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A question about the number recording studios going down.g
Old 21st December 2016
  #1
A question about the number recording studios going down.g

In 2010 we sent out advertising materials to 500 recording studios within 100 miles of our mastering studio here in Northern Ohio. Currently we are getting ready to send out some new advertising materials and in getting ready updated our lists and of the 500 studios in 2010 we can only find about 50 or less in the same geographical area using the same search criteria. Is that really the case that their are only 10% of the studios still offering their services on the WWW?

Wow I had no idea.

Scary.. and worthy of a moan.
Old 21st December 2016
  #2
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

I'd guess that the number of "studios" has gone down but the number of individuals involved in making music that could need mastering has gone up. So maybe it would help to reorient your search toward that.

Also, I don't understand the geographic limitation. These days, that's what FTP is for. Heck, even back in the dark ages when my wife managed big mastering joints and there was no internet, at least a third of their business was unattended.

Without giving away any trade secrets, how are you conducting your search?
Old 21st December 2016
  #3
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edva's Avatar
the "average" musician (99%) has never had much money, but has even less these days. Only the wealthy can afford real studio time now.
And the wealthy now have their own studios at home.
Couple that with the lack of market for product (unless you are touring), and the result is, not much business in the studio business anymore. IMHO.
Old 21st December 2016
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I'd guess that the number of "studios" has gone down but the number of individuals involved in making music that could need mastering has gone up. So maybe it would help to reorient your search toward that.

Also, I don't understand the geographic limitation. These days, that's what FTP is for. Heck, even back in the dark ages when my wife managed big mastering joints and there was no internet, at least a third of their business was unattended.

Without giving away any trade secrets, how are you conducting your search?
Brent,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I am always looking globally but I also figure it is a good idea to let local studios know about us. This is going to be a very low key advertising mailing with either a letter or postcard.

My original search 16 years ago was "recording studios Ohio" also "recording studios Northern Ohio" and recording studios in all the cities around here like Columbus, Cleveland, Toledo, Detroit, and any others I could think of after looking at a map. I did the same this time but only came up with less than 50 studios where in 2010 it was well over 500. Not sure what the differences are today but it seems like a lot of studios have disappeared or are no longer advertising on the WWW. That is a lot of studios GONE in 16 years. Maybe some people have converted over to personal use studios or not for hire studios and just do their own "thing".

Thanks again.
Old 21st December 2016
  #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by edva View Post
the "average" musician (99%) has never had much money, but has even less these days. Only the wealthy can afford real studio time now.
And the wealthy now have their own studios at home.
Couple that with the lack of market for product (unless you are touring), and the result is, not much business in the studio business anymore. IMHO.
I guess that is it. I know in this local area a lot of the musicians, we use to work with, worked at big manufacturing plants during the week and the plants have either closed down and/or moved somewhere else. So the "weekend warrior" musicians are having to take jobs that pay less and they don't have the spendable income they did 16 years ago. I also know that a lot of clubs and bars are now "pay to play" and with the winding down of CD sales (most music listening is moving to the WWW). It is hard for musicians to make money to hire a studio so they either buy their own equipment or find a friend with a home studio and do their recording, mixing and mastering in that studio.

Things they are a changing. Thanks for the reply.
Old 21st December 2016
  #6
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
Brent,

Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I am always looking globally but I also figure it is a good idea to let local studios know about us.
Back when the barriers to entry in mastering were a lathe and a dual-playback Studer and a pile of very expensive processing hardware, that made sense. But that's over. Now, the studios that remain are more likely to be your competitors than your referral network. As I type, my buddy across the hall is mastering some fancy church's Christmas concert he recorded last Saturday night and mixed yesterday. For money.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I think maybe you're after the end users. Bands, mixers, indie labels... ?
Old 21st December 2016
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Back when the barriers to entry in mastering were a lathe and a dual-playback Studer and a pile of very expensive processing hardware, that made sense. But that's over. Now, the studios that remain are more likely to be your competitors than your referral network. As I type, my buddy across the hall is mastering some fancy church's Christmas concert he recorded last Saturday night and mixed yesterday. For money.

