This is more a question to the people who own their studio and have other engineers besides yourself working there.
How do you work out the paying of said person/employee? I'm possibly in the position to hire on someone else to help with sessions and do their own. Keep in mind that this is my studio they will be working out of and my equipment and facilities they'll be using.
And before the question is asked, I do need the help. between playing in two bands, giving music lessons, and doing my own sessions, and then running the actual business. I don't have as much time as I need and could be booking more sessions in the studio if I had someone else to work them.
The only way I can think of to make sure I'm compensated for the use of my studio is to take a percentage of any sessions that would be booked through him. (though with this he'll be receiving less than his desired hourly rate, but if he is technically "second" engineer of the studio he should be receiving less?).
Or could I just pay him less hourly as I charge per hour.
Currently charge a modest $35/hr for tracking and mixing, so paying him $20/hr would be an idea?
Need some examples on different ways to structure a payment system for a potential employee, in specific, another engineer.
Thanks for the patience guys, never thought I'd be in the position to potentially hire somebody just looking for some fellow studio owners advice.
Before you make any decision on compensation, check with your lawyer. You want to make sure any scheme you come up with is legal in your state. Employee may not be the best status if the compensation is too similar to commission or piece work. You may also need a contract.
Last edited by yosefTux; 25th January 2012 at 11:30 PM..
Oh yeah. He's defo not an employee without a contract. Keep him freelance .
I'll keep the freelance idea in mind, actually like the sound of that. So for example, since I charge $35/hr and generally pay myself $20/hr, I would pay him the same rate of $20/hr and the $15 would then go to the business. Is that basically what you were saying?
Do you guys have any other suggestions on ways of going about this? What do you do?
Just the rest of my 2 cents worth. Regardless of what you call the other engineer, if you treat them like an employee, they are one. Listen well to the other very experienced people here, then run those ideas past your lawyer, preferably one experienced in labor law. Safeguard your studio (and your personal assets) from any possible future disagreements. Even good friends can split over amazingly small amounts of $$.
Contractor may not be the best status if you have your eye on a particularly promising engineer - full employee status is kinda like putting a ring on it. But if your business ebbs and flows, you may have to do contractor. Hell, if they're good enough and bring in enough of their own business, partner may be closer to the status you eventually want.
If the engineer brings in the session - I charge the room rate to the engineer, he bills on top of that to the client.
If I'm asking them to do a session I pay engineer hourly or daily and invoice client for the total rate.
This has been my experience as a freelancer. When I bring in the session I'm paying the studio's hire rate and charging the band whatever is appropriate - usually just +my hourly rate.
When I'm asked to come in and engineer a session the owner usually makes an offer, X many hours for Z many dollars. They're usually choosing from a pool of producers/engineers that have hired their studio in the past.
Just to reiterate what's already been said, I have other engineers booking my place out fairly regularly, they get a rate for the room(s) they use and then they bill their clients on top to get their own wage out of it. If I have someone covering a session for me, I pay them the split of the rate I'd normally set aside for myself.
One easy way to do it is to make sure that the client pays him-not you.
For example, if the studio is getting $15 per hour and he is getting $20 per hour: the client pays the studio the $15 per and then the client pays him the $20 per.
That way, not money is changing hands between you and the new guy.
Minor inconvenience for the client, but it makes your finances cleaner.