We had a guest Music industry lawer at school and she gave us these notes :
1: Get an upfront fee for your work ALWAYS.
2: Get your travel and accommodation costs paid for where necessary.
3: Don't underquote. If you go over budget, you will have to pay the additional costs.
4: If you also work on the production as a musician or a sound engineer ( for example ) make sure you also receive session fees for your services, in addition to your fees for producing the Masters.
5: You should receive 50% of your fee on commencement of recording and 50% on delivery of the Masters.
6: Try and receive royalties as well. The standard rate for producers royalties are between 1.5 and 2.5% of retail price less GST and packaging.
7: Get percentages of licencing free from third party.
8: You will not own any rights in the masters produced. The contract will specifically state that all rights are owned by the artist or record label.
9: Record label and artists can fire you if they are not happy with the end product. Make sure that they can only fire you for circumstances in which you could have done a better job. Make sure you are not left too vulnerable.
10: Insert an arbitration clause into any agreement , then if the Record Label or artist fire you unfairly, you have a mechanism for someone to make an order for things like what proportion should be paid. This will save your back.
11: Make sure that you get credited for your work.
12: Make sure you can use the sound recordings for self-promotional purposes.