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it's a mistake!
Old 14th September 2011
  #31
mea
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dasnub View Post
Buy once, cry once. Tried and true.
Agree 100%.
BTW, the best investment I ever made was buying my handmade Holzgruber classical guitar 15 years ago. I could sell it today for 4x the price I payed. Would I? Nevernevernevernever!
Old 14th September 2011
  #32
.

I think you should absolutely spend as much money as possible.

Don't even think about it.

Go into debt up to your eyeballs, be homeless, and live the dream.



.
Old 14th September 2011
  #33
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo_007 View Post
as for me, i have always had some sort of inspiration or inner voice that makes me aware of what i should be longing for when buying a certain piece of gear.
unfortunately, most of the time that desired "thing" costs a bit more than the later decided compromise.
as music is a creative process, the desired things can take you to a much higher level, in my opinion.
it's like having sex with your dream woman.
fantasy will never bring love.
Old 14th September 2011
  #34
Gear Addict
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
fantasy will never bring love.
No, certainly not.

BUT it might at least be described as an important facilitator for SUCCESS which by itself may be a facilitator for attractiveness which offers the opportunity to get closer to what you called "love".

ymmv
Old 14th September 2011
  #35
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo_007 View Post
No, certainly not.

BUT it might at least be described as an important facilitator for SUCCESS which by itself may be a facilitator for attractiveness which offers the opportunity to get closer to what you called "love".

ymmv
I was just joking. I would love to have your gear list, nice gear is great. It's also inspiring to use things for unintended purposes because you don't have access to the tools to do it properly. Not that you will achieve the same results, but maybe it will have personality. I do understand where you're coming from though, I have a mesa dual rec, which a lot of guitarists would like to have, and I haven't even turned the thing on in two years. If I plug in I normally play through a little 15w solid state vox amp that's kinda noisy and I got for $30 used at gc.
Old 14th September 2011
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unitymusic View Post
I was just joking. I would love to have your gear list, nice gear is great. It's also inspiring to use things for unintended purposes because you don't have access to the tools to do it properly. Not that you will achieve the same results, but maybe it will have personality. I do understand where you're coming from though, I have a mesa dual rec, which a lot of guitarists would like to have, and I haven't even turned the thing on in two years. If I plug in I normally play through a little 15w solid state vox amp that's kinda noisy and I got for $30 used at gc.
i viewed my gear just the page before (post #12).

funny story with the dual rectifier

yes, i'm quite aware of that "problem".

that's how life goes sometimes, doesn't it?

by the way, do you have sth in common with THE unity, the conglomerate that issued the rock monitors?

in my opinion, these are currently the most desireable studio monitors available!
Old 14th September 2011
  #37
Lives for gear
it's a mistake!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo_007
well, why the 65 musicmaster instead of a meaningless 0-8-15 stratocaster...!?
to me, a (new) stratocaster is nothing special anymore.
it's like the 1.000.000.000.000th song named "i love you" or so....
not to say, success would be guaranteed when buying a 65 musicmaster, but chances are higher you would be able to communicate sth more special than using a standard instrument which is found in millions other gear slutz homes and which are produced under the "operational effectiveness"-umbrella which i would describe as the opposite of what is understood as musical artworks or dedicated craftmanship. there's simply nothing special about it any more.
just
Here's the thing. In 1965 that Musicmaster was a low end, get it built and out the door instrument meant for the student market. No extra soul, love, or craftsmanship went into making it. Certainly not any more than any modern Fender. Fender made their mark applying "modern" mass production techniques to electric guitars. Necks weren't fitted to the body pockets. They were pulled off a rack and slapped into the next body coming down the line. Luck of the draw what kind of fit and coupling you got.

The soul comes from finding one with the combination of attributes, whether bright or dark, sustainy or short, and whatever else makes it so you can make sounds you like out of it.

One of my guitar heroes is Robben Ford. I had the opportunity to play together with him once and he let me play through his priceless Dumble amp. I just kept looking at his hands. Some to follow what we were playing, but more importantly getting a first hand lesson that the magic was not in the amp. No matter how many people have studied it's schematics and built their own copies, it was never in there. It's just an amp with attributes he likes working with.
Old 14th September 2011
  #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aeolian View Post
Here's the thing. In 1965 that Musicmaster was a low end, get it built and out the door instrument meant for the student market. No extra soul, love, or craftsmanship went into making it. Certainly not any more than any modern Fender. Fender made their mark applying "modern" mass production techniques to electric guitars. Necks weren't fitted to the body pockets. They were pulled off a rack and slapped into the next body coming down the line. Luck of the draw what kind of fit and coupling you got.

The soul comes from finding one with the combination of attributes, whether bright or dark, sustainy or short, and whatever else makes it so you can make sounds you like out of it.

