#1
(Warning: Really Long story in need of your opinions, thanks in advance)
I live in the Southern US, and I have a friend, let's call him A.L., who moved 21 hours away recently. We're both 17, and the past 4 years we've been getting better at guitar and writing and recording music. I've taken care of mixing duties so far, and only over the past 6 months gotten good enough to actually get a good mix. So we have 1 song that's done, and everyone we've showed it to loves it. Other songs that we've played have also been received very well by others, "Dude I would so buy your albums" and stuff like that. (I guess you could call it pop rock, but I don't like the term pop). We have about 3 other songs half recorded, and about 10 others that are written completely but need arranging and recording. All of these has been done in our bedroom studios, nothing fancy.

Here's where it gets interesting:

A.L. met a couple guys that have a recording degree and have their own studio they run and do mixing/mastering for low prices. He said he's heard their stuff and it's amazing, definitely pro quality (I trust his word, but I still need to hear it). A.L. played our finished song for them and an unfinished one, and they were surprised at how good it actually sounded, but it still needed work (I'm no pro, I'm still learning). These offered A.L. this:
If I send them the stem tracks for "recorded song 1" they'll mix/master it for around $30 USD, or free (I can't remember what A.L. said). If we don't like it, we won't use them. If we do like it, we have the opportunity to track our own material at home (we collaborate over skype now that we don't live by each other), send the stems for them to mix and master in the studio, and they'll do 6 songs for $200 USD. We can release it independently on facebook or something to test the waters and get our name out there.

If we like it, the guys said they could sign us for our next album, and they'd take care of promotion and distribution. I haven't talked to them yet, I'm going to over skype to get the details, and I won't agree to anything until I've met them in person and discussed it thoroughly. If we do sign:

Then in the summer, I'd fly/drive up to where he lives, record in A.L.'s house for a couple weeks and send the tracks to the studio, where A.L. will record his vocals (they have better mics) and they have a session drummer that can do a drum track, as opposed to SuperiorDrummer which we've been using so far. They'd mix, master, print/distribute/promote and I don't know what happens after that.

What are your thoughts on this, Pit? I'm going off to college in southern Texas this fall semester, and I think A.L. wants to move there as well. I can't exactly tour while in college can I? I'm new to this, and don't want to get screwed over, but I can't see myself mixing and mastering everything and distributing it.

What kind of questions do I need to ask, what info do I need?
Will the studio own any copyrights? Thanks if you've actually read this far.
Quote by WCPhils
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Last edited by OfCourseNot at Feb 5, 2012,
#3
Do the guys have references? Have they worked on professional projects before? Do they have anything to give you reason to believe that signing to them will actually benefit your band more than it will their so-called label?

If any of these questions are answered with no, then don't do it.
#4
Just make sure that you don't sign anything that says "sine on this line, everything that r belong 2 u r belong to us nao."
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Art & Lutherie
#6
Read everything they get you to sign. Most record labels will just financially rape you.
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#7
Quote by captainsnazz
I'd say try them out of mixing, but don't got for any sort of record deal. You can do the promotion and distribution yourself nowadays, you don't have need for a label.

This is what I would say unless you're SURE that they'll do agreat job for you.
#8
Quote by captainsnazz
I'd say try them out of mixing, but don't got for any sort of record deal. You can do the promotion and distribution yourself nowadays, you don't have need for a label.


Alright, so suppose I go ahead and send them the stems. Do I need some sort of signed contract before letting them do this one song first? I don't feel comfortable just letting them have the tracks that we've only let a few people hear so far. My friend is all excited over this and wants to start monday, but I don't know if starting so soon is a good idea.
Quote by WCPhils
According to that chart, women like men with a Pringle canister down there.
Michael Kelly Patriot Glory
Ibanez RG8
Blackstar HT 20 w/ Jet City cab
whole bunch o' pedals
#9
Until you know every single detail and have gotten a music lawyer to look at the contract, then your user name is the answer to whether or not you should agree to this.


#10
In the 'protecting your intellectual property' realm, when you send them the first stems, they should sign an NDA (prepared by you) saying they won't use this song idea themselves or release this song idea to anyone else. You should also prepare an agreement saying that whatever musical idea you have in basic form is yours, and that any mastering duties they take up are done under a contract and that you are not wielding any ownership of your information.
Quote by denizenz
I'll logic you right in the thyroid.

Art & Lutherie
#11
Quote by Banjocal
Read everything they get you to sign. Most record labels will just financially rape you.

This... Triviums last record sold about 30k copys and the bands singer/guitar player made 1,3$ from the sold records.
#12
Quote by darkstar2466
In the 'protecting your intellectual property' realm, when you send them the first stems, they should sign an NDA (prepared by you) saying they won't use this song idea themselves or release this song idea to anyone else. You should also prepare an agreement saying that whatever musical idea you have in basic form is yours, and that any mastering duties they take up are done under a contract and that you are not wielding any ownership of your information.


