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How much should I charge for amateur recordings? Plugin Bundles
Old 1 week ago
  #61
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Quetz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
If they want it free then can do it themselves I guess...
And they will!

But adding to what guyacier posted above, perhaps you would be better off approaching this a different way.

What you should do perhaps, is charge for tracking, and build a relationship with someone that has a bit more experience in mixing, at least until you improve your chops.

You'll get a lot more satisfied clients that way, in all likelihood.
Old 1 week ago
  #62
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetz View Post
And they will!

But adding to what guyacier posted above, perhaps you would be better off approaching this a different way.

What you should do perhaps, is charge for tracking, and build a relationship with someone that has a bit more experience in mixing, at least until you improve your chops.

You'll get a lot more satisfied clients that way, in all likelihood.
That's what I mean. So whats a fair tracking charge?
Old 1 week ago
  #63
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Quetz's Avatar
At first, why don't you let clients pay what they think is fair, a la Radiohead?

Edit:
You still need to remember that this is not a one-way transaction.The artists/bands are also giving you something of great worth - they're letting you use them as guinea pigs in order to get smore experience.
That is also worth quite a lot.
So you need to balance that in, rather than thinking that it's you that is providing all the value.
Where would you be with nobody to track?
Old 1 week ago
  #64
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guyacier View Post
There’s mud that has buried the snare. But some of that mud is actually fat.

You just need to make that snare crack and roll off some mud with a filter.

I also think you need to glue your instruments together better. It has that loose from the board sound.

Gate, filter, deess, compress, EQ

Look at an SSL channel strip.

There’s a lot more going on in your mix.

Parallel compress your drums. Bus comp in guitars, vocals and drum stems.

All very very very subtle and gentle: you can hear the compression then dial it back until you can’t hear it. That’s your spot unless you want to hear it as an effect.

Your track just needs glue and clarity.

It sounds like it was recorded well.
Thanks for the advice man I'll try and apply all of this on my next mix!
Old 1 week ago
  #65
Gear Addict
 

I know for a fact there's no way I could track saxophone with any kind of success in my living room. It's just not going to sound professional. Until you have a room that's designed to accommodate such loud things as musical instruments there's really no point in charging for that service. You be better served by starting out just mixing because you could do that. The problem with that is everybody thinks they're a mix engineer. So you're going to be against somebody strong competition. Maybe you would start out mixing friends and acquaintances free to get some skills under your belt and then later charge like dinner or beer money. But with one whopping year of experience I'm not going to pay you to do jack.
Old 1 week ago
  #66
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
That's what I mean. So whats a fair tracking charge?
If you’re going to be a tracking room then focus on this.

Better mics, room acoustics , better preamps (so you can move mics into room) better converters etc

Maybe you really have an ear for recording! Maybe not so much for mixing at this point.

What do you charge:

What will the market bear?
What’s your time worth to you?
What’s your competition charge?

I was actually pretty impressed with the SOUND of your recordings. Just not the mix. You did those overheads well.
Old 1 week ago
  #67
Gear Maniac
 

You can record music nearly anywhere.

Just get your room sounding good. “Tune it” as they say.

Place your mics where you like ‘em.

Have nice preamps with lotsa noise free gain, so you can capture the sound.

Maybe you like your rectifier sound in the room. To capture more of the room, you need a room mic. That mic needs more gain as it’s far away from the amp. But maybe not. Maybe you have a different technique for this.

Anyway, it’s all a creative process. But you want a solid, robust sound however it is effected.
Old 1 week ago
  #68
Gear Maniac
 
Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyacier View Post
There’s mud that has buried the snare. But some of that mud is actually fat.

You just need to make that snare crack and roll off some mud with a filter.

I also think you need to glue your instruments together better. It has that loose from the board sound.

Gate, filter, deess, compress, EQ

Look at an SSL channel strip.

There’s a lot more going on in your mix.

Parallel compress your drums. Bus comp in guitars, vocals and drum stems.

All very very very subtle and gentle: you can hear the compression then dial it back until you can’t hear it. That’s your spot unless you want to hear it as an effect.

Your track just needs glue and clarity.

