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Ten Extra Income Sources for Audio Engineers

You are an audio engineer with an impressive collection of gear. And even with your remarkable talents, client skills, connections, and credits, you occasionally have some gaps in your schedule. It happens to everyone at points in their career.

Not to worry. You can make extra money with the gear you already own, and by using the skills you already have. Here are ten new ways for you to make money on the side:

1. Record & Mix Radio Spots

You already have a recording booth, which means you can record voiceover dialog. Radio spots are usually 30 seconds, contain wall-to-wall dialog, and often music. Occasionally you will need to provide sound effects. If you have fast Pro Tools chops, and can turn around spots quickly, radio can pay well.

2. Jingle Writing

While you are bringing in clients to record and mix radio spots, why don’t you sell them your music tracks? Use the sample libraries you already own to write catchy 30-second spots.

3. Game Audio

Dialog enhances the immersive experience of playing video games. As such, games can call for thousands of recorded lines. Use your recording booth to record dialog for games for home consoles, portable consoles, phones, tablets, and so on. And if you own sound effects libraries, you can create hundreds, if not thousands, of sound effects assets as well.

4. Teaching

You already own Pro Tools and you are a whiz at it. Set up your studio to teach multiple students at a time, and you can maximize your income. Not only is teaching the next generation of music engineers a gratifying experience, it is also a good way to scout for potential new interns for your studio.

5. Audiobooks

Many millions of people around the world have long drives to work. Audiobooks are a great way to unwind while commuting. With the rapid increase in audio book production, higher quality recordings are expected. Which makes your studio, with a professional voiceover booth, the perfect place to record dialog for audio books.

6. Conferences

Since you know many different types of people in the music business, why not offer your space as a cool place to hold a conference? Attendees of the conference, as well as the panel members who speak at the event, will get to know your great studio environment and spread the good word. You could either charge to rent the space, or barter in exchange for other music or business services you might need.

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7. Voiceover demos

Every voiceover artist needs a great demo reel to display their diverse talents and credits. Once you’ve got your radio spot business going, ask the voiceover artists that come through if they need help recording, editing, mixing, and submitting their reels to sites such as voices.com.

8. Podcasts

The podcast industry has matured greatly over the past few years. There are now shows that make good money through advertising, and as such can afford to record at professional facilities. While providing your space for podcasters, why not ask them to do a shout-out for your studio on their show?

9. App development

Ever have a musical or recording problem that you wish could be solved with an app, but you don’t see an available solution? Hire an app designer/developer and produce your own. You will have to invest more money and time upfront than the above options, but once the app is available for purchase, you will have potentially created a nice residual income stream for yourself.

10. Sell gear

Start by selling the gear you do not need any more, and then research what vintage gear is worth. Train yourself to buy low and sell high on eBay, and you will acquire some excellent timeless pieces for your studio in the process.

Remember, whatever approaches you choose for making extra money with your studio, the key is to let people know about your services. Constantly tell your clients, advertise, and ask others to spread the good word. Be tenacious and creative in your endeavors, and here’s to your success!

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Aaron Diecker

Aaron Diecker

Aaron Diecker is the founder of Creatively Forward, a collection of the top resources for improving your music, guitar, and other creative skills. Learn a ton!

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