dealing with clients in a small basement studio
Lukas101
Thread Starter
#1
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #1
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
dealing with clients in a small basement studio

Hey guys i have a small studio in my basement and every now and then i track some local bands for abit of cash. I wouldn't really consider it a business. Its just some extra cash on the side to pay for all the gear that i cant stop buying. Anyways i tracked a band a while ago, we recorded 5 songs and i mixed them as well. They were happy with it and the project was done. 4 months later i get a text message from the band telling me they want me to remix one song for free. I told them i wasnt sure if i still had it( i still do though) and he basically lost it on me and told me i didnt know how to run a business blah blah blah and a bunch of other bullshit. I dont really consider this a business and i charged these guys a couple hundred bucks btw. Anyways what should i do guys do i remix this song for him or tell him to go f*ck himself. Just looking for some thought and opinions on how you guys would manage this kind of situation.

thanks!
#2
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #2
Gear interested
 

Never work for free.
#3
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #3
Gear nut
 

Bluntly tell them you refuse to work with them ever again in the future. The guy you talked to sounds like a massive prick with a majorly misplaced sense of entitlement. I'm not sure what world they live in where sh*t is just free but it certainly isn't this one.
#4
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #4
Lives for gear
 
beau_mckee's Avatar
This stuff usually only happens when a band gets a free or basically free recording and the engineer goes above and beyond the call of duty,which is what had happened in your case! Tell them you'll remix it, but obviously only if you're paid. So basically "not a problem, I can do that for $200, let me know web you are ready to book a session" politely of course
#5
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #5
Lives for gear
 
beau_mckee's Avatar
If you don't plan on doing this for a career and you think he is being a ******, then tell him to stick his (insert appropriate instrument here) up his ass
#6
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #6
Lives for gear
 
beau_mckee's Avatar
Also I said $200 as a figure of speech, charge what you deem appropriate
#7
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #7
Lives for gear
 
cavern's Avatar
 

Of course,im not telling you what you should do,im just telling you what i would do since you said he lost it over the phone.
I would use one of the lines in your post and "tell him to go f*ck himself"
But im like like that when people disrespect me.
#8
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #8
Gear addict
 
Sanchez's Avatar
 

2 possible outcomes:

1:

'shove it up yer ****'
'f*ck you'
'no, f*ck you'
'no, f*ck you'
'no, f*ck you'
'no, f*ck you'
'no, f*ck you'
etc
etc
etc.....you get the picture

2: 'Sorry, but that job was completed and I'm not prepared to work for free. I can make some time to work on it if we can agree on a small fee. If you're not happy with that I'll give you the files and you can take them elsewhere.'

2b: 'Sorry, I do have the files but I'm not prepared to work with you under these circumstances. Give me your address and I'll send you a disc with the files'

Which do you think leads to a better potential future? Being professional is about more than money or fancy gear, it's mostly approach. Follow 1 and you're just creating a dead loop of anger and noise. Your man may be on this board tomorrow bad-mouthing you all over town and nobody's right. Lose-lose.
Try 2 and who knows, he may change his mind and some money and learning may come your way. Maybe not. He may still be here bad-mouthing you but....tell us your side of the story and see what your peers say.
Maybe one of the other band members will come back to you with a different project.....far less likely with 1

etc etc. Just my feelings and I have no real idea about standard practice with files. I usually provide a hard copy and possibly a web-based copy with the proviso that I will keep the files on disc for a couple of months but after that they may well be deleted. After that time they are the clients' responsibility unless specifically discussed otherwise.

There's enough piss-fighting and macho 'I-gotta-win' competition and 'being rightness' in the real and net worlds. Man up and think of a better way.
#9
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #9
Lives for gear
 
frans's Avatar
Why does the band want the remix?
#10
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #10
Gear nut
 

They were happy with it at the time - so why are they unhappy now??
You completed your duty, if they want a remix - it's a new assignment.

You could give them raw tracks, but I wouldn't do a free remix.
They wouldn't work for free at Taco Bell (after paying themselves for the kitchen equipment), wouldn't they? The fact that you enjoy what you do, has nothing to do with it.

"Running a business" certainly doesn't involve doing stuff for free.
Lukas101
Thread Starter
#11
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #11
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
thanks for all the advice guys! honestly i think ill just tell him he can have his raw tracks for free otherwise he has to pay me for a remix but tbh i dont want anything to do with this client anymore hes shown nothing but disrespect and pure arrogance. I think regardless what i do hes gonna badmouth me hes a total a**hole.
#12
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #12
Gear addict
 

Yeah i say just give him the raw tracks and let him do as he pleases anyone will charge him so he cant expect you to do it for free..most likely hell come back to you with an apology and cash
#13
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #13
Lives for gear
 
Beat Poet's Avatar
 

The attitude of some people, seriously. Like above I'd politely tell this guy that it's a whole new job and if you want it doing, you pay for it, just like you did the first time.
#14
26th January 2012
Old 26th January 2012
  #14
Lives for gear
 

why do you still have his raw tracks?

