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Just after Christmas I decided to bite the bullet, and buy the new loudspeaker system I'd been trying to decide about. I'd been provided with this system on a job last summer, and really liked the sound. My research showed it to be a Marmite product -loads of people hating it with a passion and the rest loving it. As I'd heard it and liked it, I do what I always do and go with my gut. So I started to look around, and discovered that it's been on the market a long time but they don't push it. As a consequence most dealers seem to not have stock and it's an order in from the manufacturer product. I found a dealer in Europe who had one pair of the tops, and ordered those - at quite a discount of the same list price everyone else has advertised. I suspect they'd been in the shop for a few years - perfect nick, but the boxes had been in the store room a long time! I found quite a few dealers in the US who had stock and searched out the deals. The shipping on speakers, and especially subs is incredibly expensive by air freight - so TNT, FedEx, UPS etc are all expensive, so I got the big stuff shipped by sea - which was quite better. Still not cheap, but 2 tops and 2 subs 200USD compared to over 800 by air. Trouble was the first show was looming up and I got a bit worried that the PA system I'd put on the spec and contracted wouldn't actually be here, so I bottled out, and ordered from another dealer some more tops. I wanted 4 tops and 2 subs, but I've actually ordered and paid for now 8 tops and 4 subs. So far, I have 2 subs and 2 tops arrive. Far more than I intend to spend, but I figured I could just about recoup the cost over the summer shows, and I'd have it available in the hire stock, just in case.

Then comes Corona Virus. They band had 22 dates up to November booked. We now have 3 left - the rest have been cancelled for definite. Our Government just announced 100 people as a top limit. The summer venue this kit is going into is 1400 seats - so unless things change for the better - this will be off, and July to October is 60% of my yearly income just wiped off, plus I've bought the PA - and it's not cheap.

JBL VRX932 and VRX918 - 4 subs and 8 tops. Gulp.

Can't cancel - all paid for and on their way. In the UK, we have unemployment benefits from the Government if you are an employee. If you work for yourself, you get nothing - so that's a bit scary. A friend is an outside broadcast cameraman - does mainly sport, and that's all cancelled. Another friend runs a commercial mid sized studio. He has all bookings cancelled up to the end of May, and who knows if the others will go too. Another friend is a 0 hours college studio technician. UK 0 hours contract mean you are guaranteed NO hours, but most normally work the same each week, but when the college closes for holidays, he doesn't get paid. The college have shut for a month so that's no pay.

Much as your President does do strange things sometimes to our British way of thinking - he's dead right to shut the country up tight. I'm living on my savings - which should have been for when I retire in 7 or 8 years. It's scary here - you really don't want it.

So next time you're feeling bad about work, spare us a thought.

Comments

paulears Mon, 03/16/2020 - 06:41

Self-employed get a pretty strange deal. Small businesses get help with staff loss costs - so the Government pick up most of the bill for staff sent home - but when you work for yourself, tough! It's even sillier with things like Jury Duty - you can be called up and you have to attend, yet self-employed people cannot get compensation for lost work, unless they have evidence, and of course not accepting bookings because you are unavailable is NOT acceptable evidence. They know this, so if you say you are self-employed you get excused from jury service - but I'd quite like to do it - I like our legal system and as a citizen I kind of have that old fashioned duty thing, but we can't afford to do jury service!

kmetal Mon, 03/16/2020 - 10:57

Its strange to me that there is no return policy on the speakers. Even scratch and dent stuff is covered under the standard return policy. Even if you ate the cost of shipping it might be better than being stuck.

Universal Basic Income is an idea floating around where all citizens get a basic income from the government wether working or not. The amount isnt alot, but would be great in situations like this, so people could pay basic bills and eat.

Im not sure how it works in the UK but minimumun social security/unemployment benefits are available to anyone under a certain income level, even if the person owns a company. There are other programs that offer substities if a person has been out of work for 6 weeks. Id say its worth looking into if it can help preserve your savings. Here you pay into unemployment via your taxes wether you ever use it or not.

paulears Mon, 03/16/2020 - 16:10

If you are an employee, or out of work - benefits are paid and quite good ones to be fair, however if you work for yourself, you are stuffed. No work, no income and that is that! It's got worse today. My son is a technical manager at a large holiday centre - the guests and staff are being sent home tomorrow. British airways have told staff they have ti have 8 weeks with no pay, or be made redundant. Lots of my technical friends are now out of work. A friend who is a college recording studio technician is on a zero hours contract, with no hours at all as the college has closed. Even things like exams are being cancelled. We're in real trouble. Cinema and theatres shit from tonight, no end date in sight.

