The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 All  This Thread  Reviews  Gear Database  Gear for sale     Latest  Trending
Studio Rate Question
Old 22nd August 2005
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
cultureofgreed's Avatar
 

Studio Rate Question

I recently did a 2" tape transfered to harddisk at a big studio. The transfer took about 40 minutes; however, I got charged for a full 2 hours because the back up to DVD took 1 hour and 20 minutes. Most modern burners can do the job in 15 minutes, so the studio must have only burned it at X1 or X2.

Do you think its fair to charge $100/hour+ for burning a dvd at X2? It felt odd paying that kind of money while I watched everyone eat their lunch for almost an hour and a half. Am I out of line here?
Old 22nd August 2005
  #2
Lives for gear
 
De chromium cob's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cultureofgreed
Do you think its fair to charge $100/hour+ for burning a dvd at X2? It felt odd paying that kind of money while I watched everyone eat their lunch for almost an hour and a half. Am I out of line here?
If you could have found someone to do it right at a cheaper price you should have. But thats what you needed to have done, they did it and charged you their rate..... They would have gotten the same rate from someone else if you werent there. I think you are out of line.
Old 22nd August 2005
  #3
Gear Maniac
 

2 hours is often a minimum charge.
Old 22nd August 2005
  #4
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by garysjo
2 hours is often a minimum charge.
yep..........

also u could have searched other studios that charge a little bit less to do "TRANSFERS ONLY"
Old 22nd August 2005
  #5
Seems like a communication problem...

Did it all fit on one DVD?

Or did someone have to monitor the DVD burn to pop a 2nd one in and set it rolling?

I can see munching through lunch would be irritating, but did that DVD burn mean the studio was 'busy' - unable to do any oher tasks?

Did they line up to your 2" tapes test tones?

(If so, they might have had to re-align the deck back to their IN-HOUSE standard after you left..if so, that would be a "hidden" labour charge)

I bet your post is food for thought for other people...

Something to keep a close eye on the 'next time'.
Old 22nd August 2005
  #6
Lives for gear
 
PhilE's Avatar
I have to say I don't think it's unreasonable to charge 2 hrs for this service- I'd have charged a half day as that is my minimum booking.
Old 22nd August 2005
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by cultureofgreed
I recently did a 2" tape transfered to harddisk at a big studio. The transfer took about 40 minutes; however, I got charged for a full 2 hours because the back up to DVD took 1 hour and 20 minutes. Most modern burners can do the job in 15 minutes, so the studio must have only burned it at X1 or X2.

Do you think its fair to charge $100/hour+ for burning a dvd at X2? It felt odd paying that kind of money while I watched everyone eat their lunch for almost an hour and a half. Am I out of line here?
The answer is in your own post. They didn't just charge you for burning a DVD-R. What you got was a 2" transfer at a "big" studio. You paid around $200? Thats only about £120. An engineer was in attendance for 2 hours. Sure he may have ate a sandwich whilst the DVD was burning off, but he couldn't do much else. You had the use of the facilities like the 2" which requires maintainance and line-up. Sure you may be used to studios that only charge $40-50 an hr, but how many of them have the facilities to do this work properly? 1x and 2x speed is not uncommon on DVD-R's, they don't burn as quick as CD's.

All in all you paid a decent going rate, certainly not a rip off rate.

Regards to all


Roland
Old 22nd August 2005
  #8
Lives for gear
 
mersisblue's Avatar
 

for something like this I dont charging / paying by the hour a good idea anyway
Next time try to discuss a set fee with the studio
Old 22nd August 2005
  #9
Lives for gear
 

I've got to say that if that's what they charge and you didn't discuss otherwise beforehand, then it's perfectly reasonable. I do, however, think it was in incredibly poor taste for the engineer to eat lunch in front of you while you're being charged for time (if it was the engineer who was eating).

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Old 22nd August 2005
  #10
I don't believe that $250 is out of the ordinary for a transfer and I agree with everyone when they say there are hidden costs like lining up the tape machine etc.

BUT

If his minimum time is one hour and it only took 40 minutes to transfer the tape to the hard drive but an hour and 20 minutes to transfer from hard drive to DVD, well.... yeah I have a problem with that. If his minimum booking time is 2 hours then I would deal with it but his minimum time was 1. If he needs 2 hours to cover tape alignment and electricity then he should make the minimum booking time 2 hours.

Quote:
1x and 2x speed is not uncommon on DVD-R's, they don't burn as quick as CD's.
We always hear from big studio cats that the point of going to a "big studio" is because they have the best engineers, rooms and gear. A 1x or 2x DVD burner is not the best gear, I am not even sure that you can buy anything below a 4x but I have not looked in a while. If the DVD burner was able to do 4x or 6x and the engineer did not know how to work it or worse he wanted to milk the clock then this is not the best engineer.

