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Looking For L.A. Area Mixing Engineer for Digital Performer project
Old 10th August 2005
  #31
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jjblair's Avatar
I can't find any reason to disagree with Jay. I guess everyone has to ask themselves "Am I a pro or am I a bro?"

Some of us have this as our full time vocation, and the accessibilty of DAWs and all the hobbyists who have them and will work for less than they make at their other job has really hurt those of us who are not at the same echelon as Bob Clearmountain or somebody like that. I can't blame them anymore than I blame the day laborers in front of Home Depot. But that is essentially what the 'bros' are: Audio day labor.

But then again, I don't think it helps either when big time mixers do mixes in the box and the average person thinks "this guy has the same thing in his bedroom that they used to mix this record."

I started a very revealing thread in PSW, because I'm convinced that at $500 per song for mixing, I'm undercharging. But that seems to be where the market is at these days, even for somebody with a decent discography and a couple awards.
Old 10th August 2005
  #32
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EngineEars's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
What other service industry's have rates as low as $15 an hour? Would you expect to find a quality mechanic to work on your car for $15 per hour?

Would you even take your car to a $15 mechanic?!?!

That's what a real engineer does...we fix and build records and charge accordingly for it. And unlike a mechanic, most of us can be negotiable on rates but we SHOULD have our standards and minimums in place, both for rates AND from the quality of work perspective. If you don't have those, then your business card should read "audio w.h.o.r.e" and not "audio engineer".

How many people have actually asked a client to NOT give them credit, stopped work on a project or even just passed on it because it wasn't going to meet your standards?
I agree with both sides of the debate here. I do charge industry rate when working with labels, however when an indie needs the job done I work with them. While they may need a full repair service, sometimes all they afford is a oil change. And I tell them that. Would you rather go to a quicky mart to get an oil change or a top of the line auto speicalist? I guess you would then classify me as an audio w.h.o.r.e. but then how would I sustain my gearslutyness?

I also totally agree with the undercut statements made here. In those cases you just have to get more work done in a shorter amount of time, it's not ideal, but sometimes is the reality. I've asked to use an alias on projects before, for many reasons besides the audio quality of a project.

I here what you guys are saying, but when the bills are due and I do audio, the sun ain't always shining. I hear my work on multi-genres on radio and TV all the time, and I still can't sustain a decent lifestyle in this city. It's all about being plugged in, and I'm an RTAS in a HTDM world. Sorry to ramble on, just being honest. I would love to hear more about this debate to see what other options wouldn't hurt our industry.
Old 10th August 2005
  #33
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I can mix your project within your budget. I work on major label projects, but like to fill the in between time with good indie artists who generally have a similar budget to yours. Check out my website below for more info on me, my studio and my work.
-brian
feel free to call or PM me
714-235-6966
Old 10th August 2005
  #34
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
I started a very revealing thread in PSW, because I'm convinced that at $500 per song for mixing, I'm undercharging. But that seems to be where the market is at these days, even for somebody with a decent discography and a couple awards.
Where I live, in the Netherlands, $500/song is considered a MAJOR mixing budget and only the 2-4 people that really have made a trackrecord, get paid that kinda money overhere.

Just to provide some perspective...

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 10th August 2005
  #35
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jjblair's Avatar
Dirk, I hear ya. And I also know that certified 'gold' over there is considerably less units than 500,000, so I can only imagine that the market is rough on you studio owners. But as far as the LA market goes, I'd say that $500 is a bargain for a good mixer and a studio like mine.
Old 10th August 2005
  #36
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
Dirk, I hear ya. And I also know that certified 'gold' over there is considerably less units than 500,000, so I can only imagine that the market is rough on you studio owners. But as far as the LA market goes, I'd say that $500 is a bargain for a good mixer and a studio like mine.
Agreed. I guess cost of living is what makes it rough in LA or NYC. A gross anual salary in the Netherlands of something like €50.000 is doing very well and if you make €100.000 per year your basically rich overhere heh .

A normal budget for me for an indy album is somewhere between 3-5k€...

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 10th August 2005
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
Man, I've got a lot of respect for you...and your right, for some people it's NOT about making money. You can charge what your worth AND still maintain your integrity and self-respect if you wanted to. If you do a great job and have a half-way decent business sense then the money will come.

But, if you undercut yourself to the point where you’re barely surviving AND your CONCIOUS of that fact, you have zero right to bitch about it.

