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How much should I charge for amateur recordings? Plugin Bundles
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Head
 

How much should I charge for amateur recordings?

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?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Gear Head
 

BUMP
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Gear Addict
 
drycappuccinoguy's Avatar
If you charge it is no longer amateur.
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drycappuccinoguy View Post
If you charge it is no longer amateur.
So your saying unless you can do a pro job like radio quality, a person should not charge?
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Here for the gear
 

You need to understand where you are, I think.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrea View Post
You need to understand where you are, I think.
Could you please elaborate?
Old 1 week ago
  #7
Gear Addict
 
drycappuccinoguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
So your saying unless you can do a pro job like radio quality, a person should not charge?
No I am saying "pro" means that you charge money it does not necessarily mean you are good.

Also being amateur mean you do it for fun It does not mean you are necessarily bad.

Of course there may be a correlation between the two. But it is becoming less and less of a strong correlation.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 
ruffrecords's Avatar
A lot depends on what you want to record. Acoustic stuf or heavy metal or somewhere in between?

Cheers

ian
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drycappuccinoguy View Post
No I am saying "pro" means that you charge money it does not necessarily mean you are good.

Also being amateur mean you do it for fun It does not mean you are necessarily bad.

Of course there may be a correlation between the two. But it is becoming less and less of a strong correlation.
I get the feeling you dont like the movement towards amatuer home projects.
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Poinzy'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?
To convince me to pay anyone for recording services, I'd have to see a professional setup first. To me, a livingroom wouldn't cut it.
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poinzy View Post
To convince me to pay anyone for recording services, I'd have to see a professional setup first. To me, a livingroom wouldn't cut it.
Fair, but what about demos.
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ruffrecords View Post
A lot depends on what you want to record. Acoustic stuf or heavy metal or somewhere in between?

Cheers

ian
Both
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Poinzy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
Fair, but what about demos.
I don't think you'd be able to tell people, "OK, look, I'll record you, but only for demos." You'd always be under pressure to do more. But that's just my opinion.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poinzy View Post
I don't think you'd be able to tell people, "OK, look, I'll record you, but only for demos." You'd always be under pressure to do more. But that's just my opinion.
Then I'd do more, but id let them know what to expect.
The recordings I've done sound alright,maybe not top of the line, and certainly a heck of alot better than a cellphone.

I think the 10 grand I've spent on gear, software, treatment, plus my time should be worth something....
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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ruffrecords's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
Both
OK in which case I would suggest you start out like I did back in the 70s. You will find lots of local gigging bands. Small venue gigs they can get by word of mouth but for anything else they need a demo to play to the venue manager to get a gig. That's what I did. I recorded bands wherever they practised. They played live, the separation was not good but the vibe was amazing. Back home I mixed them down an provided them with a demo tape. They only need four songs to prove they are competent and have the right repertoire and you can easily record those in a 3 hour evening session.

Doing this you will soon work out how to mic up various instruments quickly and accurately to get a good enough bunch of tracks to create a mix from. I started off in mono with an occasional bounce to add vocals. Then I went 4 track and then 8 track all tape. Some of the four track demos were pretty good even though I had to mix the rhythm section direct to stereo - only bass and vocals had their own tracks. Some of the 8 tracks were superb especially bands with original material.

I charged £10 for a 3 hour session plus mixing back at home and I got plenty of business.

Good luck.

Cheers

ian
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Lives for gear
 

Nobody pays for demos in 2018. Most bands have someone in the group or close to the group that is capable of making demos.

It sounds like you need more experience. I would take your gear and your living room and find bands that don’t have anyone savvy and will give you experience and beer/pizza. Do some live sound gigs (that’s the easy way to find bands). Find some pro engineers that you can shadow and possibly book freelance gigs at.

