How much does it cost to make a record? It's kind of like the old question: "How long is a piece of string?"
These are both questions with no clear answers to them. In the case of making a record we could say: "anywhere between $5000 and $500000" or we can get to an answer that actually helps you if we clarify a few things first:
- What are your goals?
- How much are these goals worth to you?
- Any measurable ROI?
- How many songs?
- How much time do you have?
- Any deadlines?
- Which services do you need?
- What can you do yourself?
- Do you need to buy any gear or instruments?
- How many drum sticks, drum heads, guitar strings, picks and other supplies or tools will you need for the project?
- How about the computer, an online backup tool or hard drive space?
- How good are your songs?
- How good are the takes you've recorded?
- Need any guidance throughout the process?
- Need in-depth coaching or feedback?
- Which deliverables/master formats do you need?
- What's your budget?
Let's jump in to talk money, value and budgeting!
Wait, you haven't defined a budget? Or answered all the other questions in detail? This episode is definitely for you! And you're not alone. Many artists don't plan enough, underestimate what the whole process costs or simply haven't defined how much the desired outcome is worth to them or what that desired outcome even is.
This episode was edited by Thomas Krottenthaler.
TSRB Podcast 056 - How much does it cost to make a record
[00:00:00] Benedikt: [00:00:00] What the fuck, like why would you pay 5,000 euros? And then I got those mixes in MasterSpec. I immediately knew that it was not crazy. This is just what things cost. I didn't know that this was so expensive and I thought he was crazy until I learned it was not. This is the self recording band podcast, the show where we help you make exciting records on your own wherever you are.
DIY let's go.
Hello and welcome. To the self recording band podcast. I'm your host Benedick time. And I'm here with my friend and cohost Malcolm Owen flood. How are you buddy? I'm
Malcom: [00:00:38] great, man. You've been good. It's been a talkative Monday morning for us and I like hanging out with you. So this is good.
Benedikt: [00:00:45] Yeah, me too. Me too.
For me. It's as always Monday evening, you might've noticed that the daylight, the back is probably gone now. Yep. My background here, you can see that by McKim counts with the camera when we started, we're still. Um, yeah, there was [00:01:00] sunlight out there now it's not, but I enjoy these Mondays very much. It's uh, it's good to hang and we've been
Malcom: [00:01:08] sorry.
I was going to say one day when COVID is a thing in the past, we're going to actually get to hang out in person and have a beer too.
Benedikt: [00:01:15] Absolutely. That's on the bucket list for sure. Like, absolutely.
Malcom: [00:01:18] Let's do that here. I'm going to manifest something. Actually what we really need to happen is somebody to take the course, realize that they hate recording themselves.
Hire me to produce them in Germany, where. Benny will mix it.
Benedikt: [00:01:30] That's the
Malcom: [00:01:31] master plan here. Yeah. Take team of project together.
Benedikt: [00:01:36] Exactly. Exactly. Exactly. That will be, that will be actually super cool. Yeah. Um, we've already recorded a pretty long episode before this one that we're about to record. I'm still thinking about what we were talking before.
So if you haven't. Listened to last week's episode, please do that because, um, this is about the course that Malcolm just, uh, put in there, like a little plug here. Um, [00:02:00] and it's about the self recording band Academy. So if you haven't listened to that, um, episode, listen to that because we break down everything that's in the course, and it's a very valuable episode for everyone, regardless of you buying a course or not just listen to that.
If you want to learn a lot about the whole process of making a record. And, uh, I just want to say that because I really enjoyed doing this. So this week is a topic that I w also, wasn't quite sure if and how we should do that, actually, because. It's something people don't really like to talk a lot about.
Um, I don't know. It might also be a cultural thing, but especially in Germany, we don't like to talk about money and what things cost and what people charge and all of this stuff. So somebody
Malcom: [00:02:46] taboo, sorry. It's pretty taboo in most places I feel like. Okay. Um, but I personally feel that it is a fantastic thing to be open.
Benedikt: [00:02:56] absolutely. I totally lost any fear [00:03:00] of talking about this, but I still know that it's like a. Um, sort of a weird topic for a lot of people, but I figured it is important to talk about it. And what exactly, I mean, is we're going to talk about budgeting or like coming up with a budget for your production budgeting as a band when it comes to making records and.
I'm aware of the fact that a lot of bands don't even have a budget for a record, or like don't even think about that really, or just are looking for the cheapest option and not really like, considering all the options and everything that goes into making a record. And especially if you're doing it yourself and you probably are doing it at least, like at these parts of it yourself, when you listen to the show, um, especially then.
People tend to skip this because they think we're doing it ourselves. It won't cost us anything or not much. And we're going to show you why that isn't necessarily true. And we're going to show you what professional. [00:04:00] Services audio services like mixing, mastering, editing, et cetera, actually costs. If you decide to outsource parts of the process, we're going to show you what else is there to consider and how much you should budget overall.
And, uh, we also going to talk about why you should even have a budget, why that's important and how to come up with like actual numbers and how to know whether your budget is appropriate for what you're trying to do, because we can't tell you. You need to have X amount of money, but we can tell you how you find out how much money you need for what you're trying to do.
And we're trying to do that in this episode. So be prepared, uh, grab an OPAC maybe, or I would, I would recommend like making some notes so you can talk to you about me. It's about this because you're going to discover what it actually costs to make a great record and with other bands and all the bands you like and listen to probably spend on making those records.
Malcom: [00:04:53] Definitely. Yeah. Um, I think if we make this episode and somebody doesn't get mad at us, we [00:05:00] probably didn't do a good enough job. So we're, we're fully aware that this is gonna probably offend somebody who's charging in my opinion, too little probably, um, or, or, you know, like, but just be aware that these are.
These are ballparks based on Benny and I's experience in this field for quite a while. Um, and w we both do this for a living full-time. So I, I feel like we're pretty accurate in our opinions on this, but that isn't to say you can't find people doing it for less or more that are arguably doing just as good of work.
Um, it, it all really comes down to the individual. If you know, somebody that is doing. Good enough work. That is way below the numbers we tell you today, you should let them know to listen to this so that they can actually start charging what they should be.
Benedikt: [00:05:42] Exactly. And like, I'm sure it will go both directions, both ways.
So I'm sure there will be people like mad at us for like, um, that we charged too much or it's too expensive. And I'm sure there will be people saying. Uh, which are too little and we were like devaluing, [00:06:00] whatever they do, or I dunno. So, um, I'm sure you've got, it's got to go both directions. This is a topic that's definitely going to make people mad, but, um, that's how it is.
And I want you to know before we go into this, that one important mindset shift that needs to happen here is when you pay for audio services or gear or anything related to like producing a record, you're never. Paying for someone's time or for the, the thing that the gear is made out of or whatever you are paying for the result you're going to get, you're paying for the value you're going to get.