What up brother Jay??

Agreed.

And that is why I don't bitch!

However I am not undercutting myself...I simply accepted a job based on the artists budget....Nothing more. I knew what it was before we signed. The artist wanted ME to produce, I wanted to work with him..Done.

This artist knows I am working for pennies...and would love to pay me 5 times the amount....honestly. But...budget is budget is budget is budget is budget. Can't get more if there aint more...But I could choose not to work at all.

Trust me...there is LINE of folks willing to do an Indy album for 10-30 grand.

I like the gig, I like the music, I like the artist, I LOVE the producing, coaching, arranging aspect of it...the pay is minimal...this time. But I AM doing what i LOVE. That is producing. I could care less about engineering.

I feel blessed.

There is money to be made in music...but anyuone getting into the business for the money has a reality check on the way to bitch slap em'.


Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
But as far as the LA market goes, I'd say that $500 is a bargain for a good mixer and a studio like mine.
If $500 per song is a bargain for mixing only (in LA)...you should be doing well. I hope you are, and I hope you can keep it up.

That would be $50,000 a year if you only mixed 2 songs a week.

I know ALOT of cats in LA (I moved to Austin from So. Cal. just 12 weeks ago).
Not many are working steady... I would feel blessed.

Peace and Respect,
Old 11th August 2005
  #38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
I was a full time musician in the 80's...I have no idea what the studio scene' was like or how it 'used to be'...Except from a musicians standpoint which meant paying $50 an hour to record my first 2 records in 87' and 89'. They still sound really good.
Everyone made money in the 80's-early 90's... if you were tied in.

Lots of it.

Producers and artists would use the studios to launder money for their projects.

And if they needed more from the labels you were asked to make up PO's for miscellaneous & unrealistic things.

Heck i had producers offer to split the extra dough, just report it on the PO creatively.

The labels didn't really check so everyone got fat.

Producers would buy anything for a project if they thought it would give them an edge on the competition.

Sometimes it was stupid things, others it was the latest gear.

A lot of the projects i got to keep said gear and it was written as part of the budget.

How many people still get to do engineering jobs where they get to travel anywhere in the world(especially exotic locales) and all expenses are paid for?

It was a different time.

There were some of the most ridiculous advances with extra cash on top that were not part of the budget given out to unsigned artists.

I remember the Reggae craze in the late 80's where some of the"gifts" from the labels were unheard of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene

Budget... That is really the only dictating factor here IMO. If the budget is $1000 to mix...then the budget is $1000 to mix. What do ya' do? If I was the producer in charge of getting the album mixed, I would have to find a solution....which probably means mixing myself . Seriously.
If your budget is $20k to a record and you end up with only $1K to mix than you should get blamed for bad financial planning.

So i have no pity for you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene

If someone accepts a job...I can't see how it is undercharging?
Of course you can't you are saving money for bad planning and someone is saving you by bending over.


But screw everyone else who have worked hard all their lives to get what they feel they deserve right?

Its not affecting me?fuuck


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene

As far as I am concerned I am not 'hurting' the industry..I am 'helping' the industry. I am working for the Artist...not the label. I care about the music, not the cash. The music is NOT a means to an end.

I am an artist...I produce as an artist, I maintain Integrity and resoect with myself as human being. Am I working for cheap? Yes, but not for the money...I am working because I want to.

Peace AND Respect.
If screwing others over means maintaining Integrity and respect than i rather stay a void of human nature.
Old 11th August 2005
  #39
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strauss's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
Where I live, in the Netherlands, $500/song is considered a MAJOR mixing budget and only the 2-4 people that really have made a trackrecord, get paid that kinda money overhere.
That should be excluding studio costs.
Old 11th August 2005
  #40
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strauss's Avatar
 

I don't think lack of budget should be an excuse for underpayment. You could also work on some sort of spec deal right?
Old 11th August 2005
  #41
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EngineEars's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by strauss
I don't think lack of budget should be an excuse for underpayment. You could also work on some sort of spec deal right?
Spec deals suck hot butt air, they are a huge risk and it's so rare that they pan out.
Old 11th August 2005
  #42
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jjblair's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene

If $500 per song is a bargain for mixing only (in LA)...you should be doing well. I hope you are, and I hope you can keep it up.

That would be $50,000 a year if you only mixed 2 songs a week.

