1. #1
    Most friends are "on the inside". Skank Muffin
    Join Date Sep 2007
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    Default Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    I've been doing this for a while and it always seems to be the same thing; get some project that you out your heart into, wait patiently to get paid, and also bank on the promise that the current band has been asked "where they got their stuff tracked/mixed" by a supposed interested party.

    Seem like a cycle for anyone else? If I got referral work from half the bands that claimed they were pitching for me, I could quit my full time job.

    My question to you all is how do you combat this?
  2. #2
    Join Date Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    Meet us by the wharf.

    We will be throwing Intellectual Property into the fire to warm our hands.

    .
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
    CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle
  3. #3
    Join Date Sep 2009
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    Clouds so swift
    Rain won't lift
    Gate won't close
    Feelin grows
    Get your mind off wintertime
    You ain't goin nowhere

    (cho.)
    Whoo-ee ride me high
    Tomorrow's the day
    My bride's gonna come
    Oh, Lord are we gonna fly
    Down in the easy chair

    I don't care
    How many letters they sent
    Morning came and morning went
    Pack up your money
    Pick up your tent
    You ain't goin nowhere
    (cho)

    Buy me a flute
    And a gun that shoots
    Tailgates and substitutes
    Strap yourself
    To a tree with roots
    You ain't goin nowhere
    (cho)

    Now Genghis Kahn
    He could not keep
    All his kings
    Supplied with sleep
    We'll climb that mountain no matter how steep
    When we get up to it
    (cho)

    -Bob Dylan
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  4. #4
    Most friends are "on the inside". Skank Muffin
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    I'll be the deshevled guy drinking from a brown paper bag. Lol

    And yup, song pretty much sums up this thread. I've even recently been looking through local classified ads for jobs, only to find hundreds of 'professional studios' who mix and master...under the 'jobs' category.

    Oh well, at least all the lights on the equipment I bought look nice when I turn the lights off. Until then, I'll be waiting for the band I started with over 6 months ago. Lol

    I don't think there's been even once, in over 10 years, I've had a client refered to me through another. I know what you're thinking ; "maybe don't suck", but they were all happy with the work, and so was I.

    I just wonder if that's a common bargaining chip played with bands to engineers. It has to be, because if they really weren't satisfied, turns out there are hundreds of others to go to.
  5. #5
    Comfortably dumb Eventually replaced hamsters with groundhogs
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    I just wonder if that's a common bargaining chip played with bands to engineers. It has to be, because if they really weren't satisfied, turns out there are hundreds of others to go to.
    Dunno, perhaps it is some kind of perceived "stepping up" kinda thing.
    You know, the guy we cut our first demo with, then the guy we recorded our first real demo with and then the guy we really recorded our first EP with...
    All marketing schemes in recording gear land (and music gear land in general) is about making tiny steps up the quality ladder.

    So, basically, a band has perceivedly "outgrown" you and your services when they made a good record with you.

    But I'm kinda speculating here.

    All the best,
    the keks
    Cape 8: Team Millionaires, Team Relentless



    The accordion - sometimes an instrument .... often just a bag pipe gone wrong.
    (Immanuel)
  6. #6
    Highway to Hell is for Children Allen Bean to the Moon
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    I do get referral gigs from time to time, but that's rare. What seems to work better for me is referrals from one particular guy who runs a studio. I mixed his band and now that he started a studio he directs some of his clients to me.
    Do you track or mix or both? If you are only mixing maybe it would be more beneficial to try to get to know more guys who track and produce.
    When in doubt, mumble!

    EVERYTHING SOUNDS LIKE SHIT IF YA LISTEN LONG AND HARD ENOUGH.
  7. #7
    Join Date Sep 2009
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    I'll be the deshevled guy drinking from a brown paper bag. Lol

    And yup, song pretty much sums up this thread. I've even recently been looking through local classified ads for jobs, only to find hundreds of 'professional studios' who mix and master...under the 'jobs' category.

