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State of Major Label recording

Hey guys, been snooping around the forums for a little while and have an important question for you.

I am considering going to Berklee college of music in a year or so and I am torn between double majoring in Performance and Music Production and Engineering, or Performance and Music Buisness and Management. I Would MUCH rather double in Performance and Music production because I find the Music Production aspect of music more interesting then the business side. My question to you is: Would it be a wise decision to depend upon getting a degree in music prod. and engineering from Berklee and be able to get a job at a recording studio once out of school? Is that a reliable job source? I know that the state of the major label recording industry is poor because of the advent of technology which allows for people to do it at home and not even bother with going to a major label.

Would a job at a recording studio in LA, NYC, or Boston, MA be a good thing to fall back on if the 'Performance' side of things doesn't quite work out? I need something that is full proof so I don't wind up on the street.

Thanks!
- Nick

Comments

RemyRAD Fri, 01/19/2007 - 12:12

Dear Nick, the state of the industry is in a huge flux as you have already observed. Those large studios that you mention in NYC, LA, etc., are largely closing up and some of the biggest powerhouses have already gone out of business. It's sad.

Although I don't think it's completely unrealistic about getting a job in a studio, it's more important to be resourceful. Most of us have built our own studios, or know somebody else who has. So again, it's a lot of " who you know". You still need to be very good at what you do and be competitive. You need to make sure that your "eye's" are crossed. And your "titty's" dotted. Do the math. 22 divided by 7. Let me know your answer?

Still, if you want to make an impression, "I need something that is full proof so I don't wind up on the street." FOOL! That is the proof! Poof! You're the fool and already on the street!

36+ year veteran fool, in from the cold.
Ms. Remy Ann David

Thomas W. Bethel Sat, 01/20/2007 - 05:53

10 years ago I would have said that getting into the recording business was a good idea. Today is is a CRAP SHOOT at best and downright disheartening at the worst. The whole music industry is in a turmoil and things are definitely not what the were 10 years ago. A good business degree is always a good door opener. Back that up with good people skills and you probably can get a job in most any industry. RemyRAD is right on the money as usual.

jonyoung Sat, 01/20/2007 - 07:00

I think we're witnessing the labels going the way of the dinosaurs and buggy whips. The model is changing and being reinvented by all of us with the advent of affordable gear and retail outlets like iTunes. I don't think the majors will completely disappear, but indie production definitely has a portion of the pie now. Suits me fine, since more artists can feasably afford to record a project than in years past.

anonymous Tue, 01/23/2007 - 09:08

It's an interesting question, and while top recording studios and record labels may close their doors in time due to the increased competition from independent online channels, good bands will always seek the assistance of a producer/engineer who knows what they are doing. It may be cheap and easy to mix your own songs at home, but every band that wants to sell themselves should always invest in professional studio time.

I'm sure if you could get some experience in live sound engineering as well, then your skill set would allow you to diversify within general music production. Bands may not feel like they need recording studios, but they always need a sound engineer when playing live!

RemyRAD Tue, 01/23/2007 - 21:55

Just because I can diagnose most mechanical problems with my car, doesn't mean I want to do the repair work myself. So in that respect, I'll pay somebody else to fix it but at the same time, tell them what I want in a professional and comprehensible manner.

So even though the dynamics of the professional audio business is changing, good professional engineers will always have a place but not necessarily a consistent job. I'm, these days, a freelancer. Which is a euphemism for unemployment. Sometimes it's feast. Most of the time it's famine. And just like a junkie, I've always got this equipment monkey on my back. I'm always looking for that magic fix of a new piece of hardware that will send me into aural orgasms.

Thank goodness I can sell my body for that special microphone!
Ms. Remy Ann David

anonymous Sun, 02/04/2007 - 13:00

no doubt the music industry is going or has gone (but hopefully not) to shit, though why is it such a tragedy for people to want to do some variation on "home recording?" it is to which the level of this variation occurs that is the important aspect. i admit that certain digital recordings are alright, i have heard many that are in all honesty good recordings (off the top of my head a perfect circle, green day - warning, joe satriani). but the experiences i have even with a cd that was recorded on reel to reel and converted is so much better and more wholesome.

no doubt vinyl is awesome, but i have no problem with the way cd's were created in the late 80's and early 90's. the career titles associated with a recording studio mean nothing, its not rocket science and its much more about having a keen sense of producing any form of music rather than technical ability. people whom i feel are good are those like eddie kramer (his work is harbored on hendrix, who arguably did more groundbreaking recording techniques than the beatles though it was never translated to the mass reproductions of his stuff and kiss, a band who is never respected nearly as much as they should be for their recording legacy), jimmy page - self produced musician, bob rock - probably doesn't know a whole lot about "engineering," but knows how to produce music.

i often find it interesting that people like alan parsons, and george martin never really worked with that many people, and i consider them to be quite lucky to work with the musicians that they did.

there is nothing wrong with bands wanting to produce their own music. how many people have technically "home" recorded in the past? red hot chili peppers recorded in jimmy page/aliester crowley's old house was it? judas priest recorded in ringo starr/john lennon's home studio. bat out of hell was recorded in todd rundgren's studio. the beastie boys were recorded in rick rubin's college dorm. as long as the artist pays attention to the physics and psychoacoustics of sound its all in fair production. besides i blame the widespread acceptance of rap (even though i like plenty of 'genuine' rap artists) for the advent of synthetic music, not necessarily the advent of home studios.

anonymous Sun, 02/04/2007 - 16:12

Sometimes I have to wonder though, are the big studios really going out of busines primarily because of the competitition from the home recording market, or is it caused by more complex factors.

My little pet theory is that big and especially mid sized studios are failing, not just because of the market, but because they are being run in a crappy and inefficient manner.

I see two contributory factors:

(1) I think a lot of studio owners are just running themselves into debt because the owners have an inability to stay on a realistic budget. This is a field of "eye candy" and eye candy costs money. Its not just the equipment, but the physical appearance of the studios also. Studio owners want nicer studios than they can afford to buy or rent, and they want to decorate them so lavishly.

