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

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Post by @?,*???&? » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:39 pm

subatomic pieces wrote:
@?,*???&? 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.
No, not at all. I'm being realistic and you're being sensitive.

Acute listening is simply not taking place anymore. The DAW format has allowed for it. No matter what he used at mastering, the kid is gonna come back and say one of two things- 1. I like it, it sounds good or 2. I don't really hear a difference. Neither response will necessarily say the kid understands what just took place.

This puts the mastering guy in the position to have to pitch his case and justify what's been done. That's about sales and nothing more. If the kid agreed to $50 a song and the engineer didn't respond after he was paid, there's a problem.

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Post by Bro Shark » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:45 pm

My guess is you just slammed an L2 plugin and were done with it.
I think that, and the suggestion that the ME doesn't try or care about the quality of his work, was the prickish part.
Acute listening is simply not taking place anymore. The DAW format has allowed for it.
Another generalization that assumes people are dumb, or poorly equipped to make good decisions. In other words, a knee-jerk assumption of incompetence. Prickish.

Other than that, @?,*???&?, I thought your post made some good points that got lost in the above unfortunates.

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Post by chris harris » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:48 pm

@?,*???&? wrote:
subatomic pieces wrote:
@?,*???&? 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.
No, not at all. I'm being realistic and you're being sensitive.

Acute listening is simply not taking place anymore. The DAW format has allowed for it. No matter what he used at mastering, the kid is gonna come back and say one of two things- 1. I like it, it sounds good or 2. I don't really hear a difference. Neither response will necessarily say the kid understands what just took place.

This puts the mastering guy in the position to have to pitch his case and justify what's been done. That's about sales and nothing more. If the kid agreed to $50 a song and the engineer didn't respond after he was paid, there's a problem.
Well, first of all, the engineer wasn't paid for mastering. But, that doesn't excuse ignoring the emails.

But, that's got nothing to do with why you're such a fucking prick.

Your lame, delusional posturing about your professional credentials and your FUCKING OFFENSIVE ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT ANYONE WHO IS NOT YOU are the things that make you a fucking prick and a COMPLETELY USELESS CANCER ON THIS COMMUNITY.

STOP FLINGING SHIT!
BAD BAD BAD MONKEY!!!!!!

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Post by @?,*???&? » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:05 am

Not to sidetrack, but here's a list from C.L. Reese writing for Manta.com on mistakes that small businesses and small business owners make:

Mistake No. 1: Not Being Reliable Or Predictable

No matter what you may offer in terms of products or services, your customers rely on you to maintain a certain level of predictability and reliability or product quality. Being inconsistent can lead to lower sales and disappearing clients.

MistakeNo. 2: Failing To Communicate If Things Go Bad

Things can go wrong at any time, as we all know. But you must communicate to clients or customers anything that can cause an unavoidable disruption, a noticeable drop in product quality, or make you miss deadlines, etc. You don't want them to become spooked.

Mistake No. 3: Watch What You Say

Make sure that the words in your marketing messages (online or off) match what you actually do or sell. As the old phrase goes, "Say what you mean and mean what you say." Using hype can lead to charges of fraud or false advertising.

Mistake No. 4: Admit Your Mistakes
Don't think your customers are so dumb that they'll never notice the mistakes you have made, no matter how small. This means that when you do make a mistake, acknowledge it, fix it and move on. Don't dodge clients by not answering e-mails or ignoring negative blog comments.

Mistake No. 5: Watch With Secrets You Keep

It's natural as a small business person to want to keep as much of your proprietary or business information private as possible. While customers are protective of their own privacy, they are expecting more and more transparency from the people they do business with. Use your website to host all your public business information for easy client access.

Mistake No. 6: Hiding Your Business Size

Don't pretend to be bigger than you really are. Frequently, people choose to do business with smaller companies because they feel such organizations are more responsive to their needs or are more authentic.

Mistake No. 7: Failing To Say 'No'

As entrepreneurs, it's difficult for us to turn down opportunities. After all even the most conservative of business people have a bit of risk taker inside them. But a common mistake we all make is taking on too many projects at once. Accept your limitations and try not to promise more than you can deliver. Focus on your strengths. Use e-mail and other web technologies to help manage your projects and coordinate delivery schedules and other activities between your customers and you.

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Post by leigh » Thu Apr 07, 2011 11:58 am

@?,*???&? wrote:Not to sidetrack...
Don't try to be coy, sir. You are all about the sidetrack, and thereby never responding to questions or comments that are directly addressed to you.

Until you explain your insulting assumption that the ME just "slammed an L2", no one is going to listen to what I'm sure are some very salient points about best practices for small business.

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Re: Client wants to "part ways", won't pay for mas

Post by Gentleman Jim » Fri Apr 08, 2011 8:51 am

Pardon me for getting back on topic.

willyk wrote: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????
What I have is a bunch of thoughts that are based on assumptions. Those assumptions may be incorrect, and if so I apologize in advance.

