For the producer, there are two contracts of particular importance: most producers now work as freelancers, welcoming artists and groups for different labels in project studios, high-end installations or even studios specially built in Switzerland and abroad. Independent producers such as Stuart Price (Madonna/Seal), Nigel Godrich (Radiohead/Paul McCartney/Travis) and Danger Mouse (Martina Topley-Bird/Gnarls Barkley/Gorillaz) have had great success with American colleagues such as John Shanks (Take That/Kelly Clarkson/Alanis Morissette), Nate Hills (Britney Spears) or Ryan Tedder (Leona Lewis). I find that more and more producers are demanding a percentage of SoundExchange`s sales on the songs they produce. The same goes for others so-called “direct money” or “flat fee” The Master (films/TV-Placements, etc.). This is usually a reflection of the modern realities of Musikbiz, because the “points” are no longer worth what they used to be. Not all manufacturer agreements include SoundExchange/Flat Fee sales, but if you do, make sure the language is clear and the percentage is correct. Typically, a fraction is used: no matter which producer points you agree on (say 4 as above), divided by the record license of the artist who flows from the label (say 20%). In this example, 4 divided by 20 gives the producer a percentage of 20% SoundExchange/Flat Fee. My advice: if you do not know what the royalty or no label is, the standard practice is to use a “as a royalty” which is simply a royalty on which you and the producer agree, based on industrial standards (somewhere between 15 and 20%). I would limit the producer`s SoundExchange/Flat Fee claim to a certain amount, nothing above 25%.
Obviously, lower is better for you than artists. As with record companies, production companies will want as many option periods as possible (which makes it easier for the artist to sign) while it is in the interest of artists to grant as few options as possible. This agreement provides 3 options that are really all that an artist should hire in this type of production contract. Similarly, the production company will want each period to last as long as possible and that the artist`s interest be served by giving them only the time the artist thinks the company reasonably needs. In any case, it is important to set a long-stop limit for the length of any period. Today, producers do much more than knob-twiddling. Studio time must be booked, budgets managed, session players and equipment must be engaged, not to mention the visionary, technical and interpersonal capabilities needed to deliver an album to the expected RS in time. And if the producer does not have a manager who shares the burden, he must do all these things for himself, in addition to the legal and financial side of his daily business! The artist represents and guarantees that the music made available to the producer for recording and production is the original work of the artist and that it does not, to his knowledge, infringe the copyright of another.