How would I create/phrase such a document? I like the idea and I'll do this before sending anything, but I don't know what all to include and what tense/point of view to use/how to set it up.
Quote by WCPhils
According to that chart, women like men with a Pringle canister down there.
Michael Kelly Patriot Glory
Ibanez RG8
Blackstar HT 20 w/ Jet City cab
whole bunch o' pedals
#13
Quote by OfCourseNot
How would I create/phrase such a document? I like the idea and I'll do this before sending anything, but I don't know what all to include and what tense/point of view to use/how to set it up.

I'd imagine you could find examples on the internet that you could base it off of.
#15
Alright, so say I write up a contract. Since we're both minors, do we need a parent to sign it as well? So we'd have

My signature, my dad's signature, A.L.'s signature, his mom's signature, and the signatures of the two guys who own the studio? And would I have to mail the contract or does faxing/emailing it back to me with their signatures for me to sign count?

It would need to say the following things, yes?

1. We own all rights to the song and its structure, melody, and lyrics.
2. The studio will receive payment of $X after the song is completed
3. The studio owns no rights to the song, cannot distribute or sell it in any way

Anything else?
Quote by WCPhils
According to that chart, women like men with a Pringle canister down there.
Michael Kelly Patriot Glory
Ibanez RG8
Blackstar HT 20 w/ Jet City cab
whole bunch o' pedals
Last edited by OfCourseNot at Feb 5, 2012,
#16
Should I also include something about if I don't like the mix I don't have to pay? Or is that acceptable?
Quote by WCPhils
According to that chart, women like men with a Pringle canister down there.
Michael Kelly Patriot Glory
Ibanez RG8
Blackstar HT 20 w/ Jet City cab
whole bunch o' pedals
#17
Quote by OfCourseNot
Should I also include something about if I don't like the mix I don't have to pay? Or is that acceptable?



It's acceptable. just make them redo it untill you like it.
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#19
If something is too good to be true, it is. These guys are running a studio, not a label.

How many other acts do they manage?
How much profit retention do they want?
Will you work as an artist or work-for-hire?
Who retains the rights to the songs?
Will the sessions drummer be paid up front, royalties, or both?
What type of recoup costs will you have?
Is it a distribution deal? production deal? 360 deal?
What type of promotion will they do?
How effective has any of there other marketing campaigns been?
How many artists under them are currently touring/turning a profit?
Last edited by Nirvana_RATM2 at Feb 6, 2012,
#20
Quote by CoreysMonster
Do the guys have references? Have they worked on professional projects before? Do they have anything to give you reason to believe that signing to them will actually benefit your band more than it will their so-called label?

If any of these questions are answered with no, then don't do it.

yeah this. doesn't sound like they actually run a label. if you like their mixing work, by all means use them for that, but don't go any further.
#21
http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=the%20problem%20with%20music&source=web&cd=1&sqi=2&ved=0CCMQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.negativland.com%2Falbini.html&ei=VyAwT_SwDIqe0QXn6JmtCA&usg=AFQjCNFPrQdAeFX091F_1lnn1jLpY4qGKQ
These A & R guys are not allowed to write contracts. What they do is present the band with a letter of intent, or "deal memo," which loosely states some terms, and affirms that the band will sign with the label once a contract has been agreed on. The spookiest thing about this harmless sounding little memo, is that it is, for all legal purposes, a binding document. That is, once the band signs it, they are under obligation to conclude a deal with the label. If the label presents them with a contract that the band don't want to sign, all the label has to do is wait. There are a hundred other bands willing to sign the exact same contract, so the label is in a position of strength. These letters never have any terms of expiration, so the band remain bound by the deal memo until a contract is signed, no matter how long that takes. The band cannot sign to another label or even put out its own material unless they are released from their agreement, which never happens. Make no mistake about it: once a band has signed a letter of intent, they will either eventually sign a contract that suits the label or they will be destroyed.
Last edited by Zoot Allures at Feb 6, 2012,
#22
I went ahead and sent off the stems of the first song to be mixed and mastered to see what he can do with it. I've heard some of his work now and it's really good, definitely pro quality. As for signing, that won't be for at least half a year to a year until it's on the table again, so by then I'll be able to do more research and get a music lawyer or something. Thanks for all the replies.
Quote by WCPhils
According to that chart, women like men with a Pringle canister down there.
Michael Kelly Patriot Glory
Ibanez RG8
Blackstar HT 20 w/ Jet City cab
whole bunch o' pedals
#23
What is all this contract nonsense?

Look TS, don't worry about the touring and promotion yet. The most important thing you need to do is to submit your music to the copyright office BEFORE you send them the stems. Looks like you may have already screwed up one time on that. Don't do it again.

If things go well, then you can worry about the rest. But it's a long way between getting a couple of tunes mixed/mastered and actually touring (ending with a deficit no less). So don't get ahead of yourself right now. Get this opportunity to just have a couple of professional quality tracks.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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#24
Quote by OfCourseNot

If I send them the stem tracks for "recorded song 1" they'll mix/master it for around $30 USD, or free (I can't remember what A.L. said). If we don't like it, we won't use them. If we do like it, we have the opportunity to track our own material at home (we collaborate over skype now that we don't live by each other), send the stems for them to mix and master in the studio, and they'll do 6 songs for $200 USD. We can release it independently on facebook or something to test the waters and get our name out there.

