Studio Policies

All Ears Audio isn't just a business to me. As a musician and an audio enthusiast, I've been recording myself and my friends all my life, picking up gear, techniques, and experience all the way. When I began running All Ears Audio as a business over 10 years ago, things were loose and casual. But as word has gotten out and the All Ears Audio client list has grown, some things needed to get a little less informal. Here are some current guidelines.

All Ears Audio time and billing policy:

I charge an hourly rate for the services I provide (contact me for current rates), but sometimes too much clock-watching can interfere with the creative process. For that reason, if you need more than a few hours of studio time, I prefer to sell my services in a "package" -- in other words, we discuss how many hours your project will likely take, and I offer you a lump sum rate that is a substantial discount off the hourly rate.

This is obviously an advantage to the client, since you get a discount and don't have to watch the clock. It's also an advantage to me, since I don't have to watch the clock either, I'd rather sell hours in a block than one by one, and I can think in terms of the entire project instead of little bits and pieces one at a time.

However, studio time is still valuable, and I still have other clients that I need to accommodate.

So here's some ground rules:

1. Even if we have agreed on a "package" deal, that assumes that your project will take a certain number of hours. If it appears we can't finish in the estimated time, I'll let you know as soon as possible. I reserve the right to re-negotiate a package deal if it takes substantially longer than estimated.

2. Aside from the actual recording (tracking), every project requires extra work on the part of the engineer, such as mixing, mastering, burning CDs, copying and transferring files, etc. The client doesn't need to be present for these activities (although for some clients and some projects, it might be a good idea). However, these are definitely billable hours, whether separately or as part of a package.

3. I can do some setup beforehand at no charge to the client, if we discuss session details in advance. Otherwise, setup time is billable as part of the session.

4. Some things that might delay a session are basically up to the client. If a client is late to a session, or needs extra time for phone calls, problems with their instrument, etc., that's all considered billable time.

Other things that might delay the session aren't up to the client. Unforeseen events such as studio glitches (problems with gear, computer, etc.), power outages, alien invasions, or anything that means I can't supply the services on offer, are not billable.

5. My main deliverable "product" is a copy of a recording we've made, usually on a CD. Once I've given you that CD, I don't have control over it, and it can be easily copied. For that reason, your account needs to be paid up to date before you get a full high-resolution copy of the recording.

6. My work is guaranteed. I take pride in giving every customer excellent value for their money, and happy customers are my best advertising. If there's any issue, I always try to resolve it in the customer's favor. If you ever have a question or a problem with any work done at All Ears Audio, please let me know and I will do my best to make it right.

All Ears Audio no-show policy:

Recording is fun, but I take appointments seriously. When someone says they're coming to the studio, I make sure the studio is ready, and I block out the time. If necessary, I make arrangements with other clients, and put aside my own commitments, so we won't be interrupted.

I understand that stuff happens, and people can't always keep appointments. If you can't keep your appointment, please call or email and let me know, as far in advance as possible.

If you don't show up and you don't call, then you've put yourself on the no-show list, and the following rules apply:

1. I can't reserve studio time for you in advance. Obviously, it would be unfair to my other clients as well as myself.

2. You're still welcome on a same-day (phone-in) basis. In other words, call me on the day you want to come in, and I'll let you know if the studio is available. Several successful appointments this way can take you off the no-show list.

3. Repeat offenders will regretfully be dropped from the All Ears Audio client list completely.

If you feel this policy shouldn't apply to you, I'm always glad to talk. Each client, and each situation, is unique.

Thanks to all my clients for understanding that this is the fairest way to accommodate each of you, and to ensure that people who are serious about their projects can have dependable access to All Ears Audio when they need it.

All Ears Audio guest policy:

If clients want to bring guests to a recording session, that's fine with me. There's seating for 5 or 6 people, maybe more, aside from the musicians. However, the more crowded the room gets, the longer it takes to get things done. And guests need to understand that they have to be absolutely silent, and not distract the musicians or the engineer.

If you want to bring in a producer or agent, or some other knowledgeable person, and you want them to have a say in how the recording goes, I'll be glad to work with them. It would be best if they call me in advance of the session, so we'll all be on the same page.

Bottom line, if you want to bring guests, let me know (I always want to know how many people will show up for a session, musicians and non-musicians alike). And please make sure they're well-behaved! This is your session, after all, we want to make the very best recording we can.