Discussion in 'Mixing & Song Critique' started by otherw, Feb 1, 2002.

  1. otherw

    otherw Guest

    Haven’t seen any talk of this (have searched the archives): I am producing/arranging a singer/songwriter who is getting nibbles from some majors. The style is pop rock and she does not yet have a band – I play all the instruments except drums.

    If I don’t get bumped off the project (that’s an entirely different topic), does anyone have thoughts on what constitutes an acceptable schedule and budget? Let’s go on the premise that it’s a baby band on a major. I know what it would take to do the project in my own studio, but I’d just like to hear what others have to say, especially any insights on commonly overlooked items. BTW, I have worked on a few major label projects, but I haven’t been responsible for generating this bit.

    Thank you all in advance for sharing. This forum has been a very good source of info.
  2. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Make a list & make it twice!

    What does it come out to?

    I always kinda stutter on the phone with questions like that.. I'm an "I will get back to you on that" type of guy!

    I always need a pen paper and calculator.. and an afternoon in a fiercely air-conditioned espresso bar preferably with hectic Jazz playing in the background.

    In a pinch, you can resort to putting on some Miles Davis then quickly drinking 5 cans of coke standing in your underwear in front of an open refrigerator. Watch out for freezer burn on the eyebrows.


    The ideal budget will come to you then for sure. - Use fridge magnets for the key players, sodas for songs recorded, view the vegetable drawers as "pre production' and the ice box as "mastering" . I always get a warm feeling when I close the door on yet another of these cool productions.

  3. otherw

    otherw Guest

    And where in the budget do I hide the goopy stuff underneath the bag of mystery meat?
  4. pan

    pan Guest

    How about:
    Figure out, what you need for living until the next album (and double it...)
  5. atlasproaudio

    atlasproaudio Active Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Tampa Bay, FL
    Home Page:
    LOL!! Sounds like a hot weekend in Tampa Bay! :roll:
  6. Pan you have the right idea and Jules - I'll have some of what you've been taking. Seriously tho...

    Use a spreadsheet to work it all out - it's the only way to play arround with the figures so that you can maximise your income whilst making it seem reasonable and look impressive. Bill for the different things you do - engineer, producer, arranger, musician etc. etc.. Also add on something for all the coordination work you will no doubt do. Finally don't forget to add in some contingency money.

    I always like to budget for a few more tracks than will be needed so you can knob a couple off at the end - a great way of keeping the quality control up.
  7. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    All good advice.

    "And where in the budget do I hide the goopy stuff underneath the bag of mystery meat?"

    Thats the A&R guy, no matter where you put him, it's a pain and ends up messy!

    Spread sheet, hmmm is that what you get when you knock some papers off your desk?

  8. MJOwings

    MJOwings Guest

    I cannot recommend highly enough using a piece of software like MS Project. You define the tasks, define the resources needed to do the taks, put the tasks, order, estimate how long each will take, how much each resource will cost by the hour or one time charge (rental, etc.) and Viola! You have a pretty good idea of what it will take.

    As a project manager using this kind of approach to manage multi-million dollar projects I can't tell you how many times it has saved my ***.

    You are also kinda forced to look at the project as it will really take place.

    As delays happen (cancelled session, etc.) you also know when you can realistically complete the project and show all the players (label, artist, engineer) etc. what is causing delays and increas;decrease cost of the budget.

    The downside/upside is that you have to be really honest with yourself and everyone involved.

    I personally believe that it is even more important for what seem like small projects/budgets.

    And it is really not hard to get the hang of.
  9. anonymous

    anonymous Guests

    Feb 10, 2001
    Sounds cool!
  10. RecorderMan

    RecorderMan Distinguished Member

    Mar 28, 2001
  11. I've made myself a template spreadsheet in Excel where i enter all the different players/overdubs that are gonna be needed on each song plus rentals if needed, and studio and rental rates. It then calculates the number of sessions needed (averaged) and studio, players, rentals and cartage costs.

    It looks great for the record company and is really useful to show to the band/artist that they're dreaming and we really can't do all those strings sessions! ;)
  12. MJOwings

    MJOwings Guest

    I can't recall where I bought mine latest, but you can reasearch sources on the Microsoft homepage, a PC mag, or any of the big outlets might have it.

    Not the cheapest software ($300-400), but it will pay for itself MANY times over. The idea is to keep everyone abreast of what is needed to be done when. The by-products are schedules for each person etc.

    Mutliple projects can be integrated with each other easily so as to keep from overbooking resources (engineers, musicians, tools, etc.).

    Check it out you won't be sorry. It will help you and your clients!
  13. MadMoose

    MadMoose Active Member

    Apr 22, 2001
    Could I get a copy of that? I don't do many projects like that but it might help explain things to some of the bands I get doing their first real album. My email address is Thanks,

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