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!

My Best Mixing & Mastering Articles

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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Creating Headroom In A Mix

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

 

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What's The Difference Between Mixing And Mastering

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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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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.
 
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Audio Engineer Hearing Loss And Tinnitus

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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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Cheaply Soundproofing Your Room For Audio Mastering

1 cheaply soundproofing room studio

I had to write a quick note on this, as I was reminded about it while thumbing through a popular mixing book that had a 15 page section on speaker resonance and room sound proofing.  I must say, a very exciting 15 pages!  Ha!

 

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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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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.

 

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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!

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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A/B Comparison In Mastering
In this video I do a quick A/B comparison of a few songs.  In my audio mastering secrets video series, I get a lot more in-depth into exactly what you are trying to achieve sonically for your genre/style of music.
 
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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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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

 

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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.

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Mastering A Song For Radio

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

 

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Top 17 Common Music Mixing Mistakes And How To Fix Them!
audio music mixing mistakes
 
These are the Top 17 most common music mixing mistakes I see daily.  Correcting them could will improve your audio mastering results and make your mixes sound more professional.
 
 
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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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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.
 

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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. 

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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!

 

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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.

 

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How To Master A Song In Only 5 Minutes!

Would you like to know how to master a song or how to master your own music?  So many people think just making the volumes the same level for every song is "mastering" their CD.  Well, mastering is a lot more than just that!  

 

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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!

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