So it doesn't matter if someone is, if it's taking someone. An hour or a week to do something. It doesn't matter if it's a, a budget piece of gear or an expensive piece of gear or whatever. What, the only thing that matters is what comes out of the speakers. And if that person, a piece of gear can get you that, and if you can reach your goals through that, and you need to know what that outcome, that result is worth to you, [00:07:00] every person, every engineer.
Will have their own workflow, their own system of how they do things. Some people like to spend more time on certain things than others. Some people have automated a lot of things, but can get just as great results are the people are really like manual about some things because they like to do it that way.
So. That is not an indicator of what it is worth. No.
Malcom: [00:07:22] Yeah. The proof of this is if, if it was the case that you were just paying for time, you could hire anybody to mix your song and just demand a certain amount of hours and be guaranteed a result. And that is obviously not the case. So once you separate yourself from that mindset and realize that you're looking for a result, um, rather than.
And effort you'll, you'll have a much easier time selecting the right person for the job, I think as
Benedikt: [00:07:47] well. Yeah, absolutely. You cannot forget that. What you're paying for is not only the time spent on the project you paying for all the time and effort and like, um, learning and education and [00:08:00] experimenting that got the person to the point where they were able to pull that off.
So if someone can mix your song in two hours, It is because they've spent years practicing and like honing their craft and you're paying for all of that. And so it wouldn't be like if it was all about time, like imagine, like if you compare a mix engineer 20 years into his career or her career, if you compare that person to someone just who just started last week, I mean, chances are, they're not going to get you the right results, but the same results.
But if they do. Of course, the experienced person would be much quicker and you could not only, like there's no way I'm determining the value of it just by looking at the time.
Malcom: [00:08:46] Right. Agreed. Definitely agreed.
Benedikt: [00:08:49] Just that being said. So, uh, just so we don't confuse things and, um, yeah, let's start. I mean, let's start by, by defining what actually there is to consider.
[00:09:00] Okay. In a, in a whole project so that people know what to even like pay for what, to, what to consider what to account for like our budget for when they, when they are planning to make a record.
Malcom: [00:09:09] For sure. Um, and I'm sure some of these things might not apply to everyone, but we also might miss things that are applying to people.
So here's what we've got so far on the list. We've got mixing and mastering studio rentals, um, and it may be world studio time is kind of coupled with an engineer, usually. Usually, um, there's editing. So stuff like drum, editing, guitar, editing, vocal tuning, um, you know, maybe a drum programming might even get lumped in there, but that's probably going to fall into a session musician thing, maybe.
Um, so session musicians are people you hire to perform instruments. Um, so usually for my world, that's going to be like a fringe instrument that not everybody knows how to play. Uh, like, you know, getting a trumpet player in, you know, they don't have one in the band, so we have to hire one. Um, and then, uh, we're also gonna touch on stuff like marketing, you know, maybe the music video needs [00:10:00] to be taken into account artwork, whatever.
Um, you should also not skip this. Isn't on our list, but stuff like getting your music up with a digital distributor, like district kid or something like that. Right. This is stuff that has to happen. If you want to release it. Um, maybe physical CDs. Are you going to be manufacturing? Physical product. You have to take that into account, uh, vinyl, maybe that's on your mind.
You know, so stuff like that. I think that's our, our list so
Benedikt: [00:10:24] far. And D I forget like the seemingly small parts, like drum heads, guitar, strings, tarp. Yeah. All of that. This can add up like, uh, yeah, all the, all those things. And, uh, so there's a lot to consider actually. So don't make the mistake of thinking we're doing it ourselves.
It won't cost us anything. Which brings us to the next, Oh, sorry. Yeah, go on.
Malcom: [00:10:46] Well, I mean, there could be depending on the situation, but uh, if you're traveling to a studio in another town, you need accommodations, you need a budget for food for everybody. Um, you have to take into account time off work, maybe whatever, you know, it depends on your, your setup [00:11:00] and whatnot, but it's definitely the, the point we're trying to make is you have to consider everything when you make your
Benedikt: [00:11:06] budget.
Yeah. And like that brings us to the point of why you even have to have that budget. So. Even if you're, if you've decided to make the record yourself, like everything, let's say you decided to start to finish. You're doing everything yourself, which we don't recommend unless you have a very experienced engineer in the band and producer, but, um, If you want to do it, everything including mixing and mastering, it's very, very, very unlikely that you are the best person.
And like, let's say your goal is to make the best possible ever. If your goal is just to have a good time and do the best you can, of course, like we're not stopping you from doing everything you can just because you enjoy it. But if your goal is to make a competitive record to actually move your band forward.
It's very, very, very unlikely that you are the best person to do recording, mixing, mastering editing, drum setup, guitar set up, um, w like pre [00:12:00] production, creative production, songwriting playing, like everything that goes into making a record. It's very unlikely that you are the best at all of these things.
So some parts of it you might want to consider, um, like outsourcing, like it's. You just, you almost have to, or like an in addition to that, you probably don't have the best room or thumb the right room for what you're trying to do. So it's very unlikely that you can check all these boxes. So some outsourcing might need to happen if you want to get it to that level.
And that's why you need to know what these things cost. And then also I think having a budget, even if you're still doing everything yourself, for whatever reason, having a budget is good. Because you need to know before you start, you need to know what's actually possible and achievable with what you have or.
How much money you need to come up with in order to make your, your, to achieve your goal, to make the thing happen. [00:13:00] You need to be clear on that. You don't want to realize halfway through that it's not going to happen. Um, so it's, it's very good to be clear, to have a starting point, to have a budget, to know, to have the right kind of expectations from the start.
And, um, also communicating with other people, all that it's just so much easier if you made a budget first.
Malcom: [00:13:22] Right. Uh, yeah, if you want to see like one of the seven wonders of the world, one of them's gotta be a guitarist justifying that they need to buy a new guitar. They can move mountains mentally to make that happen.
It's like they enter the matrix and become Neo and all of a sudden there's a new guitar that totally needed to be there. Um, and the same can be said for a band, trying to justify making a record of their dreams. And I, you know, Love that like, it's so cool to see bands going and doing these amazing things and maybe go into some cool studio that they like their idols were in or whatever it is, you know?
Um, but at a certain [00:14:00] point you have to be very financially responsible as well. And, and it's not worth throwing your band or selves into debt over. Um, almost ever, right. Because, uh, newsflash records don't make a lot of money usually. So, um, so by, by having a budget and looking at it, it kind of forces you to like, have a reality check about, okay, like what are we allowed to spend on
Benedikt: [00:14:23] this thing?
Yeah. And it goes both ways. I mean, that's the one extreme that people going into that and being so passionate about it, that they want to do anything possible to make it happen. I wish some people would be like that actually, like not going to step, but like being that passionate about it and like willing to, to make it happen.
The other extreme is the more common one, at least in my experience, which is like people not really willing to spend a lot of money, but expecting it to be like as good as their favorite records. And also, I think having a budget really helps you defining for yourself, um, what the whole thing it's [00:15:00] actually worth to you.
You might not even know that by now. You might think you are super passionate about it, but once you see the numbers and once you actually write it down and make a plan, you might realize. Hmm. I don't really want to want to spend that much or take that risk, or you might realize I've done. Like I've spent more money on Dumbo, things like this, uh, than this.
