Production Credit stolen after an initial punch in the face !
NoHatNoSwim
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#1
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #1
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Thread Starter
Production Credit stolen after an initial punch in the face !

Hi All,

I'll keep this as brief as possible while getting the relevant detail in ! I'm feeling completely shafted here and need someone to hand me a tissue while I sob lol ;p

I've a small project studio in Ireland, north of Dublin.

Last August I had a songwriter client in to record 5 songs. He was going to West Coast USA to a songwriters convention and needed the tracks done in time for that - about 2.5 weeks away. Initially it was 7 songs, but we ran out of time and left it at 5.

When estimating the time, I said we'd need about 40 hours minimum. He said there would be no drum tracks. He insisted we would do the whole lot in 20. As it turned out, we were doing the 3rd song, and we were at 23 hours. Drums had already made their way in and I had mentioned to him it would take up time.

I spoke with him about this, specifically saying we were at 23 hours now and he insisted, there's no problem - "you won't be left feeling shafted", "I don't want anybody feeling like they are being done" - he was happy to go ahead and do what was needed to get 5 completed and told me he was really happy with the results so far. So, I continued.

I'm a multi instrumentalist and was laying down bass parts, recording the piano parts (ipad at grand piano in recording area - love that thing !) - string parts, on some tracks drum parts, organ parts, writing and arranging the lot of them around his initial vox and guitar recordings.

I'd worked my ass off on the project and was eager to get a good result - stayed up until 9am one morning recording, arranging and mixing one of the tracks.

All was well until handover day. I had been keeping track of exactly what time I'd spent on what. I emailed a final tally over to him, and it was 53 hours. I discounted 10 hours. I rang him an hour later - and then the fun stopped.

He wasn't happy with the bill. He told me "the budget's not there for that". I reminded him of our conversation, but that didn't connect with him. I told him, it is what it is - that's the time that I spent, and Ive discounted 10 hours for you which is significent in terms of the total project. He said he needed to think about it, and he'd call me back.

About an hour later, he arrived at the studio. I got a shock as I expected a phone call, but remained positive. My missus had bought a cake for us to have with a coffee to celebrate finishing the project and we sat and talked shit while eating that for a few minutes. The he says, let's get down to business.

He said, "I've another 2 tracks I need to get done in October", one for a documentary that's beeing made in the US, and another track I wanted to get done for a while. He offered me 70% of the bill, and promised he would come to me for these 2 tracks. I knew I wasn't getting any more from him, and needed the money, so I reluctantly agreed to the deal - we shuck hands on it and I handed over the mixes to him and he gave me the money.


October came and went, and there was no sign of him. Then one day, he posted a mix on facebook and it was for the documentary project he had promised me. He had gone to someone else for it. I sent him a mail telling him I was getting my calendar organised to the end of the year and knew he needed 2 or 3 days and when would suit. He then told me he didn't need any time, and made some lame excuse as to why he had gone with someone else with the project. I replied, and reminded him of our agreement, and told him that I felt completely shafted by him. He never replied. I never heard from him since. That was August 2012.

A few nights ago, he posts another track up on Facebook with a link to a youtube file - "Produced by Artist", "Mixed by someone else". I knew the track name well, and thought, he's gone and recorded it somewhere else - fair enough. No. He had taken my production, and got someone to put some random synth pads, about 10 random (but strangely completely out of time) snare hits, and a banjo part on 30 seconds of it. It was essentially 95% my work. I nearly fell out of the seat. I had taken a lot of crap from this guy, but taking credit for my work and not even mentioning my production contribution ?

He had come to me with a guitar and vox tracks from a previous studio he had worked in. We dropped the guitar, and kept the vox. I re-recorded a few guitar parts, then after he left I wrote and recorded bass, piano, strings, elec guitar, organ, drums, and mixed and arranged the whole thing.

I was SOOooooo tempted to rip into this guy on FB, but my missus held me back. I'm still really pissed about this a few days later - I thought I would have calmed down a bit, but I haven't.

Should I say something to this guy ? Should I do anything or just leave it be and live and learn ?

This was initially about money, and I've let that sit since last August, but this is something different - artistic abuse !!!

