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What to charge for live recordings?
Old 26th February 2011 | Show parent
  #31
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joelpatterson's Avatar
 
2 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
"Fool proof," now that's one phrase I've learned to dread... mainly because I am continuously astonished at the creativity, sense of enterprise and determination of the fools I run into.
Old 26th February 2011 | Show parent
  #32
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RobAnderson's Avatar
 
15 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
Quote:
@Thomas, I definitely agree it'll have to be superb quality. That's why I designed the system so I didn't have to mix anything during the duration of the show. The extent of the difficulty will be pressing the "record" button and "stop" when the show is over, and many glance to make sure nothing's crashed. The 16 direct outs are all pre fader, pre eq, pre mute switch. All the signal ever hits on the Yamaha is the A/D and head amp. If the signal is low to the computer, I can adjust an attenuation knob on the direct outs, so i don't even have to mess with my mix. So long as I'm not messing with the HAs every two seconds, it's just like having a split from the snake. No matter what I do in the mix, to monitors, effects wise, or whatever, I can't mess up the signal to my computer.
I hate to say this, but there's often a lot more to getting a "superb quality" live recording than just taking direct outs from a house board. I am not trying to rain on your parade - the recordings will probably turn out OK, but not monitoring what you are recording is generally taking a bit of a chance.

For instance: you won't really know if you have bleed problems, or if the elements are playing well in the mix together, or if you need to make a mic adjustment to get a better sound. These are things you can address when you are focused on doing the recording. However, if you never hear these issues while the gig is happening, you will be doing a lot of "fixing in the mix" later, which to me generally means a compromised recording.

Just because you are able to get the mix happening at FOH does not necessarily mean that it will work when you try to mix it as a record.

I am also going to guess that if you are using an M7 console that there will be a number of acts that present more than 16 inputs. In these cases you will either have to submix things or lose them altogether.

And you will definitely want a pair of crowd mic's. I guess you could hang a pair of mic's, run them to the recorder through a dedicated pre so that you don't have to use up outputs from your M7.

Just my 2-cents. It's worth exactly what you are paying for it...
Old 26th February 2011 | Show parent
  #33
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hbphotoav's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson ➑️
"Fool proof," now that's one phrase I've learned to dread... mainly because I am continuously astonished at the creativity, sense of enterprise and determination of the fools I run into.
True that. I would only add that I occasionally also personally contribute to the pool of fools... much to my dismay and to Mr. Murphy's glee... it's his law, you know...
Old 26th February 2011 | Show parent
  #34
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🎧 15 years
I encourage the OP to go right ahead and do what he said he wanted to do the way he said he was going to do it. He will learn pretty straight away what his approach buys him and what it won't, and get some good hard live recording experience along the way. I applaud his enterprise at finding a way into an EXTREMELY crowded market, doing enough homework to find a way to do what he wants in a way that makes sense for the economics of the situation. In any case, the bands etc should be grateful for these recordings, made by someone who is committed to making their way as music recordist in terrible economic times. Good luck.

phil p
Old 26th February 2011 | Show parent
  #35
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🎧 15 years
There are two factors involved in a fee 1. the amount the seller wants
to charge and 2. the amount that the client is willing to pay.
Old 11th March 2011 | Show parent
  #36
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🎧 10 years
Sorry to bump my own thread, but I've been doing some test runs lately and will give you an mp3 to check out the quality.

It turns out it's far, far easier for me to do it if I'm doing front as well, just because of the way the setup is. However for the most part, it works exactly the way I want it to - press record and leave it be. I think some of you are still not grasping the way the system works. The direct outs are all pre EQ, pre HPF, pre effect. I am doing absolutely zero mixing and zero EQing for the recordings on site, all the mixing happens later with all 16 channels available. Whatever I do with my FOH mix does not effect the tracking process whatsoever. Sometimes I will have to groups some channels into a submix, but the M7 has 24 submixes available so I don't think that's a problem. Also, I can buy another card and expand to 24 channels once I make some money.

