Readers' Letters: “I manage producers. Should I pay them or should they pay me?”, and more...

David Mellor

David Mellor is CEO and Course Director of Audio Masterclass. David has designed courses in audio education and training since 1986 and is the publisher and principal writer of

Thursday November 30, 2006

NOTE: This article is now quite old. Some of the links may not work.

In response to “I manage producers. Should I pay them or should they pay me?”, Louis writes...

You guys scare me! If I was a producer and I was approached by a management company who had not yet figured out who pays who, I would run real fast. It's almost like a dentist who would say, "do I pull out your tooth or do you pull out mine" or "your teeth, are they those white things in your mouth?"

Maybe a semester or two or six in a management school would help you resolve your dilemma.

Sorry to be harsh, but there are too many people in our business who improvise with occasional disastrous effect on their clients. I've been taken once by such clowns.

RP response: Thank you for your input. At Audio Masterclass however we don't like to knock people back so quickly. Everyone has to start somewhere, even managers.

In response to Reader's Comment - Is it cheating to use Auto-Tune?, Oztedoz writes...

In the studio, the clock it ticking and the meter is running. And Sometimes, the singer is just getting tired by re-tracking. Often the earlier performance had the fire, the spirit and the spontenaity. It would be a shame to sacrifice that feel until every note achieved perfection - in a pedantic attempt to not 'cheat'. If we believed that, we'd rip out the EQ, Reverb, Limiting etc. Isn't it a little Puritan to say you have to be perfect or else? Instead, let's ask the question: 'Did the performance move the listener?' I think in this case the end justifies the means and Melodyne rules! And hey - it sure helps keep the studio budget in check -and bookings running on time:-)

In response to “I manage producers. Should I pay them or should they pay me?”, Travis Cherry writes...

I completely disagree with the answer given because it was given form a non-producer point of view in my opinion. As a producer with placements internationally I feel that the burden for collecting my money should go through A. My publisher and then B. To my attorney who I TRUST completely. It's safe to say that when something goes wrong or there's a problem or disagreement, It makes things easier to handle. Imagine the problems created for us as producers when you fire a bad manager......especially one who was collecting all of your money. Horrible. Just Horrible.

RP response: Yes, the article is written from the management's point of view because that's who asked the question. Audio Masterclass advice for the producer is to find something that works for you. Finding a manager who can get you gigs, get the money out of whoever owes it to you and pay you reliably is one good solution.

In response to Reader's Comment - Is it cheating to use Auto-Tune?, Julian writes...

I love all the points mentioned in this article and I agree with most of it. With music, just about everything is subjective. I still feel that blatant wrongs are obvious, however. For example, slamming autotune on someone and not using it graphically and learning to use it in a tasteful way for certain genres, to me, is wrong. I've never cared for it even when used aggressively in the genres where it makes sense such as artists like T-pain. But again, I understand the draw of it to that audience who really knows no better. What I can't stand, however, is the lack of understanding when someone like myself learns to use it with what I consider to be a healthy dose of taste in graphical mode and literally crafting someones pitches in a way that enhances the artists performance which may not have been far off to the general publics ears in the first place. A lot of the artists I record sing very well and I've mastered using pitch correction to bring even more of what the artist was doing. The way I see it is that using autotune is not different than using photoshop on a model. NOONE sings perfect, I know this being a singer myself and tracking people who I thought were pretty much always dead on with pitch adn then seeing that be further off than I thought. Heck, simply using a different mic and pre combination causes autotune to detect pitches different. So anyway, it all boils to to the indian, not the arrow.

Julian - Owner/Head Producer

Ear Candy Studios

In response to “I manage producers. Should I pay them or should they pay me?”, Grant Tomb writes...

I love good, straightforward articles. Bravo.

In response to "Thought 13" by Andrea Menafra, Dr. Andrew Colyer writes...

NICE! I see that you are in Italy. I'm in NY. Would you be interested in maybe laying down some tracks? I could email you some stuff and you could upload through my FTP server, or we could use eSession. Let me know.

Dr. Andrew Colyer

In response to “I manage producers. Should I pay them or should they pay me?”, Zahir writes...

As a Manager you work for your producer. So your producer should pay you a commission based on a percentage of either their gross or net income. Considering that your experience is limited to 1 year a 20% commission seems extremely high.

In response to The Behringer MIC 2200 - are the LEDs connected to the tube's heater?, Clint Millett writes...


Just a simple comment on all of this. If I remember correctly, a 12AX7 tubes filaments are only visible to any great extent from the top of the tube. With the tube mounted horizontally, it would be very difficult to see any appreciable amount of light from the tube itself, hence the addition of the LEDs.

I would have to agree with David that this is probably just a marketing thing, and that the LEDs are there to make it look like the tube is glowing brightly. The only tubes that I remember that really glowed brilliantly ate 811's, 813's, etc, which needed a lot of heater power to operate at the high power levels that they were designed for. Even 6V6's and 6L6's don't give a huge amount of light from the sides.

In response to “I manage producers. Should I pay them or should they pay me?”, BG Bremer writes...

"...they won't have to look for work. You will do that." Here in Calif., it is illegal for an artist's (producer's) manager to solicit work. That can only be done through a licensed talent agent. Don't know how other states handle this.

RP response: That's an interesting point. The article was researched from information provided by a well-established UK producer management company. The US Association of Talent Agents has this to say - "The job of the ATA agent is to create opportunities, procure and negotiate employment for clients and counsel them in the development of their careers. Agents in most states must be licensed by the state, city or appropriate governing body. Managers are not regulated nor are they required to have a license. Under law, managers may not procure employment for artists or negotiate without a licensed agent, and any person who renders Agent services without a license may have their contract invalidated and be forced to relinquish any commissions paid." It isn't clear from this whether there is anything that forbids a manager from also being a licensed agent. And of course any manager would have an interest in procuring the services of a good agent. If anyone has first-hand knowledge of this we would be pleased to hear.

In response to "Take the Pain Away" by instereo, Sirmic writes...

For what it's worth , this sounds like a number one smash hit , to these tired old ears . only one teeny gripe ; work on that snare drum sound , tune it up some , i.e. tighten it . make it sound bigger in the mix . hope this helps , mic .

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