Quantcast
Portable Location Recording Rates? - Page 5 - Gearspace.com
The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
Portable Location Recording Rates?
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #121
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corran ➑️
One must know how to run a business??


I'm firmly in group number 2 - the more concerts the better! And now I'm steadily raising my rates so eventually I'll have a large rate AND a lot bookings. That's how you run a business - entice a lot of people to buy and then get them hooked on your product/service, and then jack up the price.

This is kinda rehashing the thread don't you think??
This use to be the way businesses worked but today that model doesn't work very well because this has become a WalMart world and everyone, at least around here, is looking for the lowest possible price and if you attempt to raise rates they will find someone else who may not be as good as you are but is $25.00 cheaper. It happens all the time and has happened to me.

When you make a business plan you put down on paper your expenses, and then you try and cover those expenses with the amount of time worked at a given rate. If you are not running a real business then you don't have to have a business plan and things like profit and sustainability don't really matter since you are covering your expenses from your day job.

No matter where in the US of A today the arts are struggling. The major orchestras are holding on but a lot of the local and regional orchestras have gone belly up or are about to. Chamber groups, at least around here, are almost non existent. Vocal societies abound but their ability to pay is very limited. High school and College orchestras are plentiful but many of them are recorded internally by a AV department for archival uses. Solo performers are almost non existent except for the organist playing at a local church and they are most likely not to be in a position to pay or they may do the recording themselves or someone from the church may do the recording for free or for very little.

It is not a good economic outlook for the arts or for the people that provide services for them.
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #122
Lives for gear
 
Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Of course every market is different, which is why we have so many different views. Me, I'm going after a market that doesn't have much exposure here. And frankly I don't even want to talk about it, lest someone steal my ideas.
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #123
Gear Guru
 
joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Bottom line: you need to be able to provide a level of service and quality that is not interchangeable with anyone else. Obviously, yes, times are tough, and yet, and yet... the ability to produce a really oustanding recording of someone's musical performance is a rare thing, always has been and always will be.

I don't mean a 24 bit distortion-free deal done with x-y-z mics placed properly and blah, blah, blah... I mean a recording that grabs people and moves them. It would be the foolish customer who couldn't find an extra $25 for that little bit of immortality.
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #124
Lives for gear
 
soundbarnfool's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
My advice, for what it is worth, is if you are just starting out and want to eventually be able to meet what the unions call "standards and practices" as a professional recordist, you need to work as much as you can in a non-professional capacity (i.e. with your friends?) so that you can make mistakes and not be held particularly accountable because you are not charging for your services. Eventually you will get good at it, hopefully, and then you need to not screw the whole community by undercutting other recordists. Because in the long run you screw yourself. We see the results of this approach constantly, sadly. When you begin to charge, you are accountable. And either the customer understands the risks of hiring someone on the the cheap or they do not. If they don't, I personally try to avoid that type of situation.

Inglewood SoundBarn
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #125
Lives for gear
 
videoteque's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Because in the long run you screw yourself.
Not even sooo long!!!tutt
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #126
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
The only way I have been able to make it and prosper through the years is to work for those who REQUIRE that the recording get made. These are big broadcasters, publishers, record companies and the like.

Most of us started out working for groups who say, "IT WOULD BE NICE to have this recorded." But they don't really need it.

The difference between the two is quite big.

Of course to work for those who require the recording means that you have to be where they are located.

Working cheap goofs over yourself and the other recording people in your area. It keeps rates low. You are competing not against your other recording people in your area. You are really competing against big league recorded sound in general. If it sounds great they have to pay.

Those who work cheap won't last.
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #127
Lives for gear
 
NorseHorse's Avatar
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➑️
The only way I have been able to make it and prosper through the years is to work for those who REQUIRE that the recording get made. These are big broadcasters, publishers, record companies and the like.

Most of us started out working for groups who say, "IT WOULD BE NICE to have this recorded." But they don't really need it.

The difference between the two is quite big.
Great insight!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plush ➑️
Those who work cheap won't last.
I'm sure the crowd of engineers in Northern Virginia who record schools for FREE or $200ish plus CD sales (and have been doing it for years) would disagree.

When are you going to post on the "First Eight Years" thread, Plush? I'd love to hear how you got started. And how you found clients who REQUIRE that recordings be made! Was that in the first eight years?! Hopefully those days will come for me, but having an idea of how one possibly gets from here to there is always encouraging (other than making great recordings; that's a given).

