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Methods of $$ payment collection you Use in your Studio??
Old 30th May 2003
  #1
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Methods of $$ payment collection you Use in your Studio??

Greetings all-

I'am almost ready to open my small home studio, and I'm a bit puzzled about how I should take payment, charge and collect from my clients.

A few people I've talked to suggested taking half up front, and collecting the remainder later. Only problem with that is one cannot usually predict the "Actual" amount of hours they will be using.

Another suggested I make up a contract with three or four payment options/methods. Pay by day, half up front remainder later, payment in full up front ( plus or minus later expenses), and payment in full at the end of the project.

I guess i have some qualms about each , mainly what if they dont pay at all, or ditch in the middle of a project etc.

What would you guys suggest, and how do you protect yourself from non paying clients?

Thanks for the advice in advance!!

Dano
Old 30th May 2003
  #2
Lives for gear
 
imacgreg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
We like to have deposits when the booking is reasonably long term. Otherwise, we don't let any audio or data leave the building until the invoice is paid in full. As long as we stick to that, we dont get burned.

Ian
Old 30th May 2003
  #3
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Ditto on that. Nothing leaves until we get paid. No cassette copies. Not a CD with a 1khz tone every 30 seconds. Nothing.

Get as much as you can up front and the rest when they get there or at the end of the day. It's rare that I'll let someone book time without a deposit. Usually it's because they've been here before but even still I want enough to cover their tape costs which are usually 5-10% of the projects budget. I also don't have an hourly rate, it's by day or a flat rate for the whole project which makes things a bit easier to figure out.
Old 30th May 2003
  #4
Jax
Lives for gear
 
🎧 15 years
An aluminum softball bat to the knees is usually pretty effective in getting them to pay up!



... (j/k)
Old 30th May 2003
  #5
Founder
 
Jules's Avatar
Nothing leaves until we get paid...

Unless it is a major music or TV lable / company and there has been a "Purchase order" faxed in advance. These jokers take a month or so to pay and need 'reminding'. TV co's are much better than music co's in my experience.
Old 30th May 2003
  #6
Gear Head
 
🎧 15 years
Hey thanks for the input all!!!

I really appreciate all your help. Jay- What do you consider a Full day? As far as charging a day rate, you mentioned its easier that way. How many hours are you constituting as a full day rate, or a half day rate?

That sounds like a good idea. And as far as releasing any material- does include releasing even ruff mixes, or cds of basic tracks as well?

Thanks again, you guys have all helped incredibly.

PS-- The baseball bat idea will be useful as my backup or as some call it the good ole' "collection agent" lol

-dano
Old 30th May 2003
  #7
Lives for gear
 
blackcatdigi's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
1. All sessions are considered tentative until deposit is received
2. 50% (of estimated total) required for deposit to reserve time
3. Remainder due in full at end of session
4. Nothing is released until balance is paid in full (Nothing means nothing...)
4b. No Exceptions to 4
5. Any unpaid balance will accrue interest after 30 days at highest rate allowed by law
6. Any project not paid in full after 6 months becomes property of studio. Client forfits any and all rights of ownership.

"I have read and agree to all of the above ___________________X__,__,2003"

Works for me.

p.s. Beware invoicing independent labels after delivery of masters... I've been burned. No more. See #4 above. No exceptions.
Old 30th May 2003
  #8
Lives for gear
 
subspace's Avatar
 
3 Reviews written
🎧 15 years
I've always had the same payment routine. At the end of each day's session, I total the hours and get paid in full. Then I give them their roughs, mixes completed, whatever. If they didn't bring enough to cover it, they take home nothing and any future dates are unbooked until I'm paid in full.
The only exception to that is multi-day lock-outs where they leave their gear set-up in the studio overnight. I let them pay on the last day booked each week in that case. Obviously, I hold on to the "collateral" until we're square.
The one time I got burned in eight years, I was doing some work for a friend of the family and didn't follow my own policies. Never again.
HTH
Old 30th May 2003
  #9
Lives for gear
 
davemc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I do it like subspace..
Pay on the day or no CD...
Deposit would be nice, no one else around here does it that I know off... The blow out weekends the night before are rather annoying...
Old 30th May 2003
  #10
Lives for gear
 
imacgreg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dizzlano

That sounds like a good idea. And as far as releasing any material- does include releasing even ruff mixes, or cds of basic tracks as well?
No ruff mixes, nothing. I just got burned myself. A former intern recorded at the studio and since we know him, we let some rough mixes go before he paid his bill. Turns out my rough mixes were good enough for him. The album was recorded in February/March and I haven't seen a dime. They even ended up releasing a demo with one of the roguh mixes on it and they credited me with mixing it. So now, there is a rough (and I mean rough, they weren't even planning on mixing at our studio) mix with my name on it floating around...

Ian
Old 31st May 2003
  #11
One with big hooves
 
Jay Kahrs's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Originally posted by Dizzlano
Jay- What do you consider a Full day? As far as charging a day rate, you mentioned its easier that way. How many hours are you constituting as a full day rate, or a half day rate?

That sounds like a good idea. And as far as releasing any material- does include releasing even ruff mixes, or cds of basic tracks as well?
A full day is 8 to 10 hours. I don't work more then 10 unless everyone is feeling good and we're on a roll. That's pretty damn rare, most people hit the wall in 8 to 10 hours. Also, the engineer is going to put in at least another hour and a half per day without the clients there to open up and turn the gear on, plus shut down at night.

Releasing material? Nothing means just that. Nothing. Not a damn thing except the memory of hearing it in the control room.
Old 31st May 2003
  #12
Lives for gear
 
davemc's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Well yeah the 8-10 hour day seems to be all I can do in digital chop up land.. I used to do 12+ hour days so much easier when you did not have to look at a screen all day. I got a Control24 so I could turn the screen off, hardly ever do...
Fricken 4 char shannelstrips annoy me endlessly.
Old 3rd June 2003
  #13
Gear Addict
 
Jeremiah Sheets's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
They even ended up releasing a demo with one of the roguh mixes on it and they credited me with mixing it. So now, there is a rough (and I mean rough, they weren't even planning on mixing at our studio) mix with my name on it floating around...
Sounds like slander to me, Ian. Make an example of these people; they're ruining your reputation, and in turn, your business.
Old 4th June 2003
  #14
Lives for gear
 
imacgreg's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
I guess I could be mad at them, but after thinking about it for a while, I didn't ask them to not make any copies and/or distrubute them. The guys in the band and I became good friends during the recording and I just found out that the band is going to pay through some sort of a payment plan. I would think that I am lucky tho, most bands would be off and running. I sorta jumped the gun getting all pissed, but it had been 5 months without even hearinf from them...

Lesson Learned: No matter what, don't ever let anything out the door without some dough in hand.

Ian

Oh yeah, the music was sorta grunge/slop rock like the Hives or Vines, etc. so maybe my rough mix is what was needed, ha.
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