Demo and Live recording cost breakdown

Interested to find out how our £399 and £499 prices have been reached...
Money is important to all of us, not not as much as to a working musician. Business and creativity, existing on opposite sides of the brain, doesn’t always come easily to creatives so let me take this opportunity to explain how the fees for demo recording work.

Marketing is an expense that all business resent but thankfully bands can earn quite well so I will describe how the expense may easily be covered.

A quick synopsis of my Demo recording service will offer you the following features:

• For live recordings, A high quality PA, monitoring and a live engineer for the day / evening.
• 24 bit / 48k recording on 18 tracks of multi track.
• Multiple angles of HD video with appropriate lighting
• Up to 6 tracks mixed and edited into a 10 minute demo video (6 x 1.5min approx per song)
• Demos delivered as Youtube optimised branded and unbranded video and MP3s of the 6 separate tracks.

The fee for this service is £399. The average amount of work required to capture, mix and produce the video will be as such:

Recording Evening

6pm arrival for set up
12pm departure following breakdown
6 hours of attendance

Mixing of the audio (Including editing, corrections, mixing and bouncing)

12 hours of mixing for 6 songs approx (Ave. 2 hours per song)
12 Hours

Video Prep and editing / effects (3 camera angles)

3 Hours
3 hours

6 (recording) + 12 (mixing) + 3 (video) = 21 hours of work to produce 10 minutes of video.
Factor in traveling expenses to and from the venue.
At my rate regular engineering rate of £17.50 per hour, the amount of work expected for each project to take matches up to my regular engineering rate.
In real terms, it’s likely the project with actually take longer, especially the video prep and editing, however the price has been set and fixed to be affordable and competitive. For location based recordings, the might be longer, however, the fee won’t changed.

For Recording live album at £599, the service breaks down in the following way:

5pm arrival, consultation with the in house engineer and set up
12pm departure
7 hours of attendance

Mixing (Plus editing, corrections, mixing and bouncing)
36 hours of mixing 12 songs (ave. 3 hours per song)

6 hours
of mastering (approx 30 mins per song)

7 (Recording) + 36 (mixing) + 6 (Mastering) = 49 hours of work to produce a 12 track live album
Factor in the traveling expenses to and from the venue
In real terms, the work required to produce an album of this length actually eclipses my regular hourly rate for this fee. In real terms, the true cost would be just shy of £900, not including further edits or re-mixes. However, the service has been set and fixed to be affordable for the band as a whole as well as being competitive.

How can this be made affordable for the band?

Demo recording:

The fee of £399 can be made affordable in the following way:

• For a regular or club band (£200 - £250) - the cost of the service would be paid for with 2 gigs.
• For a private party (£500 - £800 upwards) - the cost of the service would be covered with 1 gig.
• If you were setting the band up and not gigging at the time, the cost of the service could be £200 each (duo), £133 each (trio), £100 each (4pc), £80 each (5pc).

By recording the band at a gig, you’d be earning the fee to cover the costs as the work is being completed. It would be preferable for the look of the video for the video to be created at a busy party rather than at a public venue however if you’re only playing pubs and/or clubs then you should choose the largest and most professional looking venue to be the backdrop for your band.

If you want to produce a video in a local rehearsal space, choosing a place with a good feel and suitable backdrop would be preferable.

Demo videos are for the purpose of advertising and gaining more, or better, gigs. The money invested in producing a good quality demo should mean lead to more and better paid gigs meaning that any monies expended during the creation would be made back very quickly.

Live recording:

There’s no denying that depending on the current success level of the band, it may take varying lengths of time to recoup the money spent on recording the album, however, as a band is a business, money has to be spent before money can be made. Here are some of the ways that your band might make back the £599 fee:

• Ticket sales at a gig or a series of gigs (120 tickets at £5 each)
• Album sales at gigs or through an online market place (85 album sales at £7 each)
• If the band was to split the fee between them: £300 (duo), £200 (trio), £150 (4pc), £120 (5pc).

Therefore, the album recording could be recouped in 1 or 2 well attended gigs, a good marketing campaign to sell the live album or a combination of the 2. If the band was to split the fee and consider their own personal income from ticket and album sales, they may recoup the funds in, possibly, 1 - 5 gigs.

If you include an additional £300 for Website and EPK production, it’s a super affordable way of professionally marketing your band.

There’s no denying that it’s an investment and the amount of work and time it takes produce the final product does mean that the outlay can look significant on the bottom line, however, with a little insight into how it works and to how the outlay can be made back - it does start to look affordable... and it’s an outlay that would typically need to be made once in a every few years.

To discuss any of these services for your band, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and ask questions.