    Oh well, at least all the lights on the equipment I bought look nice when I turn the lights off. Until then, I'll be waiting for the band I started with over 6 months ago. Lol

    I don't think there's been even once, in over 10 years, I've had a client refered to me through another. I know what you're thinking ; "maybe don't suck", but they were all happy with the work, and so was I.

    I just wonder if that's a common bargaining chip played with bands to engineers. It has to be, because if they really weren't satisfied, turns out there are hundreds of others to go to.
    The problem is that any bozo with a credit card and a proximity to a banjo mart or the internet can and does call himself an engineer these days.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  8. #8
    Join Date Apr 2007
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    Default Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    It's hospitality, first and foremost. Your work has to be good enough, but they refer you when they are attached to you as a person.

    (Says someone not really making a ton of money, but I work pretty regularly these days)

    Side note,
    People will literally say this about me:
    "People seem to like Andy, and I don't know why.... I mean I like him, but I'm not sure why other people do....."
    Hahaha. Not kidding.



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'm a fan of cheese!
  9. #9
    President of local Trekkie club. Ambidextrous Onanist
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    The problem is that any bozo with a credit card and a proximity to a banjo mart or the internet can and does call himself an engineer these days.
    Damnit John... you're constantly insulting me!! ;D

    -r
    Sign Here

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  10. #10
    Join Date Sep 2009
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    Damnit John... you're constantly insulting me!! ;D

    -r

    No, Reno, that wasn't directed at you. You're not a bozo, you just think you are....
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  11. #11
    President of local Trekkie club. Ambidextrous Onanist
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    No, Reno, that wasn't directed at you. You're not a bozo, you just think you are....
    I'll prove you wrong by god!!

    mclights, I don't know if you play out on your own or with any bands, but I would attribute both of my buddies studio growth as much to them being in the middle of the music scene as much as it has had to do with them being good or having good facilities.
    They are both just plugged into different parts of the music scene around here so they are there to hear when someone says "man I have something to record". Plus Darren, he plays drums for like 6 different bands around here which means that he's got 6 pretty steady customers. And each of the members of those bands play in a couple others too. (The music scene family tree lacks some branches around here)

    -r
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  12. #12
    Most friends are "on the inside". Skank Muffin
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    Maybe that's it. I haven't played in a while and, as a consequence, not very plugged in. Just relying on the current project's "word of mouth" to get around, but never seems to.

    Probably my own fault there. Honestly, I feel I'm pretty particular with sounds, and I think what I produce sounds good. Apparently so do the third parties listening to it as well. But nothing comes from it. I shouldn't complain I suppose, still getting repeat work from the same band, but its pretty spread out. I don't advertise either, just seems like a deaspiration move. There's hundreds doing that already.

    As an example, I mixed and recorded some additional stuff on a guys record years ago. He said it was great and stood up to 'so and so's record he was listening to. Thought that would at least garner me one client, but no word from him or anyone else around him since.

    Just find it hard taking pride in something that hasn't really got me anywhere. I guess I just gotta be thankful I did it at all. That stuff is still used on his you tube channel I guess, lol. Credits would be nice, tho. Ah well...

    And john, maybe I'm the bozo here. It would've been cheaper to go to banjo mart for my gear instead lol.
  13. #13
    President of local Trekkie club. Ambidextrous Onanist
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    As "connected" as the internet makes us, it doesn't really replace being in the thick of it.

    I live in a mid sized town in Colorado named Fort Collins. There happens to be a billionaire who lives here and she's incredibly philanthropic. She has an organization dedicated to the arts and a component of that specifically dedicated to music. They just built a multi million dollar facility to house that effort, the "Music District". And there are others in the community that are giving way more than what you'd expect to the music scene. Supporting local musicians and artist is so forced on you it's almost offensive...but not really. Yet here we are... in the middle of nowhere without anything notable to speak of. Great local shows, but no self sustaining industry.

