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average engineer wage

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Anonymous
February 8, 2005 3:54:38 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Hi guys,
Sensitive one here!

Just did my accounts for 2004 and am a little horrified about what I made
considering I was pretty busy.
Interested to know the average wage for a studio engineer per hour, and/or
the average salary of an engineer.

I currently own/run a mid sector studio in Ireland and am charging ?25 Euro
per hour Monday to Friday and ?28 Euro per hour Saturday Sunday. Are my
rates too low considering the studio is capable of really good sounding
recordings? 1 control room 20' X 13' and the studio is 21'X13. If you want
to see what gear is in the studio its all below. I want to upgrade the
monitors to something like Genelec 8050 but after looking at the accounts
I'm not sure I can stretch to that! More than an engineer I often take on
production and musician roles of projects in the studio for no extra fee.

Could I be charging more? What are average charges? How much has the Home
Recording boom hit your studio? How can we differentiate from home
recordists besides getting a Neve in?

regards,

Martin





GEAR LIST

Mixers: Yamaha 02R digital automated mixer (loaded with 3 TC Unity
ADAT cards) + Mackie 24-8-2 analog recording mixer with metwebridge
Recording: IZ RADAR 24 Track 24Bit 192 KHZ Digital Recorder, Akai
DR16 - 16 track Hard Disk, Alesis ADAT. Steinberg Cubase SX 2. Frontier
Dakota & Montana 32 in/out ADAT interface for PC (record direct to Cubase,
transfer from RADAR etc)
Mic Pre's Great River (Dan Kennedy/Neve) MP2-NV (2 Ch), Avalon 737SP
Tube Channel, Focusrite ISA430 MKII, TLA 5051 Tube Channels (x2)
Mics: Soundelux U195, Neumann TLM193 (like a U89), Neumann KM184 (x2),
AKG SolidTube Valve Mic, Senheisser MD421 (x2), AKG C451B, Beyer M80, Shure
SM57's and SM58's. AKG C1000s and 328's. AKG 418 (x2), Sennheisser E604 (x2)
Compression Purple MC76 (Urei 1176), Klark Technic Quad, Avalon,
Focusrite 430 MKII, FMR Really Nice Compressor (X1) Many other compressors
built into gear like the Avalon 737 SP
Outboard Gear: including gear by Lexicon, TC Electronic, Sony, TLA,
Klark Technik, Behringer, Alesis, Korg, Tascam
Sampler: Steinberg Halion, Akai S2800 and Yamaha A4000 with over 80GB
sample library
Computer: AMD Athlon 3 Ghz
Keyboards: include Roland XV5050, Yamaha ANX1, Technics weighted-key
piano, Korg M1, Hammond XB-2, Kawai K4, Korg 01r/W, Proteus 2 Orchestral,
Proteus Proformance Piano module, Roland Juno, Korg mini800.
Piano Yamaha upright acoustic concert piano
Guitar Amps: Marshall 8 x 12" stack powered by 9200, 200-watt valve
power amp. Pre-amped by JMP-1. Fender Blues DeVille, Also Fender Twin
reverb.
Instruments and gear on site includes a Sonor drum kit, Fender
Stratocasters, Telecasters, Bass guitars, Lowden Acoustics, 1950s 3/4 size
Upright Acoustic Bass, Mandolin, Violin, Double Bass Cello, Accordion, MCA
PedalSteelGuitar, Congas, Bongos, Tambourines, Maracas, Cabassa and much
more...
There are far too many extras to mention, call or mail us for
information on YOUR needs!

More about : average engineer wage

Anonymous
February 8, 2005 3:54:39 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I'd say the 25 E per hour would be a nice wage SANS equipment. The
amortized time value of your equipment investment, plus mortgage or
rent payment, plus utilities (heat + electricity), plus equipment
maintenance, supplies and extras, should also be figured into your
rate.

RP
Anonymous
February 8, 2005 4:46:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

What you charge has little relationship with the size of
your room, or whether it is capable of "really good sounding
recordings." It also has little to do with an impressive
equipment list.