I never offer the raw tracks as a part of the deal unless it is stated so upfront. You come to me for a recording, you walk out the door with a finished mix. This is how it has been done since the 50s. In the days of multitrack tape, no band wanted to buy the tape so we bulk erased it and used it for the next client. In any case, you do not want the legal liability of storing tracks belonging to someone else. If you feel that you have to save them, give them to the client when he walks out of the door. But I wouldn't. That is not what they paid for.
#15
27th January 2012
Old 27th January 2012
  #15
Toronto Maple Leafs fan
 
jordanvoth's Avatar
Tell him your rate for assholes is $200,173 per hour and that you'll accept half up front. Even if we were in huge pro studios I'd never accept that kind of grief from a client.
#16
27th January 2012
Old 27th January 2012
  #16
Gear addict
 

I have a policy of if at any point you are not happy let me know and I will do everything I can to fix it, plenty of studios to go to man, if you want that bad shit out there about you and can afford it that is fine, but it all catches up to you at some point, I would try to settle this down
Lukas101
Thread Starter
#17
27th January 2012
Old 27th January 2012
  #17
Gear Head
 

Thread Starter
its been dealt with apparently he only wanted minor changes done to the song so i did the small changes and told him that was the last time i was doing anything on that song. I also told him that if he isnt happy with it he is entitled to the raw tracks which i will also be giving him. It wasnt a friendly conversion but we finally got to an agreement and i think all is cool between us. I think im being way to generous but id like to keep a good rep i dont want any drama.
Deleted User #106149
#18
27th January 2012
Old 27th January 2012
  #18
Deleted User #106149
Guest
 

Well played. It's always wiser not to burn bridges.

If he rattles that bridge again though, get the flame thrower out

Sent from my HTC Desire using Gearslutz.com
#19
27th January 2012
Old 27th January 2012
  #19
Gear maniac
 
anna_britbass88's Avatar
 

F u Lukas! You taking our beef online?!

We want the GD track remixed for FREE!
#20
27th January 2012
Old 27th January 2012
  #20
Lives for gear
 
cavern's Avatar
 

#21
27th January 2012
Old 27th January 2012
  #21
Gear maniac
 
nocoJack's Avatar
When I record at other studios, I bring my own HD and leave with the raw files and the master disc.
#22
27th January 2012
Old 27th January 2012
  #22
serious amateur
 
omtayslick's Avatar
 

Give him the raw tracks. Don't forget to make them extra raw. A little hiss wouldn't hurt either.
#23
27th January 2012
Old 27th January 2012
  #23
Gear addict
 
nicpope's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanchez View Post
2 possible outcomes:

1:

'shove it up yer ****'
'f*ck you'
'no, f*ck you'
'no, f*ck you'
'no, f*ck you'
'no, f*ck you'
'no, f*ck you'
etc
etc
etc.....you get the picture

2: 'Sorry, but that job was completed and I'm not prepared to work for free. I can make some time to work on it if we can agree on a small fee. If you're not happy with that I'll give you the files and you can take them elsewhere.'

2b: 'Sorry, I do have the files but I'm not prepared to work with you under these circumstances. Give me your address and I'll send you a disc with the files'

Which do you think leads to a better potential future? Being professional is about more than money or fancy gear, it's mostly approach. Follow 1 and you're just creating a dead loop of anger and noise. Your man may be on this board tomorrow bad-mouthing you all over town and nobody's right. Lose-lose.
Try 2 and who knows, he may change his mind and some money and learning may come your way. Maybe not. He may still be here bad-mouthing you but....tell us your side of the story and see what your peers say.
Maybe one of the other band members will come back to you with a different project.....far less likely with 1

etc etc. Just my feelings and I have no real idea about standard practice with files. I usually provide a hard copy and possibly a web-based copy with the proviso that I will keep the files on disc for a couple of months but after that they may well be deleted. After that time they are the clients' responsibility unless specifically discussed otherwise.

There's enough piss-fighting and macho 'I-gotta-win' competition and 'being rightness' in the real and net worlds. Man up and think of a better way.
A good solid dose of common sense. Its nice to get a reminder on these things now and then because working in music can make you feel like setting yourself on fire sometimes.
#24
28th January 2012
Old 28th January 2012
  #24
Lives for gear
 

I have all clients sign a contract, even when I was only working from home, that states the safe keeping of audio files and master tapes are responsibility of the client alone after 30 days. They want to keep a backup? Bring me a drive, or I'll burn discs. Either way make them pay for data transfer too.
#25
28th January 2012
Old 28th January 2012
  #25
Lives for gear
 
GordZilla's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lukas101 View Post
its been dealt with apparently he only wanted minor changes done to the song so i did the small changes and told him that was the last time i was doing anything on that song. I also told him that if he isnt happy with it he is entitled to the raw tracks which i will also be giving him. It wasnt a friendly conversion but we finally got to an agreement and i think all is cool between us. I think im being way to generous but id like to keep a good rep i dont want any drama.
I think you took the high road on this one there Lukas. As other posters mentioned, it is never a good idea to burn ones bridges... no matter how momentarily satisfying it can be.

