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Gear Prices and State of the Business Condenser Microphones
Old 11th September 2007
  #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
Actually, I think it's more the same here in the audio field than you say. The closest market to compare would probably be the intro of ADAT's and Mackies in the early '90's. Everyone marveled at the cheap cost of one 8trk ADAT @ $4,000 each when DASH machines were $100,000+. Now you can do much better than ADAT's in quality and features (pro-stools) for a mere fraction of the cost. Heck, an Alesis HD24 is $1500 and it does 24trks better than the ADAT (which woulda been $12,000 for 3 machines at intro).

Thing is, a $10k cam isn't gonna make the commercial for you....there is so much more involved in the cost, not to mention the amount of people and what they cost to make a commercial. I'd have to say again, the analogy of a music video budget for 1 song compared to the cost of recording the whole album for the same band. You could do it with a $10k camera (but probably not just one), yet the rest of the equipment + people involved from start to finish would put your $50k budget to shame.
In the video field a curent Macbook Pro with FCP SMOKES what a $1million sony HDVS digital edit suite (with VTRs) could do a decade+ ago. That didn't happen in audio. No computer gives you the sound of a Focusrite or 80xx Neve desk.

I wouldn't use a $10k cam for a music video, although it can be done. The main reasin is that music videos and commercials still hold their budgets, unlike in the Music Biz.
Old 11th September 2007
  #32
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NOCCA's Avatar
 

Conversely that is like saying:

A mac book pro with a Didi003 SMOKES Soundtools. This didn't happen in video. No video camera gives you what film will.
Old 11th September 2007
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NOCCA View Post
Conversely that is like saying:

A mac book pro with a Didi003 SMOKES Soundtools. This didn't happen in video. No video camera gives you what film will.
1. SoundTools didn't cost $1million+ like those top analog/digital edit suites

2. Take a look at the new RED camera.



RED

a "4K" digital camera shooting uncompressed video at 60FPS. Price: $17k (to the dismay of Sony and Panavision). This is already taking hollywood by storm.
Old 11th September 2007
  #34
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Gear builders don't make as much money as you might think. It's a battle everyday, company owners have to pay for parts, space, taxes, and people like me (who in turn have to pay to support families via wages and insurance) to build and test their gear. Pro Audio is a niche inside of a niche market, with virtually no clout when it comes to component demand and pricing, "booteek" builders are forced to use almost all off the shelf components, and if something becomes unavailable, we're pretty much screwed.

On top of that, they need to be able to sell the products to dealers at a price that enables the dealer/distributer to make a healthy profit...which means building in quantities that justify selling all or most of their units at "dealer cost". To compound the issue further, the gear needs to be "investment grade", whether it's an investment by the end user or not. Bad QC, or build quality means expensive repair time and even more parts spent to keep customers/dealers happy.

Pesonally, I'd beware of any manufacterer who looks like they make too much money, cause they probably skimp on component quality and production value. I bet Mackie and Behringer (sp?) make cash hand over fist...not so for most boutique builders. Not to say that gear builders don't make any money at all, that'd just be stupid, but I don't think anyone would become a builder, dealer, or recordist, if they didn't love it, and think they needed to do it. I wrestle with that choice pretty much everyday, trying to decide if I want to begin building my own products, or not. Inevitably, I decide that any hardship is worth not going insane in a cubicle or clean room of a non-audio industry electronics company.
Old 11th September 2007
  #35
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
In the video field a curent Macbook Pro with FCP SMOKES what a $1million sony HDVS digital edit suite (with VTRs) could do a decade+ ago. That didn't happen in audio. No computer gives you the sound of a Focusrite or 80xx Neve desk.

I wouldn't use a $10k cam for a music video, although it can be done. The main reasin is that music videos and commercials still hold their budgets, unlike in the Music Biz.
But you're still mixing up the comparison with digital/analog (digital video vs. analog music recording gear).

Compare high-end digital recording gear of a decade ago: $225,000 digital multitracks, decked out Pro-tools with 50gb+, etc. The price/entry has dropped substantially, as it has in the digital/video market.