One of my guitar heroes is Robben Ford. I had the opportunity to play together with him once and he let me play through his priceless Dumble amp. I just kept looking at his hands. Some to follow what we were playing, but more importantly getting a first hand lesson that the magic was not in the amp. No matter how many people have studied it's schematics and built their own copies, it was never in there. It's just an amp with attributes he likes working with.
thanks for sharing this remarkable perspective, there can be learned something out of it!
you may know much more about the production of fender guitars, and it maybe fact that in terms of quality a stratocaster is the superior product against the musicmaster, though there are a few guitar players that got famous with that student guitar:as you said, it's not so easy to grab what's hidden behind the word "distinction", pieces that in combination with others build up uniqueness, your distinctive position within the industry / market.

i found it quite remarkable that there were so many guitar players in the 60s, the 70s, the 80s, the 90s who all showed up with the one and the same guitar model, the fender stratocaster.
Old 14th September 2011
  #39
Lives for gear
 

I hate to say it OP, but maybe you just need to get to know your gear a bit better. Your so far mentioned gear list is IMO actually not that bad. Its certainly alot better than others have available to them.

I mean, if you go to the "Lets hear your low-end mixes" thread in the low-end section, there are some AMAZING mixes there done with lesser gear than you have.
I'm not trying to say that gear doesnt matter or to question your mixing skills, its just that I believe that the sound you get is 85% the engineer, 15% the gear at most. If you cant get the sound, perhaps experiment or try some new approaches with your gear.

Every so often a song comes around that just kicks my ass when I use my usual methods. I just cant get the sound I want. So I take a day or so to experiment and usually from this I get closer to what I want and where I want to be. Maybe this might work for you?

The mentality of "you get nothing for nothing" only allows manufacturers to charge $1000 for a piece of gear that costs them $100 to make. Granted perception is reality and all that jazz, but I've got a pair of HS80s (E500) and a pair of Behringer Truth b3031as (E340) and they are both great pieces of gear to work with. Ive heard Adams A7xs which are E1000 per pair. They are great, dont get me wrong, but IMHO my Behringers sound just as good as them. The HS80s sound different to both....not bad just different. Great to cross reference between the two.

I dont think more gear is the solution here. I think its getting to know and appreciate the limitations of what you have.
Best of luck!
Old 14th September 2011
  #40
I believe in researching my purchases, reading and talking to people, thinking about how they fit into what I already have and what I want to do and where I might want to go.

I don't get wound up over pennies -- or small percentages. If I have a choice of saving a few bucks by buying from some megastore or going to a vendor I like/trust who has given me some of his time, I'll spend the extra dough and go with the trusted vendor.

I've tried to always take a look at my overall strategy and keep balance in mind. There's no real point in a platinum link in a chain that's destined to remain primarily brass. (Mixed metallurgical metaphor hopefully excused.)

As a consequence, there's little that I've spent my money on that I really regret. One of the few exceptions was a poorly researched purchase of a used multitrack tape machine on the recommendation of someone I respected but who later turned out to hold a rather nasty grudge against me (that I'd previously been completely unaware of). I still don't think he intentionally steered me wrong -- but I should have done more work on my end rather than accepting the reco on faith.


When I started my personal rig, on used and often highly compromised gear, in the 80s, the quality of my product was definitely hamstrung by the quality of the gear. Since I freelanced in commercial studios at the time, I had good insight into what I could accomplish with better gear. So I had a good idea of what needed improvement. (Pretty much... everything. heh ) As money came my way, I spent carefully, as described above, to give me the capabilities I believed would be important for a project studio like the one I wanted to (and did for some years) run.

Earlier in this decade, having gone back to computer work and having hung up my 'commercial' shingle and now only having myself as a client, I decided that my gear line-up, though modest, was of sufficient quality that from here on out I would only buy gear to extend my overall capabilities or (heaven forfend) as replacements -- at least until I had convinced myself that I was getting the very best results I could possibly get from the gear I have. So far, I don't feel like I've tapped out my line up. So I continue to try to improve my craft.
Old 14th September 2011
  #41
Registered User
 

Sell all of your recording gear, concentrate on being a musician and go to a real studio when you're ready to record. You'll get faster, better results and will become a much better musician in the process.

For serious minded musicians, this whole business of being an engineer AND a musician is an utter distraction and incredible waste of time.

IMO
Old 14th September 2011
  #42
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slaphappy View Post
Sell all of your recording gear, concentrate on being a musician and go to a real studio when you're ready to record. You'll get faster, better results and will become a much better musician in the process.

For serious minded musicians, this whole business of being an engineer AND a musician is an utter distraction and incredible waste of time.

IMO

Disagree.

