Who should pay?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by popinfresh, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Well. The bands getting along dandy, and we've started looking to enter a couple more battle of the bands with prize money in the thousands of dollars..

    So, in the past, we've generally split the earnings and gig money between us all. But lately the singer has being suggesting (and pressing) that we should put it all together for a PA.

    Now, we don't NEED a PA. We have a guitar amp for band pracs, and so far all our gigs have had PA unless they're friends parties which we usually split and hire a PA or borrow a friends.

    Apart from that, i've allready spent MANY thousands of dollars on my bass gear. The drummer has spent $3000 or so on his kit.. and both guitarists have put in big money for their rigs.. The only person who hasn't put in big money is the singer, he's bought a sure mic, that's it.

    So lately, i'm in need of some extra money really, and think i've spent my fair share on my gear to play the gigs the bands doing (both volume and sound). Is it unfair or selfish of me to want my share of money to put towards my car etc when the singer wants to put it all to a PA (the only thing I really want to put it towards is recording time).

    How do you guys usually organise money etc? Am I being fair do you think? I mean, if we split the money between us, the singer could buy a good enough PA for himself (and maybe a couple other backup vox mics) with his share of the dough..

  2. DaftCat


    Jul 26, 2004
    Medicine Hat
    Vote on it. End of story.
  3. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    In my band, the guitar player owns the PA. That's just because he wanted to buy one. But, we keep all the money that we make as a band, and decide as a band what to spend it on.
  4. the vocalist.
    the band didnt split payment on the amps/drumkit did they? he should be able to pay for his own gear just like the rest of the band
  5. Jeff Martinez

    Jeff Martinez

    May 10, 2005
    Denver, CO
    We actually have a list of what constitutes band expenses vs. individual expenses. The P.A. speakers are owned by our singer, but we use my mixer (only because I have one that isn't already in use). If she wants more equipement, she's on her own.

    All of the money that we make from gigs (being an all-original goth-metal band, it isn't that much) belongs to the band first. After our studio rent is paid, and we determing that there is enough remaining for other expenses (merch, studio time, etc...), then we start dividing what's left.
  6. theshadow2001


    Jun 17, 2004
    My band is in the process of buying a new PA (HK projector) but we see it as a band expense and not just something that the singer will use since it will be everyone that runs through it. I think if its just a PA used for vocals then the singer can get his own. If everyones using it then everyone should pay. If everyone doesn't think its necessary then majority rules I suppose.
  7. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    Even if he bought it....who do you thinks giong to carry it?
  8. The PA isn't soley the responsibility or instrument of the singer. If you are miking your drums or your amps, the PA is what ties everyone together. Besides, without a PA, you don't have monitors, and monitors are the lifeblood of the band.

    So, vote on it! And the cool thing about a PA is that if you have one, you then have a moneymaker. You sometimes get more of the door if you are providing your own sound, and you can rent out time on your PA to other bands on the bill or even set it up for a cut of their one off gigs.

    That stuff usually holds value pretty well too. Just don't fry your brand new 15x2 speakers by running them parallel on the first night you use them like I did... :bawl:
  9. kansas666


    Sep 20, 2004
    This can be a sticky wicket. Joint ownership creates problems when a member leaves the band. We have different member own different pieces of the PA. We all chip in for repairs to a main, board, amps, effects etc. But the P.A. equipment that gets used by individual people ie monitors and microphones are the responsibility of whom ever uses them.
  10. SnoMan

    SnoMan Words Words Words Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2001
    Charleston, WV
    I don't really believe that it should be the sole responsibility of the singer...but you have to compare what everyone is putting in.

    If everyone else is spending thousands on gear....what's the singer spending on? I hope he is at least getting lessons (whether he needs them or not)

    You also have to consider the fact that you want the entire band to sound good.

    So, since you want the whole band to sound good should you worry about your guitarists and drummers gear? And buy them better equiptment? (I've actually seen this happen....well "loaned" equiptment, I imagine lots of us have...it can end badly)

    You need to just talk it over as a band. Talk about how much everyone spends for gear and compare it. The singer needs to pay his dues too.
  11. What kind of PA are you getting? Just for him at band practice (power amp + mixer + a speaker or two)? Or a decent sized set up (monitors with a sub and FOH speakers).

    If it's just for band practice as an alt to the guitar amp, then make him buy it. If it's for all of you, make him pay a greater share (means he owns more invidual pieces of the PA) than every else.

