jrmasteringsmall

I've mastered over 40,000 songs since 1999.  I've charged $10 a song, $20, $30, $50 even $100!  Some prices worked better than others.  Here are a few facts to consider when deciding on what prices to charge.

$5-$10 A SONG

PROS -
*Less money equals more clients.  Walmart has millions of more customers than Dillards for a reason.  Cheaper = more sales.
*There's a lot of competition in this range, but there are a lot of broke artists too!
*If you don't have any credentials, you're much more likely to get work at this lower price.  After you establish yourself you can always raise your rates.

CONS -
*You'll get in A LOT of garbage (maybe 35%).  Horrendous mixes.
*Garbage in means a lot more complaints and refund requests.  Since a lot of the mixes are poor, the mastering results will be too.
*Lots of work for little pay.  You have to master 200 songs to make $1,000!!  200!  If you charged $50 a song, you only have to master 20!

$15-$20 A SONG

PROS -
*You're making 200-400% more money per song compared to charging $5-$10 per song.  That's a BIG jump!
*You're still very affordable at this rate.
*Garbage submissions go down to about 10-15%.
*There isn't that much competition in this price range.
*You don't need to have too many credentials to get business at this price range.

CONS -
*Again, the per song amount is kind of low.  You're still working more than twice as hard as the guy charging $50 a song.

$30-$40 A SONG

PROS -
*Roughly 29 songs gets you $1,000.  That's WAAAAAY lower than the required 200 songs at $5 each!
*Garbage coming in is under 5%.  Refund requests are even lower if you're decent at mastering.

CONS -
*This is the second most competitive price range.
*Mastering engineers with pretty decent credentials are in this range.  If you don't have any, you're not going to get much business.

 

$50-$60

PROS -
*Once again, high rates means less work for more money.
*Horrendous mixes coming in are very rare.
*A lot of people think if they pay more, they get better mastering.  They won't even get mastering from a company if it's under $50!

CONS -
*You're now competing with mastering engineers that have worked with commercial artists.  If YOU needed mastering and were going to pay $550 for your 10 song album, would you go with the guy who mastered (Slipknot, The Killers, Britney Spears, and Bruno Mars) or the guy who mastered (The Harry Met Sally Band, Weird Tom, and The Polka All Stars)?  I don't even need to answer this question....

 

$100 plus

*Now your talking Abbey Road and some of the top mastering engineers in the country.  Honestly yes, you might be just as good as them. REALLY! 

But Abbey Road worked with the Beetles and you worked with the Meatheads.  Yes, I agree but that was over 60 years ago, 30 years before computers were invented!  And, all the engineers on those records are dead! 

But it's all about "the name."  Just like a leather purse can go for $8,000 because of just the name.  Who cares it was made in China and cost them only $5 to make it - It's A LOUIS VUITTON!!

 

There are PROS and CONS for every price range, but I guess the recurring theme here is competition and credentials.  Learn the art of mastering, provide great customer service, strive for excellence and build your credentials!

The Music Production Secrets Serie
by John Rogers

  

My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

Set Mixing Levels For Each Instrument

How to set mixing levels for each instrument is a question I see all over the Internet.  I'm going to explain exactly how to set mixing levels in this article.

 

Read more ...
John Rogers - Danceur Magazine Interview (July 2018)

Since the begining of his solo career in 2008, I mastered over 80 songs with the top French recording artist NYLS.  Great pop dance music with a lot of remixes.  During his entire career (as of now), I mastered most of if not all the song he released.  It was a great pleasure working with NYLS and Nico at Icon Records!

Read more ...
Fixing A Bad Mix With Mastering

A lot of mastering engineers are afraid to make drastic changes to a mix they are working on.  That, or they're stuck in the familiarity of always making only small changes. 

In this video I show how you can turn a weak mix (definitely wouldn't call it bad) into a great sounding master, simply by pushing your levels a little more than you might be used to.

 

Read more ...
My First Music Video!

Here's the first music video I directed, Mahalin Muli by JAI, released on July 10th, 2018.  I also wrote more than half of the script. 

Read more ...
Best Free Redbook CD Burning Software
Yes, burning your own redbook master CDs is very easy!  Here's how to make your own redbook CD masters for free! 
 
Read more ...
How Long Does It Take To Master A Song?

How long does is take to master a song?  There are several extra song mastering procedures I offer that other mastering engineers will not do. 

 

Read more ...
What Is Headroom In Mastering?

15 what is headroom in mastering

In order to produce a good master, a mix needs proper headroom and dynamic range.

Read more ...
Can Anyone Become A Great Sound Engineer?