I'm not saying you need to put the time in to be the next Andy Wallace, but some studio knowledge makes your whole process in the studio go much faster. Besides, I've seen musicians waste loads of hours (and hence cash!) "trying out" new ideas in the studio on their tracks because suddenly they can overdub.

Not to say your argument is without merit, but if the OP doesnt feel like he/she can get the result they want in their time frame, then by all means hiring someone would be a good option. Though I would still aim to go into a studio with a decent-ish demo done.....and by this I mean have all the parts and overdubs worked out before the studio is booked.
Old 14th September 2011
  #43
ysf
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I am kind of with you and kind of not.

I bought a Roland TD20s, which at the time was the high end electronic kit to own. I love it!!! I am a drummer and its the bomb. But I also have thought of downgrading to a TD9 or TD 4 since I only trigger sounds. The kits are smaller and less realistic feeling perhaps, but not less inspiring.

But the other end is my MXL CR24 that I bought as a suggestion of being a "best of, for the money". Had never heard one. But now its my favorite mic for vox. It just works on anyones voice I put it on. I have much more expensive mics too but I love this mic.

So I think its like a lot of the peeps on here are saying. Sometimes an expensive item is inspiring. Sometimes an in inexpensive one is more inspiring.
So best to try things out. Ive sold many many products that on paper should of been awesome yet were very uninspiring.
Old 14th September 2011
  #44
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumdrum View Post
Disagree.

I'm not saying you need to put the time in to be the next Andy Wallace, but some studio knowledge makes your whole process in the studio go much faster. Besides, I've seen musicians waste loads of hours (and hence cash!) "trying out" new ideas in the studio on their tracks because suddenly they can overdub.

Not to say your argument is without merit, but if the OP doesnt feel like he/she can get the result they want in their time frame, then by all means hiring someone would be a good option. Though I would still aim to go into a studio with a decent-ish demo done.....and by this I mean have all the parts and overdubs worked out before the studio is booked.
That's probably cause they didn't have an A&R, Quality Producer, or focused engineer to keep them on track. I would take accountability for run away sessions. The buck stops with me kinda attitude doesn't have to kill sessions if u know how to work with clients and can in fact be very motivating. It nice to know u still still have their best interest in mind.
Old 14th September 2011
  #45
Lives for gear
it's a mistake!

It's not my style of music but didn't Cobain usually play a Jazzmaster? That along with the Jaguar was actually higher up in Fenders lineup than the Strat. Eventually getting bound fingerboards and large block inlays while the Strat soldiered on with a plain dot neck.

But I digress.

Yes, many folks have made their splash with student model guitars. Billy Joe and countless others have used slab student Gibsons to great effect.

So in a way, you've answered your own question. The muse was in them. Either they couldn't afford top line instruments, or they just wanted to be different. But they brought their own inspiration to student model instruments and made them work for the music that was within them.

Maybe that Yamaha upright doesn't sound like a Steinway. But there is music of some sort within it. When you couple the music that is within you with the voice you find within an instrument, you come up with something unique. Which is what I gather you're looking for.

As someone else said, and I love it. Take what is in the refrigerator and make a feast.
Old 14th September 2011
  #46
Registered User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumdrum View Post
Disagree.

I'm not saying you need to put the time in to be the next Andy Wallace, but some studio knowledge makes your whole process in the studio go much faster. Besides, I've seen musicians waste loads of hours (and hence cash!) "trying out" new ideas in the studio on their tracks because suddenly they can overdub.

Not to say your argument is without merit, but if the OP doesnt feel like he/she can get the result they want in their time frame, then by all means hiring someone would be a good option. Though I would still aim to go into a studio with a decent-ish demo done.....and by this I mean have all the parts and overdubs worked out before the studio is booked.
Going into a real studio forces you to have your 'act' together. In 5-7 days you should be able to track a 10-12 song CD. Figure around 4-5 days to mix (by an experienced pro) and all that's left is mastering and artwork. Meanwhile, back at the home studio, you're 3+ years into it with nothing to show (except many hours on-line wondering about gear- oh the joy!). And we should all know that there are loads of STELLAR engineers who have very reasonable rates.

Oh, and when your CD is played on bigger systems, you'll be glad that you didn't engineer it yourself.
Old 14th September 2011
  #47
Gear Addict
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slaphappy View Post
Sell all of your recording gear, concentrate on being a musician and go to a real studio when you're ready to record. You'll get faster, better results and will become a much better musician in the process.

For serious minded musicians, this whole business of being an engineer AND a musician is an utter distraction and incredible waste of time.