On the speaker front, overseas sales don't have the same contractual rules. In my case, the goods are on a ship, somewhere on the way. Worse is that sea freight has special rules FOB or DDP, for instance so the seller is responsible up to the point it is put on board, or they are responsible up to my doorstep - cancelling or returning just four speakers out of the pile ordered could cost me $800 for example. I also have to pay 20% tax on entry, and then if they go back, export duty too! In country - all is pretty good. US to UK is terrible! However - compared to friends, who are basically losing their job for an indeterminate time - I'm doing OK. Our Prime Minister has basically said it's bad, and it's going to get worse.

KurtFoster Mon, 03/16/2020 - 16:33

it's going to be better in the UK than the US. big fail for us when Mr. Wonderful rejected tests from WHO 3 months ago so his cronies would get the profits instead of a German Manufacturer. we are now several weeks behind the rest of the industrialized world although there's nothing new about that.
for the US the good thing is it is highlighting the inadequacies of our medicine for profit system where we have no surge capacity and supplies and equipment are only available on a just in time basis all for the sake of profits. there's more to life than profits. i just hope our "glorious leader" doesn't suspend the elections. that's what scares me the most.

kmetal Mon, 03/16/2020 - 17:05

paulears, post: 463643, member: 47782 wrote: If you are an employee, or out of work - benefits are paid and quite good ones to be fair, however if you work for yourself, you are stuffed. No work, no income and that is that! It's got worse today. My son is a technical manager at a large holiday centre - the guests and staff are being sent home tomorrow. British airways have told staff they have ti have 8 weeks with no pay, or be made redundant. Lots of my technical friends are now out of work. A friend who is a college recording studio technician is on a zero hours contract, with no hours at all as the college has closed. Even things like exams are being cancelled. We're in real trouble. Cinema and theatres $*^t from tonight, no end date in sight.

On the speaker front, overseas sales don't have the same contractual rules. In my case, the goods are on a ship, somewhere on the way. Worse is that sea freight has special rules FOB or DDP, for instance so the seller is responsible up to the point it is put on board, or they are responsible up to my doorstep - cancelling or returning just four speakers out of the pile ordered could cost me $800 for example. I also have to pay 20% tax on entry, and then if they go back, export duty too! In country - all is pretty good. US to UK is terrible! However - compared to friends, who are basically losing their job for an indeterminate time - I'm doing OK. Our Prime Minister has basically said it's bad, and it's going to get worse.

Man that's rough. It seems that europe in general is being much more pro active about things. Ive heard some event centers paying some workers tho they don't have to work, but i imagine this is only tempory.

Its insane how there is no coverage for the self employed, who often are at the most risk of financial hardship.

Kurt Foster, post: 463644, member: 7836 wrote: it's going to be better in the UK than the US. big fail for us when Mr. Wonderful rejected tests from WHO 3 months ago so his cronies would get the profits instead of a German Manufacturer. we are now several weeks behind the rest of the industrialized world although there's nothing new about that.
for the US the good thing is it is highlighting the inadequacies of our medicine for profit system where we have no surge capacity and supplies and equipment are only available on a just in time basis all for the sake of profits. there's more to life than profits. i just hope our "glorious leader" doesn't suspend the elections. that's what scares me the most.

Yeah i wonder how this is going to pan out for treatment based on income demographic, tho i have a solid guess it'll be top down.

Ive heard the FDA has enacted some policy that allows a quick turnaround for an anti viral for the virus, but the time frame is months not weeks.

There's so much broken with the healthcare system. I just cant help but think the bigwigs will see this as an "opportunity" to stack more money.

They don't teach altruism in business school, i dropped out not too long after the text book stated "you will have to put morals aside, when making financial decisions", and the instructor reinforced it over a 20min talk on the topic.

KurtFoster Mon, 03/16/2020 - 17:22

kmetal, post: 463645, member: 37533 wrote: Ive heard the FDA has enacted some policy that allows a quick turnaround for an anti viral for the virus, but the time frame is months not weeks.

There's so much broken with the healthcare system. I just cant help but think the bigwigs will see this as an "opportunity" to stack more money.

no chance for a quick turn around for a vaccine in the near future unless they wave trials. proper trials take 2 years. you cannot pack 2 years of trials into a few months unless you know how to time travel. with no trials there's a real chance people will die from the vaccine.

kmetal Mon, 03/16/2020 - 18:36

Kurt Foster, post: 463646, member: 7836 wrote: no chance for a quick turn around for a vaccine in the near future unless they wave trials. proper trials take 2 years. you cannot pack 2 years of trials into a few months unless you know how to time travel. with no trials and there's a real chance people will die from the vaccine.

Yeah ive heard an absolute minimum of 18mo for a vaccine. I was reffering to anti viral medication they are trying to push thru, something like an antibiotic. This was a doctor on a popular podcast, but whos really knows?

Kurt Foster, post: 463646, member: 7836 wrote: perhaps what will happen now is the working class in the US will finally wake up and realize that Capital without labor is nothing. they have everyone buffaloed into thinking that the workers need capital (trickle down economics) when the reality is capital ain't dick with out labor. go ahead. run your MacDonalds without staff ....

