----- Original Message -----
From: "Karl Miller" <[log in to unmask]>
> From the beginning of our small company, I put that in all of our
agreements...I wanted our company to serve the musician and not the other way
around. While increasingly such a clause is a part of the agreement, this has
rarely been the case in the past.
> As I may have mentioned, an artist I know wants her past recording released.
It was financed by sources other than the record company, yet, to get it
released originally, she had to sell her rights. Now, to rerelease it, I have to
pay the record company, not the musicians involved. It seems crazy to me. Even
if she had signed off for a percentage, I doubt it would have been very much. So
she would have been paid a small percentage of the license I pay...assuming the
record company kept up with her mailing address, etc.
> Having my own record company has increased my appreciation for every
recording I encounter. Just about every time I buy a CD I think to myself that
it is a miracle it exists. The thought that anyone other than the big names
could make a living from recording seems remarkable to me.
I wound up in a similar situation a few years ago, when I was offered the
chance to record PROVIDING I could write ten new blues tunes (to avoid any
payments to CMRRA, the northern version of Harry Fox...!). I wrote nine
songs, and claimed "arranger" status on the tenth (It's a version of "Stick
Out Your Can [Here Comes the Garbage Man]", which I lifted from a "party
record," and which no one has ever tried to claim "composer credit"...it
comes from a chanted verse in Luis Russell's "Call Of the Freaks"...!).
My friend, who has his own very-small-scale "record label" operation,
also has a "music publisher" operation, to which he assigned all my
tunes! So, if I ever decide to re-record any of the tunes...I owe him
the publisher royalties (and, given that "mandatory license" seems not
to apply...or exist...up here, he MAY not let me do so...?!).
The question: for our tape-recording experts...!
The original reel-to-reel master recording was marred by the fact that
his recorder, unbeknownst to him, was NOT running at a fixed and constant
speed. The problem is this: The master consists of two parts...a digital
(MIDI) recording, whose pitch was NOT affected by the speed variations
(as I understand it, the timings probably were?)...and an analog direct
audio recording of the actual instruments/performers (mainly myself on
harmonica & vocal and a flesh & blood guitarist) which DID vary in pitch
due to the speed fluctuations! As a result, the "real-musician" parts of
the recording are out-of-tune with the MIDI parts.
So...IS it possible to correct this situation, and bring all of us back
into (audible) "tune?"
Steven C. Barr