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cost of a top producer? Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 31st August 2011
  #1
Gear Nut
 

cost of a top producer?

Could someone tell me an approximate figure of how much it would cost to have an album produced by a top producer, the likes of ben, romesh, etc?? lets just say ive won the lottery...
heh

Might be a vague question but i have no clue just need some advice from someone knowledgable.
Old 1st September 2011
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by martin7475 View Post
Could someone tell me an approximate figure of how much it would cost to have an album produced by a top producer, the likes of ben, romesh, etc?? lets just say ive won the lottery...
heh

Might be a vague question but i have no clue just need some advice from someone knowledgable.

if you could even get them to talk to you then
a very wild guess is that a ***TOP*** producer could cost as much as $100K up front plus 20% of the gross. if you were gaga they might do it for less.

worry about it when you actually win the lottery
Old 1st September 2011
  #3
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toneguru's Avatar
I would imagine that there is a card rate and then there is the rate you can get far below the card for various reasons.

Reasons like:

Book Nov thru the end of Jan when many pro sessions are down.

Producer has not had a gig in a while and needs the cash.

Producer loves the band.

Do the sessions two blocks from where the producer lives.

Pay in cash.


That being said, I would love to hear from a couple of top producers on what it would take to get their services.

- Cheers
Old 1st September 2011
  #4
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KBOY's Avatar
 

I know 2 guys that get on the average 25k a song. I don't think either have had a hit in quite some time. But both did at one time, one of them being a main guy on a pretty huge album in the 80's.

For a working producer. It's sad to say that the money is in producing artists that will probably never see the light of day.
Old 1st September 2011
  #5
Gear Nut
 

You mentioned Romesh, if you're serious about working with him, why not give him a shout?
Old 1st September 2011
  #6
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jimmyboy7's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by KBOY View Post
I know 2 guys that get on the average 25k a song. I don't think either have had a hit in quite some time. But both did at one time, one of them being a main guy on a pretty huge album in the 80's.

For a working producer. It's sad to say that the money is in producing artists that will probably never see the light of day.
Yes, thats why it's so important that making great music is the goal and recognizing that the level of monetary success and exposure is not indicative of the quality of the product
Old 1st September 2011
  #7
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travisbrown's Avatar
Just for fun....

Rumour is that Bob Rock at his peak was charging $1M per album, presumably with points on top of that. This is what I heard when I was hanging around Little Mountain in the early 90s. Adjust that for inflation, and that's a pretty hefty fee today.

I also heard Lanios say in interview once that he charged $5000 per hour, though I really suspect he doesn't do projects by the hour. I can only imagine what his take on a U2 album is.
Old 1st September 2011
  #8
Gear Maniac
 

I've heard of producer fees as high as $100k per track for superstar guys who keep producing top 10 hits. Most US producers used to sit around the $20-30k range per track but that was delivered (mix included) & back when records sold big numbers.

Perhaps some people in the know could chime in and discuss whether fees have dropped since the illegal downloads screwed record sales.

I still can't believe governments don't better regulate stealing music but to those of you who are Ripping whilst still expecting to be paid for record making - you need a brain transplant.
Old 1st September 2011
  #9
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My band did a record with a very well-respected Rock producer in LA in 2006, and he did it at his studio for $1200 a day total plus a reasonable percentage of net proceeds. I'm sure there's some fancy guys who can command extraordinary money, but the days of being a rich and famous record producer are long gone except at the very tip top of the food chain.
Old 1st September 2011
  #10
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And what sort of things did he "do" gogar? That seems fair for a guy engineering and organizing production.

Now if it's a guy like Max Martin who is actually helping Katy Perry or some artist write a hit then I can see the business sense of paying 100 times that.
Old 1st September 2011
  #11
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Worlez's Avatar
 

I think there is some gross over- estimation going on in this thread! $100k per track?!?!!
Old 1st September 2011
  #12
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foge's Avatar
I always think the whole industry survives on smoke and mirrors people rarely actually like to talk about what they actually earn

The amount of rented sports cars etc. is hilarious
Look at my ride I am sooo successful, so much bull around.

But hey thats the music industry

I would also love to see what a bunch of big guys are earning these days, including mix engineers etc.
The quote rate is sooooo often a mile from the real rate.
Geoff
Old 1st September 2011
  #13
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I hear the 25-30k number a lot for pop R and B, hip hop stuff. The kind of thing where the producer essentially does it all. But I also have to think Dr. Luke is getting more than that these days.

On the rock side you can get some pretty good deals on great folks as there isn't that much work. Of course you may be comparing apples to oranges because in rock the producer does all or most of the CD, and the studio fees are generally not included but are a separate line in the budget.

But you would be shocked at some of the great sounding records that can be gotten finished but for a small advance and the acts preferred mixer and mastering guy.
Old 1st September 2011
  #14
There'll be a massive discrepancy between writer-producers and "real" producers. Writers get publishing, producers generally don't. Producers generally take command of a whole project, writers may not - and may not even "produce" the final tracks, even if they supply all the parts tracked out - they may have nothing to do with the vocal recording, final mix, approval etc - especially if they've just written the backing track and the artist has toplined it.
Old 1st September 2011
  #15
CXP
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Won the lottery huh...hmm.... I'll do it for half of whatever quote you get from the "top" guys!
Old 1st September 2011
  #16
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Jeff16years's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by CXP View Post
Won the lottery huh...hmm.... I'll do it for half of whatever quote you get from the "top" guys!

right and i will do it for half of what this guy will. and the next guy will do it for half what i will do it for.

before you know it you'll be in somone's bedroom studio paying a hack with an MBox $11/hour

Old 1st September 2011
  #17
Quote:
Originally Posted by martin7475 View Post
Could someone tell me an approximate figure of how much it would cost to have an album produced by a top producer, the likes of ben, romesh, etc?? lets just say ive won the lottery...
heh

Might be a vague question but i have no clue just need some advice from someone knowledgable.
Well your budget for dinner and wine will go up 1000%-HA!

