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How to do a compilation?

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RTP    32

Hello,
maybe this is a bit unexperienced question - but bear with me:

I have this idea (call it "dream") of making a compilation. I would like to write to few artists that are dear to me if they got any tracks. It will be only the artists that I select, "my favourites" you may say. It will be bigger names among them (as in my endless naivity I think they might have a track they are willing to part from for money?). Questions I have are: 1) where to get the contact info and 2) how to do it ... I mean, only the fewest people will give me things for free. How much do artists call up for a track ... what is common? And how are compilations made ... are the tracks signed and paid in advance or is it possible to make a deal that the artists will be paid in % of revenue created (which probably won't be much, even though I think the release is going to be a blast in my opinion :D )?

Anybody got some experience and willing to shed a bit of light on this? I don't wanna come across as a goof.

I can administer psynews ... but I never did anything like that, always left that to other people who I thought were better at this than me :) 

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mars    139

1) FB messenger or SC. Have a friendly text ready presenting yourself and your project.

2) Harvest tracks, listen on and on, build a < 80min story. Artists ask between 0 and 1000€/track. In the Goa genre we're between 0 and 200, most of the time 75-150€.

3) Anything is possible regarding advances and/or %.  At suntrip we don't like generating sales statements regularly and paperwork so we offer a fixed amount. But in some cases we gave some %. ...over nearly nothing in terms of sales (cds: plummeting, digital: a joke). Another aspect is the rights: who keeps the rights? We try to get them for 5-10 years in case we need to repress. Some artists want to keep them, I always say "OK", whatever.

I know my answers are not very specific but after 15 years I still consider myself a beginner of the matter. Contact me on FB messenger for specific questions, I rarely come here.

 

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thanosp81    285

You will find that artists are really friendly, in the end they only want to have their music released.

The prices people will ask vary depending of whether it will be an exclusive track, who keeps the rights, how much will be the profit, digital or physical distribution etc etc.

If you go for a percentage instead of a fixed amount for an unknown label you should expect something like 50-50% between label and artists (and then you split that 50% to each individual artist). 

The other thing you can do is give all the profits to a charity, you'll find a lot of artists willing to give you a track for free if they know/trust you. 

The easiest thing to do is get in touch with the artists. Have a concrete plan and numbers first and then do it :)

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RTP    32

I am not on FB, don't like it ... I guess I'll just start with creating my own (RTP) soundcloud account ... I don't wanna make it from the Skeletone one as that is not only me and I don't wanna mix up the projects ... makes things only harder...

So ... percentage sounds like a hassle. Think I'll just ask them how much they want.
Maybe I get lucky ... lets see ... I will not tell here though unless it's signed off by the artist that I can have the track for public release :) 

I think it would be fine to say rights remain at the artists ... if a repress is done, I'll just do a round mail and ask people for permissions again (and no answer within 2 weeks means OK).

If there are any more tips, I am happy to hear

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Imba    305
On 2/11/2019 at 1:14 AM, mars said:

1) FB messenger or SC. Have a friendly text ready presenting yourself and your project.

2) Harvest tracks, listen on and on, build a < 80min story. Artists ask between 0 and 1000€/track. In the Goa genre we're between 0 and 200, most of the time 75-150€.

3) Anything is possible regarding advances and/or %.  At suntrip we don't like generating sales statements regularly and paperwork so we offer a fixed amount. But in some cases we gave some %. ...over nearly nothing in terms of sales (cds: plummeting, digital: a joke). Another aspect is the rights: who keeps the rights? We try to get them for 5-10 years in case we need to repress. Some artists want to keep them, I always say "OK", whatever.

I know my answers are not very specific but after 15 years I still consider myself a beginner of the matter. Contact me on FB messenger for specific questions, I rarely come here.

 

What she said! 

 

Percentage thing won't work first because it never happens. I had something lik 10 contracts like that, you know how much $ I got from that sales % shit? Zero! Happens to others too, so they don't really believe in that shit anymore.

 

A lot of factors are in there: is it cd or digital, how and how much you pay, how much that artist spend on that track... if it's months for sure he will ask for good money. Some of them love that track so much so they won't give it just like that. Would they like your idea of compilation itself? Some of them are living from music so they don't care for free music.

 

Some of them will give you for free and ask for few copies, some will ask money and 10-20 copies, some will ask to fix them booking in your country for such amount of money if they give you track. Some of them don't like selling rights because at some labels it get's re-released over and over on 'VA - Top of Bullshit Trance' compilations without even being asked or announced.

 

Some of them will simply reject you because you are new/unknown for them and they don't trust you or don't trust you can promote their music enough. I don't want to scare you, just be prepared that your dream artist wont give you or simply dont have any unsigned tracks for you. From personal experience I reject digital compilations always, I prefer or CD or free download. As for digital EPs have more impact and promotion for artist.

First thing first is set up your budget and know how much money you have for pressing, mastering, cover art, sponsoring, shippings and taxes to online shops and artists. It will probably take couple of years to get that money back/be at 0.

 

Back in the days when I ran UAF Records everything was for free download, everyone gave music for free and even did coverarts and mastering for free, ofcourse not so professional but label served for promoting new artists and it really did that.

 

Let's say you do free download compilation and you get tracks for free you will still need around 500 euro for professional mastering and cover art design. Make good story and approach to your dream team and you will see where it takes you. Good luck :)

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RTP    32

Thanks for the insight Imba, I really appreciate it.

I got a pretty "nice" and positive argument up my sleeve why artists might be willing to support or, at least, hear me out ... that's a big upper, otherwise I'd just come across as a hobo with a deluded dream :D
But more on that later.

So I guess it will be a physical release only, if my money is involved. No digital. Only if all tracks were free that would become a digital release.

I have an idea how the financial part could work: offering the artists a small amout for, say, 200 pressings. All rights for the tracks will remain at the artists, the tracks could be released by them somewhere else too later...
If repressings were made, I will ask around again if they permitted a second run - for the same amount of money. Again 200 copies. Or less or more, if seen fit.

I hope that's a good plan? Fingers crossed...

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RTP    32

Hello...

So I have made a slight change in plan, but it may do the project good: I think about doing only a single ... meaning, starting off as a single ... if we get enough, we'll do the compilation, but if not, so be it.

2 artists (will not tell names yet until confirmed and agreed that they'll be named) will be the starting point. If not even these 2 are on board, I guarantee it will not happen. Reason: these are two artists very integer to the character RTP (me :P ) - the project would make not so much sense without, it would be "just a collection of tracks"...
With these 2, I can start with a single. If it gets more: good because then it'll be a single with more tracks. If we get over 4, it'll be a mini compilation. If we get over 6, it'll be a compilation. But it's all optional and totally relaxed for me - the only fixpoint are the two starting artists and that's also whereI'll invest the most energy.

opinions welcome -- cheers

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