IMO
well... can't really agree on that..

i've already worked with engineers and songwriters who contributed to platinum selling albums, therefore i know how valueable it could be if you have your own little domestic workstation as a starting point, some place or technological haiku from which you gather your inspirations.

also i disagree with your last statement, ask George Massenburg who managed to become a world class designer in producing audio gear, one of the most respected mixing engineers, a fabulous mastering engineer and even one of the most influencial developers of our time, it was he who is credited for the invention of the parametric equaliser.

also Springsteen - it was no other than Bob Ludwig who said, he learned a lot about mastering from Bruce Springsteen, who is an exceptional songwriter, a respected guitar player, a good singer... in sum: just the boss.
Old 14th September 2011
  #48
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by slaphappy View Post
Going into a real studio forces you to have your 'act' together. In 5-7 days you should be able to track a 10-12 song CD. Figure around 4-5 days to mix (by an experienced pro) and all that's left is mastering and artwork. Meanwhile, back at the home studio, you're 3+ years into it with nothing to show (except many hours on-line wondering about gear- oh the joy!). And we should all know that there are loads of STELLAR engineers who have very reasonable rates.

Oh, and when your CD is played on bigger systems, you'll be glad that you didn't engineer it yourself.
As I said slaphappy, you are not wrong (I actually agree with you to a point) but I think your projections of 5-7days to track 10-12 songs is a little naieve. Especially if you want to get the best from the band.
IME, for a commercial band with a CD, you should only track one song AT MOST with the singer per day. Voices are relatively fragile things and they sound best for about 40 minutes (with really good singers also!) before they start to get tired. Now I'm talking about the anal "get the best performance" POV with bands with such quality singers as Pearl Jam and alter Bridge. Obviously auto tuned vocals dont count.

Also, sure it can take half a day day just to get the drum sound right for a song. 5 - 7 days....no chance, sorry. I dont care who he band is.....well ok, maybe the Beatles and Led Zepplin, but no nowadays!

I do ackowledge your point though. As I said if your TIMEFRAME does not allow for the steep learning curve that is audio engineering, then by all means hire someone.

Me, I record my own stuff myself as I really enjoy it. It is a hobby that I fuse with my other great loves (music...and women! :D ) and I get something out of it at the end of the day. It beats sitting in front of the TV every night, that's for sure!
However, I have a musical project that I am serious about and me and the singer go to a "professional" studio to get things done. Its faster, the engineer is a good friend... and again its faster! The overall quality is generally still a little better than what I get at home but not that much as it once was. With my latest mix I showed to the engineer, he was really impressed with the quality I was getting. So much so that he has suggested I track vocals for a couple of songs in my house and send him the raw stems to speed things up.

Its a rare situation we have, but I agree.....sometimes, it is better and easier to let someone else take the reins for a while.

What I will say though, is that my own hobby of audio engineering has definitely made me a better musician in the studio, and I can relate to the engineer the sound I'm after and make suggestions without using vague terms like "can you make it sound more 'whoofish-etck' sort of?"
Old 14th September 2011
  #49
Gear Addict
 
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magic moments in the studio

from what i have read - and experienced in a professional studio -

magic moments are like pissing bulls - you just don't know when it's happening!

just remember the world famous guitar solo in MJs "Billie Jean"

even an exceptional recording engineer named Bruce Swedien could not manage to get the player recorded with the same feeling as the player demonstrated on the demo tape.

as a result: he took the demo and brushed it up - YES, IN FACT:

THE GUITAR SOLO OF MICHAEL JACKSON'S BILLIE JEAN WAS RECORDED IN A GARAGE!
Old 14th September 2011
  #50
get gear that fits your personality
money is like time anyway. you look the other way for a moment, and it's gone.
heh
Old 14th September 2011
  #51
Lives for gear
 
robot gigante's Avatar
I am not opposed to the idea that cheap is something to look for. I have scored deals on lots of equipment from free to a few hundred bucks that have served me well. I have a Kawai Audition guitar from the 60's that I picked up at a yard sale for $60, sounds amazing and I love it.

But there is a lot of equipment that is worth spending a lot of money on, surely. The awesome and vibey cheap guitar you might find is not going to play or sound like a Les Paul, it's not a replacement for it. I like my expensive guitars too.

I think the stuff to really avoid is the mid-priced stuff targeted as those maybe starting out or not familiar with what is worth spending more money on. That electric drumkit is going to be a really bad deal if the sound of an acoustic kit is what you are after, a cheap kit would do better. That kind of thing.

Would I prefer my beat up old upright piano to that "incredible" piano library, yes. I have heard some really awful lower priced grand pianos that it would beat too for the simple reason that although it doesn't sound like a grand piano, it sounds pleasant and they don't. So the real deal, maybe that Steinway, is that much more worth it if that is the sound in your head you want to get.
Old 14th September 2011
  #52
Gear Addict
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
get gear that fits your personality
money is like time anyway. you look the other way for a moment, and it's gone.
heh
that's exactly what i have tried to preach / to emphasize within this thread.
thanks.
Old 14th September 2011
  #53
Quote:
Originally Posted by slaphappy View Post
Sell all of your recording gear, concentrate on being a musician and go to a real studio when you're ready to record. You'll get faster, better results and will become a much better musician in the process.

