Friday, January 14, 2011

NY timez talks indie bands

So basically, yeah. Crap multiplies and then subdivides into more crap, eventually even microscopic pieces of bloody shite. And then maybe sometimes some of it is a little less crappy, and those are the gems that get put on the cover of magazines.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

There are no more good hit songs

Top 40 is too formulaic, auto-tuned, compressed and gridded to be decent to listen to. Indie is too unstudied, lacking in hooks and musicianship (self indulgence is never good).

If you take a song from the 50's and song from the 80's, they both have hooks and inspired playing. Even a song from the 90's- a grunge tune- inspired playing, hooks.

Modern Top 40 has hooks- they're weak and passably musical. I guess breakout indie acts- the ones that make it on Apple commercials- are probably the closest blend of quality + hooks I can think of. But, those are all one hit wonders. If an Apple commercial is the new "radio", then Apple is the new "gatekeeper" of the music industry. iTunes is great, but at the very top, at that pinnacle, you have an iPad/Pod/Phone slot. That's the "hit" slot. You get 30 seconds.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Old School Vinyl Album Art

I was just going through some vinyl. I don't even have a record player at home- it's at the studio. But I realized something. Even just looking at the cover art- it was all so real. We're talking abut an analogous process here: light, film in camera, cut-outs, collages, more film, and printing. They accomplished all they needed with relatively simple machines and tools. But most of all, it was human ingenuity.
The realness shines through. At no point was anything taken through an A-D process, or an A-D-A process. No plug ins were used. No computer-aided tracing, drawing, smoothing, post-processing. No leaning on powerful fix-it-in-post tricks.

It all had to be better at the source. And even if it wasn't brilliant, at least it was real.

Maybe this is a case of work vs lazy or real vs fake.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pro Tools woes, Logic 8 smoothness

I'm trying to migrate to my own hosted blog so I can integrate a website.  shhh.. don't tell blogger/google.  But I may still use it in the future.. 

Anyway, I'm working on commercial and promo video tracks using.. LOGIC Pro 8.  After finally getting a new rig together thanks to the M-Audio Lightbridge and outboard Focusrite pre's with converters, things are sounding great.  All of Logic's, stability, included instruments and plugins make it almost a no-brainer.  

But I've ween wanting to get back to Pro Tools, mostly out of habit, and I found the perfect interface.  The Lightbridge (cheapest- $360 -  was FL Music Co.) is the only unit that closes the gap between LE/M-Powered and HD.  32 I/O and no HD 10k + investment... wow!

That old Digi 001 is finally going up on Ebay and into the hands of someone who can use it.  Really with external pre's via ADAT lightpipe it should make a great cheap effective setup for someone with XP and the last version of tools (5. something) that works with it.  

Getting Pro Tools to work in Vista, even on my sweet MacBook Pro, has been a grand nightmare.  I've had to disable everything except plug and play and the M-Audio background software (not even sure if this is necessary).  This has made me further appreciate the ease and smoothness of Logic, which just worked immediately with no glitches, dropouts or overloads but which I've hated up until exactly a week ago since past versions were so clumsy. Finally with everything disabled (in msconfig) PT works.  But I wouldn't want to rely on it for clients in the room.

Waiting for the Trident 8t-16 hopefully.  No more summing in PT, and a real board with real knobs that do real things.  Counting down the days....

Monday, June 30, 2008

You Can't Fake Greatness

...Or buy it.  It takes real passion and determination.  And knowledge and courage.  It's not guitar hero.  It's not being connected, so connected that your success is bought with favors.  

It's embodying being truly great.  Believing in something through time and space to see it through to completion, whatever it is.

Monday, October 15, 2007

All Hype and NO Talent

You know, it really irks me- yeah I said "irks" when I stumble upon (not the site) some new indie band that's supposed to be musically interesting/amazing/incredible as raved about by several bloggeurs, and then I finally get a listen and they're complete garbage nowhere near the hype. More like miles from it, millions of miles. Terribly out of tune vocals, barely musical, with hardly passable musicianship- is that what we're reduced to nowadays? Major label acts use gratuitous auto-tune. Indie acts with the same lack of talent don't use it. What happened to people being talented...or at least able to sing and write? Is that really too much to ask? Is it?
Maybe I'm coming off as a hater, but you know what? I'm gonna hate with love. Yeah. So fans, whenever you read this, be it months from now or a year, just know that I promised you an album full of good music, and I delivered. Nuff said.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Will we need record labels in two years?

Here's my guess. No. They'll be pointless as Radiohead's In Rainbows will demonstrate, but they'll still exist, at least until all the legacy acts that literally need them die off. Especially since they're just high interest banks anyway. Oh but wait, at least you can put money in a bank and it'll give YOU interest.

I bet you're thinking, "oh no.. I don't want to hear that..oh Stephen Matthew, you're ruining my dreams of a label coming down from the heavens on a golden chariot and sweeping me off my feet to live happily ever after!" Maybe if you're a shitty band like the ones they sign now, that juuuuuuuuuuuuuuust might happen if you're super lucky, know the "right" people, and if you spew the appropriate combination of shittyness and flavor of the week looks.

Or, you could do it yourself, take matters in your OWN hands, and make all the money, just like Scarface.

Seriously what do we need them for anymore? 1. An advance? 2. Marketing? 3. Distribution? 4. Maybe publishing if you write that kind of material- otherwise I consider song placement to be marketing.

Okay 1- you only need the advance to cover all the expenses of all the other overpriced shit they do. With 290482094 studios per square mile, you can do it for far less than their BIG advance can. 2- Most bigger $ marketing is placement and co-branding. Dont' worry about that. Hit the real media for credible stories. Once you're big enough, call Regis and Conan. Then call Leno and Letterman. Or hire a PR firm! 3- I give CDs at most five years, but the prime target demo, about two. #4 Contact music supervisors, sign up for a music placement service or get into a publisher. And there you have it, kids.