1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Get good at recording because no one listens to live music anymore

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Ukiah Bass, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    From my blog:

    The primary traditional focus of a bassist is to master the instrument to play for live performance. Playing live gigs has been what it's all about. In context of how people are consuming music, however, the goal of live performance is an anachronism. Statistically, hardly anyone (anymore) listens to music played by a live band. For example, one study shows the percentage of music consumption in the UK devoted to seeing live performances is just 16%. All other channels of music consumption are virtual - i.e., hearing the music via recordings with various media such as CDs, records, downloads and streaming.

    If you want your music to be heard, you must master the art of recording and digital distribution. Today's reality is you must go to where the fans are because they're not coming to watch and hear you in a live venue.

  2. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    I think I'll just go ahead and try and keep it alive, for now.
  3. Milk


    Sep 16, 2013
    Montreal, Canada
    I haven't seen a live show in a few years.

    I do in fact prefer records to shows, really. I don't get that much out of live experiences to warrant the money (it probably doesnt help most music i like, the bands are either gone, or are no good anymore) BUT...it's been my understanding i always was in the minority. Though...ive always been around people that actually loved music so that wouldnt be a good indication, it is true that if i look outside of people who are in say, the music scene, yeah... i mean if i just take a look my relatives, they pretty much don't go to shows, ever, no matter what kind of music they like.

    Its bad for bands more than anything considering that was always where the money was. But honestly....i'm sure there's obviously ALWAYS been way more people listening to radio and buying records than going to shows... that's just mathematically evident, what were the figures twenty to thirty years ago is what i'd like to know.

    Anyway, for one a lot of people here play in cover bands, if you're doing cover obviously playing live is your only option so.... that's not gonna stop them. For an original well as i said, thats still where the money is, even if you're very successful and sell loads of records... I wonder if we adjust for inflation how much money a very popular band makes now compared to 30 years ago, if it's true that people dont go see show as much as before, do they still make as much money in other ways? Or have the ticket prices been adjusted in consequence...

    Also, primary traditional focus of a bassist is to play live? Why more so than any other musician?

    I'd say your primary focus as a musician is to play well....well enough so that it doesn't take you 300 takes if you record, or that you don't play a lot of bum notes or mess up rhythm if you play live (its true that live there's no second chances, but it also doesnt matter as much, i mean, you wouldn't let a mistake into a recording, because people will have every chance to hear it, live, it'll likely go unnoticed, or at least be forgotten 30 secs later). And well enough that you can learn songs fairly easily and not have to dumb down the parts if you do covers or well enough that you are not limited in your creativity if you do originals.
  4. I do both. I got interested in recording over 30 years ago when all we had were reel to reel
    tape decks and made my first home studio. Been recording ever sense. With that said, you still can't beat the feel of a live audience. One issue with recording is when you finish a project, then what do you do with the product? For me, the idea of being a rock star..well let's say that boat sailed many years ago. So I have taken a few finished recordings and put them on you tube and other music websites to share with listeners. Recording is a lot of work for very little in return. But for some reason I keep doing it.
    Just sayin.
  5. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    I recall watching The Beatles' Anthology series when they were discussing their first music videos (Rain and Paperback Writer, I believe). Ringo was saying something like they didn't have time to do all the requests for performances and interviews, so they made the videos as a way to "go where the fans are." Kind of the idea I'm arguing for now (gee- guess I'm 48 years late to the party!). I'm in the midst of rebooting an old project called The Stormy Weathermen. We'll be performing live, but I have plans to use multiple video feeds/DIs/and mics to capture and package those performances for HD/WAV-quality music performance videos on YouTube etc. We've had way more hits on the videos we posted previously than the total number of people who heard us live in past performances. Why bother recording if you can't put the product out there for consumption - even if it's "free?" (now monetizing those hits is a whole different topic.....)
  6. MVE


    Aug 8, 2010
    I have been amateurishly recording friends on the Chicago scene for a decade now. It used to be about making them a CD to take home, copy and pass around.
    Now, we record everything along with a couple of video cameras, so I can mix everything down, sync it up with the video and post it to YouTube for them.

    For example:
  7. Two different things really......

    There's nothing like going to a good "live" concert.......the sensory input experience can be awesome....

    But.......there's nothing like listening to a well-mastered studio production as well....where you can free yourself of "outside distraction" and concentrate on the sound at hand.
  8. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006

    Good sound quality. I did this at a prior Stormy Weathermen gig but with a camera man moving around:

    The new plan for The Stormy Weathermen is to use four fixed video cameras with a combination of DIs and mics. I've learned how to take a fixed video feed in post and apply motion, zooming, etc. as if a live camera operator was on each respective feed. That's going to enable some pretty interesting options for professional quality videos.

