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Is Steve Albini exaggerating when claiming he barely uses compression and EQ?
Old 2 days ago
  #271
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by donnylang View Post
What is your proposed solution for this? There is nothing controversial about indicating that it would be nice if the best musicians could earn a full time living with music. But on the other hand - the greatest book printer in the world might be sitting there unrecognized because too many people buy Amazon Kindles. I mean - what is the solution?
Part of the solution might be implicit in your own post. My impression is that *authors* have not been hurt by Kindle sales killing hardcopy sales nearly to the degree that musicians have been hurt by streaming eating into record (and CD) sales. Publishers have prevented so called "file sharing" and have a more equitable split with authors.

It begins with musicians simply expecting and demanding more. If they had a trade union that wasn't corrupt (music unions have gained a bad reputation over the years), they could engage in collective bargaining and demand a larger cut of streaming services income.

But as long as musicians are chastising other musicians (and again I've seen that more on the EA forum than here)…"Shut up! Musicians have never had it so good! Don't tell me I should expect full-time employment as a musician! What kind of sell-out do you think I am!"…this self-censoring attitude keeps musicians "in their place" with a stronger arm than any record label ever could.
Old 2 days ago
  #272
Gear Head
 

Also, this is not a problem that is so structurally bound that the only solution is universal minimum income or some other paradigm shifting change.

Most crafts that are valued by society offer a route to full-time employment. Everyone can bake at home, but people who are the top of the craft can be full-time bakers. And they are by the thousands.

I see no reason to think that the level of demand for recorded music is insufficient for full-time employment of many more musicians than now. The people who operate the streaming services don't have to have day jobs to support their music related activity. Why should the people who actually make the music?
Old 1 day ago
  #273
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by galanter View Post
I see no reason to think that the level of demand for recorded music is insufficient for full-time employment of many more musicians than now. The people who operate the streaming services don't have to have day jobs to support their music related activity. Why should the people who actually make the music?
Unfortunately, every way you look at it, you are still competing with FREE.

Of course the musicians should get better rates from streaming. But the money will probably have to come from charging consumers more. Streaming services are starting to show a profit (for them not for the artist) but even for them, it's not like the 70's again.

Not to mention that “stream ripping” is thought to be done by half of people aged 16–24 according to the IFPI. So even the pittance of current streaming rates is 'too much' for what should be the biggest demographic of music 'consumers'.

There is no way to withhold the product from those who refuse to pay.
Old 22 hours ago
  #274
Gear Addict
Quote:
Originally Posted by galanter View Post
Also, this is not a problem that is so structurally bound that the only solution is universal minimum income or some other paradigm shifting change.

Most crafts that are valued by society offer a route to full-time employment. Everyone can bake at home, but people who are the top of the craft can be full-time bakers. And they are by the thousands.

I see no reason to think that the level of demand for recorded music is insufficient for full-time employment of many more musicians than now. The people who operate the streaming services don't have to have day jobs to support their music related activity. Why should the people who actually make the music?

People at the top of the music craft can still do it full-time. You think Andrew Schoeps, Steve Albini, Beyonce, Justin Bieber have day jobs at Starbucks? Bizarre.

I've literally been a baker, baking & selling homemade artisan loaves by the dozens to sell at farmers' markets. Like every other industry, the economics favor certain business models over others. Ironically, the most successful bakers are the ones who probably do less baking & more marketing, book-writing, store-openings, etc. No successful baker gets to just sit in a bakeshop & just bake & likewise, no successful musician gets to just sit in the studio, simply cut a record & wait for the money to roll in. That's NEVER happened! Maybe you in the studio got paid but the band's job was just beginning.

Even the Beatles had to put in a decade or two of paying dues, killing themselves on the road, turning themselves into pop icons, marketing themselves to death before they were in a position to "just cut a record" & not worry about what happens after.

It's funny, there's two separate arguments happening past each other. One, like yours, is an economic labor one, almost resembles something political. You could be talking about coal miners or steel town workers or whatever. Make whatever great again.

The heart of Albini's argument is philosophical. Can't really have a philosophical discussion if you aren't willing to examine the underlying beliefs.
To paraphrase my interpretation of it, "the good old days" were **** & he's fine they're gone since the major labels at the heart of the industry turned out 99% **** anyway in search of a buck.

