How Much Should I Charge For Recording Studio Time?

Are you thinking it’s time to put your home recording studio to work? You may be wondering, “How Much Should I Charge For Recording Studio Time?” Let’s take a look at some considerations you should be aware of to build a profitable home studio.

How Much Should I Charge For Recording Studio Time?

When thinking about how much you should charge for recording studio time there are a couple different factors that you should consider. What equipment does your studio have to offer? What services can you and your studio provide? What is the going rate in your area? How much experience do you have? What are your credits and success’s? Do you have a nice portfolio for your potential clients to check out? Are you willing to offer discounts for blocks of time? Do you want to charge hourly or by the day or by the job? If you are just getting started, you may need to build your portfolio some and gain more experience before you can charge higher rates.

Video Credit: Colt Capperrune

What Does Your Studio Have To Offer?

When an artist or band is considering a studio, they are going to want a studio with good equipment and a good sound engineer.

Secondly, they are going to want a good price that they can afford.

What kind of equipment does your studio have?

Do you have quality microphones, amps, keyboards, and DAW software?

Are you a good engineer that knows how to get good results?

You don’t have to have the most expensive gear.

You will need good gear that can get the job done.

Can your home studio accommodate a full band?

Will you be doing the mastering, or will you send the tracks off for mastering?

What Services Can You And Your Studio Offer?

What Services Can You And Your Studio Offer

A lot of recording studios have other resources that they offer like promotion, artwork, and studio musicians.

What are some of the extra services you can offer your clients?

Maybe you have the expertise to help get your clients music placed on services like Spotify or Apple Music.

This seems like a small thing but is a convenient service you can offer your clients.

Perhaps you can also handle the artwork for their albums, t-shirts, and flyers.

You can show your clients how to build their own website where they can display and sell their music, sell their t-shirts, create a blog, give concert dates, and interact with their fans.

Maybe they want a string section on a track or need someone to write a lead guitar part.

Make your studio a one stop shop.

You can charge for these extra services if you have the know-how.

This is where networking with others in the business really pays off.

You don’t have to do all this extra work yourself, but you can provide the know-how and connections to get the different jobs done correct.

Not only are you a recording studio but you can also offer different areas of expertise to your clients.

This is a huge convenience for your clients, and they will love you for it.

What Is The Going Rate In Your Area?

Are there other home recording studios / recording studios in your area?

What do they charge?

How do they charge?

There are many different opinions online as to the best way to charge clients.

Some charge hourly, some charge by the day, and some charge by the job.

I think you may need to consider how efficient you are at tracking, mixing, and mastering.

Offer a fair price and you may want to consider discounts if a band wants to do an album and are willing to commit to one or two weeks of studio time.

How Much Experience Do You Have?

Let’s be honest here.

How much experience do you really have?

Are you a good tracking, mixing, and mastering engineer?

If you are good, people will pay you good.

If you are excellent and easy to work with, people will pay you very good and keep coming back.

Experienced engineers will tell you that You Have To Be Easy To Work With.

You need to be fairly quick, so the clients feel like they are getting their money’s worth.

You need to be easy to work with and provide a creative, professional, and fun environment.

What Are Your Credits and Successes?

Build Your Recording Studio Portfolio

Do you have a portfolio?

A portfolio is a resume’ of works you have done that your clients can listen to.

This is going to be an important part of getting clients for your recording studio.

Your portfolio should show off your mixing talents in different styles and will show off your skill set.

If you don’t have a portfolio you need to build one asap.

A good place to put your portfolio is on your website.

Do you have a website for your home recording studio?

A website is a great place to display your portfolio for everyone to listen to and a great way to get new clients.

You can set up a website where you can talk about the different artist and bands you have worked with and different success stories.

You can set up an area on your website where clients can book their time or request certain dates to work with you.

You can create a blog and share stories and let people know about the different services your studio offers.