I wouldn’t even want the skeezy musicians that can only find $10/hour in my house, but that’s a different discussion.
Old 1 week ago
  #17
Lives for gear
I have some good news and some bad news for you: Calculating what you should charge for your services should have little to nothing to do with your gear or setup. How much you have invested in gear only matters to you; it really doesn't matter to any potential clients. The two questions you should ask yourself is how well can I produce/record/engineer music at the DIY amateur or professional level (how much can I justify charging based on my experience and ability), and how much is my time worth? That’s really it! If you don’t already have one, do a demo. Give your first customer/s a cut rate price, and explain to them you’re using them as a way to establish a proper demo. As you gain more experience you can charge more incrementally.
Old 1 week ago
  #18
Gear Maniac
 
Brian M. Boykin's Avatar
If a band is asking to be recorded then charge by the session. Pick an hourly rate that makes it worth it to you. Give them a round abouts time frame. Go long so they feel they got their monies worth. Be ready so your not spending their money solving problems you should have already solved.

If your soliciting business then you may be in for a rude awakening. My studio was built for me and my personal use. I recently had the opportunity to record a band that was doing a reunion album. It had been 20 years since they broke up. Two of the musicians stayed in the business and have done lots of studio work with other bands and solo stuff. The drummer said right out when he came over that he was considering this a demo session. Me and the drummer set up and worked together for roughly 2 to 3 hours experimenting with mics and mic placement. He was blown away from the first play back of his kit and how great it sounded. The rest of the band showed up and we laid a scratch track. Then got a clean run on drums and called it a session. The guitar player came back and we layered in guitars. They asked for a rough mix of what I had with the scratch vocals in the mix. I threw up faders and did a print. They liked it. Then one week went by. Then two and nothing. From what’s leaked out they went to friends in the business and played the “demo” and they got them studio time in another studio. The guitar player is a 20+ year friend of mine and was disappointed that the rest of the band wanted to go to a studio. In the end, it’s just as said above, it wasn’t the recording, it was they wanted to be in a studio with a professional set up with all the standard trade marks on the equipment. Even though their ears told them they liked it, there eyes wanted to see Neve, 1176, and Pultec.
It was a great experience for me though. I had accomplished musicians in my studio and I don’t think they were blowing smoke up my a$$ in saying they were impressed with the quality. But I can’t offer them anything after the recording. I have 0 connections in the biz. So I don’t blame them a bit. I played the recording for another friend of my who just did studio work himself with his band and he was also impressed with the rough mix.
I’m taking it as I’m moving in the right direction. I never started this to record professionally. I’m not relying on recording to make a living. So short of the long, you have to decide why your recording and your own expectations and goals. I would do it all over again.

Brian
Old 1 week ago
  #19
Gear Addict
 
drycappuccinoguy's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
I get the feeling you don't like the movement towards amatuer home projects.
Not at all.

I am just pointing out that "pro" does not mean good.

and amateur does not mean bad.

But I do recognize that people tend to use it that way.

You should charge though. It is a lot of effort and you don't want to have an endless supply of non-paying clients.
Old 1 week ago
  #20
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian M. Boykin View Post
If a band is asking to be recorded then charge by the session. Pick an hourly rate that makes it worth it to you. Give them a round abouts time frame. Go long so they feel they got their monies worth. Be ready so your not spending their money solving problems you should have already solved.

If your soliciting business then you may be in for a rude awakening. My studio was built for me and my personal use. I recently had the opportunity to record a band that was doing a reunion album. It had been 20 years since they broke up. Two of the musicians stayed in the business and have done lots of studio work with other bands and solo stuff. The drummer said right out when he came over that he was considering this a demo session. Me and the drummer set up and worked together for roughly 2 to 3 hours experimenting with mics and mic placement. He was blown away from the first play back of his kit and how great it sounded. The rest of the band showed up and we laid a scratch track. Then got a clean run on drums and called it a session. The guitar player came back and we layered in guitars. They asked for a rough mix of what I had with the scratch vocals in the mix. I threw up faders and did a print. They liked it. Then one week went by. Then two and nothing. From what’s leaked out they went to friends in the business and played the “demo” and they got them studio time in another studio. The guitar player is a 20+ year friend of mine and was disappointed that the rest of the band wanted to go to a studio. In the end, it’s just as said above, it wasn’t the recording, it was they wanted to be in a studio with a professional set up with all the standard trade marks on the equipment. Even though their ears told them they liked it, there eyes wanted to see Neve, 1176, and Pultec.
It was a great experience for me though. I had accomplished musicians in my studio and I don’t think they were blowing smoke up my a$$ in saying they were impressed with the quality. But I can’t offer them anything after the recording. I have 0 connections in the biz. So I don’t blame them a bit. I played the recording for another friend of my who just did studio work himself with his band and he was also impressed with the rough mix.
I’m taking it as I’m moving in the right direction. I never started this to record professionally. I’m not relying on recording to make a living. So short of the long, you have to decide why your recording and your own expectations and goals. I would do it all over again.

