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Music Today Is About Cost Cutting

goodcat1337

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Well one good thing about using backing tracks is you never have to worry about the rest of the band messing up. I still play for the lead singer of my former band for some of his solo gigs, and we use backing tracks for pretty much everything, even covers. Kinda takes the spontaneity out of it, but at the same time, do people really want to hear an extra 2-3 min solo section during "Beat It"?
 

Tornado

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That's not been my experience. I was never in a band that anyone here would ever have heard of, but we were big enough to be signed to a major label, get reviews in major magazines, spins on national playlists. We came around just at the end of the physical media, and we made _SIGNIFICANT_ chunk of our income from selling albums. One caveat -- we had an album in the can and ready to go when we got signed to Sony, so we didn't have to recoup any expenses -- it was all profit immediately for us.

Y'all did well on that. I think many of the smaller to mid size artists, in any era, never made back the advances to make their records.
 

bpaluzzi

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Y'all did well on that. I think many of the smaller to mid size artists, in any era, never made back the advances to make their records.
Yeah. It was a blessing. We recorded in our hourly rehearsal space, bringing our own ProTools rig + mics in to get base tracks laid. Overdubs and vocal comps were done in our shared band house. Suuuuuper cheap way to do it, but the results worked out okay. :)
 

Pat A Flafla

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Yeah. It was a blessing. We recorded in our hourly rehearsal space, bringing our own ProTools rig + mics in to get base tracks laid. Overdubs and vocal comps were done in our shared band house. Suuuuuper cheap way to do it, but the results worked out okay. :)
Some friends of mine have managed to carve out an honest (not fabulous) living for over twenty years by recording themselves and avoiding all label entanglements, doing everything themselves. It seems to me that they never aimed for payoffs, but for sustainability. Branding seems to have been a big part of what they do, as well as a relentless customer service mindset. Early personnel replacements seemed to have less to do with performance and more to do with commitment to the business model. By their own metrics they've been succeeding under the radar for over two decades.

TL;DR: Success has a lot to do with where your sights are set, and what you're willing to do for a certain number of dollars. (And being realistic about what people are willing to pay for what you provide.) I think the way they've done things is more historically "normal" for professional musicians.
 

dsop

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From a wide angle historical view, we're probably just exiting the peak bubble of an artificial economy that enabled musicians to get paid the most any musicians will ever get paid. We were in it so it seems normal, but I'm pretty sure when viewed through time's lens, it will appear as though it was an extraordinary phase and we're returning to normal.
I don't think that's accurate. What you're failing to mention is that music is actually generating more money than ever in history right now. It's just not going to the musicians that create it. It's going to entities that have abused/ignored copyright law which hasn't caught up with the current state of affairs. It doesn't help to have elderly morons running the show in the government who only care about the money they make from their stocks in these nefarious corporations.
 

langmick

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Ah, yes. I knew I'd find it eventually on a drumming thread. Putting down popular modern music genres for the sake of... ?
I'm sorry, putting down modern music? Rap and hip hop are modern? I'd say not really. They've been around for a very long time, at least since Milli Vanilli.

Is what I said not true? It's mass produced dreck for the masses, the produced and processed sliced cheese of music is made so that musicians don't need to be paid to play it, they can be hired to mime. How many Super Bowl halftime shows do we need to endure to see this is true.

I don't know why that's controversial. It's a fact.
 

Pat A Flafla

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I don't think that's accurate. What you're failing to mention is that music is actually generating more money than ever in history right now. It's just not going to the musicians that create it. It's going to entities that have abused/ignored copyright law which hasn't caught up with the current state of affairs. It doesn't help to have elderly morons running the show in the government who only care about the money they make from their stocks in these nefarious corporations.
Only a leisure society can afford to pump that much money into entertainment. People as a whole aren't going to be this comparatively wealthy forever.
 

Tornado

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Only a leisure society can afford to pump that much money into entertainment. People as a whole aren't going to be this comparatively wealthy forever.

