Recently this audio engineer I know got burned by a complete @-hole musician.
This musician(who shall remain nameless because I’m not sending any traffic his way) had his song edited, vocal-tuned and mixed by the engineer. And then when it was time to pay, he said he wasn’t using his mix and had no obligation to pay.
What a complete (insert favorite derogatory term here)
Turns out he makes this a habit. Making engineers do work for him and then skimping on the payment. It makes my blood boil.
You gotta understand.
This is a principle matter to me, and something everyone should be aware of.
Always. Get. Paid.
Never, under any circumstance, release complete sessions before you get paid. You would think giving the client an mp3, or a rough mix would deter him or her from screwing you over. As it turns out, many artists are completely fine with “good enough” to put on their Reverbnation page. Even a rough-mixed low-quality mp3.
In fact, I would advise that if you have a bad feeling about a session or an artist, ask for money upfront. Either the full amount or some percentage of what you think is fair.
However, if you want to be absolutely sure you won’t get screwed over ever again, here’s a recent trick I figured out to outsmart the unethical artist.
Use Sound Cloud
Soundcloud is the perfect way to have your client listen to your mixes. Especially if you’re mixing over email.
Step 1 – Upload – You can easily upload a lossless WAV file to Soundcloud, enabling your client to listen to high-quality audio. proof your highest quality mix.
Step 2 – Make it Private – You can simply give the musician you’re working with a private link so only he can listen to it. That way you don’t publish a rough mix of something he might not like to the public.
Step 3 – Get Feedback – The thing I absolutely love about Soundcloud is the comments tool. It allows the musician to give exact feedback on the waveform so you know exactly what(and where) he’s talking about. That way the feedback is clearer and there’ll be fewer misunderstandings.
I prefer this method because I don’t have to worry about my work being stolen, and it actually gives him a better way to give me notes for further revisions. It’s win/win really.
Get Better at Mixing and Get More Work
Obviously these problems happen very rarely. But they do happen, as I’ve mentioned above. But no worries anymore if you use the win/win situation I’ve just told you.
However, this rare situation shouldn’t deter you from getting out there to get more mixing work.
If you need help on your mixes, subscribe to Dueling Mixes for an in-depth double look from 2 amazing audio engineers, with a new mix to tackle and learn from every month.
Image by: George Jonathan