I know ALOT of cats in LA (I moved to Austin from So. Cal. just 12 weeks ago).
Not many are working steady... I would feel blessed.
Believe me, I am not complaining. I feel very fortunate to work as much as I do, and with the caliber of clients that I get. However, gratitude doesn't pay for the service that I am currently having performed on four of my vintage mics, two of my vintage compressors, five Neve pres or any of the other things that occasionally get service so that I can have a studio where everything works. It doesn't also pay my $1,000/month DWP bill, my mortgage or my second engineer, either. You see, if you are trying to run a business, like I am, you can only cut your prices so low to stay afloat, and then you drown. I've seen it happen to so many studios lately. They are asking for prices that won't even let them cover their gear payments hoping to scrape the barrel, and then they go out of business. They should never have lowered their rates that low, if you ask me.

So anybody who sees us as ungrateful or complainers because we are dissatisfied with the false studio economy that DAWs have created, remember that there are certain economics involved in doing this full time and having a real studio with real gear. Some kid living with his parents who bought him a ProTools rig might not understand that, but as I said, you're either a pro or a bro.

And whoever winds up mixing for this cat, if they are a pro, I hope to god they do it as a partial spec deal, where they are either compensated down the road, or by points. That's how it works in the movie biz. You think a big actor does an indie movie without getting a piece of the action? No fücking way! I'm about to work with a friend who doesn't have near the budget required. You can bet your ass that I'm going to ensure that get paid down the road. Anybody who doesn't do that is not only naive, they are ****ing up the professional audio economy. We've spent years learning an art and a science, beyond what some kid in his bedroom is doing, and if you are willing to give that away for day laborer wages, then you are a chump. And if it didn't affect the rest of us, I wouldn't give a ****. But I've put all my cards into this line of work. I don't plan on falling back on something I haven't spent years devoting myself to, just because a bunch of amateurs and dilletantes without a mortgage to pay or family to feed think they know what we know.

BTW, I'm not bitter about this, and I rarely complain about this crap. But this is just the way I see it. Live in reality for a while, and THEN tell me I'm wrong. BTW, look at my quote while you are at it.



And to quote Josh Freese: "When they say spec, I 'spec not to get paid."
Old 11th August 2005
  #43
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Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
Believe me, I am not complaining. I feel very fortunate to work as much as I do, and with the caliber of clients that I get. However, gratitude doesn't pay for the service that I am currently having performed on four of my vintage mics, two of my vintage compressors, five Neve pres or any of the other things that occasionally get service so that I can have a studio where everything works. It doesn't also pay my $1,000/month DWP bill, my mortgage or my second engineer, either. You see, if you are trying to run a business, like I am, you can only cut your prices so low to stay afloat, and then you drown. I've seen it happen to so many studios lately. They are asking for prices that won't even let them cover their gear payments hoping to scrape the barrel, and then they go out of business. They should never have lowered their rates that low, if you ask me.
Truth.

My old shop got caught in a similar cycle. When the $1000-1500 rooms started to drop their rates down to $500-600 just to stay busy it CRUSHED guys like me who had been busy at the mid-level. I went from being booked 90 days out and not having to negotiate rates to competing with the bottom feeders and hearing things like "This other place is $20 an hour" and my response was always the same...go there! A bunch of those bigger rooms are gone now so dropping their pants didn't help.

Quote:
So anybody who sees us as ungrateful or complainers because we are dissatisfied with the false studio economy that DAWs have created, remember that there are certain economics involved in doing this full time and having a real studio with real gear. Some kid living with his parents who bought him a ProTools rig might not understand that, but as I said, you're either a pro or a bro.
It's not the DAW's that changed the game. Well, not really anyway. It's the chuckleheads who bought the DAW's and don't have a clue how to run a real studio that are the problem. Maybe the "pro" audio dealers are to blame too. I remember the days when you had to visit a place like Audio Techniques to get a console, tape machine or other real gear. There were still $20 demo rooms but they had semi-pro stuff, the lines that seperated the pro's from the bro's were more defined. Now that the gear is mostly the same its the people running it that make the greatest difference in the quality of a record.
Old 11th August 2005
  #44
I'm not a total Libertarian or anything, but I do think people should charge whatever they want to, whether for engineering, playing bongos, selling Neumann microphones, or anything else.
Old 11th August 2005
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill
If your budget is $20k to a record and you end up with only $1K to mix than you should get blamed for bad financial planning.

