need your help-advice

i’m in a situation with a producer who is taking my tracks hostage.

me and a producer had a falling out and i decided to take my tracks elsewhere to.

but he’s asking for an outrageous fee of $175 to move sessions we paid for to my hard drive and being childish as he is…tells me he doesnt want me there.

is there a bureau or something i can do to get my tracks?

it looks to be resolved…i wish i can delete the thread but oh well :slight_smile:

Leave the thread here… - a reminder to us all to ask for a backup copy up front if you are letting other people handle your recordings…

Glad you got it solved.

regards, Nils

It’s something that any paying musician may have happen to them at some time.

I’m not looking for specifics about the deal, but how were you able to resolve the matter? Perhaps we can learn from any mistakes and benefit from how you negotiated a resolution?

That said, some folks are scum and nothing works, but I hope that wasn’t the case. :)

It’s common practice for studios to not let acceptable (or even ANY) mixes out of the house until all the bills have been paid. An artist may want a quick mix (reel, cassette, CD) to take home to listen to. If it sounded good enough for the artist, and would work for their purposes, then the artist may never return and may never pay the bill. To prevent that most quick mixed would intentionally be less than stellar, and in many cases intentionally bad. Some do mono only. Many studios just won’t do them a all.

Your problem doesn’t sound like that, but it’s common to hold the music hostage until everything is resolved. That’s just about the only thing the studio has to use as collateral.

hey guys…thanks for the support. i can’t tell you how stressful it was for me for the last couple of days. i have a band who are also friends i respect and i consider the situation hostage because it doesnt affect just me…it affects them as well and the producer (loosely termed) was had issues with me.

the story was that he completely mismanaged my schedule to come in. i made an appointment during last week’s session with my bass player that i would come in next week for my overdubs. i come in on that night lugging my equipment and he’s telling me that he didnt expect me tonight.
i was annoyed but you know mistakes happen and i wouldve let it go but he was being a completely defensive dick about it and even tried to make it seem like it was my fault beccause i didn’t “confirm” the schedule with him when i left messages on his voice mail that he never got. (he had a habit of rarely returning phone calls/emails in most of my dealings with him until recently…surprise surprise) i basically told him…don’t worry about it…let’s just move on…and suddenly he snaps…telling me that he wasnt apologizing about what happened.
you know…i was much more upset with his reaction to the situation and i emailed him my concern with his tone. the next morning he emails me that he can’t work with me anymore. im thinking whatever…ill take my tracks and work elsewhere…and that’s the point where he started to take my tracks hostage.

the other source of irritation i got with him upon working with this guy…he always had this sort of elite “im a producer who works with major people” kind of mentality and maybe he does but honestly i dont care and i really resented that he always had this mentality that he was doing “me” a favor. and it’s not an exagerration considering the comments and subtle suggestions he consistently made with that theme but i ignored it for the most part because my band and i are trying to finish this EP. in addition, for over a month he always had some excuse why he couldnt get his upright piano fixed even tho we talked about it week after week. i was supposed to come in doing piano overdubs and that same night was no exception. still wasnt fixed…tuned or ready…it was exactly in the same condition over a month ago that he promised to repair in time for my sessions while he always had this…hey…im doin you a favor defense which was really starting to get on my nerves. maybe i shouldve been on a label to work with this guy. pfft

at any rate he was asking $175 to transfer my session files to my hard drive. i winced at the idea but considering the work my bandmates and friends have put into…its not just about me.

i tried to negotiate it but i offered to pay the stupid fee because $175 is a small price to get him out of my life…but he was being ridiculous about not wanting me around while he does the transfer because my presence is a “bad energy” (his term verbatim) for him. i’m not upset about his comments or how he feels or thinks of me…but i really find it disconcerting that for a middle aged man trying to run a business to behave this way was trusted and that i never saw it coming. i was not going to ship hard drives with the possible damage to my hard drive and not knowing when i was going to get it back especially after he obliterated my trust in his ethics or his mental state for that matter.

at any rate, i guess he relented and realized what an idiot he was being. i kept my emails as professional as possible retaining that im not interested in fighting with him and rather i just want my tracks and move on. i hinted that i would contact the BBB or attorney general to investigate his practices. (as suggested by a friend of mine who is an attorney) i would never sue him because it wouldnt be worth it.
but he finally relented but im not sure if it was because i noted to him that if he has an issue with me take it with me and not my band members because you’re affecting innocent people or the hassle i would give him and by rejecting that i agreed to the fee with this idiotic notion of “bad energy” which means to me that he’s a pussy (sorry for swearing) or afraid of me that he let’s his personal feelings get in his business.
he actually emailed me that it wasn’t "personal"
not that i care if it was but seriously…how is that NOT a personal statement??

well…anyway
he relented possibly out of realization of his overreaction or maybe because i subtly threatened to get on his case with investigations to his business or maybe its not just about him and me and other people involved that have nothing to do with his squabble with me.
im meeting him tues to pick up my sessions…pay him and move on.
im glad it worked but its so bittersweet because it really taints how i see people in this business. i dont want to be an anal retentive person mistrusting everybody that i deal with…but oh well. thanks for your feedback gene.

my other mistake was that i should engineers ALWAYS work on my own drive. PERIOD.
that and being less naive with people.

