How are people dealing with COVID-19???

Thomas W. Bethel

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2001
Location
Oberlin, OH
My mastering and restoration business is way down and has been for the past 6 months. We are still getting in some mastering and some restoration work but nothing like it was last year at the same time. I keep reading that there is a lot of music being produced by people who are staying home but I don't see much of it coming through here. Just thought I would ask how others are doing???

Be safe and STAY HEALTHY!
 

Boswell

Moderator
Joined
Apr 19, 2006
Location
UK
Good to hear from you Tom! Sorry you are reporting a severe downturn in business, but I don't think you are alone in that.

My audio work has dried up almost completely, particularly since all the live events I used to cover have been cancelled. I'm lucky that I don't wholly rely on the income from it, as other non-audio work has had much less of a drop.

I've had a string of people asking about mixing the things they have recorded at home. After the first couple of jobs, I had to say I couldn't do those any more, as they were so depressing. As we all know on this forum, poorly-recorded tracks take much more time than well-recorded ones to mix to something respectable!
 

pcrecord

Quality recording seeker !
Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2013
Location
Quebec, Canada
Hi Tom !
Good to read from you.. It's pretty sad that you are affected too by the situation.
I'm lucky enough for doing music only as a second job / hobby. I'm an IT technician and have been working full time since the begining.
Since recording studios are allowed to open back in Canada, I only had 1 customer (voice over karaoke tracks)
With the wave of artists doing live youtube shows with their cellphones, it's kinda one more strike against recording quality...
I still dream of turning back to a world that ask for quality recording being equally important as talent.. (I miss both..) ;)

Let's hope, our leaders allow us to go back to normal soon..
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
sorry to hear of the slowdown for you, Tom.
I've had a string of people asking about mixing the things they have recorded at home. After the first couple of jobs, I had to say I couldn't do those any more, as they were so depressing. As we all know on this forum, poorly-recorded tracks take much more time than well-recorded ones to mix to something respectable!
Mixing poorly recorded music is a complete nightmare. It enforced me to forget about ever doing it for a business. Frustrating and depressing indeed.

I don’t think the music business will ever return back to how it was. Mostly because I’m expecting AI Music to be just around the corner, which will have a sound and process “of its own” that won’t require “engineers”.

Unfortunately music isn’t an essential business so it’s another blow to earn a living from it.

Being said... I’m told mic sales are doing very well. I suspect digital audio is also thriving.
Home based hobbies, youtube, ridiculous etc are thriving.

I’m keeping my eye on essential services and ways to keep away from all the madness.
I currently live on Vancouver Island and it’s very busy and so far wonderful living here.

Crazy world
 

Tony Carpenter

The Minstrel
Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Location
Keighley, England
Working on new home changes. Working on the new studio setup.. new PC will be here this week. Just put new second mobile rack stand together. Put new automatic garage door on so I can motorcycle in and out without wife needing to leave her office. Trying not to think too much about our post apocalyptic life type lol.
 

bouldersound

Real guitars are for old people.
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
Boulder, Colorado
I've assembled a mobile live streaming rig. I watched a bunch that sounded awful (including "professional" productions) so I figured I could do better. It's pretty much the same idea I had for recording live performance videos, but moving from recording to live streaming. I can do three cameras. The simple sound setup is a feed from a PA system plus a mic at the foot of stage to fill in what the PA mix lacks. I can scale that up to a full XLR split and do an independent mix.
 

kmetal

Kyle P. Gushue
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
Sorry about the downturn Tom. Ive been on hiatus for a few years. Ive been blathering for years that realtime remote recording and mixing was the 'future' for alot of the human musicians and engineers. I think server based audio systems might be as well. This way people can mix using their phone to control the web based daw session, and use headphones ect for monitoring. Source connect allows realtime remote recording, and there's another similar service ive heard pro's reference, whos name escapes me. Ive taken some steps towards testing my idea, having aquired most of the initial hardware, next step us assembly.

I think with real-time production the producer/engineer can help cure many of the ailments of the home recordings, sonically or production wise.

I wish i had worked faster so i could sell my system and services since demand for remote realtime increased suddenly with the pandenic. Oh well, hopefully better qualified and backed companies will figure it out for me.

