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Clients Just Keep On Mixing After Mastering.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #31
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Virtalahde's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowland View Post
I null test new mixes with the previous version, and regularly find myself having a quiet chuckle at changes beyond what the client said they did.
Happens all the time. "I hear what you did there".

I don't usually charge extra for one mix revision (if small), but anything beyond that gets billed for. Yes it's getting a little out of hand. I might change my policy.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #32
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teebaum's Avatar
a master from a new file is subject to a charge.

if there are only minimal changes, this is not the full price for me, only an "analog recall", which costs about half of a new mastering.

if a customer is new, i am almost always tolerant and don't charge it - on the invoice, however, the point is listed with the note "not charged", so that he becomes aware that this is not self-evident.

if i made a digital master, i don't charge extra for another one (only <2% of my jobs are digital only).

but i had a lot more to do with this problem years ago than i have today, my clientele seems to know in the meantime, that you put final files into mastering :-)

Last edited by teebaum; 4 weeks ago at 12:07 AM..
Old 4 weeks ago
  #33
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Most annoying: rush by the label to do the “urgent” mastering, gets done with a tight turn around, weeks go past, then another “urgent” revision via email just when you arrive home after being in the studio.

We allow 1 revision within 7 days. New mixes...done on a case by case basis.

Many people only really listen to their mixes properly after mastering.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #34
Gear Maniac
Seem to be getting a lot more of these lately. Revisions from a new file is always a charge. Make no secret of it and will always charge it in most circumstances. Recalling the gear from notes, matching the sound, re-doing any edits, running the mix through, rendering new files, extra admin/etc. All takes up a lot of time which is unpredictable and often has to be scheduled during after hours. Unfair for the mastering engineer to soak that up and I've never had a client question it. Especially as I explain what a revision actually means in advance. Heard the phrase "just swap over the files and use the same settings dude" many times!

I've thought about uping the rates and including a revision but a) that's not fair on clients who nail the mix properly before mastering and b) it gives clients a security blanket thinking that they get a second go for free. Not to be encouraged.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #35
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
Most annoying: rush by the label to do the “urgent” mastering, gets done with a tight turn around, weeks go past, then another “urgent” revision...
So many times I've had to stop myself from saying: "Oh, really? What happened to that crucial deadline you had 2 weeks back? Hmmmm?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben F View Post
Many people only really listen to their mixes properly after mastering.
Yes, that. And it's also true that mastering can reveal some mix flaws that they couldn't hear before. That's why I feel I should be understanding and lenient to some extent. Where to draw the line is basically the underlying question behind this thread.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #36
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiomaster View Post
I've thought about uping the rates and including a revision but a) that's not fair on clients who nail the mix properly before mastering and b) it gives clients a security blanket thinking that they get a second go for free. Not to be encouraged.
Agreed. The decision I've come to from this thread is to go out of my way to make it perfectly clear from the start that recalls aren't free. And to ask more questions about the mixing before beginning. That should cut down on unpleasant surprises and set up proper incentives.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #37
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Bob Olhsson's Avatar
 

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I include revisions because I never hesitated to ask Bob Ludwig and Doug Sax for revisions. You need to live with a master for a while to be sure that it works. The benefit of a separate mastering engineer is that we get to respond honestly to a first impression but we still aren't God.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #38
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Time is money period. If you're having to spend your time mastering a completely new mix it doesn't matter why they are asking you to work on it again. You get paid for your time and skill. As long as you are clear about this it shouldn't be a surprise. You don't need clients that abuse this or don't value your time anyways. If they don't get this let them work with the many in the box bedroom producers doing everything with plug ins. Quality attracts quality and time equals money, there's no way around this.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #39
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Trakworx's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcgood View Post
Time is money period. If you're having to spend your time mastering a completely new mix it doesn't matter why they are asking you to work on it again. You get paid for your time and skill. As long as you are clear about this it shouldn't be a surprise. You don't need clients that abuse this or don't value your time anyways. If they don't get this let them work with the many in the box bedroom producers doing everything with plug ins. Quality attracts quality and time equals money, there's no way around this.
I agree with that in theory, but in practice there are times when I decide to do a recall master for free. For example - Some of my best clients are mix engineers who send me a lot of repeat business, but it's their clients (the artists) who are paying me. Me asking for more money over a mix issue could cause friction between the client and the mixer. I don't want to cause trouble for my mixer client so I'll do a little extra work just to help him out and ensure more referrals to come.