EDIT: Just reread my closing remarks in a different voice and it sounded smart-alecky. But I meant to be totally genuine. I'm interested.
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #128
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
This is always worth a quote.

It is from Doug Ordon of Prism Sound

There are two ways to work. Hard as in toiling with mediocre jobs for low budgets and smart which I define as providing the highest quality products and services to customers who not only can afford it but can appreciate the difference.

Words to live by and something we all should remember.
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #129
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Or maybe forget.... in the current climate.

You can do something the right way, i.e. safe and secure and technically
correct, you may not have audiophile names on your gear but you can run back ups
use best performing semi pro gear, balanced audio throughout, you know the basics.
And then you can be a good engineer most of all.

Those who blow bucks on too much/overpriced gear will have a long time paying it back.

You need to use wisdom in every area to be a success in sound and business IMO.

I wonder if he recited that to the ex SADiE MD before they bought them up after their economic collapse 8 months ago?
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #130
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Plushness,

I'm with you!

IMHO, your last post was totally on point from where I stand.
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #131
Lives for gear
 
NorseHorse's Avatar
OK, so you've established what YOU want to do, Steve.

But does that mean everyone has to charge what you charge and use the equipment you use? Is there room in your plan for someone like the Original Poster who is doing this for the second time? The issue isn't so much what you should be charging, but what HE should be charging. For someone recording live for the second time (his first time was free, as noted in his post), what should he charge? Thus far, we've had recommendations from $100-$400. (When I first started out and corresponded with a number of engineers as to what I should charge, it was recommended that since I was just starting out being a bona-fide service, I should charge about $150ish.)

I dig that there are numerous levels of the market, but it grates me a little to see big fish scoff at those who are starting out or involved with low-key projects. Steve, did you start at the top? Were you always working for the big bucks? Pay a visit over to the "first eight years" thread and share some stories!
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #132
Gear Guru
 
John Willett's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Remoteness ➑️
Plushness,

I'm with you!
But he keeps changing his avatar and I didn't recognise him heh
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #133
Super Moderator
 
Remoteness's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
No, I established that I agreed with what Plush said in his last post.
Apparently, it was a mission of importance for you to turn it into a personal attack towards me.
I find your action fascinating.

I trust most folks read what I have said in this thread about this subject and understand where I'm coming from.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NorseHorse ➑️
OK, so you've established what YOU want to do, Steve.

But does that mean everyone has to charge what you charge and use the equipment you use? Is there room in your plan for someone like the Original Poster who is doing this for the second time? The issue isn't so much what you should be charging, but what HE should be charging. For someone recording live for the second time (his first time was free, as noted in his post), what should he charge? Thus far, we've had recommendations from $100-$400. (When I first started out and corresponded with a number of engineers as to what I should charge, it was recommended that since I was just starting out being a bona-fide service, I should charge about $150ish.)

I dig that there are numerous levels of the market, but it grates me a little to see big fish scoff at those who are starting out or involved with low-key projects. Steve, did you start at the top? Were you always working for the big bucks? Pay a visit over to the "first eight years" thread and share some stories!
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #134
Lives for gear
 
NorseHorse's Avatar
Question

Steve, that wasn't a personal attack! Sorry if it came off that way.

I understand where you are coming from and your philosophy. I'm simply trying to pry for more information that is pertinent to the discussion. Plush has stated his recommendation to the OP regarding prices for someone starting out ($350), but we haven't heard from you yet.

I didn't even disagree with anything you were saying. I was even trying to encourage you to share more of your experiences.
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #135
Lives for gear
 
Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Plush is in Chicago, Steve is in New York. I imagine if I lived there and had the attached cost of living I would be charging double what I do now.

Plush and Steve have gobs more equipment than I do. I suppose if I had that much equipment I'd be charging double what I do now.

Plush and Steve also have a lot more experience at remote recordings so they probably record bigger-name people/groups than I do. If such person or group hired me due to a demo they heard I'd probably charge double what I do now.

You guys are both doing great and I respect your opinions on rates especially in the perspective of making a living and not competing with yourself. And I believe it applies to where you are in the market.

At least where I am, the guy "undercutting the market" is not charging $150 a recording but $50. So we have our version of what you are railing against too. It's simply a smaller version.

As to recording people who "need" recordings - gosh that would be nice but you just wiped out every client I have.