    There is a healthy scene of younger white folks playing hippy folk, as we're not that far from Boulder. That shit won't ever die. There are a couple of rock bands that do okay and a budding pop punk thing happening. But even those few would be pressed to say they have more than local success. We're a bunch of well off white folks pretending to be rockstars. In the biker world, we're called RUBs... Rich Urban Bikers. (I'm the epitome of it...less the rich part)

    For me to ever make a living that were anywhere close to what I make now in IT, I'd certainly have to move to LA, Nashville, NY or something of the sort. And while I'd be quickly found out for the novice I am, lol ... I think I have the work ethic and a capacity for learning that would allow me to compete over time. But staying here, unless we win some music city lottery I'm going to be a hobbies. A serious one...but I won't ever make a full time living.

    The point I'm trying to get to I guess is, I think you have to be in the thick of it. I get that feeling when I think about Mixerman's chance encounter with Pharcyde. It might have been chance that those particular guys where at that particular place making that particular record...but it was no accident that he'd moved himself out there to be there for that chance. So just jump back in the scene there ... or go where you think it might be. I hear Asheville North Carolina is happening these days. Press the flesh as they say. It may feel a little icky or contrived, but man you've gotta be your biggest advocate. You can't always wait on others to spread word of your greatness.

    Like Nike says ... "go do stuff!!"

    -r
    Sign Here

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  14. #14
    Frustrated Chick Rock singer...now doing jazz standards poorly! Never made a record...music forum mod!
    Join Date Feb 2012
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    I'll be the deshevled guy drinking from a brown paper bag. Lol

    And yup, song pretty much sums up this thread. I've even recently been looking through local classified ads for jobs, only to find hundreds of 'professional studios' who mix and master...under the 'jobs' category.

    Oh well, at least all the lights on the equipment I bought look nice when I turn the lights off. Until then, I'll be waiting for the band I started with over 6 months ago. Lol

    I don't think there's been even once, in over 10 years, I've had a client refered to me through another. I know what you're thinking ; "maybe don't suck", but they were all happy with the work, and so was I.

    I just wonder if that's a common bargaining chip played with bands to engineers. It has to be, because if they really weren't satisfied, turns out there are hundreds of others to go to.
    It's simple really. You have to offer an sufficiently attractive service at a price point people are willing to pay for it.

    Don't ever work for free unless you believe your work is worth nothing.

    Unfortunately things like rooms, gear and instruments factor into the equation, and when these factors are weak, producing results that people will pay you to achieve becomes pretty fairly difficult, because engineering with shitty gear in a shitty room is something almost anyone can do.
  15. #15
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    I'd agree with Reno about getting involved in your local music scene more. Go to shows, get to know the musicians.

    Don't try to over-sell yourself, but become friends with them first. Almost every show I play I get guys coming up to me trying to give me the hard-sell on their 'studio'. Most of the are the 'banjo mart bozos' that John described.

    Reno, on the other hand, never tries to sell me on himself, but just hangs out and talks about common music and recording interests and I've hired him on occasion that I've had the budget to do so.

    As for as my situation, I stay moderately busy - 1 or 2 clients per week on average. Sometimes there's a lull in the action, or sometimes like last week, it's relatively busy (5 sessions). I don't advertise or promote my recording services, and I don't offer really cheap or free recording services that I see advertised by the banjo-mart-bozos around here.

    I get all my work just from being really active in the local music scene.

    And from a common misconception among mid-level musicians. My band and I have a decent regional rep for being good musicians. And so many of the local musicians think that because I'm a decent player I must also be a good at recording.

    It's funny, but it's that perception that gets me a lot of my clients.

    To get repeat business from a client, I have to give them a good experience. They need a product that they are happy with. They need to have a fun relaxed time while they're being recorded. And I try to help them grow as musicians and artists, and leave them with a feeling that if they come back to record again I can help them grow further.
  16. #16
    Join Date Sep 2009
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    And from a common misconception among mid-level musicians. My band and I have a decent regional rep for being good musicians. And so many of the local musicians think that because I'm a decent player I must also be a good at recording.

    It's funny, but it's that perception that gets me a lot of my clients.
    Yeah, because you're a champion NASCAR driver you've GOTTA be a great mechanic.....