Not to beat a dead horse, but I think maybe you're after the end users. Bands, mixers, indie labels... ?

I hear you. But reaching "Bands, mixers, indie labels... ?" in this day and age is not easy. I am not a "bar" person and really don't enjoy going to bars just to approach musicians.

As to competitors. There was a student at the local college who was charging a lot more than I do and seemed to stay as busy as he wanted to with his friend's bands. His big selling point was that he was more in tune with what students wanted. I never heard his stuff.

A couple of local student bands went overseas for their mastering, which of course is their prerogative, but they never even contacted me and we do a lot of local advertising. Maybe our studio name, Acoustik Musik, scares them away.

Most mastering client's stick with us once they have found us. The "trick" is to have them to find us.

Thanks for your thoughts!
Old 21st December 2016
  #8
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Forgive me for perseverating, Tom, but I think this great thread you've started might be of help to lots of people...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I hear you. But reaching "Bands, mixers, indie labels... ?" in this day and age is not easy. I am not a "bar" person and really don't enjoy going to bars just to approach musicians.
Go for the music, then. In my home town (Springfield, IL) the country and rock/pop cover scenes are super healthy, the average age of the players is well over 40, and they all record. They typically use audio and video of covers to get gigs, and sell EP's of originals at the merch table. All that stuff gets mastered somehow.

Quote:
As to competitors. There was a student at the local college who was charging a lot more than I do and seemed to stay as busy as he wanted to with his friend's bands. His big selling point was that he was more in tune with what students wanted.
Maybe another selling point was that he went out and met these folks. If you don't want to do that, find some kid who does and give 'em a commission. Keeping 80% of an invoice beats no invoice at all.

Quote:
A couple of local student bands went overseas for their mastering, which of course is their prerogative, but they never even contacted me and we do a lot of local advertising. Maybe our studio name, Acoustik Musik, scares them away.
So much for "local" being an issue. The opposite, if anything. After all, everyone in London is better at everything except baseball than anyone in Ohio. Pretty sure the accent makes them smarter, too. Kidding, but you get my point.

And the name. Non-electrik, Germanik, stiff as a stik. Might be time for a rebranding.

Quote:
Most mastering clients stick with us once they have found us.
.

I don't doubt in the slightest that you're really good at what you do. Here's hopes for a killer '17. I could use one, too!

Last edited by psycho_monkey; 22nd December 2016 at 01:02 AM..
Old 21st December 2016
  #9
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JoeyM's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
Pretty sure the accent makes them smarter, too...
Well yeah, they invented the English language. That's why English classes at their Universities are called "Us".
Old 22nd December 2016
  #10
In my (admittedly, warped and depraved) experience, you need to find customers with alot more going on than just being musicians, making music, recording their songs. This capability is commonplace. Maybe that's a shame, but it is what it is.

There has to be a target audience, somewhere, and not just in the abstract, some specifical chain of listenership that needs to be fed. And then-- this is just a personal, perverse sensation I get all the time-- the beauty and elegance and glowing kind of realism that we, you and me and everyone, strive to instill in everything, that's just a by-product of the process-- we feel like it's the goal and the triumph and the ecstasy, but it's not. It just happens.

I mean, people notice it... mostly subliminally, I think.

But what it is, it's a sheen on someone or something doing some careery thing, with goalposts and signposts and destinations. How do you find these people? I dunno.. I guess that just also happens.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #11
I live and work in a college town with one of the best Conservatories in the world located here. I do a lot of work with students (most of my interns are Conservatory students) and College staff people but not so much with the faculty since the Conservatory has its own audio department with incredible equipment and facilities. I also have a lot of ties to musicians in the larger community. I enjoyed doing projects for local musicians and students over the last year but those "gigs" are not enough to sustain my business. We also did a lot of mastering for our far flung "internet clients" but again these are not as great in number as I would like. We have diversified over the past 10 years and now a lot of my work is doing audio-video transfers and restorations. I love what I do but would really like to get back into doing more mastering. With the number of recording studios going down drastically and with no part of the world inaccessible in terms of someone needing mastering or finding someone to do their mastering it is a changing climate and has been for over a decade.

