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Splitting Equipment Costs

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by oldrocker, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. oldrocker


    Feb 13, 2005
    Long Island, NY
    Not sure if this is the right forum for this but here goes.

    How do you guys split equipment expenses. Not for individual amps and such but for stuff like a PA that will be used by everyone in the band.

    We are outgrowing our current, borrowed, PA and are considering sharing the cost of new PA. Some members don't have the cash for their share right now, and some guys may not not stay in the band much longer.

    How do you guy work out the details of who owns what and who gets what if they leave the band after chipping in?
  2. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    Don't. If someone can possibly do it on their own, have that person invest in it. Preferrably, that person will get a premium cut for equipment wear and tear each gig.

    If you split it, then you have to worry about tracking the value of each member's share, depreciation, etc. and if someone quits you have to come up with a buyout amount that will be agreed upon by everyone.

    Plus, if you can buy it, it will cement your place in the band. I bought our PA system, and can even make an extra few hundred bucks a night by DJ'ing.
  3. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor

    Mar 6, 2005
    I have always gotten an extra cut for taking on the responsibilities of the whole system myself, but you also have to make sure you look after the best interests of the whole band when making purchase decisions.
  4. DGbass70


    Jun 1, 2005
    Rochester N.Y.
    +100...it's not really a good idea to split cost with your bandmates,if something happens(someone quits)is like a bad divorce.
  5. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    Another +1 here, if you can avoid it. The only thing we-as-a-band ever shared was in my first group -- we used to all chip a share of our gig money to rent a UHaul trailer to lug the Hammond/Leslie, PA, and some of the big amps to gigs. We eventually decided it made more sense to buy an old bus and fix it up, and we all went in on that with the understanding that the band leader would keep it when the band folded (who wants an old bus anyway... and he also chipped in a larger share).

    I believe this worked only because it was simply a different way of handling the "sharing" we had all been doing from the beginning (plus we had an agreed-upon "exit plan.")

    In my current group everybody's pretty good about pitching in. Whoever's handy will grab somebody else's gear and help them load in or out. When we decided to start recording practice for post-mortems, our guitarist offered to bring in his PC to run Audacity on. The drummer supplied the basic PA, and when the singers complained they couldn't hear the monitors (only one amp channel in the PA), I contributed my old Tigersaurus amp to drive the monitors so they could have their own level controls. But we haven't jointly invested in anything, and I hope we don't. It can work, but it can also be a recipe for disaster.

  6. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    We have an extra person to pay...his name is Equipment.

    The founding member (drummer/singer) pays for everything and he gets the extra (equal) share for buying/replacing all the PA gear, upkeep on the truck and trailer, etc.

    It's worthwhile for all of us. No worries if repairs or replacements are going to take a cut out of our pay, and if the band breaks up, there are no hassles.

    It might seem like a lot of cash to pay the equipment fund an equal share, but in the long run, the rest of us get by pretty darn cheap because we have top notch gear and I know the guy is spending more on gear and vehicle maintenance than he is getting from that share.

    No more blowing out amps, speakers, etc. and being upset that we have to play the next few gigs for nothing. Plus we have backups for everything. Extra amps, speakers, cabs, heads, you name it. If anything (and I mean anything) ever fails with our PA system (or even individual equipment) we don't lose more than a few minutes of playing at a gig because everything has a backup to replace it with in a manner of minutes.

    Granted, if my Eden head ever goes, it would suck...but at least we have another backup bass head just in case. Mixer shorts out? Pull out the back up mixer. Blow a speaker? Put in a new one. We've got backups for everything (even if it's not the exact same model/brand)...and it's the "Equipment" share that makes it possible.

    Works for us anyway.
  7. buzzbass

    buzzbass Shoo Shoo Retarded Flu !

    Apr 23, 2003
    That solution works well, I've been the PA owner in past bands and did the extra cut thing with pay. But it's also a nightmare having all that to worry about setting all that stuff up every gig. I've since sold off most of that system. What we've done in my last couple of bands was that everyone seems to own a piece or 2 and we put them altogether in a system. That way when someone leaves, they just take their parts and move on. Both systems seem to work well.
  8. Diggler


    Mar 3, 2005
    Western PA
    Just because I own it doesn't mean that everyone doesn't set it up! ;)

    Since it's mine, I know it inside and out. And I used that to make it easier to set up: My amp rack has a front panel for highs/mids in, subs in, monitors in, speakers out (using 4-conductor speakons, so the other band members CAN'T mess up the speaker hookup), and monitors out. The crossover and actual amp connections are NEVER touched. The cables from the effects rack are never disconnected, are stored in the rack and are labeled as to what piece they connect to. It's as easy as pulling out a cable from the back of the effects rack, reading the tag on it, and hooking it up to the corresponding jack on the equipment it says to. I do the same thing with my bass rig. Nothing gets disconnected unless it HAS to, and then only at one end.

    I've cut down setup time immensely. The most complicated thing is hooking up the effects rack/EQ to the mixing board, and it's all labeled appropriately. If I weren't intending to go to a larger mixer, I'd build a rack that has a built-in mixer space at the top so I could leave its connections plugged in all the time, too.
  9. well a touchy subject indeed..I believe the singer should be responsible for his\her own gear\amp(the p.a.)..just like evryone else in the band is responsible for their own gear. however,evryone should at least offer to help move and set-up the p.a.(everyone should help everyone). If you sing back-ups or have lead vocal duty on a few songs YOU should have your own mic,cable and stands. if you are running YOUR instrument thru the p.a..YOU should supply your own direct box\mic(s)(cables) and stand..this may sound a little harsh but,I have dealt with too many(rockstar) singers who don't even own so much as a mic,or the ones that did own a mic,would never help with ANY set-up or tear-down(unplug his mic and leave),and then have the balls to complain about the quality of the p.a. that THEY did not purchace,or even offer to help set-up ie."this thing sounds like crap","I can't hear myself because YOUR monitors suck" or "What do you mean theres no monitors"..(I 'm guessing you are talking about the average "club size" p.a) this stuff is expensive...if this is not an option then I would suggest hiring an outside soundguy or renting,and the cost coming out of everyones pocket or taking the money right off the top of your pay from the gig.. this is a subject that strikes a nerve with me and I've ranted long enough...thats my story and I'm stikin to it.
  10. Maverick Blues

    Maverick Blues Being a Thumper is all about ATTITUDE!

    Apr 28, 2005
    Richmond, VA
    Yeah, good point. In that first band I talked about earlier, when I signed on they asked if I could sing backup. When I said I was passable, they said, "Okay, you need to buy a mike, cable, stand, and boom." They even told me which specific model of mike I had to buy so everyone's vocals would mesh (Shure 545SD; scary that I still remember).

    I guess I could have been offended by that, but it was no different from what they asked of any other member, and when the band died everybody just took their stuff and split.

    Worked for us.

  11. yeah,the whole point of my post is,chippin in on gear usually does'nt work out,it just creates bad blood and sometimes ruins freindships..I could go on and on about the horror stories but, it makes my head ache :)
  12. Blues Cat

    Blues Cat Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 28, 2005
    Katy, Tx
    Payson Fanned Bass Strings Owner
    Don't do it. Makes disbanding or leaving tricky & messy.