Here's the link
http://www.mediafire.com/?c4dk237oubw907a

The first sample is from a band called As I Lay Dying. They're some big metal band. I tracked them to help out a production company filming them to supplement their camera audio, but also put together this quick little mix for my own fun. It came out pretty good, except that in the hustle I missed a patch on the second guitar... whoops! That's fine, in later productions I'll have more time to do that patching, as this was a last minute thing. Btw, hardcore vocals may sound cool live, but they sound goofy recorded

The second sample is a local band. Smaller setup, very easy to mix. Plus, it's much closer to the kind of music I enjoy...

These recordings are without the crowd mics, I just haven't bothered to set them up yet.

Overall, the setup gives me what I want: workable tracks to mix later and the ability to press record and forget about it. I'm more than happy with the quality, and I think it exceeds most of the dedicated recording studios in the area (we only have like three truly good ones). I'm close to drafting up the legal language and begin selling the service.

Thanks everyone!
Old 11th March 2011 | Show parent
  #37
Gear Head
 
🎧 10 years
I suggest finding another place to post your songs rather than making everyone wait to listen and forcing them to download. Take a look here: http://soundcloud.com/dashboard I didn't wait to listen. If you get them reposted there let me know. I love hearing live club recordings. Take a listen to some of mine here if you like (with no waiting): http://soundcloud.com/richard-king
Old 11th March 2011 | Show parent
  #38
Here for the gear
 
🎧 10 years
Fine, I put it on my personal website. No waiting.

http://www.welcomestrangersband.com/setupsample.mp3

Keep in mind these aren't finished, just basically a "proof of concept" type thing.
Old 12th March 2011 | Show parent
  #39
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mingustoo's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JEGG ➑️
OK-From your first post, I was about to tell you why your financial model was seriously flawed, and that you were asking to be taken advantage of.

This information changes everything. You are really too overburdened with your other tasks (!!) to reliably deliver a professional recording, and thus charge professional rates.

At the same time, if you charge "non professional rates" (whatever that means: cheap, I guess), you are asking to be taken advantage of.

You will regret your undervalued recording being used for promotional use of the band, and relying on file and product fees is doomed to, again, being taken advantage of. Do not depend on file and product sales! You and your client don't really have control over what happens to the files when they are broadcast, ripped from a CD, etc. You should be paid for your time and work. People have money for what they want to spend it on. And, your "cheapie" recording is not going to represent you well at all.........

I'm not sure what to tell you. Perhaps not to do it. Or, if you want to make a professional recording, do that, and not all of your other duties on that day.

It will be very hard for you to be in the middle, I think. Either do the engineering or do the other stuff.

what he said...been there, done that
Old 12th March 2011 | Show parent
  #40
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🎧 10 years
I dont think anyone who has no interest in recording a live gig to begin with is going to be enticed by $75.. The difference between a price like $75 and $150-200 isnt going to create a market that isnt already there.. certainly if you did gain the odd person at $75 i dont think that gain would offset the difference in profit enough to make it worthwhile.. I think $200 or less and you are talking about the same market.
Old 12th March 2011 | Show parent
  #41
LX3
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🎧 15 years
From time to time I've been approached by a support band at a gig where I'm recording the headline, and asked if I can record their set as well.

It may well involve a repatch. It will certainly involve changing my preamp gains. It'll require my concentration during their set. I'll have to spend time copying it to a hard drive. And it probably means myself and my assistant will miss dinner.

But occasionally, if I've liked the band, and there's been no risk to a successful recording of the headline, I have agreed to do it.

But then we'll discuss payment. I mean, there is a fair effort involved on my part, AND it means going without food, AND I am providing upwards of $30k in gear to make it happen. So it's got to be worth something, right?

I've sometimes offered to do it for $100-$150 or even less, yet every band has turned the offer down. It suggests to me that bands place no value on a live multitrack recording, unless recording their gig was their intention before they arrived. "You're here already, right? How difficult is it to just press record for our set? Why do we have to pay anything for it?"

