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How do you deal with a recording session cancellation?


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I was supposed to record my client this yesterday but she cancelled on me (called me a few hours before the session was supposed to start). I'm only doing this for fun right now (though she is a paying customer) so it's not a big deal to me. However, I wonder what folks who do this for a living do when a session is cancelled. Do you have a minimum time they have to let you know by otherwise you charge them something? Do you just play it by ear? Or do you have other contingency plans for cancellations? Personally, I'm not sure I can be as casual as I am now if this was my main source of income. Actually, one of the reasons she decided to record with me is, when she cancelled with another guy she was gonna record with, the guy "gave her an attitude". I can't I blame the guy for being upset especially if he was counting on the income the sessions would've brought in. OTOH, maybe he could've handled it differently and not lose her as a client. Anyway, I'd appreciate hearing from folks who record for a living and how you handle this. It'll be helpful to me and other folks who may end up making this a career. TIA! Rim

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http://rimspeed.com

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Our model of billing is "borrowed" from the travel business. However, we try to keep a reasonable attitude and on most occasions we will work something out that will satisfy all parts - the main objective with cancelation fees is to make clients avoid cancelations if at all possible. In order to book a session, we require a deposit. When the sesion starts we expect to recieve the remaining amount. No pay = no play. Major clients have up to 30 day credit, larger projects are billed weekly. Cancelation earlier than 14 days: no charge if client books another date (No new booking = 10% handling fee). Cancelation less than 14 days but more than 7 days prior to session: 25% cancelation fee. Cancelation less than 7 days but more than 72 hours prior to session: 50% cancelation fee. Cancelation less than 72 hours prior to session: No refund, client has to pay full amount. Note: If a client cancels a session and we manage to fill the slot with other projects, the original client pays the difference of what we manage to sell + a 10% handling fee. /Mats

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WTF??? I use to have the studio I recorded at cancel on me. I would show up and ICP would be there and I would get bumped, because they were a "bigger" paying client. This went on for a whole summer. That was the reason I started my own home studio. I was sick and tired of getting fucked over. Would you guys cancel a date on someone, because one of your "bigger" client's showed up? I am (not as well as I used to be) friends with the producer/engineer/studio owner and he is not a bad person, but as far as I am concerned on a professional level, he can go fuck himself. If someone cancels and is not a jackass about it then don't fuck them too hard. But then again some people go to work, just to fuck with other people. out, rfenergy p.s. after having to listening to ICP, I feel like the Mozart of rock and roll.
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Yea but if this is your HOME studio and you are trying to have a relaxed atmosphere that just doesn't work. This is my solution for you: 1. Tell her that you could have booked a money gig in the slot she took. This will tell her that you lost money. 2 Give her a written House rules document that outlines everything and let her know that you will need a deposit if she no shows / cancels again within 7 days of the scheduled session. 3 If she cancels a second time, you have the choice to A: not call her back or B: book her under the condition that she pays in advance. You will have to be "booked two weeks out" to ensure adequate pre payment. Female acoustic singers are a pain in the ass and I feel for you. Don't expect any producer credits either. They change their mind at the last minute and make up for their ignorance by bossing you around and making you explain stupid shit like eq. Then they try to suck all the music business information out of you like a leech, make you think they're your best friend, and then make you sign a release saying that the CD is all theirs, even if you played half of the instruments on the tunes, and came up with all the cool shit on the release. Then they start calling you three times a day for stupid shit because they need attention and you are nothing but a big musical dildo to them. I steer clear of them if I can because I've been burnt by them one too many times. oh, I'm sorry do I sound angry? No I just don't ever want that 8 month ordeal ever again. :freak: :mad: oh, and howdy neighbor.

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Before a client comes to my studio I send them a contract that states they must cancel as session 24 hours prior to the session start time. If not they will still be billed. I also give clients my cell # so there is no excuse why they couldn`t reach me. Whether its for fun or profit you are offering your time and service... Ernest
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Mats, Thanks! That sounds like a reasonable policy. How much deposit do you usually require? ThisOLDdude, Hey, are you Norm Abrams? :D I lived in Gaithersburg for a year - off of Clopper Road. Anyway, like I said before, her cancelling on me is not a big deal since it is just a home studio. I was asking more for the future when I may take it more seriously as a side business. I'm sorry to hear of your bad experience. It doesn't appear my client is like what you described - at least not yet. ;) TheJesus, zele and ernest, Thanks for your good tips, too!

aka riffing

 

Double Post music: Strip Down

 

http://rimspeed.com

http://loadedtheband.com

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This Old Dude, You are SO RIGHT about female acoustic guitar player/singers!!! Why is that always the way? The guy singer/guitar players are usually easier to deal with ;) , except when they go on drinking binges, and when they're girlfriends dump them. :freak:

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From our booking agreement, which everyone must sign: "A nonrefundable deposit of %50 shall be required to confirm all bookings. Cancellation with less than 48 hours notice shall result in payment in full due for the session. No further sessions shall be booked, and no materials will be released until payment for cancellation is made in full." For long term clients there is some leeway. Every stiuation is unique, but there must be guidelines set forth at tht start of the relationship. Hope this is helpful.

Hope this is helpful.

 

NP Recording Studios

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After it happened a few times to me, I wrote up a policy stating a cancelation within 48 hours of the booked session will incur a charge equal to a four hour time slot or half the intended session, which ever is larger. I then explain this to my clients. No one has had a problem so far.
-David R.
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As bad as it sounds, it actually depends on the client. This time of year I usually rejoice at a gap and don't charge. Leaner times (fall, spring), I will charge from 25% up. No call and no show means charged for the missed time and paid in full before each cd (even rough mix) is released. Most of this is covered in my studio packet.
No matter how good something is, there will always be someone blasting away on a forum somewhere about how much they hate it.
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