So i have no pity for you.
Err...It was hypothetical....Not talking about myself...simply making a point. I suspect you probably knew that though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill
Of course you can't you are saving money for bad planning and someone is saving you by bending over.
OK...Let's get this clear right now Thrill...Where IS the line drawn?(Point me to the list, the site, the document) What is the 'official' 'scale? Please point me to the 'Approved' rates scale to use? ...So that I don't continue to 'undermine' you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill
But screw everyone else who have worked hard all their lives to get what they feel they deserve right?
I don't screw anyone...I don't believe in anything like that nor do I live like that or think like that....AND I am not screwing you to produce an album for $20,000. This has NOTHING to do with you...just me and my client and our written contract.

I love this industry, I love music, I love to support the industry.
I am one of those people you talk about... who have worked thier whole lives for this moment..and the next moment and the next.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill
Its not affecting me?fuuck
How can I KNOW what affects you? You live YOUR live...you make your own choices and you make your own path in life...
Thrill..I am not responsible for you..ever.
I am a professional...I am creating my own path in a hard business...And I am doing ti in an ethical, honest fashion.

That is a problem for you?...Sorry bud...those are your issues to work out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill
If screwing others over means maintaining Integrity and respect than i rather stay a void of human nature.
I can only speak for myself...not you.
I CHOSE...in GOOD, clear, level headed conscious the gig I am in.
I am busy working, producing a record in a contract I am comfortable with...Today...with this artist....I have NO shame in my life.


Quote:
Originally Posted by strauss
I don't think lack of budget should be an excuse for underpayment. You could also work on some sort of spec deal right?
Yes...And I will repeat myself from earlier...High credits...Plus...Mechanical Royalties...Plus and most important...put out a QUALITY record that we believe in...Which means I will shop for a deal if this artist is interested when the record is done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjblair
but as I said, you're either a pro or a bro.
...JJ...Without quoting your entire post..I understand perfectly how this business works...I have been on both sides of the contract...I have a great lawyer and take GREAT caution and detail to take care of all of my business.

'Bro or 'Pro is a cute saying...but doesn't sum up this reality in the least. 'Pro' is a state of mind matched with ability and experience.

Since you work so much often this industry...you are perfectly aware of the LEVELS of budgets...levels of artists and I KNOW you have worked for different levels of pay...All the while you were professional.

I am a bro to be a bro....but not to make a living. Business is not personal.

If you are having trouble competeing with a kid who owns a PT rig....That is lack of education on your client...Not the fault of your peer who took a job he believes in but may not make much cash for it.

Peace and Respect,
Old 11th August 2005
  #46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
Err...It was hypothetical....Not talking about myself...simply making a point. I suspect you probably knew that though.

No honestly i didn't.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
OK...Let's get this clear right now Thrill...Where IS the line drawn?(Point me to the list, the site, the document) What is the 'official' 'scale? Please point me to the 'Approved' rates scale to use? ...So that I don't continue to 'undermine' you.

This discussion is not about undermining me.

It all started because the poster asked for someone with a name and sound he recognized to mix his record.

But he could only pay between $1K-$2K to mix a bunch of songs.

You and others jumped saying it was possible.

I suggested it was unrealistic and unfair.


But if i were going to define a "scale pay" i would say no lower than what you would pay a great assistant $25-$50pr/hr.

Anything lower in my opinion is "engineering slavery".

Again its the engineer's choice, but i would never advise any of my friends to do it for any less.

Not for my sake but for the livelyhood of their own.

You can't live working for $10-$15-$20pr/hr in just about any city.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
I don't screw anyone...I don't believe in anything like that nor do I live like that or think like that....AND I am not screwing you to produce an album for $20,000. This has NOTHING to do with you...just me and my client and our written contract.
Someone comes to you and says i got $1K to mix 8 songs and instead of advising them to save a little more so they can hire a competent studio with a competent engineer you decide"well i might as well do it cause i need the funds".

You don't think this is bad business practice?

