The finest recording musicians in the world can be found right here in Nashville, Tennessee! No matter what kind of music you want to record, from rock & roll to jazz, blues, classical, gospel, Americana, folk, R&B, latin, urban, and country music, Local 257 can help you have a successful recording experience. We have a variety of scales to fit your budget, and we are here to help make it easy for you to record "the right way." 

AFM LOCAL 257 PHONO RECORDING SCALES – Local and National Agreements and Rates 

Please Note: The AFM SRLA recording scales for Master and Low Budget Master went up Feb. 5, 2024. The first H&W payment went from $28 to $30 for all scales including Demo and Limited Pressing. The pension rate remains 14.09% for all recordings under SRLA and also Demo, Limited Pressing, and Single Song Overdub Scale.

Scale calculators and worksheets are currently being updated and will be published here as soon as possible. Please contact the local if you need immediate information about the new rates or have other questions.

Recording music for any type of purpose using the appropriate AFM Agreement is simply the right thing to do. AFM contracts protect both the musicians and the employer by establishing clear guidelines of scale wages, and benefits, working conditions and the ownership and use of the end product.

All AFM recording contracts include scale wages, health & welfare and pension payments. Here are the main types of agreements, and we are happy to help explain them further.

AFM 257 Local Agreements: 14.09% Pension, $30 H&W for the first three-hour session in a day. Additional sessions are $22. As noted above, effective 2/5/24, the initial H&W payment will go to $30.

Demo: $156.00 ($52/hr) This scale is for recordings that are intended to be pitched but not for release. Publishing demos have long been a fertile training ground for players and producers, and the quality of Nashville demos is second to none. To be released, they can be converted to Limited Pressing and/or upgraded to Master scale.

Limited Pressing: $196.50 ($66/hr) This was developed for indie artists and labels. When 10,000 copies are pressed and/or sold, an upgrade payment is due to bring it up to Master scale, with credit given for the original payment. This scale can also be combined with the Single Song Overdub Scale for convenience and affordability.

Demo to Limited Pressing Conversion: Makes conversion from Demo to Limited Pressing scale giving credit for previous demo payment $100/player + $22 H&W per 3 hour session. Upgrade from Limited Pressing to Master applies when 10,000 copies are sold.

Legacy Demo Agreement: Demos more than 10 years old can now be released for a $20 up-front payment (plus Pension) and a 10% revenue share on the backend revenue generated by sales and airplay.

AFM National Agreements: 14.09% Pension, $30 H&W per 3 hour session.

Master scale: $474.07 ($155/hr) is the standard scale for single and album recording sessions.

Low Budget Master: $266.33 ($89/hr.) This scale is used for album projects with a total recording budget of less than $99K for up to 12 songs. It must be approved in advance of the sessions by AFM, using the Low Budget Worksheet on this website. Unlike Limited Pressing, no upgrade to full master is required, regardless of sales. Modest residual payments begin at 34K sales and up. 

Single Song Overdub Scale: This scale was developed to address the rise of home recording and remote Internet based sessions. It is the first AFM scale to pay by the song with a negotiable per song rate ($100/song minimum). Pension and H&W is included, and the musician can make their own pension contribution.

Motion Picture: $287-330 ($96-110/hr) Film soundtrack music. Rates vary by # of musicians on session. Lowest rate is for 35+ musicians, highest for 23 or fewer.

TV Film: (a la Nashville TV show) $244 -308 ($82-103/hr) Rates vary by # of musicians – Low rate is for 5 or more musicians, high for 4 or less.

Videogame Soundtracks: $300-345 ($100-115/hr) Rates vary by # of musicians, highest is for 25 + musicians, lowest is for less than 25 musicians. No back end residuals whatsoever. 

Click here for an info sheet that summarizes all scales. 

Click here for information on Scales and Recording Agreements 

Call the Local 257 recording department for more information at 615-244-9514
Billy Lynn (Director of Recording Department)