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Any TAXI success stories out there? Virtual Instrument Plugins
Old 27th February 2007
  #31
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C Heat's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Sartiano View Post
Using MySpace for a music critique is like getting high schoolers to grade each other's papers.

Agreed, the fan base/grass roots thing with MySpace is cool. But a serious music critique? You're joking. Yeah -- "This sounds like it should be on the radio!!!" <-- That's your first clue. Much of MySpace Music is somewhere between "inmates running the asylum" and "by morons, for morons." Besides, it is incumbent upon music people on MySpace to be "friend collectors" (why?), because this somehow proves appeal, so expect four out of five comments on your page to read something like this:

"Sounds great! Yeah! Be sure to check out myspace.com/total-loser-Portland We're taking over, LOL LOL!!!"
Well said.
Old 27th February 2007
  #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeerHunter View Post
Yes, this is true. I costs $5 per song. However, they will also provide a written critique and I guess this is where part of my concern is.
Do the math. Say the guy who critiques the song gets half the money. If he critiques, say at the most 10 songs per hour, which is a lot of judgement to be laying out in a short time, then he's making $25 per hour. So who would this person be who is passing judgement on your song? My point is that anybody who is sweatboxing out 10 critiques an hour for 25 bucks isn't necessarily anybody whose opinion should mattter. If it did he wouldn't be doing this job.

I think it's wannabe songwriters being critiqued by wannabe A&R guys. I assume it's all still anonymous.

-R
Old 27th February 2007
  #33
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emgbiotch's Avatar
 

$300 plus $5 per song submission fee so some dude in a cubicle can critique my music makes me laugh...
Old 27th February 2007
  #34
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BeerHunter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
Do the math. Say the guy who critiques the song gets half the money. If he critiques, say at the most 10 songs per hour, which is a lot of judgement to be laying out in a short time, then he's making $25 per hour. So who would this person be who is passing judgement on your song? My point is that anybody who is sweatboxing out 10 critiques an hour for 25 bucks isn't necessarily anybody whose opinion should mattter. If it did he wouldn't be doing this job.

I think it's wannabe songwriters being critiqued by wannabe A&R guys. I assume it's all still anonymous.

-R
This is sort of what I was saying in an earlier post about "canned" responses. Using your quota of 10 songs per hour means that the A&R guy would only have a couple of minutes to write a critique. I would think that this critique would be along the lines as my daughter's high school report cards where they select from a list of predefined comments as he/she simply wouldn't have enough time to write them from scratch.

I'm not expecting much out of them (TAXI) really. Just trying to get some exposure. But if their critisism is meaningless then it could end up sending us in the wrong direction. If this is the case it would be better not to join.
Old 27th February 2007
  #35
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Sartiano View Post
Using MySpace for a music critique is like getting high schoolers to grade each other's papers.

Agreed, the fan base/grass roots thing with MySpace is cool. But a serious music critique? You're joking. Yeah -- "This sounds like it should be on the radio!!!" <-- That's your first clue. Much of MySpace Music is somewhere between "inmates running the asylum" and "by morons, for morons."
I think you're missing the point here. Most of the people on MySpace are not musicians. Do you really think that touring musicians are listening to your music?

Who cares if they are good at critiquing your music or not? If 100,000 of them wanted to hear your music and kept coming back to here more, isn't that better than
TAXI telling you whether it's good or not?

Your music can be God awful and still sell records. And that's all that really matters. Right?
Old 27th February 2007
  #36
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

There's one other thing I wanted to mention:

Using a service like TAXI can force some of you to feel like you've done something by having them shop your songs for you.

There's a difficult form of networking that must take place to get your songs heard by the right people. I would hate to see anyone avoid this approach because they have TAXI on the case.

Good luck.
Old 27th February 2007
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
I think you're missing the point here. Most of the people on MySpace are not musicians. Do you really think that touring musicians are listening to your music?

Who cares if they are good at critiquing your music or not? If 100,000 of them wanted to hear your music and kept coming back to here more, isn't that better than
TAXI telling you whether it's good or not?

