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$600-$700 per EDM track for 8-stem mastering?
Old 3 weeks ago
  #31
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Originally Posted by UnderTow View Post
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so do i.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #32
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Stem jobs can be any number of tracks, I’ve worked on 16+ stems for a single track and as with anything, the amount of work and detail required is totally dependent on the material. I can make 500usd in a day pretty easily just doing stereo mastering, so it doesn’t take a lot of imagination for me to realise more experienced big name engineers than I could and would charge far more for this type of work. If a track gets successful and brings in thousands of bucks worth of gigs and extra back catalog and merch sales, getting a high end job done might make total financial sense. It’s all tax deductible anyway at this level.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #33
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I wish I could command that charge out rate. Must be nice. Do two projects a week and you are living the good life. Although I think the rate is high it is not amoral.

If someone is willing to pay that amount they must also be living the good life. FWIW
Old 3 weeks ago
  #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conundra View Post
Stem jobs can be any number of tracks, I’ve worked on 16+ stems for a single track and as with anything, the amount of work and detail required is totally dependent on the material. I can make 500usd in a day pretty easily just doing stereo mastering, so it doesn’t take a lot of imagination for me to realise more experienced big name engineers than I could and would charge far more for this type of work. If a track gets successful and brings in thousands of bucks worth of gigs and extra back catalog and merch sales, getting a high end job done might make total financial sense. It’s all tax deductible anyway at this level.
That would be £94,000.00 a year.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #35
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It would be if every day was like that yes
Old 3 weeks ago
  #36
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To be clear, I don't advertise doing stem work as I think it's better for the artist/producer to improve their mix based on feedback and to 'own" the final result in their own software. It means that they develop their ear and skills and hopefully send me better mixes every time.

When I do do stem work though, it's simply charged as a normal stereo master plus £5 per stem. This is a great approach I think, as a single rogue element in a mix that the client is struggling with can be sent as a 2 stem job without being prohibitively expensive or time consuming for me either.

If I could charge 700 bucks for a stem master, I personally would be very happy to do one a day and spend as long as it took until I felt I'd taken it to it's full sonic potential.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #37
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I agree with the approach to stems and is why it is a remains a relatively small amount of my work (flat £45.00 fee for a stem job here which is a tad lower rate than "A list") . However even with the greatest knowlege, will and communication skill there are times where the client needs help beyond the mix response. It relies somewhat on the clients ability (and room/gear to follow remedial advice) M.E. brain/ear isolation of problem issues to suggested remedial moves/parameters only go so far when dissecting in a mix in your head. Though you tend to get quite good at it when you can what you are hearing.

In saying that some clients send stems directly and upfront as they themselves are capable of making that decision. And they have every right to as well IMO.

Last edited by SASMastering; 3 weeks ago at 05:25 PM..
Old 3 weeks ago
  #38
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Yeah, definitely.

I've often been sent stems when I was expecting a stereo file. In one instance, it was ironic that the one rogue element that I might have wanted separately was bundled in a general lead and fx stem, so the benefit of stems was pretty much lost. The artist didn't have access to the original project anymore so my hands were tied.

Anyway, I agree. Going to stems should be a last resort rather than a default starting point.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #39
DAH
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Especially when stereo fx are bussed, occupying all the spectrum at different or same timepoints just being grouped as FX.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #40
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Originally Posted by gregor z View Post
I frequently work on "stem" mastering projects which I more hear as a "mix post-production" projects .

Usually around 8-16 stems. From already well balanced and good sounding mix.

What I do - I rebalance the mix spectrally if needed , control or enhance dynamics , "fix" vocals with RX (de-click, spectral de-ess etc ), add additional reverb and even process most critical tracks like vocals , bass, kick etc. thru my mastering chain.

Despite changes being small sometimes, new "mix" always gets extra punch, width and most importantly proper spectral balance. But keeps the vibe & musicality of the original mix as close as possible .

Then I send the processed stems back to the producers and they will usually change some levels, add automation , change few things etc. - sometimes even rearrange.

Then the stems are sent back to me and I run them thru my mastering chain for final stereo processing. Usually keeping the ratios as the producer set them.

Whole process takes the same amount of time, as spent on mastering an album. So I think the price is reasonable.