I produce(probably not as well as you) but if someone came up to me and asked me to produce 8 songs for $1K i would gladly tell them to save up some more money so they can hold out for someone really competent.
Old 11th August 2005
  #47
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um, where do assistants make $25-50 an hour? i used to get paid $7.50 plus overtime at one of the biggest studios in LA about 4 years ago. it was great experience, but the most i ever made assisting freelance was $10-$15 an hour.
-brian
Old 11th August 2005
  #48
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by EngineEars
I agree with both sides of the debate here. I do charge industry rate when working with labels, however when an indie needs the job done I work with them. While they may need a full repair service, sometimes all they afford is a oil change. And I tell them that. Would you rather go to a quicky mart to get an oil change or a top of the line auto speicalist? I guess you would then classify me as an audio w.h.o.r.e. but then how would I sustain my gearslutyness?
An oil change is an oil change. I'd rather spend $25 at the Quik Lube then $55 at the dealer. If they need a full engine rebuild and they don't have the money they'll have to find another way to get around. Be honest and tell them that you'd love to help but you can't work with their budget. You're an audio w.hore if you do the rebuild for the oil change price.

Quote:
I here what you guys are saying, but when the bills are due and I do audio, the sun ain't always shining. I hear my work on multi-genres on radio and TV all the time, and I still can't sustain a decent lifestyle in this city. It's all about being plugged in, and I'm an RTAS in a HTDM world. Sorry to ramble on, just being honest. I would love to hear more about this debate to see what other options wouldn't hurt our industry.
Maybe you should think about specializing in one or two fields and making a name for yourself that way rather then being a jack-of-all trades. I don't work in all genre's and do TV/post stuff because I have no experience with those things, so why should I do a bad job? You could also try to lower your overhead, maybe move to a different location where you can afford to live.
Old 11th August 2005
  #49
Quote:
Originally Posted by bpatural
um, where do assistants make $25-50 an hour? i used to get paid $7.50 plus overtime at one of the biggest studios in LA about 4 years ago. it was great experience, but the most i ever made assisting freelance was $10-$15 an hour.
-brian

Where?

At my studio that's where.

I reward guys who really dedicate themselves and can be counted on to be great assistants.

If they are going to spend hours upon hours helping me out i am going to go out of my way make it worth their while.

Its only fair.

The lowest i woud pay them is $25pr/hr even if i make less.

If its a really great paying gig they get more.

You can't live on a measly $15pr/hr.

And yes i do buy them lunch and dinner.
Old 11th August 2005
  #50
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DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
The lowest i woud pay them is $25pr/hr even if i make less.
And there is your problem.

$25x8 hours/dayx250 workdays per year = $50.000 gross salary.

You get that kind of pay here in the Netherlands when you have an academic degree and 5/10 years of work experience with at least 2-4 years of management experience.

And I consider the place I live in a very fortunate and welthy place.
$25 for assisting in a studio is rediculous in ANY city.

I'd move to somewhere else...

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 11th August 2005
  #51
Gear Addict
 
EngineEars's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
Maybe you should think about specializing in one or two fields and making a name for yourself that way rather then being a jack-of-all trades. I don't work in all genre's and do TV/post stuff because I have no experience with those things, so why should I do a bad job?
By TV I meant the artist's music on commercials and their music videos and I don't see how working on more than one genre of music makes you a jack-of-all trades. I think it's lame that you have to tight cast yourself to recording one style of music. I don't claim to be a post guy or orchestral/jazz recordist, but I can pull of a pretty great pop, rock or hip hop production/mix because that's what I busted my chops honing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
You could also try to lower your overhead, maybe move to a different location where you can afford to live.
Even though a lot of my work is from out the state, I suffer here because I get the major credits to my name that I wouldn't get elsewhere with my network of contacts. They just don't come my way every day, yet! I'm gonna stick it out until things either stop sucking or move out after the air completely runs out.

In the meantime, desperate times sometimes call for drastic measures and like I said in the previous post, I will tell the client that their goals are unrealistic, then proceed with a plan of action that allows me to get them out the door with a product better than they would have had with anyone else for the money and I don't have to take another piece of my gear to the pawn shop.

I'm not really cutting my rate I just do faster work within a shorter period of time, which doesn't always translate into "a bad job." Back in the old days it wasn't unheard of to track and mix a song in one session, so don't tell me that doing something quicker than an 8 hour mix makes it bad.

I'm all for doing great work for a 'fair' price to those who I can do their project justice. I have turned down good money when it was needed when I knew the situation would turn out bad for the parties involved. I even started an album and bailed after the first tune when the clients expectations were way too high for the budget. There are other solutions than just undercutting the competition and doing poor work, as well as setting my major label credits and placks pride aside and making a basic living for myself.
Old 11th August 2005
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill
This discussion is not about undermining me.

