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Thread: How much to charge and basic things???

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    How much to charge and basic things???

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    Hey,
    I know this might not exactly fit in with the analog forum but I really dont post in any other section. Anyways...
    I have a friend who has another friend who heard that I have equipment available to do demo recordings. He has a band and wanted to know what I charged for doing a general recording session. I have really only ever produced my bands 4 song ep and a bunch of solo demos for myself. I never charged my band cause it was my project too. I was wondering what you guys think I should charge? Should I quote him a by the hour price or by the song? I know that going by the song can get tricky cause you can get some perfectionist who thinks that they paid you say 200-300 bucks for a song but they want to record for 8-10 hours a day for like a week. Basically taking advantage of the deal. So what should I do? I know i could produce a quality recording but I dont want to scare him off by saying like 100./hour. But i also dont want to undercut myself...
    Suggestions?
    I own: Tascam TSR-8
    Tascam M-1600 mixer

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    I personally would charge per hour [as you pointed out the per song thing can get a bit tricky and I too would not advise it]. You have to consider, often times, what amount sits right with you. I mean, would YOU pay $100 per hour? I didn't think so. How about $75, $50, $25? To me, personally, as a typical home recordist and mind you that I have no clue what the going rate is, I would feel OK with around $50 max, as a buyer of studio time. As the studio owner, I would probably not take less than about 40 or 50 bucks. You have to take into consideration that if you plan to record people, you're waring down your machines quicker than someone who does this type of thing with a computer. Heads can be expensive, as you know, so you have to balance that with what people actually wanna pay. There's a premium charge for working with analog tape [or at least there should be] over digital, IMHO. Also, if the band wants the original tapes, you need to charge them for a replacement. That's my thought anyway.

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    On the rare occasion that I have charged, whether it be for engineering, mastering, consulting, whatever, it has been around $35 per hour. I am an amatuer and it is a side-line. I've found it very helpful too to have a detailed agreement that is signed and in place. Nothing like dealing with the headaches that come from misunderstanding and misdirected assumptions.

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    right,
    I wasnt going to try 100 bucks per hour. That is waay high. And like I said I dont consider myself professional in the sense that I have a huge selection of really expensive gear and a multi roomed facility with sleeping quarters and a kitchen for a band to make food. But then again I didnt want to say 25 bucks per hour when maybe people like me WERE charging 100 bucks...
    The other things I wanted to know about were, say tape. If I use a new real of tape for a set of songs I charge them for that right? And do i end up charging something for the final product (CD's)? Does each songs per hour rate include a certain amount of hours ontop of recording time for mixing? Stuff like that?
    I want to make it affordable but on the other hand Id like to make a little bit o money too...
    I own: Tascam TSR-8
    Tascam M-1600 mixer

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    Quote Originally Posted by poopchute View Post
    If I use a new real of tape for a set of songs I charge them for that right? And do i end up charging something for the final product (CD's)? Does each songs per hour rate include a certain amount of hours ontop of recording time for mixing? Stuff like that?
    I want to make it affordable but on the other hand Id like to make a little bit o money too...
    I would only charge them for tape if they wanted to keep it. Otherwise, you can re-record over it for your next project. [Tell them that if they don't want the tape, you reserve the right to erase it at anytime so as not to cause a situation that they come by a month later asking for the tape].

    Yeah, always charge them for the final medium, whatever it is. If it's a CD, then tack on $1 or whatever your cost. You only want your cost back, that's all.

    Final mixing is tricky 'cause you might not know how long it will take you and they will be surprised at the cost. At the same time, you should arrange some sort of payment. I'm not sure about this one so hopefully someone will chime in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sweetbeats View Post
    I have charged ... I am an amatuer.
    Nice one! Heh heh...

    Sooooooooo?..., you are an amateur professional. - (replace your "Reel deep thoughts..." subtitle with that )
    Knowledge is calculable, Ignorance has no limits.
    Dr ZEE
    MZE | Dr ZEE WORKSHOP

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr ZEE View Post
    amateur professional
    Hehe I've never heard of that one...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cjacek View Post
    ...never heard of that one...
    here: http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/c...nnovation.html
    or at youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7raJeMpyM0
    , btw - sponsored by BMW ...heh heh
    Knowledge is calculable, Ignorance has no limits.
    Dr ZEE
    MZE | Dr ZEE WORKSHOP

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    I personally think that $25 an hour for an 8 track recording is too much. Around here (Cleveland) there seem to be alot of studios and 8 tracks is going for around $15 an hour. That said. Getting paid to record someone else is a GIANT pain in the ass if you're not used to it. If you get paid, you have to listen to them ("The guitar needs to be louder", "I can't hear the vocals" and my favorite "can you make it sound....better"). You might want to check out the band before hand to see if they're any good. When it is done you will be forever associated with it.

  10. #10
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    I ended up telling them Id charge 35.00 per hour with a 4 hour minimum session and 1 hour minimum (and probably maximum) for mixing per song. Not that Im sure they could track 1 whole song in 4 hours but I told him it wouldnt be worth my time if he was just gonna come out for 1-2 hours and hope to get a whole song done in that time. This way it makes them either be serious or not. I dont want some putz thinking, oh i paid him for 2 hours so I can just go and mess around with this guys equipment for 2 hours. They either have to come and try to get something done or not...
    We'll see...
    I own: Tascam TSR-8
    Tascam M-1600 mixer

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