    Then people can watch us in their homes on their big screen HD televisions and nice stereo systems. I'll settle for that if they can't see us live. The nice thing is we'll have global reach instead of being limited to our small rural community.
  9. Ah, I call BS.
    Plenty of kids still go out and see bands. Most cities have somewhere the music lives.

    But yeah, I do lots of recording, gotta get the music out there, make merch, iTunes and stuff.
    Went from a 4 track cassette, to a 1/4" 8 Track Reel to Reel, to a 1/2" 8 Track R/R, to a full blown Pro-Tools/Mac rig, and yup, back to the 1/2" 8 Track.

    I don't want to sound modern, I like my old Deep Purple & Alice Cooper records. And the 1/2" tape sounds pretty close.

    I do demos/ one-offs/ singles/ and even full albums once in a while, but it is nice to have everything I need to make a good sounding recording, the way I want to do it instead of how someone else wants to do it.
  10. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    I'm 42 and have played in a few damned good bands in Denver. I've stopped gigging because, in 2014, I have no chance of attracting people within my demographic to places where I may be playing.

    And there is next to no foot traffic into "live music clubs" in Denver; essentially everyone in a given club is connected to the band somehow.

    People used to make a half-decent living if they played in cover bands good enough to stay busy between a club rotation and private events. Today, the busiest guys I know play 6 or 8 times a month.

    I'm getting into iOS music recording and trying to use that as a creative outlet. With some of the guys I've played with, we might consider doing some kind of YouTube – distributed videos of performances or even formal rehearsals. I don't know whether there is an audience, or how to monetize that idea yet.
  11. lowfreqgeek

    lowfreqgeek Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    Albuquerque, NM
    Endorsing Artist: Regenerate Guitar Works, Honey Badger Pickups, Westone Audio
    I'm moving in a similar direction with my trio. We'll play live, but it's a real performance, in front of a paying crowd, who's there to listen to us. Otherwise, we're working on writing for an album (paid for by someone who heard us live and loved it), and doing some videos. We won't make much off those endeavors, but the incredibly high level of musicianship with the other two guys deserves to be archived.

    My other band does play live quite a bit, but we're also doing videos, releasing an album, and hopefully starting another one soon. We're also breaking out of the local market and trying to get in to more regional gigs and festivals, which is what the videos and album are about.
  12. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    This guy Mike Masse in Salt Lake City seems to have the YouTube distribution approach mastered. He does simple shows with him and a bass player in pizza joints in SLC - which has a terrible live music scene to begin with - and his YouTube channel has 18 million views.

    It doesn't hurt that he is a badass. Check out his cover of "Africa."
  13. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    18M views is worth about $100K in monetization. Bravo ... and it's a 2-man cover band. I wonder how he got 74K+ subscribers. Amazing!
  14. I thought Louis CK picked up guitar for a second. :confused:
  15. Altitude

    Altitude An ounce of perception, a pound of obscure. Supporting Member

    Mar 9, 2005
    Denver, nee Austin
    That was the first thing I thought too. Damn, Louis can sing!
  16. Pearly Gator

    Pearly Gator

    Dec 10, 2005

    I play for about 1,500 each weekend at church, which has a live band. Prompted to do a Google search, anywhere from 17.7% to 40% of the population goes to a place of worship where live musicians are heard. Yeah, we're pretty much a cover band doing it for fun.

    / random thoughts
  17. Ukiah Bass

    Ukiah Bass

    May 10, 2006
    Yeah, J.S. Bach and his peers played in church too. I forgot about the religious market. Valid point. Not my bag, but glad it's working out for you.
  18. A pretty good website to put your audio recordings that are collecting dust is a site based in Europe called: http://www.jamendo.com
    People can download your music too. One of my singles has over 37,000 listens and like 1100 downloads so it gets pretty good exposure. It's free to all users. The only thing that sucks is the MP3 format which loses fidelity compared to the original Wav file but that's a whole other subject.
  19. Itzayana


    Aug 15, 2012
    Oakland Ca
    I really don't think that those numbers are too much different than they have ever been.
    !6% say they go see live music and my guess is that the other 84% have always been couch potatoes.
    In city of 1 million, 160,000 (16%) go out to see live music. May be that there are glaring regional differences. Maybe in Ukiah only 5-8% go out. I live and work in the San Francisco Bay area. I believe that the numbers here are at the 16% level or maybe a little higher. This is a fairly vibrant Arts and Entertainment community
    So if there are about 6 million people here in the Bay Area, 16% of that is 960,000.
    I say, "Don't give up so quick. If it isn't happening where you are, go to where it is."
  20. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    The whole point of recording was to bring music to more people than could be reached with live performances. Before that, sheet music and a parlor piano.