For serious minded musicians, this whole business of being an engineer AND a musician is an utter distraction and incredible waste of time.

IMO
That may well make sense for some musicians whose goals are primarily music career oriented -- and who have a good shot at getting labels or production companies to pay for the time they will spend in the studio.

But for others -- particularly in the current music biz paradigm -- funding one's own recording career is likely to be a seriously money-losing proposition.

I had a somewhat different path. As an amateur musician -- I didn't even start playing until I was 20, and it was an uphill struggle at that -- but with a personal history of fascination with recording and audio gear -- I 'stumbled' into professional recording when I was about 30. I'd started taking recording classes with the goal of getting some free studio time for the punk band I had at the time but my old gear fascination kicked in and before I knew it I was taking engineering and producing gigs and freelancing in commercial studios. (Also the band split up and I decided I'd had enough of permanent line-up bands.)

I quickly saw what was what in the business and that the overwhelming majority of people who weren't touring their asses off were not making any money and that those who were recording were either essentially doing it 'for free' -- being funded by small labels who would then keep virtually all of the proceeds but front up recording time -- or, worse yet, were simply subsidizing their studio habit with day jobs or club gigs and hoping to somehow get lucky when that right someone heard the next demo. (Always the next demo.)

From my experience, I could easily see that, like most folks, particularly those in their 30s or older, that the brass ring was going to be more than a little out of my reach for any foreseeable -- an imaginable -- future.

And then, beside that, from my experience in the studio world -- and particularly from watching the travails of my many friends [almost all my 3DW pals have been musicians since I was in college] the more I saw of the music biz as it existed -- the less I wanted to be part of it.

So, for me, as for a lot of folks who are not likely to be the next big thing, having a means of personal music production has been heaven sent. It's meant that I could pursue my songwriting, produce the recordings I could never have brought myself to fund in commercial studios even if when I'd had the dough [from my studio engineering/producing days, there's a clock inside my head and it counts in money], and leave a body of work that I can take pleasure in (and that has, for better or worse, been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times).

Not everyone is going to make it big in the music biz. Knowing what's what and what your chances are can make the difference between being fulfilled as a musician and walking away from it all bitter, and empty. I've seen that happen to too many of my 3DW friends. And that's why I never pushed myself through that meat grinder.
Old 14th September 2011
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robot gigante View Post
I am not opposed to the idea that cheap is something to look for. I have scored deals on lots of equipment from free to a few hundred bucks that have served me well. I have a Kawai Audition guitar from the 60's that I picked up at a yard sale for $60, sounds amazing and I love it.

But there is a lot of equipment that is worth spending a lot of money on, surely. The awesome and vibey cheap guitar you might find is not going to play or sound like a Les Paul, it's not a replacement for it. I like my expensive guitars too.

I think the stuff to really avoid is the mid-priced stuff targeted as those maybe starting out or not familiar with what is worth spending more money on. That electric drumkit is going to be a really bad deal if the sound of an acoustic kit is what you are after, a cheap kit would do better. That kind of thing.

Would I prefer my beat up old upright piano to that "incredible" piano library, yes. I have heard some really awful lower priced grand pianos that it would beat too for the simple reason that although it doesn't sound like a grand piano, it sounds pleasant and they don't. So the real deal, maybe that Steinway, is that much more worth it if that is the sound in your head you want to get.
i fully agree! 100%

thanks very much for this sophisticated and educated answer.

what i really will try to work on in the future is, to further develop a sensitivity to what is really needed in a particular situation, what is the feeling with respect to the natural flow...
don't know how to describe it, i'm not a native speaker
best wishes
Old 14th September 2011
  #55
Registered User
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by drumdrum View Post
As I said slaphappy, you are not wrong (I actually agree with you to a point) but I think your projections of 5-7days to track 10-12 songs is a little naive. Especially if you want to get the best from the band.
IME...
That's cool. I'm just providing another perspective that too often gets overlooked around here.

But as far as the 'naiveté, vis-a-vis tracking times, consider GS member and pro engineer Ryan Freeland:

Ray Lamontagne (God Willin' release)- 6-7 days tracking.
2011 GRAMMY WINNER

Carolina Chocolate Drops (Genuine Negro Jig)- 4-5 days tracking-
2011 GRAMMY WINNER

Jeffery Foucault (Horse Latitudes) 4 days tracking - Sounds great!

Anyhow, it's done all of the time with considerable success.
Old 14th September 2011
  #56
Gear Addict
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
That may well make sense for some musicians whose goals are primarily music career oriented -- and who have a good shot at getting labels or production companies to pay for the time they will spend in the studio.