The recording studios that are left seem to be more of the "one stop" variety where musicians can track, mix and master their materials all with in the confines of one studio. Some studios are also places where the musicians can get their artwork done for their CDs or get an online video done for their next release. It seems like a lot of studios are trying very hard to keep all the services in house and don't want to use external facilities, like mastering, for fear of losing money. Tracking, mixing and mastering all in one control room does not seem optimal but...for the studios who do it I am sure they make it work.

In the "good olde days" we had agreements with a lot of local studios. We sent them musicians to be recorded and they sent us musicians who needed mastering and it worked very well. Today with a lot of work being done on the WWW those types of arrangements no longer work.

I keep hearing that there are more and more musicians who need mastering due to the rise of the home recording studios but I personally am not seeing that in my business. We get a lot of phone calls and emails about doing mastering but most people are looking for reduced rates or in some cases doing it for free. We have some very loyal local business owners who continue to send us restoration clients and I am eternally grateful to them. I want, like most people, to expand my boundaries and get more clients from overseas and from far flung places in the US but not really sure how that happens.

We live in interesting times and I am wondering what changes will be right around the corner. FWIW
Old 22nd December 2016
  #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
In my (admittedly, warped and depraved) experience, you need to find customers with alot more going on than just being musicians, making music, recording their songs. This capability is commonplace. Maybe that's a shame, but it is what it is.

There has to be a target audience, somewhere, and not just in the abstract, some specifical chain of listenership that needs to be fed. And then-- this is just a personal, perverse sensation I get all the time-- the beauty and elegance and glowing kind of realism that we, you and me and everyone, strive to instill in everything, that's just a by-product of the process-- we feel like it's the goal and the triumph and the ecstasy, but it's not. It just happens.

I mean, people notice it... mostly subliminally, I think.

But what it is, it's a sheen on someone or something doing some careery thing, with goalposts and signposts and destinations. How do you find these people? I dunno.. I guess that just also happens.
And this begs the question...where do you, me and others find them?
Old 22nd December 2016
  #13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
And this begs the question...where do you, me and others find them?
This gets down on its hands and knees and implores the question, pleads and appeals and solicits and beseeches the question... and the universe has a way of being somewhat casual, even indifferent-- well, with flashes of miraculous, beneficial coincidental connectivity.

I wish I believed there was a way to find these folks in a reliable fashion, but it seems like it's all up to Fate. If I was more spiritual, I'd say that some unseen force brings you into their orbit, they are exposed to the last unspeakably brilliant, innovative and groundbreaking project you did, and they want the same for themselves.

Wait, I am spiritual in this way! That's exactly how it works!
Old 22nd December 2016
  #14
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

I call it the Karmic Bank. You pay into your account by marketing your ass off for weeks on end with zero responses. Then you get a call from someone you never heard of.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I call it the Karmic Bank. You pay into your account by marketing your ass off for weeks on end with zero responses. Then you get a call from someone you never heard of.
<GRIN> who usually wants you to cut your rates or do it for nothing <GRIN>

Been there done that...

I had a musician in Canada who wanted me to do things cheaper because Canadian dollars are worth less.

I had a musician in Holland who wanted me to do things for free since he was not getting paid for his music.

And the list goes on....

Marketing has to, if I remember my college courses, target specific people or demographics you want to reach. I want to reach the people mentioned in Joel Patterson's reply...who are they and where are they? Just wondering????
Old 22nd December 2016
  #16
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

I'm stepping back before you drip some of that on me, Tom. Count your blessings and I hope your holidays are happy ones.
Old 22nd December 2016
  #17
Gear Maniac
It could also be that the musicians are moving to cheaper places where you can make a basic living working a day job. That was a big part of the artist boom in weird places like Astoria, Oregon or Bisbee, Arizona or the early grunge scene in the Northwest US. With how real estate prices have spiked in, for example, Seattle and San Francisco, I don't see how any musicians could afford to live in the ecosystems that support studios. Just as an example, I'd say over sixteen years the number of little music studios in little SW Idaho have quadrupled and we've actually got something you can call a music scene now, just because musicians can afford to live here.
Old 28th December 2016
  #18
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doom64's Avatar
Go to where the musicians are.
Old 29th December 2016
  #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Go to where the musicians are.
And that place is?????

