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How much to charge for home studio recording. Studio Monitors
Old 20th January 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 

How much to charge for home studio recording.

I know that this is somewhat an almost unanswerable question for the most part as it is amount of quality gear as well as reputation. But if i can get a rough estimate that would be great!

I've been doing project recordings for about 4-5 years now. I'm about to graduate with my bachelors degree in Recording Arts / Music Producing. I also went to a performing arts high school where i studied piano and guitar.

I have played piano and guitar for ten years. Bass and Drums for about 5 years.

I own 5 electric guitars my best of which is a fender american custom stratocaster. I own one american fender jazz bass. And one ddrum 4 piece kit with paiste cymbals.

After graduation i will have about a 10-12 mic collection all suited for recording drums gutars bass and other acoustic instruments and i also plan to acoustically treat my studio as well as build a drum booth and vocal/guitar booth. I currently Use a presonus firestudio interface with 8 inputs through firewire. AMT 8 Midi Interface. For my synths and midi controllers i use the roland fantom x8, microkorg, Electribes EMX and ESX. I use KRK rokit 8's as my monitors and i am saving up to purchase a pair of Yamaha HS50's and a Universal Audio 6176 pramp and compressor.

So with all this gear and experience with recording/writing/producing songs. What should I charge for someone who just wants to record and master a song? and also what should i charge for someone like a singer who wants me to full on produce and write a song as well as record and master?

Thanks to anyone that replies!
Old 20th January 2012
  #2
Gear Head
 

silly me

I forgot to mention that i am running Pro Tools 9 and Reason 6. I also have logic pro 9 but does not get used as much. And have many nice plugins and guitar amp simulators. As well has a decent Half Stack guitar amp.
Old 20th January 2012
  #3
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Impossible to say as everyone is different.

For high end $80+ an hour. Or a day rate of $800+.

That of course includes engineer(s) and all amenities.


If you want to repost over on the low end forum, then make this adjustment :

$12-20 per hour or $200 per day.
Old 20th January 2012
  #4
Gear Head
 

dammit

i keep forgetting stuff. I'm just wanting to post all my gear for best estimate price. For my computer, I'm using a 27" quadcore imac connected to 37" HD tv To have enough space to run reason and pro tools simultaneously without all the clutter.
Old 20th January 2012
  #5
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Impossible to say as everyone is different.

For high end $80+ an hour. Or a day rate of $800+.

That of course includes engineer(s) and all amenities.


If you want to repost over on the low end forum, then make this adjustment :

$12-20 per hour or $200 per day.
I see that helps a little but it is quite a big jump. At my school as well as outside of school I've studied all different field from writing music, producing, tracking, mixing, engineering and mastering. So i'm not really interested with working with anyone else out of just a home studio. So with experience as well as gear and letting bands use my gear such as drums and guitars, would you say it would be fair to charge somewhere between 30-40 an hour to start until i buy more high end gear and maybe add an assistant?
Old 20th January 2012
  #6
how do you declare "home" studio?

just because you run a studio in your house doesnt mean that its some kind of a "low budget" studio.
a friend of me runs a studio at his home with a 50m2 control and 50m2 live room.

i know that there are some laws in the UK? that you cant run a professional business from a private living house?

so where does a "home recording studio" starts and when is it a commercial/professional environment?
Old 20th January 2012
  #7
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobo09 View Post
i keep forgetting stuff. I'm just wanting to post all my gear for best estimate price.
Gear means NOTHING. Learn it now the easy way, or keep chasing "stuff" in an effort to establish yourself. NOTHING. Gear Means Nothing.

Well, given the fact that you can actually record and mix. Beyond that it means nothing. Your couch, fast internet, hot receptionist or coffee maker means more than your gear.

The sooner you embrace that, the quicker you can move up.

I charge $0.00 for my studio. Nothing. BUT, it only comes with ME attached, and I'm $80 an hour (or so) - at my studio, at your studio, an Capitol, anywhere.

