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Music Today Is About Cost Cutting

Whitten

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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.
No. Pro Tools editing and sample libraries have hit session players for sure, but at the same time a lack of income from record sales for the vast majority of artists has also hit recording budgets.
Most musicians have home studios now, so I can still be hired to play drums on a singer's album without having to go to an expensive studio. But artists are expected to deliver finished albums, paid for out of their own money, then it's very hard to recoup those expenses. All the drummers I know who are recording are being paid less than they were 20-30 years ago.
Also, I was a member of bands - The Waterboys, Julian Cope etc. Album budgets are tiny now.
Also, credible, indie type artists don't want to use loops, or drum sample libraries, it doesn't suit their sound. Most sample libraries are aimed at big, mainstream rock drum sounds.
Yes, the industry has changed, but I'm out and about talking to all kinds of musicians all the time. There is no money to record what they want to record. everyone but the top 10% is earning zip from their record sales. Before Napster musician income came from two sources - records AND playing live. Now it's just ONE source. Nothing replaced income from records.
This is entirely because piracy created the space for streaming to move in, and streaming pays $0.004 to highly skilled people who live and breath their art.
 

equipmentdork

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The only show I saw that was singer + backing tracks was Michelle Branch. She wasn't the headliner(Goo Goo Dolls were), so maybe she had less input into the decision to do it, but I was soooo disappointed. Zero energy. Like someone playing along to the radio. I know that I will never knowingly attend another show like that. It was awful.


Dan
 

gryphon

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How long will it be to where artificial intelligence is used to generate "live" music?

Sample the playlists on the audience member's phones and synthesize a musical performance that is based on a statistical analysis of the crowd's favorite songs.

Who will be the first group to do a show where they just sit on stage in comfy chairs around a coffee table smoking some good stuff and bluetoothing tunes from their phones into the sound system?
 

Whitten

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In a way you are describing the ABBA arena experience in London.
They're using holograms, with a kind of up and comers live band to give it the impression of a live show.
 

Pat A Flafla

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Even Melt Banana hosed their drummer and bassist for live shows. It was the difference between me wanting to go and staying home.
 

dsop

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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.
That's true for all forms of entertainment too. I was looking at ticket prices for NHL games and the prices are insane now.
 

Tornado

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That's true for all forms of entertainment too. I was looking at ticket prices for NHL games and the prices are insane now.
I read an article yesterday about Abigail Disney decrying the insane costs for a family to visit Disney parks now.

It's an unstoppable convergence of factors that starts with the fact that our money has lost so much purchasing power over the decades, and salaries have almost been stagnant for the average worker. But the above average worker has actually increased their salaries beyond the pace of inflation. The "hollowing out" of the middle class that seems to be accelerating. So there's this increase in demand from a good chunk of people with lots of money driving up prices with demand, and companies having to raise prices to cover costs as well as doing what they should be doing by charging the highest prices that the market will accept. The truth is, there's enough upper middle class people making enough money to pack Disney parks and professional sports games, while everyone below just goes without and deals with the skyrocketing prices for everything. 32% of the American workforce, that's 52 million workers, makes less than $15 per hour. I don't know how they eat.
 

flatwins

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In a way you are describing the ABBA arena experience in London.
They're using holograms, with a kind of up and comers live band to give it the impression of a live show.
Beat me to it. ABBA was the first thing that came to mind when I read the “AI” comment.

Pretty cool how they did it and I give them a pass since ABBA isn’t exactly young and most likely have no interest in touring.
 

Quai34

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I guess this is the logical culmination of the trend.
A band playing live doesn't cut it in the marketplace anymore, because people are used to hearing everything tuned and timed on recordings, so you give in to technology a little bit.
First you're playing subtle supplemental tracks, low in the mix, so nobody really notices. A few added harmonies that the band can't cover live, maybe a percussion track and "Hey, let's throw in that acoustic guitar track too, so we sound more like the record, and, let's be honest, the singer's acoustic guitar has never made it to the front house mix anyway".
A few sliding steps down the slippery slope later, and you've found yourself going Full Karaoke. #sad
That's why I have never wanted to do backing tracks with our pop/funk/dance band. My guitarist has a super pedalboard with Doubler to make it sounds k=like the record, I bring 7 keys and 4 expanders, I play 4 parts keys/brass/strings with elaborated split and layers, played with hands and feet and the helicon voice live rack is always on for one of the 3 singers...ok, we are a 7 pieces band and only drumboxes for the claps and some percussions that my drummer cannot do at the same time..I have already played live some percussions on my keys to support the drummer on Santana songs etc...I want only my ipad on stage for the setlist and rest should, must be played live, no computer...
My former guitarist in his rock band told me one time when he was upset by all the stuff i was bringing, he told me to get a computer and to run sounds out of it..."So, why not doing it for guitars then...Why not playing the CD then...?"
 

