Any of you guys making money doing dance music?
Old 14th September 2008
  #31
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^and i get to draw things with pencils
Old 14th September 2008
  #32
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To be honest, I think there is money to be had in dance music. But, for some reason, it never quite made the cross over.

1) One reason could be drugs. I think a lot of people went to raves, listened to techno, did serious mind altering drugs--not a doobie here and there (eg led zepplin) but serious pyscotropics. And now, when they hear techno, it makes 'em scatter brained. Long story short, while the guy who went to led zepplin might own a led zepplin LP and a led zepplin CD, the group who saw Rabbit In the Moon back in their orlando days is staying pretty far away from techno as a genre. so dance music, to be a viable industry, needs to figure out a way to be evergreen.

2) another reason is lack of radio support. Not every techno hit has to be abstract underground experiment that is inaccessible to the casual listener. Look at goldie's inner city life for example. Great tune. Virtually unknown. When techno is on the radio, it is in the form (typically--I'm generalizing a lot here for simplicity) of DJ mixes. Good DJ mixes, but individual tracks are less important then the local college DJ simpleton (ok that is a bit harsh) doing pressing the beatmatch button (ha!).

3) and finally, there is the nature of shows themselves. Babies, for example, love faces. They can't get enough of faces. People in general, I think, are the same way. Audience members like to see people, they like to see faces. One guy doing animated drumming + 3 guys headbanging is more interesting to the casual observer then a couple of guys hunched over spinning knobs. Somehow the face of dance music needs to be brought forward. Note I am not faulting acts for knob spinning--I personally think thats great. But I do suspect this is one reason why DJ's tend to fair better then the live version of the records they spin The DJ can stand around and jump up and act excited. I'm guessing a bit here though.

I don't really see these 3 items as impossible to overcome.
Old 14th September 2008
  #33
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I think alot of the responses to this thread are abit skewed... but people tell me I'm pretty skewy.

One thing that seems to be forgotten is that Rap/Hip Hop is dance music & so the default 'pop' format throughout the world is dance music, loads of cash to be made... if you like that kinda thing... not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I agree with Chrisso, diversify or perish is the name of the game. I'm kinda wondering why the OP wished to omit DJ bookings.

crufty, while I see where you are coming from I don't really agree with some of the logic at work in your arguments.

For example. The idea of people going to a set place & viewing a set performance by a set group of people is a pretty new idea in music over the history of human civilization & even tho it does go back a long way for the majority of that time it was like that for a very small, elite, minority.

Most music was made & experienced in a setting where the distinction between producer & consumer was alot blurrier than you are describing it. Dance music, club music connects with a way of experiencing music that pre-dates stages & artists & I don't think constraining it to relatively modern market functions really does it any good at all.

Old 14th September 2008
  #34
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well I should quantify my statement--that perspective is mine on the USA mkt.

There are two ways to look at music--one is how it should be, and another is how it can buy you a gigantic house with supermodels swimming in the warm ocean outside.

I agree with your assessment regarding venue and performance.

One thing that has occurred to me is that games like Guitar Hero / Dance Dance Revolution could become the new American Bandstand--those games could be poised as a way to get ones music to the masses. However, once a name brand has been established, that opportunity needs to be exploited to the fullest. Take the dirty south sub genre of rap. The sound and vibe was a new fit. I remember when southern hip hop 'left' the fluid styles of arrested development and became more 'crunk'. At this point, southern hip hop broke out. Recognizing the opportunity, tracks were cut, CDs were pressed, marketing hit the streets, cds were sold and folks were funneled to concerts. Now everybody knows who Lil Jon is. It's an age old formula and while its harder then it looks, there's no reason why electronic music genre XYZ couldn't have a similar nationwide explosion.

Concerts are a great way to establish value. It is a way of saying--here is something you can ONLY get HERE. Period. You can't buy it in stores, you can get a taste on youtube sure--but if you want the real deal, you have to come here and spend $75 a head to shake your booty from the bleachers. Value creation is an amazing art. Look at P-Diddy. Some guy from new york, when you get down to it. But at a high level he has taken the legacy of biggie smalls and rolled it up into something much bigger.

There is no reason why that couldn't happen in the world of dance music here in USA...and I point to the 6.2 million sales of high school musical. If 6.2 million people buy that cd, 6.2 million people will buy ANYTHING if you can create the market conditions. In order to get that push though, you need the radio, the club scene and the street buzz...and that is not the case here in the states.

edit: also need tv + other media
Old 14th September 2008
  #35
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Well its just a bonus...
I can get like US$3000 A years at least... for a dance music productions..
And if u do track with bigger name producer i gain more money indeed..
But for sure making a dance track is a serius things but fun...

https://www.beatport.com/en-US/html/.../20822/dj_romy
Old 14th September 2008
  #36
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There are so many reasons why dance music never took off in the US. One, identifying with or just plain identifying the artist. People hear a song they like and don't know the title/artist. With most other genres, they can rely on the idiotproof "oh its the song that goes like...." Not so much with dance music. Which leads to the other often mentioned reason of a lack of lyrics. People want stuff they can sing along to. Simple as that.