I feel Norse has the need to know how you guys starting because we'd all like to be "at the top" of the industry, so to speak. We all work at different levels though and it does seem a little off-base to suggest we all charge similar rates for similar work and gear. Personally, this talk of rates and unions and undercutting kills me because it's so patently un-American. What happened to competition and capitalism?? If I deliver a product that someone thinks is as good for a couple hundred bucks cheaper, then good for me - I've been successful in getting a new client. After all, how much a recording is worth is whatever they want to pay for a certain level of quality - we just have to hope they can understand the difference in quality and/or reliability of different services. And of course, just because two people charge the same amount doesn't mean they even deliver the same amount of quality or reliability.
Old 17th February 2009 | Show parent
  #136
Lives for gear
 
Larry Elliott's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
A most interesting thread....

Folk like Steve, Plush and others who have contributed run Audio Companies, they pay staff, rent and all that stuff that you have to do when you run a company.

Other folk have β€œday jobs” which pay most of the bills and do recording projects β€œout of office hours” . In this situation it is perfectly reasonable for them to charge different rates, even if they are in a major city.

From where I sit - here in New Zealand, I dont think that there is anything right or wrong with either approach - it is that they are different - which is fine!

I have been working in audio since 1967 - sometimes full time - others such as now for pleasure - as there is no way that I could support the lifestyle I have become accustomed from recording projects.

My NZ2c worth.

Larry
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #137
Lives for gear
 
Plush's Avatar
 
5 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Corran wrote:". . . What happened to competition and capitalism?? If I deliver a product that someone thinks is as good for a couple hundred bucks cheaper, then good for me - I've been successful in getting a new client. . . "

Sorry but the way I see it is that you've just been successful at getting paid less.
What I'm trying to say is that once you have the chops, position yourself with your fees close to the top rank playas.

If one is practicing your craft and learning how to approach all different situations, then charge a little less--like $75. Why leave a lot on the table?

As I said before I have never seen so many crow about how low their rates are.
You won't think this way in ten years so why not save yourself the learning curve and just start out by charging something quite close to the most experienced people.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #138
Lives for gear
 
Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
I see where you are coming from. I should have said, discount a certain percent, because $200 less from a $400 job is a significant difference but on a $6000 job it isn't. So yeah, I would say $75 less on a job around $400-$500 is a good aim if I'm trying to get a client to use me.

Also I do totally understand about charging what "top-rate" people would. Right now I have a gig coming up that they are trying me out on, and I want $2000, but I don't think they can stomach that this year (it's yearly). I am going to go for $1000 this year but tell them they have to change the way they do it to pay me better next time because it's going to be so much better (previous person was a guy with a couple of those hanging choir mics on boom stands into a cheap interface) so they will hear the difference and want to pay, at least that's the plan.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #139
Lives for gear
 
NorseHorse's Avatar
Smile Another view... can't you tell I like this thread?

I can't speak for non-present engineers, but I got the impression that the engineers I asked about rates when I was first setting out would have been offended if I charged as much as them right off the bat.

And as a client, why would I hire someone who has been recording for two to three years if they want the same amount as someone who has been doing it for twenty?

To quote a well-known pianist I almost recorded last year:

"I hope you don't get offended and upset, but ______ gave me very similar quote to yours on the audio recording, and I have decided to go with him. I value your work and help, but his experience won, since it was the same money."

Straight from the email mouth of the horse. Is there a conspiracy afoot? heh

To summarize my views (sounds obnoxious, but I need to regroup my thoughts): I'm not "crowing" over rates, but I do think folks who are just starting out should charge "less" (as determined by their local market), and I think the original poster probably fits into this category.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #140
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Well, I got into this because the powers that be do NOT require(and I think they should REQUIRE). And personally I DO require, if only for me, myself and I. My efforts of sorts are more or less to provide a competitive advantage for the local group(s). And for a historical record at a bare minimum. I don't have any issues doing it for free at the moment, because without me, there would be NO decent recordings, if ANY recordings. There's an educational benefit to review what you did two weeks ago before trying to build upon it again this week. After doing something completely unrelated for two weeks.

Since most of my gear was bought used, worst case scenario, I can sell the gear at costs. Even with somewhat expensive gear I'm not likely to be out more than a Zoom H4n after all is said and done. Not that I plan on doing any of that. And assuming that the gear holds value, and 8040's plus Korg MR series don't start selling for less than a Zoom. At which point we're all fairly hosed from a business perspective. As any bloke with a finger (like myself) is going to feel that they can do it better for cheaper than your day rate.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #141
Gear Guru
 
joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Sometimes-- not often!-- I have this dreamy sort of reverie where I look around and I see that everyone is quite good at making their own personal program a success. It's almost like-- whatever you want to be doing, you are doing.