The amount of wealth and comfort amassed by our society is definitely an historical anomaly. I hope it lasts long enough for anyone I know to never see it go.
 

dsop

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Only a leisure society can afford to pump that much money into entertainment. People as a whole aren't going to be this comparatively wealthy forever.
The corporations are pumping the money via advertising. My point was that there is a ton of money changing hands, and it's not going to the right people.
 

dsop

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Local small club live music is in such bad shape. I guess profit margins are so slim these days in the clubs that the only way to make any money is to go solo or duo. I don't know who's more to blame, the clubs or the public
I'd say musicians are mostly to blame. More than half of the bands I've seen in the last two decades playing in clubs are mediocre to horrible. I think they spend more time on social media than on their craft.
Similarly, I've seen way too many jazz acts take endless solos and expect the audience to sit there and take it.
 

dsop

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Everyone votes when they spend (or don't spend) their money.
That's the whole point that started this topic. No one wants to spend money on music anymore, so I guess they're not voting. It's the companies paying for advertising via adwords or whatever, and consumers are paying with their personal data which includes their behavior online.
 

prodigy4299

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I'm sorry, putting down modern music? Rap and hip hop are modern? I'd say not really. They've been around for a very long time, at least since Milli Vanilli.

Is what I said not true? It's mass produced dreck for the masses, the produced and processed sliced cheese of music is made so that musicians don't need to be paid to play it, they can be hired to mime. How many Super Bowl halftime shows do we need to endure to see this is true.

I don't know why that's controversial. It's a fact.
You are of course entitled to your opinion. The reason it's controversial is that you claim it to be a fact, which has very strong "old man yells at cloud" vibes.

From where I sit, I see electronic music and hip hop where true innovation occurs these days in music writing and production.

It's juvenile the way that some people on this forum (and every other drumming forum I participate in) feel the need to validate themselves by putting down other genres. Pretty much everyone I know of my generation dabbles in all kind of genres, from rock to hip hop to electronic. The days of having to swear allegiance to one tribe are gone.
 

prodigy4299

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That's the whole point that started this topic. No one wants to spend money on music anymore, so I guess they're not voting. It's the companies paying for advertising via adwords or whatever, and consumers are paying with their personal data which includes their behavior online.
That being said, tickets for live acts have more than doubled in price in the last 10 years where I live. So one could say that there has been a shift in the business model. The 'album' has now become a promo to see the act live when they come to your town.

The days of teenagers shelling out their pocket money for a full CD with one good song and 11 fillers are gone, for better or for worse.
 

hsosdrum

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... The days of teenagers shelling out their pocket money for a full CD with one good song and 11 fillers are gone, for better or for worse.
Those days were gone as soon as Napster hit it big in the '90s. This shift from artists being able to make money on recordings to artists having to rely on playing live to make money has been happening for nearly 30 years now.

But the change in session player earnings that @Whitten refers to is not because of the shift from recording earnings to live-gig earnings, it's because of the ubiquity of DAWs and realistic-sounding instrument samples. Composers and music producers can assemble the sounds of 100 high-quality musicians and have them available at their fingertips. This completely changed not only song recording, but film and TV scoring. Those gigs have come close to drying up as well over the past 15 – 20 years.
 

bpaluzzi

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Those days were gone as soon as Napster hit it big in the '90s. This shift from artists being able to make money on recordings to artists having to rely on playing live to make money has been happening for nearly 30 years now.

But the change in session player earnings that @Whitten refers to is not because of the shift from recording earnings to live-gig earnings, it's because of the ubiquity of DAWs and realistic-sounding instrument samples. Composers and music producers can assemble the sounds of 100 high-quality musicians and have them available at their fingertips. This completely changed not only song recording, but film and TV scoring. Those gigs have come close to drying up as well over the past 15 – 20 years.
Even on the concert hall side -- every published piece for school band or orchestra used to have a room full of actual pros paid to record samples to go up on the publishing sites where band directors buy sheet music. Now it's all done with Spitfire sample libraries. My guitarist is doing all of the engraving and sample recording work for one of the big shops out here. You have to electronically engrave it anyway these days, and that gets you the MIDI "for free". Just set up the virtual instruments and your sample audio is done too. Same thing with Drumline recording -- all those Rowl-off sheet music pieces and Hal Leonard publish stand tunes / show tunes used to have small lines record them for the sample pages. Now it's all Virtual Drumline and the Tapspace stuff.
 
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