98% of everyone you are going to record has free access to a home studio (theirs or a bandmates). You can't sell "home" studio time.
Old 20th January 2012
  #8
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobo09 View Post
would you say it would be fair to charge somewhere between 30-40 an hour to start until i buy more high end gear and maybe add an assistant?
Ha! In your dreams. Start around $15-20. $20 will be pushing things until you have a killer commercial studio, or one with excellent live recording room, tape, REAL console, $50k of mics, and significantly more experience. This ain't no easy road son.....
Old 21st January 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Gear means NOTHING. Learn it now the easy way, or keep chasing "stuff" in an effort to establish yourself. NOTHING. Gear Means Nothing.
Gear means EVERYTHING. Maybe not to a 14-yr old who doesnt know anything about gear, and what's what, but the gear is crucial because:

a) There are people (I being one of them) who woud not go to a certain studio because they didnt have x y or z. "Do you have a Neve or an SSL? No? Ok, I will have to find another studio". That's just one example, but dont think that that scenario doesn't happen alot - it does.

b) It's not all about the engineer. It's about the engineer AND the gear. Ok, so the above statement of Gear means EVERYTHING is not completely accurate, but you get the point.

c) You can charge more depending on what gear you have. Or, not as much, depending on what gear you have.

Gear is crucial as a selling point. Remember - perception is everything.

Cheers.
Old 21st January 2012
  #10
Lives for gear
 

It's a matter of perspective... 20 bucks an hour with 50,000 dollars invested sounds pretty grim until you stop and think that's about what a top of the line auto mechanic with 15 years experience gets. On a good day. AND that's commission, not salary. I've done both, and have invested the time and money on both. I'd rather be recording! Recording may be a little tougher to break into, but I'll take it. I'd never see 80-100 dollars an hour turning wrenches, not even with my own shop.
Old 21st January 2012
  #11
Lives for gear
 
ears2thesky's Avatar
Quote:
Gear means NOTHING
Quote:
Gear means EVERYTHING
Now we're getting somewhere.

I would venture to say the truth lies somewhere between these opposing points of view.
Old 21st January 2012
  #12
Lives for gear
 
basmartin's Avatar
Get paid for the work, not for the tools... Last week I recorded in a studio that had a lot of nice gear, but it ended up sounding worse than if I had set up my modest gear in a nice room. We had to re-track everything in an other studio...
Old 21st January 2012
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobo09 View Post
So with experience as well as gear and letting bands use my gear such as drums and guitars, would you say it would be fair to charge somewhere between 30-40 an hour to start until i buy more high end gear and maybe add an assistant?
OK... let's put this in perspective here... I second Bill's comment. Gear means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to anyone who IS NOT a sound engineer. Most people on these forums will try to tell you otherwise because most people on these forums are sound engineers AS WELL AS composers, songwriters, musicians, etc.

Most musicians, songwriters, artists, etc really don't care.

What they DO care about is how good your other projects have sounded. If you are graduating from school, then you pretty much have no experience.

You go to school to learn HOW TO LEARN. When you graduate you really know nothing. You have the building blocks to learn from your future experiences.

As your demo reel grows and gets better, your fee will go up. It doesn't matter how many bands you've recorded, or what expensive gear you have. The proof is "in the pudding". Period. How many of your recordings have received regional or national radio airplay? TV Licensing? 5000+ record sales? and so on. How many positive reviews of CDs you've recorded and mixed have there been? Are those reviews in national/international magazines like Rolling stone or your local town newspaper?

And so on... You have to BUILD your career. In doing so you have to start from the bottom and work UP. That might mean doing free recordings at first to at least get some decent projects under your belt.

Oh and by the way... most "clients" aren't going to be able to hear your excellent engineering skills SEPARATE from the skills of the artist. So if all you have is local garage bands who can't play in time or in tune and singer songwriters with no sense of rhythm and wouldn't know a key if it slapped them in the face... then people are going to hear THAT and associate you with it.

Building a career is ALWAYS an uphill battle. And it never ends... you are always only going to be as good as the last project you did and the artists you've worked with. As your clients grow in notoriety, so do you.

Also... another thing to consider with a home studio is who you are going to be bringing in?

The problem with a home studio is you live there. What if you get a call to do some gansta rap tracks or a band filled with alcoholics and drug addicts? Do you really want those guys hanging at your house and knowing where you live? I know a guy who had a home studio and took some sessions like that (doing a hiphop album for what turned out to be some gansters)... 6 months later his home was broken into... the only things stolen? All his recording gear (about $80,000 worth!). He could never pin it on the guys he recorded six months earlier.

I remember Dr Dre being asked one time how come he doesn't have a home studio... and he basically said, "Cuz I don't want these guys knowing where I live and being around my kids!"

So, that is something to think about when running a home studio. You are probably going to have to be more selective about your clients.

As for how much you can charge... it's based on how much your current clients can afford, and what your SKILLS (not tools) are worth to the people you are pitching your services to. That might be $5/hr. That might be $150/hr. It all really just depends. But just because you've heard of other sound engineers getting $50/hr or $80/hr or $150/hr, don't automatically assume you are worth the same.
Old 21st January 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobo09 View Post
I know that this is somewhat an almost unanswerable question for the most part as it is amount of quality gear as well as reputation. But if i can get a rough estimate that would be great!

