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Author Topic: My (work) life... up ended.  (Read 9093 times)

Allen Corneau

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My (work) life... up ended.
« on: August 05, 2011, 05:48:23 pm »

Howdy folks,

I know Iíve been a bit come-and-go on the forums lately, and for that I apologize.

I have a new situation: As of August 1st, my boss (the owner of the studio) has reclassified me from an employee (W-2) to a subcontractor (1099). While that wouldnít be a huge issue by itself he has also told me that at some point in the near future he will be closing down the studio completely.

So it looks like Iím now a freelance mastering engineer. Yea for me. :-\

Iíve never been in this situation so Iím looking for any friendly advice you could offer to help me out.

- I donít really have any gear of my own, and I also donít have the money/credit to buy a studioís worth of gear, so setting up my own shop is out of the question right now.

- Iíve started talking to one other mastering studio in town about renting some room time but I could use some advice on how something like that is usually structured.

- I guess I need to hang out my own virtual shingle. What should I call it? ďAllen Corneau MasteringĒ? Web page, Facebook, and all that crap?

The thrill of the unknown future... Ugh.
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Allen
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Allen Corneau Mastering
http://allencorneau.com/

DOMC

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2011, 11:05:44 pm »

Best of luck and I hope it works out for you -where abouts are you situated.. maybe you could hit up some local audio colleges for teaching work to help in the mean time - I find it a great source of secondary income and its a darn rewarding job as well.
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Domc
 
Mastering Engineer
Dominic McGlinn B.Mus.T. (Hons)
 
Margate, QLD
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www.domc.com.au
dom@domc.com.au

PBM

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2011, 03:07:41 am »

Howdy folks,

I know Iíve been a bit come-and-go on the forums lately, and for that I apologize.

I have a new situation: As of August 1st, my boss (the owner of the studio) has reclassified me from an employee (W-2) to a subcontractor (1099). While that wouldnít be a huge issue by itself he has also told me that at some point in the near future he will be closing down the studio completely.

So it looks like Iím now a freelance mastering engineer. Yea for me. :-\

Iíve never been in this situation so Iím looking for any friendly advice you could offer to help me out.

- I donít really have any gear of my own, and I also donít have the money/credit to buy a studioís worth of gear, so setting up my own shop is out of the question right now.

- Iíve started talking to one other mastering studio in town about renting some room time but I could use some advice on how something like that is usually structured.

- I guess I need to hang out my own virtual shingle. What should I call it? ďAllen Corneau MasteringĒ? Web page, Facebook, and all that crap?

The thrill of the unknown future... Ugh.

Hello Allen - really sorry to hear about this. My first thoughts were to make sure that when your boss closes the company you keep in as much contact with your current client base as you can (start spreading the news) and perhaps negotiate with him for a deal with the equipment (I'm assuming he's not closing down to set up elsewhere). You do already have a `name' - so yes: `Allen Corneau Mastering'!

Free-lance can be good!

All the best,

Eric


 
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Philosophers Barn Mastering
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lowland

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2011, 03:26:08 am »

What Eric said, to which I would add that although things may look bleak at the moment, I know that being forced to consider one's options and plot a new course can be extremely positive, if painful at the time.

The most valuable property you own is all that experience you've built up over the years - you would, for example, be much better placed if cash is short to work ITB for a while and make something of it than someone with no dues paid.
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Nigel Palmer
Lowland Masters
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Patrik_T

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2011, 04:04:33 am »

...
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Thomas W. Bethel

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2011, 06:02:33 am »

I did this 17 years ago and although there have been some rocky times I would do it all over again.

I second the idea of telling your current clients about your starting out on your own and I would make sure I had their phone numbers and addresses if your current employer is OK with the idea. Some employers can get very possessive over their client list even if they are going out of business. Your employer could, as many of them do, ask you to pay for the list info.

I also second the idea of finding someone in your area that has a mastering/recording studio and partnering up with them. If you were to partner up with someone you would probably be asked to have your own client list to bring with you. If the studio is doing well adding on another mastering engineer may appeal to the owner since he or she could widen out their client base. Make sure if you are partnering up with someone you have ALL the details worked out in advance and have a signed contract with your new partner. Also get some idea of what he or she is currently spending for rent, heat, lights, water and sewage as you maybe asked to "share" half the expenses. You may have to work strange hours so as not to infringe on the person's time who owns the studio.

<When I interned I worked the night shift from 4:00 pm to 12:00 every night (most times we did not get out of the mastering studio until 2 am or later as we were that busy) The engineer I worked with had been doing this for a while and kinda liked the hours. >

The other option would be to find someone to bankroll you, although in these risky financial times it maybe a problem finding someone and would not be my first suggestion.

I was lucky in that when I started out I already had most of the equipment and was able to get my studio built for about 1/3 of what it would cost me today. My studio is in my home so I have a very short commute.

