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I am surprised there aren't A&Rs on this site communicating looking for talent.

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by Drizm, Apr 13, 2011.

  1. Drizm

    Drizm Active Member

    Any particular reason you don't have A&Rs on this site looking for talent with the people that record it everyday? just a question.
  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    There isn't A&R anywhere anymore. That day is pretty well done.
  3. Drizm

    Drizm Active Member

    So they don't actively Look for talent anymore?
  4. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    They don't look at internet bulletin boards for it. For the largest of labels there may be some dude sitting behind a computer screen watching Youtube but I doubt to much of that happens either. Since the money has dwindled so much in actual physical media product the A&R departments have dwindled just as much. And everything is so cookie cutter and crappy sounding on the radio, they look more at the face than at the substance.
  5. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    As a rough estimate: there are only a tenth of the A&Rs left, we had in the early 90's.
    And when I look at the huge pile of cow's husband's excrements they brought to the listeners, it is no wonder, either.
    A part of this misery is certainly the lack of courage and innovation onbehalf of the labels, as well.
  6. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    They should but as Rainer said, there aint no balls on that cow.....

    I have projects that deserve backing.....But theres no vision past the desk in the office these days. If it doesnt have tits or look halfway androgenous they figure it wont sell. AND they tell the general public that THIS is what you're going to listen to.

    Talentless twaddle.
  7. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Every word +1

    I could cry when I look at the pile of CDs I, or some of my friends here, have produced over the years.
    There are jewels amongst them that could/should make it into the charts, but there is no Major or other Label
    who wants to spend the cash to promote a new, yet unknown, band or music style.
    I wished for a superior ultimate authority that publishes the good and valuable music over the crap comming
    from all sides. The consumer is hopelessly swamped and totally spoiled by the constant stream of garbage and
    alienated to clean and natural sounding instruments and music, thanks to poor sounding productions and the use of earplugs and mp3s.
    A few week ago a wealthy but not necessarly good producer and engineer said: If it sounds shitty we give it some more distortion...that's art, then...
  8. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Start of Rant...

    Music has become banal. The general public uses music for background noise in their daily lives. They seldom sit and listen to it. A lot of people have never heard music on a good sound system. They think what they are listening to off their MP3 player in their "ear buds" is the real deal.

    Until music becomes important again as it was in the 50s, 60s and 70s the music industry will continue its downward spiral. Why is it that more and more people are buying music from the 60s, 70s and early 80s and NOT buying current releases? Could it be that music really moved people back then with real emotions? Today the music is LOUD, DISTORTED and the repetitive lyrics are buried in a morass of noise. People complain that the music hurts their ears. Who would want to listen to something that is painful to listen to.

    If the music industry wants to regain their former glory a couple of things have to happen.

    1. People who pirate music have to be caught and if their "crime" is large enough they have to be punished. If that happens to a few high profile people others may think twice about pirating. Trying to lock up music will not work. Copy protection schemes are broken before the first CD using it comes out. People use to have morals but I guess that is a thing of the past. Record companies kept raising the price of CDs even when there was no reason to do so. They were competing against DVDs that provided up to 8 hours of entertainment for the same price but the record companies never met the challenge. Where in the past the record companies had ten really good songs on a CD they now started putting two or three good songs on a CD and the rest were fillers. The buying public caught on pretty quickly and that is when a lot of piracy started - not because of anything evil but people did not want to pay for fillers so it was easier to download music they wanted to listen to off a server.

    2. Record companies need to get back in touch with who really listens to their music. Focus groups and hand picked listeners are NOT who is really listening to the music. They need to get A&R people out in the field and find out what is going on. They don't need to sit in their corporate offices wondering why they are not selling any music. Any fool can tell them that. They also need to fire anyone who is not 100% with the idea of making GREAT music. A degree in business is very nice but says nothing about how committed the person is to making music part of the lives of their customers.

    3. Record companies need to start funding new talent as they once did. The idea of making a band from 4 independent people was a BAD idea when it was first tried and has not gotten better with age.