I live in a town that is FULL of musicians. (in a town of 7500 there are probably more than 700 "musicians") Most of them are classically trained and either attend or teach at the local Conservatory. They are all very nice people who seemingly do not need my services as we get almost no inquires. In the larger community there are lots of musicians some of them are rockers, some are C&W or Bluegrass performers and some are metal heads or punk rockers. They also do not seem to need my services as we get very few inquires from local musicians even though we do a lot of local advertising.

What I do see here are a lot of "home studios" where people make music for themselves or for posting on the WWW. I would venture to say that every tenth house in my town has the facilities to do some type of recording. It could be as simple at a USB microphone and a free copy of Audacity or it could be a complete bedroom studio. The problem is the DIYer is not someone who is going to use our services. They are into their own music and doing their own "thing".

Now if we look at the larger picture we see less and less musicians who can make their living off their music. We also see more and more "pay to play" type scenarios taking place at local bars and clubs. As our local economy tightens less and less people have extra income to afford paying someone else to do their recording or mixing or mastering. CD sales are way down and even bands who do sell CDs are finding it harder and harder to sell them as someone always buys one and then immediately posts it on the WWW basically killing future CD sales by the band or artist.

It is not all doom and gloom but the fact are there are a lot more people offering "services" than people who need them.

I have already gone to the place where musicians are but they are not in need of our services.

FWIW
Old 29th December 2016
  #20
Well, it's going to be kinda snarky of me to fall back on one of my *many* mantras, but the long, short and intermediate of it is that, by and large, overall, the actual musicians in question are not the greatest judges of how to produce their "product" and so project their legacy into the future. Wait a minute, that isn't the mantra, it's the long-winded, diversionary version. The actual mantra: Musicians are idiots! It comes with the territory: the ability of tap into the subterranean homesick blues of the modern world, distill its insights and essences, coral language to craft a message that leaps across and connects with people, in a single bound... that's a rare gift, but it blinds most of them to the practical realities of translating this to the public at large. Creation is their forte, not disseminating or advancing. I see this over, and over, and over, and over... I have a remarkably talented step-grandson, when he was over during the holidays, he picked up a guitar and lazily breezed through an evening of spectacularly gorgeous improvisation, just beautiful... so then what does he put up on the web? Eh... you could be generous and call it "exploratory" or be blunt and label it caterwauling.

So that's the problem, when you think your job is to capture musicians doing their thing and show it off to its best advantage, you're up against a tough nugget: themselves.
Old 29th December 2016
  #21
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doom64's Avatar
You have answered your own question in this thread. I will highlight the specific thoughts that reveal the answers to your troubles (and a lot of other professional engineer's troubles)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
we can only find about 50 or less in the same geographical area using the same search criteria.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
the "weekend warrior" musicians are having to take jobs that pay less and they don't have the spendable income they did 16 years ago. I also know that a lot of clubs and bars are now "pay to play"...musicians...either buy their own equipment or find a friend with a home studio and do their recording, mixing and mastering in that studio.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
I live and work in a college town with one of the best Conservatories in the world located here. I do a lot of work with students (most of my interns are Conservatory students) and College staff people but not so much with the faculty since the Conservatory has its own audio department with incredible equipment and facilities.

The recording studios that are left seem to be more of the "one stop" variety where musicians can track, mix and master their materials all with in the confines of one studio.
Again, you have answered your own questions. Businesses either adapt or die. The taxi industry is being destroyed by Uber and Lyft. They thought the government had their backs because they paid these high licensing fees but many of them were wrong.

