My approach to recording is rather "analog." I usually use a near-coincident or X/Y cardioid pair as "mains", a pair of spaced omni's for "ambients" then spot mics as needed.  In general, I prefer to rely on the musicians for ensemble balance and the placement of the pairs for ambiance balance, only bringing the spot mics into play to correct for environment issues and to finesse the sound of each instrument.  Frankly it's a lot more work when you start playing with individual tracks because it's easy to fall into the trap of "I think we can make that better." Because of visual and other performance considerations, I rarely use spot mics in performance except for soloists and the number of pairs I use are influenced by the performance space and size of the ensemble.

I believe that recording is a combined effort. I take on some of the roll of the producer during the session in order to make sure we have enough takes and help break down long passages into manageable sections so that I think you will like what you played. I may sometimes offer musical advice if I become familiar enough with the music and if I hear passages that may come across a little ambiguously. I expect each musician to do some self criticism and tell me when they didn't like what they played so that we can do it again, or so that I can listen for better takes.  Finally I expect there to be a single person (the producer) who is ultimately responsible for the final product.  This person is ultimately responsible for saying "No, what we have is good enough," for assembling the final edit lists, and conveying any changes in the overall final sound of the final product.  After the session work, I encourage outside input, but it can become very time consuming and confusing to deal with more than one person.

My base rate concert recording is $250 for the recording but varies depending on the particular requirements of the space and performance. The live recording generally includes a single copy of a "live cd."  Live CD's may contain less than optimal levels, mixes, and track markings, but can act as an archival reference.  For more a "saleable" product, I either build my production costs into duplication, or charge depending on what services are required.  For every project, I hold the promoter or producer responsbile for any copyright issues (including acquiring artist consent and paying any applicable royalties).  My work is for the performing organization and my only distribution is through that organization.

I basically use $250 per session as my starting point.  I define a session as running 2-3 hours, generally includes another hour set-up and tear down, and about 1-CD's worth of recording time (~80 minutes).  For multiple sessions I give a discount depending on the ability to leave equipment set up (almost a necessity for session work)   I provide "live" cd's of the sessions so you can start listening right away, and then create "master" cd's for pre-production.

After "tracking" at the sessions I charge $25-$50/hour for production (usually on the lower end) depending on what is required of me.  The next step is for you to use the master cd's to create edit lists, then we put it all together.  I can do some editing with or without you present, but eventually I would expect that you (the producer) would join me for a final proof of the edits, after witch we create a final mix.  Realistically, I'm happy for you to take the project over at any point, but I have certainly taken several projects from start to finish. I can give you a better idea of cost after I understand the project a little, but I generally use the following rules of thumb:
1.) I consider a section of music "covered" after 3 takes.  Accounting for additional takes, plan for multiplying the final product time by 4 for the "tape time" and double that for the session time, plus perhaps 90 minutes at the start for set-up and sound check and an hour at the end for tear down (I mention the set-up and tear down to plan for the time we will need in the space.  The session time is what I charge for)  A full length CD rarely takes less than 4 or 5 "sessions"
2.) I plan for each edit/splice to take 5-10 minutes, plus another 5 minutes for each "head & tail" set (begining and ending of the piece)
3.) The final mix-down process usually takes a couple of hours (non-linear/non-destructive editing doesn't require ME to listen through the whole thing, although it might take an hour or so one day, some time for you to listen through, then a short time another day to finalize it.)  During this process we adjust track levels, pan, EQ, compression and anything else we find necessary.

If you need duplications services I can provide them and I also have various pressing options I can provide (for quantities of 1000 or more).

Back to home