Quai34

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I generally prefer bands that have drummers and other people.
Yes, that's why I insisted to have a real drummer even for songs that are played only on drumboxes and samples...The singer makes the show...And the drummer support it.
 

vintagedrummersweden

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In a way you are describing the ABBA arena experience in London.
They're using holograms, with a kind of up and comers live band to give it the impression of a live show.
True, but they also declared what you were going to get in advance - holograms with live music.
And up and comers, isn't that what most of us once was (in my case, still am)?

A good friend of mine saw the show, with no expectations, even though he has toured with one of the Abba tribute shows that keep touring with their music, including one or two original backing bands members. His experience of the show was that it was great, to a large deal because of the live band.

And the production of the show included quite a lot of people earning real money in the process, even though they weren't musicians.
 

Mcjnic

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This is a line from the article attached to the "Coolio died" thread ... it seems to ring the bell of this thread on the impact of streaming services.
That's a pretty serious disparity between album sales and streams.
Just wanted to add this piece to the tupoc ... (giggle)

"His career album sales totaled 4.8 million, with 978 million on-demand streams of his songs"
 

Whitten

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"His career album sales totaled 4.8 million, with 978 million on-demand streams of his songs"
You can't compare album sales to number of individual songs streamed. It's not a direct comparison.
Of course his 987 million streams were powered by his profile, gained when he was a label signed, album artist.
The question needs to be asked how much money is a young artist in the streaming age making.
Very simply put (it's more complicated by 70/30 label deals etc), a US artist needs to garner 1 million Spotify streams a month to equal the AVERAGE salary of $50k per year.
Not many artists, especially niche or up and coming, are achieving 12 million Spotify streams a year.
 

Mcjnic

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You can't compare album sales to number of individual songs streamed. It's not a direct comparison.
Of course his 987 million streams were powered by his profile, gained when he was a label signed, album artist.
The question needs to be asked how much money is a young artist in the streaming age making.
Very simply put (it's more complicated by 70/30 label deals etc), a US artist needs to garner 1 million Spotify streams a month to equal the AVERAGE salary of $50k per year.
Not many artists, especially niche or up and coming, are achieving 12 million Spotify streams a year.

What?
I didn’t say that.
It was a quote from a reporter.
Take it up with him please.
I was just stupidly thinking I could add what appeared to me as an interesting set of numbers presented by someone else into this thread … with a joke attached to make the members here smile.
Evidently not.
I am on your side of the discussion … as evidenced from other threads discussing this point ad nauseam.
Regie Hamm is a good friend … and an extremely successful songwriter.
He was one of the early voices pointing out the disparity against the artists … and he did NOT pull his punches.
Research the guy and you’ll understand my take on this.

So maybe dial it back just a tad and allow others to breathe a bit and maybe share a joke on here.
 
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Whitten

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Yeah, I wasn't even arguing with you, I was just pointing out comparing album sales to streaming is difficult, especially when making an example of artists who were famous in the album era.
Did you see anywhere where I gave you a hard time or even said you were (personally) wrong?
 

Mcjnic

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Yeah, I wasn't even arguing with you, I was just pointing out comparing album sales to streaming is difficult, especially when making an example of artists who were famous in the album era.
Did you see anywhere where I gave you a hard time or even said you were (personally) wrong?

You can't compare album sales to number of individual songs streamed. It's not a direct comparison.

You were pointing out I was wrong.
And I honestly didn't have a dog in this fight.
I just thought the numbers were interesting.

And again ... I agree with you on pretty much every point you have made.
 


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