#1
Hey guys how's it going?

I'm beginning to get paid work as a producer and I wondered if I could get some opinions on desired/acceptable/expected rates for project studios, either from the perspective of artists that have used them, or producers like myself, who run them.

When I say 'project studio', I'm talking a small scale, maybe even single room set-up. My personal studio is in a decent sized separate room in my flat with a rig including a MacPro running ProTools and Logic, and stacked to the eyeballs with plug-ins and sample libraries, a Project Mix I/O interface, Tannoy monitors and 2 pretty top end condenser microphones. I also have 2 keyboards and an electronic drum-kit, as well as a range of instruments and effects. I am a proficient programmer, arranger, composer and songwriter, skills I use when working with artists.

The results achieved in my studio can be heard here:
https://soundcloud.com/handsdownmusicproduction

Everything on that SoundCloud has been entirely produced, recorded and mixed “in-the-box”, by me, in my project studio, using a combination of real and virtual instuments.

I have some pricing bands for different services that I plan to provide, and I would be greatly appreciative of you guys if you could, based on the music in the above link, tell me your expected price for a given service provided by a set-up like mine by answering the following questionnaire. Please type the question number, followed by the letter of the corresponding price band in the multiple choice, as well as any further advice/comments you may wish to add.


1. Simple Recording Hourly Rate - a rate for use of the recording facilities without specific production skills (e.g. arrangement needed programming) needed from me. This would be things like voice over work, singing on pre-prepared backing tracks.

A) £10-20 ($15–30) [€10-25] /hr
B) £20-30 ($30–45) [€25-35] /hr
C) £30-40 ($45–60) [€35-50] /hr
D) £40-50 ($60–75) [€50-60] /hr


2. Production & Recording Hourly Rate - a rate for use of the recording facilities with specific use of production skills. For singers/songwriters/artists who have a basic outline for a song, but want a full arrangement with elements such as layered vocals, strings, drums, bass, piano, guitars etc. arranged and recorded. Also potentially aimed at bands who wish to spend less for more. The rates include my rate as a session player on the production.

A) £10-20 ($15–30) [€10-25] /hr
B) £20-30 ($30–45) [€25-35] /hr
C) £30-40 ($45–60) [€35-50] /hr
D) £40-50 ($60–75) [€50-60] /hr


3. Per Track Recording Rate - a rate for use of the recording facilities to produce a basic demo without specific production skills. Ideal for singers/songwriters/artists who want a basic demo (piano/acoustic guitar and vocals) of a song for promotional purposes. (calculated by multiplying the average time taken to record such a demo by the previous rate bands)

A) £30-60 ($15–30) [€35-70] /track
B) £60-90 ($90–135) [€70-105] /track
C) £90-120 ($135–180) [€105-140] /track
D) £120-150 ($180–225) [€140-175] /track


4. Per Track Production Rate - a rate for use of the recording facilities with specific use of production skills to produce full demo. Ideal for singers/songwriters/artists/bands who want pre-production demos, higher quality promotional material or releasable tracks. (calculated by multiplying the average time taken to record such a production by the previous rate bands)

A) £70-140 ($105–210) [€80-160] /track
B) £140-210 ($210–315) [€160-245] /track
C) £210-280 ($315–420) [€245-330] /track
D) £280-350 ($420–530) [€330-410] /track


4. Per Track E-Production Rate - a rate for use of the recording facilities with specific use of my production skills to produce full demo from a guide track (acoustic guitar & vocal of acceptable or above quality) transferred to me online. Ideal for singers/songwriters/artists/bands anywhere, who want pre-production demos, higher quality promotional material or releasable tracks. (calculated by multiplying the average time taken to record such a production by the previous rate bands – 10% for the freedom working on my own schedule affords me)

A) £63-126 ($95–190) [€80-160] /track
B) £126-189 ($190–285) [€145-220] /track
C) £189-252 ($285–380) [€220-295] /track
D) £252-315 ($380–475) [€295-365] /track


6. Per Track E-Arrangement Service- a fee for the arrangement and programming of a convincing virtual instrument part (e.g. strings, drums, percussion). Ideal for singers/songwriters/artists/bands who want place-holder and permanent instrumental parts on their song, which might otherwise be too impractical or expensive to get.

A) £20-40 ($30–60) [€25-45] /hr
B) £40-60 ($60–90) [€50-70] /hr
C) £60-80 ($90–120) [€70-100] /hr
D) £80-100 ($120–150) [€100-120] /hr


7. Demo Mix Service - a rate for the production of a competent but not final, high quality demo mix of a track.

A) £10-20 ($15–30) [€10-25] /track
B) £20-30 ($30–45) [€25-35] /track
C) £30-40 ($45–60) [€35-50] /track
D) £40-50 ($60–75) [€50-60] /track


8. Stems Release Fee - a rate for the handing over of all stems for a track (obviously conditional upon full payment for services of recording/producing said track)

A) £10-20 ($15–30) [€10-25] /track
B) £20-30 ($30–45) [€25-35] /track
C) £30-40 ($45–60) [€35-50] /track
D) £40-50 ($60–75) [€50-60] /track


A Quick listen to the SoundCloud , and an answer to just 8 questions would really help me assess my pricing from a more informed perspective and any advice from anyone with an angle would be a wonderful bonus. Thank you all in advance!

Dan
#2
I can't listen on this computer, but a fee for releasing tracks to the buyer is really inappropriate, IMHO. If they pay for the time, then they should get the raw tracks from that time.

