Studio Rate - $70/Hour.
3 Hour minimum booking
Lockout Rate - $500/Day.
8 hours plus 1 hour break, roughly $50/Hour.
Setup and breakdown are part of the session time.
Audio Mixing Rate - $80.00/Hour.
It's very hard to estimate how long a mix will take on a global scale because of the extreme variable nature of each individual mix. Some may be quick and easy and others may be more involved. On the average, allowing at least 2 hours per song would be reasonable.
Audio Mastering Rate - $90.00/Hour.
We estimate approximately 1 hour of studio time for every 10 minutes of program material, then add an extra hour for full lengths or a half hour for an EP. A 40 minute CD usually takes 5 hours to complete. This is just an estimate.
A word about our rates...
If you have an unlimited budget, feel free to ask for an hourly rate. Be advised - it will always cost more when there is not a thorough discussion of a plan.
If you are on a tight budget, please communicate what that budget is - and what you wish to accomplish within that budget. We can then provide you with a plan that will be right for you.
The Gearbox is set up to run efficiently. The total cost of completing a project is almost always lower or the same as it would be other studios with a fraction of the experience. In order for this to happen, we must start with a discussion of your budget.
What to look for in a studio...
The reality is that in 2015, everyone is using the same recording equipment. Choosing where to record is not about choosing a studio, it's about choosing who to record with. The people who produce and engineer will be the determining factor in your results.
This is why understanding an individual's approach to producing and engineering records is extremely important. My approach begins with a few questions:
First, what is your goal? Why are you making this recording?
Is it a demo or a full blown final production that you want to release to the marketplace? Is it purely a vanity project? The purpose of your recording needs can go a long way in determining how to move forward.
Second, what is your budget?
People often answer this question with "$X per hour", but that's a rate not a budget. A recording can be done in 1 hour or 100 hours which means the actual cost can be drastically different from studio to studio regardless of the rate. What matters is the total cost to complete the project.
Third, how experienced are you?
Making great music comes from the musician's innate abilities and doesn't require experience to be musical. However, recording does not always follow the natural process of making music. A discussion of whether you need or want production guidance is best at the beginning, because there are many ways to improve a recording before the actual session begins.
From here, we will come up with a plan (or options). It will depend on your needs. There are many clients who come through who only need half a day to record drums and they've made dozens of records, so it's a brief email discussion. Others need more in depth discussion, by phone or in person.
When the session begins, you'll have a plan that will get the work done within your budget - as long as you stick to the plan.
Service and The Gearbox
In a way, making a recording is like climbing a Himalayan mountain. You, as the artist, are the mountain climber and the producer or engineer you hire to help you make the record is the Sherpa. It's the job of the Sherpa to get you up the mountain and back down in one piece. The question then becomes - who is in charge while climbing the mountain? Is it you, the mountain climber, or the Sherpa that you are paying to guide you safely and protect you from disaster?
You eventually have to establish the dynamic that you are comfortable with and clearly define the role that you wish to see the producer/engineer play. Often the assumption is that the producer leaves their stamp on every record they touch. The fact is: a good producer is invisible and should only be there to serve to music and bring the best out of an artist.
Both producing and engineering are services. Ideally the service starts with listening to the artist's goals. Sometimes an artist needs a solution. Sometimes they prefer to find their own solution. In a producer or engineer, you want someone who has the ability to work alongside of you to help focus your musical vision more precisely.
Once your goals are clearly defined and a production plan is put into action, making great recordings can be very easy - as long as you are willing to put in the time and work to really make it right.
Not "perfect" - but "right". They are not the same thing.