In short - client relations are a factor.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
Recalls are the absolute bane of my life.

I give people one free pass, a yellow flag or whatever, and let them know 'there is a fee for this but we can leave it this time'. After that they know the score and they pay.

One side note on all this is how it's affected and improved my workflow. It got absolutely ridiculous over the summer, for some reason. One week I had three days where I was just doing recalls, putting me further and further behind with new/normal work. So I've found myself going for simpler and simpler chains, 'half short, twice strong' knowing that it is very likely to save me time and hassle down the road. I mean, I suppose we're all aiming for that all the time anyway, but it's another motivating factor. I've also streamlined a lot of stuff in Reaper to make it all as painless and fast as possible.

It doesn't help when the new mix comes in at 2.76dB quieter or some other arbitrary amount though. That always gets a paroxysm of the very worst language.
This is one of the main reasons I'm now constantly trying to stay in the box. I actually do prioritize projects based on the first conversations with people.. if the mix is really tricky and will most likely get a few mix revisions, I'll always go ITB at first until it all settles down.

It's also a great motivator to get supremely good and reliable hardware that is super easy to reliably recall. This is where the premium switches and proper labeling comes in. Easy to use, easy to verify same settings, easy to take a picture of the used settings. These things matter an awful lot and hopefully hardware manufacturers understand this. It's also why I think good quality digital switches that can be automated/controlled from the computer will be the only way to go in the future.

.. and yeah, the revisited mixes that have totally different output levels and all internal levels of the various elements shifted around annoy me like crazy. It literally means I have to do all MY work from the beginning. So friggin annoying.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #41
I usually do a quick level analysis of old and new mix to get the integrated LUF level of both to then start from the same point levelwise (works pretty well)
Then (if starting point is identical) Sequoia allows me select my whole edit and then point it to the new file so I get everything back in a second (level automation, and all objet mode settings).
The worst situation is when some declicking/denoising was applied and that you have to do it all again.

I usually don't charge for that, it doesn't happen that much and it only takes 30 sec de recall the whole chain.
Old 6 days ago
  #42
Modified content implying actually new passes, it’s not unfair @ all to charge again -perhaps with a discount.
What is usually not charged twice are revisions of the mastering edits [over one same mixdown].
Old 6 days ago
  #43
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da goose's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by teebaum View Post

if a customer is new, i am almost always tolerant and don't charge it - on the invoice, however, the point is listed with the note "not charged", so that he becomes aware that this is not self-evident.
:-)
That's really a good one to do indeed! Thanks!
Old 5 days ago
  #44
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I have heard of some top level projects that book out an mastering engineer for a day, constantly shooting back and forth the songs till they are done.

Top level guys though, so they know when to stop and what job belongs to who.
Old 5 days ago
  #45
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Hermetech Mastering's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by XKAudio View Post
I have heard of some top level projects that book out an mastering engineer for a day, constantly shooting back and forth the songs till they are done.

Top level guys though, so they know when to stop and what job belongs to who.
Not just top level, I have lots of clients like that.
Old 5 days ago
  #46
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Being 100% ITB up to this point, I charge a token fee for "re-running the same settings," and I tell clients about this upfront. Basically, I charge just enough to discourage the behavior and to cover my time, but not enough to actually prevent the client from making necessary changes discovered post-mastering (e.g they had a part muted).

In cases where my clients are being overly nit-picky, I often tell them a piece of mixing advice I read once (don't recall where, but I like it). "Don't mix past the money!" No one cares about that 0.1dB adjustment you are making back and forth to the doubled backing synth that's 12dB below the guitar.
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