Either way I don't think this was a fair way to bill. Just my take (I know I am now a bad guy because I am speaking up against a "Big Studio" ).
Old 22nd August 2005
  #11
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
I think that many people are missing the point that even though it only took 40 mins to transfer to the workstation you are dealing with potentially 24 tracks. I would expect it to take longer to burn than the 40 minutes to transfer as the tracks would likely be burnt consecutively. Assuming that it was around 25mins of material thats potentially 600 track mins approx 3gbytes of data at 16 bit 4.5 at 24 bit.

My DVD writer (not the fastest, but not the slowest either) on my Pyramix will take about 15mins to write around 750meg this does include verifying (something that should be done as a matter of course). This would equate to taking just over an hour to write that much data.

Another factor missed here, is if when the client takes that disc away, there is any problem opening the files on another machine because of a faulty disc the studio would be expected to re-supply at their expense.

I can't for the life of me understand how some of the posters here feel that this charge is that unreasonable. Sure there will be people that do it for less, part of the problem of our industry is that it is plagued with bottom feeding morons that will work for less than the guy flipping burgers at Macdonalds and supply the gear too boot!

Slightly O/T Somebody mentioned on another thread that with some studios advertising at $10.00 he payed much more than that just to hire an engineer to do drum edits for him on supplied gear. Result? He was inundated with offers to do drum edits for less! At least he had enough humour to post about it!

Regards to all

Roland
Old 22nd August 2005
  #12
Lives for gear
 
David R.'s Avatar
 

Transfering was only part of the job. The other part was burning the DVD. It sucks that it took that long, but how else are you to get your files?

Next time, bring a firewire drive and have them put the files on that. Much faster and more reliable than a DVD, IMHO.

I will say it is bad form to eat lunch in front of someone who is being billed by the hour. That time could be better spent talking with the client, perhaps showing them things in the studio which might make them want to come back in the future. heh
Old 22nd August 2005
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by garysjo
2 hours is often a minimum charge.

We have a 2 hour minimum at our place. DVD burners are slow, I think the fastest is 4x's...and that's recent technology (they might have 6x now, not sure). Being a couple months behind is often just a fact of life in today's studio biz. Who wants to replace their burner every 4 months? $100/hr with engineer included is a TRUE mid level studio price, a value if anything IMO.
Old 22nd August 2005
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
cultureofgreed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by David R.
Transfering was only part of the job. The other part was burning the DVD. It sucks that it took that long, but how else are you to get your files?

Next time, bring a firewire drive and have them put the files on that. Much faster and more reliable than a DVD, IMHO.

I will say it is bad form to eat lunch in front of someone who is being billed by the hour. That time could be better spent talking with the client, perhaps showing them things in the studio which might make them want to come back in the future. heh
Your absolutely right and I think you nailed it on the head. Not that I am not interested in the engineers accomplishments, but I want to hear advice about MY project when I am paying that kind of money. Especially when I have to spend most of my time sitting with my thumb up my butt.

I should have brought my external drive with me! Why didn't I think of that!
Old 22nd August 2005
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
cultureofgreed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred
We have a 2 hour minimum at our place. DVD burners are slow, I think the fastest is 4x's...and that's recent technology (they might have 6x now, not sure). Being a couple months behind is often just a fact of life in today's studio biz. Who wants to replace their burner every 4 months?
You can get X16 burners for less then $50.
Old 22nd August 2005
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cultureofgreed
You can get X16 burners for less then $50.

A quality 16x DVD burners for less than $50? That's news to me...but I could be completely wrong.

If that's the case, you probably could have saved money by buying them the $49 burner.
Old 22nd August 2005
  #17
Gear Maniac
 
cultureofgreed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred
If that's the case, you probably could have saved money by buying them the $49 burner.
LOL, that is a good idea too!
Old 22nd August 2005
  #18
You're in Tampa aren't you? This wasn't an Otari machine was it?
Old 22nd August 2005
  #19
I am sorry I can't help thinking that with the spare 1 hour and 20 mins you should have made the engineer record you 30 Answering machine jingles - or tested all the mic's in the studio or - recorded your niece or daughter playing screetchy violin...

heh
Old 22nd August 2005
  #20
Lives for gear
 
Bounce's Avatar
or you could have recorded at half speed the sound of the DVD burning and when you played it back at normal speed it would sound as if you were saving time and money ; )

mckay
Old 22nd August 2005
  #21
At least three issues here IMHO

Cost / value for money?
Eating lunch in front of you while charging full rate for that time / uncool? (I think so)
Burn speed of DVD / forgetfull engineer that cost you money or out of date burner?

