Academy Dashboard Forum Production Music Business Production Rates?!?

  • This topic has 6 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 6 years ago by Todd Mitchell.
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    Musa Henderson

      I have been lucky enough to have been asked to produce a couple artists, I will also be doing the recording etc though will try and outsource the mastering.

      My question is, is there a norm for production? Do you charge like you may do for studio time? Take a small part of the intellectual property (admittedly at my level the royalties would be very small).

      How do you guys approach this. I'm happy with my rates for recording etc but this is a whole different job. On some of these I will be songwriting with the artists some I will be just advising and encouraging.

      Thanks for any opinions.

      Cris Sabater Sabater

        Hi Musa, I think you need to look at the situation and ask yourself what you think you are worth. In any business people will have their own rates but if you sell yourself short you may find that people will think that you are not that good! It is a balancing act like I work with an international band and I work for free but I have gotten a contract that specifies I get a certain percentage should their material sell. It also depends on the band's experience? Are they starting out and have little money or are they more experienced with ability to pay fairly well. I won't deny that it is very difficult to make money from music, certainly to make a living from it but alongside another job it can do you proud! Good luck anyway and happy Production!

        Cheers mate,


        Axel Ronsin


          I am in similar delima
          As I am producing a local band
          of talented 17-year-olds
          with no money.

          I am producing them
          and providing the recording studio
          and writen a song for them
          and doing some digital marketing
          and music video...

          I have told them
          I would shortly be coming to them
          with a production agreement.

          But what is a fair win/win deal?

          I was thinking:
          1/3 costs (to recoup recording, mastering, some gear for them, digital marketing and anything else that is needed to promote them... moneys forwarded by me)
          1/3 for them (up to them to split)
          1/3 for me

          Is it viable? Just for all parties?
          Is it still "production" or am I in "manager" territory?

          Any thoughts or help is welcome.

          Thank you,


          • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Axel Ronsin.
          Musa Henderson

            So what I ended up doing was agreeing 20% of the intellectual copyright, I own the master recordings but will give her 80% of the mechanical. She's paying for somethings (session players, distribution costs but I will be doing all of the "work").

            I am now in manager role with her so it's in my interest to make it work I guess.

            To Axel:
            A band I know (killamonjambo) started in a similar position and the manager (Andy) paid for everything, (van, gear and built a studio) he takes 20% gross and it's worked out. The band have gone from teenage garage band to 2-3 European tours a year. And they are all happy with the arrangement.
            Hope that helps.

            Axel Ronsin

              Hi Musa,
              Thank you for your feedback !
              It does help.

              20% of gross feels good and coherent.
              It might actually work out to something close to 33% net.
              But it has an "off-the-top" aspect that I appreciate.
              ... And it is Pareto's Principle 🙂
              Pareto Wikipedia

              For the song I have written,
              I will add a publishing fee specific to the sales of that given song.
              (9 cents seems to be the norm)


              • This reply was modified 7 years ago by Axel Ronsin.
              Michael Hordorwich

                I ws going to answer his questions with my thjoughts but you pretty much summed it up perfectly cris. You hit it spot on. Good luck to all of you! Sincerely, michael

                Todd Mitchell

                  Hey folks, I recommend reading Bobby Oswinski's book: Music Producer's Handbook.

                  For $21 on Amazon, he offers a variety of ways to approach this situation. There's more than one way to skin this cat!


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