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  #1  
Old March 26th 21, 03:48 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Barry B
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Posts: 30
Default Rates?

A very general, probably unanswerable question...

What would you charge to record, mix, and master a seven minute single song with drums, acoustic bass, grand piano, french horn, flute, and vocalist, in your studio, and provide a CD-R of the final output, with frequent input and revisions requested by the person who hired you? Two hours were blocked for the session.

I know the answers will vary GREATLY depending upon experience, equipment, facilities, overhead, etc. Just curious... and currently wondering why ANYONE would want to do this for a living full time...
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  #2  
Old March 27th 21, 12:17 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
geoff
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On 27/03/2021 4:48 am, Barry B wrote:
> A very general, probably unanswerable question...
>
> What would you charge to record, mix, and master a seven minute single song with drums, acoustic bass, grand piano, french horn, flute, and vocalist, in your studio, and provide a CD-R of the final output, with frequent input and revisions requested by the person who hired you? Two hours were blocked for the session.
>
> I know the answers will vary GREATLY depending upon experience, equipment, facilities, overhead, etc. Just curious... and currently wondering why ANYONE would want to do this for a living full time...
>


Don't forget the work you will have to do BEFORE the session - setting up.

And AFTER the 2 hours recording time allocated, mixing and mastering (if
mastering required after mixing - probably not for just one piece and
getting it right in the mixing stage).

And several doses of re-mixing to satisfy the client.

Work out what your time is worth to you and quote accordingly, pointing
out that any rework will cost extra.

geoff

  #3  
Old March 27th 21, 03:38 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Scott Dorsey
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Posts: 16,841
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Barry B > wrote:
>A very general, probably unanswerable question...=20
>
>What would you charge to record, mix, and master a seven minute single song=
> with drums, acoustic bass, grand piano, french horn, flute, and vocalist, =
>in your studio, and provide a CD-R of the final output, with frequent input=
> and revisions requested by the person who hired you? Two hours were blocke=
>d for the session.


Time and materials. If they really did use two hours, it would come to
around $300 including a reel of 1/4" and a blank CD-R.

I'd go direct to 2-track specifically to stop the revisions. If they want
to go to digital 8-track and then mix to 2, that's fine, and we can make
plenty more changes, but it'll take more time. If they come in with charts,
they are all well-rehearsed, and they know what they want it to sound like
and can articulate it, it can be done fast.

>I know the answers will vary GREATLY depending upon experience, equipment, =
>facilities, overhead, etc. Just curious... and currently wondering why ANY=
>ONE would want to do this for a living full time...


It beats digging ditches.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  #4  
Old March 28th 21, 02:51 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Barry B
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Posts: 30
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On Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 11:38:47 AM UTC-4, Scott Dorsey wrote:

> Time and materials. If they really did use two hours, it would come to
> around $300 including a reel of 1/4" and a blank CD-R.
>
> I'd go direct to 2-track specifically to stop the revisions. If they want
> to go to digital 8-track and then mix to 2, that's fine, and we can make
> plenty more changes, but it'll take more time. If they come in with charts,
> they are all well-rehearsed, and they know what they want it to sound like
> and can articulate it, it can be done fast.


> It beats digging ditches.
> --scott
> --
> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."


That it does, although with digging ditches the pain is only physical, and, in the words of Dalton, "Pain don't hurt."

Thanks for the input, Scott and geoff. The part I wrestle with, and it's kind of the same thing I wrestle(d) with in my main professional life as a musician back in the days when I USED to play wedding receptions. The actual making of the music (or recording in this case) is a lot of fun; it's the dealing with demanding brides during the planning stages (or, in this case, recording clients who want a never-ending string of revised mixes) which makes the dollar-per-hour figure go way down... and kind of sucks the joy out of the endeavors. To be fair, the client this time was not unkind or difficult... just not real clear in what she wanted sometimes, and what I think she wanted wasn't really possible given the parameters of the session (live performance in single room, no isolation, lots of bleed).

I appreciate the thoughts.
  #5  
Old March 28th 21, 04:15 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Neil[_9_]
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Posts: 196
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On 3/28/2021 9:51 AM, Barry B wrote:
> On Saturday, March 27, 2021 at 11:38:47 AM UTC-4, Scott Dorsey wrote:
>
>> Time and materials. If they really did use two hours, it would come to
>> around $300 including a reel of 1/4" and a blank CD-R.
>>
>> I'd go direct to 2-track specifically to stop the revisions. If they want
>> to go to digital 8-track and then mix to 2, that's fine, and we can make
>> plenty more changes, but it'll take more time. If they come in with charts,
>> they are all well-rehearsed, and they know what they want it to sound like
>> and can articulate it, it can be done fast.

>
>> It beats digging ditches.
>> --scott
>> --
>> "C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."