I've been doing project recordings for about 4-5 years now. I'm about to graduate with my bachelors degree in Recording Arts / Music Producing. I also went to a performing arts high school where i studied piano and guitar.

I have played piano and guitar for ten years. Bass and Drums for about 5 years.

I own 5 electric guitars my best of which is a fender american custom stratocaster. I own one american fender jazz bass. And one ddrum 4 piece kit with paiste cymbals.

After graduation i will have about a 10-12 mic collection all suited for recording drums gutars bass and other acoustic instruments and i also plan to acoustically treat my studio as well as build a drum booth and vocal/guitar booth. I currently Use a presonus firestudio interface with 8 inputs through firewire. AMT 8 Midi Interface. For my synths and midi controllers i use the roland fantom x8, microkorg, Electribes EMX and ESX. I use KRK rokit 8's as my monitors and i am saving up to purchase a pair of Yamaha HS50's and a Universal Audio 6176 pramp and compressor.

So with all this gear and experience with recording/writing/producing songs. What should I charge for someone who just wants to record and master a song? and also what should i charge for someone like a singer who wants me to full on produce and write a song as well as record and master?

Thanks to anyone that replies!
A 60 second demo reel will shed infinitely more light than a gear list.
Old 21st January 2012
  #15
Lives for gear
 

I charge from $50-250/hr depending the job and how I'm doing it.

Been at it full time for over 20 years though.

No one thinks it's too much.

Working on an album right now. 12 songs. Got $3000 for 2 weeks of mixing, alone, and I fit a few short sessions in around that schedule.
Old 21st January 2012
  #16
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobo09 View Post

So with all this gear and experience with recording/writing/producing songs. What should I charge for someone who just wants to record and master a song? and also what should i charge for someone like a singer who wants me to full on produce and write a song as well as record and master?

As drBill said, what you need to sell is YOU. If you can use your musical skills together with your recording skills to do a great job on people's projects, your work can grow. You need just enough quality gear to do the job and not suck.

If you are asking whether your current gear list is going to put a dollar figure in someone's mind of what your "studio" is worth, I would say that dollar figure is $20 tops. Actually I know a couple of places here in "expensive" New York, that are in that ballpark and have WAY more gear. And how many hours a week you can book is anybody's guess.


A lot of the singers and songwriters I know have more and better gear than you right now in their personal studios. And plenty are right about the same level. Unless your performing and producing makes up the difference, why should they leave their comfy crib?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smithcok
A 60 second demo reel will shed infinitely more light than a gear list.
Exactly.

Nobody cares about your "experience" writing and producing songs until they have heard those songs.

The real challenge is finding an artist (or anyone) willing to pay someone to full-on produce a song. The secondary challenge is convincing them that you are that someone.

The challenge of figuring out how much to charge them is minor and comes later.
Old 21st January 2012
  #17
Lives for gear
 
turk sanchez's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobo09 View Post
So with experience as well as gear and letting bands use my gear such as drums and guitars, would you say it would be fair to charge somewhere between 30-40 an hour to start until i buy more high end gear and maybe add an assistant?
Those rates are WAY too high. A lot of musicians who just record demos at home will have better setups than this. No experience yet...no sweet studio w/a nice room for drums, control room, monitors you can crank while tracking drums, super clean power, ability to crank LOUD anytime you want (track drums at midnight). I'd say do it for super cheap to start...free or maybe $100 a day until you get some CD's under your belt w/some good bands and experience/reputation. $30 to $40 an hour will get you an AWESOME engineer with a proven track record and experience and speed.
Old 21st January 2012
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Mojo Man's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Gear means NOTHING.
Jesus man, get over yourself. You're not THAT important. I think we can all agree that engineers play a critical role in the recording process, but you seriously need to check your ego. Saying "gear means nothing" is tantamount to a race car driver saying "vehicles mean nothing". Seriously, how do you think Mario Andretti would do in a golf cart racing against some middle-aged wing nut with a Ferrari? So please, try to be respectful of those of us who value and respect our tools.
Old 21st January 2012
  #19
Thumbs up

.

OK, so to re-cap:

Gear means NOTHING.

Gear means EVERYTHING.

No means YES.

Yes means NO.


I think you should have all the answers you need now. heh



But seriously, everyone's correct here - because there IS NO CORRECT ANSWER.

You have to charge what you're comfortable with AND WHAT YOU CAN GET.

