Mixing and mastering fees

Rodney D

What is a fair fee to charge for mixing a song?
What is a fair fee to charge for mastering a song?

The song has about 30 tracks of audio, and I will be doing all in the box using logic 9. I have no major credits and I just run a indie home studio. The artists is a indie as well. Just want to be fair and not rape anybody.



Hi Rodney,

My gut feeling with these sort of things is to base the price on an hourly rate and the time you spend on it for the client.

In all my years of running a home studio and having all kinds of various clients come and go I have found the fairest way of charging for all parties involved is on an hourly basis. To make a package price where the final amount is not based on time and an hourly rate, someone inevitably will be screwed.

If you don't charge by the hour, either you end up putting in more time that you estimated and you end up making less for your time involved; or you put in less time than estimated and the client pays more than is strictly necessary.

Charging per hour, IMHO, is the fairest for everyone. There are no competing motivations. The client gets exactly what they pay for. Some times clients have said to me "I only want to spend xxx amount on this". When that is the case, I explain to them that anything is possible. You can record and mix a tune in three or four hours, or three or four days! It depends on how picky the artist is and the level of detail involved.

So, if they want to plow through something in half the time I would think it might take to do it properly, I do the best I can for them in the time their money can buy. I explain them that I work quickly and efficiently and will do my utmost best possible for them in the time their budget can buy. Inevitably they end up spending more time and money on it once the process is underway and they see everything that is involved.

Anyway, sorry for the rant - I hope it is useful in some way:) FWIW, I used to charge $40 per hour for many years. A couple of years ago I raised my price to $45 per hour. None of my regular clients complained. I feel that is a fair price given the competition in my geographic area, the level of service and expertise I can bring. It is not the highest price nor by any means the lowest; but it works for me.... and my clients :)

Metered time is the best way IMHO. Your time really is the only asset you have to sell.