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How Much Do Music Producers Make?

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Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Do you wake up to symphonies and song ideas bouncing through your head? Do you hear tracks via the radio or streaming services and think, “I could have made that better?” Or do you just love putting sounds, grooves, and harmonies together into something new and crazy and beautiful?

If so, a career in music production — and the financial rewards that go with it — might be in your future. But how much can a producer actually expect to earn? While that answer is largely based on your skills, credibility, and experience, big chops can earn you big rewards to the tune of five or even six digits per track.

How (and how much) does a producer earn?

There are a few different ways music producers can receive income as a result of working on a song.

  • Straight-up compensation. Producers get a flat fee for their work on a song or are paid on an hourly or day-rate basis. 
  • Revenue sharing. Producers sometimes take a percentage of the proceeds from a song or album. The producer’s share could be based on gross income from a project (before the expenses to create and market it are recouped), net income (after some or all expenses are recouped), or according to other agreement details.
  • Advances. Depending on a producer’s reputation, fame, and experience, sometimes they can get a notable amount just to attach themselves to a project before the first note is ever recorded. 
  • Mix and match. Deals can include one or all of the above. As always, just make sure you know what you’re agreeing to, put everything in writing, and don’t hesitate to get advice from a qualified music lawyer who can help protect your interests. 

How much does a producer make per song?

Here are some very rough ranges of what you could expect to earn per track as a professional music producer.

  • New producer: $0-$3,000
  • Mid-level producer: $3,000-$8,000
  • Experienced producer: $8,000- $15,000
  • Superstar producer: $15,000-$500,000+ 

How can music producers boost their earnings?

The core practice of producing songs and albums for artists and labels is one thing — but there are many other ways intrepid music producers can increase cash flow.

Help other producers do their work

Are you skilled at miking drums or mixing lead vocals? Can you manage a ten-piece string section like nobody’s business, or can you program synths or DAWS like Ableton Live in your sleep? If so, your skills can help you earn cash when you lend a hand to other producers’ projects.

Podcast production

In some ways, producing podcasts is very different from producing music — in other ways, the core responsibility is the same: make it sound good. If you’re skilled at capturing raw audio and making it sing, producing podcasts can help supplement your income.

Teaching and coaching

There are always people who want to learn all aspects of music production. Whether you agree to teach courses at a local school, sign up private students, or help get fellow professional music pros up to speed on Pro Tools / Logic / Live / whatever, consider turning your hard-won expertise into reliable income.

Selling beats or samples

Disc Makers guide to Making A Great MasterRather than producing an entire track or album yourself, you can help create the tools that will help other music producers thrive. Lots of artists across many genres use prefabricated beats that a producer like you crafted from scratch; and companies that sell music software and electronic instruments need people to program original sounds, grooves, and textures as well.

Performing

The line between producer and performer can often be delightfully blurry. See if gigging under your own name feels right. Or if an artist you know needs backing tracks, live remixing, or other production-related contributions for a tour, make your play and see what happens.

Licensing

Shows, video games, movies, podcasts — all sorts of media need music and sound, and as a music producer, you may just have a library of material you own that could fit the bill. 

How do you grow your music production skills?

Some prodigy producers may be completely self-taught, gaining experience through their studio work, but there are a variety of sources to learn and grow as a music producer.

School

Conservatories, universities, community colleges, and dedicated music production and recording schools all offer ways to learn and grow as a music producer.

Online courses

MasterClass and Coursera are just the beginning when it comes to online resources for learning. Check out this list to get started and see which courses can get you where you need to be.

YouTube

Lots of great educational videos are available for free via your computer, phone, or tablet. One good place to start is Pensado’s Place. Just be sure to vet your sources: anyone can claim to be a music producer and put out a video, so don’t waste your time learning sketchy skills from unreliable channels.

Books

Go old school and crack open a book about any aspect of music production. Here’s a list to get you started.

Internships and apprenticeships

There’s nothing like working alongside the masters to help you refine your own craft. Look into opportunities to intern at local recording studios or with local producers who might benefit from a helping hand. What you’ll learn is well worth the investment of time and energy.

Get your music productions on the best-sounding audio format

You never have to do it all yourself — Disc Makers is here to help. Check out our audio mastering and CD packages for affordable and professional ways to package your music productions.


Philip Kinsher is a writer, editor, and musician with a predilection for YA Sci-fi Fantasy books and rock and roll. And golf and pickleball.

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About Philip Kinsher

Philip Kinsher is a writer, editor, and musician with a predilection for YA Sci-fi Fantasy books and rock and roll. And golf and pickleball.

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