Try it out. See what people will pay you. See if you're happy with what you're making.

And progressively move to the next level.

Perhaps you can start at $12, and move to $15 in 3 months, if you're booked.

Or $15 and move to $20 in 6 months - if you're booked.

Or $25 and move to $35 in 12 months - if you're booked.


TBH, I don't know anyone who's going to pay you $40-80/hr for the gear and experience you have.

MAYBE $25-$30....but that depends HEAVILY on your local market.

Based on what you're telling us here, if you were located in NYC, you might get $15-$25/hr - if you're lucky.

And you might have a LOT of downtime.


Some artists/clients will be a GIANT PAIN IN THE ASS, and you'll feel totally ripped off, no matter WHAT you charge.

Many artists will be awesome, and you'll feel like you're getting paid to have fun.

Only YOU can determine what you're worth, and what you need to earn, and so much of that is determined BY YOUR MARKET.


The only ones here who can give you the best advice are the HAPPIEST, MOST SUCCESSFUL ONES.

Everyone else is just blowing hot air.


Cheers, and best of luck!


.
Old 21st January 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
toneguru's Avatar
Honestly, expect about $10 to $15 an hour all inclusive. To start. When things start picking up charge more.

I usually concur with Dr Bill but to say gear means nothing seems to be a bit of a reach. Bill, you here in San Fran tonite? I have some scotch for you that will help take a bit of that edge off. Oh yeh... single malt.

In my experience, whether live or studio, everything makes a difference... temperature, elevation, humidity, what the singer had for lunch before the session, how many instruments can the engineer play well... and yes, gear too.

- Cheers

PS. Sqye pretty much nailed it.
Old 21st January 2012
  #21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo Man View Post
Jesus man, get over yourself. You're not THAT important. I think we can all agree that engineers play a critical role in the recording process, but you seriously need to check your ego. Saying "gear means nothing" is tantamount to a race car driver saying "vehicles mean nothing". Seriously, how do you think Mario Andretti would do in a golf cart racing against some middle-aged wing nut with a Ferrari? So please, try to be respectful of those of us who value and respect our tools.
I've done experiments on this in the past and posted the audio. Comparing a 003 to a Prism ADA8 with Millennia mic preamps, NOBODY could hear the difference when all things were equal.

There is a bigger sonic difference from variations in a musicians performance from take to take, than there is between a $700 setup and a $13,000 setup.

The player, the instrument and the acoustic environment are what make recordings sound great. When those are great, the gear used is not a significant factor in the sound captured.
Old 21st January 2012
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
Mojo Man's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
I've done experiments on this in the past and posted the audio. Comparing a 003 to a Prism ADA8 with Millennia mic preamps, NOBODY could hear the difference when all things were equal.

There is a bigger sonic difference from variations in a musicians performance from take to take, than there is between a $700 setup and a $13,000 setup.

The player, the instrument and the acoustic environment are what make recordings sound great. When those are great, the gear used is not a significant factor in the sound captured.
For the most part, I agree. But when people go about spewing useless absolutisms, I find it difficult to let go. I would agree that for the most part, gear does not play a critical role. However, to say it never plays a critical role is ludicrous. How would Led Zeppelin II have sounded had it been recorded in mono on a Dictaphone? Clearly there must be a middle ground.
Old 21st January 2012
  #23
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo Man View Post
Jesus man, get over yourself. You're not THAT important.
Wake up on wrong side of the bed today dude? I never said I was anything special, and I always check the ego at the studio doorway. and when online I at least I post my real name and links. Did your LA2A's get their feelings hurt?

Hey, if you go back and read again, I said :

"Well, given the fact that you can actually record and mix. Beyond that it means nothing."


We are all painfully aware that there are super human engineers out there that can record, mix, produce circles round us with whatever gear they are given while we sit in our killer studio's.

It's a given that you have to have enough gear to do the job. Obviously. The op posted a basic setup, and from what I could tell he has enough gear to do the job. Sounds like he's been doing it awhile. What it sounds like he needs is continued good reputation and more experience. In a startup position -- for the right reputation and experience -- I'd trade ALL my gear. With reputation and experience, the clent will happily pay for an outside studio. With reputation and experience the gear for your own place will come.

All you really need is enough to please yourself, and get the job done. I've got a wad of great mics. No one ever asks what I have because they know I can get the job done. That's reputation. When some one cold calls in regards to hiring me, they want to know what I've done - credits, awards, etc.. That's experience. Once you have both, with some luck and hard work, you can start making serious headway. But Derek's post was great - we are ALWAYS climbing. Always moving - either forward or backward.