And as for the computer vs. Focusrite/Neve desk: Film hasn't been replaced yet either, it's still top dog and big boy film makers and DP's will say the same thing, digital doesn't give you the look of 35mm.
Old 11th September 2007
  #36
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NOCCA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
1. SoundTools didn't cost $1million+ like those top analog/digital edit suites

2. Take a look at the new RED camera.



RED

a "4K" digital camera shooting uncompressed video at 60FPS. Price: $17k (to the dismay of Sony and Panavision). This is already taking hollywood by storm.
Is the RED camera not analogous (heh pun) to Pro Tools HD?

GREAT QUALITY (yes it is don't argue this)

But there will always be those who say tape is better.
But there will always be those who say film is better.

[just to let you guys know I'm playing devil's advocate, I'm a PT guy and think that an HVX 200 could do some serious damage for documentary work]

>>AG
Old 11th September 2007
  #37
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Reality Check!!!

First, I actually agree with the basic concept (gripe) here, BUT... here is the reality of "other businesses" because I happen to work in one of them.

Film Industry.

First, you're not even making a :30 commercial for a budget of less than a $100k for any real player.

Even low real "indie" films with real distribution are in the $2 mil mark

That means "renting" not buying Panavision or Arie film cameras (which all cost $100k+ even if you could buy) and now the HD digital peolple start to chime in...

Cheaper? Oh yeah, guess what, camera and film is the CHEAPEST part of the equation...

Try a grip truck with all your c-stands and gear, a 10-ton (basic brip package) $10k a day.

Lighting... same.

Location fees in L.A. area $2-$10k per day...

THEN you have to pay crew, from Director down to P.A.

Then THOSE people pay their "oh-so-great" union fees people think are great.

Mine? $ I have to pay the DGA (Director's Guild) $1,000.00 for EVERY day for the sheer pleasure of getting to work to MY union!

And this in in the areana of Nike, adidas, Bud, Super-bowl commercials and a first feature film... i.e. the "healthy...ish" end of the spectrum.

Guess what, we're ALL paying and getting hit....

And ya know what, it;s the same problem, TV shows going to iPod downloads, less commercials, movies on-demand, less money, less theatrical release...

The moral of the story... grass is not greener.

Peeple want more for less, but we still pay through the nose to give it.

Sorry, but that IS the reality in a "comparative" industry first-hand.

-andrews jenkins
Old 11th September 2007
  #38
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NOCCA's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
First, I actually agree with the basic concept (gripe) here, BUT... here is the reality of "other businesses" because I happen to work in one of them.

Film Industry.

First, you're not even making a :30 commercial for a budget of less than a $100k for any real player.

Even low real "indie" films with real distribution are in the $2 mil mark

That means "renting" not buying Panavision or Arie film cameras (which all cost $100k+ even if you could buy) and now the HD digital peolple start to chime in...

Cheaper? Oh yeah, guess what, camera and film is the CHEAPEST part of the equation...

Try a grip truck with all your c-stands and gear, a 10-ton (basic brip package) $10k a day.

Lighting... same.

Location fees in L.A. area $2-$10k per day...

THEN you have to pay crew, from Director down to P.A.

Then THOSE people pay their "oh-so-great" union fees people think are great.

Mine? $ I have to pay the DGA (Director's Guild) $1,000.00 for EVERY day for the sheer pleasure of getting to work to MY union!

And this in in the areana of Nike, adidas, Bud, Super-bowl commercials and a first feature film... i.e. the "healthy...ish" end of the spectrum.

Guess what, we're ALL paying and getting hit....

And ya know what, it;s the same problem, TV shows going to iPod downloads, less commercials, movies on-demand, less money, less theatrical release...

The moral of the story... grass is not greener.

Peeple want more for less, but we still pay through the nose to give it.

Sorry, but that IS the reality in a "comparative" industry first-hand.

-andrews jenkins
I think you just about nailed it.

The industries are not THAT better or worse in these regards. Just different.

There is more than a 10K mic needed to make a record and more than a 17K camera to make a movie.

But a record COULD be made with 20K equipment and a movie could be made with more or less the same amount.