So, you know, like both things could happen, but you need to have that conversation with yourself and you need to be clear about what this is worth to you because that's the only real factor. And the only real limit here is, um, like, yeah, how much is this worth to you? And. I would always see it as an investment.
Never just as an expense, because in some cases the goal might be to get an actual return on an investment. So you need to think about how much records are we going to sell or how, what kind of shows are we going to get through this? Or what kind of, whatever it is and see if what you're paying for we'll actually come back to you [00:16:00] financially.
But if that's not the goal, the return on investment could just be the self-actualization or the, yeah. Like the choice you were having, or like the, the pride you're having when you're sharing that record with your friends and that could be worth something to, you could even be
Malcom: [00:16:15] the experience of recording like that.
I love that.
Benedikt: [00:16:19] Exactly. And you need to know how much that is worth to you, because think about it. You spend a lot of money on things that don't have like a return on investment, not at all. And some of it has a return. There's a return to it, but not financially, you spend money on vacation because of the experience and the, the things you see and the memories you make, you know, There's no financial like return on investment here, but you're willing to spend money on travel and vacation.
You're willing to spend money on a new phone every year or on a new computer or other things that people spent money on, all sorts of things that don't have a return on investment, a real return, um, to them. But they're still worth something to [00:17:00] those people a lot, actually. And you gotta think about that.
What is the recording that record? What is that worth to you? And I've seen that a lot of times when people tell me they don't have money, but they really, really, really want to make that record. And like, I don't, I'm not sure if you really want to make that record so bad because I've seen you buy a new iPhone and a new Mac book and these new pair of shoes and you're driving a pretty expensive car and all these things like those things seem to be worth a lot to you.
And if you're telling me your priorities this record, but you don't have money for it. I, I doubt the priorities are right here, you know? Right,
Malcom: [00:17:36] right. Yeah. You've just also got other priorities. Yeah. Yep. Um, yeah, it was just fine. And I do like that, anything that makes artists to think about why they're being compelled to do something is awesome.
Um, cause like that's an important question to answer. Why are you spending so many late nights at a rehearsal space? Spending all your money on this thing, like, like, why are you wanting to go on the road for [00:18:00] months at a time, be away from your family? Like that makes it sound like it's a terrible thing.
But, um, I mean, maybe it is, but it's probably like, you're probably just in love with this. Um, but like, you need to figure out what it is you're in love with and how much it's worth to you. I think that's so valuable. Like people hire life coaches to ask those exact questions.
Benedikt: [00:18:19] Yeah. Yeah, totally. And I'm not wanting to sound like I'm.
I think you should always pay a lot of money for that stuff. Not at all. If you like, if you just love, if you do it for the experience and you really don't have a lot of money or don't want to spend all the money because you have other priorities, um, then just go through the experience, then just spend whatever you can on the things you absolutely can't do yourself and figure out the rest, um, enjoy the ride hope for the best and like, Be proud of whatever you can achieve in the end.
And that's totally fine. Not everyone has to make, or is able to make the next hit record. And it, it doesn't have to be that way. You just need to know what you're willing to spend, what the return is [00:19:00] worth to you, what the outcome is worth to you. And then, um, allocate the budget to. The all the things available.
Definitely love it. Let's, uh, dive into like some actual numbers here. And, uh, let's, let's say you can actually determine what's appropriate for, for you or what, what you could look into.
Malcom: [00:19:21] Yeah, definitely. So I, on average charge, $500 a song for a mix, um, and that's in Canadian dollars. So, and this is another thing that makes this sense of tricky is that Ben is on the Euro.
I'm on the Canadian dollar and a bunch of our listeners are with us. So it's like you have to kind of, uh, do some math. Um, but like, we're just like we're shooting for averages here. Right? Um, and, and depending on the situation, I'm going to charge more or less than that, like Benny brought up the point that if, um, there's like a full album and we're doing a full length of bunch of songs, it's going to be less, I'm going to charge less per song.
Um, [00:20:00] and if it's a single that they need tomorrow and like a 24 hour rush job, then it's going to be more right. Um, but that's,
Benedikt: [00:20:08] that's the ballpark, same sort of like I gave a, a range here and I said, like between 300 and 500 euros per song, Maybe two 50 to 500, because it depends on the amount, the number of songs.
Also some records are 10 songs, but 10 totally different songs. Then this doesn't really apply as much. Maybe there's always going to be a little bug discount, but it's a different thing. If you are heavily, like if you're doing a rock record with the exact same arrangement for 10 songs and you can, you know, of course, it's got, I'm going to give you a little discount there.
Um, yeah, but the ballpark and also like the timeline, as you said, and also this is really interesting that we are starting with this range here, uh, because that, again is a reason for you to come up with a budget, because if you are asking a mixer, how much is mixing when I hire you, [00:21:00] they are probably.
Answering with a question and they're going to ask you what's your budget. And the reason is, and you should have a budget then to tell them. And the reason is not that they want to charge the maximum here or like squeeze every little cent out of your pocket. The reason for this question is that there is a range and it depends on so many factors.
Like if you tell them I need the song done tomorrow and it's like 347 tracks and it's like not edited. And, um, You know, all these things and it's just one song and that's going to be pretty expensive. But if you tell them I'm going to do an epi and I don't have a deadline, and I'm cool with you doing it in three months.
And it's only like a couple of tracks and like everything's edited, the performances are great. Here's a demo. Than it's probably cost a little less. So there is a range and depending on your budget, we can also offer additional services or not. So if you tell them an engineer, you have a big mixing budget, [00:22:00] they can offer.
Okay. Do you want additional, like feedback on your production? Do you want remote production? Do you want additional, like post-production do you need editing? Do you need some additional overdubs or do you want stirring external mastering. Exactly. Like all those things. And we don't even offer these things.
If we know you're on a tight budget. So that's another reason for you to come up with a budget before even reach out to people just so they can offer you something that's actually helpful for you.
Malcom: [00:22:30] Yes, definitely. Um, I do want, before we get deeper into wages and specific numbers, I do want to say that wages change.
Um, I charge more this year than I did two years ago, for sure. Um, so if you're listening to this and the year is 2030, Don't expect me to mix a song for 500 bucks. I'm sure I'll be charging more at that point, hopefully. Hopefully. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Um, and uh, I think something we should talk about in this episode, that's not really on our, our, on our [00:23:00] outline is, uh, the, are they charging enough?
Like if you're looking for somebody and you're trying to discern, if they're going to do a good job, I think there's a, a minimum number that you need to stay above. Um, And I kind of associate that with like a living wage, like, okay, is this person able to survive off the income they'd be making if they're charging a hundred bucks to mix a song?
Yeah, probably not. They're definitely not making enough money to invest into gear or training for their skills. Um, so they're, they're going to kind of be behind the ball on that. They're probably not. Focused as on, as a priority on your songs, they can't do it. Full-time so they probably have another job.
