Working and recording with collaborators
Here are some background notes for anyone who would like to consider recording or collaborating with me.
I’ve been doing these kind of projects for over the last 4 years and my video performances have had over 3 million views online.
I’m always interested to hear from new collaborators (normally singers, drummers, bass guitarists, pianists).
Making video collaborations with other artists is something I love doing, but they can be very complicated to put together, so if you’re new to recording and collaborating remotely, I’m very happy to advise on any technical aspects.
The following notes cover some of the main topics that always come up during the course of a collaboration and they also double as my ‘terms of collaboration’ with other artists.
If we work together, I expect you or your legal guardian(s) to have read and understand and agree to all of these points. So please understand I won’t consider collaborating with anyone who cannot agree in writing to this.
Collaborations - Who does what
we each record and film our performances, then these are mixed and edited together. All collaborators sign off the final edit of the video and it gets published on my YouTube Channel ( each collaborator is free to add a link to my uploaded final edit, for their own channels or playlists).
For amateur collaboration projects that I’m involved in, I expect artists I am new to collaborating with to submit clips and recordings of their performances to me. I will mix audio and edit the video here in London and when there is a draft version of the project to approve, this is circulated between collaborators to be signed off before publication of the final video.
Please be aware that I am very happy to receive suggestions on treatment of content but my decision as Director of the video is final as regards all editing and mixing issues. Please be aware too that there will be designated points only in the project when collaborators can request changes to any draft edits or mixes - once these have been completed and signed off there will probably be no further opportunities to do so.
Due to different technical set ups (computer monitors, speakers etc) I have to insist that my system is used as the benchmark for the project and my decision is final re. Any adjustments to sound and picture.
My audio system is based around high quality studio speakers and we use my dad’s professionally calibrated cameras and monitors for video.
Please note that I always test files in a range of different playback systems and displays, and I always ask collaborators for their opinion on edits and mixes - because you need to be happy with your performance!
Filming and Recording
For any music cover video collaboration, I need to receive an audio recording or your performance as an MP3 file and a range of different filmed video clips. The audio recording needs to be sent to me as a separate high audio file from the video file and should be recorded on a separate audio device from your camera. That means that you need to have access to either home recording audio equipment / software or record your performances at a commercial recording studio. If the quality of any files that you send me cannot reach the required standard, you will need to re-record your performance or we may need to abandon the project.
Audio files of your performance need to be of each part you record, in isolation from any backing or click tracks used.
Video files need to be high technical quality (ideally 4K) and carefully planned before you begin filming. Normally my dad is a available to advise on camera and lighting issues, as it’s crucial that everyone looks as good as they can! Video from phones isn’t usually acceptable for collaborations, but if you have no other options than filming on a phone we will normally ask you to send us some sample video clips first, to review quality. Don't start filming your performance without speaking to us first - we’re always happy to help however we can on any filming issues, so please don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice.
For cover projects, we prefer to publish one high resolution single version of the final video exclusively to my YouTube channel. Each collaborator is free to add a link to my published version of the video so that the video will appear in their own YouTube channels. We have found that one single pushed source performs better than multiple uploads of the same video by different collaborators.
I will supply a custom thumbnail for you to use on YouTube. Please do not create your own artwork for use as a thumbnail - the video needs to be recognisable as one single product and easy to spot in searches. Please do not re-edit or make any changes to the final video edit. I can also supply a lower resolution cut of the video for you to use on Instagram. Please do not make screen recordings of the YT video to use in place of this - frame rates and phone spec will give a lower quality result than a video I can supply you with.
All collaborators are of course free to post links to the project published on YouTube and mention the other collaborators by name (please include social media handles if possible).
Please be aware that all collaborators will need to agree in writing to any request from a single collaborator to delete the video, at any future date. In the event of a difference or opinion about whether to delete a video or not, I reserve the right to a final decision on the matter.
In brief, if we are working on an original composition and for each project we will draft a written agreement covering copyright and credit - we would expect in most cases for this to be joint authorship/copyright for the audio recording. As editor of the video I will retain final ownership and copyright of the video and the right to be identified as creator of the project. All collaborators will be credited for their involvement in the project wherever possible and appropriate.
YouTube has complicated copyright arrangements with music publishers which mean that as recording artists we do not need to purchase recording licenses to be able to legally cover copyright protected material. Please be aware that other social media platforms may not have similar reciprocal agreements with the music industry and you may have content or profiles deleted if you upload copyrighted material to other social media sites.
Any collaborators are free to post links on Facebook, Twitter or other social media platforms - but the published link should be to the original high resolution video posted on my own YouTube channel. Where possible you should also include links to other collaborators’ social media profiles.
No payment will be made to collaborators for participation in cover recording projects - we all give our time and talents free of charge! Any costs you incur for producing files required for the project are your own decision and you / your legal guardians accept liability for any such costs.
Any uploading to 3rd party streaming services for sale of the recording needs to be discussed and agreed with all collaborators in advance. Any profits from the sale of downloads of the collaboration are to be shared equally between all collaborators.