btw this wasnt a recording studio…it was a guy who calls himself a producer with his own protools rig. to his credit…it was a decent studio really built for overdubbing and he had a sound treated room for drums/vocals…not too shabby but with the stuff that i was trying to record…i wouldve gotten it done faster at this studio that has the equipment/instruments i need.

phoo…i always paid all my sessions. it wsa on his hard drive…i wanted them out of there…i was willing to pay his stupid fee but he trying to dictate unreasonable terms that he didn’t want my presence while he did the transfers which seems suspicious. his reaction to me was based on that he felt insulted because i commented about his misscheduling which im beginning to wonder if it really was misscheduling.
he canceled a meeting one time on me like literally a little over an hour before the meeting even tho we scheduled and agreed to it over a week in advance. he had bigger clients than me. its a lose lose situation for me anyhow. i shouldve stopped this before it gotten further but my band really wanted to get this done. being a leader in my band…i wsa dealing with politics and bullshit OUTSIDE of my band and for the most part i insulated to protect them away from this and it was incredibly stressful…only one of them finally knew what was going on because he saw me that i was on the verge of losing it.

Well, there is one really, really good lesson to take from this - one that I bet a lot of people have learned the hard way, just like you - anyone who has an elite attitude is to be avoided like the plague. That sort of attitude is just no good when it comes to making serious art. Elite attitdue? Walk away, and don’t even give it a second thought. We (some bandmates and I) learned that lesson in 1983, and it has always proven correct.

Good news is, the fellow will get a bad rep from this, and just might learn b/c he’ll be losing clients. Then again, maybe not. :D

TomS
VERY true. To be fair…he has good engineering skills and a feel for arranging. but its very obvious we couldnt work together…whether he’s too snotty or im too pragmative…
he was definitely offended by my assertiveness that other night but its not like i yelled at him or cussed him out. its me and my band’s project for god sake! and he’s not doing ME favors…im a customer. right?

but i was the idiot who let this go on because i wanted to get this stuff done and my bandmates like a little complacency when it comes to working with outsiders but they’ve been supportive. im going to a recording studio and NOT a producer for now on. i rather deal with an impersonal objective staff of people and work on the arrangements myself. at least for now. i just want our music out there.

What do you call a person who hangs around musicians? A producer.

I agree with Tom about people with elite attitudes. I have a drummer friend (killer player) who once said, “It is better to play with average players that are fun at the breaks than great players that are tools.”, or something like that.

I’m glad you got the issue resolved. “bad energy”… lol. it sounds like this producer was purely toxic!

Mike

Quote (chimusician @ Mar. 03 2007,11:59)
TomS
VERY true. To be fair..he has good engineering skills and a feel for arranging. but its very obvious we couldnt work together..whether he's too snotty or im too pragmative..
he was definitely offended by my assertiveness that other night but its not like i yelled at him or cussed him out. its me and my band's project for god sake! and he's not doing ME favors..im a customer. right?

but i was the idiot who let this go on because i wanted to get this stuff done and my bandmates like a little complacency when it comes to working with outsiders but they've been supportive. im going to a recording studio and NOT a producer for now on. i rather deal with an impersonal objective staff of people and work on the arrangements myself. at least for now. i just want our music out there.

It depends on what the guys name is I guess....

If his name was Rick Ruben, than I would deal with any personal differences on the side.

A good producer with a good reputation can do wonders for a unknown artist at any level of skill or talent.

keep shinin'

jerm :cool:

i would have smashed his face into the mixer,and then shoved a mic stand up his arse,then i would have turned him over to the rest of the band,and they arent as understanding as i am,

:laugh:

that would have been a rock an roll thing to do,can you imagine some one not givin back like Iggy Pop his trax,or kieth richards,johnny cash? cash would have went crazy on the guy,any self respectin rocker would,no? i have never had to smash anyones face into a mixer,but im thinkin it would be a totally acceptable rock an roll thing to do,maybe it even gets ya some press!somthing to think about anyways

Iggy!

I doubt it would have happened to Iggy since he produced his own music, along with some of Bowie’s from what I’ve heard.

Johnny Cash maybe, he got jerked around quiet a few times by labels, but didn’t have the rights to some of his own music anyhow.

I don’t think Keith gave a darn who had his trax as long as he got his fix that day, same could probably be said for Steven Tyler, Joe Perry.

Anyway destroying the equipment in a studio does not increase the chances of them being able to get tracks out of them…sorry just the logical Vulcan mind speaking.

keep shinin’

jerm :cool:

I think John Cale and/or Jac Holzman produced and mixed the early Stooges stuff with Iggy…not that it matters.

Quote (phoo @ Mar. 05 2007,16:07)
I think John Cale and/or Jac Holzman produced and mixed the early Stooges stuff with Iggy…not that it matters.

I’m sure it wold have mattered to him…

Also I would think if such would have happened to him, and his stage show is any indication of his course of action, it would have been difficult for the engineer to export a tracks from a board with a pile of steaming poop on it.

:D

keep shinin’

jerm :cool:

heh wow…wanna tag along?

im supposed to pick up the tracks from the jerk tonight.

if he’s smart he wont tamper with the session files. the world of musicians and engineers is small in chicago and i am planning to take these tracks elsewhere…word gets around. while im not vindictive or care to thrash people’s name but it will come up when people ask what happened and i wont lie about it.

already my band is disgusted with him…all this grief because he objected me pointing out what i didnt like how he handled things

pathetic