Blockbuster...killed by Netflix then Red Box. Blockbuster did not adapt fast enough.

Independent journalists are slowly taking over mainstream journalists. Some people on Facebook and YouTube have larger audiences than those on CNN/MSNBC/RT America, etc. Those business models (expensive satelite dishes, TV control rooms with very expensive camera and audio equipment) are not sustainable when a guy or girl with a web camera is pulling the same ratings.

If everybody could get free or super cheap food from McDonald's (the equivalent of Spotify, Pandora or YouTube/Google Music) then McDonald's would go out of business. Free or super cheap food is today's music business. The money is in the 360 record label deal because admission to concerts isn't free and people still go see their favorite musicians perform at concerts.

Look who is making the money and adjust your business model. Musicians are no longer your main clientele. They do not have the resources to pay for your services nor do they need your services. For example, you say that your interns are Conservatory students. Does the Conservatory charge money to educate their students? How are they able to afford all of their incredible equipment? It's time to get uncomfortable and change your way of doing business. I did and am a lot happier for it.
Old 30th December 2016
  #22
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by joelpatterson View Post
Well, it's going to be kinda snarky of me to fall back on one of my *many* mantras, but the long, short and intermediate of it is that, by and large, overall, the actual musicians in question are not the greatest judges of how to produce their "product" and so project their legacy into the future. Wait a minute, that isn't the mantra, it's the long-winded, diversionary version. The actual mantra: Musicians are idiots!

So that's the problem, when you think your job is to capture musicians doing their thing and show it off to its best advantage, you're up against a tough nugget: themselves.
Hee, I don't know that I would go that far. I think part of the trick is getting people to appreciate the quality of the services offered, it's the "Starbucks Problem," that you might have heard of before:

Flashback to the late seventies, early eighties, coffee consumption is way down.

Since the 50's, coffee growers had been mixing inferior beans in with good beans, so the coffee that came out of that mix was just bad. The drop in quality of the mix created the drop in interest.

Starbucks comes along and introduces coffee that was about the same quality as before they started screwing with the mix. It's not as good as high-end, specialty coffee shops, but it's as good as the coffee your grandfather might have drunk.

Nobody buys it.

Starbucks set out to educate consumers about how a middle of the road mix is better than a bad mix any day of the week + ??? = profit.

...and high-end coffee shops start going out of business for middle-of-the-road blends.

So maybe it's not that musicians are idiots, as much as they don't see the value of even a middle-of-the-road mix, because the last decade has all been about spontaneous media. In the Internet era, people valued the signal despite the noise. Just look at your average 2009 YouTube video to see the huge difference between then and now on that platform.

The warning there is also that people who are really good at their craft may be squeezed out by the "middle of the road" product. That's your LANDR's et. al. who can do some basic mastering for $4.50 a month and give you a platform for collaboration with your clients.

Maybe what needs to happen is traditional studios need to reach out with more canned services to bring people in with reasonable quality engineering in a very limited scope on the low-end so they can market services to those people on the high-end. It's not that much different than those classical music labels used to do with their artists; get them young and poor and talented and nurture them into artists that make you a profit. Even operating at costs is still operating.

I've seen a lot of audio engineers doing that on Fiverr and that site that lets you lease time on vintage rack equipment over the internet (name escapes me) and some have had some good success with that approach. There's also the engineers that sell their workflow and approach through plug-ins and even specialized DAWS. For example, I think the Hindenburg DAW which is my main workbench only exists because NPR needed it.

Anyway, food for thought, I'm more familiar with the world of TV and film, and you can bet these gripes reverberate through all media. I mean, if you have talked to the newspaper people over the past decade, and I have, it's gone from denial, to panic, to desperation.
Old 30th December 2016
  #23
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyDandy View Post
Hee, I don't know that I would go that far. I think part of the trick is getting people to appreciate the quality of the services offered, it's the "Starbucks Problem," that you might have heard of before:

Flashback to the late seventies, early eighties, coffee consumption is way down.

Since the 50's, coffee growers had been mixing inferior beans in with good beans, so the coffee that came out of that mix was just bad. The drop in quality of the mix created the drop in interest.

