The A&R Function Defined
In order to be a good record company, a label must acquire rights to market copies master recordings; this is the A and R function.

1. Create masters :: 2. Acquire masters and market them :: 3.Acquire masters and remaster and repackage

Established Talent: Reward and Risk
A label can acquire talent by buying established talent from other labels when the artist’s contract has expired.

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1. The reward :: The label gets an artist who can already sell millions of records without the label having to pour hundreds of thousands of dollars into marketing and a slow development process. 2. The Risk :: The label may have acquired the talents of the artist at, or after, their artistic peak — never to be successful again

Two reasons to sign and develop new artists
1. Their royalty quantity in terms of how many records they can sell
2. if successful, they will be obligated to the label for a significant number of future albums.
Good ears
Whatever good ears are, they are a product of listening to lots of popular music, not only but what is being recorded now, but what is not being recorded yet. Ear training for A and R people is going to clubs and listening to demos from bands, personal managers, and publishing companies. It is recognizing social trend. It is knowing some history of popular music.
Improving the odds
be in lots of places, lots of time. Hear lots of music, talk to lots of people.
What does A & R look for in an artist?
1. An artist with a great live show who gets the audience going. 2. An artist who can make a good visual appearance. 3.Having a personal manager. 4. Sound like somebody else. 5. Publishing deals 6. High-quality demo
Development Deal
Minimize risk, but still retain an option to record new artists.

Def:: Usually a recording contract where a label gives an artist a small sum or perhaps annual amount to remain obligated to sign a full agreement. Waiting for an aspect to be right. Publishers may do it too.

Basic Recording Agreement
Artist promises recording for only one label, label promises to pay the artist royalties.
Labels minimize risk
Ways to get out of contract.

1. delay signing
2. Not record once they are signed
3. May not accept master, or refuse to release it.
4. May release the record but only put a minimum amount of marketing into it

Royalty Rates
1. 1950s 5 percent of retail list, paid on 90% of sales
2. 1970s – 8 percent. if they did all in, they could get 10-12
3. 1990s – All in was the norm 12-14%
The “All in” deal
A royalty rate designed to include royalties paid to an artist AND any royalties paid to a producer. An all in deal provides to the label the services of the recording artist and producer for a single royalty rate
1. Paid only on records sold.
2. No royalties for promotional or give-aways
3. some say 85% of shipments = sales
4. some only 90% of sales are paid to cover breakage
5. Container charge (typically 25% for compact discs, less for other formats)
Prepayments of royalties. When they are recouped, artist receives royalties. Does NOT have to be repaid if artist does not sell.
Recording Fund
A kind of advance where the label designates a fixed amount of money available to produce a master. Usually, the producer and artist can keep the leftover.
Controlled compositions
As early as the 1970s, the labels began to seek ways to limit their mech. license fees. What they came up with is now the norm.
Compositions written or owned in whole or part, or controlled by the recording artist. usually in a clause to permit the label to work at a reduced rate.
Recouping video expenses
1. Initially, the label paid. 2. Since the 1990s, recording royalties recouped half, video royalties recouped half.
Union agreements – AFM and AFTRA
Have agreements with major labels (and indies) that require a certain scale payments to non-royalty performers on all recordings sold by the label. The label requires joining the union.
Phonograph Record Label Agreement
1. Required payment by AFM of 3 minutes of recording was 329.32 in 2003 up from 236.81 in 1995. ::
2. A max of 15 minutes could be rec. ::
3.The rates, set in the Phonograph Record Labor Agreement, include provisions for overdubs, premium hours, and a wide variety of other issues. ::
4. The union leader had to make sure of payments, including 10% of wages to pension and 19dollar health and wellness per musician. ::
5. Total of both payments < 1%.
Other AFM agreements
::Phonograph Record Trust Agreement:: Pay 3% of MSRP to provide free entertainment
:: Phonograph Record Manufacturers Special Payment Fund: Labels pay another .5% of MSRP. Distributed to musicians who played on master.
AFTRA agreements
1. AFTRA Code of Fair Practice: each solo artist gets 168 per hour, or song, whichever is greater. If more than one, it’s divided. ::
2. 50% of minimum scale for master session vocalists when certain sales plateaus are reached.
Three basic producer skills
1. Good Ears
2. People Skills
3. Creative Skills
Producer functions defined
1. A and R functions
2. Managers of the Production Process
3. Business Functions
Staff Producer
Salaries. Most likely execs who are also producers.
Independent Producer
Not on Salary. Royalty Based.
Producer Pay
1. 2-6% of MSRP ::
2. Also paid per song. between 2500 and 15000$ per song and 2500-15000 per album
Stages of Production
1. Pre production
2. Production
3. Post production
Creative Controls
Selection of material, studio, producer, side musicians
Acquisition through Licensing
1. License from other labels
2. Rhino sells remasters from older artists, IE
Audio Engineer
1. Person who operates or designs equipment for recording and reproduction of sound. ::
2. Broader than recording engineer and includes sound reinforcement and facilities sound.
Musical Instrument Digital Interface: Computer protocol designed to let synths, controllers, and sequencers from different manufacturers communicate w/ eachother. Also includes lighting and other equip as well now
Four Types of Engineer Defined
1. Senior Engineer::
2. Assistant Engineer::
3. Freelance Engineer::
4. Maintenance::
SPARS: Society of Professional Audio Recording Services
AES: Audio Engineering Society
SMPTE Society of Motion Picture Engineers