Thanks to anyone who has read this to the end - hope it helps someone somewhere not get shafted aswell. Get cash up front, and sign contracts with clients as un-arty as that sounds and seems at the start guys.

Al.

PS - Would love to post the 2 mixes, but want to keep names out of this. Might try to pop up 2 mp3's if anyone is remotely interested in heading the bastardisation of my work at -8 db from my own master !!!
#2
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #2
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depulse's Avatar
You are too kind, I would have stopped working long before you did. Never work for free witout a contract.
NoHatNoSwim
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#3
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #3
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Hi depulse,

Thanks ! That is surely part of the problem - I bend over backwards to be as nice and polite as possible and in the process always found it difficult to bring up contracts in the musical environment - I'm sure I'm not alone on that. The reality is that a small percentage of times you will regret not formalising and documenting if you are too kind - and this was one of those times.

This particular client seemed all fine until the bill was presented at the end and I guess I didn't feel that he was going to pull a stunt - and I'm not a bad judge of character. He didn't give me any reason at all to think it would go that way.

I heard a great saying over here recently for small businesses:

"The guy who orders the work is often a different person to the guy who pays for it" !

I got over the money aspect a few months back as bad as it was - but taking credit for my work really has me pissed to the core
#4
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #4
Gear interested
 

He wouldn't do that in Memphis or Muscle Shoals. Because I don't want shoot and/or stab clients, I hold the masters til I get that money. Contracts are key, but they can scare away clients. I do the work on a handshake, but turn it over when I'm paid. Tell mama you're going to the public house and go beat his ass.
#5
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #5
Gear addict
 

Is the artist reasonably well known or not?

If yes, spread the dirt. Do it on their Facebook page, not as a revenge thing but a "I'm a genuine victim and I'm here to warn others" stance. As long as you're factually correct, you're not doing anything wrong.

If no, don't worry about the production credit. It doesn't matter because no-one cares. In the same way that only big stately homes tell you who the architect was. The architect for my house - a 4 bedroom detached 1990s house on a housing estate of 3000 more... nobody knows who he is and nobody cares either.

Just learn your lesson. Take deposits, don't run up too much of an invoice before you get paid. If people are saying they can't afford 40 hours for 5 songs you know it's going to be a cluster**ck anyway. That's 4 days.

Everyone says contract contract contract. How many of them have actually chased up a contract? Probably none. Taking somebody to court for not paying what was agreed in a contract for a week's recording time will cost you more money than you are taking them to court for. So you would not bother. They know this. So unless you're doing a bigger gig with lots of money involved, you may as well use said contract as toilet paper.

Deposits are better than contracts. I ask for half the money up front and half the money at completion. If somebody initially books for 2 days then asks for 2 more... I won't start day 3 until I've received full payment for days 1&2 and then a 50% deposit on days 3&4. That's their fault for playing lastminute.com on me. If people aren't prepared to pay the deposit it's because either they don't have the money or they're not sure they're going to come. Either situation is no good for you, so don't be scared to say that no deposit means no action.

I know that at the moment times are hard for studio owners and you've got to get what clients you can. And there are no end of studios out there going out for practically free because the 'engineers' in them are so desperate to just do something. But the clients know this too well and will play you for it. There's no point in working for free you may as well not be working... so play it cool and be strict, if you let somebody take you for a ride at any time in the process they will continue to do so, and they will get everything they want from you, and then they will drop you in the gutter with qualms. The music industry has been that way since day 1.
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NoHatNoSwim
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#6
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by memphidelity View Post
Tell mama you're going to the public house and go beat his ass.

Lol ! My heart is surely in Memphis ;p

Quote:
Originally Posted by tc_live View Post
Is the artist reasonably well known or not?
Not as an artist - he would be somewhat known as a songwriter, and is involved with a group who organise songwriting workshops with IMRO (Irish Music Rights) a few times a year in Dublin. He's getting a bit more profile these days and is doing the rounds on the project studio scene.

I never knew that he would attempt to act as an artist in his own right - he always sold himself as a songwriter that wasn't interested in becoming the artist himself. Seems that has changed.