Starbucks comes along and introduces coffee that was about the same quality as before they started screwing with the mix. It's not as good as high-end, specialty coffee shops, but it's as good as the coffee your grandfather might have drunk.

Nobody buys it.

Starbucks set out to educate consumers about how a middle of the road mix is better than a bad mix any day of the week + ??? = profit.

...and high-end coffee shops start going out of business for middle-of-the-road blends.

So maybe it's not that musicians are idiots, as much as they don't see the value of even a middle-of-the-road mix, because the last decade has all been about spontaneous media. In the Internet era, people valued the signal despite the noise. Just look at your average 2009 YouTube video to see the huge difference between then and now on that platform.

The warning there is also that people who are really good at their craft may be squeezed out by the "middle of the road" product. That's your LANDR's et. al. who can do some basic mastering for $4.50 a month and give you a platform for collaboration with your clients.

Maybe what needs to happen is traditional studios need to reach out with more canned services to bring people in with reasonable quality engineering in a very limited scope on the low-end so they can market services to those people on the high-end. It's not that much different than those classical music labels used to do with their artists; get them young and poor and talented and nurture them into artists that make you a profit. Even operating at costs is still operating.

I've seen a lot of audio engineers doing that on Fiverr and that site that lets you lease time on vintage rack equipment over the internet (name escapes me) and some have had some good success with that approach. There's also the engineers that sell their workflow and approach through plug-ins and even specialized DAWS. For example, I think the Hindenburg DAW which is my main workbench only exists because NPR needed it.

Anyway, food for thought, I'm more familiar with the world of TV and film, and you can bet these gripes reverberate through all media. I mean, if you have talked to the newspaper people over the past decade, and I have, it's gone from denial, to panic, to desperation.
Some interesting ideas and suggestions.

The rise the of DIYer and advances in technology have affected not only audio but photography, print shops, graphic arts, video production, newspapers and media outlets.

Just to site some current examples:

A good friend was the advertising director for a major Midwest newspaper. He was very good at his job but his paper started losing money to TV and Radio advertising and cut his department from 5 people to only one and still expected the same sales figures. He decided that he should, for his own peace of mind and health, leave.

The print shop that does our graphics work was a traditional print shop with printing presses and all the traditional tools. The owner was a genius at running and trouble shooting printing presses and made a very good living doing it. About a year ago I went in to get a job done and noticed that all the printing presses were either gone or covered up and in their place was a 21+ foot long "electronic device" that did everything the printing presses could do and more. It is basically a very big laser printer on steroids. You put paper in one side and a couple of seconds later outcomes a perfectly printed "whatever". (folded, stapled and or punched if need be). The owner leases the equipment and if there is a problem a tech is there within hours and it is all covered under the lease payments. The quality is amazing and it is very very quiet which was not the case with the presses. It is revolutionizing the printing profession and the traditional shops are having to either adapt or go out of business.

All the portrait photographers in this area have either closed their doors or gone over to electronic picture taking and manipulations (think Photoshop). There are no longer any "darkrooms" and the people who made the darkroom equipment are all gone. All the stores that use to sell film cameras have since closed their doors or gone over to digital photography. One of my photo store owner acquaintances told me that is is hard to sell even digital cameras anymore since most IPHONES do a great job of photographing and shooting video. He has since closed his doors and is selling off his stock on line. It use to be a good place to go for advice and to pick though his "used and abused" table looking for bargains.

As to video production. If you go to a children's orchestra or choral concert today all the parents have their trusty IPHONES or IPADs and are busily video taping the concert. We use to do video for these types of events but no longer. The parents can take the video and edit it on IMOVIE and burn DVD on their Macs if need be. The audio quality sucks big time but the parents don't seem to care as long as they can see their offspring performing. Our stuff was always done to professional standards but that does not seem to matter anymore. Rooms with 100's of thousand's of dollars use to be the norm for TV production but today for an expenditure of less than $10K you can be your own videographer, director, producer, editor and graphic's person and turn out pro level, broadcast ready materials.

