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Can we discuss rates?
Old 15th October 2013
  #1
Can we discuss rates?

Hey guys, I've been doing remote recording for about 2 years now, about 2 shows a month. I'm mostly doing midsize clubs and the occasional large outdoor show, mostly for a corporate sponsor who posts the recordings online. I am very curious to ask you all what your rigs are and what your pricing is. If this has been asked, I couldn't find it-- but please point me there if it has.

OK, I'll start with my admittedly modest rig: 16 channels of line/preamp (ART Tubefire x2), older macbook running logic, 70's Sony pencil condensers used in X/Y or ORTF. Sometimes I rent a split, most times I take direct outs and group outs. I know, this rig is modest, but I get good results. I charge $300 for this, including mixing (quick and dirty, maybe 3hrs mixing/mastering per show).

I'm just curious what people are charging in the remote world, as I've started to feel like I'm under charging for the product I'm delivering....thanks!
Old 15th October 2013
  #2
I eventually settled on a system where I charge a day rate - either half or full - and then came up with common package rates to add on top of that, which can be customized depending on the situation.

For instance, my half-day rate (up to 5 hours incl. set and strike) is $350; my full day rate (up to 10 hours incl. set and strike) is $500. Additional hours would be billed at $75/hr. Any multi-track recording will be billed at a full day rate.

Then we get to the gear. For a simple 2-mic recording, I probably would not charge anything additional over my day rate, but as more gear is required, the cost goes up, anywhere from $250 to $1000 (or more). I can do line-item rentals of my gear if the client so wishes, or I can charge them a simple package rate for a "standard xx-track package", which is almost always cheaper.

If I will need to rent any gear for the gig, these charges will be passed along, with a markup if I will be required to arrange for the transport &c.

Then comes the labor. How many assistants will I require? Will I need several full-blown experienced engineer types to work this gig (more $$), or do I only need a single intern (less $$) instead?

Then come the additional expenses: parking, tolls, travel, accommodations, meals, vehicle rentals, etc. Once you know how much it will cost you to do the gig, you can figure out how much extra you need in the budget to still turn a profit.

How much post-production will be required? What are the deliverables? Who is supplying the media? I will charge more if I am required to do additional post work beyond just a live mix. That may be billed by the hour, or it may be built into the package cost. If I have to supply the HDD to deliver to the client, then that needs to be paid for.

So the short answer is: my rate is $500 per day; but that may or may not be what I end up charging.
Old 15th October 2013
  #3
Thanks Rob, all that makes perfect sense.
Old 16th October 2013
  #4
I guess you also have to gauge what the market will bear in terms of cost. You can charge what ever you want but there is a fine line between charging a rate and having a client want to hire you at that rate. I think for what you are doing you are probably a bit low but if it is only you with no paid assistants it maybe fine.

For a typical concert for audio and video we use three people, myself doing the audio and two other people using two cameras to capture the event. The rates vary but suffice it to say we are basically doing this at cost when everything is figured in. Today a lot of groups don't want or can't afford to pay a lot to get their concerts recorded. Some of them are opting to get a GOPRO camera and a "chip" recorder and doing it as cheaply as possible hoping that they get enough to use for promotion or for "the historical record".

I will tell you what my mentor always tells me. Figure out how much it really costs you to do something add in some money for your "profit" and charge that amount.

Too many people today are willing to do things for free or for a very small amount hoping that they get noticed or get more gigs. What they fail to realize is that once you set your rates at a low price point it is almost impossible to get them raised later.

Best of luck!
Old 16th October 2013
  #5
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Plush's Avatar
Rate discussions are one of my specialties. Since beginning recording in 1981, I have urged my Chicago colleagues not to leave money on the table. Most charge too little for what they are doing.

For the OP the first thing I would suggest is to separate the recording job itself and any post-production work. Don't give a price that includes any post work.

They are two different disciplines and require different rate structures.

The way you decide what to charge for recording is to poll the competition and put yourself in amongst them. If you have better equipment than the other recordists, charge more. If you have more experience, charge more.
Rates are dependent on location too. Rates in Chicago and New York are much more than in smaller cities. Complicated jobs demand a higher rate.