Your music can be God awful and still sell records. And that's all that really matters. Right?
Exactly. And MySpace doesnt only consist of 15-year old high school kids. Many adults are on the site and also use it to find new music. It doesnt matter if the critique people will give you on MySpace is professional, it matters that it's gonna be 100% honest. Plus, it's gonna be much more objective to get feedback from 100 people on MySpace than from 1, 2 or 5 A&R guys.
Old 27th February 2007
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKrizman View Post
Do the math. Say the guy who critiques the song gets half the money. If he critiques, say at the most 10 songs per hour, which is a lot of judgement to be laying out in a short time, then he's making $25 per hour. So who would this person be who is passing judgement on your song? My point is that anybody who is sweatboxing out 10 critiques an hour for 25 bucks isn't necessarily anybody whose opinion should mattter. If it did he wouldn't be doing this job.

I think it's wannabe songwriters being critiqued by wannabe A&R guys. I assume it's all still anonymous.

-R
Most likely they get a fixed salary, and not a commission-based one. Cause oftentimes they dont even write critiques for certain submissions or listings --> "All submissions will be screened on a YES/NO BASIS ONLY -- NO CRITIQUES FROM TAXI."

A yearly membership costs 300 bucks. If they have 10,000 members that'd make 30 million bucks (excluding the submission fees). You can pay your staff a nice salary from that money.

Obviously you did NOT do the math.
Old 27th February 2007
  #39
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BeerHunter's Avatar
Wow, I must say I'm quite surprised to hear favorable comments about MySpace. The only thing is, how do you get noticed on MySpace? I mean I guess one could always post on forums like GS and say click me, click me http://www.myspace.com/iceboxxcdn

Thanks everyone for your replies. It has really opened my eyes up to a few things. Who knows, it may have even saved me a few bucks.... or should I say allowed me to allocate funds to gear rather than a critique service.
Old 27th February 2007
  #40
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burst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Sartiano View Post
If Taxi allowed submissions by producers and not just writers, I'd join in a second, but you are only allowed to submit if you are a writer or co-writer on a project.
Hey Gregg, not sure if I get some grandfathered treatment or some unknown loophole, but I routinely submit material that I've "only" produced. Granted, it's generally artists I'm developing or have written with, but not always the case.

Give them a call... you're legit... they'd be interested, I bet.
Old 27th February 2007
  #41
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sahiaman's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
Your music can be God awful and still sell records. And that's all that really matters. Right?
Lets not confuse taste with a marketable product! haha. You can sell crap as long as you know your market.

However, my point is, why start a website about yourself if you aren't happy with your songs? If your songs suck, and you are happy with them, then by all means start the website, there might be a market out there that will like it. But if you aren't happy with them, don't put up a site until you truely feel they are good songs.

And I'm not talking about good production either, I'm talking just about good songs, that superseed the production, whether its coming out of a 2 track tape, or a Protools rig. A&R reps will listen to the potential of your song, not the production.
Old 27th February 2007
  #42
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burst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
But I've yet to hear from someone who has actually gotten one of their songs through via Taxi. I know it must happen.
As I said previously, I've landed cuts through them.

Was featured two years ago at their Road Rally on their Successful Members panel.

It definitely happens.
Old 27th February 2007
  #43
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burst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by emgbiotch View Post
$300 plus $5 per song submission fee so some dude in a cubicle can critique my music makes me laugh...
FWIW, I'm laughing all the way to the bank.

Directly : just cashed my third check for mechanical royalties on Emma Roberts Columbia Records debut. We've landed multiple licenses our song (we retained the publishing) : Walmart's back to school campaign, MTV's The Hills, etc.

Indirectly : connections made as a result of this single song have netted me deal upon deal, meeting upon meeting, producers have called ME directly looking for material, cutting Taxi out of the loop entirely.

Single best $305 I've spent. Of course, to each his own.
Old 27th February 2007
  #44
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burst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by sahiaman View Post
A&R reps will listen to the potential of your song, not the production.
Truer words have not been spoken on this thread.

Well done, sahiaman.
Old 27th February 2007
  #45
Gear Guru
 
Kenny Gioia's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sahiaman View Post
Lets not confuse taste with a marketable product! haha. You can sell crap as long as you know your market.

However, my point is, why start a website about yourself if you aren't happy with your songs? If your songs suck, and you are happy with them, then by all means start the website, there might be a market out there that will like it. But if you aren't happy with them, don't put up a site until you truely feel they are good songs.

And I'm not talking about good production either, I'm talking just about good songs, that superseed the production, whether its coming out of a 2 track tape, or a Protools rig. A&R reps will listen to the potential of your song, not the production.
Then why send your songs to TAXI either?

