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Studio Politics & Thoughts & Prices
Old 5th September 2008
  #1
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WunderBro Flo's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Studio Politics & Thoughts & Prices

Hi Dave! Thanks for enlightening us another time, highly appreciated!!!

I have some questions abot the "other stuff" than mixing techniques. First up are politics:

1) How do you react when people want changes? How many changes will you do for them without charging them extra? Especially interested in those requests that are totally unnecessary but the client wants to hear it because they know it is possible.

2) Did people request more changes when you were less famous?

3) You do not have to answer this one, but if it is ok with you I would really love to know what the rate is for mixing one song in your league. How much do you charge for a major label mix, an indie mix etc...fell free not to answer this as it is pretty personal business stuff!

4) How did you become a "go-to" guy for the top acts? I know it takes more than skills alone. Establishing a good relationship with the decision makers at the labels might be as important as skills. Am I on the right track with this?


Thanks a lot & all the best! You ROCK!
Pat
Old 6th September 2008
  #2
Guest Moderator - September 08
 
Dave Pensado's Avatar
 

1. With protools and stems, changes are a part of mixing now. I usually do all the changes people ask for. Sometimes the changes take more time than the mix. Just think that the more services you provide the more your clients are gonna always come to you. It does get on my nerves, but NOT mixing gets on my nerves even more. If I know I have a client that makes a lot of changes, I try to involve him in the mix process much sooner. I also might not finish every detail until we pull up the stems and do his changes. BTW we print every track as it's own stem, and print efx on their own stem.

2. Not really, because back then it you had changes, you had to pay for a recall. This is one instance where the technology has made it worse for us engineers.

3. Most guys at my level try to get $4k a mix. Some of the top in the box guys get 5-6k all in. (all in means the engineer is responsible for studio costs). On some indie and lower budget projects, the rate can go down to 2k. If I have a good client that needs a favor, i will mix for free. On average, I would say most of the time the top guys are getting between 3k-5k and would be happy to get any amout in that range. Nowadays flexibility is very necessary to keep your clients.

4. We are a service industry, just like a barber. Start your relationships with people before they become famous. Do cheap or free mixes for them. Help them any way you can. Also provide good services, like nice labels on CDs, helping them get gigs and placements, introduce your best clients to established artists, anything that helps your clients grow. Get people around your area talking about you. Give people the best hair cut they have ever had.
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Old 6th September 2008
  #3
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pw8888's Avatar
 



P.
Old 7th September 2008
  #4
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soultrane's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Pensado View Post
3. Most guys at my level try to get $4k a mix. Some of the top in the box guys get 5-6k all in. (all in means the engineer is responsible for studio costs). On some indie and lower budget projects, the rate can go down to 2k. If I have a good client that needs a favor, i will mix for free. On average, I would say most of the time the top guys are getting between 3k-5k and would be happy to get any amout in that range. Nowadays flexibility is very necessary to keep your clients.
this is great honesty mr. pensado and is much appreciated.

has the rate for top flite mix engineers gone down in the last 10 yrs or so?
Old 7th September 2008
  #5
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Rednose's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Pensado View Post
1. With protools and stems, changes are a part of mixing now. I usually do all the changes people ask for. Sometimes the changes take more time than the mix. Just think that the more services you provide the more your clients are gonna always come to you. It does get on my nerves, but NOT mixing gets on my nerves even more. If I know I have a client that makes a lot of changes, I try to involve him in the mix process much sooner. I also might not finish every detail until we pull up the stems and do his changes. BTW we print every track as it's own stem, and print efx on their own stem.

2. Not really, because back then it you had changes, you had to pay for a recall. This is one instance where the technology has made it worse for us engineers.

3. Most guys at my level try to get $4k a mix. Some of the top in the box guys get 5-6k all in. (all in means the engineer is responsible for studio costs). On some indie and lower budget projects, the rate can go down to 2k. If I have a good client that needs a favor, i will mix for free. On average, I would say most of the time the top guys are getting between 3k-5k and would be happy to get any amout in that range. Nowadays flexibility is very necessary to keep your clients.

4. We are a service industry, just like a barber. Start your relationships with people before they become famous. Do cheap or free mixes for them. Help them any way you can. Also provide good services, like nice labels on CDs, helping them get gigs and placements, introduce your best clients to established artists, anything that helps your clients grow. Get people around your area talking about you. Give people the best hair cut they have ever had.
Great advice Dave!
I try to help out my clients with gigs around town because I know alot of the people booking venues.
Seems to keep the bands happy and coming back.
Old 8th September 2008
  #6
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WunderBro Flo's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Thanks a lot for answering even the price-related stuff! Very helpful!

I guess you mean each stereo-stem gets printed dry and then there is another stereo-stem for it´s fx, please correct me if I am misunderstanding this.

It is quite a relief to hear that clients ask for lots of changes, because if even the top guys like you spend so much time on changes that the clients request, this means that there is no mixer in the world who does a mix and everybody is a hundred percent content. I mean there is still so much room for doing things different even when a mix is in the already-perfect-zone that it is sometimes mistaken as not-so-top-mixing.

Best,
Pat
Old 9th September 2008
  #7
Gear addict
 
babyface_finsta's Avatar
 

Great answers... Is that 1/2 upfront, payment in full, Invoice or P.O... it's seems in every level of this Industry headaches occur, when money is an issues...

I am currently involved in a dispute with a client where I provided Artist Development services to an Indie (everything from A&Ring, Tracking, etc etc etc)... I've recieved partial payment and have to resort to Collections and Court to collect the rest (all certified letters were signed for, yet not responded to)... Long story short, I think they've mistook my kindness as a weakness, and now I have close to 20 sessions of their material...

At the end of the day I want my money... the only benefit to having these sessions is if the Artist dies (i.e. Tupac or Biggie)... I understand your not an Attorney... However, any insight is appreciated... I got the kid his deal (good guy... still friends), he understands my situation... I dont wanna hurt his career... and turn his project into a casuality of war... I even acted as an A&R consultant for the company...

If I didn't believe in the artist, I'd be tempted to leak a bootleg of bloopers... there is a lot more to the story... including finders fee and points...
Old 11th September 2008
  #8
Gear Maniac
 
Richard Salino's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Pensado View Post
3. Most guys at my level try to get $4k a mix. Some of the top in the box guys get 5-6k all in. (all in means the engineer is responsible for studio costs). On some indie and lower budget projects, the rate can go down to 2k. If I have a good client that needs a favor, i will mix for free. On average, I would say most of the time the top guys are getting between 3k-5k and would be happy to get any amout in that range. Nowadays flexibility is very necessary to keep your clients.
I just wanted to confirm that rate is for a single song, not an album.

...You can probably tell what level I'm working at .
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