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Has it ever been like this before?
Old 18th September 2006
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djui5's Avatar

Has it ever been like this before?

You've been around a long time, and I'm sure have seen some tremendous changes in the industry. My question is, has there ever been a time like the current? By the I mean the ridicilous budget restrictions, etc. I've talked to a lot of people who fear the industry might crash itself. There is so much pirating going on, cd sales are down a bit, downloads are way up, studios are closing left and right etc. Was there ever a time like this before, say during the transition from Vinyl to cassette, or from cassette to cd, where it seemed the industry was crashing in on itself?
Old 24th September 2006
Bruce Swedien's Avatar

I’ve been around the block a couple of times.


I wish I could tell you, with some degree of certainty, what the New Millennium has in store for recorded music. What I can tell you with wholehearted confidence is, that I am not frightened of the future. Never have been.

I’ve been around the block a couple of times. I’ve seen our beloved music recording business go through some critical changes. What I find most promising now, is that musicians, bands and composers, have easy access to recording technology that is far better than at any time in the past. I have a strong belief that the music recording business, is going to be put back in the hands of the people that truly love music for music’s sake.

Music has always seemed to be organic in myself. I think it's that way, to some degree, in the soul of every human being. That’s why I’m confident that recorded music in the new millennium will emerge at least as strong and healthy, as in the previous.

Don't be afraid of the future. Remember this "IT'S KICK-ASS, NOT KISS-ASS!!!"

Make the best recordings that you can....

Bruce Swedien
Old 24th September 2006 | Show parent
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cajonezzz's Avatar

Make the best recordings that you can....

Just don't expect to make a living doing it. ( with out doing other stuff too.)

I'm super encouraged by the way things are going, from a musical standpoint. I think the way the internet and affordable technology has brought the world together, and allowed muso's to share and learn about styles/artists in the ultra- burbs has made discovering music a new lifestyle. How that get's monetized----who know's.

Art and making a living have always been at odds- so best to have many irons in the fire.

just about every muso/producer type that I know is doing multiple "art" related stuff to pay the bills, be it dabbling in a little web design, industrial/corporate stuff, investing in real estate-

the last really tough time for me was in 84-85 when the Linn hit big and demo work died.... I adapted, and bought a Linn--- kept me eating through the 80's early 90's till we swung back to players.

I think the biggest hurdle is how people will " consume" their media- digital downloading is here to stay, it's just how will that play out.

A couple of good books that touch on the subject:

Old 25th September 2006 | Show parent
Lives for gear

^^ thanks for the inspiration Bruce.
For young guys (such as myself) aspiring to become a success (engineering/songwriting), it's good to know that even the veterans keep a positive outlook on the industry.

moreover, we appreciate all the knowledge and informative posts you provide day in, day out.

- Nestor C.
Old 25th September 2006 | Show parent
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Lek's Avatar

Originally Posted by Bruce Swedien View Post
Don't be afraid of the future. Remember this "IT'S KICK-ASS, NOT KISS-ASS!!!"

Make the best recordings that you can....

Bruce Swedien
Thanks Bruce
I'm going to add that to my list of quotes I keep for inspiration
Old 25th September 2006 | Show parent
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PapillonIrl's Avatar

Really good question....

...and something that I often wonder about.

Glad to hear that someone like Mr. Swedien has such a positive outlook.

My opinion is that market forces, powerful as they are, pale in comparision to the human need to be moved by rhythm, melody, and lyric.

Music may seem cheapened at present, but as far as I know, no african tribesman wanted to be renumerated for their log hitting.

We have a need for this art form as a species.

It will find it's balance eventually IMO.

The days of the high-rent sound hotel studio may be numbered though, unfortunately.

Old 25th September 2006 | Show parent
Gear Maniac

i am SO glad such an authorative person like yourself makes this point.
Old 25th September 2006
Lives for gear
mtstudios@charter's Avatar

The industry is changing; they are more independent records than ever. One service records companies provided was filtering. The consumer needs to be pointed in a direction good or bad.

Music has been free since the radio. It is just someone else is paying for it.
Possibility is MasterCard, Visa sponsor artists for $$$$, in return they can use their music.
This is an idea, but I don't particularly like it, because things could get more corporate than they already are.

Television was free until cable came along, now everybody is accustomed to paying for it. In return you end up with better programming.

Possibilities are satellite radio charges $20.00 a month; you can download 10 songs a month. Full wave files because it operates like TIVO. Part of this fee 1/2 goes to the artist and Rec Co (if they still exist). While you are driving to work you hear a song you like, push download button, instant impulse buy. After a couple of downloads from same artist, you might even be interested in a full length LP.

Other possibilities are artist sell 20,000 units, and make as much as if they had sold a million on a record label.
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