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How many NARAS members do we have here?

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by dvdhawk, Dec 27, 2010.

  1. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    Just curious....

    I was invited to join years ago and pushed the paperwork aside - lately wondering if there is any benefit to membership - in terms of being a studio owner. (especially one who thinks most of the stuff they give awards to every year is crap)

    Next I'll be yelling at kids to get off my lawn and talking about how much a Hershey bar cost when I was a kid.
  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I have been a member for 21 years.
  3. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I WAS a member for about 5 years. Dont know what it did for me......
  4. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I think everything that once was good or you had to be part of is changing or changed forever. I don't think anyone of us knows wtf is going on anymore. Kind of seems like we're all on our own worse than before. I think you need to be part of youtube and here though :)

    sorry, I couldn't resist some fun poking and may very well be wrong on this one. Thomas, how about you, does it help or?
  5. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I am a member of the Chicago chapter and I am sure if I lived or worked in Chicago it would be a big help. There are lots of networking opportunities and lots of sponsored programs that I might attend if I lived closer. It is, however, a 6 to 7 hour drive from where I live to Chicago. So to answer your question it neither helps or hurts. I guess I joined for the sense of belonging to something that I believed in but now I keep up my membership because it is something that I do.

    I am not sure doing anything means anything anymore. Belonging to or being a part of a group, no matter what that groups is, may help or may not. The whole music industry is in the doldrums. It is not going anywhere but down very quickly. I am so tired of the DIY mentality when it comes to mastering and to making music in general. I am very hopeful that in the very near future the loudness race and the DIY fad will fade into the background but I fear that in reality neither will happen very quickly.

    I hope you have a GREAT New Year filled with wonderful events and that you can remain doing something that you love.
  6. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    I am not a member, and it has not hurt/helped my budding audio career. Just got informed the other the other day, that i'll have my name on a professional studios' business cards, next print, and a full time position by the end of the new year! We'll see what happens.
    You know what i belong to? The U.S tax system, a car insurance policy, the artists i work for, the owner, of the studio i/my friend, built/work at, the grocery store that gets $4 for a gallon of orange juice, ect.
    :biggrin:I work with a person who has numerous 'billboard' hits and i learn alot everyday. In his stories, which i hear again, again, and again, he's never mentioned any 'membership' to any audio societies. they consist mostly of why things suck, and rediculous details, like what kind of drivers where used in the 'mains' at the powerstation in 1987 (and why they sucked) and why capacitors had to be modded on an SSL to make it magic, and why we needed to make our ceiling could so massive it took six men to hoist it up to the ceiling (not quotes, just examples).
    My bottom line opinion on societies like NARAS, and the like is: They accept your money. Then, you either communicate with intelligent professionals/collegues, or they only take your money. You want to buy a grammy?... Win the bidding war, or sell a song and owe $, or even better send them a demo, and listen to them 'not quite' plagerise it over the airwaves/internet.
    IMO. Got open ears of course!
    Thomas, What is your un-appreciation w/ DIY music? I think it opens up opportunities for professionals, to offer services. Did tascam 4-tracks ruin music? No, they allowed people w/ ideas to record w/ the quality of years prior. Then 'cut it' in the State-of the-art setting w/ a pro, maybe.
    YES, 2000s' DAW's/distribution, let the public listen to low fidelity music,hooks/ideas/songs, but that factor has always been there in some form. if you go to a bar from 30 years ago, was every band playing 'the best' music? How many undiscovered bands are your favorite, yet never made it?
    If DIY dies so does individuality, and art.
    It's the people who don't appreciate the dilligence of professional production that mistify me, thats DIY ignorance.
    I challenge 'huge company's to put their money down and amaze my mind w/ future tech NOW. Trickle down economics sucks to me.
    I'll lose the loudness wars every mix man.
    Pretty soon volume knobs will go from 0->1.0. "10" will be DVD's hershey bar,
  7. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    The DIY mentality is such that they want to do everything themselves including mastering. Since a large part of my business is mastering it is somewhat upsetting that certain DIY'ers have decided that this is also something that they can do themselves. They do not have the equipment, the experience or the room and montioring equipment to do it well but they do it anyways. (And they do it without any collaboration as that somehow would spoil the whole DIY mentality) These DIY artists have somehow equated "mastering" with "loudness" and so they smash the he!! out of their material and say they "mastered" it. Nothing could be futher from the truth. I was in GC lately. A salesmen was selling a young musician a mastering package consisting of a Behringer equalizer and a Behringer Compressor, Destressor, limiter and I think it had a spigot on the back for orange juice. The salesmen was trying to convince the DIY'er that with this package he did not need to take his material to a real mastering engineer and was saying that the musician could do as good a job as Bob Ludwig with "a little bit of practice".