(2) I think the botique market has a major role to play in destroying the studio field.

Its ironic that botique equipment market has such a symbiotic relationship to the audio recording field. We need each other. We both gain. Thats the free market. However, it also seems that the botique manufacturers are like a bunch of blood sucking parasites who want to make a buck at all costs, even if they know that its going to lead to somebody elses destruction.

The price for a lot of this botique equipment is artificially inflated, and too much snake oil crap is being peddled, though its really no different than all the other snake oil thats peddled in this world.... thats just marketing hype... The audio field is absolutely no different in this regard.

Simply put, its all this botique equipment crap which is like "crack" or "heroin" to us audio folks. $3,000++ compressors, preamplifiers and microphones are our drug of choice, our "fix", and we are all diseased.

Well not all of us are infected. Some people manage to maintain a very responsible and level head in this field and know the boundaries of what kind of equipment is really necessary.

Other people (and I put myself in this category) are diseased, and pontificating buying equipment is like our drug fix. Its like or Home Shopping Network binge.... buying crap we dont really need, and with every purchase, we drive ourselves further and further into the debt hole. This is why the studio field is in the decline, I hypothesize. Snake oil salesman selling their crap at inflated prices... and stupid businessmen who get suckered in by the snake oil peddlers and buy their drugs, I mean botique equipment.

MadMax Sun, 02/04/2007 - 19:03

OK... I'll play...

It's the best of times and the worst of times...

It's no longer a majority of music being played by musicians who either have a love for the music or who have a message in their soul...

There's two ugly sides to it... It's about fame and fast money... and... It's about the margin. It's a business of profit and loss statements.

The consumer has been told it's fine to steal from the creator and that it's perfectly fine to make the artists starve... they're too rich anyway. The consumer market is too stupid to understand the economics... They believe Wrestling is real, too!

The lure of easy money has been compounded by the advent of cheap technology and promises of an easy walk to stardom and fame.

The technology has cheapened the value of the art, artist and the whole creative process. But unlike the home organs of the past, the computing tools allow the complete absense of musical skill or ability to bypass the single greatest aspect of creating music. There is no longer a self culling process whereby true artists seperate from those who have limited talent. It's now a completely level playing field.

The technology has changed so rapidly that the typical 5-10 year business investment of a studio has become the deathknell of the 5 year lease and $1 buy out.

To stay competitive... e.g. marginal skillsets of any schmuk who hangs a shingle out there... the poor skuts are having dilusions that there really IS some magic piece of gear that wil propel them into the mainstream of the industry where upon a spotlight will hit them and they shall be saved from the wolves of the credit lenders.

The vultures from the little manufacturers are claiming "this way to fame"... and some of the idiots buy into it... they who listen deserve what they get.

It takes nads to be in this cat-fight... and better chops. You need to realize that this industry is dying a horrible death. It's a death like no other industry shall probably see in another 50 years (except the auto industry) because within the death there WILL be a rebirth.

It will be a birth of a wider duality. On one side will be media. The other shall be artistic creativity. One commercial, the other very small and very private.

There will be windows whereby the private side shall be able to pass through. "So what's the difference between now and then?" you ask... the size of the conglomerate gatekeepers controlling the access.

Thanx to (de)regulation, the likes of Unclear Channel and maybe... MAYBE one or two other corporations will control 90 percent of the access to all of the commercial over the air broadcast media.

Which means that the competition will be a conundrum of of attempts to manipulate and control the likes of the international community of the internet.

In order to rise above the cacaphony, you will need to be in the limelight... to make it into the limelight, you must go through a much higher priced gate or succomb to the lower ranks within the internet.

The internot will yield a few larger ports which will probably eventually succomb to the pressures and payoff from the Unclear Supercorp.

It will take some time, maybe another 5 years, but eventually, there will be little availability of venues for bands to actually perform, so the sale of music will eventually be limited to those entities who can maintain a presence on the web. Incomes will be scarce, but such is the way of the marketplace.

But everyone will have the ability to record their music and place it out there for the world to see... until none of the equipment manufacturers is making money... and the whole thing collapses and the cycle will start over again.

anonymous Sun, 02/04/2007 - 22:03

you are quite the prophet. no doubt the advent of technology goes both ways. right now, the mass public is confused about how they should obtain their audio. the medium is trying too quickly to change, hopefully shit like the ipod (another reason to hate mac) will die as quickly as cassette did. i blame everybody for what occured through p2p downloading programs. not only was it the artist's fault for not producing anything worthwhile (both creatively and sonically) but its also the audience's fault for buying ignorantly into synthetic "music" and for themselves not holding SOME sense of sonic perfection to value.

most people don't realize the role technology played in rock and roll. i think a huge part of jimi hendrix's distinct sound (which changed electric guitar forever) was actually owed to the creation of marshall amps and obviously the use of cabinets and high wattage heads. i'm sure at the time electric guitar was seen as degrading. it still frustrates me for the classical musicians who credit proficiency on electric guitar as easier than acoustic. i don't think it's any easier than playing a flimsy little set of nylons.

although i don't like your pro wrestling analogy, because anyone who seriously feels the need to point out that its fake has some sort of issue, i will diagnose that in freudian terms. wrestling is fake? nice insight, genius

there is a piece of gear out there that despite all the ass clowns its allowed for in the mainstream, every artist truly can (and most know this) benefit from using it, and its called pro tools. even as a good musician you would be lying if you denied dynamic processing procedure (even though most times dynamic processors are used for colouring your sound over doing the actual process.) the anal classical and jazz musicians can kiss ass. either that or they can try maybe integrating one ounce of creativity and ingenuity into their sound instead of doing their best to commit to the boundaries of a genre.

i could very much see a modern downfall in music similar to what happened to classical music. i don't think there is anything wrong with the death of former institutions like the typical recording studio situation or where radio is going. i don't like listening to idiots on the radio talk about the stupid shit they talk about. i'd rather just have some archive like xm radio. who cares if its owned by one company. an extensive archive would be nice.

i find it funny that MTV (Music television) plays maybe an hour of music a day if that. to me that is the most ridiculous aspect and tell tale sign of the times.

in my opinion, live venues are or have been dead for a while. why else is it the preconceived notion that you have to go to LA or NY to make it.

the web and most other forms of technology can work in a positive direction however, i think everyone on this engineering forum knows that. it just takes the proper motivation from all parties involved. not only is it the artist's responsibility, it is also the audience's.

to me, the engineer doesn't mean technical rigour as much as it means having a knack for listening to music and knowing how it should be produced (most "engineers" might tell you that this is called a producer). basically the moral of the whole thing is to be a good and intent listener

hueseph Sun, 02/04/2007 - 23:59

MadMax wrote: They believe Wrestling is real, too!

