Last Friday’s email got quite the reaction from readers.
Some people wrote in telling me that something similar had happened to them, or their friends.
Others questioned the usefulness of my Soundcloud idea. Because after all, if you can listen to it over the internet you can just pull up Audacity or something and record the whole thing over the internet.
That thought had crossed my mind but I refuse to believe people would actually resort to trickery like that just to screw over another human being.
I’m naive like that you see.
However, my readers aren’t so naive and they offered two really great options of their own.
Christopher Burke writes in with a great solution:
“Insert an artefact – a bleep – every X seconds into the mix you show him and say the only way to get the bleep free version is to pay what he owes first. I’m pretty sure by the time he’s tried to edit every bit of every bleep out of the mix you show him – especially if you put an underlying sound between the bleeps in as well – he’ll pay up. There’s just no way of getting all of the artefact out of the sound file AND leave your piece of music unchopped – I’ve tried this one on one of my tracks and it works. I couldn’t get all of the artefact back out again, anyway. (I know you know this – don’t centre-pan the artefact or the voice removal trick could get rid of it, if it’s an instrumental track!)”
That’s a great tip. It’s like the audio version of the watermarks you see over copyrighted photos.
Glen Stephan commented on Friday’s post with some other options on mixing over the internet that could interest you:
“- Letting the client hear/have only a portion of the mix as the proof copy – enough for him/her to determine whether the mix is acceptable or what needs to be commented on and worked on, but not enough for them to use as a whole final product. For example, maybe :30 to 1:00 of a 3:00 song, including enough of a sample verse, bridge and/or solo for them to be able to tell who the overall mix actually sounds.
- Once they give the green light on the sample mix, get their (verified) full name and physical contact information (more than just an e-mail addy), and include that info on a printed invoice/agreement/estimate including full price quote that they then have to approve before you continue. You have to do that with your automobile mechanic, so why not with your audio mechanic?
- Requiring a partial downpayment along with the above agreement is a way of ensuring you don’t walk away peneyless at the end no matter what. Usually not necessary, butwise with a client with a potentially dodgy reputation.”
His point about the mechanic is a great one. Why should engineers have to jump through all these hoops to prove themselves ”worthy” of these bands(some whose music just plain sucks)? And when time for payment comes, they try to rip you off in unimaginable ways.
Of course, that’s not true for most bands. Most people are honest, and so are most musicians. But make no mistake that you are running a business if you are charging for your services. That needs to be clear up front. Like Glen said, you wouldn’t take your car to the mechanic and ask him to “test-fix” the car so you could trust him to do it.
Room for Improvement
Just like with any profession in the world, you need to improve your skills to make it up the ladder. A junior surgeon doesn’t just jump into the OR to do heart transplants. He makes his way up to that. And he does so through lots and lots of hard work and training.
If you want to improve your mixing skills so you can become a surgeon in the studio, check out Dueling Mixes with Joe and Graham. This service guarantees that you’ll get better mixes through their experience.
Learn from the REAL surgeons of online audio. Click the link to get started:
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