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Additional Charges For Special Gear & Services
Old 8th January 2018
  #1
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Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Additional Charges For Special Gear & Services

Studio owners and operators, do you charge extra for certain services and/or equipment and if so, what services and gear and what are the charges.

For instance, piano tuning. Do you charge extra for tuning the piano? Do you offer piano tuning? Recommend tuning the piano? Include it in your usual fees? etc.?
Old 8th January 2018
  #2
Gear Head
 

If the piano is yours and part of the equipment you offer for the clients at your studio, I would think tuning etc as part of your maintenance costs. I personally wouldn't charge the customer, as I wouldn't for restringing the studios guitars, or swapping new preamp tubes. But if you rent a piano by the clients request, I would charge all the costs from the client, tuning included.

Just my 2 cents, no right or wrong here if the client is willing to pay.
Old 9th January 2018
  #3
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Drumsound's Avatar
I split the cost of piano tuning with the client.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollio View Post
If the piano is yours and part of the equipment you offer for the clients at your studio, I would think tuning etc as part of your maintenance costs. I personally wouldn't charge the customer, as I wouldn't for restringing the studios guitars, or swapping new preamp tubes. But if you rent a piano by the clients request, I would charge all the costs from the client, tuning included.

Just my 2 cents, no right or wrong here if the client is willing to pay.
The difference being, swapping a tube, or restringing a guitar, or changing drum heads are all things a studio owner can do. A piano tuner is a skilled craftsman who charges for their expertise.
Old 9th January 2018
  #4
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That's an interesting take on who should pay for piano tuning. I actually have an upright going in my studio which is in storage at moment and have been thinking about how often I should tune it and whether I should charge a service fee. Up until this thread I'd always presumed I would be footing the bill for that. Again, interesting viewpoint.
Old 9th January 2018
  #5
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musicalnyc's Avatar
 

I have always paid for piano tuning as a studio client and I charge the client for piano tuning at my studios. Why? It's not a good model for a studio to be paying for a piano tuning every day but a client can afford to do it for his one session. It's always been that way and it should stay that way. You are welcome to play it tuned yesterday for free

Last edited by musicalnyc; 9th January 2018 at 05:41 AM..
Old 9th January 2018
  #6
Lives for gear
Totally depends on your facilities, price rate, and clients.

Piano tuning is one thing, if you have a real piano

Drum tuning and setup is another. Sometimes the drum set ready to go is what sells the studio time. But the risk of cracked symbols and dented head should be worth something. Again, depends who you are working with.

Long ago, it was a bout tape costs and track count if you had multiple tape machines. The only thing left now is the space & Mic's & Preamps. Many don't even have real drums anymore.

You could add a charge to bring out specific mic's. But again, these are features that bring people there in the first place.

Pick your battles. Either you are working all the time and are booked up or you are not. Have what you need to keep it booked.
Old 9th January 2018
  #7
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I split the cost of piano tuning with the client.



The difference being, swapping a tube, or restringing a guitar, or changing drum heads are all things a studio owner can do. A piano tuner is a skilled craftsman who charges for their expertise.
Fair point, but that's more the answer to whether the piano tuner should be payed or not, not who's paying it. But any extra costs are fine if all agree on it beforehand. If it's not clearly stated, it's a part of the package and the studios responsibility, just as any other tool in your studio that you're offering for use.

But that's just my experience running a small business constantly on the edge, with no piano.
Old 9th January 2018
  #8
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Drumsound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollio View Post
Fair point, but that's more the answer to whether the piano tuner should be payed or not, not who's paying it. But any extra costs are fine if all agree on it beforehand. If it's not clearly stated, it's a part of the package and the studios responsibility, just as any other tool in your studio that you're offering for use.

But that's just my experience running a small business constantly on the edge, with no piano.
My clients appreciate that there is a real piano and they also appreciate that I split the cost of tuning. In the rare instances where we've rented something, that is on the client if they are the one that required something to be rented.
Old 9th January 2018
  #9
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
My clients appreciate that there is a real piano and they also appreciate that I split the cost of tuning. In the rare instances where we've rented something, that is on the client if they are the one that required something to be rented.
Sounds like a good way to handle it. This was actually a good topic, since we're getting a Steinway for the studio next summer and I hadn't even thought of the tuning costs. I think I'll split them too.
Old 9th January 2018
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollio View Post
Sounds like a good way to handle it. This was actually a good topic, since we're getting a Steinway for the studio next summer and I hadn't even thought of the tuning costs. I think I'll split them too.
I wish I had the space and the money for a Steinway. Enjoy her!
Old 9th January 2018
  #11
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drumsound View Post
I wish I had the space and the money for a Steinway. Enjoy her!
Thanks, I will! Apparently it's a baby grand since we don't have the money and space either. It was bought by my studio partner so I haven't seen or heard it, but I'm sure it'll beat VST's easily.
Old 10th January 2018
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollio View Post
If the piano is yours and part of the equipment you offer for the clients at your studio, I would think tuning etc as part of your maintenance costs. I personally wouldn't charge the customer, as I wouldn't for restringing the studios guitars, or swapping new preamp tubes. But if you rent a piano by the clients request, I would charge all the costs from the client, tuning included.

