Other questions I have are how do they pay you, would you be on a payroll and receive a paycheck, or do you charge with PayPal or something? Do you usually meet them in person or just talk over email or the phone? Is there some sort of cool computer program you use to talk and share documents and stuff? When I say "you" I mean you individually, I am not assuming that you speak for everyone.
Most pay me via Paypal but I have a few, mainly larger companies, that send me a paper check. If a client is local then I'll gladly go into their office for meetings and such. Especially if we're doing implementation and I can get my hands on the device(s)/build(s). Other times the client is in another state or even in another country and then it's mostly Skype. Dropbox is my main method of sharing files.
When it comes to actually creating the studio, what are the most important things to have the latest version of? I would assume that it would be the software, if anything, so please correct me if I'm wrong. What are the most important things to spend money on? Microphones or monitors? Or an expensive interface?
Hardware is important - mics, monitors and the interface. This is especially true if you're recording source material. Some folks deal almost exclusively with library samples and therefore don't use mics too often. But so is software. For many, including myself, setting up a studio is a long process buying bit by bit. I simply didn't have enough cash to pay for everything I needed up front so instead I did it piece meal.
What I did (and I think most do the same) is figure out:
- how much cash can I spend now?
- what exactly do I need to get the job done now?
- what can get afford to wait and get later on to further enhance my studio?