I've seen people with miraculous talents set their sights low, and so they shuffle along and moan about their situation-- when every aspect of their situation was cobbled together from their own design.

I keep imagining this conversation I have with my 17-year-old self. I just lay out, bare bones, what happened: you'll run a recording studio. You will stamp out records with a machine that sits on your desk. You'll set your own hours... this will be so far beyond any dream you currently have about how your life will turn out, it's not even funny.

But the 17 year-old is suspicious, I can see that in his eyes. He thinks I'm lying to him. He doesn't believe any of it. This old man is spinning this fantastic tale-- completely absurd-- to what end, who knows?

Okay, back to your regularly scheduled programming...
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #142
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
I guess what most people are saying is charge what the market will bear. This is all well and good if you have the market all to yourself and if you don't have to live off your business. (NorseHorse I don't know your economic situation but if you are doing this full time and charging the low rates that you do you must either be living with your parents or you are a student and have no real living expenses.)

The problem I see is that I am in business. I have fixed expenses that I have to come up with every month. I have heat, lights, water and sewer charges along with telephone and cell phone charges. I also have someone working with me that I have to pay whether or not we are getting any money in the front door. I would also like to have some money in the bank to buy some new equipment and to tide me over when business is not so good. So I try and keep my rates low enough that I get business but not so low that I cannot stay in business.

Now someone new comes along and starts offering their services for 40% under what I need to stay in business. Lets say this person works for a computer repair company during the day and does recording on weekends. He is very well paid in his day job and can afford to purchase good gear. He is not a skilled as I am and does not have the ear but he is charging 40% less and groups are scrambling to keep their doors open and any thing they can do to lessen expenses is good for them. So now I am competing with someone who has the advantage of not having to worry about where his next job is coming from or for that matter if he has any work at all since his day job provides him with a living income. The not for profit groups that I work for are not all that sophisticated when it comes to listening and he IS charge 40% less so which provider will they go for? In an other case a Grandfather is offering to record the group for free since he has a lot of time on his hands and is grand daughters are in the group. It is hard to compete with free. I think that people who are not in this full time have a very cavalier attitude towards rates and working every day and that is great as long as you have another source of income but if this is your only gig then you have to make money to stay in business and having someone come into your area who is charging a lot less because they are young and inexperienced or because they are doing this as a hobby can be frightening and can contribute to your overall anxiety and stress. I don't know about the rest of the country but around her people will almost always go for the cheaper alternative even if they can be shown that cheaper is not always better.

Good topic and a really good discussion.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #143
Lives for gear
 
Corran's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Excellent point. You kind of hit the nail on the head: I am a student as is Norse. I can't expand on his position, but for me, I don't have a "day job" (but I will be getting one when I graduate this semester, until I can support myself full-time with the recording) and no I don't have much living expenses. BUT it is also true that I am "the only gig in town," and I'd like to think I have a good ear and I do have good equipment (hence my upward drifting in pricing).

But in the end you are right, we can afford more easily right now to charge X amount than you might, but at the same time, my market would not bear much more in the current economic climate. I'm hoping things will pick up soon (truth be told, the last 4 months of 2008 my business was about a third of what it was in the same period in 2007).
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #144
Lives for gear
 
slaphappygarry's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
In these times you have to be flexible. Every man and his dog with a laptop and a couple mics is trying to undercut the pro's sideways.

I try to do every job to the best of my ability regardless of what I am being paid and, when I have to, I can reduce my rates to be competitive but not to the point where the job is not worth doing.

I have my rate and then I have a lower rate threshold which I wont go below. The difference between them is not huge and still more than the 'laptop' dudes but I actually provide the goods.

The balance is making sure any 'deals' you make are not reckless and do no damage yourself in the long run and the market place in the short term.

It is very interesting all the ideas and comments so far. I think there is something to take away from them all in their own way.

Garry
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #145
Gear Guru
 
joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Around me, there's a vast hierarchy of people who do this-- and the landscape is always shifting, studios struggling and closing, new kids coming on the scene, all is in motion. The customers are pretty savvy, and they're definitely hip to what kind of quality they're going to get from each entity.

If someone sweeps in and can do a comparable job and charges 40% less, then that's a sign that the ground is shifting underfoot. The argument that the customers are too "dense" to know any different or are being "disloyal" somehow or your competition is "cheating," that's a tack to take that doesn't lead anywhere. Instead, it's time to do some serious value-adding-- you'll automatically e-mail mp3's to a dozen select contacts, you'll create one deluxe box set of CDs with velvet lining, I dunno... there have to be several things that a full-time outfit could do to smoke the weekend warriors.