I think one overlooked factor is the way dance music typically gets released. Most artists release mixes, singles, or remixes. Very few actually release an entire album of their own material. The average US consumer typically will not be buying a 12" or looking at Beatport for new tracks. At the MOST you can expect them to buy a few mixes a year and that's being generous. So with such a low purchase volume, it's kinda hard to expect to make a living off just selling product.

One way artists have been able to make up for lack of sales is licensing; typically commercials. This market especially is getting saturated and the only way you are getting any sort of recognizable income off something like this is if the track is already semi-established.

I think the original poster omitted DJing from the list because they just wanted to know how much you could expect to make based on your own productions alone. I think that's important to consider because DJing is not for everyone, where you live can make a big difference in how much you can make, and if you aren't an established DJ or DJing as your production-self you will not be making incredible money.

I do agree though that if you aren't touring or DJing that you will not be able to make a living in any sort of electronic music endeavor. The model right now really seems to go: release a few hot tracks, build up some buzz, release an EP, and then tour.
Old 14th September 2008
  #37
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Lots of good points here.

My day job is somewhat related to music- drafting and helping to design AV systems in CAD, for theaters, schools, upscale homes, theoretically nightclubs too though I haven't worked on any yet...

I would love to pay the bills w/ dance music, but it seems only a few highly prevalent big name DJ/Producer's who spin regularly in large cities actually make a living doing this....
Old 14th September 2008
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
well I should quantify my statement--that perspective is mine on the USA mkt.
There is no reason why that couldn't happen in the world of dance music here in USA...
From where I sit, electronic dance music has had it's 15 minutes in the spotlight.
Things have settled down now and dance music has contracted back to a hardcore fan market, like Metal and Country.
In the 90's DJ's were king of the castle, techno took the charts (in Europe) by storm and clubs were turning away people desperate to get in.
If you talk to any European DJ's (which I do), they'll tell you the scene is much quieter and less lucrative now - has been for at least five years.
As a result, DJ/Producers are making vocal tracks that are more poppy, getting jobs as consultants with bigger record labels and touting themselves to film companies for soundtrack work.
Old 15th September 2008
  #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1945MF View Post
Well its just a bonus...
I can get like US$3000 A years at least... for a dance music productions..
And if u do track with bigger name producer i gain more money indeed..
But for sure making a dance track is a serius things but fun...

https://www.beatport.com/en-US/html/.../20822/dj_romy
Romy.
I like your stuff!
Not the type of stuff I play, but excellent either way.
Old 15th September 2008
  #40
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Props to 1945MF...anybody who can pull down some $ has my respect! It's hard...

re crisso, I dunno...dance music as a genre, above electronic, is a bit like herpes...it flares up then dies down. Flappers, the jitter bug, the grateful dead, disco, raves, etc. But the days of a tr909/tb303/jp8080 holding sway over an audience...I'm afraid you might be right on that point. However, the next iteration...its out there, I think you can see it coming (j/k)