In the realm of budget productions, it is about maximizing your budget. (and having a really good crew)
Old 11th September 2007
  #39
Gear Addict
 
Gravity's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NOCCA View Post
Yup, you don't often own a studio any more if you want to make money.

You own a studio because its what you love doing. Unfortunately they don't accept love at grocery stores...
Not only that, but if you try and 'love' them for food a tthe grocery store, you're likely to get arrested
Old 11th September 2007
  #40
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

"Love does not put food on the table."

--Gene Simmons
Old 11th September 2007
  #41
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dirty Halo View Post
First, I actually agree with the basic concept (gripe) here, BUT... here is the reality of "other businesses" because I happen to work in one of them.

Film Industry.

First, you're not even making a :30 commercial for a budget of less than a $100k for any real player.

Even low real "indie" films with real distribution are in the $2 mil mark

That means "renting" not buying Panavision or Arie film cameras (which all cost $100k+ even if you could buy) and now the HD digital peolple start to chime in...

Cheaper? Oh yeah, guess what, camera and film is the CHEAPEST part of the equation...

Try a grip truck with all your c-stands and gear, a 10-ton (basic brip package) $10k a day.

Lighting... same.

Location fees in L.A. area $2-$10k per day...

THEN you have to pay crew, from Director down to P.A.

Then THOSE people pay their "oh-so-great" union fees people think are great.

Mine? $ I have to pay the DGA (Director's Guild) $1,000.00 for EVERY day for the sheer pleasure of getting to work to MY union!

And this in in the areana of Nike, adidas, Bud, Super-bowl commercials and a first feature film... i.e. the "healthy...ish" end of the spectrum.

Guess what, we're ALL paying and getting hit....

And ya know what, it;s the same problem, TV shows going to iPod downloads, less commercials, movies on-demand, less money, less theatrical release...

The moral of the story... grass is not greener.

Peeple want more for less, but we still pay through the nose to give it.

Sorry, but that IS the reality in a "comparative" industry first-hand.

-andrews jenkins
Well said, the difference is, you're not seeing commercials on prime tiime that were made in someone's bedroom. You ARE hearing records in the top 40 that were. That's a huge difference.
Old 11th September 2007
  #42
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u b k's Avatar
 

this is all so very skewed. you are comparing the cost of a basic (albeit full featured) video EDITING rig, or a basic (albeit high quality) digital camera, with the entire cost of a high end analog recording rig including high end purpose built room.

???

the camera is the mic. the macbook with fcp is pro tools. these tools are roughly equal in function and cost. locations can be extravagant or ghetto in either case. you can shoot a video in an office? true, and i can record an album in a house.

and if you're comparing rates, you have to compare apples to apples. if you score a big budget film, you make bank. if you create music for ads, you're doing pretty good. if you do voice-over work for big $ clients, your bills are covered and then some. but if you record local bands in your garage, get ready to tighten the belt.

you seem to be comparing video post with audio recording, and they are not comparable pursuits. making a record is, as people have mentioned, more akin to shooting a film or commercials. i was in a grey goose ad earlier this year (i was 'lonely guy at the end of the bar'), the shoot was crazy and the amount of people, time, and money involved in capturing the sparkle of vodka as it hits ice cubes is even crazier. in film/video production the crews alone are murder on a budget. but they *do* have budgets, because people still pay $ to watch ads on tv, and they still pay $ to see movies, but they more often than not copy or p2p thier music.

what's happening everywhere is that the logarithmic growth of technological capability, coupled with the proportional decline in cost of acquisition, is democratizing these processes. toss in the internet, where networking and idea exchange occurs at unprecedented rates, and the impact on all pursuits that traditionally had 'guild' status is predictable.

buckle up, it's a bright future for those who wish to express themselves. for those who wish to capitalize on that expression, prepare to get more creative if you want to survive.


gregoire
del
ubk
.
Old 11th September 2007
  #43
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GYang's Avatar
All said above bring us to necessity to earn money elswhere out of music biz (for 95% of people who like music).
I didn't earn fraction of what I invested, but I still produce music I like and that makes me happy.
BTW all my investments are mere 1/2 - 1/3 of the cost of one sport fancy car as Buggati or Mercedes McLaren. And I get more than 1/3 joy of driving any car (for whatever reason that joy might be).