Ontop of the reputation for sterling service, problem-solving, and the entertaining shtick you bring to any occasion-- which is a BIG part of the whole game, in my opinion.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #146
Gear Guru
 
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson ➑️
Around me, there's a vast hierarchy of people who do this-- and the landscape is always shifting, studios struggling and closing, new kids coming on the scene, all is in motion. The customers are pretty savvy, and they're definitely hip to what kind of quality they're going to get from each entity.

If someone sweeps in and can do a comparable job and charges 40% less, then that's a sign that the ground is shifting underfoot. The argument that the customers are too "dense" to know any different or are being "disloyal" somehow or your competition is "cheating," that's a tack to take that doesn't lead anywhere. Instead, it's time to do some serious value-adding-- you'll automatically e-mail mp3's to a dozen select contacts, you'll create one deluxe box set of CDs with velvet lining, I dunno... there have to be several things that a full-time outfit could do to smoke the weekend warriors.

Ontop of the reputation for sterling service, problem-solving, and the entertaining shtick you bring to any occasion-- which is a BIG part of the whole game, in my opinion.
I think you missed my point. I don't mind a level playing field but when someone is doing this for "beer money" or as a hobby avocation then it is far different from me doing it as a business and depending on that business to support me. I do audio full time and that is all I have been doing for the past 40 years. We offer a lot of value added services to our clients and they, for the most part, appreciate them for what they are. We also are ALWAYS trying to keep our rates in line with what people can afford but lately some clients want 110% but only want to pay for 60%.

I have a very good friend who is a highly paid consultant. He has a rack of Manley gear in this basement studio that a lot of top studios would kill for. He did not pay for the Manley with the output of his studio but rather from his work as a consultant. I do a lot of on location work for him because he values my experience and my can do attitude. He does a lot of what I do but he also recognizes the fact that I have been in this business for over 40 years and have picked up some knowledge and experience along the way and we don't tread on each others feet but instead have a cooperative venture going.

In this business it has always been about the quality of what the finished project has been but lately, with the down turn in the economy, it is also about the price and UNFORTUNATELY even though I would like to lower my rates the cost of gasoline, electric power, water and heat for my home don't go down and instead go up in cost. I, like many, am caught in an economic vise that is getting worse not better.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #147
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe ➑️
The problem I see is that I am in business. I have fixed expenses that I have to come up with every month. I have heat, lights, water and sewer charges along with telephone and cell phone charges. I also have someone working with me that I have to pay whether or not we are getting any money in the front door. I would also like to have some money in the bank to buy some new equipment and to tide me over when business is not so good. So I try and keep my rates low enough that I get business but not so low that I cannot stay in business.
I'm not a student(at least not formally), and I am almost 40-ish. I do tend to make choices that keep my fixed costs extremely low. Like living with a relative, driving an economical car, and such. It would be nice to make other choices, but that's rarely an option. And rarely smart, even when it is. At a minimum, recording helps the grey matter and provides some sort of proof that I once walked this earth after I'm gone.

That being said, how many top performing artists supplimented their lifestyles with day jobs before making it to the top. How many professional brass players make most of their living in education, and not tooting their horn? From someone who used to make noise for a living point of view.

Having worked in I.T., which is good money, WHEN you're working. You're in essence building little data houses(infrastructure). Once built, the company looses it's NEED for YOU. And said companies are not shy about ensuring that they benefit more from your absence than you do. i.e. No unemployment, no severence, no considerations of any kind. They paid you well while you worked, but now that you don't good luck with your life. Oh, you finished that project yesterday, well uh, here's your termination papers today (dated with yesterdays date). Have fun, see you (probably not). Factor in other factors, like expensive development tools to train yourself and keep current, expensive certifications to prove that you can take a test instead of earning a college degree, and such, and it's not all roses there either. Just take a typical I.T. job ad, 30 years of windows 1995 experience required, Doctoral degree required, pay grade minimum wage. I actually got back into this arts thing figuring it would be more STABLE work. Not that a recession helps either profession.

