Could the traditional artist-client freelance model work for producers and labels?

Archon

Gagi
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Now that I think about this, I don't think this is anything new to be honest, it was probably the case in the past as well. I remember The Thrillseekers talking about how he was offered 10000 $ (you read that right) for a record, and straight after signing he got offered like 4-8 times more, or something like that.
 

Jetflag

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I think it would be quite a lot more for the top producers,maybe near 1000...i was quoted recently 300 from a well known producer,but hes nowhere near one of the top headlining guys.
I've nowhere seen that amount of money spend by any of my label managers m8, and i've been remixed by quite a few top jocks.
 
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Hot Tuna

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Now that I think about this, I don't think this is anything new to be honest, it was probably the case in the past as well. I remember The Thrillseekers talking about how he was offered 10000 $ (you read that right) for a record, and straight after signing he got offered like 4-8 times more, or something like that.

That seems excessive, I'd be interested to know the label involved. I'd imagine he was probably talking about a longer-term deal, i.e. to deliver an album or two.

I recall reading that Lange received a flat £1,000 fee for remixing 'Happiness Happening' on Ministry of Sound. Jason Nevins also received the same amount for remixing Run DMC's It's Like That, which went on to be a massive worldwide hit. I think he's since tried to renegotiate.
 

Archon

Gagi
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That seems excessive, I'd be interested to know the label involved. I recall reading that Lange received a flat £1,000 fee for remixing 'Happiness Happening' on Ministry of Sound. Jason Nevins also received the same amount for remixing Run DMC's It's Like That, which went on to be a massive worldwide hit. I think he's since tried to renegotiate.
If you were replying to my message, maybe check out any interviews he did in the past couple of years, he mentions the track and label too.
 
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Magdelayna

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Now that I think about this, I don't think this is anything new to be honest, it was probably the case in the past as well. I remember The Thrillseekers talking about how he was offered 10000 $ (you read that right) for a record, and straight after signing he got offered like 4-8 times more, or something like that.

Yeah i watched that,i think its was Synasthesia..and it was Positiva who wanted it for 5x times as much after he had signed it. But i think things worked differently back then in the vinyl days.
 
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Archon

Gagi
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Yeah i watched that,i think its was Synasthesia..and it was Positiva who wanted it for 5x times as much after he had signed it. But i think things worked differently back then in the vinyl days.
Yeah yeah, I could remember something about Positiva, just wasn't sure. But we're talking about the same thing. A crazy sum regardless, but hey, trance was peaking commercially, so it doesn't surprise me.
 

Magdelayna

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Yeah yeah, I could remember something about Positiva, just wasn't sure. But we're talking about the same thing. A crazy sum regardless, but hey, trance was peaking commercially, so it doesn't surprise me.

Are we saying that back then, labels paid the producer a one-off sum,but then the label owns the track 100% and takes all sales revenues? That doesnt happen nowadays.
 

Archon

Gagi
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Are we saying that back then, labels paid the producer a one-off sum,but then the label owns the track 100% and takes all sales revenues? That doesnt happen nowadays.
I know of that one case only, perhaps some scene legends can confirm or deny.
 

Recharge

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I've nowhere seen that amount of money spend by any of my label managers m8, and i've been remixed by quite a few top jocks.
Yeah maybe in trance, but to be honest we don't have top tier artists apart from Armin and Tiesto, even Above and Beyond are famously unfamous outside trance.

Some french dj producers that made the shitiest remix ever is getting up to 6 figure number for a single event.
 

Hensmon

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It was Thrillseekers interview with Musikexpress where he talked about large amount of cash offers for Synesthesia. Would love to know what the average well known DJ was making per record back then. Have a feeling it was loads.

Basically the forumular that would determine the amount agreed upon between the artist and producer for what im talking about would be;

Current market/How much could I profit of a track + artist skill + scope/direction of work.

Back in 90's/00's it would be 1000's, today 100's.
 

Manofearth

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It could work but it’s risky. Music is so hard to get right in the subjective ears of the listener, even if the objectively deliver on the direction. They may produce exactly the synth, drums and bass you want but if you don’t connect with the melody or if one single piece is off then your left with a product you don’t like. What confidence can you go in that the result will be worth the high price?
 
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Hensmon

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Soundbetter is doing something similar

I posted a job description on there to see what would happen. Most people are quoting me $800, for producing, mixing/mastering, and I get full rights to everything. My criteria explained I wanted classic sounding tracks, and I gave some reference tracks too. Of course all say that can easily do what I need. Most come with unlimited iterations (until I am happy basically).

I'm definitely gonna try this out as an experiment next year. One guy quoted me a lot less than $800, and will also give unlimited iterations until I am happy, and the full rights/royalties. He says he has collaborated with Schulz and PVD in the past. He's done nearly 5000 jobs on Soundbetter, and has 5 star review. What you guys think the chances of success are haha
 
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Bobby Summa

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Yeah Gagi has it right. For example I want more Classic sounding tracks on the TF Label. I could find a producer I like, offer to pay them upfront, let's say $800, and give a certain degree of direction/vision. We'd have some back and forth on iteration, which you'd be more inclined to act upon in order to keep the client happy and warrant further work.

I would then own the track and could sell it on my label. I am thinking about this realistically for an experiment on the TF label. I would offer $500 to artist, plus additional royalties once a threshold is met i.e once I sell 50 copies we then split everything 50/50. My benefit is that I have more control and ownership over the product, the artist benefit is more money than they would usually get relying on royalties alone + all the normal track exposure you would typically get.

This sounds like something id be extremely interested in. Ive only read up to this point of the post.

