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Client recovery strategies?
Old 8th August 2005
  #1
Gear Addict
 
Keyplayer's Avatar
 

Client recovery strategies?

I forget the exact commercial. It may have beeb for a dandruf shampoo. But the slogan was "You never get a second chance to make a first impression." With that in mind, I recentely read a post on another forum where the engineer's entire PTHD system crashed JUST AS HIS BRAND NEW, FIRST TIME EVER CLIENTS WERE WALKING THROUGH THE DOOR! Needless to say they were not impressed. Even though the engineer had a back-up HDR system to save the session, these clients opted not to continue. I guess they were hardcore about Pro Tools.

Anyway, we all know this kind of crap can (and has) happen to anyone of us and, considering how tight the market is now, I was wondering what kind of strategies you employ to recover a client after something catestrophic like that happens? I'm sure this kind of thing is minimized at commercial facilities by lots of redundant systems, full time tech departments, and even insurance to cover that kind of loss. But for those of us busting out butts to make the monthly payment on the relatively huge overhead we're carrying on our ONE PRO SYSTEM, what kind of advice would you offer to recover and retain that client (Free make-up sessions, discounts, misc. perks?)?
Old 8th August 2005
  #2
Tape Op
 
Larry Crane's Avatar
 

Mine's a small studio, yet I have two 24-track decks. For Pro Tools I have a 002 rack and an M-Box, a G4 and 2 iBooks and an EMAc. Being flexible and acting nonchalant when things must be dealt with helps. I've rarely had a cancelled session on my account, except for the time my stepdaughter was caught shoplifting at Wal-Mart!

I'd say redundancy is the best bet though.
Old 10th August 2005
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Larry Crane
I'd say redundancy is the best bet though.
Dig it.

Nothing says "I'm an amature" more then having to call a session because of a piece of equipment blows up. If your one mic pre goes down, or you blow a driver on the monitors or a power amp blows up you should have backup systems in place to keep working. If you don't have those in place, you shouldn't be taking peoples money and/or calling yourself a pro.

Granted, **** happens and sometimes a mission critical piece like a console or tape machine will fail and it can't be worked around. In that case, try to work around it for the day or two that it takes to get a tech in and have it fixed. The last time I had a 2" deck melt, we spent the day recording to 2-track and working through tempos, arrangements and stuff like that. We also worked at a slower pace and nobody really cared because we were still making progress on the record.
Old 12th August 2005
  #4
Gear Addict
 
Keyplayer's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Kahrs
Dig it.

Nothing says "I'm an amature" more then having to call a session because of a piece of equipment blows up. If your one mic pre goes down, or you blow a driver on the monitors or a power amp blows up you should have backup systems in place to keep working. If you don't have those in place, you shouldn't be taking peoples money and/or calling yourself a pro.

Granted, **** happens and sometimes a mission critical piece like a console or tape machine will fail and it can't be worked around. In that case, try to work around it for the day or two that it takes to get a tech in and have it fixed. The last time I had a 2" deck melt, we spent the day recording to 2-track and working through tempos, arrangements and stuff like that. We also worked at a slower pace and nobody really cared because we were still making progress on the record.

Keyplayer: I actually waited a couple of days to think about your "Amature" comment before I responded. But my first impression hasn't changed. I respectfully disagree.

You've GOT to start somewhere and if unless you're born with a "Silver Spoon," it's going to take a while to amass the type of redundancy you mentioned. This gear is not cheap and, if you're a pro, you won't be buying any cheap gear. So how are you supposed to pay for this gear if you don't rent it and your services?

Back in the old days of analog, I did a session at a studio using a Tascam 80-8 deck. The deck's transport went down during some overdubs. I did not think the engineer was at fault or an amature. I thought it was an unfortunate occurance that actually ended up working to my advantage. I was able to rent another 80-8 and get it delivered within 3 hours. Since the studio's deck was down, it freed up all the other sessions that had been booked and I got to complete my project sooner than expected.

I don't know about you, but I don't have several pairs of ADAM S-3's in storage or even Genelec 1031's. I don't have a full time tech. Like many of us, I'm a one man shop, as was the guy I mentioned in the original post. I do have 2 Nuendo systems, so I guess, technically, I do have a back-up system there. But as I usually use them in tandem, I don't really consider that my back-up. Early on, I had considered my VS-1680/880 my backup system. But that's a laughable idea now. So, I'd like to get a Mackie HDR for that purpose.

But before I can do that, there's the small matter of the multi-thousands of dollars I invested in re-tuning my room, upgrading several pieces of gear, and staying alive while the studio was down. I'm thinking that in the long run, this will provide a better service for my clients. But by your standards, I'd be considered an amature. You could see how I might not subscribe to that theory, right?
Old 12th August 2005
  #5
Lives for gear
 
Zacchino's Avatar
 

Thank you guys, great thread !
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