And there is a demand for the service like this.
Convoluted process, but if it works better than a dedicated mix engineer, it works. It’s only the last pass that’s mastering though - I hope you’re credited with additional mix/production as well!
Old 2 weeks ago
  #41
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An important lesson I learnt running my (photography) business is that—no matter the industry—there are buyers at every price point. There are those with budgets that seem absurd to most, yet are 'standard' to them.

There is nothing amoral about working at said level in the industry. As long as A) you're great at what you do and B) you produce top tier work C) consistently; charge whatever your clients are happy to pay.

There are countless more amoral people working at the cheaper/average levels, as that's the largest market and is easy to hide in. In the high end market there is much less competition, frauds/jokers/asshats are usually identified much easier/faster and ostracised from relevant circles.
Old 2 weeks ago
  #42
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I'm still confused is that for the track or each stem? Huge difference.......
Old 2 weeks ago
  #43
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Originally Posted by b0se View Post
There is nothing amoral about working at said level in the industry. As long as A) you're great at what you do and B) you produce top tier work C) consistently; charge whatever your clients are happy to pay.

There are countless more amoral people working at the cheaper/average levels, as that's the largest market and is easy to hide in. In the high end market there is much less competition, frauds/jokers/asshats are usually identified much easier/faster and ostracised from relevant circles.
not my point of view: while it indeed doesn't matter much/at all for a successful artist in this genre to pay a lot for mastering, it does matter in the bigger context:

the fees these 'artists' are getting paid for their sets (which often last no longer than 45min) are so high (six figures) that the promoters cannot pay them without getting sponsors of all sorts and ask for very high ticket prices. some of these artists (who fly their own sound technicians in: to make sure their mp3's plays correctly...) even dictate the rental companies what gear they are supposed to provide which often is insane/far beyond what's reasonable - pretty much the same for monitoring, lights, video, all of which which brings costs up even higher...

up to you whether to you want to participate in this game or not - i consider it to be amoral!


___


sorry to the op for further off topic intervention but i just don't like (what i consider to be) a somewhat uninformed view on things go uncommented, even if such a position may be unpopular around here...

Last edited by deedeeyeah; 2 weeks ago at 10:36 PM.. Reason: typo
Old 2 weeks ago
  #44
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it depends...
8 track stem master for a pro ME shouldn't take more then 3-4h,
but then again it depends if there are versions, instrumentals, edits, etc
if it is just 1 version of the mix in 8 stems, that could be considered expensive
if it is A-list ME, it seems very cheap
Old 2 weeks ago
  #45
Gear Guru
So what is this $700/track or are you considering tracks stems?......
Real A list guys get a lot of money. The best guys charge by the quarter hour and have insane setups and client lists....
Old 2 weeks ago
  #46
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gregor z's Avatar
 

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Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Convoluted process, but if it works better than a dedicated mix engineer, it works. It’s only the last pass that’s mastering though - I hope you’re credited with additional mix/production as well!
Usually credited as "mastering" or "multitrack mastering".

Sometimes even as a mixer.

Production wise - I just enhance whats already there
Old 2 weeks ago
  #47
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(If it’s not be said before)

I think it might be worth asking if there will be volume rides / automation. (IE pads up for bridges, drums up for chorus, stem ‘x’ up for outro.

Or is the service offered a “set it (to golden levels) & forget it” service?

If there is going to be stem volume automation throughout the tune then that could take a LOT more time than setting one master volume for each stem.

In the case of volume automation the mastering guy will be both mastering engineer and ‘conductor’ (sub stem mixer)

And if so, would you be invited to make volume ride comments? Like “1 dB more bass stem on the intro from 4:24 - 5:16 please” etc...
Old 2 weeks ago
  #48
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Exactly my thoughts when I suggested detailed work might take up to a day if the material requires it.
Old 2 days ago
  #49
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I don't know what EDM mixers get these days, but when we had Michael Brauer mix four songs for my band it was a LOT more per track. Granted that's a 30-40 track/not stemmed setup. We then mastered at Sterling Sound and that was a few hundred more per track. Those were also songs all under 5 minutes in run time.

"A list" is expensive, but you can often get very close for a lot less.

But to reinforce what many have said here. Mixing is one thing. Mastering is the other. Anyone who says they do both is typically full of crap. I've used Studio B in Charlotte to do mastering for some of my EDM stuff and client work. Dave is great there and quite affordable for the quality.
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