We asked a New Yorker (Taylor Clyne) and an Angeleno (Nickie Lum) to estimate how much it might cost to put out a typical CD. Here's a likely breakdown of your expenses:
- Renting a studio: $75 per hour
- Hiring an engineer who isn't a friend of your uncle's: $20 to $40 an hour
- Hiring a producer who doesn't have a "name": $500
- Hiring a producer who does have a "name": $80,000
- Mixing the track: This can take several days, so if you're going for an eight-hour day, estimate three days: $2,400.
- Having your track mastered (with finishing touches like ensuring the levels are cued up right and there's proper spacing between the songs): $400 per song
- Cover art: "There's no set price," says Clyne, "but you probably want the cheapest possible."
- Pressing plant, where CDs are actually created: $0.80 to $1.25 per CD
- Standard bottle of Maalox: $3.99