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Thread: Last Man Standing

  1. #1
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    Default Last Man Standing

    "You don't have to be the best. You just have to outlast the competition."

    I was talking with Bill Park the other day about the future of the recording industry for engineers.

    There's definitely a weaning period going on right now. I see many engineers having to take other jobs to survive. This is not new this year. This attrition has been going on since I got here. There simply aren't enough recording gigs for everyone who wants to make a living as an engineer.

    For those who can outlast this lean time, assuming of course that this IS just a lean time and that the recording industry will re-emerge as a viable method for making a living, there may be better times ahead. (Anyone remember my posts about "When does a slump become a trend?")

    When the demand picks back up (again, assuming it does), those who are left will be in a good position to get a lot of work because they will have the credentials and the experience. But, on balance, it's a gamble as we proceed whether there will be enough work in the future to justify all the years of "hanging on." Plus, there will always be a new crop of the next generation of engineers who are willing to work for next to nothing in order to gain experience.

    I hope that our industry is not gutted of experienced engineers, musicians, arrangers, etc. during this current upheaval and that there are those who can hang in there and reap the long term rewards of their experience in the studio.

    For that, I would be thankful.


    PS: I know of a lot of engineers with world class credentials that aren't able to find work these days.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

  2. #2
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    its not a competition to do your job right ...

    last man standing , I hope were all standing ,

    as for people doing work for next to nothing ,
    sometimes it feels good to help people
    and even if thats means not getting paid

    some people record for fun ,

    recording isn't business to some , to some its a hobby

    I would think its OK to record as hobby

    professionalism is a state mind ,its not if you make money or not

    it doesn't take an award to make someone great at what they do
    it takes popularity for an award
    Last edited by matthew hendry; 11-28-2008 at 04:08 PM.
    one mile in five seconds

  3. #3
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    see what happens when people turn things like living in a home a business

    people don't have homes ..

    thats not fun


    some things should not be business
    one mile in five seconds

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew hendry View Post
    some things should not be business
    Professional audio production is NOT one of those "some things"....
    OTR Mastering
    Professional Audio Production for Life
    www.ShoutLife.com/OTRMastering


  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by OTRMastering View Post
    Professional audio production is NOT one of those "some things"....
    I agree , people who use there jobs serously should be rewarded

    audio prodution is by no means a joke .
    one mile in five seconds

  6. #6
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    I've always figured that part of being a freelancer is luck and overhead management so you can hunker down and weather the storms. When I was first starting out I got to with in a few dollars of "rent disaster" a number of times, and was lucky in avoiding having to take a min. wage job that would have ended my "instant availability" for those sorts of last minute jobs where the people the clients know aren't available and they'll take a chance on someone new. Of course, I went ahead and had a family, so I can't be quite so cavalier about eating Top Ramen by candlelight anymore, but it is always good to remember the bad times during the good times and keep one's indebtedness and overhead doable for when things are lean.

    Philip Perkins

  7. #7
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    Wireline is offline 3D VIP 2004, '05, '06, '08, '09, '10
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    Curious as to what the "economy" is doing to people's plans to upgrade/retool/expand...I know that with 3 exceptions (each under $1K) we have completely taken spending ANY money on gear off the table until a degree of confidence has returned.

    No need for another job (hopefully), but in reality, who in their right mind would hire an over 50 guy with a full time job that is more obsession than employment, and has the most unpredictable hours known to mankind?

    Maybe I can convince the dog to apply for social security, but he's never worked a day in his life and has no idea what his SSN is...
    Ken Morgan
    2010 3d VIP

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wireline View Post
    Maybe I can convince the dog to apply for social security, but he's never worked a day in his life and has no idea what his SSN is...
    I don't think that matters...
    Todd Robbins
    TX3 Productions, Inc.
    www.toddro.com

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3daudioinc View Post
    PS: I know of a lot of engineers with world class credentials that aren't able to find work these days.
    There are sure a lot of factors in play here. I really don't see things returning to the way they were. In fact, I doubt that things will stay as good as they are today. For most of those who will continue to make a living at it, engineering will be just one skill in the toolbox along with a medley of other skills. There won't be that many people who "just" engineer.

    For most of us, eventually, age is going to be a factor. Music and content is more a young person's game. In addition to losing one's hearing, a lot of people become close minded regarding new trends. Young performers are also usually going to want to collaborate with younger engineers/producers. In most cases, they're not going to want to work with someone as old, or older than their folks.

    On every level, for young and old folks in this biz, I think things in the future are going to be more difficult.
    Last edited by Lee Blaske; 12-02-2008 at 05:12 AM.
    Lee Blaske
    Excelsior, MN
    http://www.reverbnation.com/leeblaske

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Blaske View Post
    For most of us, eventually, age is going to be a factor. Music and content is more a young person's game. In addition to losing one's hearing, a lot of people become close minded regarding new trends.

    Eh? Wha'd you say?

    Speak for yourself, you young whippersnapper.

    I'm reminded of a song that we just sent to an artist to sing. It came back with a very lifeless, seemingly unproduced vocal performance on it. Just really flat, ignoring the very vibrant dynamic track that accompanied it.

    I sent a rough mix off to the executive producer, expecting him to want us to resing it with another singer.

    He loved it. "Very Juno. Very indie film."

    Go figure.

    His comment? "Maybe you can use a compressor to put some life and excitement into it."

    Another plug in. The Life-erizer. The Exciterizer.

    THAT is a young man's game. GIGO. GI+Plugin=ExcitedGO.
    Lynn Fuston
    3D Audio

    Making beautiful music SEEM easy since 1979.

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