The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Average Mixing/Mastering prices
Old 14th July 2018
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 5 years
Average Mixing/Mastering prices

Hi Guyz,
I've searched on the forum and i only found an old post about this topic.

So, i'm living in EU, Italy, i'm running a small production/mixing/mastering studio and i'm wondering which is the average price for mastering one song and mixing one.

I'm working with EDM producers, so i'm not in contact yet with label or big company yet. I've done some research and basically here in eu you could find an analogue master for 50eu. Mixing goes 80eu. How this price sound to you? i mean, to me sounds impossible to run a business with this prices!


What're your thoughts? and how do you suggest to start connecting with the labels?

Thank you guyz :D
Old 14th July 2018
  #2
Lives for gear
 
SASMastering's Avatar
 
Verified Member
2 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Your rates are very personal, no one but yourself can decide them, forget what others charge. I work analogue/digital and currently charge £30.00 for 1 track (less for multiple tracks) and have been dedicated to mastering music for 9 years now with the right room and gear and have lots of actual professional industry experience prior that.

There are a very wide range of factors that go into an individuals pricing. No one can tell you your rate.
Old 15th July 2018 | Show parent
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
jontornblom's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by SASMastering ➡️
Your rates are very personal, no one but yourself can decide them, forget what others charge. I work analogue/digital and currently charge £30.00 for 1 track (less for multiple tracks) and have been dedicated to mastering music for 9 years now with the right room and gear and have lots of actual professional industry experience prior that.

There are a very wide range of factors that go into an individuals pricing. No one can tell you your rate.
+1

I was recently scolded, deservedly, for taking about pricing as if everyone lived in my region.

Personally, here is my strategy. Imagine you are an employee. Decide what you should make per hour. Multiply that by the average time you spend on these tasks. Then double that number because you are going to have: unpaid time finding new clients/running a business, unexpected expenses/repairs, slow times, and hopefully retirement savings.

I’ve also heard another strategy: choose what you want to make in a year, then divide it by 1000 and charge that per hour. For me it works out the same.

Hope your business does very well!
Old 19th July 2018
  #4
Gear Addict
 
karibu's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Mixing € 80 imho is very low...while mastering at 50/track is pretty normal, it's more or less the average of professional studios without big names on credits.
The thing I feel always more absurd is the difference between "analog" and "digital" referred to the price: when you're doing mastering the client hire YOU and your skills, regardless of the gear you have...
Old 20th July 2018
  #5
Gear Addict
 
DBarbarulo's Avatar
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
For mixing the question is how big the session is. In my experience a professional can vary on a low track count from 150 to a medium sized mix around 250€. Price can go up higher indefinitely. For masters 50 + taxes is the average cost for a song in a LP project made say of 9, 10 tracks. A single booked in a pro studio in my experience is more around 100 + taxes.

DB
Old 20th July 2018 | Show parent
  #6
Deleted 691ca21
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by karibu ➡️
The thing I feel always more absurd is the difference between "analog" and "digital" referred to the price: when you're doing mastering the client hire YOU and your skills, regardless of the gear you have...
I've never understood this either. Just do the very best job you possibly can for every single client, with the necessary gear (analogue or digital). Having a different pricing tier for "digital mastering" vs. "analogue mastering" just suggests to me you won't do as good a job with the cheaper option, or you won't care as much about the project. Not something you want prospective clients to be thinking.
Old 20th July 2018
  #7
Gear Addict
 
DBarbarulo's Avatar
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
digital (itb digital) may be cheaper since you can bounce off-line while analog requires real time processing The argument is IMHO that on average a "digital" setup requires maybe 1/10 or 1/20 of financial resources than an analog one, so different procedures with different gear involved are sold at different prices. I totally agree that is a pure marketing move.


DB
Old 20th July 2018
  #8
Gear Addict
 
streaky's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Equipment means nothing...it’s the sound you can achieve and the relationships you build that brings market value.

Try this method if you’re unsure of pricing :

1. Work for free in your spare time hours until you’re full.
2. Charge everybody and I mean everybody...( helps get rid of the timewasters) £25 a track until you’re full in your daytime hours.
3. Then charge everybody £50 a track until you’re full again.
4. Keep adding £25...you’ll soon hit your market value. (Same for mixing).
Old 21st July 2018 | Show parent
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Verified Member
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBarbarulo ➡️
digital (itb digital) may be cheaper since you can bounce off-line while analog requires real time processing The argument is IMHO that on average a "digital" setup requires maybe 1/10 or 1/20 of financial resources than an analog one, so different procedures with different gear involved are sold at different prices. I totally agree that is a pure marketing move.


