How Much Does It Cost to Record a Song in the UK?

August 16, 2021

One of the first questions artists ask when they get in touch with a recording studio is, “How much does it cost to record a song?”. Understandably, this is an important question, but it’s not quite that straightforward to answer. Here’s some insight into the costs you can expect if you want to record a demo as well as tips for making it as affordable and rewarding as possible, from the team at our studio in London.

Recording Studios Offer a Flat Rate Per Hour

The reality is that every recording session is different, so recording studios generally don’t offer a price per song rate. It’s a norm in the industry because there are so many different factors to consider, so most studios choose a default rate per hour for the space with additional rates per hour for a sound engineer. This tends to work out more fairly for the artists, as the studio doesn’t have to take a guess at how long a session will take, and it gives artists more freedom to explore the song and make changes, or even do additional recordings.

What to Consider When Costing Out a Recording

Of course, every recording studio has its own pricing model, so here’s what to consider when looking for the right recording studio and setting a budget for your session.

What is the studio’s hourly and day rate?

In addition to an hourly rate, studios can offer a day rate for longer sessions that may be more affordable if you require more time to record. Check both the hourly and day rates of studios in your area, and check if this includes a sound engineer or a producer or not. Most artists do require the use of a sound engineer, so be sure to ask how this changes the rate.

How much recording time do you need? 

Unless you are fairly experienced at recording music, you probably won’t know exactly how many hours you’ll need in the studio. However, the best studios are there to help. Because these teams have worked extensively with all kinds of artists, including bands and solo artists, they can usually give you a good idea of how much time you should book.

How experienced and professional is the studio?

The experience of the studio is a factor that can make a huge difference in your recording experience and the final result. Be sure to talk to the studio and research how long they’ve been around, who they’ve worked with, the experience of their sound engineers, and more to find out what they are all about. 

A more well-known studio will likely be a bit more expensive but will have highly skilled engineers, a great space, state-of-the-art equipment, and a more efficient process, so it’s important not to simply go by cost alone. 

What has the studio produced?

If you want to get an idea of the quality a studio produces, take the time to listen to past recordings they’ve produced and artists they’ve worked with. It’s a great way to see who has trusted them in the past with their music, what artists they have attracted, and the quality of what they output. This will help you avoid studios that ask for higher fees but don’t offer higher value to match it. 

Do you need a rough demo or ready-release result?

A rough demo will cost less because it could be as simple as recording the song live and doing a quick mix on an older piece of equipment. A more intensive service may take more time but deliver better results because the engineer has recorded the song, tuned the vocals, edited all parts individually, layering drum samples, adding electronic music production, or even remixing the song. This can take a significant amount of time as well as talent. If the cost is low and the engineer puts it out quickly, chances are that you’re not going to get a great result.

How flexible can you be as an artist?

How flexible and accommodating you can be can help get recording costs down at some studios. That’s because when a studio isn’t being used, revenue is being lost – and the quiet is just not what these spaces are designed for. If you chat to the studio and ask them about slow days, being on a shortlist for cancellations, or using the studio at odd hours or on holidays, they will likely be happy to accommodate you at a competitive rate.

At Kore Studios in London, we’re all about the music – and that means creating a space where great music can be made. With comfortable studios that are fully equipped (including a 32 channel API console) and professionally soundproofed as well as a team of talented sound engineers and producers, we’ll help you hone your sound. Chat to us today about our rates and services.