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How to Guarantee You Will Always Get Paid For Your Mixes


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.

Click here to check it out.

 

Image by: George Jonathan


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About me

About Björgvin Benediktsson

I’m Björgvin Benediktsson. I’m a musician, audio engineer and best-selling author. I help musicians and producers make a greater impact with their music by teaching them how to produce and engineer themselves. I’ve taught thousands of up and coming home studio producers such as yourself how to make an impact with their music through Audio Issues since 2011.

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LEAVE A COMMENT

  • Thanks for this great post. Really makes sense to use soundcloud with the commenting thing. But really, this sort of things happen nearly to every customer actually. Even if it’s not being able to receive payments it is usually delayed payments and all that sort of stuff

  • Thanks for this great post. Really makes sense to use soundcloud with the commenting thing. But really, this sort of things happen nearly to every customer actually. Even if it’s not being able to receive payments it is usually delayed payments and all that sort of stuff

  • Other options include:

    – 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.

  • Other options include:

    – 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.

  • Björgvin Benediktsson

    Good comments guys, and yes I agree. Why shouldn’t engineers get the same treatment as your mechanic.

  • Björgvin Benediktsson

    Good comments guys, and yes I agree. Why shouldn’t engineers get the same treatment as your mechanic.