It all started because the poster asked for someone with a name and sound he recognized to mix his record.
But he could only pay between $1K-$2K to mix a bunch of songs.
Brother Thrill...maybe this is where some of the differences lie in this thread. The man didn't ask for a 'name' or a sound he 'recognized'...He said HE was new to this...he want better results than HE could get mixing himself... and wanted to know if we knew anyone in the Los Angeles area who was a 'good' engineer who could do for $1k-2K.

I said yes. Consequently his inbox filled up.

Ironically...I was recently approached by someone from this site (With MANY bonafide major label credits, even friends of mine)...who lives in LA... to mix a record for me...for $1000-$1500.

This was a result of my posting ( a thread)... my desire to improve my mixes...
Someone recommended I get a mix engineer...and while I had already considered it, I knew I didn't have the budget...I mentioned I would never be able to afford the 'level' or quality' of mixer I wanted as I had only a couple of grand..

BAM!!! My Pm box filled up fast!

Now I won't mention the name of the engineer...but when he reads this thread he will know who I am talking about. I simply declined the offer..but didn't disregard it's validity...It was an eye opener...Cause this guy has a nice sound.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill
Someone comes to you and says i got $1K to mix 8 songs and instead of advising them to save a little more so they can hire a competent studio with a competent engineer you decide"well i might as well do it cause i need the funds".

You don't think this is bad business practice?
Yes I do think that is bad business...
I totally agree with you...and I am always inclined to encourage the same practice.

But at the same time I HAVE to look at the whole picture for what it is and judge each situation accordingly.
Just like this situation....
Home recording of a band...Band wants a little better mix to be able to use the recording for a first CD or cool demo to sell...

Band has $1k budget...someone, even a local studio is well off to make the connection, establish a relationship, network, support the band. do the gig and move thier own career along. Band is happy...studio is happy...The shoe fits the foot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill
I produce(probably not as well as you) but if someone came up to me and asked me to produce 8 songs for $1K i would gladly tell them to save up some more money so they can hold out for someone really competent
Agreed again.

You get what you pay for....and talk about 'diluted' market...for every person that calls themselves an 'engineer'...3 call themselves a 'producer'...!!

It used to bother me as I thought it cheapened my 'importance'...but now I don't care...maybe they are producers? I don't know what the hell it means anyway, cept' to me....I personally like the old fashioned hands-on development type (but without the cocaine) stikeIt doesn't change my natural skill and In the end my skills will attract the type of clients I want to work with anyway. I will slowly bulid my own track record...I am not in a hurry!! I live it daily, it isn't an end goal.


On the flipside...I have done 1 song production demos for $500-$1000 per song more times than I can count.

...And that is also how I got this gig.

For $1k...I was willing to do 1 song...as a 'relationship builder' . Anything past that required a contract.

Unfortunately we don't have the budget for a real engineer as it were...my engineer skills are average (subjective term as much of what I hear today is average) but my dedication and standards are extremely high. My skill and passion is in producing (and coaching) but right now I have to engineer most of this record.

I do not know what it is like to make a living as an engineer and like i have said many times in my life...I could not own or run a commercial joint..I don;t have the heart for it and I salute those who do.

I have other recording pursuits... Either way I sure love the process of recording...!!

I wish all of us success...this is not an easy bag..It can be very disturbing.

Peace and Respect
Old 11th August 2005
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
And there is your problem.

$25x8 hours/dayx250 workdays per year = $50.000 gross salary.

You get that kind of pay here in the Netherlands when you have an academic degree and 5/10 years of work experience with at least 2-4 years of management experience.

And I consider the place I live in a very fortunate and welthy place.
$25 for assisting in a studio is rediculous in ANY city.

I'd move to somewhere else...

Greetings,
Dirk
First of all they don't work everyday.

With my schedule right now i cam only mix 2 songs a week anyway.

And i don't see this as a problem.

I feel you should get payed what you deserve and have earned.

Be that Africa,Alaska,Antartica or whatever.


I think to pay an engineer less than $25pr/hr is a travesty.


Especially an assistant who is really a second engineer.

If you can't make a session they should be ready to step in take over.