>
> That it does, although with digging ditches the pain is only physical, and, in the words of Dalton, "Pain don't hurt."
>
> Thanks for the input, Scott and geoff. The part I wrestle with, and it's kind of the same thing I wrestle(d) with in my main professional life as a musician back in the days when I USED to play wedding receptions. The actual making of the music (or recording in this case) is a lot of fun; it's the dealing with demanding brides during the planning stages (or, in this case, recording clients who want a never-ending string of revised mixes) which makes the dollar-per-hour figure go way down... and kind of sucks the joy out of the endeavors. To be fair, the client this time was not unkind or difficult... just not real clear in what she wanted sometimes, and what I think she wanted wasn't really possible given the parameters of the session (live performance in single room, no isolation, lots of bleed).
>
> I appreciate the thoughts.
>

Part of the problem is the difference between creating music and
performing music. If you're recording a performance the focus is on the
performance, and the amount of time invested is reasonably predictable.

There are almost unlimited variables when creating music. Even those who
can conceptualize what they want ahead of time have to wrestle with the
differences between their conceptions and the outcome when working with
others to execute those conceptions. Room acoustics, microphone and
equipment characteristics can't be preconceived by the artist, so they
have to adjust their ideas after the fact. There is no way to tell how
long that will take, and may not be achievable at all.

Flat rates may apply for recording performances, but not so well for
creating art.

--
best regards,

Neil
  #6  
Old March 28th 21, 09:01 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Scott Dorsey
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Posts: 16,841
Default Rates?

Barry B > wrote:
>
>Thanks for the input, Scott and geoff. The part I wrestle with, and it's ki=
>nd of the same thing I wrestle(d) with in my main professional life as a mu=
>sician back in the days when I USED to play wedding receptions. The actual=
> making of the music (or recording in this case) is a lot of fun; it's the =
>dealing with demanding brides during the planning stages (or, in this case,=
> recording clients who want a never-ending string of revised mixes) which m=
>akes the dollar-per-hour figure go way down... and kind of sucks the joy ou=
>t of the endeavors. To be fair, the client this time was not unkind or dif=
>ficult... just not real clear in what she wanted sometimes, and what I thin=
>k she wanted wasn't really possible given the parameters of the session (li=
>ve performance in single room, no isolation, lots of bleed).=20


I never heard of any professional studio that charged by the job. You'd die
that way. It would be bad for the studio as well as the customer.

Charging time and materials, for one thing, means a lot less wasted time and
a lot more motivation for the customers to be prepared. It doesn't stop
mission creep but it at least means mission creep is out in the open and
everyone can see it.

Never say "no" to a customer, just explain what it would take to do what
they are asking for and what that will mean in terms of cost.
--scott

--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  #7  
Old March 28th 21, 09:15 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Scott Dorsey
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Posts: 16,841
Default Rates?

In article >, Neil > wrote:
>
>Flat rates may apply for recording performances, but not so well for
>creating art.


I won't even quote a flat rate for performance recording, because you never
know when something weird might happen. I'll say, "That's probably an N
hour job and it will cost you M dollars if nothing goes wrong" but if there
is anything on paper it's for time and materials.

I have worked concerts where the power went out and all of a sudden the
organ part turned into a harpsichord part five minutes before the show.
I have worked concerts where audience members brimming over with the latest
in hallucinogenic drugs got up on stage and urinated on the microphone
splitter. I have worked concerts that ran six hours over. Sometimes
things go wrong and your goal is for someone else to be the person paying
when that happens.
--scott
--
"C'est un Nagra. C'est suisse, et tres, tres precis."
  #8  
Old March 28th 21, 09:30 PM posted to rec.audio.pro
Mike Rivers[_2_]
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Posts: 2,175
Default Rates?

On 3/28/2021 4:01 PM, Scott Dorsey wrote:
> I never heard of any professional studio that charged by the job. You'd die
> that way. It would be bad for the studio as well as the customer.


Harvey Gerst used to charge by the song, with the reservation that he
could call it quits if it was taking too long. But he was pretty careful
who he brought in to the studio so he and the client were usually happy
with the job and the pay.

Remotes are a whole different ball game, as you know. When I had the
truck, I charged by the day. Some days were harder than others. Some
were a piece of cake.


--
For a good time, call http://mikeriversaudio.wordpress.com
  #9  
Old March 29th 21, 01:06 AM posted to rec.audio.pro
Neil[_9_]
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Posts: 196
Default Rates?

On 3/28/2021 4:15 PM, Scott Dorsey wrote:
> In article >, Neil > wrote:
>>
>> Flat rates may apply for recording performances, but not so well for
>> creating art.

>
> I won't even quote a flat rate for performance recording, because you never
> know when something weird might happen. I'll say, "That's probably an N
> hour job and it will cost you M dollars if nothing goes wrong" but if there
> is anything on paper it's for time and materials.
>
> I have worked concerts where the power went out and all of a sudden the
> organ part turned into a harpsichord part five minutes before the show.
> I have worked concerts where audience members brimming over with the latest
> in hallucinogenic drugs got up on stage and urinated on the microphone
> splitter. I have worked concerts that ran six hours over. Sometimes
> things go wrong and your goal is for someone else to be the person paying
> when that happens.
> --scott
>

Thanks for the memories! 8-D

--
best regards,

Neil
 




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