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How to determine your fee?

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by donthaveone, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. donthaveone

    donthaveone Guest

    I am getting a foot in the door doing live tracking and have a few questions regarding how much to charge clients. I do not have the facilities to mix and really don't like to do it so I just track shows.

    I have a mediocre setup. 002 octopre - macbook - 57, i5, 58, pair SP C4's, ATM25. e906, NT1-A, and a D6 and a radial DI. not amazing by any means but not to many people in my area are doing this so....

    I have an opportunity to record an instrumental trio for a few shows to get a best of type thing for a guitarist who has been in the business for a long time and had a few instrumental billboard hits and many TV credits. I am new to the game and still in the process of learning so my time isn't THAT valuable to me yet, plus i love it.

    As a bassist if I go to a gig and score 120 bucks I am very satisfied again b/c i love it. I have a 9-5 to pay my bills so i'm not hurtin. How much would some of you charge to do this. Drive upto an hour, setup my gear press record and burn my session file to dvd, pack up and go home. The client has some high dollar pre's and mic's
    he wants to use so I won't even be using most my own gear. so how much do I charge for my time? I don't want to charge too much b/c I really want the gig, but I don't want to sell my services short, b/c it would be nice to get some return on my gear. Any advice for me on how to calculate cost? thanks much
  2. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Start at about $15-20 bucks an hour for your time. With return travel charges of $20 or so.
  3. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Ugh! That's selling yourself away too cheap.

    $80 per hour on location is more like it. With a minimum $500. Remember, something for nothing is worth nothing. No matter how much you want to do it.

    If that's the case, just record your friends for free until you learn how to do it right. Charging $20 per hour for an amateur product will not be worth the money he is spending. And it may hurt your reputation for future clients.

    And he wants a completed mixed CD on location at the end of the evening?? I think we all like drive-through? This would indicate he really doesn't want a multitrack recording but a live stereo recording. This is a little trickier especially if you're going to be using equipment you're not familiar with such as his preamps and microphones. Do you have a mixer capable, along with the associated necessary outboard processing equipment, i.e. compressors, reverbs, etc.. All of this along with adequate monitoring capabilities, not just headphones, to perform a good sounding, professional, live stereo mix? So you will not be remixing anything after the show.

    It seems you like to do yourself damage like I do? And there's nothing like a live recording to do it.

    Have you thought about hiring a remote truck?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  4. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Remy has a good point, however you may not have the gear or feel comfy enough to charge that kind of money yet.
  5. donthaveone

    donthaveone Guest

    The gig is for tracking only. He has his own studio in NY and access to engineers he prefers. so I am just getting the signals. I truly respect your thoughts Remy, but I am nowhere in your league, this will only be my second "solo" run without shadowing someone else. This will be a great learning opportunity for me. I ended up asking 25/hour which includes travel time. Link555 is correct my limited resume and confidence does not allow me to charge 80$ an hour.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    Well, if you need any help or direction for this tracking session, don't hesitate to ask. So, not too much screwing around with stuff other than microphone selection & placement and proper gain settings is all you'll really need to be concerned with. But you'll still want to push up some kind of stereo reference mix for monitoring purposes. So you'll be able to verify that everything you are recording is cohesive, in phase and not too raggy sounding from trying to push gain too high. Roll at 24-bit if your system is capable and keep your levels conservative. Just avoid cutting things too hot.

    You'll be victorious!
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  7. donthaveone

    donthaveone Guest

    Thanks, if I get he gig it will be in Charleston SC, mmmmm I love the smell of Charleston.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    One of my early jobs with my Remote Truck was down in Charleston. As soon as I drove into the city, I thought I'd have to turnaround and leave? I didn't even want to do this huge gospel recording any more. I thought I wouldn't be able to do anything and was going to vomit throughout the entire four-day stay? And you just had to mention that just as I was reading this after dinner. I not only have a fabulous aural memory I have an incredible olefactory memory of Southern Smelodies.

    Blurp gulp guck akk ralph

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