Was Brandon correct when he rebelled against spending money on recording gear?

Was Brandon correct when he rebelled against spending money on recording gear?
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#102

That makes a lot of sense why I hear it that way. The thing is, at least for myself, I don’t have any desire to work in a big budget studio. Well, I have some desire. It would definitely be fun to do, and I’d love to spend a month working on a film score or something, but it’s not what I want to do for my job.

If your goal is to be the biggest best studio in the world, then yes, the low end/high end debate becomes stupid. But if you are a home studio and you are just trying to figure out how to get your stuff to sound good, it’s a pretty major part of your life.

Many of us have no intention of quitting our jobs and running a big studio. I know I don’t. I know that I personally am more interested in how to get good recordings than I am in how to run a successful recording studio business. I think both topics are good to have though.


#103

At times, some people (like that Greg guy), felt like I was bashing hobbyists like they were some sort of inferior life form. I’ve gone as far out of my way as I know how to share what I know with guys like @Chordwainer, @CCbro, @Stan_Halen, @Emma, and @everyone who I’ve come to genuinely admire as individuals over the years. And from yourself of course, though you’ve proven yourself to be quite the guru when it comes to the plugins! And I’ve grown considerably from interacting with everyone here.

I certainly respect other peoples choices. For myself, can’t help but be captivated by the scale of technology in major production houses. And I’m equally fascinated with the business models that keep staff and facility in said production houses working everyday. Its really the intersection of the money road and the technology road that makes me excited about getting out of bed every morning. But music and audio is kinda the only thing I feel like I know and really understand. So music is sort of like my bridge connecting me to the much bigger worlds of finance and tech.

I think Punkguy (or maybe it was Stan) told me on RR that I leave people scratching their heads by trying to talk about Ferrari’s at a used car lot (or something like that). I dunno…whaddya do when there aren’t any Ferrari dealers in town? I guess you just hang around and hope some other owners show up?


#104

yeah JK, I agree theres no doubt the Skywalker Studio type stuff is captivating.
Skywalker type biz, brings up the best counterpoint to being “rebellious” against spending money on gear. the point made with Skywalker is that anyone wanting to expand ability to bring in a wider range of clients has to have more gear and more room to work with more gear, in short ABILITY etc…

i guess at that level the rebellious-debate would be is the SSL4000 worth the $$$ or is a X-Brand Behringer X6400 console just as good?

I still appreciated what Brando was doing as he developed a greater sense of skepticism of the marketing hype. He seemed to love streamlining too for speed. I dont personally need speed vs $$$ and all that, but hell yeah… dont just drink the KoolAid.

I lost track of the thread point, was he “correct” in being rebellious against…spending money on gear? I find that question kind of strange because he actually spent a lot of money on gear. I can understand theres not much money being made in comparing Martechs to Rane Obsolete preamps other than Blog/WebSite advertisements/member activity… I grabbed a RaneMS1 after his blog on that. Two actually…and forced myself how to make little "walwart power supply for that weird stupid phone plug…the power supplys sell for near $100 alone which ruins the $50 preamp sale (if you can find one still).
But that wasnt the point, the point was the Clean Martech and Rane measured up the same and sounded the same. (except in parts, box, polished aluminum faceplates etc…)

someone saved part of the article here…cool!

http://komputer24.biz/computers/46412


#105

This statement is half true in my opinion. There are plenty of top shelf mixers and producers using ITB exclusively at this point, the big difference is the group of clients. I see this in the live world too: better artists/musicians sound better period, the equipment matters less when the source of sound is great. you have records that sold millions made on nothing, and its because of the performance and the song and not the equipment.

I am not saying that high end equipment is bad, but the more I improve my skills, the less I need that stuff.

And with all the home studios popping up these monster studios are dying and becoming less important. and I don’t think you can compare the movie industry with the music industry. Movies still have large budgets where as the music industry is almost dead…


#106

I’m right there with you. Even better, I’d like someone sitting next to me telling me what to do so that I’d have the hands on experience as I am getting that explanation. That’s how I teach my coworkers anything they need to do/learn on the computer.