If you "KNOW" that you aren't happy with them, what do you expect TAXI to do with it?
Old 27th February 2007
  #46
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sahiaman's Avatar
 

Produceher, because those are people you are hiring, not people you are marketing too. Consider it a focus group.
Old 27th February 2007
  #47
Gear Maniac
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by quietdrive View Post
A yearly membership costs 300 bucks. If they have 10,000 members that'd make 30 million bucks (excluding the submission fees). You can pay your staff a nice salary from that money.

Obviously you did NOT do the math.
I don't think you did the math either, that's 3 million not 30 . still a good point though
Old 27th February 2007
  #48
Gear Guru
 
henryrobinett's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by burst View Post
As I said previously, I've landed cuts through them.

Was featured two years ago at their Road Rally on their Successful Members panel.

It definitely happens.
Excellent news! I missed your post. Apologies.

I have a close friend and talented singer/songwriter submitting songs through Taxi. I was not going to say anythig negative to her about, "I've never heard of anyone selling a song through Taxi." Now I don't have to think anything negative, but can now, with clean conscience, encourage her and wish her the very best of luck.
Old 27th February 2007
  #49
Gear addict
 
Reag1502's Avatar
 

This is a question I have about Taxi, that to me seems like a red flag. If they have so many success stories, why have they been running the exact same adds for years? When you open up any music magazine and see there adds its always the girl singer, and the two guys that got some song recorded by Nick Carter or something I would think, that if they had a lot of success with getting people deals and what not they would want the rest of the world to know??? What am I missing here???? Seeing some great story about some girl that got singed 10 years ago, just aint enough for me. Again, what am I missing???
Old 27th February 2007
  #50
Gear Addict
 
BeerHunter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reag1502 View Post
This is a question I have about Taxi, that to me seems like a red flag. If they have so many success stories, why have they been running the exact same adds for years? When you open up any music magazine and see there adds its always the girl singer, and the two guys that got some song recorded by Nick Carter or something I would think, that if they had a lot of success with getting people deals and what not they would want the rest of the world to know??? What am I missing here???? Seeing some great story about some girl that got singed 10 years ago, just aint enough for me. Again, what am I missing???
According to their own literature, they forward your material to people in the industry and then they (labels etc) contact you directly. This would keep them at a loss as to whom has been successful using their program.
Old 27th February 2007
  #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reag1502 View Post
When you open up any music magazine and see there adds its always the girl singer
LOL. I thought that too. Oooh, Taxi helps a nice-looking blonde gets a contract! What a breakthrough success! Let's ride with it for five years! heh
Old 27th February 2007
  #52
Gear Addict
 
burst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reag1502 View Post
This is a question I have about Taxi, that to me seems like a red flag. If they have so many success stories, why have they been running the exact same adds for years? When you open up any music magazine and see there adds its always the girl singer, and the two guys that got some song recorded by Nick Carter or something I would think, that if they had a lot of success with getting people deals and what not they would want the rest of the world to know??? What am I missing here???? Seeing some great story about some girl that got singed 10 years ago, just aint enough for me. Again, what am I missing???
A legitimate point.

However, as a small business owner I can only point to the fact that they are swamped and trying to keep up with all the little things that take up their time each day and week. I know it. I've got stuff I NEVER get crossed off my to do list!! Without pretending to know what their specific reason might be, that'd be my guess.

But there are more recent success stories, to be sure. All you have to do is surf to their site and check out the success stories section. It's not marketing BS. These deals can and do happen.

I'm actually kind of amazed at what their advertising budget must be. My god, all those full page ads and special inserts.... incredible, really.
Old 27th February 2007
  #53
Gear Addict
 
burst's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by henryrobinett View Post
Excellent news! I missed your post. Apologies.

I have a close friend and talented singer/songwriter submitting songs through Taxi. I was not going to say anythig negative to her about, "I've never heard of anyone selling a song through Taxi." Now I don't have to think anything negative, but can now, with clean conscience, encourage her and wish her the very best of luck.
Yes, best of luck to your friend...

And hey, Henry, check your PMs. heh
Old 27th February 2007
  #54
Gear maniac
 
Tone Obsessed's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by burst View Post

Join up, submit some material, gauge the feedback, attend the Rally, and then see if it's something you want to be part of going forward.... absolute WORST case scenario is that you find out your material ain't quite what Taxi is looking for and you're out a couple hundred bucks... and THAT'S only if you listen to NOTHING they say and take none of their advice.... which, to me, seems pointless.
I second this statement. TAXI WORKS!