But for others -- particularly in the current music biz paradigm -- funding one's own recording career is likely to be a seriously money-losing proposition.

I had a somewhat different path. As an amateur musician -- I didn't even start playing until I was 20, and it was an uphill struggle at that -- but with a personal history of fascination with recording and audio gear -- I 'stumbled' into professional recording when I was about 30. I'd started taking recording classes with the goal of getting some free studio time for the punk band I had at the time but my old gear fascination kicked in and before I knew it I was taking engineering and producing gigs and freelancing in commercial studios. (Also the band split up and I decided I'd had enough of permanent line-up bands.)

I quickly saw what was what in the business and that the overwhelming majority of people who weren't touring their asses off were not making any money and that those who were recording were either essentially doing it 'for free' -- being funded by small labels who would then keep virtually all of the proceeds but front up recording time -- or, worse yet, were simply subsidizing their studio habit with day jobs or club gigs and hoping to somehow get lucky when that right someone heard the next demo. (Always the next demo.)

From my experience, I could easily see that, like most folks, particularly those in their 30s or older, that the brass ring was going to be more than a little out of my reach for any foreseeable -- an imaginable -- future.

And then, beside that, from my experience in the studio world -- and particularly from watching the travails of my many friends [almost all my 3DW pals have been musicians since I was in college] the more I saw of the music biz as it existed -- the less I wanted to be part of it.

So, for me, as for a lot of folks who are not likely to be the next big thing, having a means of personal music production has been heaven sent. It's meant that I could pursue my songwriting, produce the recordings I could never have brought myself to fund in commercial studios even if when I'd had the dough [from my studio engineering/producing days, there's a clock inside my head and it counts in money], and leave a body of work that I can take pleasure in (and that has, for better or worse, been downloaded hundreds of thousands of times).

Not everyone is going to make it big in the music biz. Knowing what's what and what your chances are can make the difference between being fulfilled as a musician and walking away from it all bitter, and empty. I've seen that happen to too many of my 3DW friends. And that's why I never pushed myself through that meat grinder.
hi the blue,

thanks for these interesting thoughts.

it reads like you already decided and confirmed not wanting to be successful in the professional music biz.

i have studied the strategy subject at an university in Europe since about two years, and you know there are different approaches on business strategy.
the one you described is the market related strategy, always to look what the customers want, to satisfy them etc, this can indeed be very stressful.
but another important approach - and from my point of view the more comfortable one - is the capability-related approach.
do you know the band tokio hotel from germany?
it was the first german band ever that managed somehow to get successful in the us.
what is the reason for that?
i watched their biography on tv, they grew up with the purpose, that they should develop how they want, they were allowed to do the things they want to do.
so they have developed their distinctive capabilities, not to care about market things what others want but to do only what they want.
and they developed it strong, so that others say only "wow".
that was in my opinion the reason for their overwhelming success.

don't you think, you could give it another try with your music?

i'm sure you have everything in place to get big some day.

best wishes.
Old 14th September 2011
  #57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo_007 View Post
hi the blue,

thanks for these interesting thoughts.

it reads like you already decided and confirmed not wanting to be successful in the professional music biz.

i have studied the strategy subject at an university in Europe since about two years, and you know there are different approaches on business strategy.
the one you described is the market related strategy, always to look what the customers want, to satisfy them etc, this can indeed be very stressful.
but another important approach - and from my point of view the more comfortable one - is the capability-related approach.
do you know the band tokio hotel from germany?
it was the first german band ever that managed somehow to get successful in the us.
what is the reason for that?
i watched their biography on tv, they grew up with the purpose, that they should develop how they want, they were allowed to do the things they want to do.
so they have developed their distinctive capabilities, not to care about market things what others want but to do only what they want.
and they developed it strong, so that others say only "wow".
that was in my opinion the reason for their overwhelming success.

don't you think, you could give it another try with your music?

i'm sure you have everything in place to get big some day.

best wishes.
I'm flattered but I'm afraid I'm way too world-wise.

And fitting into the marketplace is not something I ever wanted to do. But it is how the music biz is set up, by and large.

But even before I got involved with recording, actually even before I picked up guitar, I watched some people I knew somewhat well -- who started out with one of the most interesting and progressive bands in the local area -- as their music biz dreams were crassly manipulated and exploited by a major label and a well-known and, interestingly, well-respected producer of the era.*

When their "music biz dream" was over they'd lost almost everything and two of them were reduced to working in a car wash because they couldn't even legally play music for the last 5 years of their 7 year contract.

Sadly, they were only the first of bands I knew to get screwed.

By the time I started taking recording classes and working on a commercial music production 2 year certificate, I was painfully aware of what the industry had/has in store for big-dreaming bands.