#107

Indeed. When I used to run my labs before becoming a full-time bureaucrat, I would show the new user how to do everything for the first experiment, but then make them do everything with me at their elbow for the second (and as many as it took until I was comfortable that they could fly solo). Seemed to work great.


#108

Yep, that’s how I teach. As far as I can remember, research reveals that ‘showing’ people what to do is about 10% as effective as having them actually do it while you talk them through it.


#109

Really? I’ll admit that there is much I don’t know everything about this stuff. Enlighten me. What can you buy under $250,000 that can compete with an avid S5? I’d love to see another mixer can scale to 1000 channels, both digital and analog. With onboard DSP, 64 master outputs, fully automated recall even for the analog side (including gain staging, aux sends and routing). And one that has more than 256 sends and returns that can routed with a mouse click, eliminating the need to ever touch a patchbay. And what would it normally cost to have a redundant emergency changeover system? I would love to know about a cheap mixer that can tie directly into a multi-user media server to access and edit files stored on an enterprise network without having to move a single folder to a local drive. Last time I checked only the major ones can do that. If someone can’t get these features in a sub $250K rig, doesn’t it follow that low end gear is indeed downright incapable of doing what you would do with an S5, Harrison MPC-5 or Studer Vista 9?

The S5’s are not just for movies. Oprah used one at Harpo, NASA is still using theirs. The Sydney Opera house, Lakewood church, and the church of scientology all have these. MSNBC, FOX, and ABC have them in their live-to-air rooms. To say you only need one if you’re doing movies seems incorrect. I bought the S5 that used to be in Jay Leno’s Tonight Show studio. If it helps to put a face with the name, the pictures above are the S5’s at Peter Jackson’s studio in New Zealand, and at the Skywalker ranch in CA.

Your skills have nothing to do with the need for this stuff. As I said to @bozmillar earlier, if you can’t compete on the level of project capacity (meaning your setup is too damn small) and efficiency (meaning several people can’t mix the same song at once on the same mixer at once, which is going to make you too damn slow), then your skills don’t mean shit.

[quote=“Thunderhouse, post:105, topic:322”]
And with all the home studios popping up these monster studios are dying and becoming less important. [/quote] We hear this a lot. Seems like a total non-sequitur to me. Think about it. It hinges on the premise that home studios actually take work away from the monster ones. Right? The monster studios are doing work that the home studios are incapable of doing anyway. What I believe the home studios took work away from, were small studios and other home studios that wanted to pretended they were mid sized studios. So the home studio movement killed off a bunch of wannabes. Thats all. Mid level studios are thriving at the moment, and I see the home studios feeding the them, not killing them.

For the same reasons I just stated about the mixing console and the staffing at a major studio, the clients that would hire Sony’s audio services division to mix something, would never have sent it to a home studio to begin with. Again, project capacity, efficiency. Home studios can’t compete. Low budget gear. Can’t compete.

I’ll turn that on its head and say that I don’t think you can dichotomize the two. What is an industry? Product, distribution, sales, and revenue…right? Agree? How can you NOT compare the movie industry with the music industry, when the music industry derives more than half its domestic revenue from film, gaming, broadcast, and advertising?

Yes, movies have large budgets…they have amazing budgets. So do video games! Go get you some!! :smiley:


#110

I definitely think there’s value. I probably didn’t think that 4 years ago, but since starting my own business, I’ve learned that the world is quite a bit bigger than my own perspective. The business side of music is rarely talked about on forums, usually because people on forums aren’t doing this as a business.

The hard part is when you see people who are clearly hobbyists who can’t figure out the difference between a purchase and an investment. People who can’t write a song, but are told they should buy a $1000 microphone. This is a very common story. Way more common than the story of someone who is good but could use a bit of a boost from better gear.

And the thing is, manufacturers know full well that these are the people most vulnerable to spending loads of money. These are the people they advertise to. This is a world where a celebrity endorsement is worth far more than an improved algorithm. Musicians are way too scared to try anything new unless someone famous tells them it’s ok.

I know with 100% certainty that manufacturers lie about what their products do, and people eat it up. This isn’t something that is unique to the audio world, but audio products have the perfect setup for selling to an ignorant user market.

