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How did you get youre first budget?
Old 18th February 2003
  #1
Lives for gear
 
ProFool's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
How did you get youre first budget?

After doing a lot of work for free and people taking the profit of it I’m sick and tired of it
I'm always ripping my pants that way
So i decided not to do any project without a budget!

NOW’s the big question how did you get you first budget?
Anyone had the same problem the first years you started
Recording art?
Anyone kick't somebody out who was fooling around with you?


I’m curious
Old 18th February 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
PlugHead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
FWIW,

Take charge, and come up with a "bottom line" to do a project if the band/individual can't make their own budget. Base it on a realistic amount of time for the material to be recorded. I regularly work with finite resources (non-profits - dance/theatre...) and give my bottom line to do a project. If I didn't, I would also feel taken advantage of, and that is no way to feel when trying to finish a project...
Old 18th February 2003
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well, when I hung my shingle out I had an hourly rate attached to it. Things just kind of snowballed from there and then the sun came out and melted the snow away.
Old 19th February 2003
  #4
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
As an intern / junior engineer, I suggested to a band that was friendly with another, more advanced band booked in to the studio by a record co, that I could get cheap rate time with myself as engineer and that I would earn co-producer status for turning up at their rehearsals for a pre prod & song arrangement look see. I made it clear that I was into their music and would be 'more than just an engineer' by working with them on harmony, & counterpoint melody & arrangements.

At rehearsals the bassist, said bluntly, 'Jules we play it, you record it' !! He didn't want any 'suggestions' (and it was fine career he went on to have later as a house painter) Anyhow from those sessions I went on to produce more demos for junior acts and got a lot of work from the leader of that band who roped me in on a lot of co-production work over the following years.

Basically I put myself up for the job as producer - I bluffed it.

Still do!

heh
Old 19th February 2003
  #5
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dave-G's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Define "Budget"!!

Jay's metaphor is a beaut! For me, I almost always work for less upfront cash than I should, just because producer(s) and artists I work with often negotiate a lot of the hourly realism out of the deal as a matter of course before we begin. The past year or so has been tough in terms of drawing a hard-line in this regard... However, I try to use contracts for everything I do for less $ than I should, to ensure that I get a piece of the equity in the project, if only to recoup what I would have billed. and then a point or two, etc...

The last time I got paid purely what I wanted, was doing ad music. You guys would hate me for some of the crap I helped put in your heads over the years.

-dave
Old 19th February 2003
  #6
Gear Addict
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules
Basically I put myself up for the job as producer - I bluffed it.

Still do!

heh
I hereby bestow on you the honorary title of Nashvillian.
Old 19th February 2003
  #7
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by dave-G
Define "Budget"!!

Jay's metaphor is a beaut!
Thanks. I should also say that the only way the budgets have gone up is when I got calls from people with more money to spend. I'm still trying to get more of that. I am turning away a lot of trash for cash sessions. Yeah, I might make a few hundered bucks or maybe another $1500 a month but it's not worth it.
Old 19th February 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
ProFool's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Thanks guys for the tip's.

My main goal is to give local young talent a chance to be heard, and of course make a living, but ive noticed that i scare them off a little when i start talking about the financial side and most of the times they have no budget at all , but just want a demo.
What i like to ask Plughead can you tel me a little more on how you draw the bottom line for a project?
Can you explaine it a little more please?

Thank you
Old 19th February 2003
  #9
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
Gotta charge em something or they wont take the procedure seriously enough!

Old 19th February 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
ProFool's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I completely agree with that, Jules

I learned my lessons and will do anything to avoid more disappointments. Guess lots more to learn!!!

Like dealing with deadlines
In my experience I learned my mixes are not the same when there's a lot of pressure involved.
I like to have enough time getting the best possible result.
Do you guys find it difficult to get things done on time?
Sorry I’ve changed the subject a little but I guess a lot of things (especially the result )depends on time and money.
Old 20th February 2003
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by ProFool

In my experience I learned my mixes are not the same when there's a lot of pressure involved.
I like to have enough time getting the best possible result.
Do you guys find it difficult to get things done on time?
Sometimes but not usually. I prefer mixing at my studio if I can because I know the room better and if we need to take an extra day or two to remix a song that didn't come out well there's no concern over the budget like there would be if we're at another place paying a few hundered to $1000 a day.
Old 21st February 2003
  #12
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
I tend to use up as much time as I have. On a self imposed "no limits" spec deal tthat means FOREVER!

I NEED deadlines or stuff just draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaags on..

It a major problem I struggle with for my spec deal acts.

I spent 5 weeks "chipping away" session here, session there on a 3 song project! THAT WAS TOO LONG! (still, the UK industry buzz on the act right now is large as a result.. so............? )

Old 21st February 2003
  #13
Lives for gear
 
ProFool's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jules

(still, the UK industry buzz on the act right now is large as a result.. so............? )

as a result BUDGET so GOOD PLANNING IS THE DEAL . Am i right?

thanks all
rollz
Old 21st February 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 
PlugHead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
ProFool,
I think one of the differences is that I "write" budgets - big difference. This is how I work it... YMMV

My bottom line varies from project to project: For instance, when working for a non-profit group, I charge 1/2 my hourly rate, and give an in-kind donation for the other half. On other projects where I am producing for self-financed demos, or sometimes albums, in lieu of cash for production fees, I will negotiate points on sales - (read a bit about this: it involves paperwork/contracts...) variable with the scope/budget of the intended project. When I do commercial work for "paying" clientele (gov't, business/commercial) I charge my full rate.