Yeah id love to see a middle class revolution. I fear that before too long any leverage they do have will be widdled away by automation and AI. Look what outsourcing/globalization did, and its not too far fetched.

What's crazy is as bad as our problems are domestically, there are tens of thousands of deaths each year in Africa because of mosquitos infecting people with malaria, and the people can't afford netting for their beds to help prevent it.

paulears Tue, 03/17/2020 - 07:25

In a way we’re not really talking politics which perhaps is involved but we’re really talking disaster avoidance and we are all going to suffer. My wife works in a hospital and she’s considered essential I make more money than she does making people happy and keeping them from getting bored. Music and entertainment is nowhere close to being essential. I have resigned myself to losing half my annual income as best case. I’m old enough to have a bit put away. Not much but far better for me than the youngsters who live on permanent credit. Very scary times

KurtFoster Tue, 03/17/2020 - 09:13

well i really went on a rant. thanks K for deleting the quote. i feel strongly about what i said but i don't think this is the right place for it. some times it's hard for us red diaper babies to keep our lefty mouths shut! lol! what is really needed right now is for us all to stay well and not to panic. this too shall pass.

paulears, post: 463655, member: 47782 wrote: I have resigned myself to losing half my annual income as best case. I’m old enough to have a bit put away. Not much but far better for me than the youngsters who live on permanent credit. Very scary times

it's good to know you have enough reserves to weather the storm. i think all companies and self employed people should be prepared. when i was in school we were taught to have 3 months reserves in case of emergencies. i don't know why we don't still think that way. corporations shouldn't need to be bailed out all the time. instead of paying out all the profits to share holders and corp execs they should be putting reserves away. their fiduciary responsibilities should include the well being and health of their workers as well as their investors and CEO's.

kmetal Tue, 03/17/2020 - 14:45

paulears, post: 463655, member: 47782 wrote: In a way we’re not really talking politics which perhaps is involved but we’re really talking disaster avoidance and we are all going to suffer. My wife works in a hospital and she’s considered essential I make more money than she does making people happy and keeping them from getting bored. Music and entertainment is nowhere close to being essential. I have resigned myself to losing half my annual income as best case. I’m old enough to have a bit put away. Not much but far better for me than the youngsters who live on permanent credit. Very scary times

I hope you won't need it, but do hope you have medical coverage. Ive had family members drain a hefty life savings on medical expenses. I feel like many of the most effected will be working hourly jobs that not only will not pay them during the interim, they don't get healthcare either.

Ive been installing pluggins and programs and vsti on my new ryzen 5 quad core laptop system as a test/buffer system for the multi pc system ive been gathering parts for.

Nothing to pass the time like downloading and installing 800+ gb of samples over wifi. Lol. We may be living on Mars before im done. Tho the softube tube tech stuff sounds so good even kurt might think its "decent".

In a strange way the virus may give families some long deserved time together. Cut to photo of family in living room all with earbuds, staring at their phone.

KurtFoster Tue, 03/17/2020 - 15:00

kmetal, post: 463671, member: 37533 wrote: even kurt might think its "decent".

my gripe with plugs is we have to run them on computers, that we can't keep them forever or resell them when we're done with them. my gripe with digital isn't the sound of it but how it has changed work flow and performing. i also really prefer the sound of a real desk over virtual itb mixing. as far as tape machines ..... well i just love them.

kmetal Tue, 03/17/2020 - 15:40

Kurt Foster, post: 463673, member: 7836 wrote: my gripe with plugs is we have to run them on computers, that we can't keep them forever or resell them when we're done with them. my gripe with digital isn't the sound of it but how it has changed work flow and performing. i also really prefer the sound of a real desk over virtual itb mixing. as far as tape machines ..... well i just love them.

I share those same sentiments generally, tho feel digital stuff requires judicial listening since i feel quality varies alot among the options.

The real upside i see to the current systems is for myself, who is stuck residing in a single room of a house, and of low income, this litte 320$ laptop lets me get into the "zone" a bit. I miss the studio more than anything in my past besides my family. No place id rather be. Having 2 full comercial studios at my disposal free of charge was worth the suffering i went thru building them. So while toying around on a laptop in a bedroom is no substitute i can at least have some artistic escape. I just couldn't fit the required real gear in here right now. Its cool having acess to moog samples, orchestras and guitar amps i would not otherwise have. They are samples/appoximations, but nonetheless something decent sounding.

My best experiences are all from live tracking to tascam portastudio or reel, followed by live tracking to digtal via a Mackie d8b.

Ive heard an engineer in Nashville say his Harrison is a fully digitally controlled analog console, so hopefully this technology gets more affordable for the masses. The tactile control of analog is unmatched.

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