Recording, Cost split equally?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Faijex, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Faijex

    Faijex Guest

    Jun 26, 2009
    Iowa and UK
    My band just finished it's first day of recording, and we decided we are going to pay the guy recording us as we go, ie pay for the day because we are going to be in and out over the next 6 weeks probably. (basically when people have time)

    So It makes sense that we should split it all 4 ways equally, right?

    I guess I'm cool with the principle of this, because we are all an equal part of the album, but it dawned on me that I'm going to be asked to pay for time I'm not there as well, such as Guitar overdubs, vocals, etc.

    With this being in mind, I am kind of concerned that I'm going to be paying for goofing off. Because once the drummer and I have laid down the tracks we are out. We are going for live takes but I also feel the guitarist are playing through them with the idea "I'm just going to re-record this later"

    I feel like it should all balance out in the end, but I'm worried it's not going to, and I'm going to have them knocking on the door saying "Hey I was in the studio today, I need 1/4 of $xxx" end I'll end up paying more for the time I'm not there than the times I am.

    Does anyone have any thoughts on this?
  2. LarryO


    Apr 4, 2004
    That's for you and your band mates to agree upon and decide on. Not between you and talkbass.
  3. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    What is the purpose of the recording? My feeling is, recording should come out of band money from gigs, if you are not gigging and making $$$ then there are inexpensive ways to record at home using computer/4-track/cheap digital recorder/etc.

    Frankly I am surprised you went into the studio without having a band meeting first to discuss this issue. If you think you should pay less then are you willing to take less % from sales of the album? Friendly advice of course. :)
  4. If it's a Band, then y'all split the costs equally. You all share equally in the benefits from the end result, right? You're not paying for the joy and pleasure of being in a studio; you're paying to make an album.

    If the Guitarist HAS to do overdubs, then that's part of the process. If you have concerns, maybe you need to voice them and emphasise that (and yes, it's an old cliche) "Time is money". If you can get stuff done in one take to your satisfaction, then that's what you should do. If there are obvious mistakes, then fix them. But if it feels right it is.

    One trap a lot of guys fall into (and oddly enough it's usually a guitarist...) is obsessive overdub-itis. Because they can overdub 47 parts they think they must. Then at the final mix either the album sounds like a mess because there's too much happening, or someone with good ears gets involved and just throws all the fluff away.
  5. dnosewor


    Apr 14, 2009
    My band is in the middle of recording a cd currently also. We've been paying as we go using our money we get from gigs.

    My thoughts are, you guys are a band. Split the costs equally. Do you expect to get equal share of the cd profits? If so, you need to split the costs equally. I've had my bass parts finished months ago. I don't expect get paid my share from a gig while the other guys have to put their share towards the cd.
  6. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    Alternately: spend equal time on your bass parts. Are they really perfect or could they be a little better? Are there songs that would benefit from a multitrack bass part, or perhaps a bass part with a cool effect? If other band members are spending hours perfecting their parts, demand equal treatment. :)
  7. sloppy_phil


    Aug 21, 2011
    Toronto, ON, Canada
    Not actually named Phil
    agreed that unless you're going for a specifically shared profit, then everyone should be in on it equally. We were fortunately able to 'band fund' our entire recording session because all profits made by the band stay in the band fund. Verrrry occasionally we'll do an individual pay-out, but not often. It just makes things like this a non-issue.

    But yeah, if you're filling gypped, then by all means spruce up your bass tracks!
  8. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    If it is a band expenses should be split equal.

    If you think they are going to ef around just go down to the studio and supervise, just don't make it seem as such.
  9. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011

    TalkBass has decreed that each player shall pay 1/5 of the cost, with the other 1/5 being split thusly:

    22% by the player who has a red car. If no player has a red car, then someone has to get one, and pay for it by delivering pizzas, in a bad neighborhood, at night.

    33% by the player needing overdubs, even if the overdubs make the recordings a lot better; hey, that's just how we roll at TalkBass.

    38% by anybody who calls anybody else a "dude." Seriously, man, hang that up, man.