If the person or group that chooses to approach you are self-financed, you had better negotiate your pain and suffering, or you'll be shooting yourself in the foot later. Anyone serious enough to record professionally better check out what you do, and where: have them see the facility, listen to your production roster, and then judge their keenness. See if they expect you to pay your bills with their "product" - let them know pro gear is not cheap, and the studio has to pay for itself with income - either as cash, or as trade. I've traded studio time/performer's fees for massages, business card design/print, construction, session musicians, you name it. Bartering/trade is a good thing!

Draw up a timeline to do projects: as Jules so appropriately pointed out, make deadlines or else things can drag on forever. Learn to make budgets - you're a business (I hope!). Guage your work accordingly, draw up a "wish-list" budget, and then pare down to a barebones one. Take the "barebones" (bottom line) budget you HAVE TO GET, and add 10-25 % on top for overruns. That is my "bottom line." That translates to studio time estimate, session musicians, materials/rentals - anything else you absolutely need to not get in the red on the project. Take that to the client, and see if you can talk. Remember, it is an ESTIMATE - if the project goes over, you will have to renegotiate for the overruns (barter, cash, points, etc) but you will get better at realizing the time it will take for each new project, and keep on top of it's progress, stating to the client that they risk blowing the budget if they get unfocussed (20th background gtr part early on in tracking tutt)

too late to think - music festival weekend here, and I'm starting to ramble. Sorry for the tardy reply - hope this helps: good luck!
Old 21st February 2003
  #15
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
"[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jules

(still, the UK industry buzz on the act right now is large as a result.. so............? )

as a result BUDGET so GOOD PLANNING IS THE DEAL . Am i right?"

I dunno who is right! My rambling point was that I spend far to much time on paid & unpaid sesssions. As a producer I charge by the song not by the day.

I feel foolish about it frequently!



Old 21st February 2003
  #16
Lives for gear
 
PlugHead's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
To Jules...

I am curious,

As a producer, you charge by the song (as do I for commercial releases), but I also assume your studio gets billable hrs. too? If not, how do you work that when you are producer/owner of your own facility?

Thanks,
Old 21st February 2003
  #17
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
At my studio:

Me producing - per song charge including studio time.
Engineer associates hiring studio - with assistant - per day or per hour charge

At outside studio:

Me producing - per song charge + outside studio hire costs.

(once in a while I track at a larger facility - but always retreat back to my place for overdubs & mixing)

So in theory I COULD do a one song production and spend one year doing it and only make the same money as for completing it in one day. In reality I chose how long to work on stuff. In the 3 years I have been running my own business, I am pretty sure not one band has been disappointed about the amount of time spent, I am generous. This is because I feel that the better the product leaving my studio , the better acts I will get coming to it in future. I want access to 'the good stuff'.


HOWEVER!! MANY TIMES projects have DRAGGED... on for too long.. For example working only weekends or just one day a week can be lead to this. THIS is one area I struggle with. It is a drawback of my all inclusive charge.
Old 21st February 2003
  #18
Lives for gear
 
ProFool's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
As Plughead says: Learn to make budgets - you're a business (I hope!).

Well I’m still improving my studio bit by bit, its going to take me a while to actually open as a business if it ever wil, IM not sure right now! As the finance to realise it is having some latency.
So now IM doing small projects, taking my pt everywhere I need to, take it back home for editing pre mix and etc., then take it out to another studio to mix but IM always on deadlines that way.
IM gonna be more comfortable when my own room is finished
But that seems to take ages, doing everything on my own, no outside support (family, friends)
Maybe iv convinced my father to help me on a loan, throwing out someone earlier this week got him to think a little more about my plans, I made him realise you cant open a restaurant without a kitchen! As he is in Horeca bizz al his life.
As in my case without a descant set-up, room, contracts and the right people to work with, IM not getting anywhere!
So maybe there is something on the way for me. Lets hope I guess.


Thanks everyone, you guys really helped me getting a clearer view on the bizz.
Old 21st February 2003
  #19
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules

HOWEVER!! MANY TIMES projects have DRAGGED... on for too long.. For example working only weekends or just one day a week can be lead to this. THIS is one area I struggle with. It is a drawback of my all inclusive charge.
I won't do the one or two day a week thing. I make it known that since everything is setup they can move in for a week and we can get more work done over the same amount of hours. If that's no good then I'll charge more or move them to an hourly thing.
Old 23rd February 2003
  #20
Gear Addict
 
mixer's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Jules
"
Quote:
Originally posted by Jules

(still, the UK industry buzz on the act right now is large as a result.. so............? )

as a result BUDGET so GOOD PLANNING IS THE DEAL . Am i right?"

I dunno who is right! My rambling point was that I spend far to much time on paid & unpaid sesssions. As a producer I charge by the song not by the day.

I feel foolish about it frequently!



money is important and we all need to be compensated for our talents and knowledge...but in any business there must be risk..and without professionals taking a risk on projects they believe in no new and creative music would ever get recorded. nothing foolish about that!!!!!!
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