    4. Record companies need to stop trying to sell their music by using ***. Lady GaGa maybe ***y but she surely is NOT a musician. Music should be able to stand on its own and not have to be wrapped up in ***y outfit to sell. Putting meat on Lady GAGA may have been a good publicity stunt but what did it do for her music????

    5.We need more entrepreneurs like Barry Gordy who knew his audience and knew what they liked and was able to provide it. Maybe it is a time for the record companies to put some money into a fund that will reward entrepreneurs and start making music something that is part of people's lives and not just background noise.

    6. We need to get people to really listen to music again - not on MP3 players but on real sound systems that provide a good representation of what the music is all about. Vinyl is making a huge comeback and hopefully that means that people will be sitting and listening to music again since they can't take it with them.

    7. Anyone in the recording, mixing a mastering professions needs to stand up for the best possible technical quality at the same time professional musicians need to strive for the best music they can write or perform. A lot of what passes for music today is done cheaply and without much thought or professionalism in its creation. It is time to get back to basics. Good music, well written and performed and recorded mixed and mastered by someone who KNOWS what they are doing and who CARES about how things sound.

    8. We need to end the loudness race. It was never a good idea and has IMHO ruined music.

    9. There has to be a lot more collaboration between all parties when it comes to creating music.

    10. We are all in this together. We all need to do our best. It is not us against them. It is us WITH them.

    Have a GREAT day - End of Rant!!!
  9. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    Good rant!!
    Go on... we think the same...
  10. judochop

    judochop Active Member

    i disagree with much said here and no i dont like lady gaga, but some of you sound like my grandpa with the way you complain about music these days... seriously get with the times and be realistic, not bitter and angry

    there are no A&R on this site because look around yourself.... do YOU see any outstanding talent that just needs financial backing? cuz i dont

    i see a bunch of old bitter guys complaining about how shitty music is these days... this is not what A&R reps are looking for, NOT AT ALL

    its called changing times, if you think good music is all over... then FOR YOU it really is and you should quit now before it gets even 'worse'
  11. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Perhaps. And perhaps not.

    What is your experience with A&R? Most people that make statements like that don't know how the industry works now or in the past. A teenager sitting in a bedroom dreaming of making it big only wants to hear that some label is going to pick them up and dump a bunch of resources and money into their project. And that is without any judgement of the quality of whatever project that might be.

    Reality is just that. If you are hoping for A&R you aren't on the track to succeed in today's market/industry.
  12. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I grew up and lived through one of the best periods of music IMAGINABLE. Obviously from your statements you did not.

    It is hard to judge what is GOOD music if you don't have anything to compare it to. Some kid in their basement does some recording and posts it on the WWW. He thinks he has "arrived" in the music business. He also posts that this is fuc!ing amazing and he is super proud of it. Only the test of time will tell whether what he did will survive. I dare say we will still be listening to music that was done in the 50s, 60s and 70s long after anyone even remembers any of the "pop" performers doing music today.

    Think of classical music. Music that was composed 200 to 300 years ago and STILL played today. That is staying power.Most of the stuff done 10 years ago is being forgotten already.

    I, for one, am not bitter but my livelihood and many others depends on the music business and it just "ain't happening" anymore. Who is to blame???? Lots of what I hear today sounds like crap and is overly compressed and overly distorted. What kind of "music" needs this treatment? Lots of musicians today are literally driving away their audience with overly distorted and badly done recording and mastering. If you are trying to attract listeners why not take the time and trouble to do things the right way?

    If you like what is being performed and recorded today - GREAT. Lets see how it stands the test of time. When you get to be my age and none of it is around then maybe you will understand what I am saying.

    FWIW and YMMV
  13. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member


    You forget yourself, young dude...

