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While I think Joe makes some valid points, there are still a ton of bands out there making records the old fashioned way with live instruments that are not pieced together in Pro Tools. On the financial side, I do not know how any band makes a living today. Revenue from sales has to be non existent and if you are on one of the few major labels left they have to be taking a massive chunk of any revenue in the form of advances.

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I agree with EVOL, the new bands I listen to are all essentially retro bands doing things old school.

 

The cheap cost of production makes Pro Tools simply too tempting to too many musicians. As a hobbyist I love technology and the fact that I can record drums through MIDI and 4 other instruments/mics at the same time right in my room.

 

Lets be honest though, even in the 60's, 70's and 80's a lot of instruments were recorded separately on tape and mixed later, not to mention that just about every "live" album had fixes and overdubs.

 

Again, Joe has some valid points in that there is no money in music now that so many minds have been conditioned to think (perceive) that music is free. Metallica got a lot of sh!t for the Napster lawsuit and now we all can see they were right.

 

Back in the day we all exchanged tapes to get to know new bands but since borrowed tapes was a way to "preview" the material, now you can hear an album before you buy or not buy it at all and listen to it in YouTube or download it from a bunch of sites.

 

This all seems to affect rock more than anything else, Country music has some avid fans that do buy music in all formats.

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Joe is right in many ways.

 

The computer and the internet have ruined music as a big money career. As a hobbyist, as Riffster says, it is wonderful. The computer and midi are the King and Queen.

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I'm not sure if he's onto something or if he sounds like an old man reminiscing about the olden days when coffee was a nickel and a penny would get you a handful of candy.

 

I agree with what he's saying, but do future generations really care if a person or a machine is making the music? All things must pass...good or bad.

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Joe is right in many ways.

 

The computer and the internet have ruined music as a big money career. As a hobbyist, as Riffster says, it is wonderful. The computer and midi are the King and Queen.

The CD industry's greed is what destroyed the music biz. They claimed when CDs first came out that they were pennies on the dollar to make so they would pass that savings on to the consumer. Flash forward 10 years into the 90s and CDS were still 20 bucks each. They were flat out greedy! Every cd from that point on shouldve been 5 dollars each, but corperate greed kept the cost high. So, what did the consumer do? They started downloading, and eventualy all the music stores went bye bye and the sales went kaput.

 

Granted, some stores still had sales, but for the most part new cds in 2000+ were still 16+ new! They knew people were stealing the music yet refused to lower the price. I feel no sympathy for corperate greed, only for the artists who missed out, espeially the struggling ones.

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if every person who's doing it for the money stopped playing tomorrow, there would still be an epic amount of great music made freely available on YouTube and the like every single day thereafter from those who are doing it for the love of it. I hear more great bands from the world over casually using that medium in a week nowadays than I would have in a year as a teenager when pocket money to buy stuff went nowhere and the radio played what the corporations paid them to.

 

On the other matter though... Joe, I'm right there with you - listening to bootlegs and live albums of Zeppelin, Free, Sabbath and the like lately, man the human 'errors' are what makes it better than the studio album. [thumbup]

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If people are willing to put it out there and others listen to it, then all is good.

 

I have to disagree. If musicians cannot make a living off of their art, then the art is reduced to the wealthy few who can bankroll themselves either through wealthy donors or their trust fund. You also miss out on artists focusing 100% on their art and growing and improving. We cannot un-ring the last twenty years (communications act of '96, media consolidation, death of terrestrial FM radio, excessive payola, illegal file sharing, etc), but we have to find a new way forward.

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Yes, I have to agree with Gibson Artist, it's greed that's destroyed the music industry, they all jumped aboard iTunes and it's ilk to try and sell a few more. The music industry basically ate itself through it's own greed.

One thing that's concerned me for quite some time is apathy from young people, they just seem happy to except whatever people like Simon Cowell churn up for them, they never re-invent music as young people did in the past, Rock'n'Roll, hippy music, punk etc. I used to work with young people (11-18) and I always thought for God's sake rebel. All they ever did though was worry if they've got the latest iPhone! Oh well.

 

Ian

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I have to disagree. If musicians cannot make a living off of their art, then the art is reduced to the wealthy few who can bankroll themselves either through wealthy donors or their trust fund. You also miss out on artists focusing 100% on their art and growing and improving. We cannot un-ring the last twenty years (communications act of '96, media consolidation, death of terrestrial FM radio, excessive payola, illegal file sharing, etc), but we have to find a new way forward.

If you must record in a 'real studio' on tape, studio time at EA is cheap, and Steve is better at it than 99% of the 'record producers' the world has to offer. If you don't care, then recording digitally is dirt cheap. Anyone can do it for next to nothing. Anyone can showcase their music to an audience of millions without paying a dime. Independent artists are doing just fine. Commercial artists will suffer... boo freaking hoo. DIY or die.

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he's right to a degree.

 

but not entirely.. there in fact ARE still bands and individuals doing it with as much of the "old school" ways as possible.

 

yes pro tools and other such PC based solutions are widely used now, but lets face it, they ARE BETTER solutions than anything that we had in the past. You don't have to use Auto Tune, instead, you can find some one that can sing, or better yet..... go through the ropes and develop your voice,, there's no quick start here, it's a lot of work.

 

 

Listen to ANY thing from someone like Joe Bonnamassa. It's all there. The playing, the tone, the song creation/development, the talent, the "Putting it all together" and getting it out there. Joe B. is not under any contract obligations from any one. What he's doing, HE IS doing it. today his net worth is north of $4 million

 

So while I agree with a lot of what Walsh is stating, it is NOT "across to board" and it's a slap in the face to the many artists and bands who refuse to do this.