Hey, just had a thought, is it an option to 'verify' DVD's? Doesnt that take longer?

The lunch thing left a bad taste... pass the Tums....
Old 22nd August 2005
  #22
Lives for gear
 
David R.'s Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules
Hey, just had a thought, is it an option to 'verify' DVD's? Doesnt that take longer?
I would ask the client if they want to spend the extra time/$$ to verify the disc.

If they did and there was a problem with it when they got it home, studio pays to have it redone.

If they did not and there was a problem with it when they got it home, client pays again.

That has to be stated clearly before they leave. Again, IMHO.
Old 23rd August 2005
  #23
Gear Maniac
 
cultureofgreed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NathanEldred
You're in Tampa aren't you? This wasn't an Otari machine was it?

I can't say where I was, that would not be cool.
Old 23rd August 2005
  #24
Gear Maniac
 
cultureofgreed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules
Hey, just had a thought, is it an option to 'verify' DVD's? Doesnt that take longer?

Another excellent point that I didn't think of.
Old 23rd August 2005
  #25
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
I can't for the life of me understand how some of the posters here feel that this charge is that unreasonable. Sure there will be people that do it for less, part of the problem of our industry is that it is plagued with bottom feeding morons that will work for less than the guy flipping burgers at Macdonalds and supply the gear too boot!
Amen Roland!! You pretty much summed up the problem with today's recording studio business. Drives me crazy, i guess that's why I now have a day job. Some muso's actually have the attitude that it's not OK to make money doing what you, and many of them have trained years to do. I had a musical mentor at one time in my life who once stated that the average professional musician (you could also insert engineer here) has many more years of training in their craft than many working brain surgeons, yet making money is apparently not OK. Folks opening studios with hourly rates that would not get many of us out of our house in the morning...jeesh....don't get me going!

Rant over.......

I agree with Jules though, eating lunch during the whole deal was not cool...not professional.
Old 23rd August 2005
  #26
Quote:
Originally Posted by garysjo

I agree with Jules though, eating lunch during the whole deal was not cool...not professional.

Maybe they just aren't good conversationalists...
Old 23rd August 2005
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Stoneface's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cultureofgreed
I recently did a 2" tape transfered to harddisk at a big studio. The transfer took about 40 minutes; however, I got charged for a full 2 hours because the back up to DVD took 1 hour and 20 minutes. Most modern burners can do the job in 15 minutes, so the studio must have only burned it at X1 or X2.

Do you think its fair to charge $100/hour+ for burning a dvd at X2? It felt odd paying that kind of money while I watched everyone eat their lunch for almost an hour and a half. Am I out of line here?
Tape sounds great, no doubt. But here is yet another reason tape should die a horrible death.

dfegad Tape
Old 23rd August 2005
  #28
Gear Guru
 
Drumsound's Avatar
I have a 2 hour minimum for all sessions that are one or two people. If more will be involved I bump it to 4.
Old 23rd August 2005
  #29
Like most others, I agree that the charge does not sound unreasonable, but eating during the session was not exactly putting their best foot forward. Also, bringing a firewire drive would have been a good idea, but a 2 hour minimum charge may still have been incurred even if the drive saved time, and that's not outside normal practice. Even so, I would still have preferred to get it on a drive than a DVD. That way I'm not stuck there longer than necessary as my time is valuable too, and because it would be easier and faster for me to deal with the drive when I got back to my own place.
Old 23rd August 2005
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Roland's Avatar
Another point that Tony made about minimum charges. It is often overlooked that it is difficult too do just an hours worth of work. Client books at 10am, you say hello and take them through to the studio (5 mins). They explain what they have got and what they need (5 mins), set the reels on the machine and check that everything is playing off as it should be (another 5 mins), transfer the tape (25 mins). Rewind the customers tape and put it in the box (5 mins).

Thats just the basic functionality, it excludes the fact that the client is probably offered tea, wants to discuss various things about recording/technology, things appertaining to their project, usual things that happen during sessions (say another 10 mins). Burning a DVD even at 16 x will take at least 20 mins without varifying. Time to write out the customer bill (5 mins). See the customer to the door and exchange pleasantries another (5 mins). This isn't wasting time, just the realities of dealing with clients. I agree that sitting there eating your lunch may not be the most tactful thing to do, but that I think is not so shocking, not being a 9-5 industry people eat on the fly, though I get the feeling from the original poster that they bought out their lunch and sat there ignoring him whilst they ate.

Even if they had a 16x burner this job was never going to get completed in only an hour, the price was of a mid level studio and about what I would expect from a dedicated copy room. I just find it a shame there are people still looking to trim this bill when its not really that much money.

Regards to all


Roland
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Forum Jump
Forum Jump