So they're probably doing this when they're tired and burnt out at the end of the day to like squeeze it in on the weekend or something, you know, like there's, there's two things on this list, specifically mixing and, uh, being a producer or like a studio engineer. Those are two jobs that are really hard to do.
Part-time because they take so much energy and focus that if you have other things on the go. It's a [00:24:00] really hard thing to juggle. Um, so you can kind of discern the quality by their wage, I think. And somebody's going to hate me for saying that.
Benedikt: [00:24:08] Absolutely. No, I agree so much here because if you do the math, um, and like, as I said, it's all about value and stuff, but still you can base that minimum mountain number off of like living expenses or like living, making a living wage.
Absolutely. Because. If you are thinking about what expenses go into being, self-employed what you, all the things you need to take care of. If you want to make a living mixing. And you will probably want to hire someone who's doing it professionally. And the definition of doing something professionally is that you do it for a living and that's your job.
And that's what you like live for. And w where you educate yourself, where you invest into yourself, you want someone like that to work on your record. Of course. And if someone wants to be able to live of, of their life, their business, their self employment, they need to make like, at least like three to 500 S I'd say a day, at least [00:25:00] minimum.
Um, if they want to be sustainable because you can't work 24 seven all day long, because like, you won't be healthy and that's not, you won't be a good mixer if you're not healthy. So you probably work five, six days, something like that. Um, and then you need all sorts of insurances. You need maintenance, you need to new gear, you need computer upgrades.
Um, You need education. Of course. Uh, there's all sorts of things. You won't be able to work on new material every single day, because there are revisions there's client communication. There is building processes. There's working with collaborators, there's marketing, there's all sorts of things you need to do as a business owner.
So it's not like we're mixing 24 seven and doing nothing else. So, if you're not bringing in a couple of hundred bucks a day, you're not going to survive very long. It's not possible. And if you then think about what you can do for a couple hundred bucks, you can either like mix a song a day, or you [00:26:00] can mix two or three or five songs a day, but then you probably need some good processes and automation outsourcing to make that happen, or a lot of education or all of that.
So your expenses also grow. So there's no way around it. Like there's no way around it. Even if you make a thousand bucks or 2000 to date your expenses.
Malcom: [00:26:18] So yeah, here's another little fun tidbit. Um, on average people will take, and this is for like a professional mixer. A song will usually take about a day.
Um, a lot of people are quicker than that. Some people are much slower than that, but for a professional a day, I would, I would feel pretty safe saying that's an average for how long it takes to do a song. Um, now. Somebody that's just getting into it. Um, and I remember this when I was learning, like you just have to work on it as long as it takes to get something that you are not too afraid to release.
And like, I spent like a week on a mix sometimes, you know? Um, so you have to, when you're [00:27:00] choosing somebody, if you're going to go with that lower budget, also be. Prepared for it to take months. If you have, like, if you send them an album kind of thing, because they're, they're working like in their spare hours and it already is going to take like a week to get one song done.
Um, you know, just take that into account. You have to
Benedikt: [00:27:17] balance. Absolutely. And I'm pretty confident that we know what we're talking about here, because not only do we have the experience ourselves, like I'm, uh, we're both like professionally in the music business for like a decade or so, um, more or less.
And, um, That's the one thing, but also we are pretty well connected and we talked to a lot of producers at all levels. Like we, this is really an average with the one, one song per day. And also those rates, um, this is real, like, this is how it works. And I bet that most of our peers, uh, will, will agree with what we're seeing here.
So, yeah, and I mean, I've mixed. Entire records in like three to four, [00:28:00] three, four or five days, or I've mixed like five songs a day at times, but only because I have like a great process in place. I have an assistant to perhaps the songs for me. I outsource the editing. I don't need to spend time, color coding and all that.
Like I, I have, um, mastering engineers at work with, I. I'm very efficient. I have the experience to immediately know what a tray needs and all of that, and that all costs money and time and like education again. So it's not like I'm making five times the money is like, you know, but I can't take on more projects and help more people and like, you know, right.
That sort of stuff. Yep.
Malcom: [00:28:37] Agreed. Agreed. Yeah. And, uh, it's one of those things, like I love, if I can get two songs done in a day, I usually count. I'm normally a song a day, usually to that. Um, but every once in a while you do, and it's like, wow. Yes. But sometimes I shoot for that. I'm like, it's a busy week. I really need to get ahead.
I shoot for two. And if it doesn't get, get there, like, it's not like, I'm like, well, that's the [00:29:00] time it gets, I'm sending it off. It's like the song is not done until it's done.
Benedikt: [00:29:04] Exactly. So that's also something you get from an experienced person. And, um, regardless of the service you're hiring for, um, is that usually you get, you pay a price.
I don't. I mean, there are people who will, um, to charge hourly, but you usually pay a flat rate. And also usually you get sort of the guarantee that this person will not stop before. It is really great. Like if they, if, if they know what they're doing, they will not send you something that they're not convinced of themselves.
So that's another thing here.
Malcom: [00:29:35] Yeah, definitely. Cool. Um, let's move on. All right. Yes. Studio time around here for a studio worth its salt, which is a way of saying a good studio, um, that, uh, is worth renting is about 600 bucks a day. And that's usually with an engineer. Um, they, they vary, like I could think of a studio that's like closer to $2,000 a day.
That's amazing. Um, [00:30:00] and maybe a good studio that could be worth it for like 400 bucks kind of things. Um, But that's, that's definitely the average, the ones I like to use are about 600 bucks a day. Um, and they're really fantastic studios. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:30:11] I agree. SIM similar on your side. Yeah. Not much to it, not much to add to that here.
Like there's also range. Like you can probably rent a great room here for like, I'd say anywhere from 300 to a thousand euros a day and like, yeah. Yeah. But the one thing I need to say here is that what I, what I was telling you before we started this episode, my outcome is that I believe a studio or a room worth renting is pretty expensive because everything that you can rent for like a hundred bucks or so a day, I don't know if you should even rent that because that's probably not going to be much better than your own jam space.
If you put a little work and effort into it. So. And, uh, my own studio included, like I have a studio with a tracking space with a small life room. I don't record any more, but I do that. I only do mixing, but I can do some overdubs here and I've tracked a bunch of records. There is extra turned out great.
But. [00:31:00] The thing is if I never rented that out to outside producers, because it's a small room, I know how it sounds I can work with it. I know the spots in the room that sound great and work, but it's not something you could just hire out to someone else and they walk in and they're like, wow, that room sounds amazing.
It's not the case. It's a small, pretty dead room with a great, like echo chamber next to it. But these are all things that only I know. And it's like my workflow Mike year. It's great. And it's like top notch. But I couldn't charge a lot to rent that out and like acoustic and everything. It's like not spectacular in my live room.
So if you're considering high, like renting a room to do the recording, go for something that's really worth it. I
Malcom: [00:31:42] think. Yeah. Yeah. Well, that's like, again, why are we talking about this by, by mapping out these numbers and giving you a ballpark, you can start to do the math of, Oh, maybe we do have enough money to go rent a drug, like a great drum room for the, that part of the recording, but we're going to have to do the rest at our home setup.
