Why I charge a flat mixing rate per song, not per hour

Why I charge a flat mixing rate per song, not per hour

If you’re familiar with the mixing service that I offer, you’ll know that I charge a flat mixing rate per song, not per hour. Personally, I believe that charging per song is a far better method than charging an hourly rate. That’s because a flat rate benefits both the musician having their song(s) mixed, and the producer who is mixing them. That’s why I’m a firm believer that more producers should work this way!

The problem with using an hourly rate and not a mixing rate per song:

If the project is charged by the hour, the band only has an estimate of how much the work will cost. Similarly, the producer will also not necessarily know the final cost. This means that there is uncertainty for both parties.

Why a mixing rate per song is better for bands:

  • The exact cost of the finished product is already known by the artist. That allows musicians to budget, save or raise funds.
  • These days, many bands fund their projects through crowd funding services such as Pledge Music, KickStarter, or similar sites. Having a clear figure enables effective crowd funding. Similarly, because many bands self fund releases, it gives the musician a clear idea of what they can or cannot afford.
  • When charging per song, and not per hour, there is no risk to the artist. They don’t have to enter into an arrangement without knowing what the final fee will be.

Why a mixing rate per song is better for producers:

  • So how does this process also benefit the producer? Well, by presenting a flat mixing rate per song to the musician, the producer is able to take a percentage as a deposit for the work. This is possible as both parties already know the final fee of the work to be carried out.
  • There is also no need for the producer to keep track of the time spent mixing for invoicing purposes. They can simply concentrate on the process of mixing without having to consider the financial aspect. In fact, the financial aspect is completed quickly and further discussion does not need to take place during the mixing session, which can be a big distraction to the creative process.
  • Furthermore, knowing that a set fee will be received regardless of the time spent mixing helps the producer stay focused. The producer knows that the musician expects a great mix. A flat rate fee is a great motivator for the producer to deliver just that, in a timely manner.

These are the reasons that I charge by the project, and not by the hour, and why I think that more producers should do the same. What do you think? As a producer would you rather charge by the hour? Or by the project? As a musician what do you feel is better for you? A flat fee or an hourly rate?


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