He conned me with the promise of future work, and I fell for it. I would have been better off taking payment in full, and giving him credit on the next project - but silly me trusted the guy who was already screwing me over....

Looking back - the masters should never have been handed over, contract or no contract - full stop. He had paid a deposit which was 50% of the original spec.

There is a Irish recording group on Facebook which houses most of irelands studio people - perhaps I'll mention it over there.

The reason I wanted to post on his FB was to have some form of impact on other songwriters and publishers that he networks on there. If I were to call him up and complain, it would be water off a ducks back - zero traction. The only way he would feel any shame about it is if he thought some of his current network that he's attempting to exploit found out about his business ethics.

But the missus held me back from that one lol
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#7
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #7
Gear addict
 

Hey man, that really sucks, sorry to hear it. FWIW my brother spent a few weeks in Ireland and absolutely LOVED it, he's been all over the world and it's his favorite place of all...he took tons of pics and it's an absolutely beautiful country...

Anyways as for your situation, I really am sorry to hear it...I really hate to rub salt in your wounds, but as has been stated, contracts contracts contracts, and GET THE MONEY UPFRONT!!!! I've been very fortunate in that I'm no pro and just write and record and play at home with the gear in my sig for my own enjoyment, however over the years I have picked up a few vanity projects (just singer/songwriters that strum rediculously simple and rudimentary chord progressions and sing over them and have no experience AT ALL in "the biz"), and just to make some extra cash and cuz I knew they were gonna get ripped off by someone else I took them on and did very similar to what you did for them, added strings, keys, horns, basslines, drums, percussion, etc. etc., and mixed and mastered it, and even though like I said I'm no pro I can definitely turn out a pretty good pro recording, especially considering what I was charging and what I had to work with LOL

Again man sorry to hear it but again, contracts contracts contracts and ALWAYS GET THE MONEY UPFRONT!!!!!! Good luck in the future man, I really hope you can get what you're owed from this clown, I don't know what the legal system is like over there but maybe you might have some recourse there, or perhaps even just the credible threat of legal action. Also, I know I'm gonna sound like an internet tough guy, but if you can seriously make this guy fear for his safety that might get him to pay you what he owes you really quick, I've seen that work extremely well on several occasions. Good luck man.
#8
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #8
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satellitedog's Avatar
 

Well then let the Irish recording group on FB know about the story.
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#9
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHatNoSwim View Post
He conned me with the promise of future work
THAT old chestnut. At least now you know that next time someone says that they promise you more work, you know they are lying through their teeth.
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NoHatNoSwim
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#10
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #10
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Originally Posted by chevybusa View Post
Hey man, that really sucks, sorry to hear it. FWIW my brother spent a few weeks in Ireland and absolutely LOVED it, he's been all over the world and it's his favorite place of all...he took tons of pics and it's an absolutely beautiful country...
Cheers Man ! Not quite so beautiful right now - absolutely LASHING rain for the past few days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chevybusa View Post
GET THE MONEY UPFRONT!!!!
That's the Key Isn't it really !!
NoHatNoSwim
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#11
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Walker View Post
THAT old chestnut. At least now you know that next time someone says that they promise you more work, you know they are lying through their teeth.
Lol ! I don't know if I could automatically assume they were lying, but I will certainly never allow it be used as a basis to haggle out of paying todays bill, that's for sure !
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NoHatNoSwim
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#12
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #12
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Originally Posted by satellitedog View Post
Well then let the Irish recording group on FB know about the story.
I may well do - just afraid of looking like an @sshole - that's all. Those people are a lot more important to me than this muppet client, though I'm sure some of them will have heard of him, and I'm sure some of them in the future will come across him so it may be best to mention it. Think I'll contact the moderator of the page in there - he's a deacent guy - will see what he thinks of the idea ;-)
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#13
29th January 2013
Old 29th January 2013
  #13
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHatNoSwim View Post
Cheers Man ! Not quite so beautiful right now - absolutely LASHING rain for the past few days.



