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Pauper's Ransom

Mick Miller operates a recording studio out of his two-bedroom apartment in North County. The studio consists of a Mac and a PC, a Pro-Tools software program for digital recording, and a collection of microphones. He says it cost him $10,000 to $12,000 for all the equipment. With such low overhead, he is able to charge bands $25 per hour.

Advertisements for small studio operations have been popping up in the musicians' listings on San Diego's Craigslist website. Rates usually run about $20 to $30 per hour, with some exceptions. Miller claims to have seen a posting that listed a $10-per-hour rate.

Hourly studio rates at established studios have been closer to $50, but a recent glance through the classifieds shows that traditional studios may be cutting rates to stay competitive. King's Ransom, Audioquest, and Hobartrax all advertised hourly rates as low as $30 per hour, while CV Studios charges $20 per hour.

"A lot of my recordings, quality and production-wise, totally hang with the million-dollar studio sound," Miller says. He admits that some of the comforts of a traditional studio are sacrificed; a recent session consisted of a 15-piece children's choir (and all of their parents) crammed into Miller's living room. "I had to kick the parents out onto the porch," Miller says.

As for the potential of home-based studios knocking out their larger rivals, Miller sees this as an unlikely scenario.

"There's a lot more to it than simply going out and buying a Pro-Tools rig and hitting the record button."

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Mick Miller operates a recording studio out of his two-bedroom apartment in North County. The studio consists of a Mac and a PC, a Pro-Tools software program for digital recording, and a collection of microphones. He says it cost him $10,000 to $12,000 for all the equipment. With such low overhead, he is able to charge bands $25 per hour.

Advertisements for small studio operations have been popping up in the musicians' listings on San Diego's Craigslist website. Rates usually run about $20 to $30 per hour, with some exceptions. Miller claims to have seen a posting that listed a $10-per-hour rate.

Hourly studio rates at established studios have been closer to $50, but a recent glance through the classifieds shows that traditional studios may be cutting rates to stay competitive. King's Ransom, Audioquest, and Hobartrax all advertised hourly rates as low as $30 per hour, while CV Studios charges $20 per hour.

"A lot of my recordings, quality and production-wise, totally hang with the million-dollar studio sound," Miller says. He admits that some of the comforts of a traditional studio are sacrificed; a recent session consisted of a 15-piece children's choir (and all of their parents) crammed into Miller's living room. "I had to kick the parents out onto the porch," Miller says.

As for the potential of home-based studios knocking out their larger rivals, Miller sees this as an unlikely scenario.

"There's a lot more to it than simply going out and buying a Pro-Tools rig and hitting the record button."

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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