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sam_sam83

Royalty Rate for a musician

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Here''s the situation We''ve been developing a game for over a year now, we''re at the stage where we feel it is complete enough to send to publishers to demo and hopefully catch one of their eyes. We had a musician come on board and he''s going to make music for the game. He''s completely unknown, has never held a job, not like we asked someone somewhat famous or anything. He''ll work for about a week composing and playing the music, and we pay all costs for him, including studio fees, etc... We told him up front that we couldn''t pay him in anything but royalties. Our team thinks that 3% of profits is more than reasonably considering he only works a week at the most, and we pay for studio costs, etc. Anyway, what is a reasonable amount? Suddenly he''s asking for 10% at least, so we''re thinking of canning him.

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On a professional project, that would be an inordinate percentage for a lowly musician--- but pretty much anything goes when you're struggling to complete your first major project.

Simply- give him no more than you believe his music is worth. It's up to you. You can try to wave some figures in his face based on professional projects that have been completed (not sure of specifics here), but if he doesn't budge and you really like his music, you're (obviously) stuck. I'm sure if you threaten to kick him out the door he'll bargain with you.


[edited by - PoppinFresh on August 13, 2002 3:43:24 PM]

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3% sounds very generous for a week''s worth of work on a year long project.

But hey, if you expect 10% of your customers to buy the game based on the quality of music, then 10% could be reasonable. Only you can evaluate how much of a draw his work will be... we haven''t heard any of it.

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quote:
Original post by Just3D
Can him and use us.

We''ll be reasonable because we work for the independent.





That is SOOO unbelievably uncool... I''m stunned..


Ed Lima - ELM&M
ed@edlima.com
http://www.edlima.com

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Yeah, you're probably right. :-(

As for the royalties, PoppinFresh has a good idea. Since he hasn't done any projects before, I'm sure he is willing to negotiate. I think 3% sounds good, but he may be saying 10% just to have more bargaining room.



"There are only three types of people in this world: those who can count, and those who can't."

Just3D
Justin Nordin
J Squared Productions
www.jsquaredproductions.com

[edited by - Just3D on August 13, 2002 6:30:49 PM]

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What a self important sh!t. I say dump his arse, I think most musicians I know would be really excited to get some of their music published for free. Hell not only published for free he doesn''t even have to pay for the F-ing studio time!!! Tell him three percent or he has to pay for the studio time.

DRINK GIN! IT MAKES A MAN MEAN-milk and cheese

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You were up front with him about payment; I assume he re-evaluated his "worth" and decided to reneg which shows a lack of professionalism. I find myself often in a situation where I wish I would''ve asked for more at the start of the project, but I always stick by my original quote, which any ethical sound-designer/musican should (in reasonable circumstances).

If he continues to "re-evaluate" his worth, drop him; the last thing you need on your project is uncertainty.

BTW, for reference, my lowest royalty was 4% with a $500 cap and my highest was 8% with no cap - and I have references, which I consider a necessity when doing paying work for other people. Be careful with this guy, there are a lot of great musicians out there who I''m sure would take a 3% gig for a week''s worth of work.

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Yeah, I got say.. my "BS" alert went up when this guy said he could compose and record a game''s worth of music in seven days. And what''s the deal with the recording studio? what kind of working composer doesn''t have some kind of recording rig at home? It seems to me like the employer''s being asked to take all of the risk, financial and artistic, while the musician gets to fan himself in a recording studio for a week. My advice to the original poster is to spend the recording budget hiring a musician with pro or semi-pro references that has his/her own recording setup.

Btw, Just3D, I hope you don''t feel like I was picking on you there too much. I just thought it was uncool of you to try and steal another person''s gig. I hope we''re cool, one Texan to another

Ed Lima - ELM&M
ed@edlima.com
http://www.edlima.com

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quote:
Original post by edlima
And what''s the deal with the recording studio? what kind of working composer doesn''t have some kind of recording rig at home?

Well, to be fair, most musicians will have their own digital recording stuff at home, but when doing live recordings it''s usually best to go to a studio for it, as it''s best to have a dedicated room that is appropriately soundproofed and so on.


[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost | Asking Questions | Organising code files | My stuff ]

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I can't offer any advice on royalty rates, I have published works on a major multi-platform title but it was fixed rate.

I do gratis work on projects that have reached demo stage. However if the demo gets publisher backing then I am usually quite negotiable for fixed/royalty payment. I guess once you hear a demo of the artist's work it's easier to figure out how much they're worth.



----

Proffessional Music/Sound Engineer

"Music is not something you just do, it''s part of who you are"

[edited by - yjbrown on August 15, 2002 8:28:27 AM]

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