That's the Key Isn't it really !!
Right on man!!! Yeah after seeing the pix he took I couldn't agree more, it's absolutely beautiful...Sorry to hear about the rain, it sounds like here in New England (I'm in CT), everyone thinks it's so beautiful cuz the leaves change in the autumn and then there's such "picturesque" winter wonderlands when it snows...BULL#$%^!!!!! LOL I've lived here 31 years with time in Tennessee, Texas, and California, and lots of other states, not to mention England and France and I can telll you the time I spent in CA was PERFECT, I was there for all the seasons and the whether was just striaght up perfect year round (in my opinoin anywyas, also I was in Monterey)...seriously unless you're into winter sports, snow and the cold is just a royal pain in the ass...LOL

Yeah man, I hate to say it, but getting the money up front really is key...that way you know there is no way possible they're gonna be able to not pay you...good luck man hope everything works out!!!
#14
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #14
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by tc_live View Post
Just learn your lesson. Take deposits, don't run up too much of an invoice before you get paid. If people are saying they can't afford 40 hours for 5 songs you know it's going to be a cluster**ck anyway. That's 4 days.

Everyone says contract contract contract. How many of them have actually chased up a contract? Probably none. Taking somebody to court for not paying what was agreed in a contract for a week's recording time will cost you more money than you are taking them to court for. So you would not bother. They know this. So unless you're doing a bigger gig with lots of money involved, you may as well use said contract as toilet paper.

Deposits are better than contracts. I ask for half the money up front and half the money at completion. If somebody initially books for 2 days then asks for 2 more... I won't start day 3 until I've received full payment for days 1&2 and then a 50% deposit on days 3&4. That's their fault for playing lastminute.com on me. If people aren't prepared to pay the deposit it's because either they don't have the money or they're not sure they're going to come. Either situation is no good for you, so don't be scared to say that no deposit means no action.

I know that at the moment times are hard for studio owners and you've got to get what clients you can. And there are no end of studios out there going out for practically free because the 'engineers' in them are so desperate to just do something. But the clients know this too well and will play you for it. There's no point in working for free you may as well not be working... so play it cool and be strict, if you let somebody take you for a ride at any time in the process they will continue to do so, and they will get everything they want from you, and then they will drop you in the gutter with qualms. The music industry has been that way since day 1.
^^^ Listen to this guy's advice.

My own policy? If it's a recording session only then 1/2 booking fee (not a deposit, there is a legal difference). Then explain what exactly booking fee means: A fee to reserve the time/date for services. Then state that the fee will be applied to the final service cost...this is where getting a lawyer to write up a contract for your business comes into play.

Other things I have in my contract/policy: At least 48 hours notice must be given to cancel a date for a 50% refund of the booking fee. Keeping a portion of the fee incentivizes the musician to show up and not lose their money.

Past that 48 hours they lose 100% of their deposit. Once you turn down your first gig and then not have musicians show up you'll change your policy.

When the musician(s) arrive on session day they pay upfront. Just like at an amusement park, nobody gets in without a ticket. This clears up any awkwardness after the end of a long day (or night) of recording.

Oh yeah, contract upfront as well with all of this stuff spelled out in clear English not legalese. And session time begins at the time scheduled NOT when the musicians arrive. So if they're 3 hours late to an 8 hour session? Yep, you get paid to sit on your butt for 3 hours.

Now if we're doing recording and mixing then it's 1/3 retainer, 1/3 on the recording day and the final third if they want to receive their mixes. Doing it this way helps to avoid lawsuits (or losing lawsuits) by the client stating that they never received anything from me. I've had this happen in the past and learned a hard lesson from it.
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#15
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #15
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satellitedog's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHatNoSwim View Post
Think I'll contact the moderator of the page in there - he's a deacent guy - will see what he thinks of the idea ;-)
Yeah, that's probably the wisest decision. Go ahead!
NoHatNoSwim
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#16
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #16
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Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by HellvisPresley View Post
Greetings:

So, many years ago, a certain studio owner used to call me "The Hit", for my uncanny (and cheerfully insistent) manner of getting paid. Another funny story involves a client who failed to pay a studio bill for just about a year on an Xmas song. When the season came back around and he wanted another mix (this time after putting on strings at a big studio), I was called. The fellow paid my old bill upfront (of course), and then paid CASH in four-hour increments LIKE A FREAKIN' PARKING METER, until the session was through.
Lol ! That's a better way to have it - I wish I had clients that wanted me that bad !