DB
Although analogue gear is a big expense (trust me!)

It's nothing compared to the cost of building a room, maintaining a business, existing in a complex and fluctuating market (trust me! )

To price for chain is utterly bonkers in my opinion, I'm hired as a consultant as a technician not as gear hire..
Old 21st July 2018
  #10
Gear Addict
 
DBarbarulo's Avatar
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
@ Joe_caithness , i don't need to trust you i trust my pocket! What i was saying is that who advertises "digital" or "analog" at different rates is a kind of suspicious professional and is a pure marketing move to justify lower rates. I think too that is common feeling at this point that a "digital" only setup is a way to define a cheap studio who can't afford hi-end analog nor probably great acoustics etc.
Old 22nd July 2018 | Show parent
  #11
Gear Addict
 
karibu's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBarbarulo ➡️
I think too that is common feeling at this point that a "digital" only setup is a way to define a cheap studio who can't afford hi-end analog nor probably great acoustics etc.
That's not true: I had a big hybrid setup in the past, and moved to an all digital one after several blind tests with different clients sending 2 versions and all (and I'm really saying "all'") preferred the one done with digital gear only.

We all know that is plenty of dummies who arvertise "professional mastering" with not professional studios, but the equation "digital"="quality compromise to match low investment" is simply not applicable to all cases ; I'm sure that all great colleagues here are alle to deliver great masters using plugins only as world is full of guys spending tons of bucks on top analog gear and unable to do nice jobs...and use the words "analogue mastering" just with marketing purposes...

It's the same old story of many threads about it...
Old 23rd July 2018
  #12
Gear Addict
 
Mark1353's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I've been trying to start a business here for a while now (4 months or so). Maybe it's because of summer time, but I still have only few actual paying customers.

My prices are low now but I intend to raise them in the long run.

Well, if this doesn't work out in a year or so I can always sell the gear. That is the good thing about analog high end gear, you probably get the same money back you paid for them.
Old 23rd July 2018
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Ben F's Avatar
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
You just need provide excellent results and start to get some decent credits under your name. One of those artists will blow up and you should be busy from then on, and can charge what the market demands.

It's about getting results and perception of your work.
Old 23rd July 2018 | Show parent
  #14
Gear Addict
 
DBarbarulo's Avatar
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by karibu ➡️
That's not true: I had a big hybrid setup in the past, and moved to an all digital one after several blind tests with different clients sending 2 versions and all (and I'm really saying "all'") preferred the one done with digital gear only.

We all know that is plenty of dummies who arvertise "professional mastering" with not professional studios, but the equation "digital"="quality compromise to match low investment" is simply not applicable to all cases ; I'm sure that all great colleagues here are alle to deliver great masters using plugins only as world is full of guys spending tons of bucks on top analog gear and unable to do nice jobs...and use the words "analogue mastering" just with marketing purposes...

It's the same old story of many threads about it...
Gianni, i clearly agree on the technical side and never affirmed that a great job can be made only one way. At the same time i don't know what are your reasons behind choice of gear and is not relevant. I'm talking about marketing and aesthetics. Anyone can add "mastering" in his services simply by writing it on a website. You don't need a purpose built room and equipment to compete and offer mastering services. I personally know dozens of cases and some of them can randomly produce good things. I know too professional studios fully loaded of stuff that produced bad sounding masters but numbers are different. From consumer's perspective i think that a full loaded and built studio gives more trust. As a side note (always talking about consumer's perception) i have troubles thinking about who in the world's top 20 claims or advertises the use of an exclusively digital chain.
To me is important having choices as a customer. So i'll pay gladly to seat in a place that has all the options available an then choose what fits the best my needs. Any kind of limitation makes me suspicious.
Old 23rd July 2018
  #15
Gear Addict
 
DBarbarulo's Avatar
 
Verified Member
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I'll be happy to get rid of my gear the day i'll be able to give the edge and be satisfied with plugins only. I'll buy maybe a second hand 35/40ft yacht.
Old 23rd July 2018 | Show parent
  #16
Gear Addict
 