Expensive mic is just part of that equation and although more affordable mics are similarly capable of producing pretty same results, often the edge is worth expenses.
Old 11th September 2007
  #44
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Jay Kahrs's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Well said, the difference is, you're not seeing commercials on prime tiime that were made in someone's bedroom. You ARE hearing records in the top 40 that were. That's a huge difference.
Yeah, and some of 'em SOUND like they were recorded in a bedroom too!

Oof.

Truth is that nobody really needs a $7000 microphone to cut a great lead vocal... The record I'm doing now, most all the lead vocals for both singers have been cut with either a Sony 37A or a Dragonfly which cost far, far less then $6500 even when combined & added with the cost of the micamps... I had one project in limited MTV rotation a few years ago where I had cut maybe 80% of the lead vox with a $200 Oktava pencil mic...

What can I say? Everyone in the band picked it as the winner over several mics that cost a helluva lot more!

Dr Bill made the point earlier... and it's a GREAT one that shouldn't be overlooked... that in todays world studio rates are the same or lower then they were 25 years ago while everything else, especially real estate prices are 10 fold (or higher!!!) then what they were 25 years ago.

Look at the Hit Factory & Sony. You think that's about the decline of the music industry as much as it is the valuable real estate? Maybe. But my moneys on the real estate!

Looking at Dirty Halo's film breakdown got me thinking...

Truthfully, the cost of producing a record is probably (I say that loosely) about the same as it ever has been too. It takes a fair amount of coin to book some studio time, hire competent people to turn knobs... media, be it tape or harddrives, mixing time, mastering... artwork, duplication...

Cost of getting it onto radio is higher then ever. Exposure.

Make a record, great. What 'ya gonna DO with it?! That's a whole other thing really... but IS it?

Maybe you can make a 'top 40' record in a one or two room studio with lots of samples, but real music played by real people and captured in real time... that always has & always will require some kind of physical space. The location costs.

I see it all as futher polorization of the high end & the low end...

Last edited by Jay Kahrs; 11th September 2007 at 09:01 AM.. Reason: hit enter too early!
Old 11th September 2007
  #45
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in response to the first post. I definetly hate paying a lot of money for gear, don't get me wrong, but.... It wasn't a problem when the music business was making a killing and studios charged $2500 a day like it was nothing and tracking gigs were plentiful. Music was also a few notches better. You at least had to make it from one side of the song to another. We can only blame ourselves for ruining the music business by supporting mediocre music and performers. DAW's have ruined the performance aspect of the music business and therefor devalued the product itself. Gear didn't get expensive. We wnet broke because we became complacent and lazy.
Old 11th September 2007
  #46
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Yes, grass is always greener, but it's quite obvious that among all Entertaiment Industries, the Music Biz has been hit the most by far and it's the only one where,

-In direct comparison, to deliver a quality product you actually need to invest more $ to buy the tools (Gear + ROOM!!), and yet
-Rates are insanely low because budgets went down to the floor
-There hardly are paying clients
-Home-made productions are taking on the Pro ones, and nobody seems to care for the drop in quality


Undoubtly, more tools and time are needed to accomplish an entire TV/Film/Ad production, but the difference there is that such Products are made in PHASES by different players together in cooperation, where each one gets its cut and (decent) pay, whereas in a Record the product is built from top to bottom by the same entity (RecStudio), and for the last decade the money put into play (and thus benefits) has been WAY lower in comparison to what each of the other players in TV/Film/Ads saw and got, who still hold their rates. And this is getting worse by the hour.

Technology has astoundingly decreased the price of tools and price barries and democratized production. But the ratio Investment_vs_Return in the Music Biz/RecStudios is the LOWEST of all in the Entertainment/Art Industries.



