How to Create and Stick to a Recording Budget!

Budgeting is one of the most overlooked aspects by musicians when they usually come into the studio to record. Most musicians who don’t have a recording budget almost always will end up overspending or running out of money halfway through the recording process.

Today in this post I will give you a few pointers about how to create a Budget and Stick to it.

I understand why most musicians and artists have problems with this facet of the process, its because for Artists the creative process takes more importance over spending time finding and figuring out budgetary constraints and how to work around them. But with the right attention, the creative process will be most fruitful by allocating the right resources to the right aspect.

Overall your Budget needs to account for 3 kinds of Expenses:

  1. Pre-Production Budget
  2. Recording Budget
  3. Post Production Budget


  • Pre Production Budget:


This section of your budgeting should include all costs for writing and composing songs. Do you need to hire a Rehearsal space to write this song?
Will you need to hire an arranger or horns and string section for your songs?
Do you need to bring in an extra session musician in to get the most out of the song?
All these aspects should be considered in your Pre Production Budget.
Include any extra travel and Miscellaneous expenses like changing your guitar strings etc in this budget.


  • Recording Budget:

This is probably the second most expensive section of the budget. Find out which studio you need to hire to record execute these songs. This includes your Studio Fees, Producers Fees, Session Musicians cost, Equipment Rental, etc
Make a rough estimate of how much time you would be using inside the studio. Draw up estimates that consider 15-20% Extra time than what you have accounted for, so that even if you do end up going over budget you have that extra buffer.


  • Post Production Budget:

In this section of your budget, you need to allocate your finances for Mixing and Mastering. You need to keep in mind costs for CD Duplication, Distribution of various platforms, Marketing and Promotion Expenses.

Prepare an Excel Sheet with all these costs laid out clearly. Once you have all these costs in place, you have your first Recording Budget Ready.
Don’t hold back when you initially are preparing this budget, put down as many costs that you think are important to the execution of the project.
Once you have these costs in place you can then sit down and start removing the costs that are more “Luxury” than a “Necessity”.

Spend in the Right Places:

You would be better off to spend more money in the Rehearsal Space getting your band performance right than to spend that time inside the studio trying to get it right. Save as much time as you can inside the studio as Studio Time tends to be more expensive than your Rehearsal spaces.

Sticking to a Budget:

Once you have a Budget you have a basic groundwork prepared in terms of the money you need to keep ready before going into these 3 stages. There will be times when you will feel tempted to spend more than what is allocated in your budget. Then you’re going to have to decide whether spending that extra bit is going to really add something to your recording or if it’s something you can do without.

Having a budget prepared before hand ensures you’re a little more ready going into your recording, and you don’t have to stress about time and money if used wisely! Checkout Our Speaker Placement Calculator