More Questions for Artists: Record Producer Agreements, Part 6: Subsequent Producer or Mixer Royalties

Please note: This is an installment in a multi-part post.  Each post has information relevant to prior posts, so until we get to the “Final” there will be more information to come. See also More Questions for Artists: Record Producer Agreements, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5. Part 6 , Part 7, Part 8 , Part 9, Part 10, Part 11 and Part 12.  Part numbers do not correspond to paragraph numbers inside the post.  Watch this space for further installments, or subscribe to the RSS feed.  A post with all the current parts in one post is available here, and see also “Artist Management Agreements” on the Semaphore Music blog.

11. Subsequent Producer or Mixer Royalties

If the producer is fired or if a subsequent producer is brought in for another reason, you may end up paying two different producers for the same recording.   This is also potentially true of mixers who receive a royalty for mixing a track that the producer is also getting a royalty for.

In this situation (a common one for mixers and a less common one for subsequent producers), the artist will want to reduce the producer royalty by whatever royalty that the artist has to pay the subsequent producer or mixer.  The producer will not want this,
so there will be tension on the issue.  Very often the compromise is that the producer royalty can be reduced by a fixed amount, usually 50% of the first producer’s royalty, or 1-1/2%.

So if a producer is getting a 4% royalty and a mixer is getting a 1% royalty, then the producer can be reduced by the mixer’s royalty.  That means the artist still only has to pay a 4% royalty, not a 5% royalty.

If the producer is fired, however, the producer may expect to forfeit his royalty altogether, but if any of his work is used (often the case unless the entire track is scrapped), the producer may want his 50% rate.  This is negotiable.

For very high end producers, no reduction is acceptable, so expect a fight.  For some pop producers who also wrote the song being recorded, they will also want the recording back so they can use it with another artist.  How the costs are allocated is negotiable.