There are a few factors to consider for pricing your mixing and mastering services. Some things that you should keep in mind are your experience level, your client base, and other mixing/mastering engineer rates in your area. Remember also you can always adjust your rates over time.
Deciding Your Rates For Mixing and Mastering Services
Figuring out what you should charge for mixing and mastering services can be tricky.
If you set your rates too high, you will have a hard time finding clients, and if you set your rates too low, you will be underpaid for the work that you are doing.
After working as a music producer and audio engineer for numerous years, I’m finally at a point where I have figured out a pricing system that works for my clients and me.
In this in-depth article, we will go over how much to charge for mixing and mastering.
Let’s jump straight in!
What Mixing and Mastering Pricing Factors Should You Consider?
Here are some of the different factors to consider when setting prices for your mixing and mastering services:
- Your experience/expertise level: You can only expect someone to pay you $1,000 to mix a song if you really know what you are doing. Your level of experience and expertise plays a significant role in deciding your mixing and mastering rates.
- Your client base: Another thing to keep in mind when deciding your mixing/mastering rates is your client base. For example, you live in Los Angeles, and a bunch of notable bands want to work with you. You can charge quite a bit for your audio engineering services. However, suppose you live somewhere like Cleveland, Ohio and the only people that want to work with you are your friends’ bands. In that case, you will have to be realistic about what you are charging for mixing and mastering.
- Rates of other mix and master engineers in your area/corner of the industry: The next thing to be aware of as a mix and master engineer setting their prices is the rates of other audio engineers in your area or corner of the music industry. This will give you a good idea of what you can charge as a sound engineer.
- Whether you want to charge per song or by the hour: As a working mixing/mastering engineer, you will have to decide whether to charge on a per-song basis or an hourly rate for your services. Both methods have pros and cons; you must decide which is best for your business model. I personally recommend working on a song-by-song basis; it seems a bit more industry standard.
- How in-demand you are as an audio engineer: The last factor to consider when setting your audio engineering rates is how in-demand you are as an audio engineer. For example, if everyone and their uncle wants to have you work on their track, you will be able to charge much more for your services than if you have no clients or prospects.
As you can see, there are quite a few factors when pricing your mixing and mastering service. You will have to weigh all of these factors to create a pricing system that works for you.
How Much Should You Charge For Mixing and Mastering?
Let’s examine how much you should be charging for mixing and mastering.
Remember, this answer is different for every audio engineer, and it will depend on everything from your expertise level all the way down to where you live.
How Much To Charge For Mixing?
Regarding what to charge for mixing, you should ask for anywhere between $50-$1,000 per song, depending on your experience level and the client you are working with.
Let’s break down this price range into smaller groups to give you an idea of what you should charge for mixing a song.
If you are somewhat newer to mixing and are working with clients who are also on the smaller side, I recommend asking for $50-$150 per song that you mix.
This will put some cash in your pocket while allowing smaller artists to work with you.
If you are an intermediate mix engineer who has some experience under their belt as well as solid clients to work with, you can increase your rates to something more like $150-$300 per song.
This will allow you to make a solid fee on your mixing work without limiting your client base too much.
Finally, suppose you are an advanced mixing engineer in demand by top artists in your area and beyond. In that case, you should charge between $300-$1,000 per song you mix.
This is quite a broad range, but it will also depend on the artist you are working with.
How Much To Charge For Mastering?
When mastering a song, you should charge between $25-$500 per song, depending on your skills and the project.
Let’s take a closer look at this price range and break it down into a few sections.
If you are a relatively inexperienced mastering engineer who is starting to work with smaller clients, you might want to charge anywhere from $25-$50 per song that you master.
This will give you a bit of side cash while you practice your mastering chops and also make it so that smaller artists can get a decent master done on a budget.
Suppose you are a somewhat solid mastering engineer starting to get the hang of mastering music for clients. I recommend charging between $50-$200 per song.
An advanced mastering engineer should charge between $200-$500 to master a song.
You will have to choose your specific price based on your business model. However, this gives you a general ballpark number to work off of.
Keep in mind there is room to make much more than the amounts listed here on mixing and mastering.
For example, a top-of-the-industry mixing/mastering engineer makes more than $1,000 mixing a song for Nicki Minaj or Justin Bieber.
What To Charge For Podcast Mixing and Mastering?
Typically, mixing and mastering a podcast will be much less involved than mixing and mastering music.
For this reason, I would ask for anywhere between $100-$500 to mix a podcast, depending on the length and the podcast itself.
I would ask for anywhere between $25-$100 for mastering the podcast.
Like a music mixing/mastering job, I would price it based on the project itself and its details.
What Additional Services Can You Add On?
Here are some additional services that you can offer to make a bit of extra money as a mixing and or mastering engineer:
- Charge extra for notes/revisions after a certain point
- Offer to master for vinyl and CD as well as for each streaming service
- You can offer an alternate mix for your client at an extra cost
- Offer the chance for an in-person mixing session at an additional fee
There are always different ways to make money as an audio engineer besides mixing and mastering for clients.
Is It Worth Learning How To Mix and Master Your Own Music?
It is absolutely worth learning how to do your own mixing and mastering.
Learning how to properly mix/master your music will save you money and the trouble of hiring and working with another audio engineer. Keep in mind; however, it is a challenging task.
What Comes First, Mixing Or Mastering?
In the world of music production, mixing always comes before mastering.
Mixing is the process of taking all the recorded instruments within a track and processing/blending them together to sound clean, balanced, and professional.
Mastering comes after the mixing phase, and its purpose is to enhance the final mix of your song and its playback across all platforms/sound systems.
How Long Does It Take To Learn How To Professionally Mix and Master?
Learning how to professionally mix and master music can take years and years of practice and training.
The reason for this is that so much goes into the mixing and mastering process. Not to mention, it takes time to train your ears to hear all of the sonic details within a track.
As I have shown you here, how much you should be charging for your mixing and mastering services depends on your experience level, your desired client base, and the rates of other engineers in your area.
Developing your pricing system as a mix/master engineer can be challenging. Still, it’s something that you can work out over time as you find your foothold in the industry.
Want to know more ways to make money? Then check out this next guide on how to make money as a sound engineer.