    Most of the records we all hold in high regard were done with a team approach and lots of collaboration. They were not done by one person sitting in his or her bedroom and trying to do everything themselves. DIY has NOTHING to do with individually or art. It has to do with being somewhat cheap with a large dose of the "me" mentality that a lot of the current crop of musicians have when it comes to THEIR music. They compose, they play, they record, they mix, they master and then they put up their magnum opus on the WWW and if someone says anything bad about what they have created they get upset and start trying to trash the perceived negative poster.

    Music is a way for people to communicate. It is something that is heard daily by millions of people, it is something that can excite us, it can lull us to sleep, it can make us romantic or it can be a source of solace in a really bad situation. It can bring people together and it can be a way for one human to express his or her thoughts to millions of their fans. It is universal and that every country and every area of the world has their indigenous music.

    I think music has always been a DIY art form it is now just taken to the extremes where the musician has to do everything themselves.

    I can replace a washer in a sink faucet but I cannot fix a leaky pipe, I have to call a "real" plumber. I can change the oil, the spark plugs and top off the rest of the fluids in my car but if I have a problem with the transmission I take it to a mechanic to fix. I can bandage my finger if I cut it and I can put creme on a burn but if I have to have some surgery done I go to the hospital and have a surgeon do the operation. Why is it so hard for the DIY musician to do the same? He or she can write the music, they can perform it and if it is simple enough they can record and mix it. They should then turn it over to someone who can take what they have done and make it sound "professional". Someone who has the experience and the equipment to do a really good job.

    I hear things like professional mastering is too expensive, it will ruin my artistic vision, it will not be what I want. None of these make any sense to me since the reason you are taking it to a professional is so they will share your artistic vision and will do an amazing job mastering it. As to the cost most people, like the young musician I alluded to earlier, will spend more money on buying "mastering" equipment than a good mastering session will cost. Most people who are on this web board are more than reasonably priced. If you go Bob Ludwig or anyone on the top tier of mastering engineer you will pay more but so what it is not the norm. As a famous person once said "you only have one chance to make a good first impression" so why would you throw that "first impression" away by trying to do something you are ill equipped to do.

    So I very much understand the whole wanting to DIY the music it is just that I don't understand why they have to do everything themselves.

    FWIW and YMMV
  8. kmetal

    kmetal Kyle P. Gushue Well-Known Member

    well said Thomas! as a mix guy, i agree mastering is an art from and should be left to the professionals, on anything that is a serious recording. Although i was left fairly unimpressed with the job that discmakers did on my buddies recording. To be fair, i don't think he left much, if any, head room for the guy, and surely over eq'ed. I think i'll take my record to a mastering studio when the time comes. Seems like if that's 'all' they do, they'll be able to deliver better results.

    Puzzling is the fact nobody listens to the beat to death suggestions by professionals to preserve dynamics, while mastering a track themselves

    GC- ugh really tho, i sometimes wonder if those salespeople have ever even listened to music. When i bought my 414 the kid knocked over an 87, a 414, and a tlm 103, while trying to grab the 414 out. i don't think he even knew what the mics were.
    Sorry for ranting off topic! Cheers!
  9. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Now I wonder where they would have gotten that idea. If the pros keep producing sonic bricks they should not be surprised if people think they can do the same thing at home.
  10. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Most professional Mastering Engineers I know would like to get far far away from smashing everything in sight but are compelled by the musicians and record companies to "make it ****ing louder than anything else in the universe" and if they want the business they have to do what they are requested to do.

  11. MadMax

    MadMax Well-Known Member

    Well, well, well... the plot thickens a tad...

    As a NARAS member, one would expect that NARAS would put forth reasonably strict standards for mean loudness for health reasons of the listening public, if for more than anything else. Thereby limiting the utter obliteration of dynamics and emotion of music.

    But alas, I am neither a NARAS member, nor am I a subscriber to any more than a touch of glue out of a compressor on the 2-bus (et al <7.1).

    So, is there any real advantage to joining NARAS?