What you charge has everything to do with your business
plan, and what your business says you must charge to:
a) pay your taxes
b) pay the rent or mortgage
c) pay your equipment loans or leases
d) pay for COGS
e) pay your help or independent contractors
f) incrementally upgrade or repair obsolete equipment
g) pay the utilities
h) pay yourself

in roughly that order.

If you are not charging/making what your business plan says
you must, then you either need to manage the business
better, or get out of the business and find another way to
invest your time/money. Certainly you know that one of the
best ways to make a small fortune in the recording business
is to start with a large fortune.

Your meticulously created and thoroughly critiqued business
plan will tell you everything you need to know. If you don't
have a business plan, there is only one question you need to
ask and answer - Why not?

Your equipment list suggests that you didn't come across
this stuff sitting in the middle of the glade with a sign on
it "Free". What did you plan to do with all the money this
list represents? Did you put the answer to that question
down on paper?

The bottom line is, nobody can tell you how much you have to
charge. Only you can answer that question. It might require
you to design a new business model for yourself.

It is my opinion that had the "major" studios done this some
years back instead of doing whatever it was they were doing,
the "home recording boom" or "project studio" would not
exist to be the threat they appear to be.

Sharpen your pencil, get a fresh slice of paper, put
batteries in your calculator, and start working like a
venture capitalist. Would YOU lend money to you given your
business plan? If you're too emotionally attached, find
someone who isn't to help you. Leave the Guinness in the
frig until you finish. Get a business plan book (or some
software) if you must.



TM


Martin Quinn wrote:
>
> Hi guys,
> Sensitive one here!
>
> Just did my accounts for 2004 and am a little horrified about what I made
> considering I was pretty busy.
> Interested to know the average wage for a studio engineer per hour, and/or
> the average salary of an engineer.

> Could I be charging more? What are average charges? How much has the Home
> Recording boom hit your studio?
February 8, 2005 1:38:18 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Martin:

Neil and T make good points regarding business plans &c. I look at
your situation from my vantage point in downtown Philadelphia, and I
see someone who ought to raise his rates significantly: $32usd/hour
(at this morning's conversion rate) for that gear list and an engineer
who knows what he's doing would be considered a steal in this town; I
charge that much (and sometimes more) to freelance in other people's
rooms. I don't know your market, though--have you got a bunch of "have
workstation, now I can hang my recording studio shingle out and sell
time *cheap*" types where you are?

--Gordon Rice
Anonymous
February 8, 2005 4:50:50 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Without any real way to back this up, I think with your equipment list
you're not far off from 40 Euro/hour. See what the successfull 40/hour
places are like in a 2 hour's drive from where you are at, and see if
you can adjust your setup to be in line with what they have to offer.

"Mend it, don't end it"
(Bill Clinton paraphrase)
Anonymous
February 9, 2005 1:26:19 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Very helpful stuff so far guys. thanks!