Quote:
Originally Posted by HellvisPresley View Post
Thing is, keep the masters (which you now own by default of payment), because 30 years down the road, you may become the exploiter.
How true is this ? If I didn't have a contract, but he didn't pay fully, and I handed them over - how much ownership by default do I actually have ?

PS: Love the rack of doom ! Those orbans look sweet - was considering getting an EQ some time and the comps always turn up in the searches on ebay and look bloody lovely ;-)
#17
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #17
Gear nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHatNoSwim View Post
How true is this ? If I didn't have a contract, but he didn't pay fully, and I handed them over - how much ownership by default do I actually have ?
The general rule for this is, whoever paid for the recording, owns the master. This is why record labels tend to own the master, as they are the ones that put up the money for the recording, but it is important to remember that up until you are paid, you own the master. Think of it as being re-compensated, because up until that point you are effectively funding it, by allowing the use of your studio/time etc.

Your case is a bit more complicated though because you came to an agreement. In your case I would say unfortunately, he owns the masters, because you agreed to lower your final price and he paid it.
NoHatNoSwim
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#18
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Walker View Post
Your case is a bit more complicated though because you came to an agreement. In your case I would say unfortunately, he owns the masters, because you agreed to lower your final price and he paid it.


He was given the discount based on bringing me a further 2-3 days of business last October. He didn't do that - in fact, he went to another studio and gave them the money. So the project he promised to give me went ahead, but he for his own reasons didn't bring it to me like agreed.

As far as I'm concerned, he owes me the full amount from the sessions which he hasn't paid me. We came to an agreement indeed. But he the renaged on the agreement.

It was me that paid for a portion of that recording and mixing time - 30% of it. 40% if you don't include my original discount for him.

But I'm not chasing the money - at this stage - he wouldn't pay it anyway and I'm not planning on getting a hitman to sort him out !

I'm getting frustrated here even thinking about the whole fiasco as I'd forgot about it until I opened my browser
#19
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #19
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHatNoSwim View Post
He said, "I've another 2 tracks I need to get done in October", one for a documentary that's beeing made in the US, and another track I wanted to get done for a while. He offered me 70% of the bill, and promised he would come to me for these 2 tracks. I knew I wasn't getting any more from him, and needed the money, so I reluctantly agreed to the deal - we shuck hands on it and I handed over the mixes to him and he gave me the money.
First off - welcome to the music industry. Fun - ain't it. My father once explained to me that "experience is what you get when you don't accomplish the initial goal" [which is your case was to get paid for your work].

Now that you have more "experience" you'll probably be smart enough not to make that mistake again. I suggest you watch the movie "Goodfellas" and memorize the phrase "fµck you - pay me". Its a really handy phrase for these situations.

Also -- never release "rough mixes" that are complete songs... give them the intro first chorus and maybe the bridge... or a verse here -- chorus there [easy to chop shit up like that in the digital age!! -- do it!!]. Why would someone do that you might wonder... well, imagine my surprise when an artist I was working with [he paid as he went] fell off the face of the planet before we had mixed the product. I still had the track files so I wasn't really worried... then one day I hear this song on "Pandora" that sounded kinda familiar. When I went to look to see who the artist was I realized that there was a splendid rough mix of part of a project coming over the internet!!

In this day and age its not enough to just hold the masters... you have to control all aspects of the project until you are paid in full [in the "Pandora" example he was current with his bill and I'd happily have handed over the tracks if he'd wanted to have someone else mix it... I think he was probably embarrassed that he was running out of money or something like that... on the bright side he was a good artist and the rough mix wasn't that terrible... on the negative end I would really have like to have finished the project as it had a great deal more potential than he had allowed it to have.

At the end of the day most people will do their level best to screw you if you're enough of a pussy to allow them the opportunity. I know I learned the hard way... and now you have too. Just don't let it happen again and you'll be fine.

As for credits... unless you have a contract that includes a penalty for a mis-credit or missing credit -- get used to it. If I'd gotten the proper credit on everything I'd worked on I'd have a lot more stuff hanging on the wall. Some of the credits I've been stiffed on didn't bother me in the slightest [and these were multi-platinum selling products]... others still bother me to this day [and they maybe went gold at best]. I didn't have the credit thing in the contract, so I couldn't say shit.

