How much does a recording studio cost?

Average cost in 20149: $45 /hr See National


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The average cost for an audio recording studio is $45/hr. You are likely to spend between $30 and $60 per hour. Exact price may vary depending on your area and project details.

Updated May 1st, 2017

Next Step: Find out exactly how much your project will cost.

Audio recording is available for instrumental musicians and vocal artists of all ages and skill levels. Artists can rent studio time for vocal recording only (with prerecorded instrumentals), vocal and instrumental recording, or professional voiceover recording. Additional services include audio mixing, mastering, editing, preproduction and post-production. Professional recording studios cater to a range of musical genres, including pop, R&B/soul, rock, country, hip-hop/rap and more. Several factors affect the cost of audio recording.

Equipment quality

The quality of the recording equipment often dictates the cost for audio recording sessions. The higher the quality of the equipment, the more per hour a session will cost.

Room size

Larger recording studios may have different sized rooms available with varying recording and audio equipment and varying musical instruments available for use. Studio rental costs are typically higher for larger rooms with better equipment and nicer instruments on hand. For example, The Abstract Recording Studios in Los Angeles offers its smallest room at the relatively low rate of $25 per hour.

Flat hourly rates

Some recording studios have flat hourly rates without any time minimum or other requirements. The following examples of flat hourly rates include studio time, preproduction, mixing and mastering:


Some studios charge additional fees for mastering recorded tracks beyond the studio time fee. For example, Shine on Studios in Oakland, California, charges $90 per hour with a two-hour minimum for studio time, while the studio’s mastering services start at $99 for a tuneup and range up to $299 for six tracks, or up to 70 minutes of album time.

Independent versus signed artists

Recording studios may have higher rates for signed artists than independent artists who are paying for recording costs out of their own pocket. For example, the $45 per hour studio time rate at Indecent Music is only for independent artists, rates for signed artists are negotiated on an individual artist basis and generally tend to be higher.

Mobile recording

Also referred to as "location recording," mobile recording brings the studio to the client. Typically hiring the audio recording specialist to come to a location will increase the cost for services. For example, in comparison with its $45 per hour studio time rate, Indecent Music charges the following for mobile recording services:

  • First hour of recording, including setup and teardown: $200

  • Additional hours of performance: $75 per hour

  • Post-production editing, mixing and mastering: $55 per hour

Studio reputation

Studios that work with famous recording artists or that feature producers with top hits command higher fees than lesser-known studios without the fame factor.


Musicians or vocal artists can buy multiple-day sessions or large blocks of time to be used as scheduled over a course of days or weeks. Purchasing in bulk up front can sometimes cost less per hour for studio time.

Minimum time

Some studios have a minimum recording time requirement, which will affect the overall cost. For example, Songwriters Recording Studio in Knoxville, Tennessee, has a two-hour minimum, regardless of the time needed and the entirety of the fee must be paid in full upfront.

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Recent reviews

Recording / Mix engineer

Couldn't be happier with Joel's help recording the voiceover for my film. Thanks, Joel!

Drowning Fish Studio

It was an awesome experience. Definitley going back🙋🏾

Commodore Recording Studio

Commodore Recording Studio was awesome! The owner, Doug was easy to communicate with and followed up with confirmation of scheduling time and directions. The studio is beautiful with a gorgeous Grand Piano. We were able to relax and take our time with recording as many takes as we needed to feel good about the end product. Dout mixed our audio recording and let us listen to it until we were satisfied. Then we received the audio in CD form, MP3 form, flash drives and also a form to sync with our video that we took. The cost per hour of the services was affordable and reasonable. The customer service was first rate. Doug was very accommodating and has a vast knowledge of music, sound, technology, and history of music. He is obviously passionate about music. I will highly recommend Commodore Studios to all musicians!!!!