The lure of easy money has been compounded by the advent of cheap technology and promises of an easy walk to stardom and fame.

The technology has cheapened the value of the art, artist and the whole creative process. But unlike the home organs of the past, the computing tools allow the complete absense of musical skill or ability to bypass the single greatest aspect of creating music. There is no longer a self culling process whereby true artists seperate from those who have limited talent. It's now a completely level playing field.

What? Wrestling is fake?!

On the other hand I think you nailed it with the technology, though I don't think the playing field is nearly level now. By far success is leaning to those who are marketable. If the look is right, if the allure is right, talent and music can be bought or synthesised.

anonymous Mon, 02/05/2007 - 00:19

hueseph wrote:

On the other hand I think you nailed it with the technology, though I don't think the playing field is nearly level now. By far success is leaning to those who are marketable.

If the look is right, if the allure is right, talent and music can be bought or synthesised.

Speaking of... this would be a good time to bring up that YouTube video. Dont know how many people have seen it.

Aptly entitled "How To Create A Sexy Pop Star".

Sadly.... I think thats the way it really is, and the makers of this film didnt have to exaggerate to get their point across.

anonymous Mon, 02/05/2007 - 01:36

you tube is a great place to find video clips of the best musicians in the world. these virtuosos shredding in their bedroom. though in a bit different manner, these people also contribute to the demise of musical sanctity. ideosyncracies are as important to contributing to style character as technicality is. thus the spaces in between the notes are as important as the notes themselves.

Thomas W. Bethel Mon, 02/05/2007 - 06:42

Professional equipment has NEVER been cheap. I go back to the days of the multitrack Ampex, Scully and MCI tape recorders that sold for as much as a car would today. I also go back to Neumann and AKG microphones that sold for THOUSANDS of dollars. It is not the cost of the equipment it is how you can make it work for you to earn you money.

In the "old days" if you had a recording studio you had quite a bit invested in it. You had the equipment (none of it cheap) you had a physical space (rent or buy it was not cheap especially in NY or LA) and you had the amount of money you had to spend to make it into a recording studio (again NOT CHEAP) so maybe if you started small with a 4 channel recording studio with a voice over booth and a drum booth you could get by for X number of dollars. You sold time in the studio and you paid your bills. When you had enough business you expanded in to more studios and a higher track count and kept paying your bills.

Musicians who wanted to record themselves for records came to you and you provided them a service. The musicians were fairly charged for that service and you, as a studio owner, made a good income. Then the MEGA studios opened and in order to justify their cost they had to charge really insane rates which the record companies were more than happy to pay since this was a drop in the bucket for them when it came to profits they were making on the artist. So everything seemed to be going well.

Then a couple of things happened. 1) companies such as TASCAM and MACKIE started producing equipment for the prosumer or garage band that wanted to record themselves and not have to pay for studio time. 2) people started making copies of their record collections on to cassettes and open reel tapes (there was a slight quality loss but the people doing the copying were not concerned with that).

Then DIGITAL revolution came along and people could, with their computers, make exact copies of their CD collection and as long as they had the CD on their computer they decided to let other people have copies so the P2P networking was established. Record companies lost millions of dollars in revenues because they were not selling as many CDs. People were illegally copying them and sharing them without paying the record companies or the artist. So record companies pulled back and started to reduce budgets for recordings and at the same time suggested that the bands they were signing get its own equipment and start doing their own recording thereby saving the record company LOTS more money. At the same time record companies started not signing new acts due to the lack of money for development and bands and artists started doing self promotion and became indie artists since it was the only way their music could be heard.

A couple of other things also happened along the way. Where in the old days you had lots of good listen-able songs on an album now you only had maybe two or three songs you really liked and so you would only copy those on to a new CD along with other songs from other artist and instead of buying a whole CD with 2 good songs and 14 fillers you got stuff off the web or from friends or later from ITUNES.

In the old days you purchased your instruments and sheet music from a local music store which also offered lessons and sold accessories. These were local merchants that had ties to the community and besides teaching and selling music supplies also were a place to meet other musicians. That too was about to change big time. Two things happened in rapid succession. The universal access to the WWW for most people in America and the rise of the super stores like Sam Ash and GC which offered prices that were sometimes below what the local music store could purchase their goods from the manufacturer. So the individual family owned music store started disappearing and at the same time places like Borders and Best Buy started offering CDs and cassettes at good prices with lots of selection which in most cases meant that the local record shop (again with ties to the community and a place to ask questions) also started going out of business. So now people were able to purchase their musical instruments and the recording equipment to do it themselves at very low prices and were able with the WWW to trade P2P with people throughout the US and world wide.

All of these factors converged about 10 years ago and what is happening today is what this convergence did to the music industry as we now know it.

In the past ten years most if not all of the independent record stores have gone the way of the dodo bird. The number of independent music stores is shrinking and they too will be extinct in a couple of years. The record companies now run by "business types" are more interested in their collective bottom line than producing good music. The Mega stores are in trouble as well as they have saturated the markets and people are not buying new equipment because they already have it all and when people go to NAMM they come back complaining that their is nothing NEW to see. And the reason for NO NEW PRODUCTS is because lots of manufacturers gave places like Sam Ash and GC prices that were literally too good to be true and their bottom lines started going negative which also meant that their was no money for R and D.

