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Mastering business in decline

Blumlein 88

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#1

Wombat

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#2
I am sure modern mastering can be done by algorhythm(sic) by Uber drivers waiting at traffic lights. ;)

Click on Genre, then click on "mastering in the style of". Press GO.
 
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Wombat

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#4
Streamings what dunnit. o_O
 

keebz28

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#7
I just spoke to an artist that put out a song and I told him the mastering was decent on it and could've used more time, he responded back saying he had to rush it get it out. Rushed to earn the streaming money (where artists earn peanuts compared to actual cd sales). It also comes down to how music now is manufactured mostly in digital software on a laptop and does not require instruments to deliver the depth that most of us crave.
 

RayDunzl

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#8
I'll master your new album for $10, or 50% of the rights, you choose.

Just send me your "finished as you like it" mix.

Which reminds me:

 

Blake Klondike

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#9
I have a friend who had Bob Clearmountain's assistant master his record 10 years ago and it was $1500. at $.017 each, that's 88k spins to earn that back. It would take most artists years to reach those numbers, if they could do it at all. Since everyone is recording their records in their bedrooms now, I imagine folks are just "mastering" themselves. I sure notice the difference on many "indie" tracks.
 
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Blumlein 88

Blumlein 88

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Thread Starter #10
I'll master your new album for $10, or 50% of the rights, you choose.
With streaming revenue for an unknown artist, that might be a difficult choice to make.
 

keebz28

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#11
I'll master your new album for $10, or 50% of the rights, you choose.

Just send me your "finished as you like it" mix.

Which reminds me:

I used to DJ on club circuit and I still to this day do not understand the whole turning knobs and show boating that they're really making music on the decks nonsense these DJ's do nowadays. If you know how to mix your tracks, you only need to touch the mixer when you're mixing otherwise engage with the crowd and cue up the next record. :facepalm:
 

oivavoi

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#12
Interesting. I don't have good data on this, but it seems to me like recorded music is more about quantity than quality these days. The major streams of income has changed - it's not about selling lots of copies of one really good CD. It's more about getting many songs out to the streaming services, which each generate a little bit of income but are then forgotten, and earning money by doing concerts, gigs, etc.

But think about masterpieces of popular music like Sgt. Pepper, Thriller, Back in Black, Nevermind, etc. They were recorded and mastered to perfection (even Nevermind). But in turn it generated a lot of money. So it made sense to pay money to expensive mastering engineers. There are very few examples of recordings having a similar impact after the introduction of the ipod, and then spotify. The only example is maybe Adele?

I have a feeling that mastering was often about the art of making an album, kind of, not about making translatable mixes to individual songs. When it comes to just pumping out individual tracks to spotify, which can hopefully get played a bit, the magic of the mastering engineer becomes less necessary. Perhaps, this is just speculation on my part.

Anyway, I'm pretty certain the streaming services have killed music.
 

oivavoi

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#14
If artists are motivated to do more public performances, that's a good thing.
Well, most musicians and artists I know struggle to make any money at all, even with lots of concerts. It was emphatically not like that two decades ago. It was still a hard life, and most couldn't make a living out - but there was a possibility to "make it" and get a decent living as a recording and touring artist. Some did succeed. Now it's almost nobody.

There is still money in the recording business, but musicians and artists sure aren't seeing a lot of it. Spotify and streaming has generally been horrible for the people who are actually making the music we like to listen to. https://cultmtl.com/2020/12/musicians-montreal-spotify-one-cent-per-stream-payola-playlists-justice/

Spotify also changes music, it seems, making songs shorter and less complex. https://www.theverge.com/2019/5/28/...roduction-switched-on-pop-vergecast-interview

Personally I have decisively landed in the "I hate what spotify and streaming generally is doing to music" camp. EDIT: But I realize that this is not a battle we can win, as much as I would like to see the CDs come back to dominate. Better to hope for better regulation of the streaming services.
 

RayDunzl

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#15
So you wanna go to a headliner's show?

1610580575042.png


I'm jaded, of course, due to the having seen prime Led Zeppelin from 50 feet for $6, and aging Pink Floyd right down front for $20.

1610580887546.png
 
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Ron Texas

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#16
It's a winner take all business. Taylor Swift and the big stars get rich while everyone else starves and music lovers have fewer choices. I don't think CD's are the answer. Except for LP's the age of tangible music products is over. Emerging artists have to take advantage of the lower production costs digital offers and low investment web distribution.
 

oivavoi

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#17
It's a winner take all business. Taylor Swift and the big stars get rich while everyone else starves and music lovers have fewer choices. I don't think CD's are the answer. Except for LP's the age of tangible music products is over. Emerging artists have to take advantage of the lower production costs digital offers and low investment web distribution.
I think there are two answers to this:

1) A "user-centric" payment model for streaming services, where what you pay goes directly to the artists you actually listen to ( https://pitchfork.com/thepitch/is-there-a-fairer-way-for-streaming-services-to-pay-artists/ ) . It would in all likelihood benefit smaller artists and genres, and also recreate some of the bond between musicians and those that are listening to their music.

2) Political regulation of a minimum price for streaming services. A monthly subscription costs much less than a CD used to cost back in the day. Not to mention the free-tier. Just make proper regulation and say that any streaming subscription has to cost 20 USD per month, and abolish the free tier. Probably not possible in the US, but it should definitely be doable in places like the EU, Canada, etc.
 
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Blumlein 88

Blumlein 88

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Thread Starter #18
I think there are two answers to this:

1) A "user-centric" payment model for streaming services, where what you pay goes directly to the artists you actually listen to ( https://pitchfork.com/thepitch/is-there-a-fairer-way-for-streaming-services-to-pay-artists/ ) . It would in all likelihood benefit smaller artists and genres, and also recreate some of the bond between musicians and those that are listening to their music.

2) Political regulation of a minimum price for streaming services. A monthly subscription costs much less than a CD used to cost back in the day. Not to mention the free-tier. Just make proper regulation and say that any streaming subscription has to cost 20 USD per month, and abolish the free tier. Probably not possible in the US, but it should definitely be doable in places like the EU, Canada, etc.
I think this is legally naive.

For instance, the songwriter holds copyrights automatically. He can license someone to record the song. Then others can cover it without direct permission, but must pay the song writer. This in the simplest situations. And songwriters can sell rights to their music and how that works varies around the world.

Now you want to pay artists performing the work, but many of those don't own the music. What about the poor songwriter?

As for regulating pricing of streaming all I can say is I hope not. I can stream movies for half of your proposed $20/month. Somehow that makes music seem like a bad deal.

I don't know the answer, but I don't think your proposals would work or even be better in the end.

One thing I'd like to see more of is live streaming events. A small artist, in a small venue doing live streaming for a small cost wouldn't need all that many buyers to make more than they usually do. You still have the problem of announcing it to the world.

Perhaps for albums or single tracks a block chain setup that charges you each time you play it. It would have a cap so that it never costs you more than a CD. But with the right scale maybe it gains artists and songwriters a bigger paycheck. Maybe 1 cent per play per track. Capped at $1 per track cost to you. Though this is close to the current streaming album equivalent of 1500 streams per album.
 

keebz28

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#20
I'm amazed that mastering was still a thing after the original vinyl era.
Unfortunately not many people know how to correctly arrange their songs and produce them on laptop. Mastering is still a must have skill.
 
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