Yeah. [00:32:00] Um, yeah. Or maybe, wow. We can't afford that at all. We definitely have to program our drums instead. Yeah. Right. Um, that's the whole
Benedikt: [00:32:06] point of this episode, and I'm not saying you shouldn't hire like someone like me or someone with C2 similar like that to record your drums or your record. Because if you hire the person with the studio, it can be absolutely worth it because they know how to work that room in the studio.
I just want to say that. So, because, um, but I was thinking about the scenario where you want to do it yourself, but you want to hire, you want to rent a great room because of the acoustics, for example, but if you're like hiring. The the, the room and the engineer, because you want to do guitars and vocals yourselves, but you can't do drums fan deck.
Yeah, it can be all sorts of rooms if the engineer knows what they're doing. So,
Malcom: [00:32:45] yeah. Yeah. There's all sorts of like criteria to why you might want a studio. Like lately I've been thinking about studios is like, what's our setup going to be, if we're doing overdubs, that makes it a lot more flexible. But if I'm doing like a live band off the floor and we need [00:33:00] really good monitoring set up, so everybody has their own head from mixing and stuff like that.
That narrows the list down a little bit. Cause I'm like, I want a studio that has that gear for those musicians to be at their best. You know, so how you want to do your record might play into
Benedikt: [00:33:12] that decision too. Yeah, absolutely. Okay. So just know that it's going to cost a lot of money without the actual people.
Just the room, the studio itself will cost the money if you want to rent something. Great. Yeah.
Malcom: [00:33:23] You probably have to get it like a house engineer, unless you really know what you're doing. Um, yeah. Yeah. And that's, that's, it's all worth it. I was engineer's rock, love, love people that are, are those guys?
Benedikt: [00:33:40] Okay. So yeah. Then, um, the next one is pretty tough for me editing because editing is a brilliant broad range for me. So I thought about it again after writing it here. Um, if you need editing and you probably do, um, then you can do it yourself. But again, there are people who do nothing but editing in a really great edit [00:34:00] and editing can costs.
In my experience, I put here a hundred to 200, but actually it can be like 50 to 200 or so, because like, it depends on the experience of the person. It depends on what actually needs editing. So if you're just needing a vocal tuned, It's going to be less than if you need guitars, quantized hour, like drums, quantize, guitars edited and all the vocals tuned and quantized or whatever.
So it's hard to say, but for a whole song, let's say you need like drum editing, um, cleaning up tracks, creating Medi all these things that come to like PR when it comes to preparing the files, editing everything, tuning the vocals, um, aligning backing, vocals, aligning guitars, and doubles, like editing the whole track so that it's mixed.
Ready. You can easily pay upwards of a hundred or 200 euros for a song,
Malcom: [00:34:56] right? Yes. Um, yeah, [00:35:00] it, it, it, it's what you just said. It depends who you're hiring. Like they everybody's kind of got their own wage, but, uh, it's going to be in that ballpark per song for sure. Um, uh, yeah, I, I would say the same thing, a hundred to 200 bucks.
Benedikt: [00:35:13] That'd be around there. I mean, there's re. There's rarely an upper limit with things like these. So you'll probably find people, you can probably find people who charge like a rate for editing the, what we charge for mixing and like, you know, we could probably have your song edited for, for 500 bucks as well.
But usually if you find someone, you can find good people doing it for like a hundred, 200 and like maybe even 50, if it's just a couple of tracks or so. You
Malcom: [00:35:39] know what I actually want to mention something is going to be in that ballpark. If you do a great job, recording your music, if you do a shit job, it's going to be a lot more.
Yeah. Because the amount of work that goes into fixing bad tracks is just massively, massively a worst situation.
Benedikt: [00:35:59] Yes, [00:36:00] absolutely. The performances. And also, if you are not like clearly labeling, consolidating, cleaning up your tracks before editing. If you expect those people to do that as well, and like sort through your mess of tracks, like in your pile of unlabeled, not consolidated takes or whatever, this can become really, really expensive if they're willing to do it.
Yeah. So yeah, that being said, yeah.
Malcom: [00:36:23] Great point. Great point. Okay,
Benedikt: [00:36:25] cool. Um, so yeah, just the, the point here with the whole editing thing is I just wanted to have it in there because I want people to know that this is not included. In mixing usually. So there's three different things. There's mixing mastering and editing usually.
And editing many people consider editing as part of the mixing process or they think it is, but it is not. So if you have recorded your songs and you haven't done anything to the performances and you're sending it off to mixing. You're skipping the editing step. We have have whole episodes on this, but just know that if someone listens to those tracks and they send you a quote and it says [00:37:00] mixing, and there is another like thing on there, another item that says editing, and you're wondering why that is.
It is because your tracks need to be edited into, just forgot about that. Right?
Malcom: [00:37:09] Yeah, that that's, uh, I'm glad you said that. Cause that's probably the most commonly missed thing in DIY bands is nobody thinks that editing has to happen because they either assume that like whoever tracked them did it or, uh, that the mixer is going to do it.
I don't, I don't really know what the decision making process is, but it gets missed a lot. Um, and it's funny cause we, we started this by saying that we are not paying for hours, you're paying for result. Right. Um, but anything that takes hours. It has to be paid for and editing does take hours. Um, you know, like it takes time.
So don't expect anybody to be doing that just like, because they, you grace them with your music, like it's, it's a job and it has to get done.
Benedikt: [00:37:50] Yeah. And these days, and I think most, most of our peers will agree these days. I don't want to start mixing with tracks that are not mixed ready anymore because [00:38:00] I used to do that a lot.
I used to say. Well, okay. I guess these tracks need a little love. They need a little editing before I can actually mix them. I just do it on the fly or I can work with these tracks, but no, I don't want to do that because I can serve the song as well. If I do that, if I want to focus on mixing and making it sound great, and I'm constantly distracted because the vocals are not aligned because the groove is not there with the bass and the kick drum or whatever.
And I find myself constantly like, Moving things back and forth and more editing than actually mixing. Then the result is not going to be as good. I'm not going to be as focused. So I don't want to start mixing with tracks that are not mixed. Ready. I will do the occasional tweak if necessary. Of course.
Like if there's, um, like a kick drum late in one part or so I just fix it while I, while I go, of course, but don't expect me or any mixer. To just fix your performances while they are mixing. It's not good for the song. Agreed. Totally agreed. Good. All right. Mastering
Malcom: [00:38:59] mastering [00:39:00] drinks. Um, so mastering is going to be probably in the ballpark of 80 to 150 a song I'd say, depending who you hire.
Um, and. What I would suggest people keeping, cause it's funny, we're talking about budget, but we're also talking about a schedule in a way. Um, and, and the different price ranges are going to have different. Skip turnaround times. Um, ironically more expensive mastering usually means slower. Uh, yeah. Cause they're just so freaking busy, which is fine.
