Qs from the no-home-recording-gear songwriter

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Qs from the no-home-recording-gear songwriter

Post by funsongs » Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:07 pm

For the immediate future of a few groups of songs I want to hear (for my own fulfillment first),
I will be hiring from the plethora of old-school Nashville-Country studios to complete them;
even if it means doing them one at a time.

Q1) In simple terms, what's the strongest, main way, for me to maintain ownership & control once I have made that investment? (say, in addition to copyright).

Q2) I have, but have not yet used, my BMI account; when does that come into play...if at all?

Depending on how the recording and production goes (mainly the appeal of the vocalists' delivery),
having the songs to "pitch" remains an opinion, but not the primary task at this point.

It's taken a really, really long time just to get to this point; and I'm nervously excited about getting to finally FINISH something that's been only a dream.

With life situations and current circumstances being what they are, a home-recording set-up is not an option; so I have had to reconsider how to "get there from here".

fwiw: cheers,
Peter
Peter Rahill - aka "funsongs"
https://soundcloud.com/funsongs-1
You Tube channel: Peter Rahill

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Re: Qs from the no-home-recording-gear songwriter

Post by shorttonpro » Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:54 pm

Hi Peter,

Glad your taking steps to bring the songs to life - it will be a good feeling when it is all completed!

Keep in mind each work has two copyrights
1. The SONG. Music and lyrics which you have written as mentioned.
2. The SOUND RECORDING which consists of the multi-track and final master.

The demo studios you speak of are almost always work-for-hire, meaning they'll be paid their rate to perform a specific job and surrender all rights to the sound recording upon completion and payment. You'll want to certainly have some sort of contract that states this in place, and double check with the demo service that they do, in-fact perform work-for-hire. You'll want them to deliver you the complete multi-track recording and the mix and master (if they are also performing this service). This way you'll have access to all your tracks to backup and save for future uses, alternate mixes etc...

You can then copyright the song and the sound recording in one go.

As for BMI, they will collect performance royalties ONLY when and if the time comes. Performance refers to anytime the song would be played in a public venue, live concert, on the radio, or in film and tv. You may register your song with BMI when you believe opportunities to collect will be possible in the near future. If you plan on getting the tracks in music libraries or signing them with a publisher, then it can cause issues if you've already registered the song as they will register the song (sometimes changing the title for their specific library).

You can certainly use the track to pitch to recording artists. If they decide to actually cut the track, you'll probably get a co-publisher involved who can really collect on this.

So seems like for now, a work-for-hire contract is what you're looking for to get started and once you've got your tracks you can begin the other processes.

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Re: Qs from the no-home-recording-gear songwriter

Post by funsongs » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:11 pm

shorttonpro wrote:Hi Peter,

Glad your taking steps to bring the songs to life - it will be a good feeling when it is all completed!

Keep in mind each work has two copyrights
1. The SONG. Music and lyrics which you have written as mentioned.
2. The SOUND RECORDING which consists of the multi-track and final master.

The demo studios you speak of are almost always work-for-hire, meaning they'll be paid their rate to perform a specific job and surrender all rights to the sound recording upon completion and payment. You'll want to certainly have some sort of contract that states this in place, and double check with the demo service that they do, in-fact perform work-for-hire. You'll want them to deliver you the complete multi-track recording and the mix and master (if they are also performing this service). This way you'll have access to all your tracks to backup and save for future uses, alternate mixes etc...

You can then copyright the song and the sound recording in one go.

As for BMI, they will collect performance royalties ONLY when and if the time comes. Performance refers to anytime the song would be played in a public venue, live concert, on the radio, or in film and tv. You may register your song with BMI when you believe opportunities to collect will be possible in the near future. If you plan on getting the tracks in music libraries or signing them with a publisher, then it can cause issues if you've already registered the song as they will register the song (sometimes changing the title for their specific library).

You can certainly use the track to pitch to recording artists. If they decide to actually cut the track, you'll probably get a co-publisher involved who can really collect on this.