If we like it, the guys said they could sign us for our next album, and they'd take care of promotion and distribution. I haven't talked to them yet, I'm going to over skype to get the details, and I won't agree to anything until I've met them in person and discussed it thoroughly.


I see a problem, it's essentially costing you money to get these guys to accept you. That's not how a recording/label deal usualy works.

General rule of thumb with signing label contracts, if it's costing you money to sign, it's not worth signing.
#25
I got a credit in Contracts last semester. Give me $200 AUS(not your worthless US$) and I'll take care of it. I'm really professional, and the Australian and US legal systems are pretty similar, aren't they?

Seriously though they don't sound like much of a 'label' so I wouldn't be too worried about the contract jibber-jabber, unless it comes up of course, in which case get a decent lawyer. Yes, they'll be expensive, but provided they're not a total arse, they can be a big help. Read the contract with them and then make up your mind.
"People like Coldplay and voted for the Nazis; you can't trust people."
#26
Quote by SlackerBabbath
I see a problem, it's essentially costing you money to get these guys to accept you. That's not how a recording/label deal usualy works.

General rule of thumb with signing label contracts, if it's costing you money to sign, it's not worth signing.

This.
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#29
Quote by OfCourseNot
(Warning: Really Long story in need of your opinions, thanks in advance)
I live in the Southern US, and I have a friend, let's call him A.L., who moved 21 hours away recently. We're both 17, and the past 4 years we've been getting better at guitar and writing and recording music. I've taken care of mixing duties so far, and only over the past 6 months gotten good enough to actually get a good mix. So we have 1 song that's done, and everyone we've showed it to loves it. Other songs that we've played have also been received very well by others, "Dude I would so buy your albums" and stuff like that. (I guess you could call it pop rock, but I don't like the term pop). We have about 3 other songs half recorded, and about 10 others that are written completely but need arranging and recording. All of these has been done in our bedroom studios, nothing fancy.

Here's where it gets interesting:

A.L. met a couple guys that have a recording degree and have their own studio they run and do mixing/mastering for low prices. He said he's heard their stuff and it's amazing, definitely pro quality (I trust his word, but I still need to hear it). A.L. played our finished song for them and an unfinished one, and they were surprised at how good it actually sounded, but it still needed work (I'm no pro, I'm still learning). These offered A.L. this:
If I send them the stem tracks for "recorded song 1" they'll mix/master it for around $30 USD, or free (I can't remember what A.L. said). If we don't like it, we won't use them. If we do like it, we have the opportunity to track our own material at home (we collaborate over skype now that we don't live by each other), send the stems for them to mix and master in the studio, and they'll do 6 songs for $200 USD. We can release it independently on facebook or something to test the waters and get our name out there.

If we like it, the guys said they could sign us for our next album, and they'd take care of promotion and distribution. I haven't talked to them yet, I'm going to over skype to get the details, and I won't agree to anything until I've met them in person and discussed it thoroughly. If we do sign:

Then in the summer, I'd fly/drive up to where he lives, record in A.L.'s house for a couple weeks and send the tracks to the studio, where A.L. will record his vocals (they have better mics) and they have a session drummer that can do a drum track, as opposed to SuperiorDrummer which we've been using so far. They'd mix, master, print/distribute/promote and I don't know what happens after that.

What are your thoughts on this, Pit? I'm going off to college in southern Texas this fall semester, and I think A.L. wants to move there as well. I can't exactly tour while in college can I? I'm new to this, and don't want to get screwed over, but I can't see myself mixing and mastering everything and distributing it.

What kind of questions do I need to ask, what info do I need?
Will the studio own any copyrights? Thanks if you've actually read this far.


It sounds like they want to mix and produce you guys because they're new in the business and want some material with their names attached to it, not because they want to financially rape you. I'd cautiously consider it, but i wouldnt sign anything without legal counsel.
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#30
Woah it's ok, I copyrighted the 6 songs before sending them off. Official and everything, $35 on the US Copyright Office website. I probably should have mentioned that. The EP will probably be on facebook, but not downloadable, maybe with a donation. We're not sure yet, we want to test the waters and get our name out there, by word of mouth and youtube.

Once the first one is recorded, I'll probably post it on here if you want.
Quote by WCPhils
According to that chart, women like men with a Pringle canister down there.
Michael Kelly Patriot Glory
Ibanez RG8
Blackstar HT 20 w/ Jet City cab
whole bunch o' pedals
#31
Quote by OfCourseNot
Woah it's ok, I copyrighted the 6 songs before sending them off. Official and everything, $35 on the US Copyright Office website. I probably should have mentioned that. The EP will probably be on facebook, but not downloadable, maybe with a donation. We're not sure yet, we want to test the waters and get our name out there, by word of mouth and youtube.

Once the first one is recorded, I'll probably post it on here if you want.

Well in that case, I think you're good to go for now. As someone else said, these guys are new so their interest is in building up activity and business. That is why they're offering you such a flexible deal. It's mutually beneficial.

Just take it one day at a time for now, since your music is protected. If things develop more, then you can do the whole lawyer and contract thing.

...modes and scales are still useless.


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