Imagine that some hair-brained plan of mine fell through and I ended up with a metric assload of money. Most people wouldn’t have a clue what to do with it, but I would.
Since I dabble in audio engineering, I would love to make something like that my full time job or profession. And since I am naturally a generous person, I would like others to benefit as well.
So, what would I do? I would probably set up a Music Nexus. By the way, feel free to implement this yourself if you like, because the world could use lots of places like this. Hell, if anything, give me feedback. I would like to know if anything I mention here is in any way feasible.
So, a Music Nexus, you say? What the hell is that? A Music Nexus is a one-stop place for all your music-producing needs. Anything you can think of related to performance, producing, gear, training/lessons, etcetera can be facilitated, for a fair price.
So, here comes a long read of what I would set up. I clearly thought a lot about this. At least it would be out there.
My Music Nexus would have the following services and products available:
- Recording/Producing/Mixing/Mastering by freelance professionals
- Reamping and session services.
- Profiling of gear for Kempers, AxeFx. Also creation of IRs for cab emulation.
- Rehearsal/Training/Lessons/Coaching. Coaching/lessons by volunteers or freelancers
- Music shop: buy/rent music hardware (backlines, amps/cabs, stage monitoring/PA, etc), also small supplies like cables, guitar picks, straps, drum keys, etc.
- Luthier/Tech workshop for repairs, maintenance and/or construction.
- Venue for performances/workshops/clinics
To facilitate the above, I would need staff. I would need people that would have to be able to fulfill the following jobs:
- Luthiers/instrument builders
- Music techs (stage hands/musical quarter masters)
- Audio Engineers/Producers
- Music coaches (Vocal, guitar, drums, bass, piano, etc)
- Facility staff (also for the front desk)
- Bookkeepers, administrators
The facility/administrative staff and stagehand/quartermaster folks could either be volunteers or semi-permanent staff on the payroll, but everyone else could be freelance or independent, with their own rates, and the Music Nexus will just charge a small price for the rental of the room and equipment. Of course, if a customer really likes a piece of gear (say, an amp, a cab, a pedal ), it is for sale. There could be an agreement or sponsorship deal with a music supplier (like, say, Thomann or something).
If we want to host performances and clinics, we also need a stage. The stage should be open for everyone. You basically register a time slot for your performance, clinic or whatever public display you want to host, and you pay a small fee for rental of staff and equipment (PA system, lighting, etc). Yes, the stage also includes a bar, which is stocked with the basics (beer, some liquor, snacks, etc. but no meals). It would be nice if the venue could host a crowd of up to ~200 people.
The building that houses the Nexus would have to be one that has lots of rooms with various functions:
This is for the musicians that want to rehearse or record. Musicians can rent these spaces to practice with their band, or alone for a reduced rate.
All rehearsal spaces would be provided with a backline, some amps/cabs, PA + monitors and cables/mics. These come included with the rental. Bringing your own gear is of course no problem. It will need to be registered so there will be no confusion about who owns what.
Also, every room has a large patch panel that can link up with the production rooms.
This is for audio engineers and producers. They can use these rooms to mix or master, or they can use it as a control room for tracking.
Every production room is fitted with standard studio gear (mixing desk, monitors, racks for outboard gear, patchpanels) that is at least decent and industry standard. The rooms are treated so they are suitable for mixing. There should also be a bunch of high end gear available for rental (think high end amps/cabs, drumkits) that can be used in the rehearsal room that doubles as a recording room.
This is for luthiers, amp techs and tinkerers.
The workshop rooms have equipment for repairing or creating instruments. Think of workbenches, basic woodworking equipment/tools, soldering stations, etching stations, C&C machine/Lathe, 3D printers, basic electronics supplies (caps, pots, wire, resistors, breadboards, ICs, etc) and a temporary secure storage facility for unfinished projects.
This is for everyone.
The point is to have a small store for small supplies like instrument cables, strings, drum sticks, drum keys, power plugs, power supplies, etc that is often forgotten by absent minded musicians. It should be well supplied, and the prices should be reasonable.
Of course the above needs some basic laws. Here are the policies I would probably implement:
- Gear is rented on a ‘you break it, you buy it (or pay for repairs)'-basis.
- There will be a security deposit which will be returned when the gear is returned undamaged. The security deposit will offset the cost of repairs.
- We will provide sturdy flight cases for all the gear. You have to provide your own cables.
- No smoking allowed throughout the entire building. Vaping is allowed everywhere except for the server room.
- No food and drinks in all rooms, except in the common areas/stage and bar.
- People using rehearsal spaces will leave the space exactly how they find it. It’s okay if you move kit around, as long as you move it back where it was when you’re done.
- You break it, you buy it. Unless if it’s accidental (we certainly know when it isn’t). So treat the equipment as if you bought it and have to replace it yourself. Basic rule: If you can’t pay for it, be careful with it.
- Forgot your cables, amp, string winders, plugs, tuners, extra strings, microphone, etc? No problem. You can rent/buy these things at the store for a nice price. There will be a small security deposit when you rent something. Renting is not possible with disposables (strings, sticks, etc)
- You are welcome to bring your own gear. Setup of these things is in your own time. Book accordingly. We will not store your gear
- There are no subscriptions to rehearsal spaces. We want that everyone has a fair chance of getting a room. Just book well in advance.
- Cancelling/rescheduling rehearsals must be done at least 24h in advance (sooner is better). Failing to do this (which includes cancelling in the last minute) will ban you for a month.
- Be on time. No-showing will get you a monthly ban. Being late will count against your time and you will still have to pay for all the time you reserved the room.
- Cancelling/rescheduling studio time must be done two weeks in advance. Failing to do so will cost you your deposit. This is so the audio engineers can schedule someone else in.
- All doors are fitted with session lights. When a session light is on, the people inside will not be disturbed (unless emergencies arise). All doors will have ‘doorbells’ which will flash a light inside to notify people that there is someone at the door.
Wow, you read it to all the way down here. So, what do you think? Would you go to a place like this? Do you think it would be feasible to run one? Or would you want to give me the money to set this up? ;)
Let me know. :)