Brian
That's something I'm finding also. Even if I can do a good job people want the neumans, neves, and pro studios.

What I don't get is how someone could justify spending 10 grand plus for an album in this current market, and have it buried in a week from the 10 thousand other albums.

The music game has changed, and making it is harder than ever. Always improving technology is allowing anyone to record at their own homes for a fair price and produce decent results.

So why not get an album recorded mixed and mastered for 500 to 2k? Sure it won't be quite as good as a million dollar studio, but it doesn't matter anyway cuz you will probably not be noticed by the masses even if you do spend tons. I know some of these people in my city, and they regret spending soo much
Old 1 week ago
  #21
Lives for gear
 
ruffrecords's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by kslight View Post
Nobody pays for demos in 2018. Most bands have someone in the group or close to the group that is capable of making demos.
.
I beg to differ. There may be a million guys in bedrooms dreaming of fame but there are large numbers of jobbing bands who need a demo of their work. Then as now, they will have someone in the band who thinks he can make a decent recording of them but they soon find out he can't. There is a huge market for basic demos.

Cheers

Ian
Old 1 week ago
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poinzy View Post
To convince me to pay anyone for recording services, I'd have to see a professional setup first. To me, a livingroom wouldn't cut it.
That’s silly.

Musegarden is an amazing studio in a NYC penthouse apartment.

Trent Reznor recorded The Downward Spiral at the Tate Mansion.

Bob Rock recorded some of the greatest records ever made in houses.

You either have an ear for a good sound when recording or you don’t.
Old 1 week ago
  #23
Gear Maniac
 

I do this type of work all of the time here in NYC.

I work sound at a couple of smaller venues. The bands always ask me to record or mix them for their bandcamp or youtube channel. They don’t have the time or know-how.

What do you charge? What’s their budget? Most have no money, which is why they’re asking you.

If they have cash and are at the level, send them to a commercial studio if you know of any.

To be honest, I get a lot of totally garbage “pro studio” recordings to mix.

I won’t name names, but these are commercial studios and I can’t see how anyone pays them for the garbage I’m getting to mix with.

Just work with them. Think about your time, their prospect (are they gonna be big?) their budget, their purpose, your level. Be fair. Be honest. Be the best you can be.
Old 1 week ago
  #24
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by guyacier View Post
I do this type of work all of the time here in NYC.

I work sound at a couple of smaller venues. The bands always ask me to record or mix them for their bandcamp or youtube channel. They don’t have the time or know-how.

What do you charge? What’s their budget? Most have no money, which is why they’re asking you.

If they have cash and are at the level, send them to a commercial studio if you know of any.

To be honest, I get a lot of totally garbage “pro studio” recordings to mix.

I won’t name names, but these are commercial studios and I can’t see how anyone pays them for the garbage I’m getting to mix with.

Just work with them. Think about your time, their prospect (are they gonna be big?) their budget, their purpose, your level. Be fair. Be honest. Be the best you can be.
Which leads me to my initial question. Is 50-100 CAD per song (tracked mixed mastered) fair?
I feel like there is a minimum.
Old 1 week ago
  #25
Lives for gear
 

If I heard your work and it sounded good (say %75-80 of the way towards a professional product) I would probably be willing to give you $1-200CDN a day to record a product I could use for a decent demo. No matter what your gear list is. I want to hear your ability to make my music sound good. Especially if the work gives you the means to get better at recording and save up for new gear.

