How much does it cost to book a session?
General Rates: $50/hr Recording/Production*
$125 Mastering/Song* *
$25/hr Editing, Pocketing, Vocal Tuning and Prep for Mixing
* Some additional fees may apply for studio rental etc.
**All my Projects are Mastered by Ed Littman Mastering
Payment in advance or upon completion of work depending on size of project. Master Sessions will be held until final payment is made.
What kind music projects do you usually like to work on?
I prefer to work on music with a positive and uplifting message. If I feel your music isn't my thing, I let you know and I'll probably know someone who can help.
What's included in the price?
Everything. My engineering and producing, the studio, all instruments, effects etc., coffee, tea, water, snacks, hard drive (main and backup) space, Free WIFI, a couple of CDs to take away...
Why is it so expensive?
It’s not! Try booking a plumber/mechanic/lawyer for the same hourly rate! And they probably wouldn't have made the same investment in gear, nor have such wide-range of skills. You also get what you pay for, I charge a little more and give twice as much.
What is not included in the price?
Extra Editing and Fixing a Performance, I’m not really into that, but I’ll do it for a fee.That’s why I try to capture the best performance from the start.
How do I book my session?
Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do you want to get paid?
I prefer CASH on the day of the session, you can also use Paypal (please add 3% to cover fees) Most sessions will require a 50% deposit 5 days prior to reserve the time and studio.
Do I need to sign an agreement?
No, but I would really appreciate payment in full on or before the session day. However for full length projects we will have some type of agreement and scope of work just to cover both parties.
Can you play Drums and Percussion on our song?
I’d be happy to, there is a flat rate of $50/ song.
Do you work weekends? Does that cost extra?
Where is the studio?
I currently work out of some great studios in the North and Central New Jersey area. Most of my Mixing is done at my Private Project Studio. I am also available to work as a freelance engineer anywhere in the world.
Who owns the copyright?
You do, although if I’ve had a hand in helping write the song I’d appreciate the appropriate share.
How long do I need to book?
It’s hard to predict; I like to work as quickly as possible so being prepared for the studio is key to getting it done and being pleased with the results.
For band recordings let’s say 3-5 days per song.
Do we need to play to a click track?
It is preferred, but depends on the band and style. I recommend the band practices to a click to prepare for the sessions individually and together prior to the session. I'll also create a click or loop track that's easier and more musical to play to. Playing to a click makes it a lot easier to edit and will save time later. If the band is tight and has a good vibe then the click may not be the best option.
Do I need to get my music mastered? Do you do mastering?
Yes, you should get your music mastered. I can offer a simple "in the box mastering", but I'd first recommend you allow for another Mastering Engineer to do the mastering. I can recommend a great Mastering Engineer.
What about lunch/dinner?
Shops and restaurants are a few minutes by car. There’s a fridge for your use in the studio, and you can also use the microwave and coffee maker etc. Most of the time we just order from the local pizzeria but it’s nice to step out of the studio and come back fresh after meals.
Is there a drum kit?
Yes, since I’m a drummer I offer any and all drums and cymbals I have available for use on your recording. I can also rent drums that I don’t have for an additional cost if needed. And you’re welcome to bring your own gear since it may be “your sound” that you’ll want to capture. Ask me about tuning and drum head replacement for the studio to get the best sound.
Can you replace or add to my drum sounds with samples?
Are amplifiers and guitars available?
No, mostly it’s up to the artist to bring their own amps and instruments since it’s a big part of their sound. Although I have some really good sounding amp simulators in the computer. Re-amping is also an option.
Can I bring my own vocal microphone?
Of course you can, if it’s the best sound for your voice and the recording.
What happens to the session files?
They are all kept, backed up to two or three different drives. I make no guarantee though, and if you want something remixed three years later I can’t promise all the plugins will still work!
Can I get stems for a remixer or to use for our gigs as a backing track?
This is usually not a problem. There will be a small charge for the time taken to unarchive and compile them.
Do you use Logic or any other DAW?
No, Studio One 3 Professional is my DAW of choice. But you can export your tracks as continuous wav files starting at the beginning of the session and import into S1 very easily. Ask me about details and directions on this. I also use Pro Tools if necessary, but I find Studio One Works much better and faster for all types of production.
How long do you need to mix?
If I’ve recorded the track then probably just a few hours. For online mixing the standard rate is $250 per song but this is negotiable depending on complexity and number of songs etc. Files are required to be in continuous WAV format. Ask me about the details of preparing your tracks before sending them to me to mix.
Can you mix and master music that I recorded at my home studio?
I'll listen to it and give you my opinion and then we'll go from there.
Can I work for you as an intern?
No interns are needed at this time. However I offer (one on one) training and the occasional session may require some assistance. It's always good to network.
Can you make mp3's for my website? and is that included?
Yes and Yes
Can I have a cassette of my recording?
No! Well… maybe… if you want haha ;-)
Actually, vinyl is an option.
Do you offer CD duplication and printing services?
No, I recommend Disc Makers or a similar service.
Do you offer video filming while we record audio?
No, but if you have a video camera and you want to film, be my guest.
Mixing Prep, what to do before you deliver to me...