The only difference is the word "assistant".


That's the way i was brought up in this business.
Old 11th August 2005
  #54
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
Brother Thrill...maybe this is where some of the differences lie in this thread. The man didn't ask for a 'name' or a sound he 'recognized'...He said HE was new to this...he want better results than HE could get mixing himself... and wanted to know if we knew anyone in the Los Angeles area who was a 'good' engineer who could do for $1k-2K.

I said yes. Consequently his inbox filled up.

Brother Rodney he did say this.

He said a "sound he recognized".

You don't recognize people on the radio or MTV or VH1 that don't have a big name since this is how the "machine" is setup.

He has since edited his post if you've noticed.


Probably all the flak and the fact that people PM'd him saying that this maybe unreasonable influenced him to change his mind and ammend his desires.
Old 11th August 2005
  #55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene

Yes I do think that is bad business...
I totally agree with you...and I am always inclined to encourage the same practice.

But at the same time I HAVE to look at the whole picture for what it is and judge each situation accordingly.
Just like this situation....
Home recording of a band...Band wants a little better mix to be able to use the recording for a first CD or cool demo to sell...

Band has $1k budget...someone, even a local studio is well off to make the connection, establish a relationship, network, support the band. do the gig and move thier own career along. Band is happy...studio is happy...The shoe fits the foot.

The whole picture is we have to educate people on how things are done if you want quality over quantity.

And this is where we differ.


I only choose projects to do if i feel i can give something to it.

No matter what it pays.

I have to both feel i can raise the quality to a level where they will be happy and i want to be happy with it also.

I don't prostitute myself just for money.

On any level.

I've been there done that.

Never makes you happy or satisfied.

Just makes you feel empty,mad and you end up hating the project.

That kind of thinking is kinda what's put the business where it is now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene


Agreed again.

You get what you pay for....and talk about 'diluted' market...for every person that calls themselves an 'engineer'...3 call themselves a 'producer'...!!]
Its good to see we agree on something.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
On the flipside...I have done 1 song production demos for $500-$1000 per song more times than I can count.

...And that is also how I got this gig.

For $1k...I was willing to do 1 song...as a 'relationship builder' . Anything past that required a contract.]
I can respect that.

For producing an independent project its about normal actually.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
Unfortunately we don't have the budget for a real engineer as it were...my engineer skills are average (subjective term as much of what I hear today is average) but my dedication and standards are extremely high. My skill and passion is in producing (and coaching) but right now I have to engineer most of this record.

Just as quickly as you gained my respect you lost it.

Is there even a Mastering budget for this?

Or are you doing this also?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
I do not know what it is like to make a living as an engineer and like i have said many times in my life...I could not own or run a commercial joint..I don;t have the heart for it and I salute those who do.

I have other recording pursuits... Either way I sure love the process of recording...!!

I wish all of us success...this is not an easy bag..It can be very disturbing.

Peace and Respect

So if you can't do it at least truly respect it.
Old 11th August 2005
  #56
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
I feel you should get payed what you deserve and have earned.

Be that Africa,Alaska,Antartica or whatever.
A nobel thought, but unfortunately this is not reality, far from it. Lot's of factors determine what you get paid, not just what you're worth (although it is an important and lasting one).
Quote:
I think to pay an engineer less than $25pr/hr is a travesty.


Especially an assistant who is really a second engineer.

If you can't make a session they should be ready to step in take over.

The only difference is the word "assistant".


That's the way i was brought up in this business.
So you can mix 2 songs a week, but as a client I also pay for your backup engineer? Somehow that sounds mixed up (pun intended). I can see you provide a service with a premium price, but then I'd expect an album done in 2 weeks, not 6 weeks...

Greetings,
Dirk
Old 11th August 2005
  #57
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill
Just as quickly as you gained my respect you lost it.

Is there even a Mastering budget for this?

Or are you doing this also?
I don't need anybodys respect but my own...and I certainly don't gain and lose respect on a 'phrase' either, I am surpised....there is always much more to picture than can be ascertained by a few words or a glimpse through a paragraph....respect is neother earned nor lost quickly for me Thrill.

My mixing skills...considering I am tracking this album...wil be adequate if they are adequate..only I, as the producer will make that call or not.

No Thrill...I won't be mastering this record...I am not an ME...and I can't tell if that was a jab or an honest question....but makes no matter.