Compete on expertise, not on price.

Most recordists charge too little for their work.

You can tell if you charge too little by the cringe test. Since we are required to save our business records for 7 years for tax purposes, unearth some old invoices and look at them.

In hindsight, ask yourself, how could you have charged so little?

My recommendation is to add at least $100- $150 per job. Recording is the tougher part so add it to that part. Charge separately for post work. Charge separately for duplicated cds.

Why do recordists tend to give away their talent?
Old 16th October 2013
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post

Compete on expertise, not on price.


This sums up everything in almost any professional worlds.
Old 16th October 2013
  #7
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Mats H's Avatar
Great replies so far!

I'll throw in my 2 cents. In my universe, I record 2-track classical gigs, 16-20 track classical concerts, CDs, jazz, video podcasts, live multiple camera gigs with full blown pop acts and everything in between.

All gigs are different and I have started to charge by hour for the clients that are professional in any way. For my amateur clients, I usually know roughly how much time the work will take so we can agree upon a price and I charge a fixed rate. That way they can budget for it, we won't get into any arguments about pricing and I let them know they're getting a good deal. I limit the amount of revisions but I have yet to get multiple ones. It usually plays out well.

I've been lucky enough that most my clients are very reasonable about their demands and easy to communicate with. The few clients that haven't been so nice to deal with have fortunately not returned. Or I've pointed them elsewhere...

For instance I might charge $70 an hour as a regular rate when doing editing, recording or whatnot for x amount of hours. If it's a short gig, I might charge a rate that covers me not getting any other work that day, hence a fixed rate might be more appropriate. This last weekend I did a gig where the client paid around $200 an hour and all I brought was a laptop and an RME Babyface.

Other returning clients or close friends might bring more things to the table, like other gigs, business or social things that are more interesting than just cash. My fees vary quite a lot.

The most important thing is that you should cover your own costs, vacation, equipment costs, batteries, rental, travels, time away from loved ones, rescheduling of other important things and so fourth. Take everything into account. Is this a sustainable business plan? Will you be able to make a living from it? Are you competing with others in a small market? What are their rates? Are you more experienced? Are you using more sophisticated equipment? How fast can you deliver? There are so many things to consider and it's very important that you think long and hard about this.

My rates currently:

A choir recording with 2 mics: around $450. With editing and one or two passes of Izotope RX. I might put up spot mics.

Classical recording with 8 or more mics: Around $800. With everything included. I might bring a camera or two and snap photos for a potential CD cover. Depending on the situation, the client will probably get a few photos for promotional use.

Pop gigs: Everything goes.

Now the difference for me is almost only in the logistical department. More gear = different transportation and amount of equipment. It takes the same amount of time to make classical recordings, considering travels, not being able to attend other gigs or events and so fourth. Half a day or a day is the same. Okay, the 2 track recording might mean 1-2 hours less work. But what I value the most at the moment, is my off time. The equipment I bring is already paid for long ago. Your situation might be different.

.. Don't know if I wrote anything of importance, but it's my view atm.
Old 16th October 2013
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Rate discussions are one of my specialties. Since beginning recording in 1981, I have urged my Chicago colleagues not to leave money on the table. Most charge too little for what they are doing.

For the OP the first thing I would suggest is to separate the recording job itself and any post-production work. Don't give a price that includes any post work.

They are two different disciplines and require different rate structures.

The way you decide what to charge for recording is to poll the competition and put yourself in amongst them. If you have better equipment than the other recordists, charge more. If you have more experience, charge more.
Rates are dependent on location too. Rates in Chicago and New York are much more than in smaller cities. Complicated jobs demand a higher rate.

Compete on expertise, not on price.

Most recordists charge too little for their work.

You can tell if you charge too little by the cringe test. Since we are required to save our business records for 7 years for tax purposes, unearth some old invoices and look at them.

In hindsight, ask yourself, how could you have charged so little?