Totally varies, as to if the producer believes in your stuff, how busy they are, if it's a label project, what their manager and lawyer think of the project and their current outstanding bills, might be by the track, by the album, 2-4%, etc.. I would allow at least 50k and 1-2 points, and add an other 10-50k for incidentals, hotels, food, flights, strippers, his/her favorite players, his/her nephew, paying off the studio for the last project...


good luck!
Old 1st September 2011
  #18
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rsrd's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gogar View Post
My band did a record with a very well-respected Rock producer in LA in 2006, and he did it at his studio for $1200 a day total plus a reasonable percentage of net proceeds. I'm sure there's some fancy guys who can command extraordinary money, but the days of being a rich and famous record producer are long gone except at the very tip top of the food chain.
We can assume he engineered as well??
Old 1st September 2011
  #19
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mowmow's Avatar
Basically, producer charge 10-20% of the total budget. If producer do extra things like writing songs, play instruments, sing etc, he can charge on top of that as well.
Old 1st September 2011
  #20
Here's an article from NPR:

How Much Does It Cost To Make A Hit Song? : Planet Money : NPR

Not sure how accurate the figures are, but it might be a good starting point for an R&B joint...
Old 1st September 2011
  #21
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To me it's all about IP (Intellectual Property) and I would gladly pay substantial dollars for someone who could "write" or help write successful songs for me that I could build a career on.

I would rather pay a guy or writing team $200,000 to write me 12 -15 songs I can play the rest of my life and make a living off of as versus opening a small town bar or local business with that $200,000.

Not sure you could find guys willing to give up the writing credit for those kind of dollars. But I could earn that $200,000 back in two years easy with songs that charted.
Old 1st September 2011
  #22
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Harvey Gerst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mappee View Post
I think Capitol spent 20K in promo to launch the Beatles in Jan 64.
That's because EMI's autonomous U.S. company Capitol hated the Beatles and initially refused to release any Beatles records. Their initial U.S. releases were on Vee-Jay, a small label out of Indiana.

Vee-Jay's Beatles releases became huge hits once the British Invasion took off in early 1964, selling 2.6 million Beatles singles in a single month.
Old 1st September 2011
  #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Worlez View Post
I think there is some gross over- estimation going on in this thread! $100k per track?!?!!
the OP asked about the *TOP* guy but that has probably come down a bit in the last decade.

i am sure the really good ones who are not the top are a lot cheaper and it falls off fast from there as more and more people fit into lower tiers all the way down to the billion+ wannabees doing it in their bedroom for $10 (and less!).
Old 1st September 2011
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by travisbrown View Post
Just for fun....

Rumour is that Bob Rock at his peak was charging $1M per album, presumably with points on top of that. This is what I heard when I was hanging around Little Mountain and in the early 90s. Adjust that for inflation ,that's a pretty hefty fee today.

I also heard Lanios say in interview once that he charged $5000 per hour, though I really suspect he doesn't do projects by the hour. I can only imagine what his take on a U2 album is.
adjust for deflation and its less than 10% of that now. digital lets everybody DIY or do it cheap for someone else all the prices are down due to competition.
Old 1st September 2011
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by everglass View Post
I've heard of producer fees as high as $100k per track for superstar guys who keep producing top 10 hits. Most US producers used to sit around the $20-30k range per track but that was delivered (mix included) & back when records sold big numbers.

Perhaps some people in the know could chime in and <b>discuss whether fees have dropped since the illegal downloads screwed record sales.

I still can't believe governments don't better regulate stealing music but to those of you who are Ripping whilst still expecting to be paid for record making - you need a brain transplant.
fees are down due to digital allowing more people to DIY or do it for others cheaper. competition has driven prices down. while crappy music and competition from other entertainment has cut sales of albums. digital downloads have preempted singles like the old 45s. its not piracy. its technolgy.
Old 1st September 2011
  #26
CXP
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CXP's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff16years View Post
right and i will do it for half of what this guy will. and the next guy will do it for half what i will do it for.

before you know it you'll be in somone's bedroom studio paying a hack with an MBox $11/hour

Now I need to buy an mbox? crap.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #27
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Yes I agree, my comments weren't meant to be taken literally. There is also the conundrum of some songs becoming hits that everyone involved thought were "throw aways" and the inverse.
Old 2nd September 2011
  #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CXP View Post
Now I need to buy an mbox? crap.
no

undercut their price by using the pc built in soundcard
Old 2nd September 2011
  #29
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brockorama's Avatar
 

Would have been some good Q's for EV33 during his recent Q n A. He's on the rock side and I wonder where that is at these days. Eric?
Old 2nd September 2011
  #30
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I could be way off base but I doubt too many producers are going to want to share their rates. For a myriad of reasons but primarily because it runs the risk of needlessly cheapening their brand. It's easier to discount your rates in person when you know you have a serious customer in play. That way you maintain that premium image of your personal brand. But of course some super down to earth guy will pop up now and share everything
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