    Good post, BTW.
    http://www.johnnyoklahoma.com/

    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    Everything is some mixture of awesome and suck. We simply want the awesome to be highlighted sufficiently that it distracts listeners from the suck.
    Originally Posted by Bob Ohlsson
    The appropriate role for science is the study of observed phenomena to gain an understanding. It is not dictating what people ought or ought not to be observing.
    Hey, if I'm Grumpy, where the hell is Snow White????
  17. #17
    Most friends are "on the inside". Skank Muffin
    Join Date Sep 2007
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    To meloco, yeah any projects I start, I usually start from the ground up and finish (except mastering). I've invested quite a bit into my setup, especially in the past 2 years. Its miles from the 002 and assorted crappy ART stuff. I'd embarrass myself to say just how much, but my bank is happy I'm sure.

    I guess that's also directed at Steve. I mean, its still a home studio, but compared to the actual studio that I used to rent, I feel like I've been getting better results. Maybe I'm fooling myself. Who knows. But they have a good time, and stuff gets done in a more than reasonable amount of time. Its probably a slower process than my tunnel vision can deal with im guessing. I don't price anyone into oblivion and let them pay on a differed basis. But again, I'm not exactly Nashville or Los Angeles out here. Its me and the gas station pretty much, lol. Even the surrounding area doesn't seem that active, but then again, its been a while since I've gone to see a localish band.

    Thanks all! Given me some stuff to consider for sure. Probably a self confidence thing, but always felt like a douche for approaching bands at a show. Seems like the last thing they wanna tolerate is some random, but could be all in my head.

    Appreciate the insight!
  18. #18
    Frustrated Chick Rock singer...now doing jazz standards poorly! Never made a record...music forum mod!
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    My intent wasn't to put you on the spot or make you feel the need for justification.

    However, in my experience, when you really put everything you've got into the project, and you have enough decent gear and sufficient monitoring to have a fighting chance, the band walks a way happy and recommends you to their friends.

    I happen to be in a largish metropolitan area (Columbus, Ohio) with a thriving music scene. I seem to have found a niche because I have a decent track record and I can track at home or in a studio with a great room - and because I am sufficiently equipped, including with accurate monitoring, and I work at home, I can offer a reasonable mixing rate as well. So people have an option - just pay me and get dead dry drum tracks which receive the Bricasti treatment, or pay an extra $200/day for a nice room, more simultaneous tracks and a better vibe. I'm staying pretty busy these days.

    People in bands love appreciation, especially right after a show. I say that as a musician AND as someone who has scored his best clients by saying "man you guys are awesome, I'd really love to make a record with you." That works best when it's sincere though; people can generally sense lack of authenticity.
  19. #19
    President of local Trekkie club. Ambidextrous Onanist
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    A couple of places here in town have hosted open house type get togethers. Throw some burgers on the grill and ice down some beers. Invite some guys you know, have them invite a couple of folks that you don't know. I'm a social person by nature, so get togethers like that are fun anyway. But I always thought that was a clever way to introduce people to your studio(or whatever business you have).

    Inevitably ... get a bunch of music types together and there will be playing. Be ready to throw up some room mics and maybe a vocal mic or two. At worst you move some electrons around ... but maybe you capture a sweet cover of Islands in the Stream for some players who would never play together otherwise and they become enamored with your place. Next thing you know, you can't get Kenny and Dolly out of your house.

    -r
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  20. #20
    Join Date Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Any advice for anyone who thinks they aren't going anywhere?

    AND as someone who has scored his best clients by saying "man you guys are awesome, I'd really love to make a record with you." That works best when it's sincere though; people can generally sense lack of authenticity.
    especially when your tone is dripping with sarcasm
    .
    Man! You have GOT to try a hit of this RANGE SUNSHINE!

    IMTBO = In My Thoroughly Biased Opinion
    CMIIW = Correct Me If I'm Wrong
    Never underestimate the amount of contempt a failed musician has for those of us who are still trying.
    If the party's good enough, you can actually suck to a remarkable degree.

    Greedle

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