    Vote on it and use those concepts for arguements.
  12. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Has anyone done a cost analysis on rental vs. owning? How much have you spent on renting a PA in the last year? Would having a PA of your own enable you to get other gigs that you are not getting now? If you are spending less in a two year period than it would cost to buy a PA on rental, then you don't need to buy one. If you are missing out on work because you don't have a PA, then you need to buy one. None of us can make that assessment for you.

    MONEY - the band needs to decide. But most "bands" i've been in, there's a "band fund" before the the money gets split. Whether that's a percentage or a flat figure (no matter what we get paid, $X goes in the band fund first) is up to the band as a whole. How much of that fund gets put aside to cover PA expenses is up to the band too.

    But like everybody says, if you're buying a PA to cover larger venues cause everybody goes through it, then everybody needs it. Not just the singer. I'd still go for the band as a whole buying it, if worse comes to worse you sell the whole thing and everybody takes a share. That way you don't have to come up with a pair of monitors if the drummer quits.

    Whoever had the suggestion about making money on their PA was right on the money too. You can rent that sucker out, somebody could be paying YOU to use your PA, instead of you giving money to somebody else.

    But the money you pour into your own equipment doesn't really figure in; you can come and go and all of that stuff goes with you. That adds to YOUR marketability as a musician, not the bands.
  13. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Personally, I'd just fire the creep.

    But that's just me.

    Or, take up a collection and buy him a bullhorn.

    Then fire him.

  14. I was in a band that, when the money rolled in, we took a set 10 percent off the top and then divided it by the percentage of whatever amount each member owned of the P.A. This was, in essence, to cover "depreciation" of their gear that everyone was using.

    Then we took "expenses" from the balance left over to cover gas, etc, (since we used a bus to drive around in), then after that we split the rest equally across the board. That way, anyone that had speakers, or amps, mics, whatever, that was used for the P.A. got their fair share of the "take" to compensate them for the use of their gear other than their own personal amps for guitars, basses, keys. etc.

    Tell your singer that if he/she(?) feels the need for a P.A. for the vocals, then that's the instrument that they use and it should be the cost of singing in a band. Point out your costs and make sure that buying a microphone isn't enough to compensate for what the rest of the band pays out to sound good.

    If there's a P.A. bought by the entire band, then it's time for the band to set some guidelines as far as who gets the funds to compensate for the equipment. Co-owning a P.A. will only be trouble in the future when things change in the personell dept.

    Good luck!
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Gottawalk is absolutely correct. You never buy a PA as a group project. Someone will always want out somewhere along the line, then the band is forced into buying the leaving member out, the band offers a depreciated buyout price, the leaving member wants what he put into it, and nobody's happy. Now you could divide who buys what (singer buys speakers, bassist buys board, gutiarist buys amps, drummer buys mics, cords and stands, etc.), but even that can be a pain when someone leaves and takes his equipment, then you're forced into buying all new stuff to replace what's gone.

    I think if you have enough to get by at practice and all your gigs but a couple per year need PA, why bother buying it? The costs of buying and keeping it will probably be more than renting it out now and then, especially if you're buying a good-sized PA.
  16. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I'm with the "dont buy it as a joint venture" crowd. Bad idea.

    Put uit this way, do you need a PA to play bass? No. Does the singer need a PA for every gig they do whether it's theirs or not>? Yes.
    If the singer buys it, the singer keeps it. It's not like they lose out. Just put your foot down. Bloody singers :scowl:
  17. Bassic83


    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Right in the middle of their forehead??? :D
  18. strummer


    Jul 27, 2005
    co-owningg stuff sucks, I agree. In my band I own the PA, and I get some extra pay when we gig.
    We all want to sound good, and I just happened to be the one who had some money at the time.
    And having a really good sounding pa at rehersals really makes a difference, too:)
  19. fr0me0


    Dec 7, 2004
    Winnipeg Canada
    I could see the if the singer also played guitar then it'd be different but if you guy all spend your money on your gear he should buy at least the majority of the PA
  20. Ryan L.

    Ryan L. Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2000
    West Fargo, ND
    If the whole band is going to use it, then the whole band should buy it. We have a large PA and lighting system. In my situation, the whole band runs through the PA, not just the singer. We have 2 guitars, my bass, the drum kit, and 4 vocals running through it.

    And yes, I have invested thousands into my bass gear. As have the rest of the guys on their own personal gear. To me, that is personal choice. I use my own gear to do other gigs away from my main band as well, so it doesn't factor into the equation with the PA at all.

    And owning a PA like we do does make us money. Most bars around here do not have a house PA. So, in order to play at most venues, or at outdoor gigs, a PA is necessary. And coming in with a crappy sounding PA is pretty much a guarantee that you are not going to get hired back.