Sound Recording

You are not alone at the recording studio. The AFM works to protect your wages and subsequent compensation through the Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA), which sets forth the minimum wage scales and working conditions for musicians (including music preparation members) who perform services for the various types of audio recordings released for sale on the commercial market.

It is particularly important to see to it that before any work is performed, there is an SRLA signatory employer in place. After the first recording session with this employer, an AFM B-4 Session Report Form should be completed, detailing each musicians’ participation. After submitting the completed B-4 Session Report to the signatory employer, it will be filed with the AFM Local in whose jurisdiction the session(s) occurred. This will ensure musicians’ further participation in the proceeds from the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund, and that musicians will receive new-use payments if their product is utilized in another medium (i.e. use of a sound recording in a theatrical motion picture, TV film, commercial announcement, etc.).

Other highlights of the Sound Recording Labor Agreement include:

The Low Budget Side Letter (Full album projects where the budget falls within a threshold of $99,000) - Since its inception in 1996 this Side Letter has increased employment opportunities in the recording field. To ensure that projects truly qualify, there is a procedure in place which begins with the requirement of the company to forward to the AFM the producer's approved, detailed budget in advance of the start of production.

Music Videos - This section covers the employment of musicians, other than royalty artists, who appear "on-camera" in music videos. It includes a wage payment for musicians performing "sideline services", and generates additional payments into the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund when the Company receives revenue from the exploitation of the video promo.

Sampling - When an existing phonograph record, or portion thereof, is sampled into a new phonograph record, a payment is made to the Sound Recording Special Payments Fund on behalf of the musicians who performed on the original record.

Local Agreements:

Limited Pressing - With approval from the Local in the jurisdiction where recording sessions will occur, an employer (who is not currently signatory to the SRLA) may enter into a Limited Pressing Agreement. A B-9 Session Report Form listing all of the participating musicians should be filed with the Local. Should record sales exceed 10,000 units (physical copies and digital downloads), the employer agrees to enter into the Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA).

Demos - For the purpose of sharing musical works with prospective clients, companies, or collaborators, demo recordings can be made. Musicians’ work should be detailed on a B-5 Session Report Form. AFM demo recordings can be shared via email or through a password protected link. Should the recording enter the public sphere such as a streaming service, the owner of the recording agrees to upgrade to the propper agreement and compensate the participating musicians accordingly. 

Joint Venture - Self-produced solo artists or bands (who own the copyright to the material) may enter into a Joint Venture Agreement with AFM and the Local in which the recordings were created. It is permissible that Joint Venture recordings be shared in the public sphere for the purpose of self-promotion. Should any musicians who do not own the copyrighted material participate in the recording process, the appropriate AFM agreement should be executed. 

Single Song Overdub - Should the copyright owner of previously recorded material desire the recording of an additional instrumental performance (from a musician other than themselves), they may enter into the Single Song Overdub Agreement. The copyright owner agrees to compensate the instrumentalist accordingly. Shall records utilizing the Single Song Overdub Agreement exceed 10,000 units sold (digitally or physically), the owner agrees to enter into the SRLA.


Questions? Contact: 323.993.3170, recording@afm47.org

Sound Recording Labor Agreement

(Major labels)

Sound Recording Labor Agreement (SRLA)

Full Term - SRLA Letter of Acceptance

Single Project Short Form

SRLA Scale Summary: Basic, Premium & Special Scales

Music Video Scales

Low-Budget - Scale Summary

AFM B-4 Report Form - Phonograph Records, Soundtrack Releases and Video Promos - (view an example form)


Music Preparation

Music Preparation Scales for Arrangers, Orchestrators & Copyists

Music Prep Report Form


Limited Pressing

(Non-major label, produced in Los Angeles)

Limited Pressing Agreement

AFM B-9 Report Form (and B-9 Continuation Form) for Limited Pressing - (view an example form)


Demo Recordings

(Non-commercial use, produced in Los Angeles)

Demonstration Contract - demo recordings, audio only

AFM B-5 Report Form - (view an example form)
B-5 Continuation

Demo Rider - Image Fee


Joint Venture

Joint Venture Agreement & Summary

Single Song Overdub

AFM Single Song Overdub Areement & LOA

Single Song Overdub B-17 Form

Useful Links

Standard W-4

Standard I-9

Limited Pressing Sales Report Form

Get Your Money! Still waiting on that recording session check? Here's how to get paid without sounding like a broken record.


Do Not Work For:

Click here for a list of employers with whom Local 47 currently has disputes.


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