 

Sure, there are the "kayne west's" spew their rubbish out on the air waves, but you don't have to listen, you don't have to buy it.. you can chose to ignore all of them, and hope that their 15 minutes of fame passes by quickly. (I can't BELIEVE Paul McCartney had anything to do with this jerk, just makes me sad and sick to my stomach at the same time.. Seriously Paul?)

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Right. Just because digital recordings are easily manipulated doesn't mean they are necessarily manipulated, or that they necessarily need to be manipulated. And the manipulation of recordings is nothing new - a good engineer can do everything you can do with digital recordings on tape. It just takes more time.

 

Insofar as the sound itself goes, a competent engineer will make a good recording on whatever medium he or she is using. A good, well-engineered recording would not sound any different if it were recorded on a 16-track Studer or a Protools rig. The engineer's job is to make the medium transparent and produce an accurate recording. Anything else, including that silly 'warmth' nonsense (actually low-frequency compression and distortion) is... wait for it... manipulation.

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Rock is Dead, Long Live Rock. blah blah blah.

 

When we did it we did it right and they are all doing it wrong now. Joe is Joes dad now, but I still love the guy because I'm my dad now.

 

Same as it ever was.

 

rct

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If you must record in a 'real studio' on tape, studio time at EA is cheap, and Steve is better at it than 99% of the 'record producers' the world has to offer. If you don't care, then recording digitally is dirt cheap. Anyone can do it for next to nothing. Anyone can showcase their music to an audience of millions without paying a dime. Independent artists are doing just fine. Commercial artists will suffer... boo freaking hoo. DIY or die.

 

I've recorded at Electrical so I am well aware of the affordability of laying down an e.p. on open reel there. Recording is probably the cheapest expense. And it is an expense because unless you sell your song to a commercial there is zero cost recup'd. The record industry refused to get on the digital file bandwagon until it was too late. The generation down from me does not believe they should have to pay for music because they got it for free on the black market for so long.

 

You still need marketing, distribution, a foot in the door, and someone to get you heard above the noise floor because everyone and their mother has released an album. People think major labels are obsolete, but I think what they provided for decades is missing.

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I should clarify that I am not dogging on software solutions like Pro Tools or GarageBand. They have revolutionized recording and done some great things for music. But as with any tool, it is how you use it. When you are in there piecing together ten takes or nudging each and every drum part to make it line up *exactly* on the beat or redlining mixes so dynamics are eliminated, then I have to criticize.

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When you are in there piecing together ten takes or nudging each and every drum part to make it line up *exactly* on the beat or redlining mixes so dynamics are eliminated, then I have to criticize.

 

yep... exactly, It is up to the player to get it right, and to make it so that it does not sound contrived.

 

I don't care that you can do it and make it sound seamless with 100 takes, -- especially with a lead track, IMO, it wont have any soul.

 

To me, unless I nail it, entirely, in two or three takes, it will never sound "right" to me. Any more takes than 4 or 5.. and I'm just circling the drain. I like showing up knowing exactly what has to be done,, then, just go do it. Doesn't matter if it's tape or pro tools. it's the same process for me, just a different technology that's capturing it. I don't care what it's going onto, I just care about what's going there.

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Stating the obvious (again) I can only speak for myself but I always have and always will buy hard copies of the music I like.

In this way I hope the writers/musicians will get their allotted share of the pie.

 

In this vein I've just really enjoyed this evening's episode of BBC's 'Later With Jools Holland' and, subsequently, I can see myself buying stuff from FFS; The Lone Bellow and The Unthanks.

That last act's song, Magpie, is the sort of thing you willl never ever hear on radio nor, in all likelihood, anywhere else and I thank Jools for putting this stuff 'out there' for us like-minded weirdos.

 

The other acts were fine, too, but we all already know The Alabama Shakes etc. so no one needs me to spread the gospel (as it were) there.

 

I Like Having Hard Copies.

I have MP3/MP4 etc. for my 'MP3 Player' but only if I have the originals. I'm odd like that.

 

P.

 

P.S. : You all could do worse than to check out 'Magpie' by 'The Unthanks'.

You might well hate it with every fibre in your body - it's hardly mainstream - but (FWIW) I absolutely loved it.

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He is right. He was there in some of the golden years. This is not some 19 year old complaining about how his piercing went wrong. Joe is the man. He is the cat that got Jimmy Page his first burst. That alone speaks volumes. No further questioning your honor!

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Agree with what he is saying basically and a lot of good points made here.

 

BUT......

 

For every big band and big concert you see advertised, there are few hundred - maybe a thousand - small ones you don't hear about and probably never will.

You don't have to have a recording contract or be famous to make a living from playing music, you just have to work very hard indeed at what you have, and keep looking for more work.

 

Record companies aren't underwriting and fostering bands like they used to because they can't afford to. So that very important ladder to the rockstar dream has gone.

But the audiences are still out there, musicians are technically extraordinary these days, and more people mean there is a bigger appetite for live music today than at any time in the past IMO.

However art always reflects what is going on in society which is constantly changing. There are a lot of small market niches now instead of one huge market place.

 

There are a couple of important things here. Rock and pop music used to be a rebellion but now it is totally accepted, integrated into our society and ubiquitous.

This ubiquity plus our mania for recording and collecting information of every sort is part of what has 'devalued' it to the point where people expect it for free.

 

Healthy or unhealthy? I don't know and I don't think anyone can predict the future accurately.

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