If you can run a recording business and not have to supplement it with other services, then by all means do. But for many of us, we do what we've got to do to survive. Which most of the time does not involve recording anything for at least four out of the seven days of a week. And probably does include several other related services. And some unrelated. Sure we probably built our own circumstance by not living in a big metropolis, or keeping our rigs simple and budgets low. Not that location and gear would guarantee any success, it just ups the odds, slightly.
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #148
Lives for gear
 
NorseHorse's Avatar
Thumbs up

Nope, Thomas, not doing this full-time.... YET!

And I'm pretty much charging what the market can bear in Williamsburg. None of the local churches, none of the recitalists, none of the visiting groups, and very few collegiate groups were recording at all before I came, so there weren't any recording budgets even in place for most regional groups. This area is a springboard, but not a "final destination", when it comes to having a recording business. Next week I'm booked for six concerts, but it's seasonal. I've had to be very frugal in getting my business of the ground, and I've used a NO-DEBT growth model. I'm pretty happy with what I've been able to accomplish part-time, and I'm putting myself in a pretty good position for when I'm ready to switch over.

As I mentioned in the Good News Channel, I've got my first two out-of-state bookings two weeks ago, so things are looking up!



PS. I'm not definitely not embarrassed about working part-time. Most of the remote circuit members in Northern Virginia are part-time. And there are at least three VA remote engineers I can think of that became full-time recordists only in retirement from another job.
PPS. My recommendations in this thread don't necessarily reflect what I'm currently charging - nor my range of rates. I'm not charging the same as when I started out. And I don't think I SHOULD have charged then what I'm charging now. My experience, knowledge, and gear have much improved.
PPPS. Thomas, the whole IT-guy-working-part-time-story is a reality in VA and DC. I guess I'll get to feel doubly-accomplished if I can pull-off working FULL-time. (No offense Shadow, that was just the example Thomas used!)
Old 18th February 2009 | Show parent
  #149
Lives for gear
 
🎧 10 years
I mainly inject I.T. into the picture because there's a lot of parallels IMO. You used to be able to make a career of it. But the industry in general is self defeating. No one's hiring you to write accounting / word processing / spread sheet technology, because they can run into the store and pull it off the shelf for less than you'd charge for one day of the six months it'd take to write that software.

I see the same thing happening in audio (and video) IMO. What used to require highly specialized gear and people, can now be done good enough with cheap over the counter products. They've even got cell phones that shoot 720p video with audio now. And for many a paying client in the past, that's good enough for them by today standards. We are no longer limited by the high cost of film or postage. We've got cheap hard drives and internet now.

The top players will always find a way to make a living at what they do. I'm probably charging so little right now because I don't want the hassle of being a 1099 worker with quarterly tax filings, FICA x2, and all that stuff. I'm not making enough if anything to make it worth that IMO. Just how do I write, they bought me dinner on a tax return?

As long as I'm not putting anyone out of work, and recording things that I "want" to record, I'm a happy fellow. When it starts feeling like a job, then I'll start charging, which might be sooner than later. But I'm still short quite a few trinkets to call myself a business at this point. Trinkets that I do have plans to acquire in due time. Color laser jet printer so inserts don't bleed when they get wet. Media labeling system, media stamping and not burning, and other things, which I could probably outsource for now. But I'd rather do them in house just because I live so freaking far from everyone else.
Old 11th April 2009 | Show parent
  #150
Gear Addict
 
🎧 10 years
The general rule I've have been told by one of my college teacher's who runs a live recording and mobile studio rig is 2.5% of the total cost of all equipment required, all expenses i.e. travel, food, accommodation all itemized and then for your time, i.e. a rate which fits your experience and knowledge i.e. for me around $25 an hour off peak and $50 peak (8am - 8pm off peak, 8pm - 8am peak). I've have a year and a half of education in the field aswell as work for two years in live mixing, crew for major events and a few live recordings and a few studio recordings.

Or work on a track or day basis factoring in all these costs. So $300 in equipment, $200 in labor plus expenses, adjust as necessary. Or say $400 a track to track and mix with external mastering. thus an EP is around $1600-$2000 for an up and coming band with decent equipment cheaper than most people around but a reasonable amount taking into account the actual costs plus profit. Note, all in Australian dollars.
πŸ“ Reply

Similar Threads

Thread / Thread Starter Replies / Views Last Post
replies: 335 views: 78967
Avatar for buddamanix
buddamanix 31st March 2021
replies: 102 views: 36925
Avatar for bug2342
bug2342 29th November 2014
replies: 2380 views: 410320
Avatar for didier.brest
didier.brest 4 weeks ago
replies: 56 views: 15830
Avatar for Rolf Ebitsch
Rolf Ebitsch 26th December 2014
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