Live and learn.

Peace
#20
30th January 2013
Old 30th January 2013
  #20
Lives for gear
 
jrhager84's Avatar
 

Every time somebody tries to pull the 'future date' business or a payment deferment, just say these words:

'I'll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today...'

Then remind them of their bill.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I777
NoHatNoSwim
Thread Starter
#21
31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
  #21
Gear nut
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post

Also -- never release "rough mixes" that are complete songs... give them the intro first chorus and maybe the bridge... or a verse here -- chorus there [easy to chop shit up like that in the digital age!! -- do it!!]. Why would someone do that you might wonder... well, imagine my surprise when an artist I was working with [he paid as he went] fell off the face of the planet before we had mixed the product. I still had the track files so I wasn't really worried... then one day I hear this song on "Pandora" that sounded kinda familiar. When I went to look to see who the artist was I realized that there was a splendid rough mix of part of a project coming over the internet!!
Hey Fletcher !

I'm a total disaster zone for that ;-p I've never been stung by it, but I've sure lived on the edge. It is difficult for us to think that "that" rough mess of a mix could ever be considered the final product when we have so much work in mind to shape it to the final mix. But you're right - some clients just couldn't care a less - they think it's "grand", and rather than pay, they'll use that rough mix.

This thread has certainly toughened me up. When working for the man, I'm no pussy - I'm quite a bulldog really. But when working for myself, I can be kind of a pussy at times, trying not to "upset" the client.

I'm learning that clients who are serious, will have no probs paying up front and submitting to certain conditions - once they are all layed out clear and fairly.

Clients who may take the piss, will be hesitant to committ to certain conditions as they don't like that level of accountability in the process.

Pity we can't be busy with nice clients all the time instead eh ?

On a side note - I still have a prized Mercenary box out in the shed after I got my API lunchbox and pre a few years back - was a great day - I still remember showing the box and logo to my corporate colleagues - they all thought somehting was very very wrong with me ;p

Happy days ;-D
NoHatNoSwim
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#22
31st January 2013
Old 31st January 2013
  #22
Gear nut
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrhager84 View Post

'I'll gladly pay you Tuesday, for a hamburger today...'

Then remind them of their bill.
Quality !
#23
1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
  #23
Gear interested
 

Every conversation that has anything to do with job specs goes into a polite followup email that starts out, "just to review what we discussed today..."

Helps prevent scope creep, "you said" vs "I said" arguments, etc.

769
#24
1st February 2013
Old 1st February 2013
  #24
member no 666
 
Fletcher's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoHatNoSwim View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Also -- never release "rough mixes" that are complete songs... give them the intro first chorus and maybe the bridge... or a verse here -- chorus there [easy to chop shit up like that in the digital age!! -- do it!!]. Why would someone do that you might wonder... well, imagine my surprise when an artist I was working with [he paid as he went] fell off the face of the planet before we had mixed the product. I still had the track files so I wasn't really worried... then one day I hear this song on "Pandora" that sounded kinda familiar. When I went to look to see who the artist was I realized that there was a splendid rough mix of part of a project coming over the internet!!
I'm a total disaster zone for that ;-p I've never been stung by it, but I've sure lived on the edge. It is difficult for us to think that "that" rough mess of a mix could ever be considered the final product when we have so much work in mind to shape it to the final mix. But you're right - some clients just couldn't care a less - they think it's "grand", and rather than pay, they'll use that rough mix.
Don't get me wrong... I generally don't give a fµck if they release a rough or not -- what I care about is whether my credit will be associated with what I consider "unfinished product" -- what they do with their music is their business [so long as I get paid for my work -- if there is a "backend" then I will very much give a fµck but if its a straight "work for hire" I don't give a shit].

As for payment -- if its a "band" or an "artist" its money upfront and as that money gets burned up they have to give me more. In the grand scheme of things I know they're going to get an appropriate refund if there is money due back to them at the conclusion of the project [yeah - like that might ever happen LOL]... but them "owing me"? Totally fµcking unacceptable unless I've known the artist for several years and they've always accepted my payment terms [which are "Fµck you - pay me now"].