    We are at the spot where it is done and no one is any closer... We know the A&Rs and we know what happened to them, we know, many good ones left before the ship's rats.
    We have fought with and against bands, musicians, labels, producers, bankruptcy more then once and we are still there to help, educate and coach the folks to get better and to
    produce a better CD as they ever could by themselves.
    The idea of merging musicians to form an artificial band with external compositions has proven a bad idea in most cases, but still continnued in the industry. No wonder they stall and tumble.
    We are not bitter nor angry, just more on the bottom to realty. I know many bands who deserved to be somewhere on the music olympus, but aren't even listet, anywhere.
    If you must say for yourself that you don't know any band, at all, that deserved to be sponsored and produced it is a pathetic display... you have not been around much.
    Open ears and be amazed.... so many styles, rhythms, colours... life is great!!
  14. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I not 'complaining' I'm pointing out the truth. Apparently you cant handle the truth while these "old bitter guys" have all lived well over half their lives pursuing this dream and doing all we can to make it happen for us as well as for young talent.

    So theres a very different perspective when you've seen your dreams and efforts turned to $*^t by corporate greed and lust. You think this is "changing times" when you have no clue where its been, how it grew and how its changed. The nature of this business has turned into a howling shitstorm of crap being spewed from machinery built and maintained for one reason only and thats the bottom line for the investors. It has ZERO to do with music. It is simply a business model and the so-called music is simply reduced to a product of dubious quality.

    If you control the means to influence peoples choices in something as personal as a song, then you control their tastes and their ability to choose what they want.
    Here's where the sticky point begins. Theres a big revolution happening now. People have rebelled against the business model and have chosen to only choose sub-sections of the choices available, and technology has allowed them this ability to do so in small increments.

    No CD sales??? SurPRISE SURPRISE!!! Unless you've been paying attention to the route this business has been directed. The greed has finally gotten in the way of things and now the bigs are reeling with no direction and nothing to anchor to. The quality was bled out years ago so theres no backbone in the corpse and it will eventually collapse into itself. But until then we are stuck with the unimaginative pablum thats being spewed forth with no concern for the dignity and taste of the listeners.

    Bitter? What the F*$# do you know of bitter? "Hey Grandpa, its just life...." Go F&$# yerself until you get enough education to be able to discuss the business and pass judgement on those who have "been there, done that". We're the ones who are gonna save this for YOU and if you shut-up and listen long enough to learn something it might just make it better for you and everyone yet to come.
  15. judochop

    judochop Active Member

    alot of assumptions are being made on things ive made no comment on at all...
    so if you read my post, my points are that you probably wont be finding talent on forums, and that you guys are royally pissed about many many things...
    this remains true

    on topic:
    the originals posters question comes from a skewed place as there are no "A&R reps" out there doing stuff like scouring a forum, if you think this through long and hard, you will see its not something thats reasonable for many many reasons
    overall A&R is a dying breed, labels as a whole are becoming more and more worthless to the artist as time goes on
  16. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I read your post.
    I dont think I missed any part of your pointless reply to people who have invested their lives and their livelihoods in something that has taken a grim turn for the worse.

    As for there not being any talent around here, you couldnt be more wrong. This, however, is a site for people who are interested in making the recordings of music and sound, some of which may or may not be commercially viable according to someones opinion on a particular day.

    But the rest of your post was directed at folks who have certainly put a lot more into making this business something positive. Probably a lot more than you will ever accomplish.

    Yeah, I read your post.
  17. Big K

    Big K Well-Known Member

    I am sure you have not yet dived too deeply into the business.
    Your equipment list is prove of that. The thing is, that you have landed in a pro audio forum.
    People here often have decades of experience and knowledge that is nothing short of incredible.
    From building pro studios, technology, software, music, digital processing... you name it... and on top of that
    combined centuries of engineering and life experience. Most of them are top notch in that profession and proud of it and their achievements
    towards the music business and community. We are employers, musicians, producer, shrinks, Mothers & Fathers, educators and many are skilled
    craftsmen in on or more other job they learned before.

    you know, you just pissed at the wrong corner..... on the wrong day... and stuff your Behri>>> C1 mic in our faces.
    $*^t happens.... Peace from my side...
  18. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I don't have near the experience that some of these people have. To me that means my opinion doesn't hold much water. Either way, it's easy to see that the record companies are shooting themselves in the foot.