sort of
Old 15th September 2008
  #41
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Hey, interesting post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
To be honest, I think there is money to be had in dance music. But, for some reason, it never quite made the cross over.
It did here. But was watered down, untill it became something else. It became a pop format. A branch off, not the same. But in the meantime, furtile underground produced something else.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
1) One reason could be drugs. I think a lot of people went to raves, listened to techno, did serious mind altering drugs--not a doobie here and there (eg led zepplin) but serious pyscotropics. And now, when they hear techno, it makes 'em scatter brained. Long story short, while the guy who went to led zepplin might own a led zepplin LP and a led zepplin CD, the group who saw Rabbit In the Moon back in their orlando days is staying pretty far away from techno as a genre. so dance music, to be a viable industry, needs to figure out a way to be evergreen.
LOL, I know what you mean. Rabbit in the moon is excellent for that state of mind. But OTOH I can tell you that many of my generation (jayzuz I sound old) listen to the "oldies" at home, but just don't go out raving anymore. Or not that much.. They didn't burn themselves. Or not that much. And ppl. here did CRAZY things, and still kept their personality in one piece. What I think is that society itself has changed, the people didn't. Stupid politicians started meddling in things they didn't and still don't understand. (nor want to) Ignorance is the basis of their fear. The need to control the source of their descision making. Society will change again. Soon. I have no idea if this will be for the better. A culture needs a place to go. Ringtones are not adequate replacement for a real party. Being hammered with a police baton is not what ppl. want when they go out celebrating life.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
2) another reason is lack of radio support. Not every techno hit has to be abstract underground experiment that is inaccessible to the casual listener. Look at goldie's inner city life for example. Great tune. Virtually unknown. When techno is on the radio, it is in the form (typically--I'm generalizing a lot here for simplicity) of DJ mixes. Good DJ mixes, but individual tracks are less important then the local college DJ simpleton (ok that is a bit harsh) doing pressing the beatmatch button (ha!).
Goldie was played everywhere, made it to the top of the charts in the UK.
Gatekeepers. That's what we need. Not idiots that are keeping the door closed for talent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
3) and finally, there is the nature of shows themselves. Babies, for example, love faces. They can't get enough of faces. People in general, I think, are the same way. Audience members like to see people, they like to see faces. One guy doing animated drumming + 3 guys headbanging is more interesting to the casual observer then a couple of guys hunched over spinning knobs. Somehow the face of dance music needs to be brought forward. Note I am not faulting acts for knob spinning--I personally think thats great. But I do suspect this is one reason why DJ's tend to fair better then the live version of the records they spin The DJ can stand around and jump up and act excited. I'm guessing a bit here though.
Personal worship of an artist is an interesting concept. It also happened here in europe, on different levels. (Big international to local heroes, and everything inbetween) This is still going on. As is the case with ANY artist, it's important that this artist keeps on delivering new fresh material, while maintaining a signature sound or format. Doable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
I don't really see these 3 items as impossible to overcome.
Me neither.

cheers all

shivers me timbers!
Old 15th September 2008
  #42
Many great thoughts here.

Not totally related to OPs topic, but related to something very well said above: drugs.

I use to get more gigs in the past, and some money was coming out of that, but the drugs really messed up things here in Brazil. Authorities were all over to stop parties, and many djs and producers suffered from that. Trance here was hugely affected by this drug issue, and our scene is shrinking more and more....so it affected some studio bizz as well, since no one is willing to run labels in Brazil anymore.

Sad.

Old 15th September 2008
  #43
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Music is my love (that and 3d graphics). Law is my money. Would I prefer to be making my living doing music? Sure. But considering that I can't even get any responses when I post tracks here, at KVR, or at dogsonacid, I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that the day job must remain in place. After all, if no one buys your stuff for free, they sure ain't payin' for it...

Every musician I know (and I know a fair few) works some kind of day gig to pay for the music. Some do engineering/production work. Others do completely non-musical things to pay the bills. It's possible to make your living with music, but doing so requires either a lot of luck, a lot of time paying dues, or, most often, both.
Old 15th September 2008
  #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedilaw View Post
Music is my love (that and 3d graphics). Law is my money. Would I prefer to be making my living doing music? Sure. But considering that I can't even get any responses when I post tracks here, at KVR, or at dogsonacid, I'm gonna go out on a limb and assume that the day job must remain in place. After all, if no one buys your stuff for free, they sure ain't payin' for it...

Every musician I know (and I know a fair few) works some kind of day gig to pay for the music. Some do engineering/production work. Others do completely non-musical things to pay the bills. It's possible to make your living with music, but doing so requires either a lot of luck, a lot of time paying dues, or, most often, both.
you can add a lot of talent. You can make a lot of money if you are a talented producer/dj and frequently remix big name pop artists as well as have enough fame to release your own albums.
Old 16th September 2008
  #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nu Mixer View Post
<< have made my living for the last fifteen years doing tv commercials.Basically living off the royalties but its all slowly going away. >>

Are you saying that there is less demand for dance music in TV commercials?

Or are there more people doing it so you have less work?

Or are they paying less?
I have freelanced for someone else.Less work for me and more for who i worked for.
As per you first ?Yes,less dance music on tv.
2-Always more people doin it but that is where connections are 90% of gettin the gig.
3.How do you compete with someone like killer tracks 1000's of songs to choose from who may license a track for $50 -150 per track unless you are scoring every video hit.Those budgets can be more.Anywhere from 3000-50000 when you have to hire musicians for full orchestra.It does depend on high profile the gig is.There are other styles that work on tv.Acoustic instruments are popular.
That said,there are going to be some variables in every situation but i:ve seen budgets shrink over the years.


Good luck and do it cause you luv it and if you make money from it,Appreciate it,.


Dan P
Old 16th September 2008
  #46
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I think I always want to believe you can. I started mastering and trying to do other production work to keep the venture going. I work a day job too, but still trying one day to keep it all audio.
Old 17th September 2008
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d1rtynyc View Post
Romy.
I like your stuff!
Not the type of stuff I play, but excellent either way.

