Sound Recordings

Sound Recordings

  • The SAG-AFTRA Sound Recordings Code covers sound recordings on digital, CDs, vinyl, etc., and includes all music formats as well as audiobooks, cast albums, and any other sound recording utilizing vocal performance. The Code not only covers singers, but announcers, actors, comedians, narrators, and sound effects artists as well.

    The Code applies to artists who work at scale and overscale, and who appear as both royalty and non-royalty artists. In addition, some artists may be royalty artists for their own recordings, but qualify as non-royalty artists when they appear on other artists’ recordings.

    The Sound Recordings Code has been in existence since the early 1950s. Today, more than 600 companies are signed to it, including the three major labels: Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and most of their subsidiary labels.

Prior to Session

  • Prior to hiring SAG-AFTRA members, there must be a SAG-AFTRA signatory attached to the project. The signatory is generally the owner of the material being produced and will remain financially responsible for any future obligations under the Sound Recordings Code. 

    If the company is currently signed to the Sound Recordings Code, please note that all vocal sessions are covered under this agreement. If you aren’t sure if the company is signatory, please call the Sound Recordings Department at (323) 549-6864 to verify.

    If you would like to apply to become a signatory, complete the Sound Recordings Information Sheet.

    The Information Sheet will be reviewed and you will be contacted by a SAG-AFTRA Business Representative. If approved, we will provide you with the Letter of Adherence (LOA) to sign.

During the Session

  • Keep track of overdubs and hours, as performers are paid per side (overdub) or per hour, depending on whichever is greater. 

    Be sure to collect each performer’s W-4 and I-9 forms and Session Report and provide those to your payroll company to ensure payment is made on time to avoid late fees being assessed.

After the Session

  • Payments must be made within 21 calendar days. Please send all talent checks (issued to each performer with proper tax deductions) as well as the health and retirement payment (issued to SAG-AFTRA Health Plan, AFTRA Retirement) directly to the local office nearest where the work was performed.

And that’s it!

  • If you have questions throughout any of the signatory process, please contact your SAG-AFTRA Business Representative at (323) 549-6864.

    Thank you for working with SAG-AFTRA.

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