Magnus Lindberg's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by DBarbarulo ➡️
I'll be happy to get rid of my gear the day i'll be able to give the edge and be satisfied with plugins only. I'll buy maybe a second hand 35/40ft yacht.
Me too, but that day doesn't seem to be close yet.
Old 23rd July 2018
  #17
Gear Addict
 
karibu's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Yes that's a relevant point too, sometimes the image is important.
Old 23rd July 2018 | Show parent
  #18
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magnus Lindberg ➡️
Me too, but that day doesn't seem to be close yet.
Already past over here. Sold the Sontec, don't miss it a bit. YMMV.
Old 29th July 2018
  #19
Gear Maniac
 
jontornblom's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
For me, using analog gear is a mindset thing. I got a lot better when I started needing to commit to decisions fast, with greater consequences for going back and fixing it (basically more time spent recalling and bouncing). I make better decisions faster now. Mastering in analog still takes more time overall, but I feel way more confident in my decisions because I’ve trained myself to be decisive this way.

The sound quality thing is such a heated debate, I’ll just keep my opinions to myself there. It’s basically like arguing politics with strangers.
Old 30th September 2018 | Show parent
  #20
Lives for gear
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by streaky ➡️
Equipment means nothing...it’s the sound you can achieve and the relationships you build that brings market value.

Try this method if you’re unsure of pricing :

1. Work for free in your spare time hours until you’re full.
2. Charge everybody and I mean everybody...( helps get rid of the timewasters) £25 a track until you’re full in your daytime hours.
3. Then charge everybody £50 a track until you’re full again.
4. Keep adding £25...you’ll soon hit your market value. (Same for mixing).
This technique is not always easy because once you set a price for a client, it's difficult to come back to it. Usually if i try to raise my price they will leave.. because they got used to a certain price
Old 30th September 2018 | Show parent
  #21
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
 
Verified Member
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by streaky ➡️
Equipment means nothing...it’s the sound you can achieve and the relationships you build that brings market value.

Try this method if you’re unsure of pricing :

1. Work for free in your spare time hours until you’re full.
2. Charge everybody and I mean everybody...( helps get rid of the timewasters) £25 a track until you’re full in your daytime hours.
3. Then charge everybody £50 a track until you’re full again.
4. Keep adding £25...you’ll soon hit your market value. (Same for mixing).
It's a good concept if you can get your existing clients to go along with the price increases. Those increments of 25 seem pretty large to me. Doubling your rate is a sure way to anger clients. Smaller increments and flexibility for existing clients seems advisable...
Old 30th September 2018 | Show parent
  #22
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirito ➡️
This technique is not always easy because once you set a price for a client, it's difficult to come back to it. Usually if i try to raise my price they will leave.. because they got used to a certain price
What's the problem? If they leave because they were "used to the price" then they are exactly what Streaky said some people would be, a timewaster.

I think you missed the actual point of streaky's message. The point is you need to completely fill up your time schedule first, then make supremely good work and THEN rise your prices when the demand exceeds your available time.

You can very simply say this to your clients: "I am getting overbooked so I'm raising the prices, take it or leave it".

This is how markets work. If you are NOT overbooked and only have a few clients, then of course you can not rise the prises.

You can even start by adding a "overbooked" fee for projects that have tight time schedules and absolutely need to get out the door within the week. This way you can still keep the lower price for projects that aren't in a hurry to be finished. You can also start charging for revisions, this usually cuts out the "hey man! I just made a new mix and want you to use this one instead!".. a real nightmare when you get tens of those clients, especially if you are using outboard gear.

Anyhow, I think streaky's market position finding works exactly as he laid out. The trick is that YOU need to make yourself valuable enough for the clients to stick around, even if you raise the prices. If they don't and your overbooked anyhow, then it's no problem. If you raised the prices too much and the majority of your clients leave, then you can come slightly back on the pricing until you hit the sweetspot.
Old 30th September 2018 | Show parent
  #23
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
 