To those saying a Record can be PROFESSIONALLY done (top to bottom) with cheaper tools, I dont concur. Even if done by a competent engineer, it will sound amateur. You need AT_ LEAST $50k in Gear broke down like

-$10k for a computer+native DAW+ 16 A/Ds (no $ for DigiHD)
-$10k for mics
-$10k for preamps
-$10k for comps and reverb
-$10k for monitors, cheap DAW controller, D/As, patch and cabling

Then add at least antother $50k (if you DIY) to build one isolated room in an converted office or similar space, to legally allow a commercial activity such as a rec studio to be done in the place. That makes a minimum investment of $100k to be able to offer professional results (on the lower scale). Such studio would have rates on the lowest scale too.

In comparison Photographers, CamOps, Video Editors... with own shop, get way higher daily rates with a fraction of the investment. I gave you some examples: professionally designed SSL studios for $500 a day. Similar or higher rates can get a photographer, video editor or CamOp with their $20K in gear. And they dont need big exotic rooms to operate and pay higher rents.



Of course Audio Gear prices are NOT responsible of this. It's just that sometimes it's so difficult to justify the investment (actually makes no sense).
Old 11th September 2007
  #47
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I think this thread has missed an important point in alll the mentioned areas The maufactures have produced entry level consumer products that contain "pro features and specs".

In any one of these fields there is the guy with a basic set up under cutting the guy who is a well out fitted and established! If a guy is shooting weddings for cash with a D4o some off brand Lenses is he any less of a pro then the guy with a tricked out Hassy kit?
I don't advertise as a studio because I do not have a dedicated space, and it is my belief that my expanded PT MIX Neumann akg Sony Quested ect set up i not to the point that I would call it pro! Yet 7 blocks away a guy is working out off his untreated living room with an EMU Interface some Chines mics and Behringer gear Advertiseing his studio and makeing money is he a pro?

An old freind and client shoots video (DVC) Still (Maymia medium format cannon digital) and records (Neuman AKG SONY Allen and heath) if you ask him he has as much invested in each area! So I will call it a wash!
Old 11th September 2007
  #48
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RED is just a buzz at this point they delivered their first 25 cameras 11 days ago lets look at red a year from now!
Old 11th September 2007
  #49
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This thread is NOT about Gear being too expensive, which may or not be, but whether or not the prices of admission for the whole thing are worth it or not IN THE STUDIO BUSINESS, and how all this fares compared to other fields in the Entertaiment/Art Industry.

My point is that as of today, to get rates of say X dollars in the Studio Business, you need an investment that is as much as 10 times bigger than in some other areas of the Entertainment Industry, like a Video Post, CamOp, Photographer... etc.

That is due both to a severe decrease of rates in the Rec Industry and to the decline in cost of gear (for all industries), while cost of land and studio build (acoustics) went up thru the roof. The latter is what mostly handicaps the Rec Industry.

To top it all, there are way less work/clients looking for Recstudios than for the rest.

It is no wonder that so many studios have left Music and focused instead in Audio and Video Post.
Old 11th September 2007
  #50
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
To those saying a Record can be PROFESSIONALLY done (top to bottom) with cheaper tools, I dont concur. Even if done by a competent engineer, it will sound amateur. You need AT_ LEAST $50k in Gear broke down like
What is your version/opinion on what is professional?

It's already established that there have been countless top 40 hits done on $50k or less equipment in the music world.

How many top 40 (if there were such a thing) commercials, movies, tv shows, etc. have been done on $50k or less video equipment? Any of the top 40 picture stuff (commercials/tv/movies) has millions backing/funding it and there is no way the production is gonna be done on $50k or less equipment....it just a way different field, yet it is the Professional version of the picture world.

I worked for an Indie film start up production company in the early '90's, I was their 'audio' guy. They were one of the first small guys to have a full Avid set up....filming on betamax and editing on avids. We worked out of a garage in the back of the producer/owners house. When we filmed a indie project, it was done on betamax yet we still had to rent most of the equipment...dollys, cranes, etc....all way too expensive to own, not to mention the huge amount of people required (compared to a recording studio) needed to run the shoot. Yet I owned ALL of my audio equipment which consisted of blackface ADATS (I was on the waiting lists!), BRC, Mackie's, mics, etc., etc. We did live band music videos with me recording to ADAT multitrack and sending smpte to the betamax cameras.