There are too many performers in this geographical area and not enought places for them to play so many bands and musician either have to guarantee their door sales or bascially pay to play. The bar owners know that there is an almost unlimited supply of musicans out there so if they pay slave wages or no wages at all they can still get people to play which has meant that bands and artist no longer have the cash to do recordings or buy new equipment

In this geographical area I have seen all the independent music stores closing down, I have seen all the independent record stores go out of business, I have seen two local retailers who were very strong into the the MI market go belly up, our independent professional audio products retailer who had been in business from the 60's just went belly up and the couple of CD duplicators in this area are having real hard times competing and one maybe closing their doors soon. It is not a pretty picture and I am not sure where this will all end. There are always new recording studios opening up but there are more closing down and some of them have been in business for years. It is not that they had bad business models it is just that no one has the money to use them anymore.

Hopefully a new music business will, like the mythical Phoenix, rise out of the ashes and be reborn but I kinda doubt it.

What tomorrow will bring is anyone's guess........

FWIW

Davedog Mon, 02/05/2007 - 08:53

Good points Tom and succinctly put.

A corporation has but one real function and that is the bottom line for its investors. The music business as a whole has always been one based on the creativity of its membership, and as far as I have been able to discern these MANY years, creativity and black numbers at the bottom of a ledger dont really hang out and have beers together.

In my time, I remember being in moderately successful bands, ie: we got paid to play....and living in houses where you did everything, rehearsed, recorded, jammed, picked up girls, etc etc... In short, you could do well enough to continue the creative process which, by and large, is what built the rep of the band, caused people to flock to the gigs, got interest from labels, fueled the whole thing right along to its natural conclusion ie: breakup over creative differences, lack of direction, internal hassles etc etc.

The economics of todays world cannot support that scene. The record companies do NOT support the building of the creativity that would allow a group to rise through real talent and desire, it simply doesnt fit into the bottom line for the investors. There is no R&D as there was when music took off to reach its heighth.

The real crusty part of it is this......Due to todays technology boom, it would be such an easy and inexpensive (relatively) thing to do. Going back to an R&D based industry would probably turn up musical gems like the world has yet to hear.....a 'new Beatles' !!! Perhaps.....

Alas, its not going to happen any time soon. The fear factor of the bigs and the extreme top heavy salaries and the costs of maintaining a major and still giving the investors a bottomline they can live with is killing the creative side. Why invest in talent when it can be created out of nothing with technology and pushed down the throats of the masses who have ZERO time to spend researching what kind of music they really like, through a media which has mooks running the show.

Its going to be up to the independants and the self-taught, the folks who are driven to make noises on some sort of recording media, the musicians who WILL play for nothing because its in their blood, the average joe who gets a wiff of actual 'new music' from some pirate station and passes its reality on to his friends, word of mouth people....word of mouth.

This is YOUR industry. Save it if you can. If you cant, then get out of the way because a bunch of us are going to try.

anonymous Mon, 02/05/2007 - 12:41

institutions like guitar center are both good and bad, i love the selection of it (and the lower prices, thank you for pointing that out) but i miss (or in my case have never experienced) genuine record or guitar shops with interesting pieces of equipment that you can't find in the run of the mill guitar center. as for the online situation, who cares? having an endless selection with cheaper prices on the web is great. its the same scenario as using XM radio.

i don't know if i would ever really say that record companies generally accept ingenuitive creative acts. most every good band i can think of was rejected a thousand times before they were ever even close to accepted. i guess im going to have to go with nietzsche on this one and credit this situation to society's inability (or oblivious nature) to understand true genius when it comes along.

this is of course without that notion of 'acceptance,' in which people feel comfortable flocking together with a herd of sheep and jumping on the bandwagon.

MadMax Mon, 02/05/2007 - 18:20

aqualand666 wrote: institutions like guitar center are both good and bad, i love the selection of it (and the lower prices, thank you for pointing that out) but i miss (or in my case have never experienced) genuine record or guitar shops with interesting pieces of equipment that you can't find in the run of the mill guitar center. as for the online situation, who cares? having an endless selection with cheaper prices on the web is great. its the same scenario as using XM radio.

i don't know if i would ever really say that record companies generally accept ingenuitive creative acts. most every good band i can think of was rejected a thousand times before they were ever even close to accepted. i guess im going to have to go with nietzsche on this one and credit this situation to society's inability (or oblivious nature) to understand true genius when it comes along.

this is of course without that notion of 'acceptance,' in which people feel comfortable flocking together with a herd of sheep and jumping on the bandwagon.

It's thinking like this that I point out to prove my point... it's Wally World mentality... "Low Price Always" over better quality... "Go with a National Chain" instead of supporting your local economy... the hell with service... the hell with quality... just gimme cheap prices... pffffft... You don't deserve to own decent gear with THAT mindset kiddo.

You think that this is good for the industry? You gotta be kidding me there junior... The reason you've never experienced a REAL music shop is because "the price is the deal" has killed the backbone of our industry... the small shop of knowledgable individuals. And then you turn out to be one of the first in line to whine about not finding cool gear to try out. You can't have it both ways.

The small independant record labels used to be the places that acted as the "farm league" for the Majors... They in fact DID search out the creative and "ingenuitive" acts. The small indy label helped those acts by promoting them in local and regional venues. When a band had begun to build a following, the "indy" label promotor would contact another promotor in another region and push the band out there to another market... so on and so on, until the band/artist either got to a large enough market to be heard by a rep from the major, or a rep from a major stumbled on the band and felt they were worthy of investing in.

The major then would make a deal to invest in the artist and the endentured servitude would commence. They would buy the small label's interest in the artist and the small label would go out and search for another act. The Major then took every opportunity to exploit the artist for everything they could... and the artist in turn had fame and stardom... no real money, but hey... it was primarily about the music. The artist had food on the table and a roof over their head... they were in debt up to their ass, but it was usually hidden prtty deep in the details of the deal.

