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The Price of Recording

Discussion in 'Recording' started by Renegade, May 31, 2003.

  1. Renegade

    Renegade Guest

    On average what does a recording engineer charge an hour? Does it differ when they are solely mastering or is it a fixed rate?
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    Expierence plays into this. If you are a newbie, $10 an hour is fair. If you know your ass from a hole in the ground, $20 per plus room rate is a minimum IMO. Majors in big rooms get $500 to $600 per day. That doesn't include studio charges.. just the engineer pay. A good mastering engineer is worth $40 to $50 per plus the studio rate.. It is getting harder all the time to get paid like this anymore. Home recording has put a big dent in the business. Kurt
  3. doulos21

    doulos21 Guest

    wouldn't it also depend on your equipment and studio room? I know around here if you dont have seperate control tracking rooms good luck makin anything more then 20 an hr also if you won or were annominated for a grammy, or something you barley touched happen to make it. You get a big head and start chragin 80 an hr like the loser thats in my city
  4. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Distinguished Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    Kurt, just take a look at this and laugh, it is amazing.
    Until 1999 we used to have an hour rate of $50, including engineer and studio ( Pro Tools 24, 02R, ADATs).

    At late 1999, as you smartly detected beforehand, Digi 001/cakewalk/nuendo home studios exploded down here.

    Very few people come to us, small to medium studios. Lots of time they bring CDR backup sessions so as to record real drums, better vocals and maybe mix and master.

    Lots of mousers out there that hardly know what is a parametric equalizer, but know every shortcut and [k]´s.

    At the moment small to medium studios like mine can not charge more than U$17. And I have plenty of experience inside the digital domain ( a moron in the analog world - lol), was nominated to a contest similar to Grammy, do some Horn Band/Orchestral , featured at MT and Guitar Player Brazil, over 30 Cds at the last 5 years, etc.
    This is not an ego thing, not promoting me, but just to all you guys evalauate how much sh!!!! has been here.

  5. RandomGuest

    RandomGuest Guest

    Feb 10, 2001
    Yea the business is pretty messed up now days. The studios that are grandfathered into the business that have paid off their assets have to reduce their room rates to compete with the "average joe" down the street with a PT's rig some pre's and a closet. What used to run $1200/day now can be had for $600/day or even less! and thats to compete with the guy who can do OD's at $25/hr.

    In the meantime you always get that "guy" in the city who thinks they are going to start up their large console facility only to find out that they need to charge the $1200/day rate to make ends meet which drives em into chptr 11 (no way can you expect to meet a lease rate of $12k/month running a room at $600/day) :eek:

    Pretty tough to run a large console room now days unless you have already been doing it the past 15 or so years where you no longer have to payoff the desk etc....

    Same problems exist for freelancers...when you have the kid cutting the O/D's at that $25/hr rate.....thank god theres still a need for mix chops :D
  6. Alécio Costa - Brazil

    Alécio Costa - Brazil Distinguished Member

    Mar 19, 2002
    I would appreciate to see Doc, Rick, e-cue, Golie , Recorder man, Steve D. and Kurt evaluating this stuff.
    where are you folks?
  7. Money, money, money, wish I could charge more but... $20-25 an hour is all. We beat other people by having a live room in which to record real humans playing real drums. The medium sized studios are getting killed. Isn't that how most industries tend to play out? The guys in the middle get squeezed from above and below? Doc
  8. e0cue

    e0cue Guest

    I charge a day rate of $1,000 plus rentals for tracking. 2 hours = $1,000. 12 hours = $1,0000. 12 hours 1 minute = $2,000. When I mix I charge $2,000 a mix, depending on how many mixes, if they are looking to be singles, etc...
    When I first broke off I charged $25 an hour, and ramped up.
  9. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    That seems reasonable to me!
  10. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    15 years ago, we would get $45/hr. for tracking and a day rate for mixing.This was a decent 16 trk analog with a live room and a booth. Today, this facility wouldnt make a dime..
  11. Pez

    Pez Active Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    I've been charging 30.00 an hour but plan to slowly ramp up to 50.00/hr. I have all the work I want so I'll see what the market will bear. I do almost no advertising. Word of mouth is all you need if you give your current clients good service.
  12. sosayu2

    sosayu2 Guest

    it depends on the project. anywhere between 40-150 per hour. if i'm doing a demo i obviously can't get much from them. but if i'm really into it, i'll do it for free. it all depends.......
  13. sosayu2

    sosayu2 Guest

    of course, that's just my rate, the studio get's room rate :)
  14. Hack

    Hack Active Member

    Mar 20, 2001
    Little Rock, AR
    No one in my city seperates engineer and room rates. Or tracking rates and mixing rates. Its all 35 - 65 an hr. I have been doing $250 a day. or $400 for 2 days. (day = 8 hr). If I like it I put in extra time.

    Why seperate the rates? How do you think that the market I'm in, not being used to it, would respond to this type of pricing?

    Also...for those of you who advertise, what type of ads seem to be working right now? Word of mouth is starting to roll around for me, but I could sure use a little kick.
  15. sosayu2

    sosayu2 Guest

    in nyc the room rate you get usually does not include engineer. that only applies in the smaller rooms. and because i'm often called upon to do a project out of my studio my rate is as i stated before. alot of people bring in their own engineer and therefore i charge a room rate seperate from room with engineer.

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