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How much does it cost to make a record?
Old 6th February 2003
  #1
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

How much does it cost to make a record?

I'm interested in how much things generally cost in different parts of the world, so I've invented a little game.

You have been asked to put together a budget for making a record. There are 3 categories:

A. Terrific dance tune
B. Incredible rock track
C. Beautiful Frank Sinatra cover

Money is no object - the record company will give you anything and everything you want. Any money you save you get to keep.

The only restriction to this is that you only have two weeks per song to deliver a final master.

The reason for the 3 categories is to see how much musician costs would effect the budget depending on location.

And you must start the game with no equipment of your own whatsoever.

You should NOT include your fee in this game, it would render it pointless.

So, how much does it cost to make a record?

Good luck.

Bev
Old 6th February 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Mike Tholen's Avatar
 

How long is a piece of string?
Old 6th February 2003
  #3
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

C'mon, ballpark it.
Old 6th February 2003
  #4
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

if money doesnt matter , i would charge a lot heh

required musicians :

a)
lead singer , 2-3 piece of backing vox , a rhodes & vintage synth player , lets try some real drums & percussion , some good programings , a place to record and mix in .

for any musician its probably like 250 - 500 $$$ a day .
a studio is about 500 $$$ a day .

composing takes like 4-5 days ( lets do this @ home ) heh

recording and editing drums & percussion 2-3 days
rhodes and synths another 2 days
1 day off to do some programmings and edits
1 day for the lead vocals
next day will be backings

next 4 days is editing and mixing ... we did it

if u talk a lot and u know some people , it could be probably done with an internal budget of 5000 bucks . if money isnt an issue , lets give the musicians , engs and mixers more . we simply double the budget ... its still cheap

b)

probably same kinda thing like (a) , even it will be much harder putting a rock band together that sounds good .

c)

this will be the most expensive work , cause you really need some " great players " , arrangers , etc . probably you will end up recording a whole orchestra . doin that all in 2 weeks
, whos gonna write the scores down ??? hrhr
but if we are talking bout a " cover " , sure lets do it .


i guess the hardest point will be the "2 weeks only" .
coming up with an schedule where anyone whos involved finding his/her free time ... u know how this works . otherwise it shouldnt be a problem , but wait ...

whos coming up with the MUSIC IDEAS ??? fuuck
Old 6th February 2003
  #5
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
If money's no object, I would research for the best of the best in all areas. Locale, studio, equipment, instruments, musicians, etc., and come up with the most efficient way to do it with the least amount of bread. You can get a lot more mileage on your project budget this way.

When the sky's the limit, many people over do it economically. They may over spend in areas they wouldn't have done if the sky wasn't the Limit. Down to Earth sensibility works wonders on "the sky's the limit" type of projects.
Old 6th February 2003
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Messiah's Avatar
 

FWIW, I did a rock band for EMI recently that was kind of "how ever much it costs".
It took about 2 weeks of actual working time, was 2 tracks and the budget ended up being £30K ($45K) upon our estimates (you'd rather stay under than go over!). Top studio, top producers( ), string section, rental equipment and mixed by a renown mixer, we brought it in for around £26K.

Out of the 3 categories, without a doubt, the "Sinatra" session would cost the most. I'd estimate £50-60K, with no corner cutting.
Old 6th February 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
doug_hti's Avatar
 

Yeah, for the traditional type of "Sinatra" track, etc...being that you get to KEEP the leftover money, I would say that you could do a good track for $25k per song. This would probably include
-a $5k mix
-triple scale players, about $1300 per three hours per player, drums 1 session, bass 1 session, guitars 2 sessions ($5200)
-$2500 a track for programmer
-$2k day studio
-$1k for 1st engineer and PT rig
-$10k on strings, for arranger, conductor, copyist and strings done away from LA (Ireland, Seattle, Melbourne, London, Nashville)
-$350 project coordinator
-$400 mastered

If you're doing a whole you can definately save at least 25% a track by working straight into multiple tracks....
For a no compromise, budget conscious 10 song project, I'd say at least $200k.

I'm very familiar with being around projects at around $130k (give or take $10k), and if you're not a band (have to hire players) and want some strings, you have to be really really careful with the money.
Old 6th February 2003
  #8
Gear Maniac
 




- Plastic Surgury: $1.8 Million

- Cost to Produce one of the most embaressing albums of the milleninuim: $30 Million

- Using your fame to convince parents to let you sleep with their children: PRICELESS
Old 6th February 2003
  #9
Lives for gear
 
doug_hti's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally posted by etherize

- Plastic Surgury: $1.8 Million

- Cost to Produce one of the most embaressing albums of the milleninuim: $30 Million

- Using your fame to convince parents to let you sleep with their children: PRICELESS
Even though I feel extremely sorry for the guy.....
Brilliant Post!!!
Old 6th February 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
Messiah's Avatar
 

Worth every penny.
Attached Thumbnails
How much does it cost to make a record?-surgery_1.jpg  
Old 6th February 2003
  #11
Gear Maniac
 
cram's Avatar
 

Damn! Who's cans are those?
Old 6th February 2003
  #12
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
Bev... work expands to the time and budget allotted. Period. Give me a million dollar budget and I'll find a way to spend every last ****in' dime of it and then some... give me $30,000 and tell me I have to make the record for that and not a dime more [coupled with the threat that anything over the $30k comes out of my fee!!]... and the record will be made for $29,999.83.

Doesn't matter what the style is, doesn't matter what the music is. Whatevers in the budget is gone... if you don't have a strict budget, skys the limit.