Maybe it will work out differently for you, but that's been my experience. I now don't even bother getting into those discussions. I record the act I was booked to record and no more.
Old 12th March 2011 | Show parent
  #42
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LX3 ➑️
From time to time I've been approached by a support band at a gig where I'm recording the headline, and asked if I can record their set as well.

It may well involve a repatch. It will certainly involve changing my preamp gains. It'll require my concentration during their set. I'll have to spend time copying it to a hard drive. And it probably means myself and my assistant will miss dinner.

But occasionally, if I've liked the band, and there's been no risk to a successful recording of the headline, I have agreed to do it.

But then we'll discuss payment. I mean, there is a fair effort involved on my part, AND it means going without food, AND I am providing upwards of $30k in gear to make it happen. So it's got to be worth something, right?

I've sometimes offered to do it for $100-$150 or even less, yet every band has turned the offer down. It suggests to me that bands place no value on a live multitrack recording, unless recording their gig was their intention before they arrived. "You're here already, right? How difficult is it to just press record for our set? Why do we have to pay anything for it?"

Maybe it will work out differently for you, but that's been my experience. I now don't even bother getting into those discussions. I record the act I was booked to record and no more.
Luckily, repatching on the M7 is as easy as pressing the touch screen a few times. It takes about a minute overall, I don't have to physically move any cabling, and I don't even have to bend over. And since each band has it's own preset page, all the HA gains are stored from sound check. The M7 allows me to cut out a lot of the annoying stuff that would normally be involved.

The idea is that I won't have to "sell" the service to bands every night. The service will be offered during the booking process, and they can take it or leave it. If they don't like the price, then they don't have to take it. Ideally, I'll know way ahead of time whether they want to record or not.

But I understand bands are poor. This is why I think a budget option of one song would be handy. It's much easier for a band to commit $10 or $15 bucks for a song than for a whole performance.

And while I agree with pretty much everything you say, c'mon "copying it to a hard drive" makes you miss dinner? I just drag and drop the files onto a USB stick, it takes about 40 min or so for a hour long performance. I'll go have a beer or roll cables. Beer counts as dinner
Old 13th March 2011 | Show parent
  #43
LX3
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🎧 15 years
9 times out of 10, having to stay on site for the support's soundcheck and performance means we don't eat. We're usually on-site around noon, working solidly until the headline finish soundchecking, then escape maybe 6pm while the support soundcheck, eat, back in the building half way through the support act and ready for the headline's line check.

Admittedly, we're generally doing fairly big shows.

If you're running FOH in a club situation then you don't have the option of disappearing for the support act anyway!

My point was that, even if you offer to do recordings at bargain rates, many bands will say no. I'm as surprised about that as anyone.

And even if they agree, the amount of time you spend negotiating with them over the recording and even the minimal time and effort you put into making it all happen and delivering them the multitracks (are they going to pay $100 for a hard drive? Are they going to bring their own?) makes it nothing but hassle at that price.

If the aim of the excercise is to build a reputation, then I think you might as well do it for nothing and cut out all the hassle of having to take money off them. Band can bring their own hard drive or memory stick.
Old 13th March 2011 | Show parent
  #44
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by LX3 ➑️
I've sometimes offered to do it for $100-$150 or even less, yet every band has turned the offer down. It suggests to me that bands place no value on a live multitrack recording, unless recording their gig was their intention before they arrived.
thats exactly the point i was making in my last post..

To the OP, being $75 aint going to attract people who were already interested in the 1st place.. And the person who says yes at $75was going to say yes for $150 or $200 also because they want the recording done firstly and in those lower price ranges its not really a deal breaker for them if its $75 or $150.
Old 13th March 2011 | Show parent
  #45
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by slondo1 ➑️
The idea is that I won't have to "sell" the service to bands every night. The service will be offered during the booking process, and they can take it or leave it. If they don't like the price, then they don't have to take it. Ideally, I'll know way ahead of time whether they want to record or not.

