I was asked by a local band to record their album. Sweet. We met beforehand, discussed rates and hung out to talk about how they wanted to sound. Everything was going well.
We get into the studio and they tell me to do the recordings as fast as possible, because they felt my hourly rate was a tad steep. Not a problem. "It'll be a raw record," I thought. The real problem was when they started canceling sessions for one reason or another. We started recording in January and didn't get finished recording until March, a week before their intended release date. They had been paying me in small pieces up until this point, and I was relatively happy.
Then came the time for mixing. I started mixing their tracks(which weren't that good, thanks to their wanting to record at break-neck pace)and spent about three days on the mixes. I get an e-mail telling me that I have to hurry up the mixes for their release show, which just got moved up a couple of days from the original. I now had two days to finish mixing all ten songs and master them. Ugh. Not a huge problem, I thought. I'll just stay up all night working. It'll get done. I get another e-mail the next day asking for their mixes. I explain that they're not done and won't sound great yet. They THEN tell me that they have a friend who can mix their songs faster than I can--for free and that he could do it at "store quality," whatever that means.
I tell them that they're free to take their un-mixed tracks and pay me for the last bit of work I've done, but they apologize for insulting me. They politely ask me to hurry up for their show, and I agree to do so. I meet them the next day to deliver their tracks. I find out that they don't have my money, but that they WILL give me one of their bass guitars as collateral. Great... I take the guitar and wish them well at their show. I find out the next week that two or so people showed up for their show. Nice job, guys.
...I still have the bass. It's been over two years.