"Martin Quinn" <mquinn@eircom.net> wrote in message
news:m5UNd.47110$Z14.32301@news.indigo.ie...
> Hi guys,
> Sensitive one here!
>
> Just did my accounts for 2004 and am a little horrified about what I made
> considering I was pretty busy.
> Interested to know the average wage for a studio engineer per hour, and/or
> the average salary of an engineer.
>
> I currently own/run a mid sector studio in Ireland and am charging ?25
Euro
> per hour Monday to Friday and ?28 Euro per hour Saturday Sunday. Are my
> rates too low considering the studio is capable of really good sounding
> recordings? 1 control room 20' X 13' and the studio is 21'X13. If you want
> to see what gear is in the studio its all below. I want to upgrade the
> monitors to something like Genelec 8050 but after looking at the accounts
> I'm not sure I can stretch to that! More than an engineer I often take on
> production and musician roles of projects in the studio for no extra fee.
>
> Could I be charging more? What are average charges? How much has the Home
> Recording boom hit your studio? How can we differentiate from home
> recordists besides getting a Neve in?
>
> regards,
>
> Martin
>
>
>
>
>
> GEAR LIST
>
> Mixers: Yamaha 02R digital automated mixer (loaded with 3 TC Unity
> ADAT cards) + Mackie 24-8-2 analog recording mixer with metwebridge
> Recording: IZ RADAR 24 Track 24Bit 192 KHZ Digital Recorder, Akai
> DR16 - 16 track Hard Disk, Alesis ADAT. Steinberg Cubase SX 2. Frontier
> Dakota & Montana 32 in/out ADAT interface for PC (record direct to Cubase,
> transfer from RADAR etc)
> Mic Pre's Great River (Dan Kennedy/Neve) MP2-NV (2 Ch), Avalon 737SP
> Tube Channel, Focusrite ISA430 MKII, TLA 5051 Tube Channels (x2)
> Mics: Soundelux U195, Neumann TLM193 (like a U89), Neumann KM184
(x2),
> AKG SolidTube Valve Mic, Senheisser MD421 (x2), AKG C451B, Beyer M80,
Shure
> SM57's and SM58's. AKG C1000s and 328's. AKG 418 (x2), Sennheisser E604
(x2)
> Compression Purple MC76 (Urei 1176), Klark Technic Quad, Avalon,
> Focusrite 430 MKII, FMR Really Nice Compressor (X1) Many other compressors
> built into gear like the Avalon 737 SP
> Outboard Gear: including gear by Lexicon, TC Electronic, Sony, TLA,
> Klark Technik, Behringer, Alesis, Korg, Tascam
> Sampler: Steinberg Halion, Akai S2800 and Yamaha A4000 with over
80GB
> sample library
> Computer: AMD Athlon 3 Ghz
> Keyboards: include Roland XV5050, Yamaha ANX1, Technics weighted-key
> piano, Korg M1, Hammond XB-2, Kawai K4, Korg 01r/W, Proteus 2 Orchestral,
> Proteus Proformance Piano module, Roland Juno, Korg mini800.
> Piano Yamaha upright acoustic concert piano
> Guitar Amps: Marshall 8 x 12" stack powered by 9200, 200-watt valve
> power amp. Pre-amped by JMP-1. Fender Blues DeVille, Also Fender Twin
> reverb.
> Instruments and gear on site includes a Sonor drum kit, Fender
> Stratocasters, Telecasters, Bass guitars, Lowden Acoustics, 1950s 3/4 size
> Upright Acoustic Bass, Mandolin, Violin, Double Bass Cello, Accordion, MCA
> PedalSteelGuitar, Congas, Bongos, Tambourines, Maracas, Cabassa and much
> more...
> There are far too many extras to mention, call or mail us for
> information on YOUR needs!
>
>
>
>
Anonymous
February 9, 2005 4:15:26 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Martin Quinn wrote:
>
> Correct me if I'm wrong but surely the size, number and acoustic quality of
> rooms in a studio is the second biggest factor to equipment for determining
> your market position as a studio.

Market position in what market? I think it might be
instructive to pose the question from a different angle.
Rather than attempting to justify your rates (or justify
raising them) based on the room(s) you have, ask the
question What size/type/etc. room can be justified at the
rates that my market can bear? Hilton can build a
magnificent hotel in a backwater town, and certainly be
"positioned" in the market. Would a town of 650 people in a
location nobody cares about support a $450.00/night hotel?
If Hilton doesn't make money, should they raise the rates to
$600.00/night? An exaggerated example, certainly, but it
points to the process of planning and running the numbers.

> If your recording a solo artists or
> artists on a tight budget you can get away with small rooms. Artists who
> want to play live together separated in booths (or not), who want more
> space, who want to use the sound of rooms on the recording and who want
> comfort through space will be prepared to pay more for that.