But I understand bands are poor. This is why I think a budget option of one song would be handy. It's much easier for a band to commit $10 or $15 bucks for a song than for a whole performance.

And while I agree with pretty much everything you say, c'mon "copying it to a hard drive" makes you miss dinner? I just drag and drop the files onto a USB stick, it takes about 40 min or so for a hour long performance. I'll go have a beer or roll cables. Beer counts as dinner
personally i think $15 makes it look almost like a joke.. the type of thing you are selling doesnt appeal in the same way cheap chinese plastic junk appeals to people in big department stores.. prices like that wont have the same effect of generating volume.. Its a different type of mindset and cheaper isnt strictly going to be viewed as good.

Id like to hear how you go down the line with your approach. Im not trying to discourage you, if you think its going to work you gotta give it a crack but i would like to hear how you go just for interest sake..

Also i know what LX3 is saying about missing dinner.. When you are mobile and you need to setup its WAY more taxing than if you are permanently set in house.. by the time youve spent all afternoon setting up for a headline band, the last thing you want to do is record a support band for nothing and miss your only chance to have dinner and breath a bit before you are back at it again..
Old 13th March 2011 | Show parent
  #46
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Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Musicians are spending less and less money towards getting things recorded especially at clubs where they may only be making a pittance for their musical efforts. Many bands have paid good money to get a recording only to wind up with something that is not professional in anyway. I know one band that paid a couple of hundred dollars to get themselves recorded at a local club only to find that the "engineer" hung two microphones over the front of the band and recorded that onto a CD recorder. Not the best sound available. They were super pissed and unfortunately they had paid the "engineer" in advance. When he handed them the CD after the gig they had no way of auditioning it and it was not until they were back in their car did they hear the awful mess they had paid for.

If a band or artist gets burned like this once they are usually NOT going to go for another recording.

I still applaud your efforts but make sure you go into this with your eyes wide open.
Old 14th March 2011 | Show parent
  #47
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🎧 10 years
If there is a steady flow of opportunities, maybe pick a price and see whether you get any takers. If you get regular takers, raise it progressively to meet demand, and of course the opposite if nobody is interested.

Reading the thread quickly I don't think anyone's raised the matter of whether you want to place any restriction on what's done with the recording later? In the unlikely event that the band release it on CD on a major label down the track and it's a huge international hit, are you in for a cut?

I ask because I've just had a curious experience. I've taken out a subscription to Sony's "Music Unlimited" service at peanuts per month. You can search and play freely from a catalog of about 6 million tracks. I searched for a favourite jazz piece, and noticed that among the hits was a version by a well-known UK jazz pianist I used to do free recordings for, for many years, starting something like 30 years ago. I played his version - and you guessed it, it's my recording from all those years back. And there's a couple more of mine on his CD. No actual legal reason why he shouldn't use them, though a free copy would have been a courtesy. In this case, it'll sell in the hundreds I guess and he's not actually going to get rich from my efforts way back, but you do have to watch out for that sort of thing.

(And I bet the CD doesn't have any blurb saying that those tracks were recorded and mastered on 4-track cassette!)

More generally when listening to those 6 million tracks I do rather wonder whether there's the slightest point in recording track number 6,000,001 - but that's another whole subject, though maybe it explains why bands might not put much value on having their gigs recorded.
Old 14th March 2011 | Show parent
  #48
LX3
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🎧 15 years
If I've any advice, I'd say aim relatively HIGH with your price, and give them a superlative product and service. Don't skimp on those room mics. And I think you're going to need the extra 8 tracks.

If you low-ball, you'll be shocked how an apparently simple deal can turn into a ton of hassle. I also wouldn't like to say you'll get any more work at $50 a gig than at $200 per gig.