Anyway i think live work will suffer for a while. I am surprised that mixing/mastering has dried up since people have much more free time. Tho perhaps less funding is the reason.
 

kmetal

Kyle P. Gushue
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 21, 2009
Location
Boston, Massachusetts
I've assembled a mobile live streaming rig. I watched a bunch that sounded awful (including "professional" productions) so I figured I could do better. It's pretty much the same idea I had for recording live performance videos, but moving from recording to live streaming. I can do three cameras. The simple sound setup is a feed from a PA system plus a mic at the foot of stage to fill in what the PA mix lacks. I can scale that up to a full XLR split and do an independent mix.

Are you leaving the rig setup in a trailer, or bringing it into the gig/performance spot? How are you monitoring the mix for the stream headphones?
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
I've assembled a mobile live streaming rig. I watched a bunch that sounded awful (including "professional" productions) so I figured I could do better. It's pretty much the same idea I had for recording live performance videos, but moving from recording to live streaming. I can do three cameras. The simple sound setup is a feed from a PA system plus a mic at the foot of stage to fill in what the PA mix lacks. I can scale that up to a full XLR split and do an independent mix.
smart thinking (y)
 

bouldersound

Real guitars are for old people.
Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 23, 2010
Location
Boulder, Colorado
Are you leaving the rig setup in a trailer, or bringing it into the gig/performance spot? How are you monitoring the mix for the stream headphones?

It's in my little station wagon. Normally it's a small mixer, a laptop, two or three tripods, one short mic stand, some cables, a stereo mic, a folding table and a chair, plus a few other odds and ends. Once I get it organized I should be able to load in two trips, one for the table and chair and one for everything else in two rolling cases.

Yes, headphones. I've practiced doing that a lot so the results should be adequate. The biggest challenge is getting the balance between panned and centered things right, but worst case is that the vocals come out a little on top of the mix. OBS has a basic compressor, but it can also use VST plugins. I have the Reaper plugin pack installed in case I want something a little better.
 

Davedog

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 10, 2001
Location
Pacific NW
I've been simply "dabbling" since I retired for health reasons in 2015. The destruction on my body parts caused by the years and years of being a Electrician finally wore some parts out, so I could no longer adequately perform my duties at the high level I and my customers were accustomed to. I retired then on a medical and got all of my retirement benefits as well as all of my SS and medicare. So I started playing out again as the musician I always was in a part-time aspect. However, there was another underlying problem that I am dealing with today and it's more medical than before......The maintainance of this disease requires certain drugs and these have stripped me of my ability to sing at all and cause hand and other extremity cramping that won't allow me to play more than an hour at a time. So with the onset of the Covid shut down and my own personal shutdown, I retired again from live performance this time. So what's a lifelong musician of some quality to do?

I already had a decent studio and made (the dabbling part) a couple of records for folks a year. Enough to be a taxable viability......So when the pan-damn-ic hit the effect was it dried up all my resources for making any money beyond my already in-place retirement. There is some relief programs available and I needed to completely get out or upgrade to the point of having an ongoing tax relief for maintaining my business. So I have invested this year while things are on hold.

Its a gamble for certain, but I do have returning clients for 2021 making their next record that they have been forced to complete the writing of simply because they can't play the first one live. I have two other clients on the shelf waiting for the virus to simmer down so they feel safe to get out and record. Both are wanting to catalog their lifes works. There are others.

So in the meantime, I am busy learning. Back to school. ProTools Ultimate has SO MUCH crap built in to it that a simple recording studio will never need or use but you have to parse out the parts that it pushes you towards and use the parts that benefit the capture and editing available. And I have to increase my computer skills. No one wants to pay someone to stumble around during a session. Of course with a proper budget I would hire an engineer and just produce. Even then I still need to know whats going on. A big deal lately has been the housekeeping. I need to rethink my methodology of maintaining order in the sessions. While most is recallable some is not and I need to keep better notes. Fortunately the material I'm "practicing on" is my own or from abandoned projects throughout the years. This has been a great teacher as it opens up a sort of restoration service. I kept my PTHD10 rig and can roll it into place to open older sessions with should any clients need that and they are out there.