Only me and my client are responsible for the outcome of our energy and I take my responsibility to heart.


Quote:
Originally Posted by thrill
So if you can't do it at least truly respect it.
I respect anybody who works to improve thier lives through thier given passion. Whether that is the 'parameter' you base respect around makes no matter...

P&B,
Old 11th August 2005
  #58
heh
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
A nobel thought, but unfortunately this is not reality, far from it. Lot's of factors determine what you get paid, not just what you're worth (although it is an important and lasting one).

No its the most important one.

The outside factors determine nothing on what value you put on yourself.

If you feel you are worth $50 pr/hr and you prove it over and over than you will make $50pr/hr.


Quote:
Originally Posted by DirkB
So you can mix 2 songs a week, but as a client I also pay for your backup engineer? Somehow that sounds mixed up (pun intended). I can see you provide a service with a premium price, but then I'd expect an album done in 2 weeks, not 6 weeks...

Greetings,
Dirk
I mix 2 songs a week because of my schedule(mixing,producing,running a record label and teaching).

That's why i prefer to mix singles instead of a whole album.

Mixing a rap single or dance i can do in 4-6 hours.

Its doing live songs(rock) or really huge productions(pop) where sometimes up to 2 days is needed.

This includes fixing parts,auto tuning,moving parts around and sometimes doing last minute overdubs.

That can eat up to 4 days a week out of my schedule.

If someone needs me to mix a whole album in 2 weeks than yeah they will be charged accordingly.

If its too much for them or they need it sooner let them go find someone else or they will work according to my schedule case closed.

It doesn't really make a difference to me if they can or can't.

If someone comes to me that's my criteria.

And in the end its their choice.

No harm no foul.

And if what i charge includes an assistant than so what?

You are getting your project done in the best most professional and meticulous manner.

You should be happy. heh
Old 11th August 2005
  #59
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rodney Gene
No Thrill...I won't be mastering this record...I am not an ME...and I can't tell if that was a jab or an honest question....but makes no matter.

P&B,

No it was a legit question.


I know guys here in NYC who do everything soup to nuts.


They will even do your CD design and website too.


There goal is to squeeze out as much as possible from the project.

These are the independent projects in the end that i get submitted to remix these days.

By this point the client is so jaded and untrusting that if the original producer had just told them upfront this is what it will realistically cost to do this project excellently they would have saved the working relationship.

I think today we underestimate consumers too much.

They don't think like we do.

We concern ourselves too much with the why's.

To them its basically how much.

If you justify the quality they will pay.

Case closed.

If you can't than its your loss.

If you can and they choose to go elsewhere than you win out in the end.

Because those are the projects that end up as disasters because of the unrealistic expectations that will pop up.
Old 11th August 2005
  #60
Lives for gear
 
DirkB's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by thethrillfactor
heh


No its the most important one.

The outside factors determine nothing on what value you put on yourself.

If you feel you are worth $50 pr/hr and you prove it over and over than you will make $50pr/hr.




I mix 2 songs a week because of my schedule(mixing,producing,running a record label and teaching).

That's why i prefer to mix singles instead of a whole album.

Mixing a rap single or dance i can do in 4-6 hours.

Its doing live songs(rock) or really huge productions(pop) where sometimes up to 2 days is needed.

This includes fixing parts,auto tuning,moving parts around and sometimes doing last minute overdubs.

That can eat up to 4 days a week out of my schedule.

If someone needs me to mix a whole album in 2 weeks than yeah they will be charged accordingly.

If its too much for them or they need it sooner let them go find someone else or they will work according to my schedule case closed.

It doesn't really make a difference to me if they can or can't.

If someone comes to me that's my criteria.

And in the end its their choice.

No harm no foul.

And if what i charge includes an assistant than so what?

You are getting your project done in the best most professional and meticulous manner.

You should be happy. heh
Thrill, that all makes sense and I understand that, but you missed my point (I'm sure my explanation skills have to do with that heh ).

The fact that you feel you are worth $50 is because YOU live in NYC one of the most expensice places in the world to live.
If you lived in Amsterdam for example, you'd feel worth about $30 or so I guess, which would put you at the top of the ranks over here.

Point is: people have to pay more in NYC or LA because live (overhead, whatever you want to call it) is more expensive. A substantial part of your salary is not because of what you bring to the party...

Greetings,
Dirk
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