So at that time, how did our costs measure up?

My side, about $12,000 - $15,000

Their side? About $100,000+, not including what they had to rent, just equipment.

Yet I was also doing band demo's at the same time and while today I would disagree, many of the bands/musicians said I was as good or better than the big studios. There were instances were this was very true unfortunately. A friend had done a demo at Cherokee studios here in hollywood and it was downright horrid....everyone agreed, not just I but them, their friends and everyone else that listened to it. They were pro quality musicians w/pro gear, yet even my demos came out better than that one Cherokee demo (and probably an isolated case).

OTOH, that indie production company in no way was fooling anyone with their product....it had the look of video, no way to get around it and the end product could not fool anyone, even that average consumer, that this was pro or big budget.

Today I still think it's much the same, end product has improved, costs for improving that end product are cheaper, yet it's still way more expensive to Make a Pro end product in picture than in music. You can do a top 40 hit with less than $50k of gear, easy. You can't do it with picture....I really think that if I had to pick the picture production done on $50k or less gear out of a line up of typical top 40 type productions, I (and everyone else) could easily do it. I wouldn't be so confident with a music example of this test.
Old 11th September 2007
  #51
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yeas, you have a point. i have to go now, will say something about later.

but consider that today, you can edit HD video with a laptop in the back of a car, or shoot with the new HD cams anywhere outdoors, on the mountains, in an abandoned warehouse, at somebody's place, etc.

On the other hand, sound is a physic phenomenon and happens in 3D space. And to record it properly you need a big, controlled, great sounding and very expensive to build space.
Old 11th September 2007
  #52
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by jindrich View Post
yeas, you have a point. i have to go now, will say something about later.

but consider that today, you can edit HD video with a laptop in the back of a car, or shoot with the new HD cams anywhere outdoors, on the mountains, in an abandoned warehouse, at somebody's place, etc.

On the other hand, sound is a physic phenomenon and happens in 3D space. And to record it properly you need a big, controlled, great sounding and very expensive to build space.
You can edit pro-tools on a laptop and record anywhere, a church hall or even rent out a sound room, etc.

What is 'proper' is subjective. Many rock bands do albums in houses....even way back as Led Zep to Chilie Peppers, not even considering the bedroom recordings that have made it to radio. Beastie boys had their own ghetto studio down the street from me for many years...it was no build-out, let me tell you! Yet these are all still examples from the top 40 of our music world. No one is gonna Edit a top 40 version of picture on a laptop and do a proper location shoot on $50k of equipment (from beginning to finish...shoot and edit, etc.). A single dolly is $20k (at least it was back in '92).

Overall though, I feel your pain. The plain fact is there is no $$$ in the music industry at just about every level. The sound for picture stuff is where it's at, yet it relies on the picture industry in total...to me it's really a picture industry field as most of the sound for picture studios specialize in it.

It is what it is, yet as I mentioned very early on, no one here is in it for the money, we do it 'cos we love it. We're the public school teachers of the entertainment field. Everyone I know in the picture industry makes bank...and pretty much most of them don't even own ANY equipment, they just have a job! You can't even get a job at a recording studio that pays anything in reality.

This is the reality, yet here we are, strapped by our love of music. So romantic, so starving artist like
Old 11th September 2007
  #53
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absrec's Avatar
 

It's threads like these that depress me. I really don't know what it is about audio. There's really not whole lot of big money to be made anymore. Why do we keep trying to make a living doing something that you can't make a living at? And yes, what makes it worse is having to charge less because the client usually doesn't know the difference between you and the guy in his bedroom. And then we keep saving up what little profit we make to buy more crap that noone cares about anyway. It's like a bad relationship that you just can leave 'cause the sex is too good.

-Aaron
Old 11th September 2007
  #54
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I think labels, studios, producers and distribution companies have literally priced themselves out of the game.

The law of diminishing returns: overcharge for a products for too long and someone will come up with a way to get that same product at a discount. Either by doing it themselves, or stealing it!