Fingers crossed. The additions are very good. I'm now at 32 IO and mostly high-end pres. The mics have always been good and the room is working nicely. The house allows me to track 6 or 7 players all at once including drums and being able to confidently isolate sources from each other. we'll see. The Covid relief loan allows me a year before I have to start paying it off. Its great terms and I could go out of business and still handle it with my retirement.

Still....I'm not a failure kinda guy. And in response to the "poorly recorded material to mix" ........I'm with ya. I've turned away more work because of that. I used to think of it as a challenge and that skills could make it happen for them. Unfortunately "poorly recorded material" usually has poorly played musicianship with it. And you can't fix that.

Well....actually you can but SHOULD YOU?
 

audiokid

Chris
Moderator
Joined
Mar 20, 2000
Location
Nanaimo BC, Canada
Sorry to hear about your health but it sounds like you have a good plan, Dave! Your feel for Blues has always impressed me.

Generally speaking: Keeping our mind active is one of the best things we can do.

I’m 63 this year. I hardly play much lately, the inspiration comes and goes. I find myself forgetting some of the tricks I once could remember without pause.
Learning to use a DAW, all we do to make music.... I think we are a pretty smart group of people to be able to do what we all do! Congratulations to us all.
 

paulears

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2014
Location
Lowestoft - UK
Same as the rest of you really - the UK seems very similar. Constantly changing rules, so confidence in the industry has been knocked. I have multiple income streams. Events, bands, recording, video, production and very oddly - I sell radios (marine band, business, ham radio etc, plus marine gizmos like plotters and AIS transponders). I'm making more money from radios, even when the actual profit per item is low. The work coming in for music and video is tiny, and much of what I say yes to, last year I'd have turned away.

A few live recordings - with video, but they're such hard work without my usual crew - I've discovered I can still use some churches, but not the bigger ones who have severe and OTT covid rules, but I'm 60 now and humping flight cases on my own is something I thought I'd grown out of. My biggest earner - pantomime - has totally died. I should have been on a boat with van loads of kit this weekend on a three month job, but that's dead. I got approached by another pantomime production company to see if I could do a virtual panto - green screen and then pay per view. Spent ages on the pre-production and test shots, then the Government adjusted the covid rules and their panto can go ahead in a limited form - reduced cast, reduced audience capacity, social distancing etc, so that project for me is dead too, them understandably wanting to perform live, even with one hand tied behind their backs - so that's income gone and time wasted.

I've got a production project in planning, but the venues keep changing their minds - so November was the date for some first performances. Think classical music karaoke. Contemporary and classical singers, plus instrumentalists, but the orchestra on track. Loads of interest, but it needs great acoustics to make work - so I've arranged a short tour of large old churches. Lights, big PA - and quadraphonic sound, possibly even hexaphonic sound (I think I made that up) but 6 discrete speaker locations. Then one venue says they don't feel safe with the legal person limit, then another is getting worried it will be too cold.

So I am doing loads of work, keeping very busy, but earning very little. I feel sorry for my younger friends who still have to pay mortgages and rent. Our Government have been very good to businesses and employees of businesses. For us self-employed folk, we got a pittance. In my case, since March when my diary exploded, I have had £1800 from the Government - for 6 months income. Employees got their normal pay, and the employer got 80% of that back from Government. This has progressively dropped, and now people are getting made redundant.

I've no idea why the radio side is working. The marine people are buying radios. So are the hams. Business is not - no sales whatsoever of business radio. Very odd - but I'm grateful.
 

Kurt Foster

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 2, 2002
Location
77 Sunset Lane.
we have been masking up and socially distancing here. trips to the store, doctors and other essential needs are all we go out for.

in my experience, getting old REALLY sucks but in this case i am so glad i am retired. we can just stay home and not be concerned with income. i don't know what i would do if i had to make a living as all my skills revolve around social contact. the bulk of what i earned in my life was playing out in clubs and stage shows and then running my studio. it would be impossible to keep a band together in these conditions let alone find work or book a recording studio. i think a complete shut down of schools, bars, restaurants and other business that involve social contact for a month is the only way we can beat this but i don't see that happening. here in the U.S., if we had just shut down for a month in February and not been so worried about Wall St, this would all be over. instead, it just keeps dragging on like a bad tooth that the patient is afraid to go to the dentist for.
 
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