+1... I would spin some of that... may add a few of those to this week's beatport to-buy list actually, thanks romy
Old 17th September 2008
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYAMS View Post
you can add a lot of talent. You can make a lot of money if you are a talented producer/dj and frequently remix big name pop artists as well as have enough fame to release your own albums.
Well, one would like to think that success in the music industry required a lot of talent, but there are a lot of examples of that not being the case.
Old 17th September 2008
  #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Not negative at all.
I'm pointing out the positives of working outside of original music in electonica or dance.
I've learnt a helluva lot from working on tv scores, on film trailers, on drum software, with top40 bands, with pop artists and with DJ's.
I'm sorry of you find that advice offensive and negative.
Please, spare me your vast experience; I am not offended by your advice on taking work outside your own realm. Your comment about the struggling artist being a joke is a pessimistic and negative POV, IMO.
Old 17th September 2008
  #50
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No,because i can not stand dance music.I do what the F i want and i am not going to break my own rules to gain money on cheap bullcrap.And lets face it..most dance music which is popular(talking about top 10 electronic dance music) is pity poor.Its like... people that overuse sample cds because they are too smuggy to make their own sounds,and then yell "OMG e´verybody does it".I dont need to make money with music...if i can and people want my stuff its great.And thats working for me.
Old 17th September 2008
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jedilaw View Post
Well, one would like to think that success in the music industry required a lot of talent, but there are a lot of examples of that not being the case.


To the OP, asking anybody in this section if they make money making dance music is like asking the beatmaking idiots over at futureproducers if they have ever sold a beat for over $100.

All anyone can do here is bitch about how many oscillators a synth has and where you can get a good deal on this and that synth nobody has ever heard of.

Whenever I have asked questions about gear help or about dance music production nobody has a clue. Everyone here is an amateur enthusiast. Sorry but its true- this thread says it all.
Old 17th September 2008
  #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MYAMS View Post
Whenever I have asked questions about gear help or about dance music production nobody has a clue. Everyone here is an amateur enthusiast. Sorry but its true- this thread says it all.
So your answer is ... no ... there is no money in dance music, which is what everyone else is saying or...?
Old 17th September 2008
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popbott View Post
Please, spare me your vast experience;
Fine, it's your loss, not mine mate.
But in case anyone else wants to read it, I'll post as normal and you'll have to look away.
Or is that too hard?
Old 17th September 2008
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
Fine, it's your loss, not mine mate.
But in case anyone else wants to read it, I'll post as normal and you'll have to look away.
Or is that too hard?
Loss? What are you talking about -lose what? Ok, I can appreciate good experience chrisso. What I can't appreciate is your negative attitude towards struggling artists.
Old 17th September 2008
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crufty View Post
So your answer is ... no ... there is no money in dance music, which is what everyone else is saying or...?
seems to me it's just a rant towards everyone here for not helping enough..
or something
Old 18th September 2008
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Popbott View Post
What I can't appreciate is your negative attitude towards struggling artists.
You made that up, I don't have one.
I support a few struggling artists I know.
I have a negative attitude to some artists I've worked with who took 2 - 3 years between albums. As I was there and you weren't, I reported that a lot of that time was spent on the Playstation, partly to avoid committing new material to tape then having to play it to the record company.
None of these artists were 'struggling' financially. Actually it was the bass player, drummer, second guitarist who were waiting for the songwriter to commit that were 'struggling'. Hence my post.
But anyway, back to crufty....
I don't routinely hang out with DJ's and dance artists, but I know a few. The ones I know all make more money remixing, dj-ing, programming compilations, and hosting radio shows than what they make with their original material.
Almost all musicians I know (across any genre) are diversifying to make a living, teaching, film and ad scoring etc....
Old 18th September 2008
  #57
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Old 18th September 2008
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowkey View Post
^and i get to draw things with pencils

pity you cant color between the lines fuuck

Last edited by jude; 18th September 2008 at 01:24 AM.. Reason: spelling
Old 18th September 2008
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DivineChemical View Post
Perhaps you already knew the answer and just needed the right questions?

BTW, there's a lot of pro's in this forum, so that's a hell of a generalization on your part.
Perhaps... but the general population is not and the general vibe of this section would scare away most of them. I wish this section was more legit...
Old 18th September 2008
  #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
You made that up, I don't have one.
I support a few struggling artists I know.
I have a negative attitude to some artists I've worked with who took 2 - 3 years between albums. As I was there and you weren't, I reported that a lot of that time was spent on the Playstation, partly to avoid committing new material to tape then having to play it to the record company.
None of these artists were 'struggling' financially. Actually it was the bass player, drummer, second guitarist who were waiting for the songwriter to commit that were 'struggling'. Hence my post.
etc....
Mmmmmmm-kay, didn't make anything up, just quoting you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisso View Post
The struggling artist thing is a bit of a joke IMO.
Anyhow, I have a better picture now, not that it changes my POV.
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