The future of the pro audio industry?

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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by ManFromGlass »

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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by awjoe »

The Red Bladder wrote:
Fortunately for all of us, it is what goes on in front of a camera that costs real money! That alone spares us from the equivalent of the plinky-plonk noises that pass for music coming from bedroom studios everywhere. (Though there's enough dross on YouTube - some of which I am creating!)

I'd like you to elaborate on this. I don't see a dollar cost associated with what goes on in front of the camera. That's talent, and talent doesn't cost money. It costs something, sure - but that isn't measured in dollars. I mean, I've got a certain amount of talent (laugh if you like, but it's more or less true), and what it's cost me has got nothing to do with money.

The Red Bladder wrote:The cost of equipment is almost nothing when compared to the cost of real talent.

Yeah, but what does it cost, in dollars/poinds/yen to develop talent? It's not financial, it's psychological. Look, one of the reasons I'm engaging you is because I like what you say in your posts. I want to know what you think. What's the cost of real talent?
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by awjoe »

Hugh Robjohns wrote:As an industry I would agree that the money is no longer in recording artists and bands for their own sake. It's now moved heavily into soundtracks for games, especially, and films/ big-budget-TV.

But if you're not a gamer, and if you go to the movies/TV for the story more than the soundtrack, where do you hear your music these days? What's the internet version of pirate radio? And who'd be listening to it? *That* is where I'd want my stuff. Just saying.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Terrible.dee »

The future of the "Audio industry" is this:

Be good at what you do.

Be REALLY good.

Be really good and you will have a "Future" in the "industry"

If you aren't willing to put in the work.....don't bother. Though I made my living in it, I can tell you the "Music industry" will eat you alive if you don't show it who's boss.

It's NOT for the fain at heart.

....I must preface this advice by saying....there may not be a "future" in ANY industry. the way things appear to be heading.

So I would recommend getting right with God.

THAT is the only industry with a "Future"

The good thing about getting right with God is that you will find yourself put into the best possible place for you to work and live......seriously....No hand wringing, no "decisions" you just wake up one day, the phone rings and you are exactly where you are supposed to be.

....or you can do things your way......with what the world looks like right now?

Good luck with that.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by blinddrew »

awjoe wrote:
The Red Bladder wrote:
Fortunately for all of us, it is what goes on in front of a camera that costs real money! That alone spares us from the equivalent of the plinky-plonk noises that pass for music coming from bedroom studios everywhere. (Though there's enough dross on YouTube - some of which I am creating!)

I'd like you to elaborate on this. I don't see a dollar cost associated with what goes on in front of the camera. That's talent, and talent doesn't cost money. It costs something, sure - but that isn't measured in dollars. I mean, I've got a certain amount of talent (laugh if you like, but it's more or less true), and what it's cost me has got nothing to do with money.

The Red Bladder wrote:The cost of equipment is almost nothing when compared to the cost of real talent.

Yeah, but what does it cost, in dollars/poinds/yen to develop talent? It's not financial, it's psychological. Look, one of the reasons I'm engaging you is because I like what you say in your posts. I want to know what you think. What's the cost of real talent?

Well, a big name actor or actress will cost you several million dollars for their time. That's your dollar cost. You hope that their name on the poster will pay for itself in terms of getting people to turn up and you hope that their talent will ensure a good set of reviews to enable you to make your next movie.
If you want the proverbial 'all star cast' then you multiply that budget many times.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by The Red Bladder »

awjoe wrote:What's the cost of real talent?

Session musicians start at around £100 an hour. Actors a bit less. Plus costs of course, so if you find just the right face for a role and you get an online audition and it all looks peachy, you still have to fly that actor to the studios and put them up. The same applies to musicians.

If you are a headline stadium act then you must find at least $8k a week per musician for touring, plus a good hotel room and full board. But then you are getting between $5m and $10m for a gig.

blinddrew wrote:Well, a big name actor or actress will cost you several million dollars for their time. That's your dollar cost. You hope that their name on the poster will pay for itself in terms of getting people to turn up and you hope that their talent will ensure a good set of reviews to enable you to make your next movie.
If you want the proverbial 'all star cast' then you multiply that budget many times.

Something like that! It all starts with the script. If you have a killer script (or a killer franchise) in your back pocket and that script has a main protagonist that is a strong yet quirky role such as 'The Equalizer' or 'Die Hard' or Riggs in 'Lethal Weapon' you may get your 500lb gorilla to attach themselves to a project for what is known as 'points on gross' (% of box-office). Very often, it is the 500lb gorilla that is fronting the money and has put the project together.

But you only ever know that a film can actually go ahead when the camera starts rolling and the money is secured with your accountants (or Barclays Film Finance on a sale-and-lease-back deal) - and even then, things can happen!

Getting that star performer is what moves the project forward and shakes the money out of the trees. The first question any backers/investors/studios/distributors ask is "Who's in this turkey?"

If the answer is Mrs Millie Tooley of 17, Oil Drum Lane, Sidcup, you get shown the door. If the answer is Brad Pitt, you get to hear "Please, come in! Sit down! Let's talk!"