My recommendation is to add at least $100- $150 per job. Recording is the tougher part so add it to that part. Charge separately for post work. Charge separately for duplicated cds.

Why do recordists tend to give away their talent?
I am glad that things are going well for your in Chicago. Here in Northern Ohio we are getting a lot of push back from clients. They don't want to have to pay any more than they think absolutely necessary. We lost two contracts because the groups we were doing were not willing to pay for our services when we had to raise rates due to increased cost (i.e.hiring videographers who are not interns).

Keep on doing what you are doing and hopefully you can continue to get the rates you want to charge.
Old 16th October 2013
  #9
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tourtelot's Avatar
I agree with all the poster in that I believe that are many different levels of work that might be rolled up in the "Remote Recording" blanket. New York, Chicago, LA; all would seem to imply higher rates. Oberlin, Ohio might necessarily provoke a lower rate simply because of geography. If an engineer has lost two steady clients due to the fact that they don't want to pay the going rate, well two things. I am sorry that you lost the business and they don't deserve you. Let them get mediocre (or worse) results. They may come back.
It is tough out there. Community groups will pay less than the pros, that's a given and what I ask from a pro ensemble would lose me the community job. Is the community job worth it? Maybe better than sitting at home. Maybe not.

So what Plush says he's getting in Chicago for hi-end pro ensemble recording gigs isn't what David Hewitt is getting to record the Metropolitan Opera and probably more than I'm getting recording the Auburn Symphony Orchestra.

So the real answer is "just depends." If you feel good about the money you are getting for a job, and you don't resent doing the work, it's probably close to the correct amount for you, the group, where you live, what the job entails and on and on. It's a gut feeling that we all get better at interpreting as we grow more experienced.

Good luck out there, all you all.

D.
Old 18th October 2013
  #11
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Another consideration is how much $ the recording is worth to the client when it's done.
Old 18th October 2013
  #12
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Rick Sutton's Avatar
 

After several years off from the remote end of the business I have recently returned with a much paired down equipment list (SD702, Schoeps stereo pair).
For choir recordings I'm charging $535 to $600 depending on whether I deliver CD copies or just the masters. That includes onsite and post.
Old 21st October 2013
  #13
Gear Maniac
I agree with Plush, most remotesters work too cheap. Unfortunately, the client base has gotten used to it.

I work on about the same rates as Rob. Everything fluctuates depending on the event, client, etc.

But I'll echo and comment a few things:
1. Separate the on-site work from the post work. Think about it, right now your at $300 for (roughly) for an 1 1/2 hr set-up and strike, maybe a 1 1/2 hr concert, your drive time, gas and vehicle maintenance and a couple of hrs in post. (Let's leave out gear wear, update and repair costs for now) So let's call it 5 hrs. for that $300.00. That's $60/hr. Not bad, right? But, do you do that every day? Once a week? Twice a week?

If you get busy and start doing 3-5 concerts a week for that price, when will you have time to do post on all of those? There are still administrative stuff to do, contacts to make, etc.

What I found was that by separating the tracking from the post, I was not only able to make more money, but regain more time. I have clients that are perfectly happy with what I hand them on-site and don't want or need post. Others very much want post. They all pay only for the services that they need. As well, if I need to, I can sub out the tracking and do the post myself and still make money.

2. I use a sliding scale. I quote a fee that I am comfortable with. Then, if all goes well and the client is someone I enjoy doing business with, I may give them discounts. Especially if I see return business coming my way. But, I still charge a rate that I can live on. I'm not discounting to the point that I don't make money.

3. Check your local rates. Only you know what the market will bear, but don't be afraid of pushing it a little until you find out. Would you rather do 6 gigs for $600 or 12 gigs for $300? Or is that the trade? What I think I've found is a doubling of rate more that halves the business, so it doesn't work out that equitable. (I wish it did) So, find what does.

Hope this helps,
Scott
Old 21st October 2013
  #14
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I'm surprised at how many people have such complex rate schemes. If I had to download a spreadsheet when asking someone their rate I'd be turned off as a client.