It's also hard to comment on someone's rates, as that can vary wildly from area to area, depending on what the local competition is offering.

A limiting factor in what you can charge is the fact that you can't do a whole lot of instrument recording, like a full band off the floor, or even a live drum kit, really.

Just my initial impressions, as a person who runs a home project studio on the other side of the ocean. My rates, in short, are $120/6-hr day (or $25/hr), plus $40 per song to mix.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#3
I'm running my own recording business (also in Liverpool!) and we're still experimenting with rates but this is what we're charging at the moment:

DEMO PACKAGE £75
- One location session up to 5 hours
- Record as many or few songs as you like, with up to 16 channels at once
- Mixing for one song included

DOUBLE A-SIDE PACKAGE £120
- One location session up to 8 hours
- Record as many or few songs as you like, with up to 16 channels at once
- Mixing for two songs included

EP PACKAGE £280
- Two location sessions up to 8 hours each
- Record as many or few songs as you like, with up to 16 channels at once
- Mixing for four songs included
- CD master included for immediate release

OVERDUB SESSIONS £12/hr
- Ideal for adding extra vocals, guitars, keys, percussion etc to existing recordings
- Up to 8 simultaneous tracks
- Minimum booking 2 hours

TRACKING: £13/hr
MIXING: £55/track
PRODUCTION/CONSULTATION: Varies, contact us!


We've also got a really crazy scheme brewing, come check it out if you're near Crosby!


OK...so if you're aiming at the demo crowd, flat fees are really important - hourly rates come across as intimidating to a lot of younger or less experienced bands. Save hourly rates for the more in depth stuff like production and arrangement.


One problem is that I don't think your showreel (bet you a tenner you copied that off Al Groves' soudcloud ) demonstrates enough of what prospective clients want to hear - demos of bands and acoustic artists. Sure, you've got a knack for the virtual instruments and that's useful in a production context, but a lot of bands will just want to hear some plain old guitar, drums, bass and vocals.

It looks like your setup is great for acoustic artists, voiceover work, and electronic/virtual music, so perhaps you should focus on that for the time being. Keep your rates really low for basic and don't be afraid to charge a significant premium for your personal arrangement/production expertise.

Listening through your work it's pretty much what I expected - vocals and virtual instruments sound fantastic, guitars and bass are not bad, drums sound kinda crappy.

Have you got the capacity to mic a kit? I've done demos in the past using an electric kit and although you can get good professional-sounding drums pretty easily, it really doesn't beat the real thing.

I'd definitely recommend a few weeks focusing on plain old rock mixing, get some stems from Mixoff.org or somwhere and really focus on getting a great drum sound. I'm not sure what drum software you're using (sounds like EZDrummer to my ears) but I suggest you completely avoid using and of the mixing inside the plugin. Bounce each separate drum mic to a channel with no effects on em and then mix them as if they're real, recorded drums.


PS: I'd never charge a 'stems release fee' - no bloody way.
Last edited by kyle62 at May 24, 2013,
#4
Quote by priceless_twirp
8. Stems Release Fee - a rate for the handing over of all stems for a track (obviously conditional upon full payment for services of recording/producing said track)

A) £10-20 ($15–30) [€10-25] /track
B) £20-30 ($30–45) [€25-35] /track
C) £30-40 ($45–60) [€35-50] /track
D) £40-50 ($60–75) [€50-60] /track

E) £0 ($0) [€0) /track

If they pay for tracking they pay for the product that results from the tracking, i.e. the stems. If you want to do that then you should include it in the tracking fee and bump that up, otherwise you'll likely get a lot of angry people who pay to have something tracked and don't realise that you're going to charge them extra for the tracks.
I would actually be interested as to the legality of this, as I would think that the tracks are the property of the band/artist not the engineer.
#5
Quote by chatterbox272
E) £0 ($0) [€0) /track

If they pay for tracking they pay for the product that results from the tracking, i.e. the stems. If you want to do that then you should include it in the tracking fee and bump that up, otherwise you'll likely get a lot of angry people who pay to have something tracked and don't realise that you're going to charge them extra for the tracks.
I would actually be interested as to the legality of this, as I would think that the tracks are the property of the band/artist not the engineer.

Agreed.

However, I think it's perfectly acceptable to charge for any time and expense taken to prepare the master tapes (bouncing each track down and then burning the lot on to a CD-Rom, for example). It's studio time going to waste and I don't see anything wrong with charging an 'administrative fee' to cover the cost of an engineer for fifteen minutes.

In a home studio environment I think that'd be cheeky, mind, but in a pro studio where simply powering up the console uses £25 an hour in electricty, it's not unreasonable.
#6
Quote by kyle62
Agreed.

However, I think it's perfectly acceptable to charge for any time and expense taken to prepare the master tapes (bouncing each track down and then burning the lot on to a CD-Rom, for example). It's studio time going to waste and I don't see anything wrong with charging an 'administrative fee' to cover the cost of an engineer for fifteen minutes.

In a home studio environment I think that'd be cheeky, mind, but in a pro studio where simply powering up the console uses £25 an hour in electricty, it's not unreasonable.

Well yeah I understand billing the time, but I think it should just be part of the price for tracking in the first place. Like, $10 + $15/hour to track where that $10 covers things like that. It's probably a different means to the same end really but it's a much clearer way of putting it so as to avoid people getting caught offhand when they don't realise you're going to charge extra to give them the stems.