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Recording fees


Rob Spence:
Ok, so not many folk here these days but what the heck. I hang at the LAB forums much of the time but I have a recording fee question.

I record only (usually) live performances. I have direct outs from my desk via Dante to a MacBook Pro running Reaper and it is a very small amount of extra work to record the show. I usually charge a flat fee for doing the recording and provide only a rough stereo mix on CDs to the artist to review the performance. If they decide to do a real mixdown of some tracks then that is an hourly rate. So far so good.

Now I have been asked if I could let a small jazz trio (2 accoustic guitars and female singer) set up at my house (that is where I have my mixdown studio) and record a live set.

I have no problem with this as there is plenty of room and I don't have to haul the gear but I am trying to figure out a fair rate to charge.

Any suggestions?


Rob -

I recognize you from the LAB boards, particularly since we both run own and use the EV QRx speakers.

It's a shame there's not much traffic on this forum.  I also do live tracking (direct outs to an Alesis HD24XR disk recorder), and bring the tracks into Protools for mixing.  I've also done some full recording projecs in my home "studio".  For what its worth, I charge clients $25 per hour for these projects.

I'm curious about your use of the Dante interface, though.  I just sold one of my clients an Allen & Heath GLD-80, and we're considering putting a Dante card into it, with the idea of tracking directly into Protools version 10, which is now open architecture.  Unfortunately, I haven't found many folks (vendors) that know much about this yet, and from what I read, we may be limited to tracking 32 channels concurrently in Protools.  Their band uses 37 channels.

Any thoughts you can share on the Dante approach?

Jim Williams:
Mostly location stuff these days. I find that if I throw a fifty or hundred dollar bill at them they will let me record them.

Throw another fifty dollar bill at them and they may let you mix them.

If you really enjoy working with these guys it's easier to be flexible in your pricing. You might do some kind of pre arranged flat fee to cover the project start to finish. That way they get the actual cost up front instead of worrying about the clock. You get a lump sum up front and have relaxed clients to record. It might make for a more enjoyable recording experience. You also might consider if this is a one time thing, a part time thing, or something you want to do full time some day.
The easiest way is to be up front with the group and yourself. Don't bust your ass for cheap, tear up your house, and piss off your spouse unless you really like these folks, or you're trying to build up this end of your business.


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