Recording Musicians Association: The voice of recording musicians

Volume 113, No. 1January, 2013

Below, Local 802 musicians at a recording session at Legacy Studios in 2008. The session was recorded under the AFM’s videogame contract for the game “Tom Clancy’s HAWX: High Altitude Warfare” with music composed by Tom Salta. The RMA recently consulted with the AFM on a revised version of the videogame agreement, which went into effect at the beginning of December. Photo: Seth Kushner

Allegro has published a number of recent articles with by-lines
featuring members of the RMA-NY Board. So who is the RMA, and what has it done
for you lately?

Founded locally in New York in 1969 and becoming a national
organization by 1983, the Recording Musicians Association is a non-profit
organization advocating for union recording musicians in the United States and
Canada. It is a player conference within the AFM, similar in that respect to

RMA representatives are involved in every aspect of AFM activities
affecting recording musicians, ranging from contract negotiations to education
of the membership, public, and government. Some of our primary goals include the

  1. We protect of the rights and interests of our members through
    participation in all applicable AFM negotiations with the industry.

  2. We give our members a unified voice within our union and

  3. We assist AFM leadership in adapting to today’s constantly
    changing recording business and new media environments.

  4. We encourage musicians to record under union contracts by
    offering members and their potential employers accurate, easy-to-understand
    information regarding the various recording agreements and their associated
    AFM paperwork.

As our local chapter, RMA-NY has recently focused on promoting
awareness and utilization of the New York state and city tax credits now
available here for film production and post-production. We have seen a
significant increase in NYC film music recording in recent months, and we hope
to encourage this trend by continuing to broaden awareness about these credits.
In our recent series of three articles in Allegro our goal has been to increase
general understanding of the credits, thereby increasing the amount of film
music recorded locally under union contract.

At the national level, RMA has worked recently in cooperation with
AFM leadership to successfully re-negotiate the Live TV/Videotape Agreement, a
contract that had lain fallow for six years from its last expiration despite
sporadic rounds of bargaining in between. These negotiations were challenging,
but their completion represents a significant step forward, one that will be
especially welcome to musicians working on some of the newer shows covered under
the agreement.

The Motion Picture agreement is currently in the process of
bargaining, with the first round having been recently completed over a two-week
period in Los Angeles. RMA was heavily involved in these negotiations as well,
and will continue to be in subsequent rounds of bargaining.

The AFM, in consultation with RMA, recently completed work on a
significantly revised Videogame/Interactive Media agreement that went into
effect at the beginning of December; again, RMA was an active participant in the

The Sound Recording agreement (long overdue for renegotiation) was
successfully bargained over multiple rounds during 2011, another difficult but
important achievement. RMA-NY board members participated in all of the above in
one role or another.

RMA continues to play a vital role in the continually evolving
union recording landscape, and RMA-NY performs a similarly vital role here at
the local level. Becoming a member of RMA/NY supports the work we do and ensures
that your voice will be heard at all recording negotiations with industry.
Annual membership dues are just $75. For more information and an application
form please visit us online at


This article written by Roger Blanc on behalf of the RMA-NY board.