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What kind of deposits are you asking for studio time?

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by ironsheik, Apr 16, 2004.

  1. ironsheik

    ironsheik Guest

    I am just curious as to what all you studio people get in the way of deposits and what your terms are in that regard. I got screwed over twice this Winter and it really hurt. Both projects were scheduled when I first started the biz and I just didn't plan them well enough. I would have kept any deposit I got and done OK otherwise.

    Is 50% too much? It seems like 25% on anything 2 days or more is fair but I'm not exactly sure anymore what people expect. Then any cancelation within a week of the dates forfeits the deposit. Good enough?

    Thanks!

    Josh
     
  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Old established clients with a good credit rating from us NO DOWN PAYMENT

    Someone calling on the phone arranging mastering time- two hours time billing. This does two things it lets us know if this person is serious if they send us the money and if they don't show allows us to have some money for the time that we were holding for them.

    The biggest problem with scheduling that we face is someone calling and requesting mastering time - we normally reserve a 6 hour time block. Then they call 10 minutes before the session saying that they cannot make the appointment because their car broke down or their dog ate the CDs. (or they never show up and never call). Luckily we do a lot of restoration work so we can do that instead of the mastering but it is still time and money lost. With a down payment at least we are not out the total amount. If the client reschedules then we apply that money to the new session. After two no shows or late cancellations we deposit the money and we renegotiate the fee for next mastering session.

    If your client is buying block booking time it is not unreasonable to ask for the total amount for the time that they are saying they are going to use.

    Hope this helps.

    -TOM-
     
  3. I never hold time or start a session without a 50% deposit. I also offer very good discounts for full payment up-front. This saves me a lot of time chasing non payers. I mainly sell in multiples of 10 hr days. If you're good and care about what you do, then people will trust you. If you do a bad job - be prepared to offer extra time to make good. That's how I started and I now have one of the best studios in England and it's rock solid.
     
  4. I never hold time or start a session without a 50% deposit. I also offer very good discounts for full payment up-front. This saves me a lot of time chasing non payers. I mainly sell in multiples of 10 hr days. If you're good and care about what you do, then people will trust you. If you do a bad job - be prepared to offer extra time to make good. That's how I started and I now have one of the best studios in England and it's rock solid.
     
  5. Hemophagus

    Hemophagus Member

    50%

    I ask for a 50% deposit in order to start the recording sessions. The remaining 50% when the work is finished.
     
  6. MikePotter

    MikePotter Guest

    I get 1/3 at time of scheduling, 1/3 upon arival, the final 1/3 before any material leaves the studio, even a very rough mix. The short sessions where someone calls and needs 2 hours "tomorrow" - I don't even schedule them unless I'm going to be at the studio anyway and already have something else to do, or unless they pay in full in advance.
     
  7. ironsheik

    ironsheik Guest

    Thanks for all the advice guys.
    I think the best thing to do for short hourly stuff is just to say that I don't work for less than at least 4 hours. Anything less and I still get paid the same. I haven't had anyone complain yet.

    J
     
  8. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    So you are basically doing "block" booking?

    It really does not apply to the work I do...mastering... but it is a way of telling the client that you are planning to do something that day for them and they need to budget for at least four hours. What do you do if the client does not use that amount of time?

    I get a lot of people that what me to do mastering on one or two songs and since most songs take between 30 minutes and 45 minutes to master them would only take me about 1.5 hours so block booking for me does not work too well.

    I recently had a potential client call me up and wanted me to do mastering for 28 songs and he had to have it done TODAY. That would amount to a 14 hour plus day and he called about 10 am in the morning. I asked him what format the material was on and he said "ADAT" when pushed a bit more he said the stuff needed to be mixed first and then mastered. He also informed me that the stuff was due at the duplicators the next day and that he did not have a great deal of money to spend. He inquired about my rates and after hearing my rates he told me that he could afford me for about two hours.

    I felt sorry for this person but told him the truth which was " it is not going to happen and I think you need to call the duplication plant and tell them it will be while, then you need to find someone who can mix your stuff down and do a good job on it and then come to me for the final mastering which should be spread over a couple of days since any session over about 6 hours is exhausting from a physical as well as mental standpoint not to mention ear fatigue". You also need to "get some financing from somewhere whether it be a loan or a second mortgage on your house"

    I have not heard back from this person but I wished him well and hope he is heading what I told him.

    A lot of musicians seem not to understand that just because they have invested a lot of their free time in a project does not mean that others will be willing or able to provide "free" time on their project and that they will have to come up with some real money in order to complete the project in a professional way.
     
  9. Lagerfeldt

    Lagerfeldt Guest

    50% on projects for people I don't already do business with.
     

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