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Band equipment investments

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by malthumb, Dec 27, 2013.

  1. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    We have a couple gigs lined up that go well beyond our current sound gear capabilities, so we're having to invest in some new stuff. We managed to VERY QUICKLY come to an arrangement that works for us.

    The guitarist / BL just purchased an additional mixing board, speaker, and instrument mic set. I purchased an IEM system. That should have us pretty well set for the first big test (Ford Field, Detroit....opening for a monster truck rally on Jan. 11th)

    How do others handle such investments?
  2. hsech

    hsech Work hard. My Social Security needs a raise. Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2012
    Central Iowa
    Just remember he who paid for it, owns it. If for some reason a band mate who bought some of the PA gear leaves the band he has the right to take it with him. Be prepared to buy any band member out who moves on.
  3. Rent and charge more to cover the extra expenses.
  4. 57pbass

    57pbass Supporting Member

    The band leader I work with wants to purchase a Bose L1 system..we told him that the word on the street is that these systems will not hold up in a live band situation. Plus the thing is costing "him" 6 grand. I will not contribute to this and made it very clear. He also DJ's and will use this system for that as well..
    It's a very touchy situation when it comes to band gear and how to pay for it..
  5. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    In general, I think its a bad idea to invest in PA gear with band members. I would rather let one person own it even if I make a little less or hire someone who has their own gear to run sound. I was in a band years ago where everyone chipped in for PA equipment. We broke down the cost by percentages of how much each of us had invested. We were gigging 5 nights per week and were paid based on our percentage of ownership in the PA. We were a six piece band. The drummer owned 25% of the PA so he was paid 25% of what we made at a gig. I owned 15% and was paid 15% of what we made, and so on. It worked but there was a some resentment because band members who couldn't contribute as much to the cost of the PA didn't like the fact that the drummer was making the most money.
  6. headband


    Oct 18, 2013
    Lake Havasu City
    I decided a few years ago to invest in sound reinforcement gear. I got tired of being at someone else's mercy and then the panic that ensues when that person quits. For new investments, everyone knows who owns what, and it goes with them when they go.
  7. lfmn16


    Sep 21, 2011
    charles town, wv
    Everything should be in writing. It's amazing how bad people's memories get when money is involved.
  8. powmetalbassist

    powmetalbassist Supporting Member

    Shared investments (splitting on gear) can be messy. If your going to do this make sure each person knows what part they own (ie bassist buys monitors, guitarist mains, singer the power amp, etc.) that way when **** hits the fan there is no squabling over percentages of said equipment.
  9. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL
    My band opened up a paypal account and every time we have a band expense we have a meeting/talk and figure out how to pay for it with the paypal. All the money we make from gigs or EP sales go right into the paypal account. Works well so far.
  10. flatfender

    flatfender Ad eundum quo nemo ante iit Supporting Member

    In the current established band I joined, the BL owns the PA & monitor system with a trailer. I supply the LED lighting rig. BL does 90% of the bookings.

    Band before this one, I supplied the PA/Monitor/Trailer and one of the other guys had the lighting rig. Drummer did 80% of the bookings. Didn't really have a "BL" in that one.

    I've been in lots of bands for almost 40 years and it's never worked out to have the "band" buy gear together.

    Normally easier to have one person do most of the bookings and another to make travel arrangements if needed. I've usually taken care of the accounting / tax end of it in past bands.
  11. This, until someone can afford to buy it but like has been said... He who buys it, owns it. It's not a "band" investment. It's a personal investment in the band.
  12. duff beer

    duff beer SUSPENDED

    Dec 2, 2007
    It always works well until someone leaves the band. Does "the band" own gear? How will you handle a payout or a split of the gear if someone leaves the band?

    I turned down an invitation to join a band once I found out that 20% of gig money went into the "band fund" which was being used to buy a PA for the band.
  13. never buy gear as a "band"
  14. tbirdsp

    tbirdsp Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2012
    Omaha, NE
    Many years ago I was in a band where the PA was owned by everyone - an equal split (6 ways!). When the keyboard player and I left for another project the other members bought us out. It was a major pain - we got the whole system appraised and then figured out what each share was worth. I think the other members actually had to take out a loan to buy us out.

    I've accumulated my own small PA over the past year or so - just hate being at the mercy of others crap gear. Don't use it much, but when I do I get paid extra.
  15. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Jan 28, 2001
    Spencerport, New York
    Whoever buys it, owns it.

    James, will you use the new equipment often enough to get an ROI or would it have been a better move to rent it?
  16. Gaolee

    Gaolee Outta my way! I'm caffeinated! Supporting Member

    This is what I did. I play in a couple bands and on rare occasions run sound for other people. So, I own the gear. If something goes wrong, I fix it. If something happens to the band, then I still own it. There are no drama.
  17. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City

    You nailed Part A and Part B. Since we were already navigating down the path of "there will be more gear", i wanted to do it in a manner that it is CLEAR who owns what. You never want to plan for a break-up, but you also don't want to be caught off-guard in the event of one. I own the IEMs. GtrPl / BL owns the PA. We all will have open use of all of it until......

    We looked into renting, but since we have two stadium dates coming up, the cost piled up quickly. If these two go well, there are likely to be more. It will be cheaper to rent, but at the end of the day, for roughly double what it would have cost us to rent everything, we'll have a nicer PA and an IEM set. We are starting to get a lot more gigs, so the money will come back to us over time. The new PA will be overkill for most of these new gigs, but the IEMs will no doubt improve our volume balance / mix.

    After seeing the rental prices, the question was raised about all pitching in to buy a bigger PA and IEMs. I quickly raised my hand and said "I'll get the IEM, but I will own them."

    Part B (ROI) is why I chose to own the IEM instead of the other PA gear. My kids are looking for a drummer to get their band going. I will likely take on the role of booking gigs for them. They WILL be using the IEM system (with their own earbuds, of course). I may also consider using with my church choir, although in all honesty, we REALLY don't need them in the building we worship / sing in.
  18. malthumb


    Mar 25, 2001
    The Motor City
    Interesting. Our primary PA is a Bose L1. The new PA will mainly be for bigger venues. For our bar gigs, we only run the vocal mics through the Bose and it does a really good job. Now that we can run an IEM off it we'll be able to better manage our vocals. Our singer often says she cannot hear herself. Problem solved.

    You can see the Bose system in the background of this photo...

    CORRECTION....it is a Bose B1, not L1. For the record, I do not know the difference.
  19. gregmon79

    gregmon79 I did it for the muff... Supporting Member

    Dec 20, 2012
    Chicago IL

    I hear ya there. That's something I never thought about, thanks. I don't think it'll happen but if we ever did split, I know wed work it out amicably. We're all on the same page and none of us are greedy bastards. I know money can change some people but if it's not that large of an amount, I'd walk away before I got bitter about money. It's still a good thing to work out with the band if it ever did happen.
  20. Sweet. Which IEM system do you have?