The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
upfront payment: etiquette?
Old 2nd August 2007
  #1
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
upfront payment: etiquette?

What's the usual percentage of the studio fee that a client can be asked to pay upfront, before even playing a single note?
Are there regional differences between U.S., U.K., continental Europe?
Old 2nd August 2007
  #2
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
they call it "le bump"
Old 2nd August 2007
  #3
We require a minimum 25% deposit of the estimated cost of an entire album. Deposit is non refundable, non transferrable and can only be used for studio time. We've been recording bands commercially for quite some time so it usually takes about the same amount of time to record, mix and master an album so we base the estimated time on that. If the band is serious it's never a problem, and it's created 99% less stress for us. Once the band burns through the deposit they pay in full every session for what they use that day. It might sound strict, but after around the 7th year (were in our 13th year) of trying to be nice & flexible and having a constant string of problems, it was time to protect the business with more 'professional' requirements.
Old 5th August 2007
  #4
Lives for gear
 
andychamp's Avatar
 

Thread Starter
Anyone else want to chime in?

I was kinda hoping for anwers more or less like Nathan's (thanks, btw!), to figure out some common, serious practice that would save a recordist from being ripped off, while not offending the client.
Or are these things considered a trade secret?

No go ye forth and poste, that the worlde's ignorance be lessened!
Old 5th August 2007
  #5
Gear maniac
 
Fretbored's Avatar
 

It all depends on the size of the project. If they book 1 hour, I'll charge the entire fee before I even book it. If it's larger, I charge 25% of booked time.
Old 5th August 2007
  #6
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by andychamp View Post
Anyone else want to chime in?

I was kinda hoping for anwers more or less like Nathan's (thanks, btw!), to figure out some common, serious practice that would save a recordist from being ripped off, while not offending the client.
Or are these things considered a trade secret?

No go ye forth and poste, that the worlde's ignorance be lessened!
I can't imagine this being considered a trade secret. A lot of studios I've looked at have required a down payment. It only makes sense. When you're booking in advance, it'd be a lot nicer to receive a down payment so you know a band is serious about booking the time. If they don't show up, it will be understood that they won't be getting their deposit back(short of a family emergency or something).

The studio I'm in the process of opening will also be adopting a similar idea. Probably something like a $100 a day deposit and the rest at the end of the session. We're expecting people to stick to the day rates most of the time. I think it'll work out just fine.thumbsup
Old 5th August 2007
  #7
Lives for gear
 
Sigma's Avatar
1/2total up front ...1/2 again at mix time ..balance due upon completion
Old 5th August 2007
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I don't charge a lot and I charge on a per song basis so I require 100% up front.
Old 5th August 2007
  #9
Gear Addict
 
Levi's Avatar
 

For albums or larger projects, 40% upfront (20% of which is non-refundable and the rest becomes non-refundable at downbeat), 30% at vocal recording, the final 30% BEFORE masters are turned over! If it's a small budget, single song, someone I've worked with before, etc., it's all negotiable.
Old 6th August 2007
  #10
Gear addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
1/2total up front ...1/2 again at mix time ..balance due upon completion
This is where I'm at right now, after having fooled with a 1/2 up front, 1/2 upon completion plan. At some point I figured out the loophole where a band pays half, tracks everything, I mix everything, then the band breaks up... Lots of wasted time I wasn't paid for.
Old 6th August 2007
  #11
jhg
Lives for gear
 
jhg's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by over-man View Post
This is where I'm at right now, after having fooled with a 1/2 up front, 1/2 upon completion plan. At some point I figured out the loophole where a band pays half, tracks everything, I mix everything, then the band breaks up... Lots of wasted time I wasn't paid for.
Make sure that how long said "mix period" is understood. Can get ugly and long with the band constantly over the shoulder wanting to bump up and/or retrack incredibly brain-scratching elements; a banishment-until close to full mix- from the control room type clause/understanding could save them some time and money. Some ranting aside, aside from the mbox owning band member(s) asking what was just done and which plug-in would replicate it - try to explain to the band that a mix usually takes x-hours from experience, and the full band - ie. hovercraft rhythm guitar/bg vox player action - can/will cost them more.

Ugh, ranting, offer my apologies; if anything, billing for mixing can be a bitch.

regards,

jhg
Old 6th August 2007
  #12
Lives for gear
 
DontLetMeDrown's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonboy79 View Post
I don't charge a lot and I charge on a per song basis so I require 100% up front.
Same herethumbsup
Old 6th August 2007
  #13
Lives for gear
We charge nothing up front, but do require written confirmation of booking. Payment at the end of the gig in the form of a cheque.

Hey, this is Scotland! I know nearly all my customers and those I do not know, I can check up on from a national database.

If you trust people, 99% will trust you back. In that respect, musicians are like dogs and horses! If you want to learn how to deal with producers, A&R, musicians, managers etc., watch the Dog Whisperer National Geographic Channel - Dog Whisperer
Old 6th August 2007
  #14
Lives for gear
 
gainreduction's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Byre View Post
If you trust people, 99% will trust you back.
Yep, very true. The lacking 1% are managers.
Old 6th August 2007
  #15
Lives for gear
 
goldphinga's Avatar
 

Originally Posted by The Byre
'If you trust people, 99% will trust you back'.


Id say that percentage is much lower. Dont trust anyone in this business, always get upfront payments and always get contracts in place before a note is played/recorded. If the artist/band aint happy with this then they can forget it!Harsh but true.

Sometimes even people you thought you could trust and have know for years can pull a fast one. Get a deposit and something in writing. Saves a lot of stress.
Old 6th August 2007
  #16
Lives for gear
 
dave-G's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sigma View Post
1/2total up front ...1/2 again at mix time ..balance due upon completion
That's 3 halves!

I like it!

But seriously, to the original poster 50% on booking, 50% on delivery is common. On bigger, more long-term mixing projects, if the amount is fixed, we might do 3 payments (like what sigma really meant), or if billing per-day or per-hour, then sometimes weekly invoices. The key is to have a default policy and to come up with other specific considerations at the start of any project that might warrant a variation thereof.

-dave
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
max cooper / The Moan Zone
70
2012 / So much gear, so little time
49
aintnosunshine / So much gear, so little time
24
tonymite / So much gear, so little time
3

Forum Jump
Forum Jump