Question About Finding Sample Producer Contracts

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Ladygs
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Question About Finding Sample Producer Contracts

Post by Ladygs » Sun Sep 04, 2011 1:21 pm

Howdy,
I have been reading though the threads and folks have shared some amazing resources on here! I have a few very helpful music business books (This Business of Music, Music, Money and Success by the Brabecs), but have been a little stumped trying to find a sample contract for a producer.

My situation: I am recording some original songs with a local engineer who will also help with production ideas. Because I want to submit the finished product to film and TV, I want to own the rights to the masters and make sure that all the paperwork is completed properly. I will be having work for hire agreements done for the musicians, but am not sure how it works with a producer because I have also read that often they get "points." This is not a big-budget project and I do know that the odds of making money worth squabbling over are slim, but I want to have the paperwork done right so that I can at least submit songs without fear of pissing of some music supervisor who may be interested in the future because I wasted his/her time reviewing material that wasn't "clear" and the paperwork in proper order :o .

Any suggested resources? Thanks much to this supportive community :D .

simonparker
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Re: Question About Finding Sample Producer Contracts

Post by simonparker » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:07 pm

Hey there - not 100% certain I understand your situation. Are you discussing recording original songs that another artist/band/singer will be using in pursuit of a record deal (or similar business venture)? The best answer is that everyone has a different set of facts and circumstances, and therefore, any contract should be handled by a competent attorney.

Just to clarify a few things - pitching to film and TV provide one revenue stream, whereas, publishing, public performance, radio airplay, and web/non-terrestrial airplay present other avenues of revenue streams. Each of these areas have some similar features as well as different features.

In a case where you are recording an artist with your original songs (that you wrote 100%), you have some inherent rights. First, you have the copyright, which grants you the exclusive right to release (publish) your song and to receive compensation (royalties) for their performance. If your original songs are 100% written by you and have not been released by a previous artist (or yourself), you control all rights to the song and its performance. Therefore, if an artist records your song (in the USA), and releases it on CD/itunes, it makes radio airplay, performed in concert, it gets internet and satelitte airplay, and is in a feature film, you would be entitled to the royalties for mechanical sales (CDs/mp3), royalties for radio airplay and public performance (BMI, ASCAP, SESAC), and royalties for web play (Soundexchange).

The two areas that things get tricky is when the artist wants compensation for the work they've done, and when you introduce a middle man (i.e. music library) into the equation. If you're a low budget production, most times you're not in the serious category for a record deal. What that means is you're probably an outsider with outsider chance of getting this artist signed. If you were a superproducer like Dr. Luke, you could probably command an upfront fee from the artist (or work it on spec), have all the rights I've talked about attached to the project in a production deal. However, since this can get complicated, now that record labels don't make much from sale of CDs/mp3s like they did even 10 years ago, the best way to get acclimated to what producer points are is to go the basic route, which are a % of mechanical royalties (CD sales and mp3 downloads) and how they get calculated. My suggestion is to read this great article from Taxi and Donald Passman:

http://www.taxi.com/music-business-faq/ ... als-1.html

Since you're probably not at the level of super producer yet, and since you might need an artist to record your songs and be your 'voice' while the artist is pursuing his/her dream, an alternate arrangement is usually in order. One of the fairer deals out there, and again, it's based on a person's facts and circumstances, is a demo deal. In a demo deal, you would agree to own the master and fund the project in return for the artist's performance. You would then agree to receive revenue to recoup your costs, and anything subsequent that would be split 50/50 between you and the artist. Under such a scenario you would own the master rights and could pitch to film/tv and other media. However, you would have to keep adequate accounting and provide the artist with royalty payments subsequent to your recoupment costs for any placement in film/tv you had.

Since I am not heavily involved in the film/tv market, and work development deals and record deal pursuits, I won't make an absolute comment here and would defer to others with more knowledge of that market. However, it is my belief, that under a demo deal I described above, you would be able to submit to third parties (i.e. music libraries) and as long as you have the work-for-hire releases and the demo deal contract in place, you should not have a problem with submitting. Again, I would wait for others opinion on that, and more importantly, if you want to do this correctly, seek out an appropriate entertainment attorney.
http://soundcloud.com/simon-parker

developing artists for record deals since 2008

Ladygs
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Re: Question About Finding Sample Producer Contracts

Post by Ladygs » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:03 pm

Hi Simon,
Thanks much for your thorough response- I also checked out your website and it is very impressive! I probably didn't make my situation very clear: I am a singer,songwriter, and saxophonist and have original songs that I want to record at a "master quality" level so that I can pitch them for film and TV (as well as submit them for song pitches).

Budget is a consideration- I have considered approaching Jason Garner who provided a link for on your site as I have friends that have worked with him very successfully; however I would like to be more involved in the production and wanted to find someone local (I am Sacramento-based) to work with as I cannot pursue an out-of-town project within my budget right now. I also would like to establish local relationships to do more of this. I got a recommendation for a local recording engineer/ producer and have consulted- The producer/engineer would also like me to work with an arranger before we go into the studio- I have production ideas of my own but am not "seasoned" enough to put it together well and want a professional sound. The arranger will work with me and then we will go "track" whatever we can on keyboard with the recording engineer/producer. Then the engineer/producer will record me and arrange for whatever live musicians are needed for the project (I will pay the live musicians). I envision that the musicians and arranger will sign work-for-hire forms and I would rather have the producer/engineer do the same to keep it easy and clean (and so I do not create accounting work for myself), but I want to do what is fair. What's "fair" is confusing because I do know of several Nashville outfits who will offer all master rights (including mechanical sales) in this regard for a certain price (usually paid above the typical demo fee). From what I have read to date, it looks like offering 3% of the mechanical sales beyond a certain level of sales might be the most fair arrangement (in this "ball park") if the producer/engineer insists on "points." (?)

Anyway, thanks so much for the educational info and if you have any thoughts on the "3%" I am open. I am also wondering where you operate out of for future potential projects (when I have a healthier budget and am ready to "step up"). Thanks again. GS

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Re: Question About Finding Sample Producer Contracts

Post by deantaylor » Sat Sep 10, 2011 5:45 pm

GS,

I think some/many studios arrange and record masters without asking for points. Just a flat wfh fee. They pay the musicians from this fee and will sign a wfh that covers their 'arranging' work and the musicians work.

I can give you a few names if you want .. PM me.

I structure a lot of deals with points or paying on the backend .. it can be done. but you might see if your producer will sign the same wfh as the musicians .. maybe for a small increase in the upfront fee you pay him/her .. so that you own the master outright .. it is cleaner and easier this way, if you can afford it.

Dean
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Re: Question About Finding Sample Producer Contracts

Post by simonparker » Mon Sep 12, 2011 9:55 am

Hey GS - I would see if I could get the producer on a work-for-hire/flat fee arrangement. If not, I'd try to get a contract where you own the master rights in exchange for a small % (i.e. 3%).

Thanks for stopping by my website. My main business base is NYC, but I have people in my camp out in Nashville, LA, and London.
http://soundcloud.com/simon-parker

developing artists for record deals since 2008

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