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Author Topic: A couple of observations  (Read 843 times)

Thomas W. Bethel

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A couple of observations
« on: August 28, 2007, 10:10:06 am »

I was at our local CD replicator yesterday. Their building is up for sale and they have downsized from 23 employees three years ago to 5 people today. They are also our local supplier of TY disks. They are looking for smaller quarters and will be moving as soon as their building is sold.

I was talking to the owners wife/business manager and she said something that was very reveling. More and more clients are bringing in what amounts to JUNQUE on their masters and wanting 500 to 1000 copies made of it. They are done TAO instead of DAO, they are distorted beyond belief (I got a chance to hear one and it was DREADFUL) they leave too much space at the beginning or ending of the tracks or fail to put in track markers at all. When asked if they would like to "fix" the problems before they are duplicated their standard answer is "nope just do it" Her husband, who is the owner, took his own time to fix up a CD that would not duplicate due to some damage in the master disk. It took him three hours and he told the client about it and the client said "I am not paying you to fix problems I am paying you to duplicate what I give you" So much for caring about what you are duplicating. They also get masters with fingerprints all over them and scratches all over the disk. Many times they have to make a interim master just to get it to duplicate.

When a potential new client calls them up the first thing they ask about is the price. They don't care about anything else. If the owner or his wife try to find out more about the project or what the client's expectation are they are told that all that matters is how cheap they can do the job and how fast it can be done.

On a related note...

I had to go to Sam Ash later in the day and I was shocked by what I saw. It looked like they had moved their entire warehouse out onto their 40,000 square foot retail space and the place was a mess. Boxes stacked on top of boxes. Equipment laying around. New equipment intermixed with used for sale equipment and not identified as such. Acoustical foam lying on the floor in big stacks for sale. It was the worst I have ever seen and I was the only customer in the store. I asked one of the salesmen what was going on and he told me that they are constantly being shopped for merchandise but then the person will go on line and order it. Lately they have had a rash of people purchasing equipment and then returning it after they have checked it out and purchased it on line. So they have some new stricter guidelines for returns.  The have cut their sales staff down to the bare bone and the store looks like it needed a lot of TLC but they did not have the people power to do it. The other thing that the salesmen told me was that Sam Ash is thinking that they may have reached the saturation point in this area and that they maybe out of people to sell to. This is especially true with higher end merchandise that no one seem to be interested in or able to afford.

On the ride home it got me thinking about what is going on in the music business today.

People are trading quality for quantity and people are so accustomed to the sound of an MP3 that they have forgotten what real CD quality music sounds like. They never seem to have time to sit and listen to music and it has become a background sound in their lives and as such is becoming more of a noise source than a form of entertainment. I have noticed that the students walking around the campus at the local college have a cell phone to one ear, a white IPOD ear bud in the other ear and are talking to their friends as they walk. This maybe multi-tasking at its finest but who really cares about the quality of the music they are listening to when it one of three or more sources of "noise" that they are listening to.

Maybe that is the wave of the future and music will be come an auditory wallpaper instead of something that you can relate to and enjoy.

Not a rant just some observations


Thomas W. Bethel
Managing Director
Acoustik Musik, Ltd.
Room With a View Productions

Doing what you love is freedom.
Loving what you do is happiness.

Barry Hufker

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Re: A couple of observations
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2007, 10:37:29 am »

I am not sure they have "forgotten what CD quality sounds like" as much as they don't know what "good sound" (or even excellent sound) is.  Music is a commodity now.  It might as well be a can of peas.

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