    Records had value beyond the music on the vinyl. I used to spend as much time looking at the cover and the sleeve and sometimes an insert as I did listening to the music. Often it was part of the experience of listening the album for the first time. The record is a piece of art and the effort that the artists put forth to congeal those ideas, those concepts into the final product was my connection to the band.

    This is their identity and they are sharing it with me through the music, the artwork, the lyrics on page, the font, the hand drawn, photographed, edited pictures. Buying an LP was more than the music. Not to mention the EFFORT that the band put in to writing the music, collaborating and PRACTICING the songs.

    A & R used to have a purpose. Artist development. That used to have meaning. It was more than just teaching the singer how to dance. It was getting the performance down before the studio session. It meant getting the band tight so that when they played live, people wouldn't complain that they suck on stage. They worked on something larger than the final product. They created an ideal. The band grew and became far better than the average garage band. And, when you bought their product it was sure to be something worthy of keeping in a temperature controlled, dust free environment. You kept it in pristine condition because it had value well beyond the vinyl it was etched into.

    What do you get for your money now? A crappy sounding MP3 and if you're happy enough to own an iPod, an image of the artist or their name. You could keep a back up copy but it's just as easily deleted. There is no real value. You don't bother to buy the whole "album" because you only know or like the one song. And, let's face it, half of it is composed by a computer. Sure there may be some musical knowledge involved but it's so contrived, processed and digitized that reproducing it on stage is just a matter of pressing play.

    Maybe there are some artists out there who make more of it than that but it's certainly a far cry from the superstar who practiced for years to get as good as he is. Light years away from the musician that changes it up on the fly when he's on stage. Real improvisation. How do you improvise with a sample? Play a different sample? There aren't many choices.

    I can't count myself along with some of these others but I have seen better times musically. The golden days are gone. The labels abused the artists and now they are left scraping the bottom of the barrel because anyone with talent doesn't want to get used or worse, get conformed into a corporate mold.
  19. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    It's a crapshoot, even still.

    One of my favorite local artists/clients has toiled in mediocrity for over a decade. And that's locally.
    But his music/voice/writing still moves me as much as any other music, to this day. It's a shame.

    I also did drums for a band that is on a huge upshoot. Major label interests, regional/national shows, and a spot on Carson Daly. Yeah, they're poppy. But they're also tight as it gets, uber-talented, and adventurous in their arrangements and instruments.

    There IS a bright side.
    Thomas - I'm right down the road for you, and this truly is a fertile field. The good music isn't gone. Getting the masses to appreciate it (or the band getting paid) is another story, like all of you have described.

    Maybe I'm fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time.
    It's people like those of you here who give me the faith to do the right thing (loudness wars?), and try and help foster and coax the talent around me to the best of my ability.

    I have faith in our efforts (and our clients). Do you?
  20. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    I personally have a lot of faith in my clients and in some of the new crop of musicians. They are ALL having problems getting noticed and getting paid as you said. It is a tough world out there today for musicians. One problem today, that they all share, is they seem to be fearful of not having all their music LOUD enough. It is like the lemmings going to the sea - they blindly follow the leader over the cliff. Everyone wants everything super LOUD. When I suggest maybe a bit softer or more dynamics they say go ahead but two days later they are back asking me to make their music "louder" so they can compete in the market place. Someone somewhere has to break this vicious cycle and maybe if someone put out a beautifully crafted album that was well done sonically and artistically and they returned to the days when the lyrics meant something the artist would get "noticed".

    This relentless quest for loudness is one of the things that is killing the music business.

    Music is suppose to be a form of communication between the artist and the listener but with the current loudness race it seem to me that all the artists are YELLING at the listeners and so the communication process becomes flawed. If they would turn it down a notch maybe they would find that the listeners are listening again.

    Cincinnati is a beautiful city on the Ohio River with a GREAT music scene. Cleveland Ohio is two hundred miles to the north with a screwed up music scene. We may have the Rock and Roll Museum but we don't have a lot of great places for musicians to try their wings and a lot of the bands that are here sound tired and seem to do an awful lot of cover tunes. The recording scene here is also dying a slow death because of the lack of local original talent. Maybe that will change - one can only hope.

    FWIW and YMMV

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