It sounds like it was recorded well.
This!!!! When I started applying these practices to my mixes they improved 10 fold. And I mix OTB so it meant buying up lots of compressors and extra EQ’s to put on the inserts of my console. I use the console EQ to cut, mostly the mud he’s talking about and I engage the highpass filter on the console for anything that doesn’t require bottom. I track with 2 to 3 dB of soft knee compression at 3:1 or 4:1. Very subtle. Then another 2 to 3 dB on the individual track insert. Then I group the drum sub mix, guitar sub mix, etc and apply more compression. I bring the groups up under the main mix until I hear the sub over the main, then back off to taste. It tightens everything up and increases overall volume without destroying transients and dynamics. Little amounts of compression along the way is better than large amounts all at once. Small amounts of EQ along the way is better than large amounts all at once. Never say “we’ll fix it in the mix.” All this can be done ITB more easily than OTB.

Brian
Old 1 week ago
  #69
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetz View Post
At first, why don't you let clients pay what they think is fair, a la Radiohead?

Edit:
You still need to remember that this is not a one-way transaction.The artists/bands are also giving you something of great worth - they're letting you use them as guinea pigs in order to get smore experience.
That is also worth quite a lot.
So you need to balance that in, rather than thinking that it's you that is providing all the value.
Where would you be with nobody to track?
"At first, why don't you let clients pay what they think is fair, a la Radiohead?"

Because they wont pay at all? give someone an inch and they will take a mile.


"You still need to remember that this is not a one-way transaction.The artists/bands are also giving you something of great worth"

exactly why i think a cheap price is fair.
Old 1 week ago
  #70
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CJ Mastering's Avatar
Quote:
That's what I mean. So whats a fair tracking charge?
1) First you will need an environment that people do not have on their own. If people are willing to pay for recording only, then you need to offer somehtnig they do not have and most of them have studios just like yours.
2) 2nd, you need to offer and communicate to them that you can capture the sounds that they want.

So if you want to charge for recording, you need to build a suitable live room that can great for recording and tuned for recording. Something a lot better than your potential client has and these days everyone has a living room/bedroom studio. So you will need to convert your garage or a large bedroom or 2 bedrooms and build out a studio.

Its what i did. I converted 2 bedrooms that were next to each other and made a perfect room. Its 30 feet by 12 feet and its tuned perfectly.
Old 1 week ago
  #71
Here for the gear
 

Not less then $50 per hour
Old 1 week ago
  #72
Lives for gear
 

Judging from your recordings, don.t charge anything just yet. Its simply not good enough.

Gain experience first and get better at recording. Than start to charge.

Don.t feel bad. It takes a long time to rec and mix properly.

Goodluck.
Old 1 week ago
  #73
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Quetz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
Because they wont pay at all? give someone an inch and they will take a mile.
Oh the irony
Old 1 week ago
  #74
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
Some things I have are decent others not soo much:

Averagely treated living room, no control room. Middle sized living room.

Waves ultimate bundle plugins
Isotope ultimate mix master bundle
Omisphere, trillian bundle.
1 year experience so far.

With all of this considered what should I charge?

I was thinking 10 dollars an hour because I'm amateur but have ok stuff.
you have more or less the same level of stuff as every self-recording musician out there. If they want an amateur recording, they can just record themselves. Many of them have far more than '1 year' of experience.

Quote:
Maybe just stick to demos till I get a vocal booth and more professional room?


You are going to "stick to demos"? What does that even mean? Will you turn people away if they tell you they plan on releasing their recordings? It's not really up to you what kinds of recordings your prospective clients will try to make or what use they will put them to.

Not that you have to worry too much about anybody getting the "wrong idea" and trying to make a commercial album in your living room! But neither will the labels suddenly change their mind once you get a vocal booth.

Quote:
How much should I charge for amateur recordings?
I think you should charge the same as what one should charge for a professional recording - i.e. whatever you can get. Put it out there for $10 and see if you get any takers. You might get none. In fact that would be my guess, knowing nothing about you - I did not even listen to the clips. I just base that guess on the dime-a-dozen-ness of "studios" with your level of gear.


On the other hand, at that price it might be cheaper for someone to book your living room than buy their own Focusrite interface. So you never know. If someone goes for it and you are any good, maybe they will come back, maybe they will tell their friends.

On the other hand, if you are not very good, word will get around about that, too. If you jump in before you are ready, you lose your opportunity to make a good first impression. An initial bad reputation is very difficult to overcome.

As others have implied, recording people for free to gain experience exempts you (a bit) from this kind of judgement. You will have a little more leeway in terms of suckage.
Old 1 week ago
  #75
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BIG BUDDHA's Avatar
i am pretty sure if you asked the singer of You and me and the Wine for $50 he would be cool with that.

better monitoring will help the mix balance.