11 become great sound engineer

I would say YES, most people can become a great mastering engineer. I say this because most of the mixes I receive from clients are pretty good and I know the audio engineer (the band member with a computer) has only minimal training.  He could easily be great if he put a little more study and practice time into it.  And if he had this book to teach him what took me over 17 years to learn!  Ha!

 

Read more ...
Why Does A Mix Need Headroom And Dynamic Range?

16 why do songs need mastering

Why does a mix need headroom and dynamic range?  In one sentence, it gives the mastering engineer more room to work with.
 

Read more ...
Best Room Size For Audio Mastering DAW Home Recording Studio

6 best room size for audio mastering

So, what is the best room size for audio mastering in your DAW home recording studio?  Technically, you can properly mix or master in any room size.  But, I believe a smaller room is better than a very large one for someone who's just starting out. And when I say smaller I mean closer to 12'x15' than to 20'x30'.  I've mixed and mastered songs for a number of years in a 20'x30' room.  It took me a few days to get used to it, but after that I could do it.

 

Read more ...
Top 20 Audio Mastering Tips, Techniques, And FAQ
 
 

 

 

 

 

Here are the top 20 audio mastering tips, questions, and answers that I've been asked over the years.

 

 

Read more ...
Mastering Hardware Equipment You Need For Your DAW Home Recording Studio

7 mastering hardware equipment daw recording studio

Here's the basic hardware you need to master music:

 

Read more ...
What's The Vibrato And Tremolo Definition In Music | Differences Between Tremolo And Vibrato

The vibrato and tremolo effects both have their differences.  But the vibrato and tremolo effects also sound very similar; both slightly wave and pulsate the pitch of an audio track. You have to hear it for yourself to understand the sound.

 

Read more ...
What Is Chorus Effect In Music | How To Use Chorus

This article discusses what is the chorus effect in music and how to use it?  The chorus effect makes a single audio track sound like a group. It achieves this by taking a single instrument or vocal track, multiplying it, and then slightly detunes each newly created track. The result is a fuller lush sounding audio track.

 

Read more ...
How To Mix And Master Songs

If you're into "do it yourself projects" my mastering book will show you EXACTLY how I mastered every style of music on this website.  Get it here Audio Mastering Secrets!

How To Prepare Your Songs For Mixing
prepare songs for mixing

In this article, I'll show you how to prepare your songs for mixing.

 

Read more ...
Can You Master A Song That's Already Been Mastered?
Can I master a song that's already been mastered?  Yes!  Every month I master songs that have already been mastered.  Read more....
 
Read more ...
What Is Audio Mastering?

9 what is audio mastering

What is audio mastering?  I've seen a lot of different answers on the Internet to this simple question.  Some were pretty technical and confusing.

 

Read more ...
Learning And Calibrating Your Speakers For Your DAW In Audio Mastering

3 calibrate speakers audio mastering daw

Learning and calibrating your speakers for your DAW in audio mastering is a very important step in the audio mastering process.  When I first start out with NEW speakers (though I never change them now), I listen to my favorite hit songs in every genre and style.  Songs that I know from my years of experience have X amount of bass, X amount of brightness, etc.  I know how these songs are "supposed" to sound.

 

Read more ...
Stereo Widening Techniques | How To Use Stereo Widening In Mastering Music

Here are a few great stereo widening techniques and how to use them in music.  When you listen to music on a car radio, you want that wide stereo sound that extends from the left door to the right. Not just two feet wide right above the stereo!

 

Read more ...
What Does Mastering Do To A Song?

10 what is audio mastering

What does mastering do to a song?  Your main goal in audio mastering is to replicate the sonic qualities of a well professionally mastered commercial song, in the same genre and style as the song mix you are working on.

 

Read more ...
Should Your Mix Sound Close To A Mastered Song?

13 mix sound like master

Note - This section is basically a tip for those of you working with clients or if you plan on submitting your mixes to a mastering engineer.

 

Read more ...
What's The Difference Between Mixing And Mastering

8 difference between mixing mastering

What's the difference between mixing and mastering?  A lot of people new to music don't know the answer to this.

 

Read more ...
Mastering A Song For Radio

14 song ready for radio

Here's another popular question I see online, always with the wrong answer! "There's no such thing as radio ready mastering!"  REALLY?  Read more....

 

Read more ...
The Sound Engineer SCAM! Does More Expensive Mean Better?


The sound engineer scam, the online recording studio ripoff, whatever you want to call it.  I hear about it 3-4 times a month from my clients, since 1999.  It never changes!

 

Read more ...
Go to top