Verified Member
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➡️
You can very simply say this to your clients: "I am getting overbooked so I'm raising the prices, take it or leave it".
Would you really say that to your clients? Were I a client and told "Take it or leave it", I'd leave it just because I was offended...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➡️
You can even start by adding a "overbooked" fee for projects that have tight time schedules and absolutely need to get out the door within the week. This way you can still keep the lower price for projects that aren't in a hurry to be finished.
Yeah, I've considered a rush fee but have never done it because it would mean bumping previously scheduled clients, which is hard to reschedule. I mean, when I'm booked solid for 2 weeks do I make the bumped client wait 2 weeks? Or do I bump everyone by 1 day? Neither option seems good...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➡️
You can also start charging for revisions, this usually cuts out the "hey man! I just made a new mix and want you to use this one instead!".. a real nightmare when you get tens of those clients, especially if you are using outboard gear.
Yes that is a PITA! My way is to do mastering revisions for free but charge half price for mastering revised mixes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➡️
Anyhow, I think streaky's market position finding works exactly as he laid out. The trick is that YOU need to make yourself valuable enough for the clients to stick around, even if you raise the prices. If they don't and your overbooked anyhow, then it's no problem. If you raised the prices too much and the majority of your clients leave, then you can come slightly back on the pricing until you hit the sweetspot.
I think streaky is basically right, but I've made it work with smaller increments and have never had to come slightly back on my pricing. If I'd gone from 25 to 50 all at once then I'd have had a revolt on my hands. Also, raising the rate and then backing off is not a good look. If I did that then I'd feel that I appeared foolish, greedy and weak. A gradual approach has worked well for me over the years. $5/song increments. YMMV.

Last edited by Trakworx; 30th September 2018 at 05:54 PM..
Old 30th September 2018
  #24
Deleted 691ca21
Guest
I've raised my prices three times in the last decade and kept all my best/longest term clients. It drove away the bottom feeders, which was a great thing.
Old 30th September 2018 | Show parent
  #25
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
Would you really say that to your clients? Were I a client and told "Take it or leave it", I'd leave it just because I was offended...
Yes I would, if the client was being difficult about it. No, of course not to begin with. I'd tell them about the price rise before I start working on their project to make sure they know I've raised prises. Then if they ask "why?" I'd explain the reason. Then if they further start being difficult about it after the explanation (full schedule) then I'd say the above line. Being 100% honest about these things usually ends up being the best way. If somebody gets offended by this and they leave then it's a win win for both (remember, all this is triggered by the schedule already being completely full and overbooked. Loose some, gain some).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
Yeah, I've considered a rush fee but have never done it because it would mean bumping previously scheduled clients, which is hard to reschedule. I mean, when I'm booked solid for 2 weeks do I make the bumped client wait 2 weeks? Or do I bump everyone by 1 day? Neither option seems good...
No, you make the rush fee very high to start with and only for the client that rushes.. that is somebody who calls you up and says "Hey man! I need a master for tomorrow, can you make it???". This is when you introduce that extra fee and say "Sure, but this means I need to work overtime and re-schedule a few other clients so this now costs extra". Then tell them the extra fee price (and make sure you have this rush fee already visible on the website before this even happens). It needs to be high enough so that only serious people take this route. It's like anything else.. if you need to call a service person to fix your broken computer/server/car/whatever in the middle of night on a Sunday, you'll be paying massive amounts extra.

You don't even necessarily have to bump the other clients by more than a day, if even that. You just need to work your ass off and squeeze that one extra rushed client infront of everybody, then continue as normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trakworx ➡️
I think streaky is basically right, but I've made it work with smaller increments and have never had to come slightly back on my pricing. If I'd gone from 25 to 50 all at once then I'd have had a revolt on my hands. Also, raising the rate and then backing off is not a good look. If I did that then I'd feel that I appeared foolish, greedy and weak. A gradual approach has worked well for me over the years. $5/song increments. YMMV.
Agreed. 25 pound increases is a lot.. but the idea is solid. Usually the timewasters are people who think 20$ per track is too much. Get rid of those first with small bumps, then if you get over crowded with people who are willing to pay then you can do a larger bump.

Also make sure you always honor the ongoing agreement. Always bump up the prices publicly on the website first and then only charge the new clients (or old ones that return later) with the new price. If they ask why the prices have changed, simply be 100% honest and tell them why. Most sensible people understand this and if it gets too pricey for old clients, then perhaps politely refer them to somebody else who is cheaper.

This is how the cycle of amateur -> semi-pro -> pro -> master works naturally as it should.

