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Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

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Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:03 pm
by mrmoon
It's my first time working with a "high-end" audio engineer to mix one of my tracks and they are asking for 2% royalty points and to sign a "deal memo" ahead of a full contract to be drafted by "my attorney". Does this sound normal/typical?

I'm really keen to work with this guy since he has done popular albums I really love but don't want to get cheated right out of the gate. At the same time I think he should get a fair rate, and hey if he's part of the success of the song that it makes enough money to earn something on the royalties then he deserves it! The problem is just now I have the added cost of also hiring an attorney to draft this contract and make sure I keep my rights to the masters and that I agree to and stick to the terms of our royalty payments, all much more complicated then simply paying a fee and getting the mix back.

Re: Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 6:21 pm
by Eddy Deegan
Welcome to the forum :)

I'm not going to give an opinion on this as it's outside of my area of expertise but I think you were wise to ask for some input.

We have a number of people on the forum here who know about these things, so I'm sure you'll get some useful input in due course.

Re: Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Fri Jul 03, 2020 5:47 pm
by The Red Bladder
No - unless you happen to be Dr.Dre.

EDIT - I reread your post and this is a definite case of 'body-swerve!'

I've been in this game a long time and the guy behind the desk is either a real mover and shaker (e.g. Dr.Dre - who is a mega-successful producer) or you pay a regular day-rate.

If you are against the wall, PM me and I'll get you away from the wall. But this screams 'SCAM' at volume-setting 11.

Re: Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 3:42 pm
by SVR
If all he is doing is mixing the song--not composing, not arranging, not selecting instruments or sounds--just mixing the song, then no, Mixers get a flat rate, a one time fee.

If this person is doing arrangements, acting as producer, playing an instrument, writing lyrics, singing etc, then additional compensation may be on order and in the form of additional fees or back end royalties.

Re: Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:03 pm
by BJG145
mrmoon wrote:The problem is just now I have the added cost of also hiring an attorney to draft this contract.

Wait, what?

No idea, this sounds well above my pay grade.

Re: Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 5:06 pm
by desmond
Is this in lieu of a mix fee, or in *addition* to a mix fee?

Re: Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 7:16 pm
by CS70
mrmoon wrote:It's my first time working with a "high-end" audio engineer to mix one of my tracks and they are asking for 2% royalty points and to sign a "deal memo" ahead of a full contract to be drafted by "my attorney". Does this sound normal/typical?

From what I've heard, It happens but only with super-top names, and they do get a fraction of points. So basically the guy needs to be in the same caliber a CLA or Scheps or the likes... someone whose name is so big in the right circles, that it can be used by the label to increase the marketing of the track to radio, tv or other "gateway" outlets.

If you're working on your own, without a label and their network of contacts, it's probably not worth much to get a big mixing name (other for the quality of the mix, but even then there's plenty of great mixers around). On the other side, if he accepts to work for fraction of points instead of a fee, he must think he has a fair chance of recouping the money for his work, but then it means that you shouldn't be alone... so it's a bit of a strange thing.

What exactly are u planning of doing with the recording (in terms of business plan)?

Re: Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2020 10:50 pm
by Martin Walker
What a shame the Original Poster hasn't returned to fill in more details on his/her situation - this is a fascinating thread that would really benefit from a resolution.


Martin

Re: Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:37 am
by BJG145
...also asked and answered on GS; they went ahead. (Hadn't realised it was an old thread; must remember to check with people so keen on necroposting round here.)

Re: Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 4:35 pm
by Martin Walker
BJG145 wrote:...also asked and answered on GS; they went ahead. (Hadn't realised it was an old thread; must remember to check with people so keen on necroposting round here.)

Thanks for that clarification BJG145, and for the link. Here's what mrmoon said on GS:

"thanks for the feedback guys! agreed, since its unsigned, 2% of revenue will likely be negligible anyhow -- decided to proceed with caution. I've asked a few other good quality mixers for quotes since and a few mentioned royalty points as well -- fyi for anyone else reading this."


Martin

Re: Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:59 pm
by CS70
Yeah it sounds kinda odd.. 2% of zero is zero..

Re: Is it normal for mixing engineers to ask for royalty points?

PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:55 pm
by blinddrew
CS70 wrote:Yeah it sounds kinda odd.. 2% of zero is zero..
Have you been looking at my PRS statements again?
:D