Most importantly you can display your portfolio where clients can listen to your mixes and talk about the different artist and musicians you have worked with.

Basically, this is your online recording studio resume’ where you can promote your products, show your portfolio, book dates, link to social media, and interact with clients and future clients.

Relevant Article: If You Want To Learn How To Build A Successful Website That Gets Hundreds Of Visitors Daily Then Check Out My Promote Page.

Don’t Price Yourself Out Of The Market

What Will Your Market Support?

This is where you need to know what other studios in your area are charging and what other services they offer.

It will be important that you make a profit.

If you are just getting started, you may need to have some special offers that your clients can’t say no to.

Once you start getting clients make sure that you are doing your absolute very best work.

Build your portfolio and put it on your website for others to listen to.

If you do good work your clients will tell others about you and your business will start to grow.

Price your studio to be competitive with the other studios in your area.

You do not have to be the cheapest.

You do have to know what you are doing.

Put out some great work, build your portfolio, and charge at a rate that you can make a profit.

As your work improves and your client list grows, so will your pay.

Are You Willing To Work Online?

You can put your recording studio and talents to work online with services like Fiverr, SoundBetter, UpWork, BandCamp, SoundCloud, and

Services like Fiverr, SoundBetter, and UpWork allow you to establish yourself online working with clients who are already looking for the services you provide.

You can mix different project for online clients, create jingles, voice over work, and intro and credits music for videos.

Some home studio owners prefer this type of work and do it full time. is a good place to look for different jobs available that you can possibly do from home in your recording studio.

You can listen to different bands on BandCamp and SoudCloud and send an email directly to the bands and let them know about the services you offer and how you may be a good fit to work together on upcoming projects.

Online gigs are a great way to get your home studio to work fast and build a good portfolio.

What Others Are Saying

Direct QuoteSource
“Booking time in a good, acoustically sound production studio can cost anywhere from $50 to $500 dollars an hour to record a song. For most studios, that price includes the space and the services of an audio engineer. You might be able to get a break if you bring in your own sound person.”,in%20your%20own%20sound%20person.
“Most music studios charge an hourly rate, ranging from around $30/hour for budget studios to $100/hour or more for a studio with fine-tuned acoustics and equipment. In music hotbeds like New York, Los Angeles and Nashville, this rate can go even higher. Some project studios will negotiate a set rate per day, or per song, so if you find a talented up-and-coming engineer who is looking for opportunity and experience, you might be able to cut costs a bit.”
“The quality of the recording equipment often dictates the cost for audio recording sessions. The higher the quality of the equipment, the more a session will cost per hour. If you know you are ready to record some fabulous music but aren’t familiar with how the equipment works, many recording studios also offer lessons on how to use their recording equipment. Smaller (professional) home-based studios might start at $25 per hour for the use of their space and equipment, while studio spaces with top-of-the-line equipment may start around $200 per hour.”
“I’m a sound engineer at sprout city studios. Most of us (engineers) set our rates by per hour. I charge $50/hr for recording and mixing. I also produce beats but I charge a flat rate for exclusive rights to a beat. The other engineers charge from $40/hr to $85/hr. We set our own rates so we work together to get you the right engineer to maximize the quality of your work for your budget.”
“Booking a studio can run you anywhere from $25 per hour at the low end of the spectrum to $3,000 per hour at the very most. Of course, those $3,000 per hour studios aren’t within reach for most acts, but in many places you should be able to locate something for around $100 an hour. Anything less than $100 an hour might still be serviceable, but it may not give you everything you want or need.”
“You should expect to pay about $30 dollars per hour at home studios with independent engineers, all the way up to $250 per hour at high-end studios; sometimes more.”
“Here is an example of what your rate sheet could be.
Minimum 4 hours at $40/hour
Additional 4 hour blocks at $40/hour
Every hour BEYOND the blocked bookings runs at $50/hour. ie. A band books the 4 hour minimum at $40/hour ($160). The 4 hours ends but they want to do a bit more. They can either let the clock run for 2 hours and pay an extra $50/hour ($100) or that can book an additional 4 hour block at $40/hour ($160).
Mixing $75/song. You can’t really get away with charging an hourly rate for mixing, cause that’s something you do alone.”
“Impossible to say as everyone is different.
For high end $80+ an hour. Or a day rate of $800+.
That of course includes engineer(s) and all amenities.”
“Now a day with many studios opening up all over and the ease to record and competition the rates have been going down. You should be able to get a great recording for as low as $40/hour. I would say the middle range would be between $50-60/hour. Still all depends on where you live too.”
“The safest way to go as long as you can get paid, an hourly rate means that when you inevitably spend that extra week on overdubs or mixing, you’ll get paid for the time you’re putting in. The hourly rate keeps people focused and stops them from adding those extra 5 overdubs “just to see what they sound like,” or from trying 10 more takes when you all agreed that number 3 was great.”