The major's see the artist as a marketable commodity like pork bellys and jelly beans. The whole thing started to spiral out of control in the late 70's/early 80's when they started to do marketing analysis on demographics. It's still the root of how the big boys "do their thing"... e.g. you don't have to be good... just look good... "we can make you a star"... "we have the technology". That's when the major's started making the move to eat up the small indy's, and bypass the natural culling process. They figured that if they ate up the farm league that they could reap larger profits by taking more product to market sooner. All they had to do was be better at stretegic marketing of product.

There is HUGE money rolled out for "marketing"... e.g. brainwashing... the masses are pretty much like sheep as you so astutely pointed out... of which, you too are a branded lil' ewe being lead to the slaughter... IT'S AN ABSOLUTE TRUTH that you CAN tell people the same lie long enough and it begins to be the truth. It's been done for years... ask the parents of the baby boomers if they know what propaganda is. With the likes of Ubber Channel conglomerates controlling the PUBLIC's air waves, there's little room for true independant markets. People DON'T want to look behind the curtain... they are basically being lead to believe the drivel on the radio is good... BECAUSE THEY WANT TO! The masses don't want to think for themselves. They like having someone think for them... it's much easier that way.

It's a dumbing down to lowest common denominator... why else would people so readily accept mp3's? They sound like shit, but they're accepted... just like a CD. Look, 44.1 @16 bits is pure crap when compared to a virgin vinyl on even a half-assed turntable system... but you were told that CD's were better long enough that you've come to believe it. Maybe not you per se'... but at least your generation. WAKE UP!! LOOK BEHIND THE CURTAIN! THINK FOR YOURSELF! You kids got no nads... you won't look... it's too hard... you have to go against the grain... it's too much work... it's just plain sad... really sad.

Too many folks think it's just not fair to just have the best of the best be at the top. Not FAIR? Excuse me... since when is life fair? You want something... then WORK for it like the rest of humanity has had to. You want a viable music industry to work in? You want this industry to give you a living? THEN STOP LOOKING FOR THE EASY WAY!... there ain't one. You're wanting a guaranteed job and no risk of ending up on the street... then don't you dare step foot in this industry... this whole "industry" is based upon risk. For that matter, EVERY industry is filled with that level of risk. Maybe you should just go get a job in government and become a worthless blob of flesh behind a desk wasting my hard earned and so readily stolen tax dollars.

Good stuff ain't cheap and cheap stuff ain't always good. You need to stop and look at what you can do to stop the pilfering of the artists' income. You need to learn the craft of creating music is not just about the cheapest DAW and bootleg software. That's as bad as stealing food from the mouth of the artist. So what if the software's too expensive... Go bus tables for extra cash until you can afford it. Stealing copyrighted intellectual property is still stealing. PERIOD.

Learn to be honest with yourself and those you deal with. Stop doing things the cheapest way... do them the BEST way. Put quality as your guidepost over quantity. Think before you act, then be decisive in your actions. Accept blame and criticism as equally as important to the learning process as praise... if not more so. Not because its easy, but because it's what is necessary to survive in this business. Here's a dirty little inside secret... if you ain't got chops... you're not gonna survive. Learn your gig and then DO your gig.

You want a music industry in the future? Then YOU better do your part to save it. If you think you can't, or worse yet, WON'T... then get the hell out of my way... because I AM going to do my part. Music and sound have historically been an integral part of the core of societies. It's far too important to let a purely capitalistic cynicism ruin the very fabric of such an important part of humanity.

So what constitute's doing your part? Don't use bootleg software. Tell people to stop file sharing. Don't rip CD's or mp3's. Tell everyone to go to whatever live venue there is in your town and tell the owner what you want to hear. If the artist on stage sux... tell the owner, but even MORE important... tell the owner when an act is GOOD! Find a band/act that you like and throw a house concert. Back a band with a recording session at a reduced rate or negotiate a mutually beneficial deal. Tell everyone how lousy mp3's are. Form a consortium with other bands/acts. Help out on street teams. Call radio stations and ask to speak to the PD... don't ask him why, TELL him he needs to put local bands on the air. Call or write the FCC and complain that there isn't fair access. Call your congressman/senator and raise hell about open airwaves not being open to the local community. Start a small label and network with other label owners throughout your region. There's all kinds of work to be done and there's so much complacency to overcome. Whatever you do... YOU'LD BEST GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING!

RemyRAD Mon, 02/05/2007 - 19:06

And one must not forget Thomas, the first budget 16 track recorder the Scully 100! What a piece of crap that was! It only had 2 heads! No playback head! Just erase and a combo record/play head. Almost impossible to align this deck. But it was a budget machine for budget studios that only had $16,000 to invest in a recorder. Instead of the $36,000 for an Ampex MM1200-24. Put that in your Mackie or is that Alesis and smoke it!

Smoking lots of stuff
Ms. Remy Ann David

anonymous Mon, 02/05/2007 - 19:33

you're a righteous man, are you drinking wine?

there is nothing wrong with searching for the cheapest prices as long as you still posses the desire to use truly professional gear. obviously. who cares about the old way of having a record exec "stumble" onto you? you say you want a revolution, well you can count me out, in. i say the new idea of self production or "home" recording is a great idea if used properly. you should have no problem with it either, especially since it is the industry's way of making up for losses from p2p. i'm assuming that we all know what is good equipment so why assume that we don't, do you? sure vinyl is wonderful, there are downsides to a lot of the vinyl produced in the older days. i don't know if that was as much a result of the production and mastering or the vinyl itself. i'm sure it's a combination of both. but there are some great cd's recorded too, especially those from the early ninties and late eighties that used reel to reel at some point in the mix.

Davedog Mon, 02/05/2007 - 21:16

EXCELLENT RANT MAX SIMPLY EXCELLENT!!!

The great part is 'others' will get it. Aquavelvet NEVER will. And thats not a bad thing. One less mook I always say.

Theres an independant revolution on the horizon. Big Bro cant buy all the airwaves, but the more we sit by and let them, the more they will.

Anyone that doesnt think this is happening has their heads in the sand up to their collective assholes.

You have to work hard for the slice. But until its gone, ya gotta always reach for it.

