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Topic: Advice related to Sound Production Agreements

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  1. #1

    Advice related to Sound Production Agreements

    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.
    Theo Krueger - Composer

    www.TheoKrueger.com

    Kontakt 2 Scripts

  2. #2

    Re: Advice related to Sound Production Agreements

    Holy words!

  3. #3

    Re: Advice related to Sound Production Agreements

    Hi Theo

    yes, holy words from the holy production bible by the sounds of things... "The Art of Music Production" a book by Richard Burgess. I dare say your lecturer has read it.
    If you want to chew over the same points, but at length this is a must read!

    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...86451?v=glance
    Last edited by evaclear; 04-27-2005 at 06:03 AM. Reason: missread post
    evaclear
    Success is going from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm...

    My Stuff

  4. #4

    Re: Advice related to Sound Production Agreements

    Thank you Evaclear
    Theo Krueger - Composer

    www.TheoKrueger.com

    Kontakt 2 Scripts

  5. #5

    Re: Advice related to Sound Production Agreements

    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.
    Can't stress this one enough. I had a situation a few years back with a major label that owed the remainder of the license fee. Never paid. Sure I could've taken them to court and won easily, it was all in the contract, however, seeing as how I was in California and they were in NY, it was ovbious that the amount to settle the case in a NY court would've been far greater to me than the amount owed. Arbitration would've cut the costs down tremendously.

    The big problem is that these days, there's a huge throng of people who are desperate to break into the music business at absolutely ANY cost. Some of them are also very talented, and equipment costs are not longer much of a barrier to getting outfitted to put out high quality work. The result is that in many situations, if you are too demanding and assertive about all these issues, you'll be skipped over in favor of someone who is a lot more flexible and less demanding.
    Couldn't agree with you more Lee.

  6. #6

    Re: Advice related to Sound Production Agreements

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske
    ...The result is that in many situations, if you are too demanding and assertive about all these issues, you'll be skipped over in favor of someone who is a lot more flexible and less demanding...
    Ahh, the art of negotiation.

    You don't have to be inflexible or demanding, but starting with an aggressive negotiating position is a good thing. You make some concessions, they make some concessions, and you end up with a deal somewhere in the middle. If you don't have a good starting position, that "somewhere in the middle" point won't be in your favor.

    HARRY THE HAGGLER: Offer me fourteen.

    BRIAN: I'll give you fourteen.

    HARRY THE HAGGLER: He's offering me fourteen for this!

    BRIAN: Fifteen!

    HARRY THE HAGGLER: Seventeen. My last word. I won't take a penny less, or strike me dead.

    BRIAN: Sixteen.

    HARRY THE HAGGLER: Done. Nice to do business with you.



    -JF

  7. #7

    Re: Advice related to Sound Production Agreements

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske
    Right before you cave and agree to work for food.
    But maybe they'll cave on some stuff too, like arbitration. Items 9 through 12 don't cost them any money up front, so these may be the easiest to keep.

    And regarding food, hopefully you can negotiate for both bread AND water. And if you're good, you might get something that contains caffeine.

    -JF

  8. #8

    Re: Advice related to Sound Production Agreements

    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske
    Right before you cave and agree to work for food.

    Lee Blaske
    I know the feeling...! However sometimes the best negotiation is to say thanks but no thanks. You'd be surprised at the number of people, who are so shocked that you are saying no to them, then find themselves making the first compromise. Obviously some jobs just go and one has to be able to live with that.

    Daryl

  9. #9

    Re: Advice related to Sound Production Agreements

    Those look like pretty good guidelines to me, although it seems new producers can expect 2% to 3% rather than 1 1/2% to 2 1/2%. I always got 3%, even in my early days. And if you want to sound experienced, use the word "points" instead of "percent."

    You have to find leverage where you can. As Lee says, it's a buyers market. But you may have leverage if you're also a writer with songs they want. Or if you have a relationship with the artist. Or if there's a time element.

    Example 1:

    I was producing an album for a rapper and we had already finished the single, which was scheduled for release in a few weeks ("Tequila" by ALT, my first . . . and last . . . top-40 hit.) We had already started work on the album, even though I didn't yet have a contract. We had a couple points the label's lawyers wouldn't give in on, so I cancelled that evening's session.

    The A&R guy shows up that night and there's only me and my assistant there playing video games. He asks where everybody is and I explain it doesn't look like a deal's gonna get made. He's pissed that I won't work on good faith, because there's this deadline we're under. Next day, the lawyers give me the points I want.

    Example 2:

    This singer I had done some paid demos with got a huge deal on Warner Brothers. They dump me and get big name producers and start recording at big bucks studios. The singer and I never got along that well, so I was sad but not very surprised I didn't get the producing gig.

    A month later I get a call from the A&R guy that she's been complaining that everywhere they go, the mix in the headphones doesn't have, in her words, "that Mike Greene sound." Ca-ching!

    - Mike Greene

  10. #10
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    Re: Advice related to Sound Production Agreements

    yea well holly words hmm if I went by that I would never find work of course I can't seem to find work as it is. My friend who is a producer did this regea band and they became big* he cowrote and produced the songs* once they became big they got another producer and weren't going to pay my friend what they owned him also a ton of other legal crap. I don't know the whole story but I think he took them all to court on it.
    All I can Say is...HA!...HA!...HAAAAAAA!!!!!

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