Have you analyzed your revenue streams over the last (insert
meaningful financial periods of your choosing here)? What is
the ratio of "tight budgets" to "prepared to pay mores"? Do
you know in detail exactly which of your customers is
contributing to bottom line profits and which are just dead
wood? Do a little Pareto analysis. 80/20 works in almost
every human endeavor. After careful analysis, you'll
probably see that 80% of your customers are only
contributing to 20% of your profits. The numbers won't be
perfect, but close enough to prove the point. And if the
numbers go in your favor, that's a bankable bonus <g>.
Conversely, 20% of your customers are contributing 80% of
your profit. Identify each group and decide what you want to
do about what you find. Maybe you need to "fire" some of
your customers so you can concentrate on building up your
business with the profitable 20%-ers. And profile them. Go
after new business that fits the profile of your most
profitable current customers. The profile will include every
discernible detail of their relationship with you. Now, I
said PROFITABLE, not just the ones that keep you "busy" or
warm a chair.

> I also believe the reputation that I, with the studio has of producing
> "really good sounding recordings" is also a huge factor and one alone that
> gets me 60% of my work.

But is that what is generating 60% (or hopefully, greater)
of your bottom line profit? If not, why not? It doesn't
matter what the percentage of "work" something generates.
It's the amount of profit generated by the proper allocation
of your assets and resources.

> My strategy in the studio up to that last while has been a low cost value
> strategy but for the past 15 months I've been trying to change that to more
> of a quality model in order to differentiate from home studio recordists. I
> guess at the moment I'm in between the two which I know from business
> courses is a dangerous place to be.

Yes, it is. And you're wise to recognize it. Your low cost
value strategy certainly works fine for a while. But when do
you graduate to market value? Another exaggerated example:
You set up a lemonade stand by the highway. You sell
fresh-squeezed lemonade from your own lemons. You sell it in
big glasses with lots of ice. You price it at the Euro
equivalent of 10 cents. You get lots of customers on hot
days because you're the only game in town. Lots of profit
because you're the "low cost value" supplier. Now McDonalds
opens a store 1000 ft. up the highway. They sell lemonade,
too. Only their's is powdered concentrate, and they charge
$1.69 for half the amount you sell for $.10. You're the low
cost value alternative, but everybody is spending their
money at McDonalds. What's wrong with this picture?

These are just some suggestions as to how a business plan
can help you. You seem to be a pretty bright guy, and you'll
be able to work through all the difficulties. Believe me,
there's no disgrace in finding out that you have to change
your procedures to meet new conditions. But there can be
great satisfaction in developing a plan that works for you.
Be resourceful, creative, and never stop asking questions.

Believe me, in the over 30 years I've been in this business,
I've had to revise my strategy and plan a number of times.
As recently as the last couple of years, and I'm not
finished yet. In my case, there are a lot of things I just
don't want to do anymore, some people I don't want to work
with anymore and different things I want to do and try.

Let's not see a post here in the future about the stuff
you're liquidating on eBay, okay?

Take care and good luck.



TM
Anonymous
February 9, 2005 5:03:56 PM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

I liked the post about setting your prices based on your expenses. It's
a very sound business principle.
I'm sure there was a little bloat in the Hit Factory's charges, but I
doubt it was anywhere near what people think.

If I set my rates based on expenses, I end up pretty near Avatar's
rates and I regularly get as much as an amazing studio (which I'm not
going to name) which I think should be charging about double what
they're making.

The problem is there are a lot of people on the low end who are able to
charge a lot more than they should. A stsuio with a digi001 at $30/hr
is probably reasonable, but by the time you've recorded a full length
album, you could have bought the gear yourself a couple of times over.
Anonymous
February 10, 2005 3:31:49 AM

Archived from groups: rec.audio.pro (More info?)

Informed, detailed and inspiring post TM. Thankyou.