Aquaman hasnt a clue. He thinks that he can come on here and throw namebrands and model numbers around and that'll impress...

Ya know whats really impressive? Young guys who have an eye on the prize and are willing to work and risk and fight for their right to obtain it. Those are the guys I want in my room. Those are the people I want to give a hand to. Those are kids that can and will.

Not some jackass with a bunch of words who doesnt have a clue what any of them mean.

MadMax Tue, 02/06/2007 - 04:47

DD,

aquaboob3 is a twit and doesn't really warrant the acknowledgement of existance beyond the points I've made for his (et al) edification, other than to say that a troll is a troll.

The ignorance of youth is quite often forgivable as the favour of the aged, neglected... but a fukwit dweeb need only be recognized and dismissed as just noise in the background of life, such as the passing of wind by and old man on the street corner.

His ilk are the half implied continued ruination of this industry. They don't even know enough to comprehend that the end is clearly in sight and yet they contiune to roll unobstructed and oblivious toward the point of no return, on the slippery slope of erradication of individual and societal rights.

In this case, the folly of youth is deserving of so much more than a simple swat on the bottom. Yea my brother, the need is of a good old fashioned ass whoopin to turn their eyes teary in the wake of the reality that the easily begotten "fun and fame" they so desperately seek, is on the verge of collapsing into oblivion.

What shall these children do when all that is theirs to see and own is pablum for the masses controlled for so many by so utterly few? They shall sit in their own wreched stench and whine, or they will likely say nothing at all. There shall be no cheese with their whine. The only whine shall likely be that they long of the good old days when they still had time to fix things and all they did was place their opposable thumbs up their collective anal sphincter's.

If they are as fortunate enough to grow a spine and out shall sprout the testicular fortutude to even breed another generation... maybe THEN will their offspring see and identify the ogre behind the facad. Maybe then will the curtain be pulled back to reveal the lost art of what music is and always has been.

And again, I would remind you that the troll neither sleeps nor feeds enough that it is satified to the the point that it becomes complacent enough to just go away. They continue be the constant irritation such as a festering pestule caused by constant attention paid to a splinter in the ass from setting on the bleachers of life... The end result is in the necessary call for assistance to remove said irritant from the gluteus maximus...

...but they are fun to torment and rant upon while they are here!

anonymous Tue, 02/06/2007 - 07:59

granted, generally speaking today's music (by the general youth) is lame, but i don't know if that is necessarily a new thing. i thoroughly enjoy the classics and like many i too am frustrated with the industry. but do you honestly believe that true creativity and burning ingenuity in songwriting is going to come from some washed up old fool like yourself?

you know nothing about what i proceed to do with music. the fact that you act like you do makes you all the more pathetic.

cut the fuckin wise guy "i have twenty years of experience so i must be a professional" routine. i know that i'm not buying it.

or maybe its more like; "i have 900 posts so my rants are more acceptable than your logical reasoning or opinion"

who knows, you guys are good ole american boys drinking whiskey and rye.

Davedog Tue, 02/06/2007 - 08:22

Okay, aguamanic, throw it out. Show the masses here what you're doing with music. Everyone wants know. You've been asked several times about your direction, your gear, your experience, yet you have no answer. Most people on here will tell you upfront what they're working on, what they're using to get it done and what they want out of it. But you have not been so forthright. Nows your chance. You talk big stuff, deliver.

You want respect. Earn it. Right now your whole persona to the entire group here at R.O. screams out TROLL.....or perhaps EGOTISTICAL IDIOT.... Either way, its getting kinda weak for you. Your constant reference to what someone is drinking simply because they differ in opinion from you is weak. Your obvious level of knowledge is weak and you back it up with hearsay and nonfactual rhetoric.

Its time for you to come clean. Step up. Be a man. Show what you got. Post some examples in the forum. If you're so smart, prove it.

Otherwise, and I say this as a Moderator here at Recording.org...........

You'll be gone. Its just that easy.

(Drinking cranberry juice)

hueseph Tue, 02/06/2007 - 08:58

Regarding Aqualand: it's the same crap as when he was here as liquidstudios. He's even gone back to referring to number of posts being irrelevant and blah blah.

Regarding "older" people being able to produce quality music: did anyone see the PBS airing of Peter Frampton a week or so ago? Or has anyone heard his latest album?

I was shocked. I stumbled upon a familiar tune while flipping channels and here it was Peter Frampton. I couldn't place the tune until the chorus. It was Soundgarden-Black Hole Sun. I couldn't believe my ears. Not only was this 50+ year old man playing Soundgarden, he was doing it justice.

I have to say as well that his chops have far from waned. If anything he's gotten better over the years.

That's just one example of a musician who not only has kept up his art but has grown over the years. I can think of others who had just gotten better with age. The late Stephane Grappelli was a monster fiddle player 'til he passed away. Jeff beck has grown with the times, adapting technology to his playing. Adrian Belew. Adrian Legg.

Then there's guys out there like Ben Lacy who are just from another planet. Joscho Stephan, Tommy Emanuel. That's just the guitarists (and one fiddle player).

So yeah, I think the mature players still have the monopoly on talent. That's not to say there aren't talented youngsters out there but they are fewer and further in between. Soloing is not "cool" in the rock world anymore. Shredding is just plain shunned. With hip hop, making your own beats from scratch is taboo. If it don't have a sample from a classic lp, it ain't no good(plagiarism).

MadMax Tue, 02/06/2007 - 09:44

Hmmmmm... lickquidstupios... that's where I recognized the dribble from... all the clearer now.

hueseph... while I heartily agree that many artist's talent seems to just get better with experience, I do actually look forward to working with some of these young cats... There's still some musicianship out there to be true. Just not in as high of a ratio as it seems like it used to be.

Between the arts taking such a hit in the education process and the fact that knowing your instrument isn't as high of a priority has definitely increased the signal to noise ratio. It's a real shame too. A true artist should be driven to get it as perfect, or at least right enough on a single take. If not a single take, then in respectable durations of a performance. It should, as I think most everyone here will agree, not be one or two notes at a time. That applies to everything from kick to vocals and everything in between. The slight imperfections that come with performances is the proof that it is genuine.