Just my 2 cents, no right or wrong here if the client is willing to pay.
I feel the exact opposite. Piano tuning is an add on - it’s YOUR responsibility for “maintenance tuning” if it’s not been tuned for a while, but the client always pays if they want tuned prior to the session.

Either the client wanting the piano pays, or those not wanting the piano pay. Only one way sounds fair to me.
Old 10th January 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ollio View Post
Thanks, I will! Apparently it's a baby grand since we don't have the money and space either. It was bought by my studio partner so I haven't seen or heard it, but I'm sure it'll beat VST's easily.
Even small Stienways can sound quite wonderful. There was one for a short time at Welcome to 1979 in Nashville that sounded quite amazing. If you heard it on a recording, you'd never know it was a baby grand.
Old 10th January 2018
  #14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Funny Cat View Post
That's an interesting take on who should pay for piano tuning. I actually have an upright going in my studio which is in storage at moment and have been thinking about how often I should tune it and whether I should charge a service fee. Up until this thread I'd always presumed I would be footing the bill for that. Again, interesting viewpoint.
Just about every studio I've ever heard of put the responsibility of tuning the piano onto the client.

You need to keep your gear in good nick, and that goes for piano maintenance too - if no-one's using it, it's in your interests to have it tuned 1-2 times a year.

BUT - per session tuning is up to the client. It's expected in general.

As I said - otherwise it's built into the cost of the room and EVERYONE pays for it, which makes you more expensive. Or you eat the cost and lose out. Over here, a piano tune is approx 1/3 of the room rate (ex staff), and I'd ALWAYS want the piano tuned before a critical session, even if it was done a week ago.

Talking of which, ours hasn't been done since december..I should probably organise a maintenance tune, given how it was sounding today!
Old 10th January 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psycho_monkey View Post
Just about every studio I've ever heard of put the responsibility of tuning the piano onto the client.

You need to keep your gear in good nick, and that goes for piano maintenance too - if no-one's using it, it's in your interests to have it tuned 1-2 times a year.

BUT - per session tuning is up to the client. It's expected in general.

As I said - otherwise it's built into the cost of the room and EVERYONE pays for it, which makes you more expensive. Or you eat the cost and lose out. Over here, a piano tune is approx 1/3 of the room rate (ex staff), and I'd ALWAYS want the piano tuned before a critical session, even if it was done a week ago.

Talking of which, ours hasn't been done since december..I should probably organise a maintenance tune, given how it was sounding today!

Thx man. Good thread and real god info here.
Old 14th January 2018
  #16
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I have my Steinway Grand tuned once a month but I strongly suggest to those recording here that they tune it for the session. That tuning is at their expense.
Old 14th January 2018
  #17
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Crazy4Jazz's Avatar
 

Quote:
ALWAYS want the piano tuned before a critical session
This is what I mean. My piano always sounds its best right after it was tuned.

Funnily enough, as I'm reading this thread I'm listening to Bill Evans - How My Heart Sings, a 1962 recording I believe. The piano is NOT in tune the way it should have been for recording a pianist like Bill. But this was apparently the way things were at that time. Think Kind of Blue.

I doubt Keith Jarret would record nowadays or even play nowadays on some of the pianos Bill played and recorded on back then.
Old 14th January 2018
  #18
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12tone's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy4Jazz View Post
Funnily enough, as I'm reading this thread I'm listening to Bill Evans - How My Heart Sings, a 1962 recording I believe. The piano is NOT in tune the way it should have been for recording a pianist like Bill. But this was apparently the way things were at that time. Think Kind of Blue.
I believe the piano Bill Evans used on Kind of Blue was a particular Steinway Model D that Glenn Gould famously recorded the Goldberg Variations on, and was a favorite of Gould's.

It sounds marvelous...are you saying the piano on KOB sounds bad? That it's out of tune?
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