The classes I took that dealt with the business side of the industry -- taught by a very experienced producer -- left little room for rosy dreams.

The more I saw in the real world and the more I learned in school made it ever more clear that being a musician was being the sucker.

All around me, I saw that everyone made money -- bookers, club owners, studio owners, engineers, labels -- except the musicians.

Unless they toured their asses off. And even then, few hit it for long. But they were able to at least sustain their endless touring -- for a while -- and actually send a little money back home. Not often enough to prevent the eventual divorces and family dissolutions, however.

Over and over I saw friends and acquaintances and old clients beating their head against the music biz until they just couldn't go on. Way too many of them were so disillusioned that they all but gave up even playing music for their own enjoyment.

It just about breaks my heart to think about some of my friends who were extremely accomplished players and writers but who ended up walking away not just from the biz -- but from music itself.

I decided 'early' (remember, I was 20 when I started playing and 30+ by the time I started engineering professionally) that I would never put myself in a position where I'd end up so embittered as to give up music. My whole childhood, seemed like, I dreamed of learning how to play, but never could seem to get there (at least two music teachers told my folks I had 'no musical talent whatsoever' and, cruel as that sounds, I understand why)... So when I somehow managed to break through into playing as an adult, I was determined to never let go.


Don't get me wrong -- like any other singer/songwriter -- I still had fantasies pass through my mind of somehow 'getting discovered' and managing to avoid all the tricks and traps that had screwed up my friends and acquaintances, but by the time I was in the studios and vaguely capable of making music that might get some attention (I'd done station ID jingles for the local new wave station and put out a tape of my own songs that made its way around) I also knew that I had zero chance of making that happen. Not good enough to be a studio player. Not young enough to be picked up as talent. And not hardy enough to devote myself to a life on the road.

Nope, I'm content with the path I chose. If I'm not a household name, well, I was never going to be. But at least I still love making music and recording -- unlike way too many of my old friends who did try the death dance with the music biz.


* First, they were forced to 'fire' the 'dead weight' from the band (the horn players who played their decidedly arty/jazzy charts and the keyboardist who gave them a decidedly progressive foundation) so that the label could concentrate on the three singers (who happened to also be bass, guitar, and drums). Then the producer and one of his cronies pushed aside their complex and very cool songs to write an album full of trite 3 minute pop tunes (with really insultingly stupid lyrics). When the album was done, there was only one song written by the band on it, along with a b-side of the single.

The label dumping a bunch of payola into some key stations bought them a regional number two hit in the midwest -- but that failed to catch fire. Meanwhile, the big self-booked and promoted rental hall shows that had been the foundation of the old band -- and that had supported 10 guys -- were gone and the remaining trio were living on advance money handouts from the label. The label wouldn't let them play anything but showcase gigs. (And their old friends wouldn't talk to them.) They recorded a second record with the same production team but they said it was worse than the first -- which had really sucked because of the incredibly lame songs and the bland pop arrangements. The label shelved the record. But the band remained under contract, legally prevented from recording or even playing with anyone else -- and prohibited from playing under the band name -- for five more years. (A seven year contract they were never released from.) While still under contract, the label sued the band for recoupable advances, and was awarded the band's PA, instrument amps, and even their touring van. All the band got to keep were their personal instruments.
Old 14th September 2011
  #58
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo_007 View Post
i viewed my gear just the page before (post #12).

funny story with the dual rectifier

yes, i'm quite aware of that "problem".

that's how life goes sometimes, doesn't it?

by the way, do you have sth in common with THE unity, the conglomerate that issued the rock monitors?

in my opinion, these are currently the most desireable studio monitors available!
I meant I saw your gear list and you have nicer stuff than I do so I would love to have some of those pieces. And no, I have no affiliation with that company. Cheers.
Old 14th September 2011
  #59
Gear Addict
 
Leonardo_007's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
I'm flattered but I'm afraid I'm way too world-wise.

And fitting into the marketplace is not something I ever wanted to do. But it is how the music biz is set up, by and large.

But even before I got involved with recording, actually even before I picked up guitar, I watched some people I knew somewhat well -- who started out with one of the most interesting and progressive bands in the local area -- as their music biz dreams were crassly manipulated and exploited by a major label and a well-known and, interestingly, well-respected producer of the era.* When their "music biz dream" was over they'd lost almost everything and two of them were reduced to working in a car wash because they couldn't even legally play music for the last 5 years of their 7 year contract.

Sadly, they were only the first of bands I knew to get screwed. By the time I started taking recording classes and working on a commercial music production 2 year certificate, I was painfully aware of what the industry had/has in store for big-dreaming bands.

The classes I took that dealt with the business side of the industry -- taught by a very experienced producer -- left little room for rosy dreams.