This thing we call music comes from the soul. It lives and breathes at the same pace and with the same depth as the creator. It is passion. Passion does not exist on a grid.

anonymous Tue, 02/06/2007 - 10:56

nice insight man, ideosyncrasies create bustling character? who would've thought. i am not liquid studios..., hang it the fuck up dr. magoo, detective clouseau. your investigation on matters seems about as thorough as that of a character on a soap opera.

the number of classic rock acts still around, still being creative is almost nonexistant, i think the last fresh thing i heard in this scenario was tom petty - last dance with mary jane. audioslave is unique, maynard james keenan is in his 40's, i just saw motley crue earlier this year, they definently weren't bad. not as bad as aerosmith at least. i could hardly sit through an entire set of "cryin," and the other BS they play now. and even if you can find the very few that are still going strong, you can look back to some point in their career and see something god awful that they did. dave grohl still does it well, he has never played a single nirvana song after the death of the band, although the amount of money he could probably make off doing so would be surprising. maybe i shouldn't speak too soon, however i trust that grohl would never do it. i dont have that same trust in many of the classic rock acts that try to relentlsessly capitalize off touring. (often times with one or two original members mind you)

i don't know what to tell you about my experience, this topic isn't about me.

i guess true artists strive to get it "perfect," but i don't think that is the philosophy that true artists strive to attain. it is more that the true artist strives to be himself and put forth his creativity at all costs. the true artist realizes what amount of technical valour is necessary to convey the creativity. i don't think jimmy page specifically ever tried to get his takes perfect. lou reed of the velvet underground surely didn't. and no, i don't believe mr. jimi waiting down at the chelsea drug store did either.

not dylan, not the sex pistols, and surely not ziggy who played guitar

its people like zakk wylde, joe satriani, yngwie malmsteen that play guitar for 12-13 hours a day and force themselves to play perfectly mercilessly. and as much as i dig the styles of the parties involved, i wouldn't necessarily go out of my way to hail any of them as being the upmost of creative entities. or hey you have eric clapton, what a wonderful guitarist, one of the most clean and perfect i've ever heard, but does he write a single lick?

and for god sake's quit hatin on my username, you do realize yours is mad max right? are you five? do you own a purple motorcycle and ride around snapping a chain to the road beneath your feet? no wait, you toss cards at your enemies don't you.

if my name was max, i would shoot myself. that or drill my head out. 3.14878439493448493403403949349348343403737955845945858585458

^the only cool max that i can think of. oh wait there's max weinberg.

Davedog Tue, 02/06/2007 - 14:59

I can only assume that by your vehement declarations of what all these 'artists' had in mind and their apparent level of achievement and their desires, that you know them all personally. We should all pull up a chair and bask in the radiance of your extended knowledge and know that our days grow brighter with the blessings laid on us my your reverence.

Since you insist that your knowledge surpasses all who come here, then I declare this topic to be about you, Sir Aquaman.

Now that we have that little technicality out of the way, its time for you to let us all in on how you know so much ....so much that isnt rumormill fodder, so much that isnt half-truths.....so much that is factual....So much as to willingly backbite and denigrate any who seek to discuss with you the merits of your high and mighty declarations.

Its now. You have but a few hours left in these forums. Its time to put up or shut up.

Its your last warning.

Davedog Tue, 02/06/2007 - 15:21

Unless you are personally acquainted with someone to the point of knowing their habits, their schedules and their personal lives you cant say for certainty ANYTHING about them. What you read in magazines and fanzines isnt necessarily reality.

Since this isnt a fanzine site, I would ask you to assert ONLY your opinions AS opinions and not as factual representations.

Simply because you really dont know. Nor do I but I dont claim to.

So...aquacreep, what are you working on these days? What kind of mics do you own? What are you using as a front-end? What kind of music do you play? Do you make records? Can we hear one somewhere?

Ya see, stoopid....without you being forthright about simple stuff like this, nobody on this site is gonna want to play and discuss things in a decent sort of way. All you're gonna get is disrespect and as a moderator its my job to quell these occuances. Until you learn what this community is all about then you will continue to be reviled and shunned. The only folks who'll talk to you are those, who, like me, have heard all this kind of blahblahblah childish BS outta lameo halfassed knowitalls before.

So, Mr. Aqualung....whaddaya been working on? Have ya got a studio? Where do you do all yer work? Whats your primary instrument? Do you have any recordings to share with us? Did you think the Colts were going to be that dominate?

Put up or GET OUT.

TheFraz Tue, 02/06/2007 - 15:47

I am in school for the music industry... every thing from production and engendering to business and contracts. and pretty much any thing relevant in between.

As far as getting a job in a studio is concerned, you may as well not go to school. even with a degree you still need to apprentice in a studio. and let me tell you buddy, it's no walk in the park. you have to pay your dues, and pay them well while getting paid next to nothing. It can take years before you get a job as an assistant engineer.
Like it has been said many times over, studios are dying. The studios that are still around make the bulk of their money from advertisements.
and that source of revenue is far from stable for most studios.

It is not impossible to get an apprenticeship... but its going to take an out of the box approach if you don't know people in the bizz.

If you want to build your own studio, going to school will be invaluable. although you CAN learn allot from books, a good program is going to help you out a great deal. and give you an opportunity to learn on professional equipment. This helps out allot when it comes to making budget equipment sound allot better. since you have a solid understanding between good quality and poor quality.

But there is far more to the music industry then just recording bands. Audio post is a BOOMING market. there are so many forms of media out there today, and they all need content, and all that content needs sound. thats where post production comes in. I sure as hell can't summarize the role of post production into one post, but its defenitly a feesable, and profitable area of the music industry to get your self into. its what i plan on doing out side of school.

Don't let the bizzar state of the recording industry discourage you from doing what you love. thats all i really have to say.

pr0gr4m Tue, 02/06/2007 - 16:37

aqualand666 wrote: but i feel like its a relatively valid assumption.