    17% by the guy who's always late to practice.

    And now, you will have given 110%.
  10. Joe Nerve

    Joe Nerve Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2000
    New York City
    Endorsing artist: Musicman basses
    Recordings, IME and opinion should be split evenly amoungst the members. It's a group project and expense. Period. Unless one person is getting all the writing credit, in which case then you need to work out your own deals.

    It seems the problems you guys are having are coming from the fact that you're paying day by day. A recording, as far as I'm concerned, should be considered one total expense. To be split evenly.

    Put yourself in the other members shoes...

    Your part can be banged out in one take. Their's can't. Why should they have to pay more? It's not like there spending extra time there just for the fun of it. It's what the recording process takes in order for it to be complete.

    I don't think there's any arguing this either. I think you're way out of line thinking they should pay more. And if you stick with it, don't be surprised if things start going downhill quickly. When bands start splitting hairs over money, it can get ugly, fast.

    I think ya'll better get on the same page with this. I hope others chime in and agree with me so you'll be left with no doubt as to what your responsibility here is.
  11. pudgychef

    pudgychef In Memoriam

    Jan 22, 2005
    Chongqing, China
    + 1

    would have to go with -1 on this - seems petty...use the time you genuinely require to get tracks you are pleased with - be supportive of others doing the same

    +1 - why would your bandmates be any more prone to 'screwing around' than you? Would you expect them to be posting on another forum worrying about their bassplayer wasting time on their dime?
  12. This...

    Read it, learn it, love it, live it...

  13. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    I agree it would be petty if someone did it for the wrong reasons. But if it makes the song better to spend a little more time on the bass parts, do it!

    A concrete example from my own experience is that I've re-done bass parts as a result of guitar overdubs, specifically a new rhythm guitar overdub that changed the groove slightly and inspired me to slightly alter the bass line.
  14. TinIndian

    TinIndian Supporting Member

    Jan 25, 2011
    Micco Florida
    Every band I've been in that recorded in a studio split the costs equally. No question, ever.
  15. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    Same here, but agree on a budget/schedule up front (taking into consideration it will probably end up going a little over).
  16. dustinfennessey


    Sep 29, 2011
    why would you and the drummer not be there when the guitarist/vocalist do their thing? i'm also the singer in the bands i'm in and really appreciate when all the members are there for creativity and feedback purposes. i also like being there when the guitarist is noodling as hearing it all come together layer by layer rules :)
  17. Coop Soup

    Coop Soup

    Aug 24, 2005
    I agree with this take. Before the OP went into the studio, you guys should have been gearing up for that... and maybe you guys were. Being underprepared is awful and wastes everyone's time and money. If everyone puts in the work these things can get done very quickly and efficiently especially since most places are using protools to record.

    EX. I did a demo with my now current band before I joined so they could find a bass player. I got recordings of the songs 2 weeks ahead of time and played through them with the group once before hitting the studio. I recorded my parts next to the engineer and had him mark every place I was less than satisfied with my part. I think it took me a total of 1 hour to do 5 songs. They were thrilled, since I wasn't paying anything and got things done efficiently.
  18. Yes but the studio is not the place to write stuff and experiment... because it costs money. Yes, sometimes it happens, but you should go to The studio knowing very well, in detail, what you are going to play exactly.
  19. dustinfennessey


    Sep 29, 2011
    All depends on the band and your opinion I guess. One of the bands I'm in is psychadelic/noise exp/post rock band. We layer the crap out of recordings and save up extra money to be able to experiment in the studio - but as it's planned there are no hard feelings as everyone is in the loop :)
  20. Mushroo

    Mushroo Guest

    Apr 2, 2007
    Cool if that approach works well for you; however it's a fact that some of the greatest recordings ever produced were the direct result of experimenting in the studio! Yes it costs money, but it is Money Well Spent if the result is awesome and recoups the expense a hundredfold.

    Ideally the band has set aside money from gigs so that band members are not paying for studio time out-of-pocket; this will eliminate the pressure that you are wasting "your" money by doing a 2nd take or trying a new approach.