So, you’ve written a brand new song and are convinced you want to have a demo made.
You might be wondering how much it will actually cost to do that! And fair enough, because as you begin to explore this question, you will find that it depends on a lot of factors.
It’s like asking, “How much is a car?”
The answer to that question varies a lot depending on the make and model, style, where you bought it, the current state of the economy, etc.
To help you make the decision, we’ve put together this helpful guide. You’ll find out what factors go into making the decision and how to make the best investment possible.
The Song, Your Baby
Before diving into the different pricing factors to be aware of, there is an important point you should think about. Most songwriters don’t do what they do because they’re good at it or because it’s “their job.”
Most successful songwriters are genuinely passionate about every song they write—and they should be.
If you want the very best expression of your song to come through in your demo, it would be our opinion not to base your decision on price alone.
I realize that may sound self-serving since we offer demo production services, but this is a significant point whether you choose BuyDemoTracks.com or not.
Don’t settle for second best. If you decide to use us or another studio, do it because you feel they will provide the best result. Don’t choose them because they are the cheapest option or even the most expensive option (just because a studio charges a lot does not mean they are worth it).
You should evaluate the quality of their work and then make the best decision.
How well-known or reputable the studio will be a huge determining factor in how much your demo costs.
Much like cliché’s, a studio’s reputation becomes what it is for a reason: they produce results.
And if they have a history of producing great results, they have every right to charge well for the services they provide.
Great demo production does not happen accidentally. It takes the gathering and management of a lot of creative talent, and that gets expensive quickly.
In 2022, there are more “basement studios” than ever before. And to be honest, many of those basement studios produce a level of quality far beyond that which you could achieve in a state-of-the-art recording studio years ago.
Even so, a larger studio may have the resources to keep better equipment and personnel on hand. And if they do that, they will have higher expenses, and will need to charge more for their services.
If you approach a recording studio to cover your demo, you should be prepared to pay more than if you hired your buddy’s cousin who used to play in a band 10 years ago.
A related consideration is the quality of the production itself. This should probably be the deciding factor for most songwriters.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how big or small the studio, no matter whose name is associated with it, and regardless of who has or has not heard of them. If the studio you choose is putting out high-quality work you’d be proud to have represented in your song, you are making a great choice!
Make sure to ask any studio you approach for samples of their work. They will be happy to provide them, and it will help you make the most informed decision.
What vocalists or musicians come with the demo recording, and what additional performers are available?
You will need to consider these questions when it comes to the cost of your demo project. If you’ll have to hire individual musicians, vocalists, engineers, producers, and studio time, those costs will tend to add up pretty quickly.
At BuyDemoTracks.com, each demo comes with in-house musicians, playing the following instruments:
Acoustic guitar • Electric guitar • Electric bass • Upright bass • Piano • Steel guitar • Dobro • Banjo • Mandolin • Fiddle • Drums • Organ
Plus, we give you the option of adding our Marketplace musicians and vocalists as well!
Some studios will want to go above and beyond by providing additional services and benefits free of charge.
Examples of this might include song pitching services, album artwork creation, radio exposure with partner stations, etc.
At BuyDemoTracks.com, each demo package comes with automatic addition to our library (a $197 value) where performers of all types come to find new music to record. You can even earn money when people download your demo!
Crunching the Numbers
Ok, let’s talk some actual numbers. As you might guess, pricing is all over the map.
Studios or multi-instrumentalists looking to make a name for themselves or just getting started will be on the cheaper end of the spectrum, likely charging between $100-$250 per song.
They may ask for additional funds if you would like to hire a particular musician or vocalist, if you want the ability to have performance stems of your demo, etc. They are also less likely to include any additional services.
Studios in areas well-known for music (such as Nashville), having a longstanding reputation, access to well-known performers, or providing additional benefits and services will be in the $1,500+ range per song.
Studios landing in the middle will be around $500-$1000, and may include some combination of additional benefits and services as well.
By now, it is clear there are several factors that will determine how much your demo costs.
At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that cost itself is probably the least important factor when it comes to the quality of your production.
If you find a studio and are pleased with their quality of work, you should consider working with them to make sure you are putting your best foot forward.
After all, the better your demo sounds, the more likely it will be picked up by artists and performers!