Give them the raw tracks... and wash your hands of these guys. And walk away with your head held high
#26
28th January 2012
Old 28th January 2012
  #26
disagree again

must be me ---

but i prefer to be civilied - seem a reare commodity anong GS'ers

No - don't do it for free.
But Yes - he is a dick, one time on the phone.
the civilized thing to do is give the gay* ( see typos are freekin' awsome !!) a second chance..

but - I think many's GS'ers here are dicks --

pretty ~shure~ i'm a dick somtimes too..

imadik
#27
28th January 2012
Old 28th January 2012
  #27
Lives for gear
 
adamcal's Avatar
 

I tell every client that they should have a backup of their files, however I make it as part of the session, usually as the last hour of the booking approaches I tell them we will have to start backing up in xx minutes (depending on how big their session is).

If its after the session end or even days/weeks later, then its a billable item of work.
#28
28th January 2012
Old 28th January 2012
  #28
Lives for gear
 

I also have a small basement studio. I basically charge what you do. VERY similar to you, which is cool.

If someone is being a complete jerkoff, I get stern and tell them I need to be paid. If I feel at all like I'm being taken advantage of, I charge and/or tell them to go ask around for pricing. I'm not the greatest, but I think I undercharge so I deserve some leeway with things.

I've also been doing this scenario for years and can often tell when things are about to go awry or that they 'could'.

If you aren't running a business, f*ck em. You do this in your free time, and pretty much for fun. So don't take crap and stress.

Glad your situation has been sorted out!
#29
28th January 2012
Old 28th January 2012
  #29
Lives for gear
 
dualflip's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by anna_britbass88 View Post
F u Lukas! You taking our beef online?!

We want the GD track remixed for FREE!
Huh? did everyone miss this post?, is this the "artist" we are talking about?, or just plain BS?. Ive seen it happen before in other threads here on GS, usually someone complaining about a client, client find outs about the thread, client replies back.

Most entertaining posts if i may say....
#30
28th January 2012
Old 28th January 2012
  #30
Lives for gear
 
NEWTON IN ORBIT's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill@WelcomeHome View Post
why do you still have his raw tracks?

I never offer the raw tracks as a part of the deal unless it is stated so upfront. You come to me for a recording, you walk out the door with a finished mix. This is how it has been done since the 50s. In the days of multitrack tape, no band wanted to buy the tape so we bulk erased it and used it for the next client. In any case, you do not want the legal liability of storing tracks belonging to someone else. If you feel that you have to save them, give them to the client when he walks out of the door. But I wouldn't. That is not what they paid for.
What?

You always turn over the multitracks if asked to. If they paid for tape, and the session, it's theirs.

Unless it is a tape rental, even then, you still give them or the label the option of buying the masters before erasing.

I would be surprised if he didn't have the multitracks in this digital storage day, unless he turned them over to the band. If he asked them if he wanted them, and they said no, and he didn't have the capability (space) I could see blowing them away.

Really though, they paid for it. It's theirs.

Maybe in the 50's (I wasn't around) they blew stuff away after each session, but I have never heard of such a practice myself. I highly doubt it, because there are remixes and remasters everywhere from that era too.

It goes to the artist, label's "vault", or an agreement is made to keep the tape on site for a set amount of time, after which I'd still contact the owner, before degaussing their tape.

We had a loft full of hundreds of multitracks. Never blew anything away.

Least not after a few years, and calling and asking. If we couldn't locate the client, and it had been that long...yeah. If the tape was in decent shape, and there was a client who was busted broke, a few times we wiped old tape and rented or sold it. Only if the tape was solid though.

And only after we exhausted the avenue of locating the client. That tape is not longer the tape cost, it is now the cumulative cost of all the sessions, and the tape.

Rentals....maybe, if agreed upon ahead of time, and they fully understood there was NO chance of ever remixing. Even then, present them w/ option to purchase...


Never blow away the masters.

Especially nowadays with cheap storage.

As far as telling the dude to eff himself. Let him cool down, and let him ask around as to what is normal practice here. Sounds like he is freaking clueless.

Tell him a remix is a new project, and tell him what it will cost after waiting for him to calm down and let HIM call you.

If you don't want to work with him, charge him an hour to upload the project via Gobbler or Wetransfer so he can go get charged by somebody else.

No point in getting heated with him. They may tell somebody you want to work with in the future, and it will reflect on you

I have been there...some people. Usually lots of alcohol or other substances involved.

Good luck,
john
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