I don't necessarily agree that recording is more difficult than post-production.

My rate is simple: I am always $40 hourly (until I raise my rates). Bigger setups mean more setup time to bill for and more teardown time to bill for. More tracks mean it takes longer to mix which means I bill more hours for that.

Recording two tracks? Same rate hourly.
Recording 24 tracks? Same rate hourly.
Mixing? Same rate hourly.
Mastering? Same rate hourly.
Noise reduction? Same rate hourly.
Editing? Same rate hourly.
Recording a masterpiece so perfect in itself that all I have to do is hit a button? Same rate hourly.
Recording a horrible performance that will take me days to edit to make it at all barely listenable? Same hourly rate.
Consultation? Same hourly rate.
Burning CDs for you? Same hourly rate.
Quality control listen? Same hourly rate.
Uploading files to the internet? Same hourly rate.
Wash your dishes? Same hourly rate.
Give you relationship advice? Same hourly rate.
You're a millionaire? Same rate hourly.
You're a poor college student? Same rate hourly.

The only exceptions to this would be required rentals of audio equipment or transportation where necessary and cases where it makes sense to call it day rate of ten hours so we can take it easy and not have to worry about the clock. I have billed 16 full hours in a day when I was glued to the computer the whole time, though. Of course it is typical for the client to pay for food as per typical business practice not exclusive to the audio world.

Time is money. Easy math.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
I'm surprised at how many people have such complex rate schemes. If I had to download a spreadsheet when asking someone their rate I'd be turned off as a client.

I don't necessarily agree that recording is more difficult than post-production.

My rate is simple: I am always $40 hourly (until I raise my rates). Bigger setups mean more setup time to bill for and more teardown time to bill for. More tracks mean it takes longer to mix which means I bill more hours for that.

Recording two tracks? Same rate hourly.
Recording 24 tracks? Same rate hourly.
Mixing? Same rate hourly.
Mastering? Same rate hourly.
Noise reduction? Same rate hourly.
Editing? Same rate hourly.
Recording a masterpiece so perfect in itself that all I have to do is hit a button? Same rate hourly.
Recording a horrible performance that will take me days to edit to make it at all barely listenable? Same hourly rate.
Consultation? Same hourly rate.
Burning CDs for you? Same hourly rate.
Quality control listen? Same hourly rate.
Uploading files to the internet? Same hourly rate.
Wash your dishes? Same hourly rate.
Give you relationship advice? Same hourly rate.
You're a millionaire? Same rate hourly.
You're a poor college student? Same rate hourly.

The only exceptions to this would be required rentals of audio equipment or transportation where necessary and cases where it makes sense to call it day rate of ten hours so we can take it easy and not have to worry about the clock. I have billed 16 full hours in a day when I was glued to the computer the whole time, though. Of course it is typical for the client to pay for food as per typical business practice not exclusive to the audio world.

Time is money. Easy math.
Nice idea BUT many of my clients want to know up front how much my services are going to cost them.

Saying $40 per hour for everything means that I would probably loose more clients.

Nice idea and if you have clients that go along with that idea GREAT.

I do like the idea of splitting off the recording from the post production. Sometimes the post takes hours sometimes it takes only a few. Unfortunately for us we have always rolled the post in with the concert recording. One concert last year took 10 hours in post (audio and video) another took 30+ but the client got charged the same for both.

Clients are demanding more and more and want to pay less and less. Their backs are up against the wall and no one seems to have much money anymore. I guess it is just the tenor of the times.

I feel for them BUT I also have to make a living and it is getting harder and harder to do.

Too many DIYers or people willing to do the recordings for free or for some ridiculously low amount of money.

I am glad to hear that there are still people who are making a good living at recording. Keep up the good work.

Interesting topic! Lots of different idea and ways of doing things. What ever works for you keep on doing it....
Old 22nd October 2013
  #16
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grrrayson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Nice idea BUT many of my clients want to know up front how much my services are going to cost them.

