I often get asked questions about what it takes to produce a high quality recording. I also see many young musicians that go out and spend a couple of thousand dollars going to a recording studio to cut their killer CD only to find that the production is very poor and the overall quality does not stand up to that of professional releases.
The problem invariably is a lack of awareness on what it takes to produce great sounding records. First and foremost a great record is built on great songs usually accompanied by great talent. World-class recording technology can only serve to enhance the presentation. Too often, people go in and spend money on recording their music without a producer, without any kind of game plan and then they expect that a miracle will happen simply by virtue of being in a studio environment.
The run rate in Nashville these days is somewhere between $15,000 – 50,000 per song to produce major label quality recordings. I have seen independents try and make something happen for somewhere between $2,500 – 5,000 per song. So it is not unusual for records to cost anywhere between $50,000 to $500,000 to produce. And then there are the other costs associated with distribution of the product.
If you want to record your music for personal reasons, use a PC. It’s fun to do and the sound quality is okay. If you want to get into the business of selling your music the competition is pretty fierce and the production standards pretty high.