I wrote a half decent trance track for a lady to give her husband for their anniversary. - she cried when she heard it. She had a (kind of) specific sound in mind or just knew the type of track he liked. So she described some tracks and i heard one or two he liked and i wrote to that description/style. Its the track i posted on my first comment or thread on the forum the day i joined. ( the one with female vocals and a bit of white noise) . I actually rushed finishing the track and wanted to do much more to it.

I also used to write tracks under mates guidance by putting their ideas down because they weren’t keyboard players and didn’t understand Synthesizers etc. ( none were amazing but they liked them. ( we were just mucking about in the 90s). In a sense we are doing part of this process with sin3waves by me following your suggestions etc.

im off work for 4/5 weeks but am quite well enough to write music ( currently doing lots of it infact). Perhaps this time i have could be used to create some tracks in the way you are suggesting. - you have a style in mind, an idea, i produce it or put it into fruition. Just try something out. I’ve recently wanted to try a new approach to my music.
- Trust it, without refining it to exactly fit my idea 100% because sometimes my perfectionist attitude is relentless. With someone else involved, the pressure would be off to an extent., or split. It would probably be much easier.
Plus often ( ive learned) i try to create part of a track, an effect or something or a certain sound. I get a good idea then think. Ok, how do i make this mind blowing beyond comparison. - then i spend 2 hours getting lost when my first attempt at that part was actually pretty decent already. From this I’ve learned if I compromise just a little, then tracks would get written far quicker, and potentially many more tracks would get written.
You Hensmon know yourself how many unfinished tracks i have because ideas ran dry spending too much time attempting to get 100% when actually 90% perfect is already pretty good.
- Hence many 3 minute unfinished tracks on my soundcloud or tracks that don’t quite lead anywhere. The pay off of settling for 90% perfect is il finish more and more tracks get written and more potential in release terms can happen. Thus win win in a sense.

Unfinished tracks haunt producers.

Im being a bit forward here i realise. But feel free to pm me. @Hensmon @Gagi
 
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Manofearth

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What you guys think the chances of success are haha

Sorry to say, but low chance. Even if he can make the production have classic sounds, can they also make an interesting track with that magic. That’s the hardest part, and if you don’t have much experience making Trance to begin with then that’s going to be even harder
 
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Hensmon

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True, but I have medium confidence because I am allowed to heavily dictate the approach and execution (unlimited times). And to be honest some of the best Trance is very simple, so that also could play in favor, as long as the person has a good musical knowledge and foundation. But yeah I am not overly confident but honestly think I will try this to see.
 
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Sorry to say, but low chance. Even if he can make the production have classic sounds, can they also make an interesting track with that magic. That’s the hardest part, and if you don’t have much experience making Trance to begin with then that’s going to be even harder
The only way this could work is searching for old trance producers who are still active. For example this guy right here:


Wolfgang Kasier aka. Emperor

He produced stuff like this:



I know, its hard trance (more or less) but this guy was pretty damn good back then and had some very decent releases. The good thing is he is still active to this day but producing techno now. He remixed one of my tracks for another label one time and I was flashed seeing that he was once a decent trance producer (in the 90s). Maybe there would be a possibility to get guys like him to produce trance again for a specific payment. Just using random ghost producers who have their focus on other genres wont work out I guess.
 

Bobby Summa

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I just wanted to add something to my original post on here incase it was misleading.

I would not expect anything near the realms of $800 to personally be involved with this.

- I have suggested to Hensmon we do some trial run experiments to see how we bond as a client-artist relationship.
No exchange of money involved.
( I almost feel dirty talking about a money - music relationship in this way 😕)

I don’t know much about how much artists get from their Trance tracks income wise but was under the impression that its very hard these days to make much income even if it sells quite a few.
Isnt it just the top tier that make good money as their name and label sells the track and people trust their name/label?


I actually think there could be things brought in to ensure no or minimal loss of money is made to the client (Hensmon in this instance). Something like, incase it does not sell much, any significant payments ( or all) could be held back. There could even be sharing of rights to the finished track between client and artist under these circumstances. So then it perhaps turns into a standard collaboration type scenario.

Nobody wants to loose money and for me personally and I suspect many artists, its just a pleasure to write a track. So if no loss of cash can be ensured then theres no risk.

Hope I explained correctly. What do people think about my suggestions?

Cheers
 

TRANCEBLASTER

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Would love to know what the average well known DJ was making per record back then. Have a feeling it was loads.

A well known German Trance/Dance producer/dj told me, that he could buy his house from the sales of his single (top 10 position)..

Other Dj told me, that when your track had an appearance on the 'BRAVO hits' CD compilation you could buy a new car from it... I don't know if these things are 100% true, haha

Also the music videos in the 90's, were not a cheap thing, many were shoot in New York, Bali, Australia, even for some smaller guys with a local club hit.. there was alot of money involved..
 
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A well known German Trance/Dance producer/dj told me, that he could buy his house from the sales of his single (top 10 position)..

Other Dj told me, that when your track had an appearance on the 'BRAVO hits' CD compilation you could buy a new car from it... I don't know if these things are 100% true, haha

Also the music videos in the 90's, were not a cheap thing, many were shoot in New York, Bali, Australia, even for some smaller guys with a local club hit.. there was alot of money involved..
Well when it comes to "BRAVO" this (could) be true, altough many years ago. I dont think CD sales are too hight those days. People listen on Spotify etc. and money from there is ... well bad! I could collect bottles in germany 1 hour a day and make more money this way then releasing music on spotify which is (sad).

From my own experience: I was featured on a D.TRANCE Sampler one time. The income from it was "good" but not overwhelming. From this money I could have a very good dinner at a restaurant, but thats about it.

In the 90s this kind of stuff worked out, nowadays? No chance.