Nice idea and if you have clients that go along with that idea GREAT.
I am good at estimating. Just today I called a client to tell them I finished a project in 7 hours even though I had given them an estimation of 8–9 hours. Billing for time actually worked does not at all preclude the client knowing up front how much the project will cost them.

Recently a prospective client asked if I would give them a flat rate of 2 hours per song. I told them that the time it takes depends on many variables, including many not controllable by me, and that the project could easily end up taking 6 hours per song. (It was New Music chamber-type stuff and I would have loved to do it.) I suggested things we could do to make the project more efficient. I did not hear back. C'est la vie.

If a client needs to work with a firm number, I let them know what we can do with that budget. If I make an unreasonable error that costs time I will fix it on my own time; fortunately, that is rare these days. I do not agree to subsidizing variables out of my control such as performance issues or noise issues (especially when the client has turned down a scouting of the space beforehand, which I am extremely wary of), which is what often happens when you go to a flat rate system.

An extra 20 hours in post for free? You are racking up some good karma, my friend. What happened to cause that?

Quote:
I am glad to hear that there are still people who are making a good living at recording. Keep up the good work.
Ha! Thanks for the kind words but I wouldn't say I'm making a good living. I certainly don't plan on getting rich, yet I love my job and somehow support myself on it and even manage to buy new toys occasionally. I certainly need to get better at marketing, which would help a lot...
Old 22nd October 2013
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
I am good at estimating. Just today I called a client to tell them I finished a project in 7 hours even though I had given them an estimation of 8–9 hours. Billing for time actually worked does not at all preclude the client knowing up front how much the project will cost them.

Recently a prospective client asked if I would give them a flat rate of 2 hours per song. I told them that the time it takes depends on many variables, including many not controllable by me, and that the project could easily end up taking 6 hours per song. (It was New Music chamber-type stuff and I would have loved to do it.) I suggested things we could do to make the project more efficient. I did not hear back. C'est la vie.

If a client needs to work with a firm number, I let them know what we can do with that budget. If I make an unreasonable error that costs time I will fix it on my own time; fortunately, that is rare these days. I do not agree to subsidizing variables out of my control such as performance issues or noise issues (especially when the client has turned down a scouting of the space beforehand, which I am extremely wary of), which is what often happens when you go to a flat rate system.

An extra 20 hours in post for free? You are racking up some good karma, my friend. What happened to cause that?



Ha! Thanks for the kind words but I wouldn't say I'm making a good living. I certainly don't plan on getting rich, yet I love my job and somehow support myself on it and even manage to buy new toys occasionally. I certainly need to get better at marketing, which would help a lot...
The extra twenty hours (more like 30+ but lets just say 20) were for a problem that the conductor of a children's choir caused when she refused to listen to my concerns about the video. She went with what the hall dictated and in the process we got politely screwed. I won't go into all the gory details but suffice it to say it was a major cluster f***. For a 4 minute video projection we lost our prime video shooting locations (because we may have blocked the light) and the program was all done with large washes of colors that played havoc with our cameras. All in all not a nice experience. This is one of the reasons we are no longer working with them. After the concert she told me that she takes videos of her kids in the back yard all the time and they turn out perfect...just to add salt to the wounds. I love it when the so called "experts" tell me how to do my job.

Oh well...
Old 22nd October 2013
  #18
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spurratic's Avatar
I do quite a bit of live recording, and I have come up with 2 levels that I offer. I think it goes without saying that sometimes I am really into a band and charge a bit less because I desperately want to work with them and because I have solicited them.

But when someone calls me....the prices are more rigid .

My setup is very fast to set up. I have a splitter snake so I can get the sound guy to move all his mics to my box, and then I patch back into his. This takes 5 minutes to label and transfer everything.

Then all my stuff is in a rack box
(Presonus fire studio and 2 digimax's for 24 inputs total). Then into a 2008 white macbook and Reaper is the DAW of choice. I set the levels low enough that there Is no need for compression or limiting, that way I have full control back in the studio.

So average set for a band is 45 mins....I figure I can show up, patch in, hit record, and if I unplug and leave I am there no longer than 1.5hrs.

