Studio Waiver

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ott0bot
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Post by ott0bot » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:34 pm

All my recording have been word of mouth agreements too...but I just have a home studio...and mostly record friends. I've signed a waiver once when i recorded at a studio. It was basically a general CYA for the studio and an agreement to pay "x" amount of dollars by "x" date. And now that you guys mention it...it was kinda weird. Everything worked out fine...but I felt a little uneasy about signing. I would imagine that may deter some clients.

The two guys I intern for usually do half up front, and don't release the recordings until they pay the remaining balance. Seems to work, but they have both been burned a few times when they relaxed their billing policy.

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Z MINOR SOUND
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Post by Z MINOR SOUND » Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:54 pm

That's what the collections department is for right?
Shakedown time. Is it considered extortion when the money is rightfully owed to you?
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jmiller
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Post by jmiller » Fri Apr 24, 2009 9:26 pm

ott0bot wrote:I've signed a waiver once when i recorded at a studio. It was basically a general CYA for the studio and an agreement to pay "x" amount of dollars by "x" date. And now that you guys mention it...it was kinda weird.
I don't really see what's weird about that, though. They just want to get paid.

There's lots of flakes in this business. One particular problem with labels and Film/TV studios is that they will often just sit on the money they owe you for months. Even with a written contract, getting your money from them can be tough if they really don't want to give it up. But without it, you're even further up a creek. I once worked at a studio where we did a lot of sessions for the same TV network for a major tv show for a while. They didn't pay us for 3 months. At one point the manager called and was picked up by someone who informed him that the accounting dept. for that show no longer existed. When he asked "then how do I get my money?", the person on the phone said "I don't know". This was for tens of thousands of dollars. They dicked us around for quite a while.

Like I said, I've never seen a waiver, but every studio I've been in has always had a work order which always had some sort of terms and conditions on it.

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Post by cgarges » Sat Apr 25, 2009 8:51 am

jmiller wrote:What about work orders with brief terms on them?
As a client, no, I've never done this. If the studio requires a deposit, I've paid the deposit and then paid the balance at the end of the session. If the studio doesn't require a deposit, I've paid them when they asked to be paid. To me, if a studio had terms that I thought were unreasonable, I'd either try to negotiate them or work at another studio.

As the guy on the other end, I've given invoices with terms clearly stated on them and on a couple of occasions, I've had to send letters to collect (I've covered hose in a few other threads around here), but I've never had a contract signed for something as simple as studio time in day-to-day operations.

Chris Garges
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Z MINOR SOUND
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Post by Z MINOR SOUND » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:01 am

Any thoughts on releasing rough mixes to the band before balance is paid?
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Post by chris harris » Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:45 pm

Z MINOR SOUND wrote:Any thoughts on releasing rough mixes to the band before balance is paid?
don't do it.

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Z MINOR SOUND
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Post by Z MINOR SOUND » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:35 pm

So don't give them any mixes until it's time to send out for mastering?
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jmiller
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Post by jmiller » Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:51 pm

cgarges wrote:
jmiller wrote:What about work orders with brief terms on them?
As a client, no, I've never done this. If the studio requires a deposit, I've paid the deposit and then paid the balance at the end of the session.
Interesting. That's how I'd always seen it done, I assumed it was the norm. Maybe it's more of an L.A. thing? I could probably find some old copies to scan for example.

As far as the details of the terms, I don't think they're really anything unreasonable. Mainly, pay within a certain time, recordings don't leave until money's been paid, studio can't promise it won't be struck by lightning and burn down overnight with your guitars in it, but we'll do everything we can to prevent it, etc. To me it always seemed totally normal.

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Post by chris harris » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:24 pm

Z MINOR SOUND wrote:So don't give them any mixes until it's time to send out for mastering?
When you work on label stuff, it's different, because you're going to be dealing with invoicing the label. But, if the band is paying me, I expect them to pay at the end of every session. And, if they're paid up, they can have any of the stuff that we've worked on during the sessions they've paid for.

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Post by Z MINOR SOUND » Wed Apr 29, 2009 2:26 pm

That sounds fair to me.
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