  1. It’s inherently driven by celebrity status.
  2. the products are technical in nature and are being sold to people who are not technical in nature.
  3. It’s sold as “art” that shouldn’t be compromised.

Unrelated to the above text, you probably know by now that there is a very strong “industry is evil” vibe amongst musicians, and I don’t think it’s much different for recording engineers. Big expensive stuff represents the industry side of recording, and most people are in the hobby, not the industry.


#111

I think you’ll find a difference in mindset between people who want to do this for the challenge and people who want to do it for a job. The good news for people like you is that a vast majority of people who have home studios will never break beyond a home studio. Most don’t want to. Like I said above, I put myself in that group. I don’t want to run a big studio. I want to record music that I like. But I want it to sound like I have a big studio. I can do that with the gear I have.

What I can’t do is mix 4 full length albums every month. Even if I can compete in sound quality (assuming I can) doesn’t mean I can compete in efficiency. I’m ok with that for now. Maybe someday I’ll change my mind.


#112

[quote=“bozmillar, post:110, topic:322, full:true”]
I definitely think there’s value. I probably didn’t think that 4 years ago, but since starting my own business, I’ve learned that the world is quite a bit bigger than my own perspective. The business side of music is rarely talked about on forums, usually because people on forums aren’t doing this as a business. [/quote] Dude…that’s so true! The first line of BS you hear from any entrepreneur pitching a product is the size of the market. Even for the people that want a business out of this, why is that not one of the first thing we consider when launching a studio? People need to do such a better job identifying their core competencies and their product sectors. Are they a licensing operation? Or are they a service oriented business? If the later, then do they realize the importance of their customer acquisition cost and grind the pavement to get repeat customers? If buying an an oversized mixer to wow people on photos is actually viable customer acquisition strategy (because of consumer ignorance), then by all means, buy it! Its painful to watch the mistakes that get made. It really is!!

[quote]
The hard part is when you see people who are clearly hobbyists who can’t figure out the difference between a purchase and an investment. [/quote] Bahaha! Entrepreneur vs Wantapreneur

[quote]
People who can’t write a song, but are told they should buy a $1000 microphone. This is a very common story. Way more common than the story of someone who is good but could use a bit of a boost from better gear.

And the thing is, manufacturers know full well that these are the people most vulnerable to spending loads of money. These are the people they advertise to. This is a world where a celebrity endorsement is worth far more than an improved algorithm. Musicians are way too scared to try anything new unless someone famous tells them it’s ok.

I know with 100% certainty that manufacturers lie about what their products do, and people eat it up. This isn’t something that is unique to the audio world, but audio products have the perfect setup for selling to an ignorant user market. [/quote]

I do agree. 100%. That the common consumer takes a horrific beating from vendor marketing departments. Though I do think the very top of the food chain users have gotten smarter. $1m+ studios have watched each other fall apart, largely due to debt from damn mixers, and overbuilding their facilities. Some even from not being able to pivot to the digital market shift. So people still spend $400K on a mixer, but they think twice about it before they do. Also, I think avid is having a lot of trouble because its getting harder to lie to their high end users. Its easier to lie about the value of a neumann mic than it is a $140K DAW controller like the S6-M40. Because it can either perform the functions or it can’t! There’s no grey area when it comes to functionality on a DAW controller. Avid also got called out on their preamps. Up-charging for a $2000 to change the color of their preamp face plates from blue/white to black/grey.

The way you clarified that last sentence, I think was a HUGE source of confusion on the old RR site. I’m amazed at how powerful an endorsement really is. I’m curious about why it seems to affect the analog hardware and musical instrument market more than the digital tech market. Its almost like the more digital something becomes (like an interface or a DAW controller), the less people care about what celebs use it. Hmmm.

I’ll share something I’ve noticed talking to engineers who run and work in multi-million dollar operations. I’ve spent a good amount of time talking with movie and broadcast pros since they’ve been kind enough to let me on their private forums. And I’ve also contacted a great number of them trying to buy spare parts for the mixer. Naturally puts you in touch with the only guys that have them, which are the techs and operators at these enormous studios. I don’t think celebrity hype had anything to do with Oprah, Peter Jackson, or George Lucas’ decision to pick avid. I would be surprised celebrity marketing had anything to do with NASAs decision either. While I believe that no one is immune from hype and confirmation bias, I would think think the sheer lack of other options on the market had the most to do with it. And the way avid, JBL, and dolby specific features fit the needs of so many of these major production houses.

