Client wants to "part ways", won't pay for masteri

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willyk
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Client wants to "part ways", won't pay for masteri

Post by willyk » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:43 pm

It's a long story, so here it goes...

Young kid 18 years old. Hip Hop artist. Had been brushed off by many studios and I really did want to give him a good experience.

We have had a good run. 16 songs, $50/hr cash paid in full after each session. His mom (single mom with 5 kids) drives him 90 minutes each way for every studio date.

Before our last day of recording, I told him to bring a hard drive so he could keep all his own music. He has rough mixes of each song, which he decides are good enough for all his final mixes.

He asks us to master. I tell him our price, $50 per track, and he agrees, verbally. Then he proceeds to hassle me, which I don't mind at all, "when can you master?" he's persistent. I admire that in anyone.

Once the tracks were mastered, I sent him an email that we were done. Then he asks me to "work a deal" on the price. I told him if we were going to do mixing for all the songs, we could certainly work something out, but for mastering, it's $50 per track. Period.

Next he wants me to send him a "sample" over the net. I responded that he needs to come up one last time, and listen to all the transitions, etc, and pay for the project. But he insists he wants a sample first. I tell him to "remind me Tuesday".

He sends me an email tuesday, which I don't answer. Wednesday, another email. I still don't answer. Then he writes me on friday and starts getting rude. "Not a good way to do business". (I do agree that it isn't good to not answer emails for a few days, but coming from an 18 year old rubs me the wrong way!)

So I write to him, apologize, and tell him that I have been incredibly busy and to please be patient. This is where he says "we should go our separate ways". I tell him that he already asked us to do the work and I am actually waiting for him to come and pay me and listen to the master here. No he refuses to talk to me on the phone, and is telling me that he doesn't have time to wait for me to get it together.

I did get him a sample a few days later, and he says "thanks but no thanks, it's too quiet and not as loud as Tupac on my iTunes. We should go our separate ways"

Anyone have some wise words for me here????
Will Kahn.

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Post by Nick Sevilla » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:52 pm

Move On . org
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Post by chris harris » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:04 pm

Let it go. Your attitude about his age leads me to believe that you could potentially say or do something that you'll regret. This will only harm your reputation further. He's already going to tell people that he was happy with your work up until you blew him off on the mastering. Let it go and be happy that you were paid for everything else and he's happy with the mixes.

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Post by cgarges » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:42 pm

Agreed. They can't all be winners and they're certainly not all reasonable.

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Post by willyk » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:40 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:He's already going to tell people that he was happy with your work up until you blew him off on the mastering. Let it go and be happy that you were paid for everything else and he's happy with the mixes.
Between professionals, did I blow this? I really didn't think that I blew him off. I asked him to come up here and listen to mixes, so I was actually kind of waiting for him.

Thanks all for the input. I tried the invoice route today after posting (from past posts on this subject), may have saved this one, but we will see.
Will Kahn.

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Post by jnTracks » Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:33 am

i know i must have done fewer professional projects than you all but, isn't making samples pretty standard in a case like this? i think my e-mail saying "mastering is done, come check it out" would include a link to, say, the first half of a song? or, the last time i did mastering over the web i sent them one song in 320k mp3. the sort of thing were you can make corrections on broad brush stuff like "it's not as loud as tupac" before he makes the 90min drive.

that said, it sounds like he's not the easiest client to deal with, and maybe the complaints about the master sample were more like trying to find a reason to fire you since he didn't like the price. have to be inside his head to know for sure. right?
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Post by Gregg Juke » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:25 am

Yeah, it sounds like time to let go, unless you want to go to small claims court over a verbal agreement.

Paperwork (contract) next time though, right?

GJ

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Post by cgarges » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:10 am

willyk wrote:Between professionals, did I blow this? I really didn't think that I blew him off. I asked him to come up here and listen to mixes, so I was actually kind of waiting for him.
If I emailed someone every day for three days in a row witrhout getting a repsonse when I was in the middle of a project with them, I'd kind of feel like they were blowing me off.

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Post by willyk » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:34 am

Thanks everyone. We'll see what happens here. I am ready to move on, all though getting stiffed on an $800 bill is a hard pill to swallow right now.

But yes, live and learn.

Yes. Paperwork.

Yes. Samples on the web.

Thanks again
Will Kahn.

Burl Audio. Paradise Recoding. Santa Cruz CA

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Post by norsehorse » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:47 am

Part ways. You did the right thing by not giving him the masters.

It sucks that you did the work, but you can claim it as a loss on next year's taxes.

EDIT: And yes, I'd try sending him a 15 sec. sample, just so he knows what he's missing. Make sure it's a section that can't be looped. As you pointed out, it's a hassle for them to come to you, so make sure they know it's worth their while. Might be too late for that I guess. Good luck!

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Post by MoreSpaceEcho » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:00 am

jnTracks wrote: isn't making samples pretty standard in a case like this?
yeah. i just send people a zip with their whole mastered record. i assume people are decent and aren't going to stiff me and so far no one has.

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Post by chris harris » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:05 am

cgarges wrote:
willyk wrote:Between professionals, did I blow this? I really didn't think that I blew him off. I asked him to come up here and listen to mixes, so I was actually kind of waiting for him.
If I emailed someone every day for three days in a row witrhout getting a repsonse when I was in the middle of a project with them, I'd kind of feel like they were blowing me off.

Chris Garges
Charlotte, NC
Agreed.

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Post by Aquaman » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:56 am

He sends me an email tuesday, which I don't answer. Wednesday, another email. I still don't answer. Then he writes me on friday and starts getting rude. "Not a good way to do business". (I do agree that it isn't good to not answer emails for a few days, but coming from an 18 year old rubs me the wrong way!)
Wow, I wouldn't work with you anymore either. Not to be flip, but if I had paid someone hundreds or thousands of dollars to get my project to the finish line, then got treated like this, I would be livid.

Age 18, age 30, age 55 doesn't matter. Answer your emails.

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Post by @?,*???&? » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:43 pm

No reason not to have sent :30 clips of at least a few songs to the kid- as .mp3s. To showcase the mastering so he could A/B what the transition from a unity gain mix (unlikely you had that) and a mastered version somewhere up around 0dbFS. My guess is you just slammed an L2 plugin and were done with it. You certainly would not have had to send .wav files of the material.

Also, mastering facilities typically take half up front and half when the project ships to manufacturing OR before they ship parts that can be replicated/duplicated to the band/engineer/producer.

What other services for mastering were you gonna provide?

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Post by chris harris » Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:54 pm

@?,*???&? wrote:No reason not to have sent :30 clips of at least a few songs to the kid- as .mp3s. To showcase the mastering so he could A/B what the transition from a unity gain mix (unlikely you had that) and a mastered version somewhere up around 0dbFS. My guess is you just slammed an L2 plugin and were done with it. You certainly would not have had to send .wav files of the material.

Also, mastering facilities typically take half up front and half when the project ships to manufacturing OR before they ship parts that can be replicated/duplicated to the band/engineer/producer.

What other services for mastering were you gonna provide?
Gawd, you're such a fucking prick.

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