Cheers!
Old 1st October 2018 | Show parent
  #26
Lives for gear
 
Trakworx's Avatar
 
Verified Member
3 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➡️
Yes I would, if the client was being difficult about it.
OK but I still would never use the words "Take it or leave it". There are far more diplomatic ways to convey that message.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➡️
No, you make the rush fee very high to start with and only for the client that rushes.. that is somebody who calls you up and says "Hey man! I need a master for tomorrow, can you make it???". This is when you introduce that extra fee and say "Sure, but this means I need to work overtime and re-schedule a few other clients so this now costs extra". Then tell them the extra fee price (and make sure you have this rush fee already visible on the website before this even happens). It needs to be high enough so that only serious people take this route. It's like anything else.. if you need to call a service person to fix your broken computer/server/car/whatever in the middle of night on a Sunday, you'll be paying massive amounts extra.

You don't even necessarily have to bump the other clients by more than a day, if even that. You just need to work your ass off and squeeze that one extra rushed client infront of everybody, then continue as normal.
That makes sense. But. It's the "work your ass off" part that stops me from doing that. I prefer to keep my ass on When I'm booked up it means I'm already at capacity. I can't maintain quality if I try to cram in an extra project on top of a full workload. Only so much ears per day available. If I open that floodgate then it sets a precedent and I'll end up overworking myself on an ongoing basis. It's a slippery slope and I'm not willing to live that way. I've learned that in order to do consistently good work and keep my sanity I have to limit my workload to reasonable levels. I can do a lot in a day, but then I'm done. That only leaves bumping clients as a way to accommodate rush jobs, so I'm back to the scheduling dilemma. Therefore I usually refuse to penalize clients who had planned ahead and booked in advance just to reward those who didn't. Anyway, that's how I dooz it. When I'm in a busy period. During slower times it's not really an issue. Wouldn't it be nice if we could spread the workload evenly throughout each year?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmanic ➡️
Agreed. 25 pound increases is a lot.. but the idea is solid. Usually the timewasters are people who think 20$ per track is too much. Get rid of those first with small bumps, then if you get over crowded with people who are willing to pay then you can do a larger bump.

Also make sure you always honor the ongoing agreement. Always bump up the prices publicly on the website first and then only charge the new clients (or old ones that return later) with the new price. If they ask why the prices have changed, simply be 100% honest and tell them why. Most sensible people understand this and if it gets too pricey for old clients, then perhaps politely refer them to somebody else who is cheaper.

This is how the cycle of amateur -> semi-pro -> pro -> master works naturally as it should.

Cheers!
Yep!
Old 1st October 2018
  #27
Lives for gear
 
Conundra's Avatar
 
Verified Member
🎧 5 years
When I increased my prices, I adopted the strategy of keeping valued existing clients at the same rate as when they started using my services. This is something I have only had to re-evaluate for one long term client who was still on the introductory rate from when I first started.

Other than that one instance, it's worked out really well and done a lot to make long term clients feel valued.

Last edited by Conundra; 1st October 2018 at 06:36 PM.. Reason: Typo
Old 6th October 2018
  #28
Lives for gear
 
The less u charge the bigger output u will have basic economics would not hurt!That doesn't mean peanuts but u have to be realistic.I was most of the time in charts when released music and guess what go paid nothing so I can't justify paying big bucks when I can't return them.Music its joke I can make the cost of a studio in the property market without any work for 3 4 years just waiting.So ye the music market needs good research what are people ready to pay when you are not famous at the field the price should be as low as possible to attract the costumers.The big prices can be justified when u are on the level of Luca Dmi Studio this guy is god expensive but his mixing and mastering its out of the galactic.
Old 6th October 2018 | Show parent
  #29
DAH
Lives for gear
 
DAH's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by geeorge ➡️
The less u charge the bigger output u will have basic economics would not hurt!That doesn't mean peanuts but u have to be realistic.I was most of the time in charts when released music and guess what go paid nothing so I can't justify paying big bucks when I can't return them.Music its joke I can make the cost of a studio in the property market without any work for 3 4 years just waiting.So ye the music market needs good research what are people ready to pay when you are not famous at the field the price should be as low as possible to attract the costumers.The big prices can be justified when u are on the level of Luca Dmi Studio this guy is god expensive but his mixing and mastering its out of the galactic.
Out of the galactic, really?
Old 6th October 2018 | Show parent
  #30
Lives for gear
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAH ➡️
Out of the galactic, really?
Briefly ye this guy its absolute professor in edm mastering the loudness and clarity he achieve its scary.But that's my opinion
📝 Reply
Topic:
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearspace Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…

Forum Jump
Forum Jump