Unfortunately, you can't buy the two critical elements for success in a 500 series or 19" format. Gotta pay those dues. Sorry for the harsh news, but its ALWAYS been that way and doesn't look to be changin' anytime soon.....


BOBO09 - Etch had some great comments there. You'd do well to check those out again. I'm going to.....
Old 21st January 2012
  #24
Lives for gear
 

I think gear means nothing until you know how to properly use it and get the best out of it, and that's what engineering is all about.

excluding the source, from a production perspective, the engineer is 80-90% of the sound. The gear is the rest...

I would rather record with a proven experienced engineer with only an mbox, than with a graduate with a million dollar studio at their disposal...

But maybe thats just me...

Sent from my GT-I9000 using Gearslutz.com
Old 21st January 2012
  #25
Gear Guru
 
drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by toneguru View Post
I usually concur with Dr Bill but to say gear means nothing seems to be a bit of a reach. Bill, you here in San Fran tonite? I have some scotch for you that will help take a bit of that edge off. Oh yeh... single malt.
heh, no....stuck in the studio in LA. Honestly, did it come off that bad? Didn't seem like it to me, but I've been fighting elsewhere today with a couple of guys about Copyrights and SOPA and am buttwhipped and down on patience....

If I was up in the bay area, I'd take you up on that friend.


OK, to recap :

Gear means Everything, Gear means Nothing, Gear means Something. Yes means No. No Means Yes. And according to Skye, those are all wrong because there is no "right". Whew! Now I feel better.

OK, my new official position.

Once you have enough to get the job done to your satisfaction, and are positioned (gear wise) at an equal or slightly higher level than your clients home studio's....

Gear Mean Nothing!


There, can we all join hands now for a group hug???
Old 21st January 2012
  #26
Lives for gear
 
ears2thesky's Avatar
Quote:
There, can we all join hands now for a group hug???
You don't get off that easy!

Quote:
Once you have enough to get the job done to your satisfaction, and are positioned (gear wise) at an equal or slightly higher level than your clients home studio's....

Gear Mean Nothing!
How much should the OP charge for a home studio recording?

IMHO the local market establishes rates. What do you really get for top dollar? How competitive is your product with the top shelf facilities? How much better are you than the bottom of the scale? Where do you fit between the two extremes?

It seems to me that the quality of the product defines where you fit in your market. If you have excellent skills and can get great sounds with modest gear, then you should be able to get a higher rate than a competitor with a superior gear list but lesser results. If you put those skills together with great gear then you should be able to charge more than that.

If you consider the amenities of a legit world-class facility, you get a lot more than one dude and a bedroom full of gear. So don't forget to factor that into the equation.

Project and package deals might be a good place to start.
Old 21st January 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Jeff Hayat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumdrum View Post
I excluding the source, from a production perspective, the engineer is 80-90% of the sound. The gear is the rest...
So by your acct, an engineer recording and mixing a band using a Neve 8078 with a pair of Teletronix LA-2As, Neve 33609, a couple of Pultecs and a 480L, will only sound 10-20% better than that same engineer recording and mixing that same band using Behringer mic pres, an MXR Dyna Compact Guitar Compression Pedal, a ART EQ-351 eq, and an Alesis microverb?

Umm, like, no.
Old 21st January 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 
famousbass's Avatar
 

Ask the customer what's their budget, how much they thought they should spend and grab it... or leave it.
It's not the 80s any more guys.
Old 21st January 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
 
famousbass's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Hayat View Post
So by your acct, an engineer recording and mixing a band using a Neve 8078 with a pair of Teletronix LA-2As, Neve 33609, a couple of Pultecs and a 480L, will only sound 10-20% better than that same engineer recording and mixing that same band using Behringer mic pres, an MXR Dyna Compact Guitar Compression Pedal, a ART EQ-351 eq, and an Alesis microverb?

Umm, like, no.
Yes.
It all depends on where he puts the mics... no?
Old 21st January 2012
  #30
Gear Maniac
 
Mojo Man's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
[COLOR="Blue"]It's a given that you have to have enough gear to do the job.
This was my only point. There is a certain amount of gear and a certain quality of gear required to make a good recording. It looks like you take a similar stance (despite your original post). Surely you can understand how the quote "Gear means NOTHING" could be construed as an unreasonable platitude with regards to the way the recording process works. I don't want to argue with you here on a public forum, and hopefully there is no further need.

I think the point stands; gear matters to some degree, but to what degree is still a point of contention.
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