Basically, knowing that I would be developing a relationship with you for future work and that our future projects would be better each time we worked together.

Down the road, I would assume that as your skills and gear improve, I would be paying more for a better product but also maintaining that relationship, which means that each session going forward is smoother as you would know what I was looking for.

If you are just starting out, I think you need to gauge each act you can get your hands on. As in, are they a really good band but are broke? Will that session be good for your career? Are they not that great but have some cash? Will that give you something to put towards better gear? Maybe stay flexible so you can put out good material as your business card but also keep the lights on.
Old 1 week ago
  #26
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerry123 View Post
If I heard your work and it sounded good (say %75-80 of the way towards a professional product) I would probably be willing to give you $1-200CDN a day to record a product I could use for a decent demo. No matter what your gear list is. I want to hear your ability to make my music sound good. Especially if the work gives you the means to get better at recording and save up for new gear.

Basically, knowing that I would be developing a relationship with you for future work and that our future projects would be better each time we worked together.

Down the road, I would assume that as your skills and gear improve, I would be paying more for a better product but also maintaining that relationship, which means that each session going forward is smoother as you would know what I was looking for.

If you are just starting out, I think you need to gauge each act you can get your hands on. As in, are they a really good band but are broke? Will that session be good for your career? Are they not that great but have some cash? Will that give you something to put towards better gear? Maybe stay flexible so you can put out good material as your business card but also keep the lights on.

YouTube

That's the most recent thing I've recorded.
Old 1 week ago
  #27
Can't listen to your song here at work, unfortunately.

That being said, have you checked out Kijiji to see what other places in your town are charging, and what kind of gear/space they have? That could give you an insight into what you can charge as compared to similar "studios".

To me, charging $10/hour is way too cheap- it's below minimum wage. The cruddy places I see on Kijiji charge $20 to $30/hour, and better places around $30 to $40/hour. The really nice studios charge more, but that isn't your niche.

To attract clients, you want to show that you can produce good results, and potential clients have to feel that they'd get a good value by coming to record at your place.
Old 1 week ago
  #28
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Quetz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerdan1988 View Post
YouTube

That's the most recent thing I've recorded.
Can I be honest?

If I paid money to get something tracked and mixed and got something that sounded like that, I would be disappointed to put it mildly.

You've been doing this for one year. Why the desperation to start charging so soon?
Do you not have a job, or is it because you spent a few grand on gear, so you need it to start paying for itself, or what?

You should be doing all the work you can get for free, until you're good enough to charge.
Old 1 week ago
  #29
Lives for gear
 

OP, had a listen and honestly, it’s not too bad! I think you’ve got a great starting position to get some bands some good working demos.

But!
... to answer the thread title, I’m not sure that you should be charging yet. I think you could find bands that are starting out and really get your ear practice in.

In the recording you posted, you’ve got a great example to work with. Listen to the original and decipher what is different about yours. The low end is a bit cluttered and the whole thing needs to sound more open. You can do that, I believe you got the jist of all of those instruments and put them together in an intelligent way. Just keep going and get it there.

If you listen to the original and try to mix yours to sound like it, that would be a great lesson on what you missed when tracking. You probably won’t get it to Sound the same but what you are kissing should tell you what you need to do better next time.

Don’t worry about the gear you have. I really don’t think you need to spend money to get a better sound. I think you need to practice listening and tweaking and finding each instruments sweet spot.

Again, really good start. And hey, if someone is willing to throw you some cash for your time, definitely let them but your recording skills sound like they will be really worth some dollars in the not so distant future once you start getting sounds that are comparable to what the other studios charge for.
Old 1 week ago
  #30
Lives for gear
 

@ the OP

Don't make demos.

Make songs.
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