Plus it's always a good idea to start high and negotiate downwards if necessary. There are very few ways of starting with a low price and negotiating it upwards.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slondo1 ➑️
@Thomas, I definitely agree it'll have to be superb quality. That's why I designed the system so I didn't have to mix anything during the duration of the show. The extent of the difficulty will be pressing the "record" button and "stop" when the show is over, and many glance to make sure nothing's crashed. The 16 direct outs are all pre fader, pre eq, pre mute switch. All the signal ever hits on the Yamaha is the A/D and head amp. If the signal is low to the computer, I can adjust an attenuation knob on the direct outs, so i don't even have to mess with my mix. So long as I'm not messing with the HAs every two seconds, it's just like having a split from the snake. No matter what I do in the mix, to monitors, effects wise, or whatever, I can't mess up the signal to my computer.

It's an astoundingly simple, fool proof setup, yet still gives me 16 channels 24-bit 44.1khz... I love living in the future, lol :-D
So are you tracking with the same mixer you're running live or is this a separate rig off a split? Once in a while, I get asked to do the same thing at "another bar in Lexington, KY"! lol. I think your plan is great. I'd love to be able to sell USB drives of the show as folks are leaving, but wouldn't that require a separate system? Cheers!
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #50
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9 Reviews written
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by JKGill65 ➑️
So are you tracking with the same mixer you're running live or is this a separate rig off a split? Once in a while, I get asked to do the same thing at "another bar in Lexington, KY"! lol. I think your plan is great. I'd love to be able to sell USB drives of the show as folks are leaving, but wouldn't that require a separate system? Cheers!
you are over a decade late
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pencilextremist ➑️
you are over a decade late
Oops... Story of my life. lol
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #52
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🎧 10 years
I haven't read every entry in this thread, but I've read a lot of them.

Most seem to think in terms of how much a customer (client) is willing to pay, but there is a converse to this, which is, how much are you prepared to work for?

There are times when I've felt that it's been better to stay home than to work for too little pay. Once you've worked for too little, it's difficult to quote properly for the job, and it's often not appreciated anyway.
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff Poulton ➑️
There are times when I've felt that it's been better to stay home than to work for too little pay. Once you've worked for too little, it's difficult to quote properly for the job, and it's often not appreciated anyway.
One of my first employers told me to always charge more than everyone else because it encourages people think that you are better than the competition even if you are not, and that it allows you to avoid the customers who will nickel and dime you to death.
--scott
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #54
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🎧 10 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by kludgeaudio ➑️
One of my first employers told me to always charge more than everyone else because it encourages people think that you are better than the competition even if you are not, and that it allows you to avoid the customers who will nickel and dime you to death.
--scott
One of my early mentors in free-lance work (photography, at that time... but it carries well into audio freelancer-y) made mention of the "Wince Factor" ... to wit:

"If your client, especially after checking references and/or a demonstration, upon hearing your initial pricing for their first job, doesn't wince, draw in breath, and say "Hmmmm ... wellll... oooooh... I don't know"...

You didn't ask for enough.

And, if you don't know what other providers in your field with similar training, experience and gear pack are, on average, charging for similar work... one can easily lose money by asking outside the envelope and not ever hearing from them again. This can happen either because you were seriously over the market value and considered a "gouger", or are considered a beginner/lowballer if it's seriously under market.

One final thought... once you establish yourself in a market at a price point... It's way easier to knock a few dollars off to accommodate a client "in need" than it is to attempt to raise rates in general if the initial cashflow isn't sufficient to keep yourself going.

Ain't self-employment in freelance endeavors fun!

I can honestly say I've enjoyed nearly every aspect of the past 50 years of (mainly) self-employment. Until Covid. That hasn't been at all enjoyable... and I never even had the bug. But... into each life some caca must present itself. And life goes on.

Cheers, Keep Calm, and Carry On!

HB
Old 3 weeks ago | Show parent
  #55
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1 Review written
🎧 5 years
funny how things have changed since the opening post...
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