LMAO :lol: If that ain't an absolute, I don't know what is.

Ok, I got sucked into that and now I'm sucking myself out of it.

Thomas W. Bethel wrote: ...Then DIGITAL revolution came along and people could, with their computers, make exact copies of their CD collection and as long as they had the CD on their computer they decided to let other people have copies so the P2P networking was established. Record companies lost millions of dollars in revenues because they were not selling as many CDs. People were illegally copying them and sharing them without paying the record companies or the artist. So record companies pulled back and started to reduce budgets for recordings and at the same time suggested that the bands they were signing get its own equipment and start doing their own recording thereby saving the record company LOTS more money. At the same time record companies started not signing new acts due to the lack of money for development and bands and artists started doing self promotion and became indie artists since it was the only way their music could be heard...

This is it! This is the paragraph that I've been looking for. I've tried explaining this to all sort of people without much success. This single paragraph, explains it better than I ever could. The whole post in fact is spot on. It should be posted on message boards all over the internet so that people can see, can understand, can learn. Alas, this is Earth and we are humans. Seeing, understanding and learning is a rare occurance.

anonymous Tue, 02/06/2007 - 22:35

davedog i figured a logical being like yourself would be able to understand the concept of opinionated statements. thank you though for reiterating those points.

like i said i am in the prospecting of getting a studio general contracted, 600 sq ft. as to right now i don't have much of a place to record. my mic collection at the moment is slim, consisting of an akg c 414, rode nt5's, 3 sm 57's, sm 58, audix d6, shure ksm 27. right now i don't have much of a front end either, just a trident s20 and a 610 preamp. i play rock and roll music any old way you choose it. yes when my studio is designed and constructed acoustically you can hear my work. primary instrument is guitar. don't give a shit about the colts.

when the studio is built thats when i'm gonna stock it with equipment, from the all mighty consumer friendly GUITAR MART. why you ask? because they will take off all taxes and 20% off many items.

Davedog Tue, 02/06/2007 - 23:59

Thank you. I pride myself on logical thought even though I am , by nature, an artist , capable of emotional eptitude.

Now that wasnt so hard, was it? Now everyone can kind of try and get to know you, heaven knows what for.....I jest.............

Now opinions are fine. Very opinionated is the grist most of us on here tend toward. However.....being an ass about it and deriding your fellow posters with insults and incriminations will not be tolerated.

Feel free to have your say.......be prepared for others to object and occasionally set the record straight when obviously erroneous information is being bantered.........Dont be surprised or insulted if you act like a pompous ass and you get called for it.

Its kind of a little self-policing that goes on here.

You've already stepped on a lot of toes here and for no good reason other than you're kind of a prickish person.

Dont take it hard if it takes a while for people to warm up. Theres much damage control to be done.

If you cant live with these things or think it to be other than a completely fair assessment , then GET OUT.

Other than that, welcome to R.O.

anonymous Wed, 02/07/2007 - 12:37

davedog no one is perfect, be a good christian. if you would like to constructively "call me on acting like a pompous ass" there are many other ways to do so without an outright declaration, which requires immediate defensiveness from everyone involved. besides the topics have nothing to do with me or you, they have to do with the idea in discussion.

and if you feel the need to be very direct with your declarations, then you can't expect a rebuttle of the same caliber to be not tolerated.

that's the law of the jungle man.

Davedog Wed, 02/07/2007 - 14:42

Each jungle has it own set of rules. Its always a good idea, when you're traipsing through someones' jungle, to abide by those rules.

I have given you a glimpse of those in this jungle.

As far as being direct.....I'm not a person that sees a melon and shouts " Look Mommy, a Petunia..."

Direct is one thing and cruel is another. Cross that line and the jungle will shat upon you.

I'm done with the banter. You have your warning and your guidelines.

This subject is now closed.

I would like to see the subject matter back up and bringing in new thoughts on it.

hueseph Wed, 02/07/2007 - 18:21

One thing that IMHO bears a lot of influence on, not only the quality of music but the willingness of people to pay for it, is (I know this is asking for it) the degradation of values and ethics in general.

1-The degradation of the ideal of what music and art are: People no longer put boundaries on what qualifies as art. Art now is defined by it's accessibility to the viewer. If a person cannot comprehend it, it is viewed as technical jargon. Boring. I'm not opposed to minimalism but any reference to 4.33 irritates me to no end.

2-The degradation of values: (I can feel the flak already) Seriously though. Rebel ideals are so glorified that having any sort of value system causes people to grimace. Now I don't mean religion necessarily, I mean simply having a point of view as to what's write and wrong. The world has a wild west/mob rules mentality. "It's okay as long as you don't get caught." No concern over consequences. Then when they find themselves desiring to be content creaters, all of a sudden they want compensation.

Alright. Bring on the onslaught.

anonymous Wed, 02/07/2007 - 20:18

i think for a long time there has been pushing of the boundaries to what art conceivably is. again, it's something that goes both ways. visually i think the perfect example is in the 40's and 50's you had emphasis on abstract paintings, where big rough and tough guys splashed some paint on a canvas and called it art. andy warhol's genius response is a campbell's soup can, in which he painted the colors of before he added the lines. not to mention he used the mass media advertising screen printing process to do this work of art.

as much as i might agree with you, i do put some value on being able to permeate and infiltrate the masses by utilization of pop sensibility. its always interesting that people like john lennon and kurt cobain, while relating to so many people were the most misunderstood guys you could ever imagine.

those who directly emulate the idea of rebellion (which should more generally be understood as a sense of freedom or liberation; having no rules to constrain you or your creativity) are most usually small minded in some sense. those who are true rebels though have little need to allude to it in 'stereotypical' fashion within (or outside) the context of their songwriting and they certainly don't have a uniform to wear or think by any set of guidelines.

no doubt there are problems though

it seems a challenge to me to coersce all the audience devoted to synthetic music back to the natural electric funeral that is rock and roll.

or any other natural expression for that matter

society's nerves are shot

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