Um, but you know, keep it into account when you're choosing these things, you should also kind of like right in when you're hoping to get something back, like what your ideal turnaround time is going to be. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:39:40] And mastering can be included in the mixing. Some, some engineers do that and they say like, Oh, whatever you book, I'll send you.
A master mix. And then you can always decide to like hire outside mastering if you want, if not, it's fine. Um, some people prefer to master themselves. Other people swear by hiring [00:40:00] others. There's no right or wrong here. It's different philosophies depends on the genre as well. I'm sort of in between, on some projects, I really love to work with like world-class mastering specialists on other projects.
I actually think the result that's going to be better if I do it. While I'm mixing, it's like depends on so many things, but just know if you're deciding to get external mastering expected to be. Yeah. In that range. I think in euros, we're talking 60 to 120 or so per song, right. Yeah.
Malcom: [00:40:32] Yeah. I, I usually master my own mixes, but still provide a pre-master file.
So it's like you have the option to use mine or, or not. Um, and that's totally fine. I wish people would just get it mastered just to see which one they like more. But you have mine. And now just spend that little bit more money and get another one for some fresh ears on the project. And you know, which better is better.
I don't care if you don't use mine, just like [00:41:00] that. Whatever is going to serve the song. Um, but that's yeah. It's hard to convince people to spend money.
Benedikt: [00:41:06] Yeah, exactly, exactly. I mean, with a signal it's a fun thing to do as sometimes I sometimes did like shootouts without telling the people that it's a shootout or it's like a, uh, a test master.
I just hired. Three different mastering guys or girls and women, and, uh, did like a comparison. And without letting them know that they're up against each other, um, And because you can do that with a single, if you have some budget and you spend that money, you just hire three different people, see who does the grid, the best job.
And then that person might get the whole record or whatever. So it's just a fun experiment. And also you can see like if the mix engineers master is maybe also good enough or even the best one, right.
Malcom: [00:41:47] Uh, I want to quickly touch on shootouts. If you're hiring somebody to do a shootout. It's fine not to tell them that they're in a competition if you pay them.
Exactly. But if you don't pay them and [00:42:00] you're getting like a free test work done, and they don't know that it's a competition, it's kind of considered like a dirty move because that person might not have agreed to do a test work. If they knew they were in the psych competition with a bunch of other people.
Cause like, Is it worth the time they invested into it. So just, I want to mention that because it actually hasn't happened to me, but I know people that have been burned pretty hard for that and like done a lot of work. And, you know, if it's a test, maybe they would have just mixed the course of the song and sent that rather than spending like a full day
Benedikt: [00:42:29] on a song, 100% agree.
Um, with the nut telling people I absolutely do that only. If I'm just hiring them for two masters on that's all I did. I heard from different people. And that way I get what I would really get. If they don't know they are in a competition, which is cool to see. Definitely. Um, and like in, everyone's getting paid, paid fair for their work, but yeah, absolutely agreed.
If you would try and get a free test, makes some people do that, but let them know it's a competition because then they might not do that.
Malcom: [00:42:59] So one [00:43:00] more thing. No, that actually just occurring to me because this has happened to me. Test mixes. You have to pay for them. If you decide to use them, it's not a free work.
Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Oh God. I don't know why that's a thing, but yeah, you're, you're, you're getting a sample of their work and then if you like it, you're still gonna pay for it. Yes, exactly.
Benedikt: [00:43:18] Exactly. Uh, yeah. Uh, that's that, and then now we are off to something that I don't have. I don't really have much experience with that.
So that is session musicians. Yes. Um,
Malcom: [00:43:32] yeah. So session musicians are when you hire a specialist to come perform. Um, in my situation often it's drummers I'm, I'm a stickler for drummers being up to the task and session drummers are so good. Yeah. That's my favorite days at work. Just literally amazing what you lay down with it with a professional session drummer.
You wouldn't believe it. Um, and, uh, but all aside from that often, obviously other instruments, like a violin is coming in for one song on the [00:44:00] album or horns. Um, pedal steel is like something that isn't common around here. Uh, banjo. Um, if you are one of these people that has a weird skill, I say weird, but like an instrument that isn't guitar, drums, or bass, uh that's that could be in demand.
You, you might be. Yeah, man, you have, might have some opportunity there. I would definitely, if you're good at it, you have to be really, really good at it. Let the studios in your area know that you are available for session work. Cause I'm like I've pretty much got a Rolodex of professional musicians that I'm always out into and I'm stoked when I get something new.
Benedikt: [00:44:34] Oh yeah, absolutely. I also like these days, remote, um, session work is really, really popular and an opportunity for a lot of few musicians out there. Uh, because you can, if you can pull off, especially the SAF recording musician, it's like the perfect person to do this. If you are able to record yourself properly and you have one instrument that you're really good at, uh, then you can provide a recording, like a session [00:45:00] musician service from your home or your home studio for other producers.
And that can be very, very valuable. So I've seen very successful remote drummers session drummers, very successful guitar players, bass players. Like even like very big, um, guys like superstar musicians, basically you can hire a lot of them. People don't even know that you can hire a lot of great like bass players or guitar players to play on your records.
They like, you can do that remotely. And same as if you are a great, you can offer that. Absolutely. So I say I don't have much experience with that because in my world I usually record bands and they record with like, whatever. They have in the band, they rarely hire session musicians, the types of bands that I work with.
Um, sometimes I do or I'd just have to, because someone's just not up to the task and. Um, you have to make that decision, but in, yeah, I'm not as experienced with that. And I'm, I'm also like, I've been a mixer more than anything for years now. So [00:46:00] that's not really what, I'm, what I'm doing a lot, but I know that it is a thing of course.
And I know a lot of people crushing it in that. Um, right.
Malcom: [00:46:07] Yeah. Yeah. So, okay. We didn't even mention the price. Uh, on average it's like a hundred to 200 bucks a song. Um, and. In my area. There's like a push to make that a little more, because that is crazy cheap. Yeah. Uh, for, for how much time goes into it, especially cause these people are often coming to the studio, um, to, to do the session.
So it's, it's a lot and you know, like you're writing apart pretty much on the spot. Um, usually it's not been composed for you like the songs there, but you still have to. Bring something to the table. Um, so it's a demanding job that can take a lot of time. So mostly, yeah, there's a push to get that up a little bit, just to make it more worthwhile.
Because again, like we talked about with mixers charging too little, do these session musicians, aren't going to be doing it for very long. If they can't afford to live. So like it's in my best interest to get my like favorite tremors, more money, so that they're available when I need them.
[00:47:00] Benedikt: [00:47:00] And also it's insanely valuable to go, to get back to what we said in the beginning.
It's not about time or like effort only. It's about the value and. A great drummer versus a shitty drummer can be the difference between the song like being successful or completely failing. So that 200 bucks or 300 even, or even 500 or whatever you pay for someone really great might be well worth it.
