Renting a recording studio can cost anywhere between $30 to $300 or more an hour, and world-class studios can run much more than that. The low end would be a basic home studio, and the high end would be a professional option with an engineer.
I’m Donovan, and I’ve been making music for decades. I’ve worked in the music industry as a musician, songwriter, and producer, and I know through first-hand experience home much renting a recording studio is.
This post will show you how much it costs to rent a recording studio. I’ll provide you with a range of prices you can expect for various types of recording studios, from amateur home studios to world-class spaces.
Let’s dive in.
- Key Takeaways
- How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Recording Studio?
- Final Thoughts
- Typical hourly rates for recording studios can run anywhere from $30 to $300 or more, while the average rate is more in the $50 to $150 per hour range.
- Home studios with less experienced engineers will be more affordable and cost $30-$50/hr. Professional studios will be more expensive, ranging from $150-$300/hr or more.
- Most studios charge by the hour, but some also sell daily or weekly rates, which can be a better deal if you can afford it.
- The more you pay for a recording studio, the more experience and equipment you typically get to work with.
How Much Does it Cost to Rent a Recording Studio?
If you are considering renting a recording studio to get your music out into the world, you’ll want to scout ahead of time. There is a pretty wide range in the average studio recording time because there are so many different studios out there.
And when it comes to studio time, you get what you pay for. There are cheaper options out there, but these are usually home studios that only have a basic setup and an engineer who is just learning the basics.
Professional recording studios give you access to world-class equipment and often come with highly experienced staff like engineers and even a producer. If you want access to the best of the best, it will get expensive in a hurry.
Most recording studios charge per hour or per day of recording time. I’ll break down those exact costs in the section below but know that you’ll usually save a bit of money on the daily rate versus the hourly rate.
Recording Studio Cost Per Hour
The average cost range of a recording studio per hour is $50 to $150. This range can extend to around $30 on the low end and up to $300 or more on the high end. It all depends on which studio you choose.
Studios in the $30-$50/hr range are typically home studio setups. You will likely get access to everything you need to make a basic recording, but you won’t get world-class equipment or experience at a budget price.
You can expect professional-level results when you start getting into the $100-$150/hr range. These studios often give you access to a lot of pro equipment that will deliver ready for radio types of tracks.
Anything over $150 can be considered a high-end studio where you can expect excellent results. Studios that cost more per hour usually have a good reputation and include the use of an engineer to help you record your songs.
These price ranges and expectations here are just examples, and you need to scout out the studio you work with to gauge whether its cost justifies everything it offers.
I’ve been in some really expensive studios that didn’t live up to how much they charged per hour. And I’ve also been in some really affordable budget-priced studios that went above and beyond for how much they charged.
You should also think about how many hours you plan on being in the studio. Hourly rates can work well if you only need a few hours to get a basic track out. But if you’re recording an entire album that will take days or weeks, there are other options to explore to save some money.
Recording Studio Time Packages
Another payment option that many recording studios now offer are discounts when you book time packages. Consider this a daily or weekly rate rather than a per-hour rate.
Recording studio time packages can run anywhere from $150 to $1500 or more daily. Like the hourly rate, the more you pay, the more gear and experience you typically get. If you have a band or are recording a full album, studio packages are the way to go.
Extremely high-end studios can cost thousands to rent out for the day, but these will often include many features and niceties beyond recording equipment. Or that might be the cost of using a famous engineer or producer.
Some recording studios even offer lodging and other amenities as part of their day rate. This can be a great option for a week-long recording session and save you a lot of time and money, so you don’t need to travel anywhere while you record.
Not every recording studio offers a time package or day rate, but many do. If you have a larger project and know it will take a long time to record, looking into these rates will help you keep the costs down while still getting access to a good recording studio.
Most professional or open-to-the-public studios will give you a full cost breakdown of everything that’s included in their prices. Sometimes you can negotiate for various things if you are booking a lot of time, but often what you see is what you get for the prices.
Recording Studio Prices Near Me
The best way to find recording studio prices near you is to call or email all the studios in your area. Not every studio advertises their prices on websites or makes this knowledge easy to access. But if you get in touch with them, it should give you a good idea.
You can also get in touch with anyone you know who has a home studio nearby. They might not technically be “open for business,” but if you think they have decent enough skills and equipment, it can be a good option for making some initial recordings.
Some studios have storefronts where you can just walk in and talk to someone at the reception desk, like a typical brick-and-mortar business. But most of them function in a more private manner, where you need to reach out ahead of time to set everything up.
If you are trying to lock down a potential budget or just shop around for the best-priced studio in your area, exploring a few different options is a good idea. Some areas might have higher prices than others, and knowing what’s out there is good.
Here are a few short answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about how much it costs to rent a recording studio.
How much should a recording studio cost?
There is a wide range of recording studio prices, and how much a particular studio charges depends on the services and equipment it offers. Home studios cost about $30-$50 on average and professional studios can be $150-$300/hr or more.
Is it worth going to a recording studio?
If you are a musician who wants to record and doesn’t have any skills as an engineer or producer, going to a recording studio is your best bet for getting your songs out there. But if you can learn how to record on your own, you don’t need to go to a studio.
Why is a recording studio so expensive?
Some recording studios are so expensive because you are paying for the equipment and experience that the studio offers. Professional-level recording equipment is not cheap, and you can’t really put a price on a good engineer and producer.
How much is a studio recording of a song?
The average range of recording studio costs for a completed song can range from $150 to $1500 or much more, depending on which studio you go to. Mixing and mastering fees can be in addition to the studio time and cause the costs to go up even higher.
Is it expensive to record a song?
If you have the skills and equipment to record a song on your own, it can be pretty affordable. But costs can start to stack up quickly if you go to a recording studio, especially a professional one with lots of high-end equipment and a capable staff.
How many hours does it take to record a song?
There is no exact amount of time that it takes to record a song, but you can typically get the rough tracks accomplished in 3 to 8 hours of recording. There is more time involved with mixing, mastering, and any overdubs you want to put on the track.
Does a recording studio own your music?
A recording studio should not own your music unless that is specified in a contract you have with the studio. Some larger record companies own part or all of the master recordings, but this isn’t as common in today’s music business with many more home studios.
You can typically find a good recording studio when you pay $50 to $150 per hour. There are some out there for cheaper than this, but you’re not likely to get access to good equipment or work with an experienced engineer at a lower rate.
If you are working on a larger recording project that will take many hours, check to see if the studio you want to use offers daily or weekly rates. This can save you some money compared to paying by the hour while giving you full access to everything the studio offers.
How much do you usually pay for studio time? How many recording studios have you worked with? Let me know in the comments below.