You claim music is art & art is essential, which is true but that DOESN'T MAKE IT MEANINGFUL OR SUBSTANTIVE in and of itself. The famous artist who literally framed a toilet & called it art was far more meaningful than the vast majority of product the devolved industry was churning out in its heyday in the late 90's.

It's been over twenty years since the industry's peak. What's "stood the test of time" from then? Are you really going to put the Foo Fighters & Disturbed up there with the Beatles, Zeppelin, the Clash, etc?

But if I flip through my record collection, I can find albums from the likes of Captain Beefheart, Albert Ayler, Sonny Sharrock, John Cage all on major labels. Hell, they even gave Eno his own imprint so Harold Budd, Laraaji, Michael Nyman, all got to put out work on the majors' dime. This would serve the function I think you're getting at, the recording industry's money subsidizing true art.

But where is the late 90s equivalent of this? Was the industry really fulfilling any function other than maximizing profit at the expense of all else, including artist development? Forget about your paycheck for a second (see 1st argument). If the industry's not putting out anything other than base lowest-common-denominator stuff, what exactly are we as a culture missing?

Is there any real qualitative difference between 21 Pilots or Linkin Park? Or Demi Lovato vs Christina Aguilera? Or Billie Eilish vs Alanis Morrissette?

Most of the arguments I see always reference the mid 20th century stuff but the music industry in 1998 wasn't the same as the one in 1970, far from it.
Old 17 hours ago
  #275
Gear Guru
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkdvb View Post
One, like yours, is an economic labor one, almost resembles something political. You could be talking about coal miners or steel town workers or whatever.
The difference as I see it is that there is a demand for coal and steel such that it is actually a societal need. The owner of the mine will pay you for digging coal because he knows he will make money off of it. He is not guessing.

Most self-producing musicians are in the position of a guy who starts his own mine and digs out a bunch of dirt. Nobody cares how hard he "worked" to dig that dirt. How much anthracite (or diamonds) is in that dirt?

Quote:
The heart of Albini's argument is philosophical. Can't really have a philosophical discussion if you aren't willing to examine the underlying beliefs.
To paraphrase my interpretation of it, "the good old days" were **** & he's fine they're gone since the major labels at the heart of the industry turned out 99% **** anyway in search of a buck.
On his website I saw a feature of "label horror stories". I know many individuals who been screwed over, and who share his point of view. However dystopian and cratered the landscape is today, there are quite a number of people who feel burning it all down was an improvement. I personally disagree, but I certainly can understand where they are coming from.

Plus of course, it was not burned down in a revolution of Justice and righteous indignation, but was casually destroyed by an unforeseen side-effect of the technology. Felled by a microbe.


Quote:
You claim music is art & art is essential, which is true but that DOESN'T MAKE IT MEANINGFUL OR SUBSTANTIVE in and of itself
.
exactly!

Do I "need" music and art in my life? Maybe not as much as I need food and water, but yes. Do I need "your band's" music in my life? Maybe not, because there are a million bands to choose from.

Everybody and his cousin wants to make art for a living. The fact is that it is way more fun and way less dangerous than digging coal or making steel. But there are a very limited number of 'slots'. You have to be among the best or at least the luckiest. If everybody is stealing your music, you have a right to complain, but if you are that popular, you should be able to figure out some other ways to turn your popularity into money.
Old 14 hours ago
  #276
Gear Head
 

My economic argument is NOT that music (art) is culturally essential. It's that there is tremendous *demand* for music (art).

My point is that an industry with that level of demand for product should be able support those who make the product.

As a coarse first approximation:

(1) All that's happened is that the corrupt music labels who used to rip off musicians have been replaced by corrupt streaming services who now rip off musicians.

and (2) Music that is of great value (again, based on demand) is now given away to sell other kinds of goods (concert tickets, swag, Amazon sales, advertising, etc.) that don't yield payment to musicians.

I have no doubt that a restructuring of the cash flow of the above big picture could provide more employment for working musicians as musicians. It might even do so without others losing, because a more vital music industry for musicians could translate into increased demand from listeners.

(Why? Because with more time to work on their craft musicians would create a wider variety of styles and options, and would address more modes of presentation…and simply better music.)
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