Please Label all your tracks, example kick in,kick out, snr top, snrbot, LV 1,LV Dbl,BGV 1 Etc
Please Clean up all edits and check fades, please no pops n clicks before consolidating.
Please remove all unused files from session and delete all unused playlists. This will reduce the size of the session for internet upload.
Please only send me Consolidated Audio Tracks that you want mixed all starting at Bar 1 Beat 1 in grid mode.
Print all special FX, MIDI Tracks, Amp Simulators, Etc to a separate audio track. If you want to send the MIDI tracks you can but please label in detail.
Please provide all Tempo/Key info.
Please do a Save Session Copy In and include all audio.
Please provide a Rough Mix if available.
Please provide reference tracks if available.
Please provide a text document with special notes and instructions if needed.
Please Double Check that the session has all the audio needed to mix your song.
Zip or Archive the Folder before uploading.
If you have any Questions, Please contact me.
You can Upload to a Dropbox or Gobbler account and send me the Link or Mail a USB Flash Drive or deliver a external Hard Drive.
Even More Details if you need (See Below)
Preparing your song(s) for mix
The following guidelines will help make certain that your mix session starts on time, runs smoothly, and is right the first time. (I can offer this service for a fee if you need help, however I'll need the session delivered on a Hard Drive or USB Stick) Please make a backup of the session before you send it to me.
1) I mix exclusively using Pro Tools software here at my studio. Any tape based format must be converted before I can begin (contact me if you need references to handle this conversion). If your sessions are in any other digital system or DAW (Nuendo, Logic, Radar, etc.) you'll need to export and, if necessary, consolidate each file making certain they all have the same starting point. Please check all edits and cross fades before bouncing/consolidating files. Also, make certain to by-pass any processing (eq, reverb, etc.) prior to bouncing. I need the "raw" audio files (see No. 5 for important exceptions).
2) I can receive your files on hard drive, dvd, internet, etc. However, there are a few things to note:
• Physical Media - Please label your drives or discs clearly with any relevant artist, producer, titles, sample rate, bit depth info. If numerous other projects or titles are also on the drive, make certain that the one(s) I am to work on are clearly labeled somehow (a "For Karl W" folder works great). Before sending a hard drive, please make certain that a "backup" exists elsewhere.
• Internet - Various options exist, but Dropbox or Gobbler are a good way to exchange large numbers of files over the internet. It is preferable that sessions/files be "zipped" or "archived" prior to uploading.
3) Before sending me your Pro Tools sessions, please confirm that all audio files are actually inside the "Audio Files" folder for that session. It's not uncommon to get sessions where some of the files were being written to or accessed from a different hard drive (usually the DAW's system drive) and are now missing. A quick easy way to check is by opening the drop down menu inside the regions bin and selecting "show full path". All files paths/names should begin with the name of the same hard drive you are working from. If this is not the case please do a "Save Session Copy In" in Pro Tools and include all audio or something similar in your DAW.
4) Within Pro Tools, getting clearly named consolidated audio files definitely gets the mix up and running quicker. It is important though that all cross fades are checked prior to consolidation. If there are any questionable punches, leave the un-consolidated track in a playlist.
5) While I have a huge selection of plug-ins available, it's impossible to get them all. If you are using a particular plug-in for a vital sound or special effect, print it and give me both the original and "affected" versions. Please label them accordingly (example: Keys FX and Keys No FX).
6) If there has been any sub-mixing of instrument groups to lower track counts, please make certain that all the pre-mixed individual tracks are included as well.
7) Any track sheets, chord/number charts, key/tempo info, lyric sheets are always helpful.
8) Please include a copy of any working or rough mix that exists. Additionally, If there are any particular reference mixes from other artists that you want me to hear or even emulate, those could be included as well.
9) I typically remove any existing Pro Tools automation before beginning the mix, so footnote any vital automation (i.e. mutes, "auto" panning) in the track comments section or in separate mix notes. If you know for certain there are vocal lines or inst. fills you don't want in the mix, but you don't want to delete them forever, the most effective way is either the "mute regions" command or by playlisting.
Even More Questions... The more I know about the project the better we'll be prepared for the session.
What type of music will be recorded?
How much recording time to do you think you’ll need?
How many songs do you expect to record?
Who are the musicians (If you know some of them it might affect your setup)?
Who’s the producer (if you’re not talking to him already)?
What time does the session begin? Does that mean the downbeat of recording or when the musicians are expected at the studio to load in?
How long do you expect the session or sessions to go?
How many musicians will be playing at once?
What’s the instrumentation?
Full Band Recording, Overdubs, Voice Overs, Re-Amping, Drum Replacement or addition, Digital Editing, Noise Reduction, Pocketing, Vocal Tuning and Editing, Mixing, and Mastering
Digital Audio Workstation Setup Help and Lessons
Recording Studio Installs, Wiring, Home Studio Setup
Room Acoustics and Sound Proofing Consulting
Cancellations will Not be allowed and will forfeit your deposit and/or payment for the time scheduled.
Liability for data stored on Karl F. Weber’s Equipment:
Karl F. Weber is not responsible for data lost or corrupted while stored on studio hard drives although certain protective measures have been put in place.