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Musicians with Studios...

Messages
1,701
Do you charge your bandmates to record your music?

I'm in a situation where a bandmate has a studio (his full time job), and he is asking me and the bassist to compensate him for his time spent recording his/mine/our music. Something about this bugs me, because I own and bring PA for the band at gigs and do the booking among other things and don't charge for any of that. In addition, the third band member is unable to help out financially because of his low income. In the past I bought some studio gear to pay for studio time, without the 3rd guy pitching in. I want to do things as fairly as possible, and really appreciate the value of the time he puts in in the studio, but don't want to get into the habit of charging each other for things that are just part of being in a band. Part of me feels like if he is really 100% into this band he would do it for free, since that's what I would do. At the same time I realize the time spent working on our own music is time he could spend making money. What should I do in this situation?
 

peachead1071

Member
Messages
379
This is absurd. If it is his music, at worst you should be working for free, but the more likely situation is YOU getting paid.
 

Snap

Member
Messages
390
If it was a band I was in that I didn't really care about and/or have much stake or creative input in, then yeah I might charge them to record.
But never for a band I'm serious about and have friends in.
 

NyteOwl

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,642
Tell him you will pay him for his time if that's the way he wants to do things, but if that IS the way he wants to do things you are going to start taking a percentage off the top for booking gigs and an additional fee off the top for PA rental. Fair is fair.
 

andybaylor

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,632
Tell him you will pay him for his time if that's the way he wants to do things, but if that IS the way he wants to do things you are going to start taking a percentage off the top for booking gigs and an additional fee off the top for PA rental. Fair is fair.
There is nothing wrong with this

Don't feel bad about charging a rent fee for your PA. A broke gear fund.

Booking? My old band rewarded 5% to the booker. Lotta time goes into booking a band. Posters and postage cost money.

If he's good at what he does, and your stuff sounds good, then yes, he should be compensated. Recording is hard work.
 

rob2001

Member
Messages
16,929
I have a modest studio and record my band....no charge. They didn't ask that I make the investment, I did that on my own out of passion. If I started to charge them, I think they'd have the right to charge me back for their services. I don't want it to get like that. Even if the studio was my profession, it's my music and if I wanted to record it with real musicians, I'd have to pay studio guys to perform it.
 

guitgator

Member
Messages
3,969
The reason it bugs you is because your bandmate is a Tool

he can only see that "he" would be doing free stuff for the band and is completely ignoring what you do for the band regarding the PA system etc.

sounds like you need a new bandmate

I recorded my band's demos in my studio for no charge for my studio or time.....the band leader is doing the booking and legwork....my wife did the logo....the bass player and drummer don't have much to do other than play...that's life. There's nothing ultimately "fair" about being in a band....everyone pitches in for the good of the band unless they're dolts. Once you start the tit-for-tat/keeping score thing it's basically over...you just don't know the final date of the implosion.
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
19,951
It depends on the situation. In your situation, I really would expect reimbursement then for PA use (or let the band buy shares into it, own as a band, if the band splits up it gets sold and shares distributed).

It's a bad road to go down. If one is low on money, it can then be taken out of pay jobs, etc.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer, but I think generally common equipment ought to be a band expence (mic stands, mics, PA) shared by all, bought together, etc. with exact ideas about how things happen if band breakup or if just ONE member leaves (kicked out, resigned, either way) .

It needs to either be like a three musketeers things (all for one, one for all) and then EVERYBODY is on board. If one guy doesn't have the money, he can do other band jobs that need doing, in lieu of that...but without the actual money part, it is sometimes hard to put a "price" on what each does, and unfortunately it always seems in a band of 4 or more, that one guy does almost all, a few others do some, and there's always one guy that does nothing.

IF not going three musketeers style, it ALL gets reimbursed...
 

Steve Dallas

Member
Messages
8,317
He has a point IF and only IF he is losing money on studio time by recording your band instead of a paying customer. Otherwise, I would say he's being a little over the top.
 

Chiba

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,830
I have never ever charged my bandmates for recording the music we make together, and I never would even consider doing so.

However, my own band's stuff does tend to take a back seat when a paying customer comes through the door. Or rather, it did, since I don't really do that kind of thing any more EXCEPT for my own bands.

--chiba
 

dk123123dk

Member
Messages
3,892
If he has to kick a paying customer out of the studio to work on your stuff, then he has a point. If not, then you just found out that he isn't that into the project.

You should calmly bring up the fact that everyone does their own things to help the band. Talk about the PA, and the booking. If you aren't getting compensated for that stuff, then why should he? If he still feels like he deserves some sort of compensation, try to reach a compromise.

Good luck.

dk
 

nnick

Member
Messages
1,489
Our drummer has a studio. he would never charge us to record there. He is just as passionate about the music as the rest of us.
 

teleharmonium

Member
Messages
2,551
It certainly sounds outrageous. Of course, I'm assuming a modicum of commitment to the cause that may not exist.

I will say that it's his perogative as to whether or not to record the band, regardless of the fact that he owns recording equipment. But if he's going to do it, and it's a "real" band where the members like each other at least a little and have a certain amount of motiviation and interest, IMO he shouldn't charge.

If you're talking about a commercial facility, I agree that he shouldn't be expected to bump paying clients, and if the studio isn't available, it isn't available. Usually the way that works is that the band stuff happens whenever the studio is not booked, with the understanding that planned dates are subject to being bumped by paying clients with no hard feelings, and the other band members are expected to help out in ways that are helpful and welcomed, like loading in equipment to the studio, being available and attentive at the sessions and not doing anything to waste time, and little things like spring for pizza or bottled water or whatever, in recognition of the time and expenses that the guy with the equipment is contributing above and beyond the other band members.

If another engineer is required to record the band - like when laying basic tracks where the equipment owner has to play - that guy should be paid just like any other day, so that he works just like he would on any other day, from equal contributions from the band members or the band fund.
 

indravayu

Senior Member
Messages
1,715
I have recorded all of my band's albums in my home studio (with the exception of the drum tracks) - I wouldn't even dream of charging anyone else in the band for my engineering/mixing work (not that I could get very much for my limited skills anyway!).
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
19,951
Here's a thought...ask him how much he is charging, check to see what other deals you can cut with other studios around your area, if the price is comparable (keeping in mind, HE'LL have to kick in too, so add a little to it) suggest you record with the other studio.

Now instead of making money, he's gotta spend it with the rest of you, and he can't complain as it's his own prices that made the other competitive!
 

devinb

Member
Messages
2,030
Does he own everything outright, or does he have a business partner(s). How are you recording, any consumables being used (2 inch tape...)?

What's he asking versus comparable studios/engineers?
 

kludge

The droid you're looking for
Messages
7,106
I have never ever charged my bandmates for recording the music we make together, and I never would even consider doing so.

However, my own band's stuff does tend to take a back seat when a paying customer comes through the door. Or rather, it did, since I don't really do that kind of thing any more EXCEPT for my own bands.

--chiba
That seems like the correct answer to me. Yes, record your own band for free - but paying bands come first.

Me, I choose to not charge at all for my studio time (and the considerable investment I have in gear). What this gets me is I get to choose what I record. I sometimes record at a friend's semi-pro studio for free because he likes me and likes my music, and I hear his horror stories of crappy bands and dealing with jerks and money disputes. None of that for me! (of course, anything I want to do at his studio is back-seated to paying customers, and I try to buy useful gear for his studio)
 




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