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The Real Cost of Recording Studio Time

Updated: Oct 25, 2019

We live in an age where music/audio recording and production has had a DIY shift. And as much a that may be a cost-efficient approach, it is not the most sound-efficient approach. There are numerous reasons for this. For more reasons as to why it is not recomended to play the role of Artist AND Engineer, please read our past blog The Importance of Recoring With a Professional Engineer.


"But, Charlie Puth records and produces all of his music". True. Except that's all we see on his YouTube and Social Media channels. What we don't usually see is what happens AFTER the songwriting and production is completed. Nearly 100% of the time that song is taken to professional Producers and Engineers for the final touches. And you better believe that these "big-league" artists are hiring the best people to add their taste and touch to the final product. Don't get me wrong, there are exceptions. And Charlie Puth is certainly one of them. But his stuation is different than the majority of us. Not only is he blessed with perfect pitch, he has also spent countless hours since childhood playing piano and other instruments. If this is you, by all means continue doing thing on your own. But PLEASE let a fresh set of ears give the final mix and master (there are many psychological and sonic reasons for this). For the rest of us, it is best to just leave it to the Pro's to get your songs radio-ready.


So let us discuss cost. A typical recording session at VIP is $40/hour ($35/hour in a 4 or more hour block). In a best-case-scenario you buy a beat/instrumental and record your vocals in 30 minutes. Granted there aren't too many other voices (people) on the song with you, we can have it mixed and mastered in an hour or less. That's one song, fully mixed, fully mastered, ready to go for $40 - $60. To take things a step further, you want an EP of 9-12 songs. That puts the total cost $360 - $720. That is some people's monthly Starbucks budget. Or a monehtly shoe budget. Will your music outlive your shoes? We're pretty certain they will. Pricey? Not at all! Let's break it down even further: If you were to book 4-hour sessions ($140) weekly or even monthly, in a few months your EP is done at the cost of about $5/day! Again, this is best-case-scenario with a lot of preparation done on your part (lyric writing, rehearsing, etc.). The reality is, no matter what your intentions are with your EP, mixtape, album, whatever you want to call it, it is important that it sounds perfect. Trust that I wouldn't want my product uploaded everywhere riddled with flaws that would have been noticed by a trained Engineer's ear.


The fact of the matter is your project can and will exist far beyond your lifetime. It can and will endure any economic downfalls or any other catastrophic events - unless the internet just disappears. In which case we're all pretty screwed. Regardless, the money and time invested will help create a legacy with your voice permanently planted on Earth. Wouldn't you want to take the appropriate time to perfect it?


We would love to hear from you and help you plan your next project! Please contact us for a free consultation.


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