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Changes in the audio post production industry? Mixers (Analog)
Old 10th July 2018
Lives for gear
Not a GREAT time for audio professionals. Things they are a changing.
Thomas, there have been and will always be technical disruptions. Ask Kodak how the film business is going for them, or how much tape 3M and Ampex are selling. Ask the matt painters and set carpenters how many fantasy backgrounds they have to make these days.

A small number who are both wise and talented usually survive. Some film labs went into digital film intermediates, and then almost exclusively into tape-to-tape color correction. Some matt painters became adept at CGI. They had to learn new skills to survive, of course...

... but so did we. Nobody cares any more that I know how to cut 35mm mag. They like that I can do better and faster edits on my DAW. My business used to depend on my ability to do quick repairs on analog gear, and align a tape deck; now I have to understand networks and how to replace drives in my computer.

Disruptions get disrupted as well. Many of us had to learn how to lock lock multiple analog decks and pix via SMPTE when sprockets and dubbers disappeared. Then we had to get our heads around digital audio decks that slewed into sync via SMPTE, like a video deck did, and then dropped to house reference. Now that "decks" have no moving parts, we hardly worry about that at all.

And disruptions bring new jobs. Shoots hire DITs. Animation houses have computer wranglers. You won't find many music copyists now, but I suspect there are a lot more scoring composers working today since you don't need an orchestra to deliver many "orchestral" scores.

So yes, it's not a good time to go into an obsolete line of work. It never was. Today, it's a bad idea to put your hopes on building a 24-track music palace that labels will block-book for their bands. Don't build a string of local AM stations, or expect to make a killing as a local radio DJ. The thing that drove most of my career until SMPTE sync came along -- fully produced national radio spots for ad agencies -- hardly exists any more.

So we shrug, adapt, and move on.
Old 10th July 2018
Lives for gear

It was fun while it lasted!
Old 10th July 2018
Lives for gear
iluvcapra's Avatar
Originally Posted by kosmokrator View Post
I was not talking about network TV. I was talking about social media. And you don't have to 'convince' me.
“My job's going great, I've found a good niche and I have nothing to complain about” said someone on social media exactly never. Even earnest social media is quite distorted.

Originally Posted by kosmokrator View Post
The data is the data (80% watch with sound off), and the data doesn't care if we like it or not
And those that DO listen are using earbuds or Beats phones.
Old 10th July 2018
Gear Guru
Brent Hahn's Avatar

Originally Posted by Jay Rose View Post
The thing that drove most of my career until SMPTE sync came along -- fully produced national radio spots for ad agencies -- hardly exists any more.
Same here, only I lasted a lot longer.

Radio airtime costs real money -- many times the cost of production, usually -- but podcast streaming is basically free. The question, though, is how do you drive listeners to your podcast? Or, put another way, how do you market the marketing?

Maybe radio is only mostly dead.
Old 12th July 2018
Lives for gear
Thomas W. Bethe's Avatar
Radio advertising started to change in the 1970s and 1980s. No longer were spots done by outside companies as radio stations figured out that they had the VO talent in house and had the SAME equipment as the outside vendors. They decided "why not do all the commercials in house" and that was the beginning of the end for outside vendors.

Things change and you either adapt or go out of business.

TV advertising is changing drastically right now. Spots that use to sell for thousands are now selling, on local TV stations, for hundreds. That is why people are seeing so many adverts for products that a few short years ago would have been shown at 4 am and are now seen before the 6 'clock news. That is why people see car dealerships running multiple ads through out the dinner hour.

Many companies are moving their advertising over to social media. Newspapers are dying at a never before seen rate. Most young people today are NOT watching any TV or reading any newspapers. There is an ongoing move to figure out ways to reach people in new a different ways. One company is developing flat screen displays for use on rest room stall doors so when you are sitting doing your "business" another business will be advertising to you. A few years ago a major toilet paper manufacture was touting that they were going to start putting adverts on their rolls of toilet paper. Ad execs are worried that people will become "unreachable" and are dreaming up all kinds of ways to market their materials to the people the advertisers want to reach.

Today when I go to get gas for my car all the pumps have TV screens on them that are blaring all kinds of adverts while I wait for the take to top off. (I swear the station has dialed back the rate of fill so I have to stand there longer and watch the adverts) They have given me the option of turning off the audio but NOT the video. If you watch the original 1982 "Blade Runner" movie one can see where the film makers thought advertising would be going in the future. Advertising is a crazy business and I am sure it will get even crazier in the future when as you are brushing your teeth your mirror will turn into a large screen TV filled with adverts.

Oh well - progress!

Last edited by Thomas W. Bethe; 12th July 2018 at 11:49 AM.. Reason: Spelling
Old 13th July 2018
Lives for gear
Henchman's Avatar
TV producers now expect a feature quality mix, in 2-3 days, that fits within the TV technical spec.
Old 13th July 2018
Lives for gear

Originally Posted by Henchman View Post
TV producers now expect a feature quality mix, in 2-3 days, that fits within the TV technical spec.
..with that big juicy platter of deliverables!
Old 13th July 2018
Lives for gear
Thomas, I was keeping busy with radio spots well into the 2000s. I was running SMPTE (via BTX 4600) in 1980, but started doing mega TV spot work around '97, when I got a DAW that was elegant for sync and could also slave the BetaSP and Doremi decks to video (rather than the other way around). But there were still a lot of radio sessions well into 2005, when I made the conscious decision to concentrate on longform TV and film.

It may have been different for me than for you, since Boston is a media city with lots of outlets, producers, and ad agencies. But by 2000, a good chunk of my work was distant agencies as well as distant talent, via ISDN. My last radio spots IIRC were 2006, for an MGM feature, for an agency in Santa Monica that I was also doing Disney for.

But I had an unusual approach, a great studio team, and built a unique niche in the biz. YMMV.
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