Final Thoughts

So, How Much Should I Charge For Recording Studio Time?

This will ultimately be up to you to decide based on what services your recording studio provides and the going rate in your area.

Many pro engineers work on an hourly rate and some of them are open to doing some sort of block time discount.

If you decide to go the block time discount rate, be sure and lay down the ground rules so there are no misunderstandings.

Be sure and put yourself a portfolio together so potential clients can listen to some of your work.

If you want to learn how to build a website that gets lots of traffic for your home studio where you can display your portfolio and offer your products and services, then be sure and check out my Promote Page.

If you like playing, writing, recording, mixing, and producing music then you are in the right place.

Take some time to have a look around my website.

There are lots of great articles to help get you moving in the right direction.

Feel free to leave your questions and helpful comments below.

6 thoughts on “How Much Should I Charge For Recording Studio Time?”

  1. Being able to monetize your home recording studio to recoup some of your costs, and make a living from it, would be the ideal situation for many musicians. There are several considerations to keep in mind, with the going rate for your area being very important. You do not want to price yourself out of the market. 

    If you have quality equipment and provide value for money, then you can start by charging a lower fee to get your foot in the door and build out your portfolio. Once you have more experience, one can then look at increasing your prices. 

    It is very helpful to see what one can expect to pay, and therefore be able to charge, when you charge out your home recording studio.

    • I couldn’t agree more.  Make some calls or stop by your local studios to see what the going rate is and see what kind of discounts they offer for block periods of time if any.  Make sure your skills are at a level where you can produce good or even great tracks for your customers and start building out your portfolio.

  2. Many thanks for this valuable post regarding how much to Charge For Recording Studio Time. There are a number of things to keep in mind, with the going rate in your area playing a key role. You don’t want to overcharge and lose customers. Once you gain more experience and build up your list of clients (portfolio) you can start charging more. A cheaper cost will get your foot in the door. If you do a good job, have high-quality equipment and offer value for the money people will see the value in what you are doing and appreciate your services. Thanks for the great information. 

    • I think it’s important to set up your own website and blog, build your website and get your portfolio set up where people can check out your work.  If you do good work and charge a fair rate you will have repeat customers and can start growing your client list.  You don’t have to work for free, but you may want to offer a discounted rate to first time customers. Also, offer as many different services to your clients as you can manage.  Your clients will love the convenience of working with you and using your services.   

  3. Some great tips here in working out the worth of your recording studio time. It is always best to look at the area that you are in and also see what others are charging so you can make sure you are not to high or too low. You don’t want to be the cheapest or the most expensive either. 

    I love your advice about offering to help them build a website to market their products. This is probably a service that not many recording studio owners offer. 

    • Being able to mix and master tracks with others online is also a great benefit to those with home studio setups. Do great work and the crowd will start coming to you from client referrals. A good website is a great way to get your talents and services in front of thousands of people every day.  If you want to learn how to build a great looking professional website and how to do online marketing be sure and check out my Promote Page


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