It is a strange world out there right now and only is getting stranger for the professionals. The DIYer and amateurs are taking over and even though, in may cases, the quality sucks big time they really don't seem to care. Ain't technology GREAT?
Old 30th December 2016
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
It is a strange world out there right now and only is getting stranger for the professionals. The DIYer and amateurs are taking over and even though, in may cases, the quality sucks big time they really don't seem to care. Ain't technology GREAT?
Rambling below...

Is it that strange, really?
Before there were printing presses many good folks was printing /copying by hand, I suppose they all lost their jobs rather quickly.

These days I only know a few folks that still have a phone land line at home, most are just cellphones. No one wants to install any new copper wire cabling for new phone lines these days. Here in Sweden they are actually decommissioning landlines fully in some rural areas.


Everything is changing always and all the time. Buinesses that fail to change won't survive. And when large businesses fail, opportunities arise for new ventures as long as they can get with the changing trends.

Look at any small town. Many shops close because they cant compete with the larger chains with prices or multitude of product so buyers stop coming...

And then we have automation and robots...


To me the really bad thing "this time" is that to me it looks like we are getting close to "bottoming out". Can budgets really get lower and we all deliver professional results?
Old 30th December 2016
  #25
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doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas W. Bethe View Post
As to video production. If you go to a children's orchestra or choral concert today all the parents have their trusty IPHONES or IPADs and are busily video taping the concert. We use to do video for these types of events but no longer. The parents can take the video and edit it on IMOVIE and burn DVD on their Macs if need be. The audio quality sucks big time but the parents don't seem to care as long as they can see their offspring performing. Our stuff was always done to professional standards but that does not seem to matter anymore. Rooms with 100's of thousand's of dollars use to be the norm for TV production but today for an expenditure of less than $10K you can be your own videographer, director, producer, editor and graphic's person and turn out pro level, broadcast ready materials.

It is a strange world out there right now and only is getting stranger for the professionals. The DIYer and amateurs are taking over and even though, in may cases, the quality sucks big time they really don't seem to care. Ain't technology GREAT?
Spot on, Thomas. People no longer give a care about quality. Well, they do but they want it free.

There are people like this girl who have more viewers than cable TV shows. Shows that take a large crew of people to produce. This girl sets a $500 camera up on a cheap tripod, edits the video herself in a couple hours and gets a quarter million video views in a couple of weeks:



And there are thousands like her. Great for the individual, bad for the professional.

But really, it's not much different than huge lines at McDonald's during lunch hours and barely anyone going to the fancy Italian restaurant. People watch videos to feed their boredom. Most don't care that the video is sharp and audio is crystal clear. Content is king, as they say. Quality has taken a back seat....ALL THE WAY TO THE BUMPER!

A friend of mine posted a video on Facebook the other day. Recorded with his iPhone. It got a ton of views and likes/shares/etc. The times they are a changin'!
Old 30th December 2016
  #26
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by doom64 View Post
Spot on, Thomas. People no longer give a care about quality. Well, they do but they want it free.

There are people like this girl who have more viewers than cable TV shows. Shows that take a large crew of people to produce. This girl sets a $500 camera up on a cheap tripod, edits the video herself in a couple hours and gets a quarter million video views in a couple of weeks:



And there are thousands like her. Great for the individual, bad for the professional. !
Hee, don't think that there might not be a team of professionals behind people like her. The dirty secret of a lot of those amateur viral YouTube videos is they are engineered by people like me. It's just like the old Hollywood studio system that used to engineer the "discovery" of aspiring actresses, just to perpetuate the Cinderella story. the "organic viral" videos are quickly fading to the "synthesized viral." The last time I had an organic viral video was over three years ago, and that was using industry contacts to generate buzz.
Old 30th December 2016
  #27
Lives for gear
 
doom64's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyDandy View Post
Hee, don't think that there might not be a team of professionals behind people like her. The dirty secret of a lot of those amateur viral YouTube videos is they are engineered by people like me. It's just like the old Hollywood studio system that used to engineer the "discovery" of aspiring actresses, just to perpetuate the Cinderella story. the "organic viral" videos are quickly fading to the "synthesized viral." The last time I had an organic viral video was over three years ago, and that was using industry contacts to generate buzz.
Well, I do know that the girl has a manager now but she "went viral" after a famous YouTube creator made fun of this video:





And also other famous YouTube creators



It's amazing how viral you can go when celebrities share your videos! So, I guess these people were her promotional/marketing team LOL!