You might argue that an MP3 off myspace is crap audio compared to a CD bought from the store, but only engineers and a limited amount of listeners care about that.

I polled maybe 20 friends and maybe 2 of them noticed a difference between myspace and a cd. They just don't care that much.

If suzy q can make her record at home for a couple grand, put it up on myspace and sell 1000 cd's, and $1,000,000 studios go out of business, i say good. That's capitalism at it's best. When you get too big and fat, you get taken out.

I would think it foolish if the movie industry does not sit up and take notice of YouTube. If not, they'd be making the same mistake that the music industry made by not taking full account of napster and P2P.
Old 11th September 2007
  #55
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Simply put: The money isn't there in music whether you're putting out a pro quality product on $500k of equipment or $50k of equipment. Music as a business is a terrible industry.

Even the talent gets screwed. A band gets a record deal and they have to pay for the recording, producer, manager, lawyer, mastering, engineers, etc. Then they get 10% of the royalties if they are lucky, yet less than 1% (much less) of major label releases ever recoup. Oh, and they have to write all the songs, use their own equipment and rehearse/practice on their own, in their own rehearsal studio (which they pay for).

Then look at the film equivalent: Actor doesn't pay for any of the production, write any of the lines or even come up with the character. Maybe say 1 line in a film/tv show or commercial (after being directed on how to do it) and guess what? They get a huge paycheck for that one day + residuals for every time it gets played! And the actor gets paid whether the show airs or not.

Alfred Hitchcock said; "I never said all actors are cattle, what I said was all actors should be treated like cattle."

And for the final dagger in the heart: Anyone could be thrust into fame/fortune in the acting profession w/o ANY previous experience. This can NOT be done with music.
Old 11th September 2007
  #56
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drBill's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleaman View Post
And for the final dagger in the heart: Anyone could be thrust into fame/fortune in the acting profession w/o ANY previous experience. This can NOT be done with music.

Um.....well actually that can and does happen, but that's not really the point of this discussion.
Old 11th September 2007
  #57
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Fleaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drBill View Post
Um.....well actually that can and does happen, but that's not really the point of this discussion.
A person who has never sung/played an instrument (typical joe public) in their life has become rich and famous on radio/music? Who?

This happens with acting, yet I don't know one case of it ever happening in music. And that Asian dude from American idol doesn't really count, that was more comedy factor than serious music factor.
Old 11th September 2007
  #58
Lives for gear
 
jindrich's Avatar
 

I can tell you this: I have 2 good friends. One is an engineer and studio owner, and has a 40xx series SSL studio. The other is a photographer and has a small photostudio.

Well, despite their diffrent investments, they both charge similar rates, and actually it's the photographer the one who sometimes can upcharge 40% more than what the SSL studio owner gets.

Im not quite sure how much gear the photographer has in his studio, but I'd hazard a guess it's not beyond $15-$20k. That's about what my other friend, the SSL studio owner, has in guitars alone.

This should illustrate how great the studio business looks like nowadays.
Old 11th September 2007
  #59
Lives for gear
 
Fleaman's Avatar
 

Maybe so (still no argument from me there), but yet again, probably another case of a digital photography studio verses a mid-to-high end analog (and probably digital too) recording studio.

I have way more equipment, high-end analog and such than I really need, yet admittedly much of it is to make my job easier and satisfy/help me get the results I desire even if most of my clients wouldn't or don't notice the difference.

In the photography studio I doubt you will find much extra high-end gear that the clients wouldn't care about or wouldn't notice a difference on in the end product. Musicians/labels/producers all know/want SSL/Neve/Protools HD, etc.
Old 12th September 2007
  #60
Lives for gear
 
Fleaman's Avatar
 

And here's another thought to ponder; On a truly business standpoint, the photography studio is of course the way to go, by far. But at the end of the day, on a job satisfaction level, we make/produce/engineer music. Would you or your friends/family rather look at a headshot or catalog of your work or listen to the music you were part of?

We put up with the s*h*i*t*y business/money side of things because of the music, plain and simple. If it wasn't for the music, None of us would be here.
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