How studios price their sessions is rarely understood fully. There are many variables and every studio will have their own system of developing their rates. Beyond the creative aspects of production and technical expertise of audio engineering, there are a multitude of factors that need to be considered. We inspected these various components to uncover what it actually means to hire a studio for a day.
If you have a project in mind and would like to discuss studio rates with us, please get in touch with Radi or Dan here!
Recording studio rates take into account a number of different factors including personnel, overheads and time. If you have a project in mind and want to discuss studio costs, give us a call or shoot us an email today.
The main reason that people engage with a studio is to hire the experts involved in making a recording. This can include a producer who oversees the creative process, the engineer who is tasked with the technical aspects of realising the vision of the artist and/or producer, and the assistant engineer.
This roster is a traditional studio team, which means that there can be at least three different people to reimburse for their input in any given session. Sometimes, this isn’t the full story either. In a larger studio complex, there will be extraneous staff including studio managers that will also be receiving an income from the cash flow that is generated by the business.
This is far from the reality for many professional studios though. Producer, engineer and assistant roles are often collapsed into two people, or even one depending on the session’s needs. These factors can have an impact on the studio rates. Depending on the size of the studio, however, it can also negatively impact on the efficiency of the session. Having people who can fill studio roles effectively is crucial to maintain the quality of the final product.
If one person is running a session in a large space, or for a large ensemble requiring lots of microphones and changing of their positions, things can slow down. On the other hand, sessions such as voice over recording will be very different. Of course, there is nothing to say that this can’t be achieved, but something worth considering in researching a studio for your next recording.
Studios have many moving parts, and are expensive facilities to run. Most studios are subject to the same pressures that other commercial operations have. Renting of space is of course foremost among these overhead costs and will factor in the price of a session.
Studios then need to be acoustically treated. To effectively soundproof a room, and to provide an optimal recording and mixing environment, acoustic design and materials are necessary. These components of the studio’s design and build can be very expensive indeed.
Even something as banal as electricity is more costly in recording studios, which are typically jam packed with power hungry electronics which will run for hours on end during sessions. There are many other smaller costs associated with the day-to-day upkeep of a studio, but you get the picture – it doesn’t come cheap!
This one is tricky. Sessions are notoriously hard to quote for, because every session will be subject to different time pressures. It can be really difficult to know how long a session will take, because there are many modular parts to the process.
In one session, a recording can take the majority of the time, and the mix could be take a small amount of time. These proportions could be reversed in another project. In order to understand the amount of time it will typically take to “turn around” a project, it is incumbent on studio and client to really understand each other fully. Nasty surprises can happen if the communication between both parties is not up to scratch, so it’s best to keep an open and honest dialog happening throughout the duration of a session.
This is but a small primer on the costs that could be involved in a session. Every studio will apply their own methods to the delicate art of pricing, but good studios will take a sensible and fair approach to providing the best possible realisation of a creative vision.
If you have a project in mind and would like to discuss studio costs with us, please get in touch with Radi or Dan here!