Sunday, November 25, 2012

DIY Album Production - Audio Technology Magazine

DIY Album Production Issue

The latest Audio Technology Magazine covers DIY Album Production. Interesting, as far as it goes.

They know what has really happened, but don't want to talk about it out loud. There isn't much money left in the recorded music business.

So they don't talk about those core issues, but instead the issues with doing it all yourself.  We all need editors and reviewers, or at least a good spell checker or friend to be objective.  All the same issues for writers, painters, illustrators, graphic designer, dancers and sculptors.  You could say the same for soccer players and other sports people too.

To quote Brian Eno:

"I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky. There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time...
"It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you'd be stuck with your whale blubber.
Sorry mate – history's moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it."

And this interview with MOBY...

Are we moving back to a time were musicians are being realigned with other arts to  make a living, or not, from music art?  It seems so.   A key point in the MOBY video is that producing music isn't so special any more. What took 3 months in a well equipped commercial studio many years ago can take 30 minutes on a laptop for his genre today.

Biggest Australian Musical Instrument Chain closed Nov 25 2012
There are dramatic changes afoot. The biggest musical instrument store chain and wholesaler importer in Australia, with 25 stores and around 600 staff has also just closed up for good.  Nov 25 2012 was the last day the last stores were open.

So money to use on music of any type is tight and not enough to support retail outlets?  We will see.

Was told a story from a customer recently that there was a survey on facebook that found that people would pay $3 for a cup of coffee that took a minute to make and not much more to drink,  but would not pay much if anything at all for music, that took many years to master an instrument, create and produce.

Ok. Then recording music and getting paid for it, or breaking even on what it cost to produce is "problematic".  Sound On Sound  magazine has moved into promoting Live Sound, in addition to recording music.  The point about that is that you have to have built an audience, have supporting venues willing to let bands play instead of just having poker machines, and be touring all the time, in large enough venues, to be able to get anywhere near the income that you could have gotten from CD or Album sales in days gone by.    

Some months I put a blog post  on Music ROI on LinkedIn.  I had expected some type of comment. Got nothing at all. The wrong crowd.

What I implied, but didn't directly state using the sports scenario was:  the world of sport is supported by amateur teams and "clubs" that they pay to belong too.  Bigger pro clubs have gambling and generate more revenue to support their teams, competition prize money and facilities up keep  and have the clout to auction TV broadcast rights.

Maybe the music and arts worlds should form their own "clubs" for project funding.  Something more than random live performances. Something like Comedy Clubs maybe.....

Maybe too much like herding cats.....

Music production technology was the industry I was in for 25 years. See some of the details here. My original interest was for a system I could use myself.  The early systems I was involved with developing were very expensive, and not something I could own. It is only in recent years with PC based DAWs and software instruments and processors that I have what I set out to develop. And most of what I use now is actually free or shareware software, and we have and need very little supporting electronics.

It is now a whole new world and the best time ever for doing DIY projects.  Even if you don't make any money from them.

Some of our own tracks on SoundCloud:

Contact us at Art & Technology

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