios that don't even have 10 pairs of headphones or 12 mics, because they don't do or even accept that kind of work.

Not sure about you, but I haven't heard a string group recording and mix on a daw forum that sounds like something from a Disney sound stage. The expectations there are much higher. The other stuff does't suck, it's just not in the same league. Like AA farm club baseball players are pros, but they're not in the same league as the majors. But they're all pros. Context.

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Yeah, maybe. Heh heh, you're actually raising all kinds of scenarios, so many that it kind of becomes a little overwhelming.
Not really. I'm more suggesting that the dictionary definition of professional is partly a subjective judgement. For example, the guy who graduated dead last in his law school class and took the bar exam 6 times before passing is still a professional. How good he is or not is judged by his clients on an individual case by case basis, and is more based on what the client can afford to pay for or is used to, and what his expectations are. Being a pro does not automatically equate to being "really good at your job", it only implies a certain basic level of competence on the technical side and on the more subjective side a reasonable degree of professional behavior.

It's usually easy-ish to tell what pros (in any field) have the higher skill levels, because they typically get paid a heck of a lot more. But again, not everyone can afford the best lawyers or audio engineers so other people always fill those gaps.

Thanks Todd.
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