Studio Production: Financial Tracking

As part of our studio production we had to create a document that tracks the financial data from the recording sessions.

We were given £1500 virtual budget which had to account for musicians,  microphones, studio hire etc.

For our recording of ‘Last Night’ we had a £1500 budget to book out equipment, personnel and to book out a studio. For the three sessions last three hours we booked out equipment such as microphones, headphones, hardware and instruments, We also had to book out personnel to run the sessions. We had a producer, live room worker, desk operator and the HDR operator, all for 3 hours. The musician was paid for 2 hours allowing us an hour to set up.

The first session was the drum recording, I believed at first this would be the most expensive of the three sessions but in fact it was the cheapest at £424. This was because we didn’t experiment with different microphones by swapping them round for different takes. It was also the least expensive as we didn’t choose to book any hardware such as compressors or effects processors.

The Guitar and Bass session was the most expensive session, coming to £554.50. This was the because we spent a lot of money on equipment. Although microphones we used were some of the less expensive ones such as the SM57 and SM58 we had to book out other equipment. This included a Guitar and amplifier, Bass Guitar amplifier, Foot pedal and Zoom 2020 as well a Mono Urei Compressor.

The vocal session theoretically should have been the cheapest but this wasn’t the case. Rather than using just one microphone for vocals we booked out a number of microphones for different takes and to compare the sounds. We also booked out a Focusrite Comp/Voice and a Focusrite ISA 430, which put the total spending from this session up. The overall total for the vocal session was £510.

For each of the three sessions we didn’t end up using the hardware we booked out such as the compressors. This could have saved us £130 of our budget. If we had done this we could have spent that money on microphones in the three sessions to try and experiment with different sounds and techniques. The £130 could have been spent on 3-18 more microphones depending on price, or a mixture of microphones and equipment. For example we could have booked out more microphones to experiment with different stereo micing techniques such as coincident pair, near coincident pair and blumline pair.

Overall we came just under budget at £1478.50 making a total saving of £21.50. To earn back this money we spent on hiring out equipment, personnel and studio hire we could make the track ‘Last Night’ available to download. If charging 79p like most online downloads, we would have to sell 1899 downloads in order to make a profit. We could also choose to sell the track on a CD. The normal price of a single is about £1.99. We would have to sell 754 CD’s to earn the money back but this does not include the price paid for each CD to burn the track on to. That is why putting the track up as a download would be the best way to make back the money we spent.

We also did charts and tables using Microsoft Excel to help work out the amount and spent and show how much we spent on different sections.

Click to see larger images

Drum Recording:
Guitar/Bass Recording:
Vocal Recording:
Cash/Recording Totals:

UPDATE: I received a Distinction for this piece of work.
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