I’ve done it; I’ve put my small business online. As of yesterday all of the information about my services is public on the EARLabs site. If you go [ there ] you can read about the services that you can order from me. With a track record of 30 years of composition, 20 years of writing about music and 10 years as a consultant I thought it was time to combine this experience into a little business. The past six months I have actively acquired projects for other people and all of them were satisfied with the result. Take a look at the list of [ clients ]. All of these projects were for free, for the client to get to know me and for me to get a feeling of how things might work out.
In 2010 I have decided to step up to the next level: a proper catalogue of services and online information. The business model is still quite low profile. I have been thinking about prices and looked at what competitors in this market ask for their services. This put up a dilemma: I want to aim at artists and labels with a small budget but on the other hand I want to deliver professional quality. And no matter what: quality requires time and good tooling.
Contrary to what people in my environment advised me I have decided not to start with a list of rates, like so and so many euro’s per minute of music and so many tracks, etcetera. I think this business is very personal and I want to leave it up to the client to pay a fair price.
What is a fair price?
A fair price is an amount of money that satisfies both our needs. It depends on what you can afford to pay and what you think is fair to compensate me for my work. Yes, that is more difficult than just say : 5 euro’s per minute of music for mastering or 15 euro’s per minute for a 24 track mixing job. I was juggling with figures until I thought “what the heck, this might leave out all these guys whose music I love and who have done a great job musically but are unable to pay”.
If this still makes you feel uneasy, then please ask me what I think is a fair price.
So there we are and here I am, distance is not an issue
I live in The Netherlands. That can be far away, geographically. But that doesn’t matter anymore. We can work out everything via the Internet. I have a large server space where we store all of the music stuff and where we exchange the original material and the edited material. We have free teleconference software which allows us to discuss the music real-time. I can let you follow exactly what I do when I do it.
I think this getting on the same level with each other is important. Although most times I can work at a fast tempo and deliver the master of a song within 24 hours, I really want to get on the right level with the client. Can you imagine that you have worked a couple of months and a total of 200 hours on a series of songs or compositions and then decide that you need the master within let’s say a day? No, you want to hand over this stuff very carefully to someone you trust.