Mixing Forum and Contests

Discussion in 'Tracking / Mixing / Editing' started by audiokid, Nov 16, 2011.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I'm thinking about leasing an audio server for a dedicated mix forum.

    We have enough members here that would support this. I would charge a monthly or yearly fee for those wanting to take part. On top of using it to share tracks for problem based learning (PBL), we could run mix contests every so often to really step it up. I know sponsors will support this.

    There are other opportunities that should evolve.

    • Band or artist may pay for a winning mix.
    • Additional extension of this could include a Freelance section.

    I'm tossing around idea's right now.
    • Does this interests you?
    • Do you have any ideas?
    • What do you feel would be a reasonable fee for this service?
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    I'm not so terribly certain that a fee-based server would make you much? After all, most folks here post their home recordings on numerous free song posting websites such as Sound Cloud, etc.. Those of us with websites already, frequently post examples of our work. I haven't changed any of mine for a while since I have posted a full song mix on each one of my 1 of 6 pages at Home . Unfortunately, my greatest blunder was embedding it into my site. After building the site, I discovered only Microsoft Internet Explorer 7 or newer or, Google Chrome browsers could only play it. Firefox, Netscape, Safari, Opera don't seem to play it at all? And I've never done anything to fix that yet since I'm using crappy software to build the site with. I'm sure most of this is just operator error also? So, yup, inexperienced website developers like myself are just as incompetent as entry-level recording engineers are. Besides, if I really wanted to post something with a high level of quality, it would be at least 16 bit, 44.1 kHz, uncompressed. And in that respect, perhaps your server would be the ticket? Thankfully we are more audio and video here and as a result, we could take up just as much bandwidth with our audio as compared to a FLASH or MP 4, MP 2, MP3 which is all compressed blah blah with all of its lovely little underwater artifacting. Of course starting with tracks that don't have 15 kHz flyback transformer horizontal sync in them helps before compression.

    The board is out on this even though it's still working
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  3. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    Tracks for contests should be 16 or 24 bit /44.1 with a track count limit. I don't see a problem with higher quality compressed tracks but then like you say, those can be posted in a lot of places.
    Members could post files on their own website but you need a common meeting place for the sponsor(s) and the engineers to make this work. To make it worth while, the prizes need to be pretty good.
    Shared servers wouldn't allow many audio downloads either.
  4. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I think this is a great idea. I've been meaning to suggest this. It might also be worthwhile to consider a yearly compilation. I don't know if that should be paid or free for donation. A paid option might bring a lot of copyright issues to question. It would be a great way to advertise though for participants. You might consider it a contest in itself to be featured on a year end compilation or even a seasonal compilation. Is four a year too much. Just thinking out loud here.
  5. vttom

    vttom Active Member

    Hey, I checked out your page. NICE! I recognize Bush, General Public, and Soul Asylum. Very cool bands.
  6. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Thanks Tom. That's but a small smattering of some of my more recent work in the past 20 years. All of which was recorded on the 32 input Sphere Eclipse C and the 36 input Neve along with 16 API preamps from the 3124m's. The second cut under the production page is Groove Junction. This was actually a barbecue party on the front lawn NBC-TV Washington DC. This was a local band that included one of the engineers in the building who had played with some notable urban contemporary R&B Bands. This was an 8 track recording utilizing my API 3124's into a DA 88 and mixed later in my truck. The API 3124's can actually work like active splitters since they had a 1/4 inch & XLR output for each preamp. The additional outputs were fed into the Yamaha PM 700 PA mixer. And that was with a hell of a lot of RF radiation from being right beneath our tower. The third cut under Services is the very first remote done in 1991. The truck was not yet finished on this 93° day and as such, I had no air conditioning yet. So the temperature was well over 100° inside the control room. Plus, many inputs were still dysfunctional & intermittent and as a result, numerous microphones on the drum set were out. Thankfully, I had a single Crown PZM 10 feet above the drummer taped to the ceiling. And everything you hear with the exception of the second cut is all coming off of the secondary of active & transformer microphone splitters. They say those will screw up your audio. Yeah? Really? With the exception of the barbecue party, these were all live FM & MTV Broadcasts. So no mastering performed here. Glad you liked them. The Bush, Soul Asylum & General Public all required 40 simultaneous inputs. And we also had a complete video control room set up in the truck as well in the middle combo room which you can see one of those productions on my site. So I designed the truck for more than just audio. When I did the Counting Crows, the middle room was used as the disc jockey control room. During the intermission at the Meriwhether Post Pavilion, Adam came into the truck to be interviewed by a DJ for the FM station. So while these jobs can really knock you on your ass, they're still a lot of fun.

    56 and not done having fun yet
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  7. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I don't see an issue with copyrights anymore either because you all would have to sign something depending if it was yours to use or not. Contest tracks would be from the people that want their tracks done, Plain and Simple. And, its all just good advertising for whomever song it was. Look at all the songs on YouTube now.

    Best mix wins. A giveaway wouldn't be for the song, it would be for how well they mixed it. I don't see a copyright issue from this POV, do you now?