Buddha
Old 1 week ago
  #76
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JayTee4303's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
Some things I have are decent others not soo much:

2x at 4041
1x at 4050
1x d112 AkG
1x senhieser md421
3x pga 56 tom mics

8 xlr focusrite interface

Averagely treated living room, no control room. Middle sized living room.

Waves ultimate bundle plugins
Isotope ultimate mix master bundle
Omisphere, trillian bundle.
1 year experience so far.

With all of this considered what should I charge?
I was thinking 10 dollars an hour because I'm amateur but have ok stuff. Maybe just stick to demos till I get a vocal booth and more professional room?

Thoughts?
I can't tell you, and nobody else can, either. I can tell you how to figure this out.

Start with two numbers... one, what are you actually worth? How much has someone paid you, recently, and more than once, to do something they didn't want to do themselves?

What are you giving up, to work on this hypothetical project? The proper term for this number is Opportunity Cost. You can't shovel snow off Joe's driveway and record/mix Lucy's album at the same time, how much hard cash are you walking away from by not shovelling snow?

Two... what's it cost to run your rig for one hour, compared to just letting it sit, cold and dark? Electricity, plus lights, plus AC or heat, plus gas to get there? Two, part B... what's it cost you to HAVE the rig set up? Insurance, property taxes, rent, mortgage, gear amortization, etc. (Figure your rig lasts 5 years, cost X dollars, and needs to be replaced after that time.)

Now, you have a rough idea what "breakeven" means, to you. Above your breakeven rate, you are earning gross profit. Below it, you are spewing red ink. You can't do that for very long.

Gross profit. Taxes will eat up some of that. Does what's left, equal what shovelling Joe's driveway pays? If not, what ELSE is in THIS DEAL for you?

Are you making a name for yourself with this project? Or generating ridicule? Are you learning anything useful? How much would a book on this subject cost?

How much do you enjoy THIS music?

Ok, greatly simplified, but now you are starting to see things from a businessman's point of view.

You have an IDEA where "profit" and "losing your ass" live.

Ask the client WHAT THEY WALK AWAY WITH. What files, on what medium, how many, etc.

Guess how many hours it will take you to make that happen. Write it down. It's wrong, but you need to see HOW wrong after you're done, so you can guess better next time.

Now, ask the client what his budget is. They will evade the question. Ask again, using different words.If you piss them off, they go elsewhere.

Keep asking till you get a number. Divide that by your guess as to how many hours it will take to generate the deliverables specified.

If the resulting hourly rate meets or exceeds the number you came up with earlier, write it ALL down, copy it, both sign, both get one.

If not, if the number is too low, tell them what you CAN deliver on their budget.

"A ten song album, at that price, won't do your music justice. But we COULD release a REALLY GREAT 4 song EP for that amount, and you'd be all dialled in here, with the gear, the room, and the workflow, to expand on that, down the road, when you have more money to invest in your future."

They WANT TO BELIEVE. They NEED to know YOU believe in them, too. Let them see that, WHILE avoiding painting YOUR SELF into a LOSING corner.

Then it's up to them.
Old 1 week ago
  #77
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by joeq View Post
you have more or less the same level of stuff as every self-recording musician out there. If they want an amateur recording, they can just record themselves. Many of them have far more than '1 year' of experience.




You are going to "stick to demos"? What does that even mean? Will you turn people away if they tell you they plan on releasing their recordings? It's not really up to you what kinds of recordings your prospective clients will try to make or what use they will put them to.

Not that you have to worry too much about anybody getting the "wrong idea" and trying to make a commercial album in your living room! But neither will the labels suddenly change their mind once you get a vocal booth.


I think you should charge the same as what one should charge for a professional recording - i.e. whatever you can get. Put it out there for $10 and see if you get any takers. You might get none. In fact that would be my guess, knowing nothing about you - I did not even listen to the clips. I just base that guess on the dime-a-dozen-ness of "studios" with your level of gear.


On the other hand, at that price it might be cheaper for someone to book your living room than buy their own Focusrite interface. So you never know. If someone goes for it and you are any good, maybe they will come back, maybe they will tell their friends.

On the other hand, if you are not very good, word will get around about that, too. If you jump in before you are ready, you lose your opportunity to make a good first impression. An initial bad reputation is very difficult to overcome.

