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Foh engineer pricing
Old 9th February 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Mgr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Talking Foh engineer pricing

Hi all !

I'm going on tour with a band soon, that's the first time i do it for a tour, but i have been doing it for many years as a freelance.

What's the usual price you're asking for this job ?

thanks.
Old 9th February 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 
opentune's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
What´s your standard rate? Maybe just add some bucks because of the tour
stress...? That could be a start...
Old 9th February 2009
  #3
Gear Guru
 
tINY's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years


It depends. Is someone else responsible for setting up the system?

Or is this a "mic the stage, fix the problems with the house system, run the show (plus monitors), and help pack up" kind of gig?

Personally, I'd have a hard time taking less than $200/gig + food, lodging, and transport for the second scenario...



-tINY

Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #4
Engagement Manager
 
Sniperschool's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
depends on the length of the tour and the band/labels budget
but you should be getting $150-$175 a show
plus your PD's and be paid for travel/off days
maybe see if the other bands playing have a FOH engineer
if not contact them and see if you can pick up some extra change!
S/.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #5
Lives for gear
 
opentune's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperschool ➡️
maybe see if the other bands playing have a FOH engineer
if not contact them and see if you can pick up some extra change!
S/.
Yep!!
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #6
Lives for gear
 
Mgr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by opentune ➡️
What´s your standard rate? Maybe just add some bucks because of the tour
stress...? That could be a start...
Usually when i do it locally it's 150 - 200 / gig
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Mgr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by tINY ➡️


It depends. Is someone else responsible for setting up the system?

Or is this a "mic the stage, fix the problems with the house system, run the show (plus monitors), and help pack up" kind of gig?

Personally, I'd have a hard time taking less than $200/gig + food, lodging, and transport for the second scenario...



-tINY

Yes someone else will be responsible for setting up the system.

I'll have to check the mic stage position (probably have to mic myself sometimes), fix the problems with house system, run the show Foh and sometimes Monitor too, pack up and install probably.

Thanks.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Mgr's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperschool ➡️
depends on the length of the tour and the band/labels budget
but you should be getting $150-$175 a show
plus your PD's and be paid for travel/off days
maybe see if the other bands playing have a FOH engineer
if not contact them and see if you can pick up some extra change!
S/.
Yes that seems to be fair.

Good advice concerning other bands . Thanks !
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
opentune's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by AudioA ➡️
Usually when i do it locally it's 150 - 200 / gig
I´d ask for 250 per show then. See what the band says... maybe you can
give them a "fidelity rebate" heh by charging a little less on the days off...?

And make sure you´ve talked with the band about your services before
the tour starts. Stuff like taking care of the backline, loading the truck and
selling shirts/CD´s shouldn´t be included in your rate.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #10
Gear Addict
 
Recycled_Brains's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Is this an independant band that's booking their own tour, or are they doing it through an agent?

Who's funding the tour?

How much is the band getting paid per night? Do they have a guarantee, or are they getting a door %?
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Nut
 
The_Shoe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
The biggest factor in determining what would be a good rate for you to charge the band is this:

What is your touring experiance?

Touring as a FOH Engineer is a whole differant animal then running FOH at a local club. There are many, many differant secnarios that arise on a day to day basis that will determine if you are the right engineer for the job. At times touring with a band in a small van with a trailer, playing dive bars and medium sized clubs can be much more difficult then touring on a bus with your own PA and systems tech. You can pretty much count on the fact that almost every venue your artists performs at is going to have mediocre gear that is performing well below where it should perform. Even the clubs with top notch gear are going to have issues with there systems. You will then have to convince the venue tech that you recognize in a system that he works on everyday, that there is a problem. Then, convince him that YOU AND HIM are the team to fix the issues so that you can provide the best possible performance for your artists. Belive me convincing techs and house engineers to take their ego out of the equation is where you earn your money. And this comes from experiance only.

This is just a glimpse at what wil be expected of you for the money you get paid. Also if you are touring with a band with no label support you need to take into consideration what there gaurentes are. Or are they getting a percentage of ticket sales and or the door. If this is your first tour as FOH Engineer then do you really want to break the band who is giving you a chance to expand your career.

My biggest suggestion to you is this:

DON'T BE A WHITE GLOVE ENGINEER! Get your hands dirty and help this band make the best of their tour possible. You are now going to be part of the band, if they are unloading their gear from a trailer every night and setting it up on stage then you should be handling merch and venue liassons. Basicly if they are working thier asses off, then so should you.