Um, if that's the make or break factor, you know, so
Malcom: [00:47:26] definitely, definitely. Um, yeah. Then like the, the kind of last few things on our list here is like the kind of outside of the recording realm a little bit like the marketing budget, what are you going to spend on the music video? Um, w we added this little amendment when we were talking earlier about like supplies, like gear, like guitar strings and stuff like that.
Um, if you're deciding that you're going to go, DIY, you have to budget that you need to buy the gear so that you can record at all. Um, right. Like. Can't just assume that you already have everything you need, you might need to invest in an interface or a DUI box or something. Right. [00:48:00] So that all has to be taken into account
Benedikt: [00:48:02] as well.
Yeah. And one more thing we forgot here, I think, and this is, uh, who comes to shameless little plug again, education might be part of the pungent budget because you want to factor in things like the self-reporting band Academy or. Another course out there or mentoring or, um, whatever, like back in the day I used to buy DVDs or I don't know, like, you know, like anything magazines, books, whatever you use to educate yourself, you, you, you probably need some education and it's probably cost money if it's like, well, curated and well taught and organized and really helpful.
So maybe you want to. Um, account for that. And yeah, when it comes to supplies and material, people are probably surprised how much that can cost. Like if you need to two or three complete sets of drum skins, and you need like, And I know, um, 10 packs of bass strings for a record, this can become expensive pretty quickly.
[00:49:00] So you can find yourself spending like 500 to a thousand bucks on just supplies for a full length record, right? Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah. And, and with the marketing and music videos and all that, we can't give you numbers here because that's just, there's no limit. If you decide to make a full-blown video for every single song on the record, and you want to spend like 10,000 bucks on ads.
Then, of course you can do that, but you don't have to. So we can give you here a number here. No, not at all, but I want to say that this is interesting to me when I ask people for the budget, I ask them also, if they have a marketing budget or marketing plan and I do that, not because I want to have that budget.
I actually like it. When people say we can only spend this much on the actual recording, because we have set aside part of a budget for the videos and the marketing. I like to hear that because. I'd rather make a little less money on a project, but know that the band is really taking this seriously. And they know that they're going to [00:50:00] promote this and they have a plan on how they're going to promote this.
And I believe them that people, that there's a chance that people will actually hear what we're creating together. And that might be more valuable to me than making an extra $500 on the project. So. Yeah. If I know if a band tells me we have like this $5,000, um, promotion budget, or we have this budget to do one or two, like really proper videos.
And we're also working with that. I don't know PR company or whatever, this is good. And this might lead to me, giving you a little bit of a better deal if you really don't have the budget, just because I know it's going to be worth it. It could be, I don't say it has to be, but it could be so. Um, don't be confused when a mixing engineer or a mastering engineer asks you for your marketing plans because we, of course, it's good for us as well.
If the stuff we're working on. Gets actually gets hurt. So yeah,
Malcom: [00:50:55] absolutely. Definitely. Um, yeah, newsflash, we also want to be famous. [00:51:00] Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:51:01] It's just a failed musician, you know?
Malcom: [00:51:03] Yeah, yeah. We just want to live through you. So if you're going to be famous, we're interested,
Benedikt: [00:51:09] but don't expect to get a better deal just because you say that I'm only saying that if I'm really convinced that a band overall, the overall appearance of the band.
The overall impression I have of the band. If that tells me that those people take it seriously and they got their shit together. I'm. Much more likely to really be invested in that project.
Malcom: [00:51:29] Yeah. Well, there, there is something quantifiable about that and it's that they are going to be a walking business card for you, right?
Like if their song gets millions and millions of plays, somebody's going to Google up your name and see who mixed lists thing. Right. Because that is why it's valuable
Benedikt: [00:51:46] too. And also I know right away that probably the cold collaboration, the whole working together. Will be better or more enjoyable or could be because like, if you work with prepare people who have a plan who know what they're doing, [00:52:00] uh, like it's always better, you know?
So yeah. That's also a factor. Like there is a, some people call it a pain in the ass tax, but if like it could be that if you. Didn't plan for anything and you really unprepared your songs are not like ready to record you. Didn't do the research and like, well, whoever you contacting has the impression that it's going to be probably pretty exhausting to get you to the point where your songs are ready to be released.
They might charge you a lot more just for that. So yeah, just know that
Malcom: [00:52:37] it definitely could be the case. Um, all right. Well, I think that's a pretty thorough rates conversation, budget conversation. I think
Benedikt: [00:52:46] if we sum it all up, what do you think could abandon expect? So let's say the self recording band who record, they record everything themselves in their jam space.
Let's say so. Like most of our listeners probably do and they want to like [00:53:00] hire out. They want to like outsource, editing, mixing, mastering. What do you think what's a, what's a, a reasonable budget summing it all together for them,
Malcom: [00:53:10] right? I mean like, probably like seven 50 to a thousand bucks a song would be my guess.
Um, if they're doing all the recording themselves, um, That's that's probably around where it's going to land. It's a little
Benedikt: [00:53:23] less than Euro. Yeah. But yeah, I agree. I agree.
Malcom: [00:53:27] I agree. Yeah. That's again, we're skipping marketing.
Benedikt: [00:53:30] Exactly. Exactly. And if you are able to learn editing, you're going to save a bunch of money.
So if you just need mixing mastering into delivering like mixed, ready tracks. That's awesome. Of course, that can bring the whole thing down the whole cost down. But, yeah,
Malcom: [00:53:45] and that's a, that's a possible thing to do as well. Right. Um, so you could save up to 200 bucks right there. So if all you have to pay for is mixing in that person also includes mastery in that it could be just 500 bucks a song pretty much before marketing magic.
Benedikt: [00:53:58] Yeah. [00:54:00] But it's, it's not rare for people like including supplies and everything else you need for a session and maybe some basic gear that you don't already have. It's not uncommon or it's like the standard basically for self recording bands to spend like in euros, like 5k or even 10 K on a record, even if, if they record themselves completely, because that's just what all these things cost.
And, uh, I've talked to a lot of peers and I've known what I charged. Okay. The years compared to going like completely with a producer and a studio and not doing anything yourself. This is going to be definitely in the five figures for a full length, uh, if you're doing well. So it's still cheaper than that, but yeah, I think it's hard to do a full length.
Below like 5k in euros 5,000, even if you record it. Yeah,
Malcom: [00:54:52] definitely. Definitely. Yeah. For a little bit of perspective. And I'm honestly going to bump this up very soon because [00:55:00] it's just, yeah, I need to, but, uh, like 1500 to $2,000 a song is kind of like my all in production for a song. Um, you know, so that's me producing it.
Engineering and editing it and mixing it. Um, that's going to be your ballpark, you know, so five songs would be that can ground. Right? Um, so you, you're definitely saving money. You know, I wouldn't say it's a cheap to record yourself if you still want to do a good job and get professional mixing, but it's, it's like over a full album.
It's a considerable amount of money you could be
Benedikt: [00:55:33] saving. Yes. Now let the, my friend is a full length for 2000 bucks. Conversation begins. Let's see, let us know in the comments. I'm sure some of our lists does have made records way cheaper and still love them. And that's fine. Absolutely fine. It's just, we're just telling you from our experience and from being in the industry for a decade.