As others have implied, recording people for free to gain experience exempts you (a bit) from this kind of judgement. You will have a little more leeway in terms of suckage.
Put it to ya this way. If they want to buy the thousands I've spent on gear then yea they could do just as decent a job (and probably/possibly better).

But if they cant because of budget, than 10 dollars an hour is perfectly reasonable.

Not to mention some people don't want to learn the software they just want to focus on the performance.

I'm currently learning with myself and a couple artists for basically free. So I'm doing what you guys are mentioning. However if some random artist wanted to use my space and time I'd expect at least SOMETHING for my time gear and space.

I say demo because of my experience. I'm also an experienced percussionist who can track my playing in their stuff as a part of the deal if they want things like that added.

Listen to the second song I posted and tell me what you think.
Old 1 week ago
  #78
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BIG BUDDHA View Post
i am pretty sure if you asked the singer of You and me and the Wine for $50 he would be cool with that.

better monitoring will help the mix balance.

Buddha
I record him for food and beer because hes a friend. If it were a random person it would be different.

50 dollars for a song is pretty reasonable I agree. Including: tracking, mixing, and mastering.

I'm also constantly learning and studying.

Any recommendations/ tips to that mix?
Old 1 week ago
  #79
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
Put it to ya this way. If they want to buy the thousands I've spent on gear then yea they could do just as decent a job (and probably/possibly better).
Most bands already have the gear that you have especially if they gig. It's like selling ice to Eskimos. You would need to bring something to the table that they don't already have. Maybe it's a tape machine and old school mixer for that classic rock band or maybe it's your arranging skills.
But you need to have at least one thing that they don't have and it's not just a grand of gear. Everyone has that.
Old 1 week ago
  #80
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxplayerz View Post
Most bands already have the gear that you have especially if they gig. It's like selling ice to Eskimos. You would need to bring something to the table that they don't already have. Maybe it's a tape machine and old school mixer for that classic rock band or maybe it's your arranging skills.
But you need to have at least one thing that they don't have and it's not just a grand of gear. Everyone has that.
I'm pretty sure my mic setup is going to do better than 100 dollar condenser mics. And secondly I am being approached frequently by people who have even less experience and gear than me.

I have a drum kit micd up with 8 mics,I offer my drumming included in their recording, not everyone has that setup.

I know people who are professionals I can reference them too after I track them.
Sometime another ear is also desirable so a persons not to "close" to their work.

So again. What should I ask(even if it isnt much)

I'm thinking 50 a song?
Old 1 week ago
  #81
Gear Nut
 

Hey Dan ! I think you should charge. Not a lot.... as you are a beginner but something. I'm a musician that has been recording bands for years. Not a pro engineer but lots of experience in studios and live I have a project studio with basic but good enough gear (a few nice mic pres, a good set of decent mics and a metric halo interface) and I record in a space that is not properly soundproofed or treated (that said it's a rather nice sounding space and Ive learned how to work with it) I charge very little (I prefer by the hour as I don't like having to bargain with musicians for more time..it can add stress and deteriorate the relationship) I have the chance to have a nice and inspiring location in the countryside where it's easier for musicians to stay focused.
The reason why I charge is that I know that even though I'm not Steve Albini I will do a much better job than the average musician with limited experience who records his own band. Also it prevents me to do other jobs in the meantime. Finally I think even though you are not a pro you still are providing a service...and if you start doing it for free you will remain the guy who works for free. It is also good for bands to learn how to work within a budget (be prepared and rehearsed before the session..preprod work, use time wisely...do a small funding campaign etc) I don't charge lots because like I said the place is not purposely built.. it's more like guerilla recording type thing :-) Maybe for you a global fee would be better and you need to start low as you dont have great tracks to show yet. But you need to set time limits. Last thing...even though if you should charge something for most time...you should also look for special projects...with better/promising bands and those you will do for free. You will see that everything is much easier with better/tighter musicians/songwriters and you will have the chance of ending up with a finished product that can open lots of doors to you.
So charge...but not always :-)
In the end it's quite simple : if your fee is too high for your current skills and the place/gear you can offer...people won't come, so your fee might "autosettle" because of local competition. Then you will be able to raise it when your skills and your place improve.

