Industry economic optimism

I was asked this in a questionnaire this morning:

Do you share optimism that there is likely to be economic improvement in the audio industry in the coming year?

I said no because there really aren’t any signs. I read feeds on the industry every day. Nothing points to any change. In my opinion, since the late 90s, it has only gone down hill and the large amount of poorly mixed and arranged “Indy” music has taken the listening experience to the gutter. Not everything is crap, but a large majority is in my opinion. Personally, my biz has been fine and I could be busier if I wanted… Maybe there is something coming I am unaware of like the elimination of ear buds and unconscious listeners?

What do you all think?

An interesting development is I have setup a listening environment outside the control and live rooms. A nice surround system which I thought I would not like surround. After I setup channel levels, you can just sit there and be encapsulated in sound and get lost. The clientele and personal friends that have sat and listened are moved. They sit still, not on their phones and listen. One friend wound up trashing his playback system and bought a higher quality one after spending time listening at my place. He said he couldn’t stand his system after experiencing mine which is only a modest system. It does sound really good though in my opinion.

Change coming?

Hard to tell, much of the popular music these days is aimed at people listening to it while doing other stuff, that’s why it’s so loud and blaring, just to catch some attention.
I can sit and just listen for a good while and I know some friends who can too, but not many. (they are musicians too)

I don’t see ANY sign of anything improving. We live in an era where people increasingly allow big corporations to walk all over them and impose them what they “should” buy and “enjoy”. Small businesses are mercilessly crushed every day. Those who work for “corporate music” will survive (with increasingly lousier pay, when their job is not outsourced…), all the others will pound sand. If you don’t have a big megaphone, no one is going to hear you. And they control all communications. Big business controls all the media and they’re happily on their way to totally controlling the internet, thanks to people’s apathy and inaction.

I’m glad I’m not young anymore. The next 50 years won’t be a picnic for anyone in this business, except for the corporate elites.

Aloha guys,

I would probably also have said no.
But I wonder if I were 25 years younger what the answer would be. :slight_smile:

I has similar thought about this and posted back in July.

My take is more from the consumers P.O.V. and them being the cause
but the road leads to the same place.

Like ‘fast food’; when it come to popular music
there is lots o’ it out there and the quality is ‘good enough’ for most folks.

Music like books before it, while still being very important,
is increasingly less important in peoples lives than it used to be.

I don’t wanna think about this. I’m in full fledged denial.


Once the world decides to listen without doing anything else, things will turn around. Hopefully that will actually happen. Best advice is to teach your children and grand children the value of this. And choose some material for them if you can, something actually worth listening to.

Glad you’re keepin’ on Tom.

I read that thread a while back when you posted it. With the consumer, do you think there would be more value if downloads were more money. Like, $1.50-$2? I think apple did a lot of harm charging 99C per song. They devalued music in a major way IMO. As every other thing has inflated, 99c downloads remain the same. There are lots of other factors too to the fall of the industry. This is only one morsel.

As far as commercial work, that is where I make the most money. It can be a lot less fun though. Mucho Pressure. I have a hard time thinking that this will go by the wayside too into outsourcing. Actors have to record their lines in person. Mix, scoring and such… I don’t know as it isn’t anything I got into. I do, however, work with remote producers 99% of the time in this line of work. Maybe I am in denial too.

Being kid at this moment, I don’t think I would sink what I have into a studio. Who knows though… Maybe I would because I do enjoy the work I do, but I have invested a hulla lot of money into Woodcrest. With the economy as it is, I probably wouldn’t have the money these days to even come close to what I have today if I began this moment building a studio.

I’m not a millionaire yet! I’m in here every week working though. Better than drinking me face off and getting into trouble. :laughing:

I still have a fairly elaborate stereo setup at home. All of my friends who hear it are amazed and always say "Wow, I wish my stereo (or iPod) would sound like that! I had no idea …) But of course none of them do anything about it, they just shove the buds back in their heads. And getting anyone to sit still long enough to enjoy a song that is over 2 minutes long is nearly impossible.

Oh, I forgot the optimism part … I do notice that there are more and more excellent technical musicians at younger and younger ages. I keep hoping that spills over into a Renaissance of composition instead of the current recycling and reduction-ism that music has devolved into.

Unfortunately, most of these kids see music as a kind of performance sport. In other words, the technique is an end in itself. Showing off is all they care about. They play fast, but they don’t even know what they’re playing. Not saying they’re all like this, but I’ve seen too many to be just a coincidence.

I don’t completely disagree, I just hope that it will tip over and they will begin to apply all of that skill to composition as opposed to fast scales. I believe you can see drummers starting to “get it” if you watch some of the latest drum offs. It is much more musical than it was even 4 or 5 years ago. And they are crazy good.

EDIT: oh and I went to piano festival where a couple of the players are on the international competition circuit. Again, 18/19 year olds that were not just technically proficient (and they were that in spades), but really amazing interpretive skills. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And, it again it gives me hope that all of this technical skill will collide again, similar to what happened in the late 60s and early 70s when all of the influences collided.

Bingo!!! It’s a different world out there!! Fast!!! Quick!!! Right now!!!

I think the song ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’ says more than people even realize.

Since then, on an ever increasing basis, much of society now listens with their ‘eyes’ almost as much as with their ears - by way of video, TV, cell phones, youtube, commercials, etc.

For those born after the MTV beginnings of constant music videos, they most likely don’t even know that this transition has happened.

For some, if the video’s no good - then the song is mainly worthless to them.

Similarly, if the video impresses them, they’ll often say the song is ‘great’ - not realizing that the 2 are completely separate of each other, and done by completely different groups of people - and that one being better than the other does not necessarily make the other equal to it - in either direction.

What is encouraging though, is when someone about half my age, [I’m 52], says they really like much of the older music of 1950-1980.

When I ask why & how they’ve even been exposed to it, usually they say because their parents listened to it as they were growing up.

I do agree with the above statement:

…Best advice is to teach your children and grand children the value of this. And choose some material for them if you can, something actually worth listening to…

So it seems Crosby Stills Nash and Young had it right all along.

“Teach your children well”.


This usually succeeds in getting (smart) kids’ attention and exposing them to some of the greatest talents of the 1970-80’s. Nice video and superb music with some incredible individual performances:

Don’t be surprised if they don’t know ANYONE in that video. :wink:

“Valley of the Jolly Green Giant” (Demolition Man) coming soon to an iPod near everyone. :wink:

YouTube has changed things alot

I seen countless videos of people who come across (to me anyway) like look how good I am at this image first music second or third.

I been working on lots of music hopefully it will be finished soon and will be going on youtube.i could do video’s showing off how I can play lots of instruments. But instead im opting for pictures and footage of outdoors countryside whatever. .so it can be enjoyed as it is.MUSIC

Nice people are so creative n all but shame that things have become so show offy and could I be the next big thing. not to just share the music first and foremost.