That these are the standard [00:56:00] rates and what to expect. And if you can find a way to do cheaper and you still love the result more power to you. So
Malcom: [00:56:06] yes, that is ultimately all we care about is are you getting what you want out of it at the end? That's like, obviously that's what we care about because we're music people.
We would just be trying to get you to come record with us if exactly, if that was our focus. But yeah, so hopefully this was helpful. Um, if you were shocked by these numbers, like they seem high to you. It's okay. Um, you know, it's, uh, maybe you have to like, like if you just can't afford it, you just can't afford it.
Right. So maybe you have to go with a sonically inferior product. That's. You know, that's why we're having this conversation. It's better to know what you're getting into. Yeah.
Benedikt: [00:56:47] Quick fun story to wrap this up, because at any to tell this, um, full disclosure, I once thought that these numbers were bullshit and not worth paying as much like to get a record done.
Uh, it's not, I [00:57:00] thought it would not be worth it. And I remember a situation where, when I started out recording and producing and mixing for bands and like I did it for my own band as a. As an out of necessity, more or less. And then I started doing friends bands and I have told the whole story, but when I did the first project that someone else mixed, like when a band wanted to record with me and they hired someone else to mix it, which is a wise move and was wise moved back then because I was not at the point, um, to deliver what they needed.
I was not good enough at this point. But they hired someone, a really good engineer and he cut them a deal. And I remember that email from that person, who's saying like, I like, he, they knew him through whatever. It was like a, a buddy deal, best buddy deal, something like this. And they, and he offered them.
He wrote them an email saying, I cut you a deal. You get the whole full length for 5,000 euros, the mix, like mix and master. Right. And I re I remember reading that and thinking like, what the fuck? Like, why would you pay 5,000 euros? For a mix. [00:58:00] Are you crazy? Like they could just hire me and I could do it for like a thousand or like for 500 or whatever.
Why are they, I would never pay 5,000 bucks just for a mix. I remember myself like thinking that and I'm like, okay, do whatever you want. I want it. I didn't want to talk them out of that. Of course, because I didn't know what I was talking about, but I just thought to myself, do whatever you want. But I think this is crazy.
I think this is totally crazy. And then I got those mixes and MasterSpec, and I immediately knew. That it was not crazy. And I immediately learned a very valuable lesson because I could have never pulled it off never. And like, it was so worth it for the band and the record would not have been what it is if they hadn't heard this person.
And I quickly learned that this is very valuable in these. This is just what things cost. But I was shocked. That's all I wanted to say. I was shocked at first. I didn't know that this was so expensive and I thought it was crazy until I learned. Oh,
Malcom: [00:58:55] totally. Yeah. There's a, a producer in Vancouver [00:59:00] city. Quit near me.
That charges. I can't, I can't remember. So I won't give specifics. I won't get their name, but, uh, I remember when I was told from a banjos working with what they'd been quoted by them and I was like, Oh my God, that is, that is a rip off. And I feel bad saying that now, but I was like, wow, like that was fleecing.
You. Fast forward a few years. I know that person, and I know the value they bring to the table now. And, and they they're, they're the kind of producer that goes and gets their band signed. Like you pretty much assigned to them. And then they get you signed like that that's a different job altogether. Like I think it was a bargain for the price they were quoted.
I was like, you should looking back. They should be flattered. They had an offer at all. Um, yeah, so. Yeah. I've been in the same shoes where it's just like, that makes no sense. And then you kind of figure it out like, well, it makes a lot of sense guys, transforming
Benedikt: [00:59:52] careers. Yeah, exactly. This is actually yeah.
Additional value. We haven't even touched on that. Some of the people you might hire might be able to offer you even more [01:00:00] like things beyond their actual service, just because they're well connected or are they. Um, other people trust to them. So I've had it happen where even in my, and I'm not a huge like platinum producer or whatever, like, but I've often been in situations where some bands got signed after they worked with me.
And then another band worked with me and that same record label that had signed a band before who worked with me, they would give that bands a chance and listen to their record just because they trusted me and they wouldn't have listened to the record. If, if they had done it themselves. So with someone else and some of those bands ended up getting a deal with the buy, like at a label or from a label that I used to work with just because that label trust me.
So I could myself provide that additional value to people at times. So I know that works.
Malcom: [01:00:51] Yeah. It definitely works. The thing that I would advise, and I bet you agree with this, any, is that. If somebody is like [01:01:00] advertising that as the reason you should come work with them, it's a bit of a red flag. Like if, if there's a producer, that's like, well, I'll get you signed with Rick and Warner brothers and you haven't even recorded the songs yet.
Like, what are they talking about? That is that sketchy,
Benedikt: [01:01:14] sketchy business. Totally. There's no fish, no guarantee at all. And there's no guarantee that they even listen to this stuff. So you can't guarantee anything. But it's fair to say that your chances increase. If you surround yourself with people who are well-connected, if you work with people who are well-connected and like, if you do your homework, if you check all the boxes, if the songs are great, you like, everything's great.
Then it certainly doesn't hurt to work with someone who has the trust of like labels and stuff, but there's no guarantee and like advertising. That is bullshit. Yeah. I totally agree. Yeah.
Malcom: [01:01:49] Cool. All right. We should wrap this up. Let's wrap it up. That's it. Okay. Where are we pointing people is the core. So where are we at?
Benedikt: [01:01:56] Yeah, this was like a weird episode to do in a way, but I still think an important one of them. [01:02:00] I can't wait to hear the, see, you read the comments and like the feedback to this one. This kid's gotta be a two, like a dumpster fire of, uh, but like, yeah, it's gonna be crazy, but I can't wait to see that now when it comes to where we send people to, um, Yeah, the self recording band Academy.
I want to send you there. Uh, it's our course, I am at this point when, while recording this, I'm not really sure if we've launched yet, so I can't point you to a website right now, but you've probably heard it at the beginning of the episode. Once it's launched. So I don't have to say it again. And, um, other than that, please go to the self recording band.com/community, because that place is very, very valuable.
And I really, really want to have more people in there because that community is where you can. Like hang out with like-minded people, meet peers, help each other out with problems, get feedback on your [01:03:00] recordings. Um, it's, it's just a fun group of people. It's where we hang. It's where we answer your questions as well.
So go to the self recording, band.com/community. Join our Facebook group. It's free. It's open for everyone. Um, and yeah. Do it absolutely love to see you in there. Come hang. All right. See you next week. .
TSRB Academy Waiting List:
TSRB Free Facebook Community:
Malcom's and Benedikt's websites:
Outback Recordings (Benedikt's Mixing Studio and personal website)
Outback Recordings Podcast - Benedikt's other podcast
Stone Mastering (Malcom's Mastering Company)
Your Band Sucks (at business) - Malcom's other podcast
Gimme The Beat (The Netflix Documentary Malcom is involved with)
If you have any questions, feedback, topic ideas or want to suggest a guest, email us at: email@example.com
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