The more I saw in the real world and the more I learned in school made it ever more clear that being a musician was being the sucker.

All around me, I saw that everyone made money -- bookers, club owners, studio owners, engineers, labels -- except the musicians.

Unless they toured their asses off. And even then, few hit it for long. But they were able to at least sustain their endless touring -- for a while -- and actually send a little money back home. Not often enough to prevent the eventual divorces and family dissolutions, however.

Over and over I saw friends and acquaintances and old clients beating their head against the music biz until they just couldn't go on. Way too many of them were so disillusioned that they all but gave up music. It just about breaks my heart to think about some of my friends who were extremely accomplished players and writers but who ended up walking away not just from the biz -- but from music itself.

I decided 'early' (remember, I was 20 when I started playing and 30+ by the time I started engineering professionally) that I would never put myself in a position where I'd end up so embittered as to give up music. My whole childhood, seemed like, I dreamed of learning how to play, but never could seem to get there (at least two music teachers told my folks I had 'no musical talent whatsoever' and, cruel as that sounds, I understand why)... So when I somehow managed to break through into playing as an adult, I was determined to never let go.


Don't get me wrong -- like any other singer/songwriter -- I still had fantasies pass through my mind of somehow 'getting discovered' and managing to avoid all the tricks and traps that had screwed up my friends and acquaintances, but by the time I was in the studios and vaguely capable of making music that might get some attention (I'd done station ID jingles for the local new wave station and put out a tape of my own songs that made its way around) I also knew that I had zero chance of making that happen. Not good enough to be a studio player. Not young enough to be picked up as talent. And not hardy enough to devote myself to a life on the road.

Nope, I'm content with the path I chose. If I'm not a household name, well, I was never going to be. But at least I still love making music and recording -- unlike way too many of my old friends who did try the death dance with the music biz.


* First, they were forced to 'fire' the 'dead weight' from the band (the horn players who played their decidedly arty/jazzy charts and the keyboardist who gave them a decidedly progressive foundation) so that the label could concentrate on the three singers (who happened to also be bass, guitar, and drums). Then the producer and one of his cronies pushed aside their complex and very cool songs to write an album full of trite 3 minute pop tunes (with really insultingly stupid lyrics). When the album was done, there was only one song written by the band on it, along with a b-side of the single.

The label dumping a bunch of payola into some key stations bought them a regional number two hit in the midwest -- but that failed to catch fire. Meanwhile, the big self-booked and promoted rental hall shows that had been the foundation of the old band -- and that had supported 10 guys -- were gone and the remaining trio were living on advance money handouts from the label. The label wouldn't let them play anything but showcase gigs. (And their old friends wouldn't talk to them.) They recorded a second record with the same production team but they said it was worse than the first -- which had really sucked because of the incredibly lame songs and the bland pop arrangements. The label shelved the record. But the band remained under contract, legally prevented from recording or even playing with anyone else -- and prohibited from playing under the band name -- for five more years. (A seven year contract they were never released from.) While still under contract, the label sued the band for recoupable advances, and was awarded the band's PA, instrument amps, and even their touring van. All the band got to keep were their personal instruments.
most of the people who didn't make it had the approach at first to look what a comfortable market position was and then as a second step to move there.

problem is, that there will always be somebody who does it better in that particular position.

the second approach seems to be more promising:

theblue1, may i ask you the question: where are your distinctive capabilites, what are the specific talents no one other could do that thing better than you do?

and if you are aware how to answer that question, you know where you have to move... in exactly that particular market position.

remember me when you've made your dollars.
Old 14th September 2011
  #60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonardo_007 View Post
most of the people who didn't make it had the approach at first to look what a comfortable market position was and then as a second step to move there.

problem is, that there will always be somebody who does it better in that particular position.

the second approach seems to be more promising:

theblue1, may i ask you the question: where are your distinctive capabilites, what are the specific talents no one other could do that thing better than you do?

and if you are aware how to answer that question, you know where you have to move... in exactly that particular market position.

remember me when you've made your dollars.
I spent some time in marketing earlier in my life, so I understand the concept of niche marketing, positioning, and such. Don't think I haven't rolled around those marketing concepts in relation to my music.

I'll admit, the great online DIY music scare of he late 90s had me going for a minute. In '96 and '97 into the early part of this decade I found myself making a sort of hybrid roots trip hop kind of thing that seemed to have some appeal at that moment and I racked up some DLs on the old Mp3.com, sold some on-demand CDs and such.

But I'm not sure I still (if I ever did) have what it takes to do the endless and shameless self-promotion it takes to stay noticed in today's market. And I certainly don't have any appetite left for playing live -- and that remains crucial to any real participation in the music business, like it or not.


But I'll keep your suggestions in mind.
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