Music, film and the arts in general - names open doors. Sam Mendes makes a film and $100m is no problem whatsoever - the angels line-up, waving their chequebooks and the product placement agencies get the Audis and BMWs and Sonys and Apples of this world to front the costs in advance.

You or I make a film - it had better be cheap!

I once mixed a live tour of a big-name UK band that had several number ones to their credit. The venues were packed but the playing was truly third-rate. It transpired that not one real member of the band was in the band. The band leader loaned the name of the band to his cousin for a percentage of the take.

But the name was good enough to get the punters in!
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by Aled Hughes »

I know a few players who do/have done big name stadium tours (and I mean BIG stadium tours)
They were on nowhere near £8k a week.

They also don’t charge £100/hour for sessions either.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by James Perrett »

Aled Hughes wrote: They also don’t charge £100/hour for sessions either.

The MU rate for non classical musicians is £97.20 for a 2 hour session. Classical musicians are from £58.13 upwards.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by awjoe »

@ TRB and blindrew:

Sorry, I thought we were talking about musicians making music in front of a camera. It's interesting to me that, earlier in this thread, when TRB said the future of audio is video, I thought only of two varieties of audio in video:

* point a camera at a band in action and put it on Youtube (bands like Pomplamoose seem to be making a career out of this approach)

* arty music videos

In terms of talent, the first one's free - bands don't charge themselves to play their stuff in front of a camera. The second one's more expensive to make usually, but paying for talent amounts to the occasional actor or dancers usually - hiring symphony players is rare. The 'Thriller' video cost $900,000, and that included 10 days of dance rehearsal. Expensive. But I imagine Aldous Harding spends less on her videos than Billy Eilish for example, and I imagine that neither of them spend much on talent in front of the camera. (And I'm happier watching Eilish and Harding then I am watching Michael Jackson, because I like their music better. Off-topic, but related.)
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by blinddrew »

Ah right, no, I'd moved on to movies from that point.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by The Red Bladder »

awjoe wrote:@ TRB and blindrew:

Sorry, I thought we were talking about musicians making music in front of a camera. It's interesting to me that, earlier in this thread, when TRB said the future of audio is video, I thought only of two varieties of audio in video:

* point a camera at a band in action and put it on Youtube (bands like Pomplamoose seem to be making a career out of this approach)

* arty music videos

I have just ball-parked the number of Blu-Ray disks we have here at Bladder Towers and it is about 250, of which perhaps 50 are live concerts. Being an elderly and a rather mild and timid chap with mild and timid tastes, I only go in for mild and timid music, so it's all stuff like AC/DC, Scissor Sisters and Rammstein. I particularly like Rammstein!

But here's the problem - making a concert video is expensive. OK, prices have come down and quality has improved. Everyone is now using 4K or 6K cameras so that their stuff will be future-proof and the cameras today can all be sync'ed by radio and they all can record a two- or three-hour concert. But you still need at least eight of them - and eight camera people holding the damn things - plus the multitrack - and all that costs real money.

But if you make a really good concert video and it stands the test of time by being filmed or videoed in as high a quality as possible and of course, people want to hear the music, it will sell for decades. AC/DC at Castle Donnington was filmed using sixteen 35mm film cameras (no hi-def in them days!) and all that cost a fortune - but it still sells for the full retail price today!

Of the other 200 disks, they all have music. Film music budgets range from a micro-budget thing a friend did for an arty-farty project and he got a £50k music budget. Another friend (and member of this forum) did the arrangements and stem mixes for a far too well-known fantasy film series and the music budget for each film was £5m.

Then there is licensing for advertising. That can bring in pennies (library stuff) or millions (licensing a hit). It's a bit of a craps-shoot!

Gaming is very lucrative for some - but I wouldn't know.

TV dramas are more professional today and are using real scores and arrangements - just like the movies! And therefore they have to have real budgets.

Music without images attached is being recorded for Spotify et al but mostly now in home studios, some of which are of commercial studio standard. The Big Boys have big toys!

So what have I not mentioned? Easy - CDs. Very few are recording for those anymore. My wild guess is about one-tenth of the number from ten years ago - judging by what we get coming through the front door!
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by James Perrett »

The Red Bladder wrote: So what have I not mentioned? Easy - CDs. Very few are recording for those anymore. My wild guess is about one-tenth of the number from ten years ago - judging by what we get coming through the front door!

In terms of numbers of projects, I see more vinyl projects (usually with digital distribution too) than CD projects at the moment. Vinyl is really in demand at the moment with huge backlogs at the factories. However, the big projects often include a DVD together with one or more CD's.
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Re: The future of the pro audio industry?

Post by awjoe »

The Red Bladder wrote:So what have I not mentioned? Easy - CDs. Very few are recording for those anymore. My wild guess is about one-tenth of the number from ten years ago - judging by what we get coming through the front door!

I'm old-fashioned. My music library consists of CDs. But I listen to w-a-y more music in video form now than I do to CDs. That's because I love watching people making music. It's a giant step closer to the real thing, which is live. That's why, in the making of my own music, I've shifted from making CDs to making videos. (The weakest link in my recording chain is now the video side of things, both in terms of gear and chops.) That's why I agree that the future of audio is video. If I've just figured this out, then the rest of the world must be a galaxy or two ahead of me.
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