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I got a call today from a prospect that asked me just that.  How much does it cost to cut a Cd?  I answered her with the question, What are you wanting your Cd to be?  Is it a demo or an album, a single or just what??  Do you need a band or do you have your own??   It seemed to really irritate the lady.. She said just give me a price to make a Cd. 

Am I the only one that gets these kinds of calls??


Kirk

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Bret, I think $1000/master is a pretty good rule of thumb. Glad you said that 'cuz it make me think it through. The only way I believe I can beat the price of $1000/song is in cases where the same band recorded all the songs of the same style in the same session. That way I can copy my mix setups and just replace the tracks and do the volume curves, you know, touch them up, etc. I don't have to start over with choosing a mix compressor for the kick. Still gotta clean up toms and do the volume curve on the lead vocal but a lot of the other stuff is done. Mixing's what takes so much time for me. Since it's now possible to get 'the perfect mix' through software automation I can't stop until it is perfect...probably to a fault. But if I can get on a roll by having multiple songs that utilize roughly the same drum setup, trac eq's, track fx, etc., I can knock out stuff a lot faster. In that case I can honesly say I can do an entire CD for $6500-7500 and still make a little bit of money. Not making a lot but making some.
Yeah, but start hiring session players and it goes up, but in such a good way. Here I am talking about the solo artist/songwriter who really wants their product to compete in all the noise being generated these days. In our sea of "anyone can do it" the waters are murky at best. If an artist is serious, then they will find the money to invest in their career and see the long term wisdom in hiring professional technicians and musicians. The synergy and creativity that comes from putting the right people together can not be accomplished by a one man show bargain producer in his bedroom. Plus, $1000 per song is my starting point. This does not mean I personally charge $1000 to work on a song, but that is the overall budget for hiring musicians and perhaps a tracking studio. It does include my fees as well. Realistically, the budgets end up being around $1200- $1500 per song because of inspiration :)
Bret, well all know that inspiration comes with a price but in reality that's the part that's sometimes priceless.. that might just be what the song needs...
My $1000 figure didn't include the players. I was assuming a self-contained act that comes in to record, so I totally agree with you on all counts.
This is a great topic! I've had a lot of laughs reading it, thanks for starting it~ The funniest reply I've read was, "How much have ya got" :) Next would probably be, "...and how soon will I hear it on the radio" TOO FUNNY!
This was a real funny read... "We'll make this song sound right if it takes every last dime you've got!"
I once picked up the phone at a studio and a strange voice asked me, "How much uz it cost ta make a recurt?" (That's record for those of you not from Mississippi.) I began asking the usual questions at which time I was informed, "I don't wanna know 'bout all uh that. I just wanna know how much it costs ta make a recurt?" When I persisted with questions he got mad and fairly shouted, "Just tell me how much it costs ta make a recurt!"

"Five thousand dollars." I answered. (This was a few years ago and I didn't figure it mattered what I said.)

"Five thousand Dollars!" He pronounced it "Fie". "Five thousand dollars! I ain't got no five thousand dollars. It takes five thousand dollars just ta make a recurt? They ain't no way I can get five thousand dollars!" Then a female voice in the distance mumbled something. "Hang on a minute!" he ordered. The mumbling continued back and forth for a while. He finally came back on the phone and in his best used car salesman's voice he asked, "So, how much is that a month?"

I laughed and told him it would be five thousand dollars before we began. He began to yell again and swear until the voice in the distance began to mumble again. By this time I held on just to see what he would say next. In a minute he came back on the line and in a voice dripping with honey asked, "Would you take a check?"
:) so you gladly 'tu da cheh', right :)
Terry I would have never believed some people from Mississippi talked like that if it weren't for that new show "Swamp People" on History!
I hear ya, :) I'm currently working on a deal with a fellow from Jamaica, what a different dialect of English that one is :) (I think that's what I mean to say LOL:)
I wish my story would have ended up like that..

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