Then maybe 2 hours of mixing with very little automation and not overdoing the plugins renders a project that I charge $250 for. I don't allow requests for fixing or tweaking at that price.....basically what you get is what you get. (Unless I messed up something of course)

Requests for 'fixes, touchups, remixes, etc.' Are at a $50 hourly rate.
The client must give me a detailed list of changes.....ie "at 1:15 of song 2 please turn the vocals down", and so on. That way we don't go back and forth.

This price is admittedly on the lower side, but it seems to be the sweet spot that I get more requests than I can handle. I live in a smaller town, so that plays a role. I'll likely increase the price to $300 base rate in 2014 to see if that balances the supply and demand a bit better.

If a band wants me to bring my own mics, place the mics where I want them etc, then setup/tear down takes far longer but the result is much better.

That level is $500 base rate + hourly for fixes, etc. That might take 3-4 hours at the venue and I am charging for access to my gear.

I dont personally offer people to come back in and overdub, because I have drawn that line. I encourage bands to make sure they are practiced enough that they feel confident to play their set without the need to 'fix' anything later.

I have some repeat clients who basically just give me a list of their dates, and say whatever I can make it to and deliver to them.....they will pay. For these clients I add a mileage rate for my travel.

I hope this helps. Based on that, if say your price is reasonable....the more you do, the bigger library of work and word of mouth network you will build. Before long you will be turning down work or raising your prices.

Remember.....your price dictates how you value yourself. Too little tells clients that you might be cheap sounding. Charging more (within reason) sends the message that you are worth it.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #19
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Plush's Avatar
Shockingly low rates are mentioned here.

In fact the rates mentioned are from 1979.

I want no part of it.
Old 22nd October 2013
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Shockingly low rates are mentioned here.

In fact the rates mentioned are from 1979.

I want no part of it.
What rates are you talking about???

Many people we work with want audio and video recording and want it for $200.00. We charge three times that amount and they are leaving us for GOPRO cameras and Zoom chip recorders. Had a student who wanted her Senior Recital recording done for $200, she also wanted 5 cameras and a separate audio recording. She also wanted all the post production for 5 cameras included in the price. Not the only request we have gotten like this.

I am glad that things in Chicago are doing so well that you can charge the rates you want to charge. Here clients are telling us what we can charge them and if they don't like what we offer they go somewhere else. You must be one he!! of an engineer.

Keep on trucking (or in this case recording)
Old 23rd October 2013
  #21
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Plush's Avatar
Mostly I'm talking about the $40 per hour. That is a rate from 1979.

I do realize that rates are region dependent. Equipment costs, health insurance, good reliable car(s), vacations, liability insurance, good assistants,
repairs, upgrades are not.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #22
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grrrayson's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
Mostly I'm talking about the $40 per hour. That is a rate from 1979.

I do realize that rates are region dependent. Equipment costs, health insurance, good reliable car(s), vacations, liability insurance, good assistants,
repairs, upgrades are not.
That is my current rate.

I appreciate your input.

The rate in question here is just slightly less than what RobAnderson quoted for his day rate in NYC, which is a much more expensive place, and more per hour than some esteemed old-timers I started out at CRC with.

I do not have employees and still often work in studio settings rather than on location. (Again, always the same base rate for consistency.) I have a much smaller operation than what you seem to be talking about; certainly larger-scale productions requiring assistants should cost more.

Also, just in case it is a factor, I was not quite yet alive in 1979.

What do you think my rate should be, given your expertise?

And what are your rates, so we may learn from your example?

Best regards,

Grayson
Old 23rd October 2013
  #23
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Also, an interesting note on the economy and inflation—

According to Inflation Calculator: Bureau of Labor Statistics, the inflation calculator at the US Department of Labor, $40 in 1979 USD has the same buying power as $128.86 2013 USD.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
That is my current rate.

I appreciate your input.

The rate in question here is just slightly less than what RobAnderson quoted for his day rate in NYC, which is a much more expensive place, and more per hour than some esteemed old-timers I started out at CRC with.