Everything stated above is true, they have integrity and Michael has a GREAT track record, rep, etc. He's one of the good ones...

First hand knowledge is the only way for YOU to truly know what's best for YOU and YOUR Music. Be sure you look at this as a learning experience and get invloved with TAXI.

REMEMBER: It requires YOU to be proactive. It won't "fall from the sky". Like all things, do your best, get involved, and take advantage of every opportunity TAXI provides.

Really.

TJ
Old 27th February 2007
  #55
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zboy2854's Avatar
 

My .02 on Taxi.

I was once a member, and I know Michael Laskow (the owner) personally. One of the nicest guys you can hope to meet. Several years back when I was in L.A. to get my CD mastered, he met with me, gave me a tour of the offices, listened to my tracks, and liked what he heard enough to pick up the phone right there and then and get me a meeting with two major A&R guys.

So the service is a legitimate service, and their contacts are indeed legitimate as well.

Now, for the reason you still see many of the same ads in the magazines for Taxi. While the service is for real, it is better for certain people, depending on what they're looking to get out of it. If you're a songwriter looking to place songs or tracks, and you have no networking or connections of your own, it can be a valuable service.

If you're an artist or a band looking for a record deal, you'll probably find yourself disappointed. The reason being, the one flaw in the Taxi model is lack of follow up. If you respond to a listing and your stuff is forwarded, there is no way to follow up with the recipient to A) make sure they got it, or B) see if they've listened to it. And one thing that is huge in this business is the followup. In a lot of cases stuff will languish on a person's desk if a fire is not lit under their ass, and that's where Taxi falls short in my opinion.

Combine that with the fact that when it comes to finding and signing actual artists and bands, most A&R guys are looking to hear about the act through buzz, word of mouth, etc. In other words, they only want to sign acts that already have it going on for themselves. Which is a big reason you don't see a lot of major success stories with artists getting their deals through Taxi.

The other reason, in Taxi's defense, is that some of the acts that have gotten deals and been successful as a result of Taxi connections didn't credit Taxi with it. Sixpence None the Richer was an example.

In any case, if you're a songwriter looking for placements, it can be a good service. If you're an artist looking for a deal, you're likely better off getting out there and building a buzz on your own, and the industry will come to you. But then again, even Taxi says that's what you should probably be doing anyway.
Old 27th February 2007
  #56
Gear maniac
 
Tone Obsessed's Avatar
 

Taxi Works...

Quote:
Originally Posted by 6strings View Post
LOL. I thought that too. Oooh, Taxi helps a nice-looking blonde gets a contract! What a breakthrough success! Let's ride with it for five years! heh
That's Jenna Drey in the TAXI ad and she was a fixture in Boston.

Jenna had an in with David Frangioni from Boston (Studio Consultant /Studio Tech/ Aerosmith, Corea, Bryan Adams, Produced Steve Smith Drum Samples, and on and on) and has been in the music scene for years in that town. David actually hooked Jenna up with Kevin Churko ( Shania Twain / Mutt Lange) and that's when things took off for her. She's got a head for business and knows who she is. That helps, too.

Jenna has written with Juan Zambrano (J-Lo, Rickey Martin, etc.) and Kevin Churko. She's won The Dallas Songwriters Association National Contest; The USA Songwriting Competition; The International Songwriting Competition; AND the VH-1 “Song of the Year Competition” where she won in two different categories.

She makes a GREAT success story, right? I'd push her in my ads if I were TAXI as well. The fact that she's attractive doesn't hurt either... Great package PLUS she's NOT a Kid!

Good message there (about not being a teen "idol" type. It appeals to it's targeted group more effectively ).

Taxi Works...

TJ
Old 27th February 2007
  #57
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Gregg Sartiano's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Produceher View Post
I think you're missing the point here.

Who cares if they are good at critiquing your music or not? If 100,000 of them wanted to hear your music and kept coming back to here more, isn't that better than
TAXI telling you whether it's good or not?

Your music can be God awful and still sell records. And that's all that really matters. Right?
That's why the first thing I said was:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregg Sartiano
Agreed, the fan base/grass roots thing with MySpace is cool.
James Lugo always liked to quote David Lee Roth: "Half the people in the world hate me, the other half buy my records."

So we are on the same page, so to speak.