Here is what I think you should charge for the info that you have provided:

$150 per show
$75 for days off
and
$20 a day per diem

As a production manager, this is what I would pay you fairly based on the info you gave.

This is a good rate for a FOH Engineer who wears multipe hats on a small tour. Remember don't just mix, help this band sell more records, draw bigger crowds and ensure a successful tour and it will pay dividends to you in the future.

I have been mixing FOH and monitors on tour for 15 years and this is just my opinon.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #12
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
$20 per day per diem?
The minimum U.S. guideline posted by the IRS is $45 per day MINIMUM!

Where are you going to eat for $20.00 per day?
Maybe if you are traveling witrh a band and eating at Burger Doodle for every meal and splurging at Tac O' Matic you could survive on $20.00 per diem.
When I toured with a label band in 1989/90 we got $35.00 per day.

I live on the road and although it isn't in the rock and roll world any longer I can tell you what it costs out there in the real world of the U.S.
I do corporate audio and live in downtown hotels across the U.S.
My itinerary in January included St. Louis, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Dallas and I just got home from St. Paul, MN this morning.

I can promise you that just a hamburger and a cold drink or iced tea including a tip will cost you about $16.00 to $20.00 PER MEAL.
In places like downtown Chicago the hamburger and iced tea will cost you $22.00 with a tip!
If you want to eat the cheapest thing on the menu (the name Angus Burger is pretty universal at hotels) you might as well plan on it costing $20.00 per day.
Want a cup of coffee? $2.00 to $2.25

I have to factor in airport parking, taxis and/or airport shuttles, so $180.00 for four days is barely enough.

Most guys who do corporate audio ask for and receive $50 per day.
Even then, most meals are provided.
Still, you can't count on that and your schedule may not work around the time that food is served.

What to charge for mixing?
$150.00 to $250.00 per show.
It depends on how good you are and what experience you bring to the table.

Reading this reminds me why I don't do bands.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #13
Lives for gear
 
kooz's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by sniperschool ➡️
depends on the length of the tour and the band/labels budget
but you should be getting $150-$175 a show
plus your PD's and be paid for travel/off days
maybe see if the other bands playing have a FOH engineer
if not contact them and see if you can pick up some extra change!
S/.
what he said!
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
It really depends on the size of the production, but I recommend charging by the week. If you're on the road, whether you're working or have days off, you should be getting paid the same amount. I'm about to go out on the road, and I couldn't imagine getting paid less on down days. The production is taking up your valuable time when you're on the road with them, whether you are working that day or not. I think FOH should be getting $1800 a week or more. $150 - $200 is acceptable if you are doing one night at a venue in town.
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #15
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 10 years
To add to this, how much less do you think a monitor engineer should be making?
Old 9th February 2009 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Addict
 
casey_outlaw's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Unless the tour, or headliner, has a production manager, expect to spend a good deal of time advancing the shows as well. When you walk in to a club that's sporting a pair of Yorkville 12" speakers on a stick and a 12 channel Behringer mixer, you will wish you had. Pay is usually based on experience. Some guys make $500 a week and some make $5000, and that was on the same tour, both mixing FOH for different bands.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #17
Gear Nut
 
The_Shoe's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba ➡️
Where are you going to eat for $20.00 per day?
Maybe if you are traveling witrh a band and eating at Burger Doodle for every meal and splurging at Tac O' Matic you could survive on $20.00 per diem.
When I toured with a label band in 1989/90 we got $35.00 per day.
.
I do not disagree with you at all on this. I also live on the road about 10 months out of the year and I would not except anything less for myself. However I have been mixing and tour managing for quite a while. It sounds like we are talking about a band that does not have label support and will be funding the majority of this tour from their own pockets. As a FOH Engineer with no experiance touring, the above quoted numbers are more the fair for an artist to give you a shot at mixing their shows.

What happens when they commit to paying scale for a novice engineer who wastes their time and money for three months. When everyone comes home the novice engineer can still try to better his career, but the band may not be able to recover from a dismal tour.

Earn your keep is all I am saying. Next go round you can get what you want and need.
Old 10th February 2009 | Show parent
  #18
Lives for gear
 
Mike Brown's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Shoe ➡️
Earn your keep is all I am saying.
Agreed!

As you said above... working hard now & always will pay dividends in the future (usually in the form of zero's at the end of a paycheck for future gigs with clients you helped when they were just starting out, or word of mouth from the time you saved the show when the plane crashed through the ceiling.)
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