What was the point of having him "remind [you] Tuesday?" That sounds like you were blowing him off, or delaying to make some kind of power play. Possibly a douche move, IMHO.

He's already paid you $50/hr for 16 songs worth of recording, his mom - who has 4 other kids, as well as maybe having a job or two - drives him 90 minutes each way, and you can't make some samples to send over email?! I'd already have told you to take a hike. That struck me as a total power move, so you can get him on your turf to make the sale. Not cool.

Your post make it sound like you consciously didn't answer his emails for 4 days. This happened immediately after he said he was happy with the rough mixes and didn't see a reason to pay you $50/hr to remix. That's fucked. This guy just paid you a lot of money - in cash and at the end of each session! - and at the first sign that the gravy train might not roll on as long as you'd like you leave him hanging. Keep in mind that the time following recording is probably the most excited most people are about their project. Compound that with the fact that he's 18, and this was the time to disappear?! More power play douchebaggery. Or, to give you the benefit of some tiny doubt, you're pouting because you mentally banked that mixing money before it happened. Either way, not something I'd want to be known for.

The first time he was impatient, (before he decided not to remix), you found his persistence admirable. Once you realized there was only another $800 in this project for you, you had a problem with the temerity of an 18 year old to (correctly) question your professionalism in this instance. And the reason it "[rubbed] you the wrong way" is because you knew he was right. Funny, you didn't seem too turned off by the prospect of that 18 year old having high standards when it meant he was paying you promptly.

Unless there's some other story about how he's been badmouthing you around the internet, or leaving flaming bags of poo at your front door, it sounds to me like he's been the one who's taken the high road at every step of this process. Mind you, this is only based on what you've written here, so I might not have the whole story.

Wise words? Sure, I have some wise words. Treat others as you would like to be treated. Think about what your clients' situations are before you ask them to conform to every one of your conditions, or if that doesn't work, don't take them on as clients. Be nice. Try to see things through other people's eyes.

And, as much as it pains me to say so... :lol:

READ THAT POST THAT JEFF PUT UP ABOUT HOW TO RUN A SMALL BUSINESS.
There's some good stuff in it.

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Post by Waltz Mastering » Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:55 am

Unless you have at track record that proceeds you, having someone hear a sample of your work is not out of the ordinary.

It's also common for any business to get a financial commitment (50%) deposit before any work would begin.

Seems there was a communication break down in that there was no deposit for the work but it was done anyway and that the client was not satisfied with the work.

Lesson?

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Re: Client wants to "part ways", won't pay for mas

Post by willyk » Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:47 am

Gentleman Jim wrote:Pardon me for getting back on topic.
Thank you. First off, I do think that I made the mistake of not emailing him back, and that it is expected that once there is a sample, it should be sent to client. Got it. I'd like to chalk it up to a learning experience.

I did not master these tracks, but the Mastering Engineer at the studio did. This was a client of mine, and we had a good relationship so I was interfacing between the ME and the client.
He's already paid you $50/hr for 16 songs worth of recording, his mom - who has 4 other kids, as well as maybe having a job or two - drives him 90 minutes each way, and you can't make some samples to send over email?! I'd already have told you to take a hike. That struck me as a total power move, so you can get him on your turf to make the sale. Not cool.
I understand your point, but no power moves here. I agree 100% I should have sent him a sample. I was literally too busy during this time. Working all day, then recording all night.
Your post make it sound like you consciously didn't answer his emails for 4 days. This happened immediately after he said he was happy with the rough mixes and didn't see a reason to pay you $50/hr to remix. That's fucked. This guy just paid you a lot of money - in cash and at the end of each session! - and at the first sign that the gravy train might not roll on as long as you'd like you leave him hanging.
This is where I will accept your apology for an incorrect assumption, but I see how you might see it this way. I had a period of time where I was working 15-16 hours a day. He never booked time with me during this time, so I was just exhausted when I came home each night. I never meant to blow him off. If he had booked time during this period ahead of time, I would have had it done.

This was a project that was admittedly painful to record sometimes because of the musical quality, and lyrical content... But nonetheless I gave it my all and treated him as anyone else who walks into my studio. Sometimes it's those little unexpected projects that make a big impact, so even though I might have been secretly rolling my eyes at times when he is rapping about shooting, stabbing, or anything else, when I KNOW he is actually a nice kid, I always worked as fast as I could while giving his vocals the best possible treatment.


Keep in mind that the time following recording is probably the most excited most people are about their project. Compound that with the fact that he's 18, and this was the time to disappear?! More power play douchebaggery. Or, to give you the benefit of some tiny doubt, you're pouting because you mentally banked that mixing money before it happened. Either way, not something I'd want to be known for.