Frankly, the people I see succeeding with MySpace tend to be the ones who leverage the cred and popularity into a traditional record deal. Hopefully the equation will change to the point of some kind of revenue sharing -- through myspace or subscription DL'ing...something...After all, isn't there something wrong with someone getting 50,000 fans, a few hundred thousand listens, and >NO< money?
Old 28th February 2007
  #58
Lives for gear
 

I have been amazed that Taxi has stayed around as long as it has!

They contacted me as a studio owner in 1992 and tried to get me to get my clientel into their game. They also made a big presentation at one of the local Dallas music industry association meetings.

I just never saw how a company that is willing to recieve music from anyand every person who wants to get in the game can possibly give proper attention to or even recognize a legitimate piece as it came along on the conveyor belt. You just have to know that the bulk of the submissions are amature stuff.
I kinda' am reminded of those "caring" people at a TV evangelist's church digging for the check and tossing the heartfelt letter. "Yeah, yeah... God loves you and here's a thimble sized vial of Holy Water to prove it."

I just HATE the part of the industry that preys on people's desire to get somewhere when there is no chance of the person getting a deal or going anywhere.
Recording schools, maggot promoters, demo producers that know they won't be able to place a talent but still charging a lot of money and putting on a big show. There are carloads of people going to Nashville everyday to record a demo while the procucer takes their money, puts them in a nice studio, hires great players, etc... all the while everyone is spending and raking in some girl's sugardaddy boss's money, or the insurance settlement from her husband's car wreck.

Taxi.... American Idol... ad nauseum.
No one wants to WORK at getting anything.
They want some one else to do it for them!
It's their birthright ya' know!

A quote from a V.P. at MCA to the members of a band I toured with:
Maybe 1% of all bands that want to get signed actually do get signed.
Of that 1%, maybe another 1% actually sees a profit.
He wasn't just some goober spouting off crap... he was the guy that made the big decisions.
It was like an warning, I guess.

We didn't care because at the time we were on a decent salary, getting a decent per diem and flying around the country, riding in a brand new tour bus, playing gigs, getting free beer, free food and people were enjoying the band everywhere we went.
Everyone would have like to be a Mega Success, but it was fun year and a half ride.
No one got addicted to heroin, no one died, there were some debts.

I guess we were part of the second group. The 99% that didn't see a profit.

Be carefull what you ask for... you might actually get it!
Old 28th February 2007
  #59
Gear Addict
 
BeerHunter's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by dbbubba View Post
I just HATE the part of the industry that preys on people's desire to get somewhere when there is no chance of the person getting a deal or going anywhere.
Thankfully there are sites like this one to ask about such services.
Old 28th February 2007
  #60
Gear addict
 
Reag1502's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zboy2854 View Post
My .02 on Taxi.

I was once a member, and I know Michael Laskow (the owner) personally. One of the nicest guys you can hope to meet. Several years back when I was in L.A. to get my CD mastered, he met with me, gave me a tour of the offices, listened to my tracks, and liked what he heard enough to pick up the phone right there and then and get me a meeting with two major A&R guys.

So the service is a legitimate service, and their contacts are indeed legitimate as well.

Now, for the reason you still see many of the same ads in the magazines for Taxi. While the service is for real, it is better for certain people, depending on what they're looking to get out of it. If you're a songwriter looking to place songs or tracks, and you have no networking or connections of your own, it can be a valuable service.

If you're an artist or a band looking for a record deal, you'll probably find yourself disappointed. The reason being, the one flaw in the Taxi model is lack of follow up. If you respond to a listing and your stuff is forwarded, there is no way to follow up with the recipient to A) make sure they got it, or B) see if they've listened to it. And one thing that is huge in this business is the followup. In a lot of cases stuff will languish on a person's desk if a fire is not lit under their ass, and that's where Taxi falls short in my opinion.

Combine that with the fact that when it comes to finding and signing actual artists and bands, most A&R guys are looking to hear about the act through buzz, word of mouth, etc. In other words, they only want to sign acts that already have it going on for themselves. Which is a big reason you don't see a lot of major success stories with artists getting their deals through Taxi.

The other reason, in Taxi's defense, is that some of the acts that have gotten deals and been successful as a result of Taxi connections didn't credit Taxi with it. Sixpence None the Richer was an example.

In any case, if you're a songwriter looking for placements, it can be a good service. If you're an artist looking for a deal, you're likely better off getting out there and building a buzz on your own, and the industry will come to you. But then again, even Taxi says that's what you should probably be doing anyway.

That's good to know. I figured there had to be something behind it.
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