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Commercial Studio Owners: when does the clock start and stop?
Old 25th January 2013
  #1
Lives for gear
 
Rob Coates's Avatar
 
19 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Commercial Studio Owners: when does the clock start and stop?

Haven't done any real commercial work for years, so am uncertain about when to start the clock and when it stops. Does it start when the client walks in the door, with mic set up, gain staging, trouble shooting etc. all included? If there is some glitch with gear or cables that needs to be fixed during tracking, does the clock stop for something like that? Is time spent for things like burning a disc for the client to take home billed as well?
Old 25th January 2013
  #2
Gear Maniac
 
🎧 5 years
Although I don't own my own studio space, I'd be tempted to say I would start jus before the setting up. You can charge somebody for that but not for packing down.
Old 25th January 2013
  #3
Gear Addict
 
Nerine's Avatar
 
🎧 10 years
We charge by the day.
10am till 6pm usually.

What gets done in that day gets done. What doesn't. Doesn't. Simple.

Setting up drums, mics, etc is on the bands time. Not mine.
Old 25th January 2013
  #4
Gear Guru
 
chrisso's Avatar
 
🎧 15 years
In the places I've worked there is generally some give and take.
Many places have 'usual suspect' drum mics ready to go - just move into position. At the same time, I'm happy to help pack away at the end, and be charged for the time it takes to pack away.
Trouble shooting I'll pay for to a small extent, but if the trouble shooting is more often than not a fault in the studio, I at least expect down time to be tagged on to the end of the session.
Old 25th January 2013
  #5
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steveswisher's Avatar
 
🎧 5 years
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso ➑️
In the places I've worked there is generally some give and take.
Many places have 'usual suspect' drum mics ready to go - just move into position. At the same time, I'm happy to help pack away at the end, and be charged for the time it takes to pack away.
Trouble shooting I'll pay for to a small extent, but if the trouble shooting is more often than not a fault in the studio, I at least expect down time to be tagged on to the end of the session.
I really just try to be fair with the client and always tip the scales slightly in their favor. I start the clock once they show up for the session and stop the clock when I've handed them their mix. If there's mechanical issues or computer problems I'll round down at the end of the session. I will drop 15-30 minutes off so they feel like they got some free time. Talk it thru before and after with the client so there's no questions later on.
Old 25th January 2013
  #6
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McPhaul's Avatar
 
1 Review written
🎧 15 years
Their's always a bit of play but generally the clock starts at the time scheduled and stops at the end of the session.

examples of play:

1. client shows up 30-45 minutes early to loading in drums etc. GREAT! clock starts at the scheduled time and we've already got drums in the house.

2. client shows up at the scheduled time to start loading in drums. clock starts at the scheduled time and we don't really start doing anything for the first 30 minutes other than help the band load in.

3. some piece of my gear/cable/etc goes down and we spend X minutes tracing/replacing/fixing. That time is not billed.

4. some piece of the clients gear/cable/etc goes down and we spend X minutes fixing it. That time IS billed.

5. sometimes though I may have 2/2.5 hours in something but only bill for 1. If the week is slow and the client is broke????? sure we can do that.

Just remember that you have to be fair to the studio owner, the client and yourself for the time.
Old 25th January 2013 | Show parent
  #7
Gear Guru
 
🎧 15 years
Quote:
Does it start when the client walks in the door, with mic set up, gain staging, trouble shooting etc. all included?
yes yes yes
next to the performances themselves, "setting up" is the most important part of getting a good sound. If the client does not understand this, educate them.

I am among those who don't charge for pre-session load-in. If someone is bringing their own drums and gets there before the scheduled start, me and my machines are not "working" yet is how I look at it.

Quote:
If there is some glitch with gear or cables that needs to be fixed during tracking, does the clock stop for something like that?
"pausing" the clock for "my fault" downtime is always noted and appreciated by the client. They should never have to ask for that, IMO. Fair is fair.

Quote:
Is time spent for things like burning a disc for the client to take home billed as well?
it can be very annoying when the client wants to burn 12 CDs and tries to "settle up" with you first when you both know you are going to be there for another hour!

I too, tend to 'round down', so one CD is not going to change the bill.


Quote:
Originally Posted by McPhaul ➑️

Just remember that you have to be fair to the studio owner, the client and yourself for the time.
and when you yourself are the studio owner, that's 2 to 1!
Old 25th January 2013
  #8
Lives for gear
 
Rob Coates's Avatar
 
19 Reviews written
🎧 10 years
Thanks for all these responses. Very helpful! I think I was planning on being way too generous with my time.
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