The first time he was impatient, (before he decided not to remix), you found his persistence admirable. Once you realized there was only another $800 in this project for you, you had a problem with the temerity of an 18 year old to (correctly) question your professionalism in this instance. And the reason it "[rubbed] you the wrong way" is because you knew he was right. Funny, you didn't seem too turned off by the prospect of that 18 year old having high standards when it meant he was paying you promptly.
Once again, I have to correct you. I knew in advance he didn't want to remix. I never had a problem with that. I never wanted to milk him, or any other client for that matter, for money that they don't want to spend. The music was admittedly hard to listen to, but I am grateful for the work it brought and most importantly wanted to give the kid a great experience, which was the case until the Mastering debacle.
Treat others as you would like to be treated. Think about what your clients' situations are before you ask them to conform to every one of your conditions, or if that doesn't work, don't take them on as clients. Be nice. Try to see things through other people's eyes.

And, as much as it pains me to say so... :lol:

READ THAT POST THAT JEFF PUT UP ABOUT HOW TO RUN A SMALL BUSINESS.
There's some good stuff in it.
Absolutely. Thanks Jeff for the post. I read it. Yes yes and yes.

Lastly, I am discouraged by the amount of responses in general that are geared towards putting people down or in their place. Some people seem very quick to try to make others look bad. IMHO it is a waste of time and a turn off. I have records to make. For those who are trying to help, even with some tough advice, thank you. I hope to gleam what I can off these and filter out the rest.
Will Kahn.

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Post by willyk » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:37 pm

Waltz Mastering wrote:Unless you have at track record that proceeds you, having someone hear a sample of your work is not out of the ordinary.

It's also common for any business to get a financial commitment (50%) deposit before any work would begin.

Seems there was a communication break down in that there was no deposit for the work but it was done anyway and that the client was not satisfied with the work.

Lesson?
Yes. Agreed 100%
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Re: Client wants to "part ways", won't pay for mas

Post by Gold » Fri Apr 08, 2011 2:40 pm

willyk wrote: so even though I might have been secretly rolling my eyes at times when he is rapping about shooting, stabbing, or anything else, when I KNOW he is actually a nice kid,
There is a term you should learn. It's called "show business".

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Re: Client wants to "part ways", won't pay for mas

Post by Gentleman Jim » Sat Apr 09, 2011 2:53 pm

willyk wrote:[This is where I will accept your apology for an incorrect assumption, but I see how you might see it this way.


Lastly, I am discouraged by the amount of responses in general that are geared towards putting people down or in their place. Some people seem very quick to try to make others look bad. IMHO it is a waste of time and a turn off. I have records to make. For those who are trying to help, even with some tough advice, thank you. I hope to gleam what I can off these and filter out the rest.
Apology made. I'm glad my assumptions were incorrect.

I don't know if people are generally geared toward negative responses here. I'll speak for myself and say that the way your original post was written really made me think you were a clueless dude with major attitude. You seemed to offer all the information that would lead people to be sympathetic to your client, but no information that would lead us to be sympathetic to you. Since we don't know you, we have nothing but your words to work with.

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Re: Client wants to "part ways", won't pay for mas

Post by willyk » Sat Apr 09, 2011 8:16 pm

Gentleman Jim wrote:Apology made. I'm glad my assumptions were incorrect.

I don't know if people are generally geared toward negative responses here. I'll speak for myself and say that the way your original post was written really made me think you were a clueless dude with major attitude. You seemed to offer all the information that would lead people to be sympathetic to your client, but no information that would lead us to be sympathetic to you. Since we don't know you, we have nothing but your words to work with.
Thanks, you have been a gentleman indeed. I would agree that people are not generally geared towards negative responses, I just manage to always find those who are, imho. There is a huge wealth of knowledge that can be found on this forum, for that I am grateful.

In my original post my intention was to share both sides of the story... but bottom line, I got what I asked for. Thanks again.
Will Kahn.

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Re: Client wants to "part ways", won't pay for mas

Post by signorMars » Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:45 pm

willyk wrote:

I had a period of time where I was working 15-16 hours a day. He never booked time with me during this time, so I was just exhausted when I came home each night. I never meant to blow him off. If he had booked time during this period ahead of time, I would have had it done.
It's a little late now, of course, but taking 45 seconds to write a quick reply to the guy saying EXACTLY this would have probably saved you the business. People are, for the most part, understanding. Just let him know "Hey! I've been really busy, working 15-16 hours a day, and haven't had a chance to get a clip ready for you, but I haven't forgotten about you and I will have that file for you on Monday." Probably would have defused the whole situation. And if it didn't, you wouldn't have as much reason to second guess after the fact.
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Post by cjogo » Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:51 pm

We always get paid at the end of each session --- never even hand them a CD without exchanging $ .... just been at the studio biz for so many years>> guess I learned the hard way ~~ back in the 70/80's.
whatever happened to ~ just push record......

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Post by Gentleman Jim » Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:29 pm

Yeah ≈≈≈ I often ˝˝ tell friends of mine  about bad experiences I?~~ had years ago so that they might √Ω?√ benefit from my experience.

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