OK... everybody on the Concorde... we're doing guitar overdubs at John Atack's place... back on the Concorde, then 1st class to Detroit... we're gonna do backing vocals with Aretha Franklin... that was fun... now how about we get Nelson Riddle to do the string arrangements? Let's record them at Skywalker Ranch!! Let's charter a 747 and bring the London Philharmonic to Skywalker Ranch... and while we're at it... let's take this bitch to Tokyo and have Mr. Suzuki mix it... then we can bring it back and have Tom Lord Alge mix it again... nah, **** it... that sucked, get Clearmountain on the phone...

Oh, and while I may only have 2 weeks per song... I'm gonna cut 45 songs... then we'll pick the best 11 for release. 45 songs?!?!?!

Yeah, I'll have 16 rooms working in NYC each with a $5,000/track drummer and a $2,500/track bass player and a half a dozen other session players waiting around just in case... at triple scale.

... and we haven't even begun to scratch the surface of the 'catering' budget yet... somebody get Wolfgang Puck on the phone... we gotta feed all these mother****ers
Old 6th February 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
5down1up's Avatar
 

grggt grggt grggt grggt grggt
Old 6th February 2003
  #14
Gear Addict
I have a different question. At what point does the money interfere with the recording project? Small budgets that have to be done efficiently within a certain time versus bloated budgets with money is no object. Mind you, I'd be happy to have either this month.

Henry
Old 6th February 2003
  #15
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

I'm with Fletcher. Why do you think I asked the question in the first place.

I'm enjoying the feedback.

The reasons being that even if you go totally crazy, you still end up at a certain figure somewhere between $20-$50k a song. Generally.

And even the best non-name musicians in the world have a cut off point.

And you could keep punting it for various mixes (the easiest way to spend money quickly)

Of course, that doesn't include the fee for me to pay Fletcher to tell me what he just posted. On the top of mount everest. In a heated swimming pool built for the project. Which is tielined to Abbey Road, Air Studios and has total recall. And I get to keep at the end of the project whether it's a hit or not.
Old 7th February 2003
  #16
mml
Gear Addict
 
mml's Avatar
 

Sinatra

What I want to know, is why the hell do you need a PROGRAMMER for a "Sinatra" style session?
Old 7th February 2003
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Steve Smith's Avatar
 

Re: Sinatra

Quote:
Originally posted by mml
What I want to know, is why the hell do you need a PROGRAMMER for a "Sinatra" style session?
not MIDI programming, they mean someone to schedule the non musical entertainment...
Old 7th February 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
doug_hti's Avatar
 

Re: Sinatra

Quote:
Originally posted by mml
What I want to know, is why the hell do you need a PROGRAMMER for a "Sinatra" style session?
this was in reference to a "in general" type of production, but something more traditional.
And yes more and more producers now use programming for preproduction, for arrangement ideas, overdubs, something to place scratch vocals on, something to give the actual composer/arranger references, as well as having things locked to click (for those that lock to bars/beat). And unfortunately some loops and programming are finding there way on to "traditional" AC type artists albums.
And typically the song writer would have been the one that created or hired a programmer to do the initial track, in which sometimes, the song writer is lucky enough to get some production rights...blah blah blah....
Old 3rd January 2006
  #19
Lives for gear
 
No4PCs's Avatar
Top studio in Brazil costs

Hi friend, here in Brazil, in a top-studio costs 1200USD/6hours, SSL room -.Looking for Rio de Janeiro bay..
The musicians around 150USD/day.
Bests
Old 3rd January 2006
  #20
Lives for gear
 
picksail's Avatar
 

Boy, how the market has changed since this post was first introduced.
Old 3rd January 2006
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Jose Mrochek's Avatar
 

the top studio in bolivia charges 1.5k for a recorded/mixed 12 song album : )

but i prefer Fletcher's style... some people still do it that way, i would love it. who wouldn't ??
Old 3rd January 2006
  #22
Lives for gear
 
cajonezzz's Avatar
 

Two weeks per song????
How am I going to have time to get drum sounds????


I could EASILY get'er done in a hell of a lot less than two weeks per track.... what do you need two weeks for? Waiting for the MUSE to arrive?

pulling out all stops, great players, engineers ( not me) from start to master- 6k a track. That leaves enough for me to buy a taco and a matinee. or two.

maybe not all names, but it's gonna kick ass.

what a luxury that would be. I'm looking at doing entire albums for 12k.
and i'm thankful for them!

wacky buisiness, but so much fun!!!

cz
Old 3rd January 2006
  #23
Lives for gear
 
dokushoka's Avatar
 

123
Old 3rd January 2006
  #24
Mindreader
 
BevvyB's Avatar
 

Wow, I'm having a lot of old posts dragged up from nowhere!

Since first creating this thread, I have had a fair amount of 'Guerilla recording' experiences, which remind me a little of when I met Jules! ( )

One thing that no one has factored in here (but has been discussed on another thread about mixing for clients, keeping them happy and it's 'finished when the client says it is, even if it's turned to poo') is that THINGS CAN GO WRONG -

- well, not wrong. But things always take longer because it's finished when you're happy with it and the results you have a the REQUIRED results. You can go mix in Abbey Road for weeks, but if you're not happy with the results, you're no where. Which means you haven't got what you wanted for the money, and will have to spend some more.

In times when there actually IS a big budget, and the marketing budget is about 10 times more than the recording budget, 'getting it right' is a total neccesity, and the recording budget is only 'out of control' if the actal perceived EARNINGS for the pjoject are LESS than you've paid for the production.

If it's got to be right and there's little room for compromise, then the bad experiences of your production have to be factored in ie You were deaf that week, you mixed it but didn't like it, you paid some guy to mix them and didn't like em, etc...
Old 12th July 2008
  #25
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desotoslo's Avatar
 

your whole life
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