going freelance...any tips?

Discussion in 'Tape Recorders' started by jimbo_baby84, Jul 21, 2005.

  1. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    hi guys, i've decided on trying to do some freelance work while i'm still building my own studio, but i'm not really sure exactly how the proceedure works. the studio i used to work in didn't really have any freelance engineers come in, so unaware of the basics. for example, once i have a band interested, do i just approach a studio of my choice and say i'd like to bring a band in and run the session? does one of their staff have to be there to supervise? are there any standards or bits of etiquette i should be aware of?

  2. rudedogg

    rudedogg Guest

    always cleanup your crap after. i can't tell you how many sessions i've been in where i am searching for a stupid headphone adapter, or a power supply to a 48v box that was misplaced by the last guy.

    also, bring your own firewire drive (or better have the band buy one and bring it), and leave the studio in better condition than you got it, and you may soon be getting phone calls to do more work there.

    good luck,

  3. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Be professional. This should seem obvious but being professional in the recording business entails a couple of things.

    1 - Look and act professional. This means getting business cards made if you need to. Bring a copy of your past work to show you are not just some kid or hobbyist who can't hack it on their home gear and want to get their grubby hands on the good stuff. Show them you have a client base. They are gonna want to know "What can this guy bring to the table for us?"

    2 - Be willing to compromise. Be flexible. But don't bend over backwards for them. You are a professional. If something sounds fishy or you feel you are being treated unfair speak up. Negotiate price with them. Give them a reason why you should pay less for studio time than a normal client and sometimes they will cut you a discount. You have to make money too!

    3 - Be a leader. When bands come in you have to set the tone in the studio. If a young band comes in and wants to goof around you have to lay down the law. You have to be their "Daddy" so to speak. There is no better attitude adjuster than reminding the young lads that this is all coming out of their pockets. They are paying for the studio's time and your time but that doesnt give them the right to disrespect anyone or their equipment or facility.

    4 - Referrals. There are gonna be some jobs you can't or won't wanna do. Refer those jobs to the studio. They will love you for it. They will probably cut you a deal on the next session you want to do there.

    5 - Division of labor. Offer them a sort of partnership. Tell them you want to track and mix some projects but you would love to hire out one of their guys for the mastering phases. Every studio I have been to and freelanced at loves this idea. It guarantees them something extra in return on every project.

    There are more I'm sure and I will post them when I think of them.
  4. jimbo_baby84

    jimbo_baby84 Guest

    thanks for the replies! some really good stuff there! what sort of discount off their client price should i be getting? and before the first session i do there would they show me around and give me a run down of the desk, patchbay etc?
  5. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Mar 24, 2005
    That should be stickied.
  6. RAIN0707

    RAIN0707 Guest

    Before the first session they should be eager to give you a rundown of their pathbay's, consoles, and any other signal-flow issues that may not be common knowledge. If they don't do this without you asking I would think twice about you working there. It's a sign that they are only interested in your money and don't really care too much about the projects you are bringing in or the final product you are creating.
    As far as a discount goes. That is really dependent on a lot of things.

    1 - amount of projects you are bringing into their studio each month (kind of like how buying in bulk is cheaper)

    2 - What the current price is for a normal client. Obviously if their rates are rock bottom to begin with and barely pay their rent each month sometimes then there isn't much room for a price deduction but then again see number 1.

    3 - the amount of time it takes you to complete these projects from start to finish. A studio always wants to have its facilities available for THEIR employees, so if you work in a timely manner and offer to come in when they have downtime (kind of work around their schedules when mixing and such) I'm sure they will be negotiable in giving you a cut on the price for using their facilities.

    4 - The quality of product that is coming out of their studio. Sometimes a studio won't put their name on a stamp of approval for a project you did in their studio. If a recording is crap they have that right since none of their engineers contributed or worked on it. Creating projects that just show how good this studio is and how nice the final product sounds is more advertising for them. Word of mouth is still the #1 marketing tool in the recording business IMO. Make something that they can be proud to back you up on and give their stamp of approval too.

    Just some more thoughts.
  7. KungFuLio

    KungFuLio Guest

    Charge what you're worth!

    Charge more work less...

    Don't forget to enforce a PITA rate.
  8. Massive Mastering

    Massive Mastering Well-Known Member

    Jul 18, 2004
    Chicago area, IL, USA
    Home Page:
    T-Shirts with kick-a$$ audio gear. Manley, Crane Song, etc.

    Always inspires confidence...

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