So seems like for now, a work-for-hire contract is what you're looking for to get started and once you've got your tracks you can begin the other processes.
Scott... thank you very much; very helpful.
Most of the songs, save for only a few new ones, are already copyrighted with a rough demo and written lyrics. How does that change or affect getting the work-for-hire guys involved?
Peter Rahill - aka "funsongs"
https://soundcloud.com/funsongs-1
You Tube channel: Peter Rahill

“The future aint what it use to be.” - Yogi Berra

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Re: Qs from the no-home-recording-gear songwriter

Post by shorttonpro » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:17 pm

You're welcome.

So currently your SONG and ROUGH DEMO recording are copyrighted, so after the studio creates your track, you could still copyright this new SOUND RECORDING (no need to re-copyright the song). You could certainly wait until all of them are complete so you send in a complete collection and save some money.

Other than that, nothing changes really with the demo service. They'll do their thing and give you the files. They do this on a daily basis and have their reputation to uphold so they don't get mixed up in the rights.

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Re: Qs from the no-home-recording-gear songwriter

Post by funsongs » Tue Jan 13, 2015 4:38 pm

I have a dropbox service; would that be a satisfactory place to store such files?
Peter Rahill - aka "funsongs"
https://soundcloud.com/funsongs-1
You Tube channel: Peter Rahill

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Re: Qs from the no-home-recording-gear songwriter

Post by shorttonpro » Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:14 pm

Sure, having a cloud backup (dropbox, backblaze, crashplan) is a good idea, as well as keeping it on a local internal or external hard drive so you can work from it.

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Re: Qs from the no-home-recording-gear songwriter

Post by andygabrys » Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:35 pm

shorttonpro wrote:You're welcome.

So currently your SONG and ROUGH DEMO recording are copyrighted, so after the studio creates your track, you could still copyright this new SOUND RECORDING (no need to re-copyright the song). You could certainly wait until all of them are complete so you send in a complete collection and save some money.

Other than that, nothing changes really with the demo service. They'll do their thing and give you the files. They do this on a daily basis and have their reputation to uphold so they don't get mixed up in the rights.
Its often said that if you are getting stuff done WFH - then make sure you have the necessary WFH contracts filled out by all who play / engineer on the sessions. Sometimes publishers want to see that stuff to make sure the recordings are not "encumbered".

Just cause the studio says they do WFH isn't enough for some people.

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Re: Qs from the no-home-recording-gear songwriter

Post by funsongs » Wed Jan 14, 2015 8:37 am

Thanks, Prof Andy. ;)
Peter Rahill - aka "funsongs"
https://soundcloud.com/funsongs-1
You Tube channel: Peter Rahill

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Re: Qs from the no-home-recording-gear songwriter

Post by andygabrys » Wed Jan 14, 2015 1:34 pm

funsongs wrote:Thanks, Prof Andy. ;)
ha - good luck!

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Re: Qs from the no-home-recording-gear songwriter

Post by thesongriders » Thu Jan 15, 2015 1:13 pm

Hi Peter,

I've done something very similar to what you're about to do so I'll share what I learned.

Back in 2010 when I did this I found out that the Musician's Union has different pay scales (and therefore contracts I guess) depending on what you need. For example, there's a demo rate, a rate for master recordings, and others inbetween. Here's a link.

http://www.rmanashville.org/index.php?p=afm%20scales

I believe I got the Limited Pressing scale since I was an independent artist which allowed me to pay about the demo rate, but also allowed me to release my album.

I don't know how many studios in Nashville use union musicians. If they aren't union, then I guess you can make any contract with them you want, like a work-for-hire as previously suggested. My impression though was that most session musicians were union. I could be totally wrong about that though.

I think I emailed the studio manager, told him about my project and what I was looking for. He took care of the rest. (booking the specific musicians etc.)

My session went really well. They did 5 songs in a day, and it ranks as one of the best days of my life...hearing my songs all come to life for the first time.

Once the session was done, they burned me the files in .wav on a CD-R or DVD-R (as data files). I had them mixed elsewhere, but I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem for you to get them to do the mix.

Anyway, that's my experience. If I lived in Nashville and had the money, I'd record that way all the time.

Best of luck,

Mike

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