…a quick perspective from the ‘other side’ of the user arena I guess :smiley:


#113

What about your plugins? Seems like you are well on track to get those into the hands of the majors. Is it a different marketing strategy to get them picked up and endorsed by some industry heavyweights? What does it take a plugin company to really get market share at the tippy top of the pro user space?


#114

my plugins are used in big studios. I’m just really really bad at taking advantage of that. Really bad. Dave Pensado told me he uses my stuff all the time. Why haven’t I done anything with that? I don’t know. I was told by his assistant that my plugins are on most of his tracks. But I don’t have a marketable quote from him saying that.

I’m in the process of looking for someone to manage the marketing side for me, because it’s by far my weakest link.


#115

Yes, that would be me. :slight_smile: I do enjoy you talking about stuff you are using or have tried, or your experiences. If you want to share or educate us on something - that’s great - see what response you get. I guess my frustration was when you posted questions about top level gear and expected someone here to be able to go toe-to-toe with you in discussion about it. Sure, it’s possible [U]someone[/U] might show up to reply to your thread, but when most people on these forums are not in that world or able to experience these things it just seems strange and out of place at times. That’s all I was saying.

I spent some time in pro studios and with Pro Tools HD rigs etc, so I can sometimes relate to what you are talking about. I did the Pro Tools certification too some years ago, where I learned about a lot of that high end studio and broadcast gear. But it’s doesn’t seem to fit the topics that usually come through here. There were only a handful of PT users on RR, at least that participated on a regular basis. I didn’t have much in common DAW-wise until I switched to Reaper, especially at a time where many others were doing the same.


#116

I can understand marketing feeling ‘icky’. It’s a part of the business world though, and especially in the internet age it seems. Words are powerful. It may seem intimidating to ask Dave P or his assistant for a testimonial, but why not? It’s easier at the time you have them on the phone or during an email exchange, to jump on the opportunity. The worst they can do is say “no”. :relaxed: Or ask if they would mind you telling people ‘publicly’ that they use your plugins (which could be a lead-in to asking for the testimonial :wink:). It’s polite to ask first, of course, and then they aren’t blindsided if it happens. You’re telling us about it, on a private forum, so it would be nice if you could say the same thing on your website.

Many people are weak in marketing, and have to work at it … and especially have to work at being [U]comfortable[/U] with it. It’s not a natural skill for most. If you just don’t like to do it, and you can afford to hire someone to do it, then by all means find a rep for your products that you can trust and who will do a good job for you.


#117

ha. It sounds so easy when you say it that way. I am talking to some people right now, trying to figure out the best direction to go. I’m always hesitant with this stuff because I have a history of working with people who over promised and under delivered. Just to put it in perspective, working with Brandon has been my only real positive experience with marketing. Let that sink in a bit.


#118

Actually this is a recording/musician forum. This place is for all of us. People like me with a great room and good B room gear, people with almost nothing, Indie musicians that want to record and A list engineers alike.


#119

OK, but it’s misleading to have recordingreview.com redirect here then, especially when it goes directly to a message from Brandon Drury. What does the ‘indie’ part of the site name refer to? I realise it’s short for independent, but what is the intended meaning of the word in this specific case?


#120

The word “indie” is probably not even a ‘real’ word, just a slang or vernacular, though these words usually get in the dictionary eventually once their usage becomes customary. The part of the name that threw me was “depot”, like we’re hanging out in a train station or something. :wink: Though the threads might be analogous to train cars, and the posts analogous to passeners. The categories are the locomotives. :sunglasses:

It’s just a name and a brand at the end of the day. There are lots of silly brand names out there that don’t mean anything - i.e. Twitter or Reddit - until someone attaches a meaning to them. Then our brain assimilates that meaning or archetype and no longer questions it … though a newcomer might think it an absurd use of language.


#121

Many words are slang, and are not ‘real’ words, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have specific meanings.

‘Indie’ certainly refers to a specific music genre, I’m just asking the site admin what it means here on this site.