I ask people what they want to make per hour. If they tell me less than $100, I bump it up to $100 per hour, just because I think people need to feel valued for the skills they're providing. It's amazing what a person will put into the session when you pay them more than they ask. Some players/singers are worth more than that, obviously. Paying "more" to a musician of note often ends up taking less money out of your pocket in the long run.
I totally agree with Bruce here. You'll be amazed at the extra effort and willingness to go the extra mile you'll get when, by offering a bit more money, you are showing you value them. Remember, most musicians are used to feeling "unvalued".
And this is especially true of vocalists, who by the very nature of their craft, can feel vulnerable.
Yeah, I agree with the "Value your players" ethic - so true.
re. vocalists - all of the best singers in LA and NY are in SAG (as opposed to AFM) if you hire them for a film on the books be prepared for a bit of sticker shock - the basic minimin is about $800 (you can't option for a 1/2 day as with instrumentalists-this covers an 8 hour call).
LOL - Alan failed to mentioned that the singer is a dear friend of mine and is doing it as a favor. His normal rate is $125.00 per hour.
Most touring sopranos usually will give you their concert rate. $400.00ish per 4 hour block.
ps. How's tricks Sam?
Tricks are great, man. Just busy preparing for the Game Developer's Conference, and just finished redesigning my web site. I've seen some talk of some majorly cool stuff coming from your studio soon.. I'm looking forward to hearing some demos! Giovani Edition looks like it's gonna be sweet!
and search by artist for "skeller". I've exposed a couple of pieces there which I recorded live in concert this past summer at 2 venues in Indianapolis. One with her playing a Steinway and the other a C7. Though her tonality is deceptive, she's actually a classically trained coloratura soprano who's learned to extend the bottom end of her vocal range.
No problem btw dropping vocals into midis, wavs, or dvds. I've recorded all of her CD's dating back to 1990 with sampled midi pianos, vocals, and miscellaneous live instruments. Even did a doom wad for id once upon a time.
Well, I never thought that a "per hour" rate was fair. A bad singer will take much more hours to record a song than a good one, so he is supposed to earn more because he is worse??? I really don´t get it... I always tell a story about a painter that is a friend of mine.
This friend is a painter, and he goes to a TV show, where he is invited to make a painting during the show. So, at the beginning of the show he starts his painting. Almost of the end of the show, he ends the painting, and gets interviewed. The show ends, and afterwards someone from the audience gets to him a says:
"Oh man, I love the painting you did. Its simply superb. I want to buy it!!! What is the price?"
And my friend replies:
"I will make it $1000 for you."
The guy gets very serious:
"What!!?? But you took only half an hour to make this painting!!! I saw it!!How can you charge me that much???"
And my friend calmly answered:
"Well, it takes a whole life to learn how to make a painting in half an hour"
End of story.
I think it´s much more fair if you stablish a percentage of your budget to spend with the people you hire for the job (singers, musicians, etc.) than paying them per hour! Let suppose you have $1000 to produce a track. Do you think it´s fair to pay your singer the same amount as if you had $10000 to produce the same track??? Of course not, just respect the proportions and you will never be unfair, even if your budget is really low. All you have to do is hiring a singer that matches the amount of money available for singers! Don´t expect Stevie Wonder for $100!!!