I tell musicians, you wanna get famous? Annoy celebrities on Twitter. Get them talking about you. It worked for Azealia Banks! She "trolled" Iggy Azalea and grew famous from it. If the system won't let you join them, beat them at their own game.

As far as mastering is concerned, here's some of your competition:

https://www.landr.com/en

https://emastered.com/

https://www.masteringbox.com/

http://fiverr.com

https://www.protrackmastering.com/free-mastering/

Even Abbey Road is getting in on it: Online Mastering at Abbey Road Studios

And https://www.google.com/#safe=off&q=how+to+master+a+song

I said this before years ago but if everybody keeps sharing their engineering secrets you will be teaching your competition. It seemed like everyone called me a jerk for even suggesting that but look where we are now. The secret sauce recipes are out and there's no putting the cat back into the bag!

Google "free mastering" or "online mastering". Good times!

Here's an article to read:

Why Capitol Records&apos; vinyl master Ron McMaster is busier than ever - LA Times

Ron McMaster is taking all of your work! And people are buying vinyl even though it is an inferior format, in terms of sound quality.
Old 31st December 2016
  #28
Gear Nut
 

Then and Now

I'm in the New York City area, so often look on craigslist
musicians. It seems new recording studio ads never end.
I look sometimes, it seems often they charge about $25
an hour. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

I used recording studios with bands from the mid
seventies to the early eighties. Back then there
weren't any daws. It seemed to me, they were about
$25 an hour for 1" 16 track and $50 an hour for
2" 24 track, and those were the two options.
I don't think hardly anyone in these modern
independent kind of fly by night studios I'm talking
about in NY uses tape machines at all anymore,
but the prices still seem to be what they were
40 years ago. Seems like an odd economic anachronism.
I can't give much advice on your specific quandary,
but I thought maybe this might give some insight.
Old 31st December 2016
  #29
Gear Maniac
Newbies to of the audio side of the industry like myself often don't know much about the "dark art of mastering" and so we think things like LANDR are pretty cool. I use it. Then we get on here and learn that LANDR is a dirty word Me that makes me want to learn more about why people are passionate about their way of doing things. Many folks I know will just say "UR old" and that's where their evaluation ends. I hope people want to stay passionate, because I hope the Era of the studio isn't over because I am looking at my budget for a studio place and then I think "my friend who owns the music store has a studio he rents, that's looking like a better use of my funds."

Though, you know, I miss community dark rooms too because they used to be a place you could trade tips with other photographers with different expertise. Digital killed that a long time ago.
Old 31st December 2016
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyDandy View Post
..... the "dark art of mastering" ....
It's wonderful to speak of it in those terms, because it reeks of mystery and enigmae (new plural for the word 'enigma') when it's simply a listener engineer person paying attention and subtly dipping/enhancing frequencies until all the elements of the file in question (and the word 'file' is a freakish newcomer to the whole process, isn't it?) are clear and distinct. I've always thought, and acted locally and globally, like mastering is just the last phase of mixing, it's when you get to the final blending that unfies everything together.

In practice, this is someone twisting dials until the playback takes on a special kind of emotional resonance that you've been searching for-- when listening to it launches you into grand reveries and triggers imaginative flights of fancy and gets you thinking about all kinds of wondrous things, quite apart from the song-- it's very subtle, to put it mildly, but another mantra: just because something is subtle doesn't mean it's not very real and important and pivotal.

Automating this with machinery? Uh... sure, heck, it would get you at least 50% there, probably, almost anyway.
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