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Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?
Old 29th June 2020
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

Hey guys it's my first time working with a "high-end" mixing engineer and he's asking for 2 royalty points. Is this normal practice? I'm really keen to work with this guy and I think he should get a fair rate, but it's already a high fee and it means I'd have to hire an attorney, since in the "deal memo" he sent me to sign it states that "the artists attorney is to draft the contract at a later date". Does this all sound right/normal to you all? I'm already stretching myself a bit then to hire someone at this tier, let alone hiring an attorney as well.
Old 29th June 2020
  #2
Gear Addict
 

I've always heard mixers get a few points. How else does CLA afford his Ferrari's?
Old 29th June 2020
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Apart from the question of whether or not to award points, I would first counsel against signing anything that may commit you to the terms of a contract that has not even been drafted yet.
Old 30th June 2020
  #4
It's not unheard of. But it's very much not normal (I even heard once that for CLA charged a point or two, but charged MORE if you didn't use his mix...cos then he wouldn't get those points!

Depends how absolutely sold you are on this guy. If you're prepared to walk away, then say so - "sorry, I can't afford the extra fees so if the flat fee isn't enough, I'll have to pass". I wouldn't be surprised if you find he capitulates.

Really - if you're an unsigned/indie artist, 2 points is really 2% of f-all. If you're already paying a few k for the mix, it's nothing. Plus it's really hard to audit an unsigned act; it's easy for a record label (I can log into Sony's portal and check royalties in real time, for example) but unsigned, he's literally relying on you to report honestly. It's simply not worth it.
Old 30th June 2020
  #5
Here for the gear
 

thanks for the feedback guys! agreed, since its unsigned, 2% of revenue will likely be negligible anyhow -- decided to proceed with caution. I've asked a few other good quality mixers for quotes since and a few mentioned royalty points as well -- fyi for anyone else reading this.
Old 1st July 2020
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mrmoon View Post
thanks for the feedback guys! agreed, since its unsigned, 2% of revenue will likely be negligible anyhow -- decided to proceed with caution. I've asked a few other good quality mixers for quotes since and a few mentioned royalty points as well -- fyi for anyone else reading this.
That's interesting. I've heard of it happening, but I've never actually been involved in a project where I've been told that's the deal (and I've known some of the rates).

I still think it's a bit silly trying to enforce it where you're dealing with someone who's not even on an indie label.
Old 1st July 2020
  #7
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TheHanes's Avatar
At the high end it is pretty much standard to get 1 point. If the artist is powerful enough they may negotiate a “point buy out” (additional fee to not pay the point) or another “bonus structure” that is not point based but pays again at certain sales targets. 2 points on a new artist is not unheard of. It aligns your interests and will probably never pay off.

Many mixers will want a point to set a precedent. “He / she is a points mixer”. Points most often come from the producer and are of the type “producer points”.

Points can be “recoupable” or “non-recoupable” or “half non-recoupable” This means that the initial Mix fees will or will not be deducted from the royalty.

For a recoupable point, the single has to get a
Lot of sales to ever pay. So as an artist you are not going to ever really feel a hit. As a producer you’ll make a bit less in royalty but at massive sales levels it won’t hurt.

You should always have a lawyer draw it up. Entertainment lawyers will work on a % of income (5%) so you don’t need to pay hourly. Yes, that 5% also includes all future royalties. The mixer should also have their lawyer review it and they will also be paying the 5% to their lawyer.

The point for an unsigned artist is only useful if you get picked up and signed to a label in the future.
Old 1st July 2020
  #8
Gear Addict
 

To hell with this music racket, i'm off to law school, see ya in court suckers....
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