    What I perceive, is that you do have the chance to reward those other teams that are commercially releasing music that you think do the best job of not destroying music, but preserving it.... including yourself.

    The question then becomes, what does it take to be selected for nominations to the NARAS pubic voting for Grammy nomination?

    Do you have to be a member of NARAS to be nominated in ANY category in the recording process?

    Does getting nominated for any category mean anything to you?

    The locals and national of NARAS does do a lot of good when it comes to supporting MusicCares. It's well worth the percentages that they generate... and I have no problem supporting that function of NARAS.

    I only wonder if being nominated for a Grammy, isn't really the only strong reasoning for joining NARAS?

    If I've got it wrong, because I'm missing some important information - please tell me.
  12. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    The sad thing It doesn't matter who told you to pull the trigger ultimately you are responsible for pulling it. Yes yes you did it to fed your kids. Wasn't that the plot to some Stallone movie?

    I think mastering houses need to suffer for a while if they ever hope to maintain a higher standard of audio. By Simply refusing to create " audio bricks" you will indeed likely loose business for a while. And yes some devious guy that continues make bricks will cash in for awhile. However after enough mastering engineers state "I won't do this" a zillion times, the audience will eventually hear it. Then the uninformed will not understand, but they will associate the brick with poor quality.

    Meanwhile all the ball'sy mastering engineers will die broke.....
  13. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I hope this was done somewhat "tongue in cheek". There are so many "mastering engineers" out in the music world today that if one was to turn down work there will be 6 to 16 others who would just love to "nail it" with over done processing and "the brick" style of mastering. The only way the loudness war is going to go away is for everyone to "pull" back from the insane levels but no one wants to do that for fear their stuff will not be "louder than he!!". There are some artist that understand but they are few a far between. I always advise clients about over doing it when it comes to levels but most of the time it falls on deaf ears (literally).
  14. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    You should keep in mind that most professional organizations were formed before the rise of the internet. Back before the days of message boards, chat rooms, etc. you had to actually sit in a room with other people and talk to each other to exchange information. There are a lot of disciplines where internet interaction has replace all or most of the constructive activities of regional or national meetings. But there are clearly limitation to communicating on the internet. (We see them on this board all the time.) I'm not sure if NARAS is a good substitute. What can it do that an internet message board can't? But I know that in math there is a real purpose to face to face meetings.
  15. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    Yes I am mostly kidding, however someone has to take that first step......and suffer the pain....I don't do much mastering as a rule, but most of client asks me too. Sometimes I do, but I make sure it is known that I will not master it to the loudest out there. Even before they record I show them examples of my work and compare it to the current market. In 15min of face to face talk you can really explain your stance. So far no one has ever asked for me master a brick after they hear the examples.
  16. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Of course, the world is not headed into an age of enlightenment right now but IMO the opposite actually. Critical thinking skills and adaptive abilities are at a century low. For gods sake 28% of US kids failed the ASVAB which definitely isn't the SAT.
  17. Link555

    Link555 Well-Known Member

    The world is not represented by the USA, however as employer in Canada I have noticed the work ethic of the younger generations is not the same as it once was. People expect the world and are not willing work for it.
  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    +1 on the work ethic observation. We have several generations of overly self indulgent sheep.
  19. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    This topic has gone on a bit of a tangent, but all very interesting.

    I would think AES would be a better hope for setting standards - however unlikely that is. I don't know how one would dictate, legislate, or even accurately quantify 'perceived volume'. It's the dynamics that have disappeared, maximum volume of digital recordings hasn't gone up. It's not like someone snuck a 2 in among the 1's and 0's. Unfortunately, I don't think any secret society will be able to turn the tide. Every facet of this business is very competitive on all fronts, (writing, recording, mixing, mastering, promoting, performing) and the person(s) paying the studio bill usually gets the final word. This pretty much sums up the whole business - the artistic sensibilities fighting against the realities of big business.
  20. BobRogers

    BobRogers Well-Known Member

    Professional organizations setting standards to increase collaboration is a good thing, but setting standards as either rent seeking or as a barrier to entry is wrong. And the problem with the loudness wars isn't the mastering engineers (either pro or DIY). The problem is the public WANTS more compressed records. My point above wasn't to criticize pro MEs for sonic brick records. My point is that its wrong to criticize the DIY crowd. DIY mastering is a result of the volume wars - not a cause.

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