I do not have employees and still often work in studio settings rather than on location. (Again, always the same base rate for consistency.) I have a much smaller operation than what you seem to be talking about; certainly larger-scale productions requiring assistants should cost more.

Also, just in case it is a factor, I was not quite yet alive in 1979.

What do you think my rate should be, given your expertise?

And what are your rates, so we may learn from your example?

Best regards,

Grayson
You get my time for that rate (up to 10 hours). Unless I only have to bring 2 mic's, a field recorder, and a mic stand, you will end up paying more than that.

There's nothing complicated about it really - you are buying a block of my time. If you want more than just my time (i.e. equipment &c.), it will cost more.

Multitrack jobs require far more investment of time and material than just the additional set up and break down time, and the cost should reflect that. Prep-time, loading and unloading, site visits, coordinating with venue/artist/festival/sound company, cartage, parking, not to mention the additional sweat equity humping the cases, and maintenance costs on said gear.

Now, perhaps you are keeping track of every minute that you move a case, or spend typing emails or making phone calls, and you bill all of that time. If so, good for you!

I just have additional charges based on the size and logistics of the job in addition to my day rate to cover all of that.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobAnderson View Post
You get my time for that rate (up to 10 hours). Unless I only have to bring 2 mic's, a field recorder, and a mic stand, you will end up paying more than that.

There's nothing complicated about it really - you are buying a block of my time. If you want more than just my time (i.e. equipment &c.), it will cost more.

Multitrack jobs require far more investment of time and material than just the additional set up and break down time, and the cost should reflect that. Prep-time, loading and unloading, site visits, coordinating with venue/artist/festival/sound company, cartage, parking, not to mention the additional sweat equity humping the cases, and maintenance costs on said gear.

Now, perhaps you are keeping track of every minute that you move a case, or spend typing emails or making phone calls, and you bill all of that time. If so, good for you!

I just have additional charges based on the size and logistics of the job in addition to my day rate to cover all of that.
Duly noted, Rob: the base rates noted here do not include the whole nine yards. Thanks for the input.

I know the guys who have recording trucks around here charge around $2000 per day. That's a completely different market that I don't intend to compete with.

Being as it is that there's no union for our industry, hopefully this conversation will help raise awareness and encourage us all to band together and get our rates up. Thanks for the discussion, all.
Old 23rd October 2013
  #26
I think one thing that isn't being considered is the difference between studio prices and remote prices.

$50-$75 an hour is standard for really good studios I've worked in, in small- to mid-sized cities in the states. But working in a studio, you aren't bringing gear on-site, and having to completely setup and tear down for each gig, as you have to with remote work.

Thus I think the added cost is very much justified. Whether the clients you all have see it this way, or can afford to pay it, is another matter. But that's why we are getting such divergent rate quotes here.

Don't sell yourselves short!
Old 25th October 2013
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Electrolytic's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by grrrayson View Post
Being as it is that there's no union for our industry, hopefully this conversation will help raise awareness and encourage us all to band together and get our rates up. Thanks for the discussion, all.
this is the union
Old 25th October 2013
  #28
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
I look at it this way. I want everyone to be able to go to Yosemite Park and relax on a vacation. Or go to London and explore. Go to St. Maartin in the winter--take your wife or girlfriend.

Charge enough to get there.

Good health insurance please.

Nice car

Don't burn out doing thankless work for a mope all the time.

You must say, "No."

NIce house.

Maybe music recording should not be full time for those that can't bear to charge a high price.

I charge a shockingly high price. These days no complaints. If I don't get hired then I cook at home a nice dinner with a French sauce made from 17 lbs. of veal bones. I take all day to make the stock and the sauce.
Old 25th October 2013
  #29
Those veal bones don't come cheap either! That sounds amazing.
Old 26th October 2013
  #30
Lives for gear
 
hughesmr's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush View Post
I charge a shockingly high price. These days no complaints. If I don't get hired then I cook at home a nice dinner with a French sauce made from 17 lbs. of veal bones. I take all day to make the stock and the sauce.
Gotta luv Plush!
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