The first thing I would do is make a business plan if you are thinking about starting out on your own. Ask yourself the hard questions and figure out how much money you need to generate then you can figure your rates from there. I did a business plan when I started and have had to tweak it a couple of times but it is basically the same plan I drew up 18 years ago.

Best of luck and keep us informed. Think of it not as the end but as the beginning of your new life.
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Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
http://www.acoustikmusik.com/

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

Celebrating 23 years in business in 2018

SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2011, 06:32:25 am »

Hi there, my honest advice if you wish to stay in the business... This assumes not having to take a loan which not be great idea right now.... start a small mastering studio yourself ASAP. Even if it is ITB to start with, do the acoustic work yourself, your experience, care and attention will shine thats where it's at, not the boxes. Of course ultimately you know your position and practical options better than anyone on a forum does so go with what you know. The struggle will be building clients but there are threads galore if you need to suppliment those you take with you if possible. Also apply for a job immediately with every mastering studio within traveling distance so you are on their radar. All common sense stuff really.

Freelance to me is that you work in numerous studios and people hire you at your hourly rate.
I have always wondered how freelance mastering would ever work because every studio speaker system and room is going to be a bit different and the years you put in knowing the room are a collossal part of the end results.

I wish you all the best and I am sure we can help you out somehow with advice etc. Seems you
have some time, thats going to be useful, put it to good effect.

cheers

Barry
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Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering UK based online mastering studio.

dietrich

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2011, 07:37:48 am »

Sorry to hear this Allen.
I agree with the other comments to work whatever hours you can at other spots.
While at same time start saving or borrow for proper computer, convertors and monitors asap. Add outboard as you can. So even if you rent a decent room you can bring in gear you know

D
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SafeandSoundMastering

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2011, 09:55:47 am »

Another thing I have understood is that when you have a energy pushing in any given direction there tends to be interesting coincidences and openings that appear. Do not repeatedly knock on doors ( metaphorically speaking) too long, but just focus energies on those with whom you naturally empathize and those who support you.

I suggest, full steam ahead.
That will be good for the soul.
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Barry Gardner
SafeandSound Mastering UK based online mastering studio.

Allen Corneau

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2011, 05:45:35 pm »

Thanks for all the advice and sympathies, everyone. I really appreciate it.

I just stopped by a brand new studio in town to check things out. Another possibility, but no solid decisions yet.

Onward through the fog.
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Allen
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Allen Corneau Mastering
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Jerry Tubb

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2011, 12:46:35 pm »

Hey Allen,

Persistence and tenacity are the keys.

As others have said, hang in there and keep your chin up, things have a way of working out for the best, especially if you don't beat yourself up over it.

Darkest before the Dawn.

One door closes, yet others open.

Silver lining, etc...

Best Regards, Jerry
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Terra Nova Mastering
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bblackwood

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2011, 01:27:03 pm »

Sorry to hear of your troubles, Allen. Keep your eyes and ears open and move forward with a positive attitude - I suspect you'll look back on this at some point in the future and see it as a blessing...
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Brad Blackwood
euphonic masters

Allen Corneau

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #12 on: September 02, 2011, 10:41:20 am »

Howdy folks,

Still trying to figure things out, but... It looks like I may be working out of another facility.

Since I've never been in this kind of predicament before I would love to speak to anyone who has been/is in this kind of situation. I would like to get a feel for what might be considered a "normal" arrangement.

If you would like to help please email me directly at Allen (at) ESMastering [dot] com.

Thanks.
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Allen
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Allen Corneau Mastering
http://allencorneau.com/

Jerry Tubb

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #13 on: September 02, 2011, 07:51:24 pm »

Hey Allen, From what I know,

Engineers are usually treated as contract labor (1099 misc),
And usually receive half or less of the hourly rate, as payment (usually less).
That means you have to pay your own taxes, FICA, health insurance, etc.

Who furnishes the equipment, what the hours of operation are, pay rate, and benefits (if any), are negotiable, depending on how much business you can bring in, including previous clientel, and if you bring any gear with you.

The term (length) of that arrangement can also be negotiable, after which any percentage raises are negotiable.

The other arrangement would be to rent the room for a flat rate, and charge whatever you charge.

Perhaps a top notch outfit like Sterling or Masterdisk may have a more "employee with benefits" situation.

Any other perspectives?

JT
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Terra Nova Mastering
Celebrating 25 years of Mastering!

Allen Corneau

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Re: My (work) life... up ended.
« Reply #14 on: September 03, 2011, 08:33:20 am »

Thanks Jerry, that's great info.

With everyone's help, I'm slowly muddling through this process and hopefully I'll be in a good situation when I come out the other end.
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Allen
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Allen Corneau Mastering
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