Last edited by Niconic; 1 week ago at 04:03 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #82
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
I'm pretty sure my mic setup is going to do better than 100 dollar condenser mics. And secondly I am being approached frequently by people who have even less experience and gear than me.

I have a drum kit micd up with 8 mics,I offer my drumming included in their recording, not everyone has that setup.

I know people who are professionals I can reference them too after I track them.
Sometime another ear is also desirable so a persons not to "close" to their work.

So again. What should I ask(even if it isnt much)

I'm thinking 50 a song?
I'd say a song may take 4 hours tracking and 4 to mix. So that's 8 total or 6.25 hr. I'd shoot for at least min wage or more if I was in your position.
Old 1 week ago
  #83
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
So again. What should I ask(even if it isnt much)

I'm thinking 50 a song?
I think at this point it's starting to look like you'll charge 50 per song, regardless of what people here say. You seem to be looking for confirmation at this point rather than advice you might actually adopt.

So, just go ahead and charge 50 and see how it goes. I don't think you'll benefit from more advice at this point.
Old 1 week ago
  #84
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxplayerz View Post
I'd say a song may take 4 hours tracking and 4 to mix. So that's 8 total or 6.25 hr. I'd shoot for at least min wage or more if I was in your position.
Thank you for the response! That's a good way to approach it
Old 1 week ago
  #85
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
I think at this point it's starting to look like you'll charge 50 per song, regardless of what people here say. You seem to be looking for confirmation at this point rather than advice you might actually adopt.

So, just go ahead and charge 50 and see how it goes. I don't think you'll benefit from more advice at this point.
I started this thread with a different price in mind and a different view, now I've learned and adapted some of these ideas into my own but.....
Not all advice is good advice
Old 1 week ago
  #86
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Unclenny's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
Here is a Mix im working on more recently. Done for a friend who gives me beer and food for my troubles.
This is a pretty good demo....has a nice live feel to it.

Best of luck, man.
Old 1 week ago
  #87
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattiasnyc View Post
I think at this point it's starting to look like you'll charge 50 per song, regardless of what people here say. You seem to be looking for confirmation at this point rather than advice you might actually adopt.

So, just go ahead and charge 50 and see how it goes. I don't think you'll benefit from more advice at this point.
Sounds like you're right about this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Saxplayerz View Post
I'd say a song may take 4 hours tracking and 4 to mix. So that's 8 total or 6.25 hr. I'd shoot for at least min wage or more if I was in your position.
Agree. No way I'd charge below minimum wage. Like JayTee says, it's opportunity cost.

As a matter of fact, I'd charge by the hour. It has it's plusses and minuses, but hourly rates work for me. In my area, the low-budget places charge $20/hour.

BTW- OP- what town are you in? Like I said earlier, check to see what your competition is charging.

One thing I find really odd though- you spent $10,000, and only $200 of that was for room treatment? Interesting.

I like that second recording BTW.
Old 1 week ago
  #88
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
Put it to ya this way. If they want to buy the thousands I've spent on gear
most people who spend thousands on gear do so because they figure they will be recording for the rest of their lives and over the long haul they will save money. Whether they are correct about the totals is less important than what they THINK. The other aspect of it is that if they are going to pay for a studio, maybe they want something MUCH better than what they could do themselves.

Quote:
But if they cant because of budget, than 10 dollars an hour is perfectly reasonable.
but 20 dollars an hour for a better sounding recording may be more reasonable. You cannot make the calculation as if all recordings are equal. Shoveling snow off their driveway is an easily defined task. Either the snow is removed or it is not. And if half the snow is gone, at least half is gone. Recording can be all over the map and a poor recording might be worth zero - it's not like someone else can come in and "finish" it .

In the end, the market will determine what you charge. If you are charging too much, the market will let you know. If you are charging too little they will beat down your door and you will have to raise your rates just to be able to have a day off.
Old 1 week ago
  #89
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
........ I am being approached frequently by people who have even less experience and gear than me........

So again. What should I ask(even if it isnt much).....
These are the people who you should consult/negotiate with to determine what a fair/realistic asking price for your services is.

Unless you really totally suck, sometimes just freeing the artist from the technical aspects of the engineering task so he/she can concentrate on his/her performance, can be a justifiable motive for adquiring your paid services, even if this artist may be a better engineer than you.
Old 1 week ago
  #90
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenny View Post
This is a pretty good demo....has a nice live feel to it.

Best of luck, man.
Thanks man!
Topic:
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