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!

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The Music Production Secrets Series
by John Rogers

  

My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

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 ...
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!

 

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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!

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:

 

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How To Prepare Your Songs For Mastering
preparing mixes for mastering

In this article, we'll show you how to prepare your mixes for mastering.

 

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How Much Should I Charge For Mastering?

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.

Read more ...
What Does Channel Mean In Music And Mixing?

It's the most basic of all questions, but someone asks it at least once a week.  In this article, I will explain what channel means in music and mixing

 

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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.

 

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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....
 
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Best Mixing Levels Before Mastering

set mixing level meters

Correctly setting your mixing levels before mastering is essential for great mastering results.  Having the best DB levels for mixing is critical.  Here's how to properly do it! 

 

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Monitor Speaker Placement For Your Home Recording Studio And DAW Setup

4 speaker placemnt daw home recording studio

Here's the monitor speaker setup I use for my DAW, and the setup I recommend for your home recording studio.

 

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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 ...
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.

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Audio Engineer Hearing Loss And Tinnitus

5 sound engineer prevent tinnitus

Millions of people suffer from tinnitus.  A new study shows around 10% of the U.S. population suffers from it in some form, but many have never even heard of it until they get it!  Unfortunately, I was one of those people.  It can happen quickly and it lasts a lifetime... 

 

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#1 Best Website Hosting For Musicians, And Music Recording Studios

If you're looking for the best website hosting for musicians, bands, and music recording studios, here's my own personal experience with website hosting companies.

 

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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. 

 

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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.

 

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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 ...
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.

 

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Mid Side EQ In Mastering

This is a quick video on how a mid-side processor works, and how to check the stereo field of your mix using a mid-side processor equalizer.

 

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Why Do Songs Need To Be Mastered?

12 why need audio mastering

Why do songs need to be mastered?  I've seen this question on the Internet many times.  The answer I always see is "Because all songs on the radio have been professionally mastered, yours should be too."  This is a true fact, but not an answer.

 

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Which Is Better For Audio Mastering Analog Gear Or Digital Software Plugins?

18 analog digital equipment

I started my career using the old analog stuff, since that was the only option.  I incorporated digital software plugins as soon as they became available, but it took many years before computers were fast enough to run them in realtime.  And also before they started making very high quality plugins. 

 

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Creating Headroom In A Mix

17 how create headroom in mix

OK

To create a mix for mastering with proper headroom is pretty simple. 

 

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What Software Do You Need For Audio Mastering?

2 software for audio mastering

If you've mixed songs in the past, you more than likely can use that same software for audio mastering. As long as you can add effects to the stereo/main out bus, you're good to go.  Read more....

 

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