    Three parties win here.

    1. The band/artist get a great mix for free
    2. The engineer gets a great prize for mixing
    3. The sponsor gets a great plug
    The tracks would have to be originals or have full rights to use them for this.

    If a band wanted to pay, they would simply say we want to pay someone to mix this and the best mix wins. The band or artist would also choose the winner. And this of course, would have nothing to do with anyone but client and artist. This is no different than any other service agreement.
  8. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Actually this contest is based upon a business plan I had for my Remote Truck. My business plan is really only applicable at the larger entertainment venues & large nightclubs. Remote Truck's are all but a dead business today. So, the plan here is somewhat multifaceted in its execution. Since not many trucks can command $1500 per night for a local band to record live, I'll record the band for free. But to do that, I need to receive a cover charge of at least $10 US at the door. Everyone coming in will then be entitled to a free CD or, DVD of that evening's performance in which they attended. They also get that recording at the end of the evening. They don't get the recording and it is not mailed out if they leave early. This keeps them drinking & eating, keeps the crowd larger, until the end of the evening. If I cannot collect a cover at the door, the secondary plan is to take orders from people in the audience for that evenings recording in which they get at the end of the evening. An arrangement will have to be made for a minimum order of at least 50 at $10 each. At least that way, I can sort of break even. And, the band gets a superb live stereo recording and/or video, for free. If the ban does not care for the actual mix, they can later book time with me for remixing purposes. Or, if they should so choose, they can purchase the 24 track hard disk drive from me for a couple of hundred dollars. Now this plan is not quite applicable to bands that may have recording contracts with a record label? But it is certainly a desirable thing for a nightclub owner and is a win-win for the band as they have full rights to the recording to do anything they see fit with. Of course, it would be good to have some kind of contractual legality for me if the recording goes viral or to a record company. But right now, like the rest of my professional career, you get paid by the job and that's all. That means no royalties. I can live with that because I have my entire professional life. Even some of my more successful professional recordings that even garnered Grammy & Soul Train music award nominations for "best engineered", never had any kind of royalty arrangement for me. That's okay but not great. It's just the way it is. Besides I don't care much for legal wrangling. If I work I get paid. If I don't I don't. Of course if anybody came to me that I knew had a fairly substantial record contract, everything would be different. But I am trying to cater to the struggling musicians and not just the superstars. For the superstars, there is a different arrangement for those folks. There has to be. And leasing the truck to them for extended periods of time at a preferred location would also be doable for those folk's that have the financial wear for all to do so. Then instead of them going to the big studio to lock out a studio, for an extended period of time, just to track and record on vintage all transistor Neve & API consoles can now be delivered directly to their house or, I meant to say mansion. And that would require a different contract altogether. In those situations, they can also bring in their own engineers as I would be nothing more than the facilities manager/owner/A 2. If they like my engineering, all the better. I think they will. I'm that kind a good and accomplished. But here in this mid-Atlantic Balto Wash void, everybody seems collectively stupid and you can't fix stupid. The typical comment I've heard from most bands in this area who play all of the time locally, is that they feel that they are not accomplished enough to make live recordings. And I believe they are correct. This is not an entertainment region of the United States, other areas are. So I am seriously considering relocating to Nashville. Although I've never been there and have to go for a couple of weeks and really check the place out. Because of our current economy, it may be no better than anywhere else in the world today. That fact we all have to face. My friend Kooster McCallister, owner of the Record Plant Remote recording trucks told me at this years AES that the remote truck industry is now a thing of the past. I currently still refuse to believe that is 100% true. And that's because he is the high-priced spread and I am the margarine that's less expensive yet still tastes like butter since I really have the butter. So it's a pie dream business plan as most of my business plans have been. Somewhat successful but not as successful as we all hope for ourselves. Still, I have no complaints, I've had a great, interesting, fabulous career. And if it's over? I'll find something else to do in my industry since my background and experiences are so broad. Because of the current economy, it almost doesn't make any matter or difference that I have incredible qualifications, if the industry cannot support the glut of engineers. It all has to do with supply and demand which seems to be diminishing because of the economy and technologies. Still, few people can deliver what I can and for the price that I'm willing to do it at.

    I know I ramble too much
    Mx. Remy Ann David
  9. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    I think the mobile truck business is gone too Remy but I don't think freelance engineering or vintage gear is dead. I think its the same throughout the entire world because of technology, period. And its going to become more so. My StudioLive 24.4.2 console is a great indication of this to me. What a great mobile system for $3500.00 .

    I think your niche is the Neve and your know how. I do see the trend for analog growing. Where it all settles in the DAW world mix, is still unknown but I don't think we've seen the new analog boom yet. Analog summing and hybrid products are just getting going. The professional studios are going to be bringing that to the mix. Some vintage gear is going to be gold. ITB is cracker jacks and generic . That's my take on it.

    I don't think Nashville is the answer for the mobile truck business but it may be for you and your Neve in some other way.
  10. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Well-Known Member

    Thanks BT, I only hope so.


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