Separate Studio/Extra Room in Apt.?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by thrash_jazz, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. An apartment with an extra room to use as a studio.

    1 vote(s)
  2. A separate rehearsal space to use as a studio.

    6 vote(s)
  3. Just get a house already!

    5 vote(s)
  1. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Hi all,

    If I can scrounge the extra funds, I'm considering getting hold of a little extra room for a studio. Getting a bigger apartment with an extra room would cost about the same as renting a small jam room elsewhere, so I'm just wondering which you folks would choose if given the option.

    I'd be using the so-called studio for mostly teaching, with some recording and rehearsal.

    I'll throw out what pros and cons I can think of - please feel free to add to them if you wish.

    Extra Room in Apartment

    Pros: More convenient for personal practice, no distance to travel to play, more secure, probably slightly lower cost

    Cons: Limited volume, more inconvenient for teaching and practically impossible for rehearsal, more distractions

    Separate Rehearsal/Studio Space

    Pros: No volume constraints, more convenient and professional for lessons/rehearsals, less distractions

    Cons: Time restraints, higher cost (and probably non-claimable on tax returns), less secure, distance, less convenient for personal practice

    Thanks in advance! :)
  2. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Hey Adam -

    Before I got into the housing market, I always thought that the optimum setup would be to rent the 2nd floor apartment of a building with a business on the main floor and a relatively unused, somewhat finished basement. That way, outside of normal business hours, you won't have any neighbors to aggravate....

    So, there's something like a dentist's office on the main floor, your apartment on the 2nd floor and the recording/rehearsal space in the basement.

    There's tons of places like this in Ottawa in Centertown/Market area.

  3. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Interesting idea... thanks DD!
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    It depends on the person and situation, I think. If you are very disciplined, live in a situation that provides for a lot of independence and with people who can respect a closed door and deal with the noise and intrusion into their lives brought by rehearsals, sessions, etc., then a space where you live can be OK.

    If you are easily distracted, find it hard to avoid domestic responsibility (chores) when you are at home, if "emergencies" are always cropping up when you are at home (especially the kind that would just "ride" or be handled by whoever else was around) and you would have to consider the schedules of anyone else in the aparment/house/building when you were making plans to practice/rehearse/play, then having a space that was outside the reach of your Domestic Partner(s) is a Good Thing.

    Proximity, she is a blessing and a curse.
  5. Bad Brains

    Bad Brains Banned

    Jan 7, 2004
    Detroit, michigan
    It would be a good idea. If you don't use it as a studio you can at least turn it into a really cool jam room. I.E lots of posters, ect.

    We had an extra apartment in my apartment that i was turning into a jam room with my apms, basses ext. But my other roomate decided to let his friend move in and take it over (he's not even paying rent). Kind of bogus.
  6. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Thanks for the responses folks. And, nice to have you back Ed!

    I don't have any roommates, so the only privacy issues would really be playing late at night, which would be to the neighbours' chagrin.

    I see what you mean about proximity being a curse and a blessing. I might get in more practice time at home than at a studio, but it would be less focused. I already know this for a fact...

    Add to that the fact that I'd be eternally worried about my stuff getting ripped off if it weren't at home... makes for a tricky decision!
  7. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    I voted "get a house" I have a rehearsal area/recording area (ok... I still need a better sound card and mics but it's a start) in my livingroom. if I'm jamming the wife goes into our office or the bedroom.

    Works well so far, but if I didn't own (or rent) a house, I'd opt for the seperate space... I rented the upstairs of a Doc's place for band stuff for a while... worked well so long as we didn't want to do anything during business hours
  8. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    I studied with a teacher out of an apartment. It was a very upper-class style of place. The main room was the studio, and he had a private waiting room for other students. He lived in the back from what I understand. It seemed to work out well, though the ultra-low volume levels were a bit aggravating. He has since moved into a house.

    I think you have to look at your life as a whole while you are at it. I've seen you talking about going back to school in some of your post, so laying money down on a house may not be practical. It sucks to pay rent because, you'll never own it. But if you are planning a lifestyle change within the next 10 years, a house may not be the smartest investment.

    edit: Why the hell did I think you were thinking of buying a house? Guess I should read things more carefully before I post. :D ;)
  9. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North

    Hey, there's another idea - I know you're a downtown guy and don't have wheels, but have you ever thought of renting a small house on the outskirts of town that has an oversized lot? I'd say that a half-hour in any direction from downtown will give you lots of options, if you stay out of the villages and the suburban belt. This'll give you space and privacy with the opportunity cost of being close to downtown - you'd certainly need wheels.

  10. thrash_jazz


    Jan 11, 2002
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Artist: JAF Basses, Circle K Strings
    Actually there's plenty of houses around here that would probably fit the bill. Ottawa U is nearby so most of the people are probably used to noise. The downside, again, is security.

    At any rate, I'll soon have to start saving my money for grad courses so looks like all bets are off for now. :(

    Thanks all for the input!
  11. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I tend towards Pukespray's take on this. Note
    that this is true not just for musicians, but for
    anyone running a small business with a choice
    of a home office versus an office out of the home.

    Whenever I have been in this position, I
    have opted for the office away from home.
    I separate my business life from my wife,
    kids and dog and personal life.

    If I go to the office/studio to work, I don't get
    little distractions like "Do you mind taking out
    the trash", "Please let the dog out", "We're out of -
    [milk/oj/diapers],do you mind...", etc.

    When all this is over, the day is gone, and you
    probably had less productive time than if you
    structured your business life a bit more with a studio.
    Also, an off-site studio is much easier to write
    off as a business expense when it is used only
    for business. In-home offices have always been an
    IRS red flag. ( Here in the US, that is ... check your
    local listings ...) Finally, I think people find
    home settings to be less professional
    than office settings, unless they are superbly
    set up.

    Just a few points to consider.