"T Maki" <tmaki@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:42096401.D30EFC3D@earthlink.net...
> Martin Quinn wrote:
> >
> > Correct me if I'm wrong but surely the size, number and acoustic quality
of
> > rooms in a studio is the second biggest factor to equipment for
determining
> > your market position as a studio.
>
> Market position in what market? I think it might be
> instructive to pose the question from a different angle.
> Rather than attempting to justify your rates (or justify
> raising them) based on the room(s) you have, ask the
> question What size/type/etc. room can be justified at the
> rates that my market can bear? Hilton can build a
> magnificent hotel in a backwater town, and certainly be
> "positioned" in the market. Would a town of 650 people in a
> location nobody cares about support a $450.00/night hotel?
> If Hilton doesn't make money, should they raise the rates to
> $600.00/night? An exaggerated example, certainly, but it
> points to the process of planning and running the numbers.
>
> > If your recording a solo artists or
> > artists on a tight budget you can get away with small rooms. Artists who
> > want to play live together separated in booths (or not), who want more
> > space, who want to use the sound of rooms on the recording and who want
> > comfort through space will be prepared to pay more for that.
>
> Have you analyzed your revenue streams over the last (insert
> meaningful financial periods of your choosing here)? What is
> the ratio of "tight budgets" to "prepared to pay mores"? Do
> you know in detail exactly which of your customers is
> contributing to bottom line profits and which are just dead
> wood? Do a little Pareto analysis. 80/20 works in almost
> every human endeavor. After careful analysis, you'll
> probably see that 80% of your customers are only
> contributing to 20% of your profits. The numbers won't be
> perfect, but close enough to prove the point. And if the
> numbers go in your favor, that's a bankable bonus <g>.
> Conversely, 20% of your customers are contributing 80% of
> your profit. Identify each group and decide what you want to
> do about what you find. Maybe you need to "fire" some of
> your customers so you can concentrate on building up your
> business with the profitable 20%-ers. And profile them. Go
> after new business that fits the profile of your most
> profitable current customers. The profile will include every
> discernible detail of their relationship with you. Now, I
> said PROFITABLE, not just the ones that keep you "busy" or
> warm a chair.
>
> > I also believe the reputation that I, with the studio has of producing
> > "really good sounding recordings" is also a huge factor and one alone
that
> > gets me 60% of my work.
>
> But is that what is generating 60% (or hopefully, greater)
> of your bottom line profit? If not, why not? It doesn't
> matter what the percentage of "work" something generates.
> It's the amount of profit generated by the proper allocation
> of your assets and resources.
>
> > My strategy in the studio up to that last while has been a low cost
value
> > strategy but for the past 15 months I've been trying to change that to
more
> > of a quality model in order to differentiate from home studio
recordists. I
> > guess at the moment I'm in between the two which I know from business
> > courses is a dangerous place to be.
>
> Yes, it is. And you're wise to recognize it. Your low cost
> value strategy certainly works fine for a while. But when do
> you graduate to market value? Another exaggerated example:
> You set up a lemonade stand by the highway. You sell
> fresh-squeezed lemonade from your own lemons. You sell it in
> big glasses with lots of ice. You price it at the Euro
> equivalent of 10 cents. You get lots of customers on hot
> days because you're the only game in town. Lots of profit
> because you're the "low cost value" supplier. Now McDonalds
> opens a store 1000 ft. up the highway. They sell lemonade,
> too. Only their's is powdered concentrate, and they charge
> $1.69 for half the amount you sell for $.10. You're the low
> cost value alternative, but everybody is spending their
> money at McDonalds. What's wrong with this picture?
>
> These are just some suggestions as to how a business plan
> can help you. You seem to be a pretty bright guy, and you'll
> be able to work through all the difficulties. Believe me,
> there's no disgrace in finding out that you have to change
> your procedures to meet new conditions. But there can be
> great satisfaction in developing a plan that works for you.
> Be resourceful, creative, and never stop asking questions.
>
> Believe me, in the over 30 years I've been in this business,
> I've had to revise my strategy and plan a number of times.
> As recently as the last couple of years, and I'm not
> finished yet. In my case, there are a lot of things I just
> don't want to do anymore, some people I don't want to work
> with anymore and different things I want to do and try.
>
> Let's not see a post here in the future about the stuff
> you're liquidating on eBay, okay?
>
> Take care and good luck.
>
>
>
> TM
!