Working for a major label [or even an established "indie label" like Road Runner or Alligator [etc.] -- I'll work on a label PO and wait for my check [and on day 31 get on the phone politely enquiring where my fµcking money is ]... but in this day and age - money talks, bullshit walks. Think about it -- if I'm not getting paid properly on this gig what on Earth would make them think I would even consider "future work"?

I didn't spend well over 30 years developing my craft for some dooochbag to fµck with my money!! I spent well over 30 years developing my ears, craft, skills to deliver them a superior product -- for which I expect to be paid.

I have always had this policy -- it was one of the first lessons I learned in this business -- its why my old company was called "Mercenary Audio"... because when the money is gone - so am I.

As a PS [due to another thread in this section of the website] -- I sold my interests in the fore mentioned company on 1 July 2009 -- anything that has transpired between that company and anyone reading this subsequent to 1 July 2009 is none of my concern... if anyone has a problem with that company from any date before 1 July 2009 [going back to January 14th 1989 when it started doing "gear" stuff in addition to my engineering (etc.) services] -- I absolutely will do my level best to make it right.

Peace
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NoHatNoSwim
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#25
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
  #25
Gear nut
 

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Originally Posted by Fletcher View Post
Don't get me wrong... I generally don't give a fµck if they release a rough or not -- what I care about is whether my credit will be associated with what I consider "unfinished product" -- what they do with their music is their business [so long as I get paid for my work -- if there is a "backend" then I will very much give a fµck but if its a straight "work for hire" I don't give a shit].

As for payment -- if its a "band" or an "artist" its money upfront and as that money gets burned up they have to give me more. In the grand scheme of things I know they're going to get an appropriate refund if there is money due back to them at the conclusion of the project [yeah - like that might ever happen LOL]... but them "owing me"? Totally fµcking unacceptable unless I've known the artist for several years and they've always accepted my payment terms [which are "Fµck you - pay me now"].

Working for a major label [or even an established "indie label" like Road Runner or Alligator [etc.] -- I'll work on a label PO and wait for my check [and on day 31 get on the phone politely enquiring where my fµcking money is ]... but in this day and age - money talks, bullshit walks. Think about it -- if I'm not getting paid properly on this gig what on Earth would make them think I would even consider "future work"?

I didn't spend well over 30 years developing my craft for some dooochbag to fµck with my money!! I spent well over 30 years developing my ears, craft, skills to deliver them a superior product -- for which I expect to be paid.

I have always had this policy -- it was one of the first lessons I learned in this business -- its why my old company was called "Mercenary Audio"... because when the money is gone - so am I.

As a PS [due to another thread in this section of the website] -- I sold my interests in the fore mentioned company on 1 July 2009 -- anything that has transpired between that company and anyone reading this subsequent to 1 July 2009 is none of my concern... if anyone has a problem with that company from any date before 1 July 2009 [going back to January 14th 1989 when it started doing "gear" stuff in addition to my engineering (etc.) services] -- I absolutely will do my level best to make it right.

Peace
Hey Fletcher !

Interesting take on it - I guess I'm at the stage where I'm trying to get as much credit for stuff I do to help me get on in the production world, but ultimately it is about having my name associated with crap. I don't have enough work to forego credit as I would look like I'm doing nothing at all ;p But in a later stage of my career, after I've a few more racks of gear and a more advanced skills and experience, I would hope to be in a position to be happy to forego credits on certain projects, get paid, and still have other projects that give credits.

It seems that one needs to be fairly clinical when dealing with money in this business. That's a big lesson here for me. I am too nice, and afraid to upset the client - even if the client is happy to upset me.
#26
5th February 2013
Old 5th February 2013
  #26
Lives for gear
 
jrhager84's Avatar
 

Just remember:

If YOU don't value your time and skills, why should anyone else? That said, be nice but firm. Stand by your beliefs. Command respect by leading by example. Extend them the respect you expect from them. If they choose to be disrespectful, take the high road. It will pay off, trust me. Life is FAR too short to spend worrying about deadbeats that screw you out of things. Just learn from it and move on...
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